Husband Retired, Help!

by Mary
(ventnor city)

My husband and I are both retired, he was laid off from his job after 18 years. Since then he has been home 24/7, has no ambition to do anything, when I suggest a part time job, he replies "I am retired".

I only ask for some alone time, but he yells "I will find a full time job! I have to wait until he gets out of my kitchen so I can cook, I have to constantly "work" around him.

This has gone on since december of 2008, and my patience has been used up.

Comments for Husband Retired, Help!

Click here to add your own comments

My retired shadow
by: Anonymous

I have been a stay at home mom for 40+ years. I stretched every dollar he brought home, I fed and clothed 3 children, I kept a clean and tidy home and I did all the yard work!

Now that my husband is retired I have a "helper" following me around, asking why I do it this or that way.

Grocery shopping he will suggest my using a different brand because it's cheaper. I spent 40+ yrs figuring out how to get the most out of everything and now I have him questioning my reasoning on everything.

I have just about had it!

Wendy: You need to sit down at dinner and tell him exactly what you think... nicely, of course.

--Explain that you've done this for over 40 years... and don't need a supervisor at this point.


--Help him find new interests that will keep him occupied. Is there some wood work he can do around the house? My husband just built me some new book shelves in the den.. something he never attempted before. Found the instructions he needed on You Tube.

--Maybe he can find a volunteer job to make good use of his time?

-- Maybe you can split the household duties so that YOU too can retire? Both of you sit down and decide what jobs are yours and what he might do to help with your workload. (Pssst! Do it early in retirement before he decides this is HIS retirement, and you will ask "When does a housewife ever retire?" as others have done.

--Have some date nights where you both go out to dinner, or take in a matinee movie, or whatever you both enjoy!

by: Sandy

I am 58 my husband is 61 and lost his job a year ago, all I can say is life has been hell since. He has no intention of doing anything and I frequently come home from work to here he has done nothing all day when I feel absolutely shattered. It has caused a lot of resentment and we now sleep in separate rooms, the only way I can see this relationship going is down the drain.

We cannot discuss anything as he gets so angry, screams at me and I withdraw to my room.

He cares little for me as he tell people I have to work until I'm 67, I find it most hurtful to be in this situation. I have worked all my life and our savings are being used to give him an income so I have to work as I cannot draw from our savings.

No way out for me and depression is closing in.

by: Anonymous

My husband has finished work at 61 and is quite content to do nothing all day except go for his walk and read the paper.

I have no option than to go to work even tho I struggle through ill health. I feel very uncared for and resent the situation which has resulted in a breakdown in our once lovely marriage.

I feel I just want to be mean all of the time and have to control the urge. There is nothing worse to me than a ma who has no interest in anything and I need to move on .......if I can find the courage.

Wendy You can control noody but yourself.. and your attitude can only make YOU ILL. Stop it. Please, for your own sake, kick your resentment to the curb -- go out on the weekends, with girlfriends, go to dinner, movies, art fairs - whatever, just get out and feel happy again.

Retired Husband
by: Charlotte

I certainly relate since I have been living this since 1999. He is 12 years older than me (76)and has no interest in anything. It has destroyed our marriage.

I am still working part-time in the only job I could find but still hoping to find a full-time job so I can be away from home even more hours. It is the lesser of two hells I live in daily. I have considered divorce for a number of years but can't make the move.

He has just been diagnosed with prostate cancer so I feel more trapped than ever with no way out.

Retired husband
by: Maria

Reading on the retired husband and the difficulties of him being at home reminds me of my father, my brother as well.

My father was a truck driver most of his life, he also loved the outdoors.horses sheep and the land. His eyes failed him like so many and he could no longer see to drive but he would decline a ride to go somwhere and that was my mothers agony. My brother broke his leg and had trouble walking had a slight limp, so he like dad stayed home too much.

Both of them were such good providors and did little in life but to support the home and children. I don't think they knew what to do when they no longer felt needed like us women. But they were mostly needed at work and driving was their life. If my mother had driven (she never did back then) I think her going with him would have made him feel more like he belonged.

My brother expresses sometimes to me wishes that his wife had time to go with him. It's a much harder transision for men, they are lost and out of their element.

by: Anonymous

I agree to Nina's comments and advise.

Arrange to develop a hobby, playing Chess, playing cards, making friends. helping Children, other senior persons.
Give him some duty for example purchasing,
writing letters, collecting words, reading or any thing of his interest.
All depends on the area where one is living. Om

by: Anonymous

Your story sounds all too familiar.
Myself....I feel like a nursemaid.

by: Anonymous

I understand your situation. My partner sits on the couch all day and doesn't lift a finger. I do the shopping, cooking, driving, housekeeping and feel like a personal care provider. I wish I could find someone to take care of me for a change.

A New Jouney
by: Nina from London

Hello Mary,

Reading about your husband losing his job I can truly understand how it has dramatically changed his life. If he had chosen retirement it might have been easier...but who knows. In starting all over there are times when the journey doesn't seem easy but overwhelming.

It happened to me until I did some serious thinking of what I wanted to do next. Anxiety and depression were also part of the transition. But there is light at the end of the tunnel.

You're patience has been tested but he seems like he wants to find some new career or a new road to follow, don't you think. There are people who can give him least to figure out what he would like to do. If he doesn't want to talk to a career counselor then he has to search for new ideas.

Routines can help. But also volunteer work to get out and meet people.

Now that I am past that hurdle I am very happy doing volunteer work at two charities. Busier than ever! Also, I teach English as a Foreign Language in the summer. Hope he finds what he wants to do next...and that you will both enjoy retirement.

Best Wishes, Nina

Needing my own space
by: Nancy

I can relate to your needing your own space. The first few months of my retirement were awful.

My husband and I were getting along, but I needed a place to escape to. We have a small house. I carved out an area on the sunporch with my sewing machines and desk where I can spend sewing, computering, doing my nails.

This is just what worked for me and not meant as advice.

Thanks for sharing.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Family Matters.