After retirement, living 24/7 with inactive husband will be scary!

by Anne

My husband retired from teaching 17 years ago and became a "couch potato," while I have fortunately continued working since then in a pleasant and creatively satisfying administrative job.


Now my office situation has changed, with a nasty, impatient and intolerant manager running the show. My immediate supervisor (and very good friend) and myself have decided that we will retire at the end of this year. I know I won't miss the usual pressures of this job - plus ever-increasing demands from the new manager - but after 29 years working successfully in this career, I realize that my identity is very much wrapped up in it and retirement will mean suddenly being at home with my husband all the time!

He does nothing towards maintaining the home, but instead lies in bed most of the day watching sports on ESPN. He is not interested in travel or in leaving his "den" for any outings, dinners out, entertainment or even going for a walk.

His retired guy friends and I have tried over the years to encourage him to find some stimulating volunteer work but he appears to be very contented in his nest and is not at all interested.

Although I do care about him, it is becoming increasingly and frighteningly obvious that he and I have very little in common after 30 years of marriage. I am wondering how I will be able to create a "new" life for myself so that I don't go crazy watching him - watching TV - while he chews gum relentlessly!!

Thinking about it is very, very depressing. Can anyone relate to this scenario?

Wendy: After 17 years of playing couch potato, it seems not likely that he will change after you retire. If it had been a year or two, I'd think Depression... but seventeen years? Has he ever visited a doctor (or does he think this IS retirement)? What a sad waste of his retirement years!

IF you intend to keep busy, start looking at your options now: part-time work, volunteer opportuntities, hobbies/interests, etc. You cannot stay in that house and fall into the same dark deep hole. Join a gym, join a book club or an Out to Lunch Bunch... whatever, just keep moving!

Please keep us updated... praying this situation works out for you!


Comments for After retirement, living 24/7 with inactive husband will be scary!

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You are so right
by: Jill

You are so right. I retired two years ago whereas my partner retired fifteen years ago.

He too is very happy in his nest. He gets up late, watches TV, checks email, reads and, well, nothing else... He talks a lot - to neighbours, shop assistants, anyone who will listen, but has no interest in going anywhere or doing anything.

The cinema would annoy him, he's no interest in theatre, he's hell to eat out with as he does not enjoy food, it's just a refuelling stop to be done with as soon as possible.

So. I moved house, that kept me busy for a year, clearing out my old place and doing up the new one. I

've done a year of adult education classes to learn all the things I promised myself when working I would do. Now what?

I can't afford a car and even hiring one is off as he won't drive anywhere, even as a passenger. He can't stand the roads and other impatient drivers (like himself).

He interferes with what I'm doing in the kitchen - isn't my saucepan too large for the job? Don't I have the wrong gas ring, opening the oven to check on the progress of the food... I hope you manage better than I have.

All I can think of is to split up, move to a really tiny house on my own and start my life again. People see us as a couple and think I have company - in fact I'd be better off on my own...

Thanks for input, Sally...
by: Anne

I really like the way you are handling your situation! I am going to visit the local Senior Center - which is, from all descriptions, a very lively place - and find out about trips such as you took to see the show. He won't go with me but he can certainly feed the cats when I'm away!

Blessings,
Anne

I really understand what you're feeling....
by: Sally

Hi! My husband had a very stressful job and worked long hours. He feels this is his time to just enjoy life his way and I can appreciate that. His favorite past time is just reading which he never had time for before. He will take occasional vacations if I do all the planning.

However, I cannot sit aroung and hope that he will change. I keep in touch with former friends from my office and we have dinner together once every week or two and plan Saturday things to enjoy.

Once I picked up forms at the senior center and went with two friends to a Broadway show (at a very reduced rate) on a very comfortable tour bus. We had lunch and dinner up there and it's a wonderful memory.

One of my friends and I spent a great weekend at Cape May when the Monarch butterflies were returning home for the winter.

Do I feel guilty? No, because he is really enjoying his free time as he pleases.

You have some fun times ahead, just takes planning, Best wishes, Sally

Thanks to all for such really great comments!
by: Anne

Yes, my husband and I did lots of things together before he retired and we were both working - I was able to have July and August off to be with him during his teaching vacations, and we traveled and really enjoyed life.

Somehow, when he no longer had to work (in a job which, I am sorry to say, he always detested) it appeared that he was relieved and happy, and from then on his basic laziness took over.

I will ponder all your comments and plan my path -- which may start sooner than the end of the year, if current signposts are any indication. The new manager is causing havoc and I just don't think I want to "suffer this fool gladly."

Again, thank you. Your input is very valuable.

24/7 Inactive Husband Scary
by: Nettie

Hey we have some things in common! I am retiring in less than two weeks from a 30 year career in nursing management! I am a type A personality - always busy and getting things done!

My husband has been retired for 10 years and is very content and like to brag about doing nothing all day. But he actually does lots around the house.

I feel for you and actually am hoping that perhaps you over exaggerated about your husband's current lifestyle. But if you did not exaggerate, then I think all you can do is keep getting out of the house everyday.

My husband has some similar qualities, but he does not stay in bed all day watching sports (thank God for small favours!).

He cooks, cleans a bit, exercises our dog, waters the garden, cleans the patio, plants flowers and vegies, loves to go to Hawaii every year sometimes twice, shares a glass of wine with me in the evening, finds good movies for the two of us to watch....hey I am amazed at this list. He even suggested that we go to Ireland next spring! He does like TV, but what man doesn't?

Only a suggestion, but I am sure there are things that YOU can do to help your husband get out of the bed. Plan a nice dinner out at a restaurant....what man doesn't like food. Bring home a movie that you can watch TOGETHER.

Hope things turn around for you and would love to stay in touch with you!!!

Plan
by: Jeff

Before you retire I would like you to find a safe place and set back and just think about yourself.
What would you like to do with your life and how would you do it.

I always say that there are five steps to change, think about what you want, what you are willing to give up to get there,what guide lines will you use to know once you have got there and what will be the effect on people around you and last, what will be the effect on you. Unless forced into a position to change always take time to plan things out.

I wish you much happiness.

DEPEND UPON MAN'S MOST TRUSTED OLD FRIEND ....
by: Retd. Prof. Durgesh Kumar Srivastava. New Delhi, India

DEAR FRIEND,

AFTER YOUR RETIREMENT, KINDLY CONSIDER BRINGING INTO YOUR HOME TWO PUPPIED OF THE SAME BREED, SUCH AS LHASA APSOs, OR CHIHUAHUAs - ONE MALE AND ONE FEMALE AND RAISE THEM INTO HEALTHY, PLAYFUL AND PRODUCTIVE ADULTS.

THESE WILL KEEP YOU ACTIVE, HEALTHY, HAPPY AND MAY ALSO GIVE YOU AN EXTRA PST RETIREMENT INCOME FROM THE SALE OF THE NEXT GENERATIONS OF PUPPIES TO GOOD HOMES. GET ALL KENNEL CLUB REGISTRATIONS AND LEGAL PRMISSIONS. TIE UP WITH A VET FOR THEIR HEALTH CARE, AND WITH A DOG TRAINER FOR TEACHING THEM OBEDIENCE.

BEST WISHES. DKS,3 AUG, 13

Do your own thing
by: Sheila

It seems your husband will not change, so it's up to you. What were YOUR plans for retirement? Did you want to travel?

Perhaps your administrative skills could be used in a voluntary position overseas. Whatever you want to do, you should do it.

Withdraw from that lazy guy and be selfish for a change. You may even decide you are better living apart. It's your life and time is running short.

Take action before it's too late!

THIS IS YOUR LIFE*
by: Sharyn~~~CANADA

Dear Anne

You have watched this man for several years do absolutely nothing with his life! Why should u suspect the situation will change when u retire?

It won't because he has never given u any indication that it will.


YOU must consider making a life of your own and one that does not include your loser husband. Start packing & find a comfortable place for yourself to relocate to, where u can continue on with your life, find new friends or seek out TRUE friends u already have, u will need their support & understanding. Don't look back, if u do u will see a young boy looking for a mother substitute who will continue cooking~cleaning~laundry~ & who knows what else, to keep him comfortable for the rest of his days!!

There is a whole other world out there for u to discover & after working all your adult life & now u have the opportunity to discover what it has to offer u ~ GO FOR IT ** Baby Steps ** l am sure u have heard those words before~ u will find contentment & happiness ~ trust me ~

At the very least, give some thought to what l have suggested* and happy trails~~~~~

What a life?
by: Joe W.

Anne,

I have a question for you and that is What kept your marriage together for those 30 years or so?

I think that after 30 years couples should have had enough time to consider what they could possibly do together when they BOTH retire.

Also, was your husband active with you when both of you were working?

Joe W.

Retirement
by: Anonymous

there are so many options after retirement there like someone said volunteer and there are many places you can do that Your Hospital, AARP . schools libarys churches youth groups they are all looking for added help or volunteers and its great to get to meet new people to keep your mind active

Ned

just retired
by: diane

I have just retired on may 31 and actually moved to another town to be closer to my daughter and her family.

to date i have been pleasently surprised that I do not miss work at all. The last year was very unpleasant with a new manager and I never realized just how much I dreaded work until I stopped.

I have applied and was successful getting on a board of directors in a society and have volunteered in the local senior centre . I am hoping to meet people and make friends. Although I don't have a husband I do have to make a new life so go ahead and leave the husband to watch his tv and start a new voyage for yourself.

Don't let him rain on your parade
by: Cathy Severson

While not ideal, you can still have a pleasant retirement. My husband worked nights, so he slept during the day and evenings.

If I wanted a life, it was up to me to create it. Be thankful he isn't ill and you have to caretake.

Start making a list of things you want to do; leisure, work, starting a business, volunteer, or learning. Focus on exploring all that life has to offer you, not how your husband let you down.

I have traveled the world with women whose husband didn't want to travel. I have a friend who is busy every single day while her husband sits at home.

You may ultimately decide you want a divorce, but I highly recommend you do not consider it for at least one year. There are huge ramifications and you need to figure out your own life first.

Good luck.

My happiness is my own responsibility!
by: Anne

I agree that it would be wise to get some creative outlets set up BEFORE my retirement at the end of this year, so that I will have an escape hatch already waiting from the bleak home life.

There are some great adult school art and other interesting classes in the fall at a nearby high school, so perhaps there would be a good place to start the process. Thanks, Wendy!

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