I'm living it too -- long term marriage, not a great retirement

My husband became permanently disabled at 42. I continued working until a forced retirement at age 57 when my company left the state.

While I was working those 15 years, he was home alone, he would do shopping, some cleaning, cook dinners, care for our 2 cats and took great pride in his lawn and yard.

Since I've been home, now 7 years, he has increasing slacked off and these last few years does absolutely nothing but mow the lawn, take out the garbage once a week and sometimes empty the dishwasher. I do everything else and mean everything including heavy yard work.

He has no interest in anything, no hobbies, no friends, just sits all day watching TV. If I try to engage in any conversation while he's watching, I get grunts.

I've tried everything to motivate him, and even suggested therapy which he's been in for over a year and yet there's been no change in his behavior. I never ask what is discussed in his sessions as it's between him and his therapist but I DO let him know that I don't see any improvement and he does know how frustrated I am.

He has completely taken advantage of me being home and also expects a home cooked dinner when we're home. (Before and now after the pandemic, we do go out to dinner once a week).

He does like travel so thank goodness for that, so I try to book 2 vacations a year. I try to do something every day to 1) get away from him, 2) keep active and 3) keep my sanity.

We've been married 45 years and have been through many hardships and setbacks, but we do have a connection like no other although I have thought I might be happier being alone but I know that since I've been with him since I was 17 I wouldn't function well without him.

I'm stuck and being a "the glass is half full" person I've resigned to this being the rest of my life. We were going to move from our expensive state but HE decided that we have everything we need right here.

He is an extremely nervous person and I know a move might have killed him so that dream of mine has been cancelled. He has already had a heart attack that was caused by stress.

This is my life.

I see that I'm not alone by the responses to this subject. Perhaps a group therapy for us would be helpful.

Comments for I'm living it too -- long term marriage, not a great retirement

Click here to add your own comments

I'm living it too
by: Lynn

Couples' counseling as soon as possible. We commit to them as they did to us. We EACH need to bring the best version of ourselves every day. Marriage should not be life sentence of doom and gloom.

Marriage and Retirement
by: Jeanne Savelle/Atlanta

I think we all need to remember that we can't change anyone but ourselves.

Let's choose to respond to our partners in the way we want to show up, as our best selves. If we show up every day as the best version of ourselves, our spouses just might start to see another option.

And if not, we'll be living our best lives every day anyway.

by: Sherry/ NC

Marriage is all about compromising and communicating; without these two it will fail and especially if grow old together.

Most of
us who are married and have lived together for many, many years don't like each other.

Revisit your expectations and don't focus on the negative
by: MICHAEL - Upstate NY for the summer!

He cuts the lawn, takes out the garbage. Many would dream for such a man! He can only take advantage of you if you let him.

If you go out for dinner once a week, that leaves 6 days left for meals cooked at home. Tell him that you will cook Mon-Wed-Fri and he has to cook Tues-Thurs-Sat. And, no, "cooking" does not include eating out or take-out. You would be surprised at what he might accomplish if you give him responsibility.

If you want to move, bring up the subject again. Or, figure out how you can have your best life where you are.

If he wants to sit around, that is his decision. You don't have to sit and watch him. You're not his mother. But, if you decide to stay, that is your decision.

Marriage isn't just about love. It's about commitment. Unfortunately, we are committing ourselves to someone when they are young, and we don't know how they will turn out as they grow. And, they don't know how we will turn out as we experience the different phases of life.

People make promises to each other and perhaps have unrealistic expectations. Maybe we all need to revisit our expectations for our relationships every year just to make sure that both partners are on the same page in the relationship. If not, talk about it. And, try couples counseling too.

Remember, every day is the first day of the rest of your life.

Difficult Marriage - later in life
by: Bernard Kelly - Geelong

Hello Anonymous

many of us do have difficult marriages later in life, so yes, you are not alone.

However, to a possible solution - perhaps you could get a permanent full time position as a volunteer with a community group, which would ideally be funded by a government agency.

That way hubby may realize that he needs to take some functional responsibility for running the household.

Alternatively, develop a profitable hobby as a work-from-home business. I have a book that may just give you some ideas "37 Case Studies of Profitable Hobbies"

It's in pdf format, so if you email me your request to bernardkellygeelong@gmail.com I'll bounce it back to you

cheers .... Bernard Kelly MBA

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 Marriage in Retirement.....