My husband is driving me crazy after he retired

by Deb
(Wyoming )

My husband retired at 62, he had worked at the same job for 42 years. I was happy for him to get out of there, but he is now driving me crazy at home.

Yesterday he told me how to fill the dishwasher, Evan tho I have done it for 40 years. He puts around the house and is always telling me what I should do.

I wish he would never had retired. I still work but hate coming home to hear about his boring day.

We have been married for 42 years, and I am ready to split up. He hates to travel and does not have many friends to go do things with.

What can I do, he is a big boy and needs to make his own decisions. If he can't do that I think it's time for us to go our own ways.

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42 years & dishwasher
by: Carrie

My husband is retired after 42 years. He was a third shifter for 42 years. So I became a custom although I never really care for it to basically my husband being in bed at 2 in the afternoon and he work the weekends so I raised three children wanting out of disability essentially by myself.

My husband is a good man and he was around when he could be. He has attention deficit disorder and it was just diagnosed two years ago so that was one of the reasons he preferred to work third shift because he was around most people. I endured it because I love him and he had a strong work ethic.

What we have done is the following, we talked about it for a good two months before his retirement and we've literally almost drawn up a contract of agreement. That agreement is what allowances I am going to give him an understanding this life change and what allowances he is going to give me because I'm also involved in that life change.

Example he is a hobbyist and he likes the Thinker at his attention deficit disorder to that and an idea will come to his head and he'll just jump up and start Ping Pong around.

Well I have always admired his mr. Fix-It and creative tinkering ideas and tell him so I also have a problem with noise I need wind down time due to fibromyalgia.

It's our agreement is after 5 p.m. in the evening he is going to resist that urge to be ping pong around and find activities until bedtime that are quiet like going to his man's face and playing video games or listening to his podcast.

One of the allowances I am making for him is to understand that after that many years I'm sleeping in a pattern that's different from mine that I did not expect that to change overnight.

Want to come specifically to the dishwasher issue and you and your husband I completely understand.

Sitting down and respectfully talk to him try to come to some agreement and maybe one of the things you could do is just a let him start loading the dishwasher. That would give you free time for something like say a bubble bath.

I think one of the things that happens to people when they retire is a lack of scheduling and for men in particular I think the filling of this is what I do with my day that I'm needed to do.

So he might very well welcome the conversation of a schedule allow him the respect of having input into that schedule.

My husband is always wanted to be a ham radio operator so last week I spent hours finding a place where he could test and r general area and encouraging him to sign up which he has done and I even found him a club to join!

So good luck I can only hope that you were just venting or here expression of and then 42 years of marriage that was for the most part good.

Don't Panic communicate with each other and if he loves you and you love him you will find a way to work it out.

for better or worse?
by: Diane Port Alberni

We must of had too much better and now getting some of the worse. Things are getting better, I just need to ask for what I want. Be it peace or help around the house. Don't forget what drew you both together and the glue that made for a wonderful marriage!

Become a student at RU
by: New Jersey

Yo Guys, if you are planning retirement, here is a suggestion to get your mind in focus. Become a perpetual freshman in Retirement University.

The key words are "perpetual freshman". You don't ever want to be a senior at Retirement U, after all, what is next after that. The curriculum is wide open...just about anything you ever wanted to study is available, it's usually free, but not always.

The good news no fussy professors, term papers, all-night study events, nerves and anxiety. if you don't like the subject...no big deal, drop the course and start another..learning is wide open...no grades or GPA to worry about.

Think of it this way, you may just learn something new and exciting.

Can I do anything right?
by: Lisa

I have not been loading the dishwasher correctly for 20 years. Really. Nothing I have done for entire marriage has been right. The love and affection has taken a back seat to anything else.

My retired husband that’s driving me crazy
by: Daisy in New York

I am happy that I found this sight. My long time love of over 30 years is driving me crazy. I agree with many of the posts, I cannot be his best friend.

My husband retired 5 years ago and does what ever he wants during the day. He is 68 and I’m 50.

I come from work tired. Soon as I step in, he starts with all of this play by play of what his friends are saying or doing ( I have no energy for this daily).

If I say give me a minute that’s an argument. I’m really not liking him right now.

Mornings he want to talk while I must get ready for work. NO I can’t. Is all I want to say but I don’t. I smiled and laughed out loud as I have a little peace from him today b/c he’s not talking to me FINALLY.

Thank You to all of you for sharing, I needed this.

On your terms
by: Gina, CA

Each person has a right to live life on their own terms.

Married for one year or 50, there’s still life to live happily! I gave my husband 6 years to adjust to retirement. He gets worse every year!

33 years of a relationship and I am done!

My husband retired
by: Elizabeth White

Hello I been married for the past 20 years ., my husband is 12 years older then me . He retired about 7 years ago, he have a disease called epilepsy and seizures are the same thing.

I know by fact this man he’s always.. dirty , sloppy . Smells bad, his breath stink, his body stink, he don’t like to take shower everyday.

I never bite my tongue to say what I have to say . For the good or bad. Communications is my mayor protocol., now that his 60 years old, his worst then before. Specially after he retired.

He let me be but I’m 48 and I m with him since I was 24 and I’m still repeating the same . I’m not that in love anymore. But what can I do?

My mom used to give me my best advice., now she’ died 3 years ago . And don’t have nobody to talk about my marriage .

Having very tough time with hubby retiring!
by: Diane

I was blaming myself for all this chaos his retirement has caused. Just recently moved to a new home in a new city. All this happened within months of his retiring, plus him getting his first cell phone that never rings! That he can't figure out.

I'm grumpy and he can't figure out why! I liked my working man better, he managed there just fine, was respected and hard working and knew what the heck he was doing.

So glad I'm not alone, realize that after reading other comments.

Why the hell didn't someone warn us about this?

You're not Alone
by: Carolyn/Long Island

Dear Deb,

I understand. My husband, who is 69, has been retired for 7 years.

In the beginning, he was more active. Now he spends a lot of time online (mainly reading news stories) and often doesn't dress or shower until 2 or 3:00 in the afternoon. The only housework he does is the wash.

It's my own fault for not enforcing him to help out with chores earlier in our marriage. It took years of pleading from me before he finally went out to get a volunteer position at a nearby hospital. At least he's out one afternoon a week.

I try to come up with with "errands" for him to do like going to the butcher, grocery shopping, etc. That helps somewhat. I don't have many answers other than manufacture some errands for him to do.

My husband is INCREDIBLY stubborn and getting him to do anything new is like pulling teeth. He doesn't have any friends or hobbies, so I'm his only company, which is stressful.

You are not alone in this predicament. I hope you find a way around this stressful situation and find ways to cope.

Response
by: Anonymous

Men who are not handling retirement well should be in counseling. It is not a wife's job to fill in the emptiness that they are feeling.

After experiencing this with my own DH, I was relieved when he was able to get professional help from another man.

Play in the Stock Market
by: Anonymous

Well, I visited my aunt who is well off and gets a big pension from her deceased husband's years and years of working. Any money she earned in her 12 years of working was hers to do with what she wanted. So she put it in the stock market.

She considered investing as her "work" and still does so at 92. Remember she has all that pension money rolling in.

I, on the other hand never had a job that provided pension benefits but worked for 50 years in jobs. My income is $1200 a month, just enough to get by on. But I love not working.

My aunt says that now, at age 66, I should get a job, and then use that money to "work" in the stock market.

So, since a grocery store is almost completed and will open just across the street, I applied, really for "any" position they have. If I got it, it would be fun to use that money in the stock market.

Maybe your husband would like a little job to use the money for something specific that he would not otherwise get.

Crazy
by: Louisewt

Not sure if your husband has checked out your local Senior center but maybe he could find something there. Do you have a YMCA nearby?

Was he ever interested in woodworking or some kind of a craft? He could start selling some of the items that you have in your home by selling them on ebay. It would take up quite a bit of his time. I do ebay myself and there is kind of a lot to it. If you don't have stuff, he could go to tag sales/thrift stores and find stuff to sell. He would have to write up his ad for the item and that also involves some investigation to figure worth. Pictures need to be taken and then uploaded to the ad. He has to determine shipping methods or if he will ship it free. It is a lengthy process. He would probably need to set up a Paypal account to accept payments.

Trust me, this is like a full time job if he got into it. Plus, he can make a little money too!

Crazy
by: Louisewt

Losing or leaving a job a job after a lifetime of work is a huge transition to deal with.

Some people have hobbies, like to volunteer, golf and have activities. Some suffer square peg syndrome and don't fit into anything for a while.

My Dad seemed happy to retire and was for a short while but then became paranoid that he and Mom were going to go broke. She lost her job about a year after he retired.

For a while he made grocery shopping his hobby. He would start out in a town about 12 miles away and buy all the weekly bargains, then go to another store. He probably shopped at 4 different stores. He'd take a cooler for the cold stuff and come home all happy with his treasure trove of bargains. He would make supper every night and have a movie ready to watch while eating dinner. Days of VCR.

He was only retired 2 years and had a very bad stroke and Mom had to take care of him for about 2 years till he passed.

Help your husband transition to this new chapter in life. You may find you are lost when you retire and then maybe he can help you.

I am also retired and have not found my groove yet either. I lost my job (lay off) and have not worked for 6 years. For the longest time I wasn't sure if I was layed off or retired! I started collecting SS last year so I decided I am retired now. I still look at jobs but now to be the lowest man on the totum pole they want a college degree. I don't have one!

I WISH MY HUSBAND NEVER RETIRED
by: Anonymous

My husband retired after 47 years of working for the government. Two years later, I wish he never retired.

He is better off working, being useful to the government, and making money. He seems lost. He leaves the lights on, leaves the doors open, is always on the computer reading the news, always on the toilet, watches ridiculous videos on YouTube, and is gaining more weight because of his inactivity.

I wish he never retired.

HANG ON
by: Ade

No, after 42 years how can you think of throwing in the towel? You should rather be thinking of celebrating your golden anniversary. Hang in there, don't quit. A few more years down the line and am sure you'll appreciate the companionship of your husband. All the best

keeps busy
by: donna ky

My hubby has been retired for over 6 years and he uses his time wisely now, he stays busy walking weather permitted, he helps me around the house and has hobbys , but him going to church does help me get MY TIME as were together a lot.

I have to be with him as he's legally blind and walks with a cain but he still does everything that he likes and wants to do . it does not stop him or let it get him down to much, everyone has their off days though. he has good and bad days and we both adjust to it.

Planning
by: Burely

During our working years, we constantly heard "plan for your retirement". I planned economically but never thought about the extra personal time I was going to have. I recently retired.

Yes, I question alot of what my retired wife does. In my job I felt needed. In my retirement, I don't feel that I am needed anymore.

The solution? Volunteer!

Honestly, get on a schedule. Go for coffee at the local coffee shop hangout every weekday morning. Stop at the local civic center and see if someone could use your help. Get a hobby and devout some of that extra time to it.

If you divorce now after 42 years, then you were never truly "married". You were just living with a room mate. Marriage is a commitment. Support him. Talk to him. Communicate your concerns and suggest some solutions. Good Luck.


Become a House Husband
by: Anonymous

I retired at 68 after a 45 year career, my wife still works and will retire in another year. While I have various activities to keep me busy, most of these are evening oriented.

So, during the day, other activities need to be planned. Being a house husband isn't all that bad, but I am sure many guys would feel that doing house work is beneath them.

Hey guys we live in the house, we wear clothes, we cook and can make a mess...why not accept the fact that doing a little house maintenance is good for the soul and for the relationship. I cook, help clean, and iron my own shirts if necessary, plus mow the lawn, do other yard work etc. Since I have several evening activities, it is a easier to do these when I know I have not saddled my wife with a day of work and these other tasks.

Now when I do cook, I am the captain of the kitchen, at least for the meal being prepared, so ladies if you want your husband to cook, don't look over his shoulders, don't micro-manage what he is doing, just be thankful he is doing it and besides many of the best chefs of the world are men.

My wife encourages me not to wear dress shirts during the day, so if I do, I do the ironing. It is an incentive in itself to wear polo or tee shirts, particularly during the warmer months just to avoid the ironing.

My wife was shocked when I asked her about cleaning the bathrooms. She was more than willing to walk me through the procedure, so chalk up a few more brownie points (no pun intended) and it makes those evening events even more justifiable.

So, be a house husband and pitch in..it won't hurt you.

Retired husbands
by: Elna Nugent Lenox, MA

Dear Deb,

Millions of women can understand exactly what you are talking about.

When my husband retired and I was working at a museum on four-day weekends, he was definitely not happy alone. So he would travel a half hour up to my daughter's house where she was dealing with three small children and he would go places with her that were difficult for her to go by herself with them.

I'm sure he was helpful and the children loved him, but she called me one day and said, "Mom, how much longer do you thing you will be working at the museum?" Then we both laughed.

She worked as a teacher all week and the weekends were packed. But now she felt she had four children instead of three to take care of on weekends --as well as her own husband. For her sake I decided to leave the museum after eleven years.

You and your husband need a plan. It will require truth telling clothed in kindness. You are going to have to plan times to be by yourself ( and so should he) or else you are going to feel you have a large child who requires you on duty 24 /7. You can also plan fun times, walks, and talks and make sure you make him feel he is a great guy, because he probably is.






Don't throw in the towel
by: Sandy

I read your post and thought "oh no - don't give up on your marriage". This is a time of major transition for your husband. In a way, he is going through the grief cycle and is fighting hard to retain a sense of self. Unfortunately, for you, it sounds like that is hard for you to take which is understandable given your world is changing too.

I have been married for almost 40 years and would be equally frustrated if my husband started to control aspects of my life. But I am wondering if the following suggestions might work.

1. Can you talk with him and tell him about your frustrations and create a plan or "shared language" when he starts being over-controlling such as "yep, got it, hon"

2. Suggest to him to find part time work or volunteer work - and keep on suggesting

3. Make sure you have alone time away from him which will limit your frustrations

4. Go to a marriage counselor and if he won't go, go to a counselor yourself to find coping mechanisms (remember, we are only providing suggestions but are not counselors)

5. Ask him to do things for you while you work that normally you would have done and be comfortable living with his way of doing it

6. Take a deep breathe when he gets in your space and just talk with yourself to remain calm

7. Lastly, communicate, communicate, communicate

You both deserve happiness at this time in life and when you both retire, you'd need to go through this process anyway. It is an adjustment.

By the way, my husband also can be very challenging to be around, so I find "me time" and then when I am with him, I enjoy his company much more. I am sure he thinks the same of me - haha.

Best wishes.

A challenge
by: James

Retirement is chilling, sorry challenging for many.

Especially if you have worked all your life. I and my wife are now home together every day. I try to get out, do gardening etc. to break up the day. Not an ideal situation after working all my life, but we are managing. My wife is also an artist and has her painting to keep her occupied.

Good luck. I understand.

Solving a problem
by: Elna Nugent, Lenox, MAYour Name/Location

Dear Deb:

Your husband is desperate to be seen, heard, and appreciated. It is hard for him to do it for himself because he is lost.

If once or twice a day you can tell him something you really respect in him , or something you like about him or what things he does well, your life might change. (Of course what you say has to be real and true)

I know you need a soft spot to fall when you come home from work and there will be times when you feel you are dealing with a child, but here is one idea. Make a list of what you wish/hope you could get done in a given week. If he can do even one thing on the list and get high praise for it , it can give him incentive.

You can say to him"It is obvious you have good ideas about how the dishwasher needs to be handled. " Would you be willing to take over the management of the dishwasher?.

You may get a shock when one day he actually tells you something he likes about you.

Many blessings.


by: Wendy

Don't split a 42 year marriage over the dishwasher! yikes!

You have many options! You sound totally stressed, over something that sounds so small in the big scheme of retired life. I do wonder if something bigger is going on...

Here are just a few ideas off the top of my head:

-- You might want to retire and both of you can enjoy the world about you. You leave the stress of the job, just like he did. You'll both find things to do, both together and separately, and less boredom and no workplace stress.

-- If you can't retire for some reason, and you are stressed, consider taking a leave. Maybe some time away from the job would help...

-- You could give him specific household jobs. Heck, you are working, let him do the dishwasher work... and put the dishes away for you. Be nice about it, you are working and doing the same household chores you've always done, you'd really appreciate his help.

-- Help him transition gracefully. It's not easy. Seriously -- you haven't been there yet, and you might be the type who walks away and never looks back. BUT -- you also might fall into that anxiety hole when you realize your work identity is gone and you don't know what to do with yourself all day, every day.

-- Suggest a part-time job. He might love getting out with people again, and simply hasn't thought of it. We retire thinking NO MORE WORK, but it's not always a good choice for all of us, esp. at age 62.

I could go on and on... I urge you to consider you options. There are better solutions than separating... IF minor problems are really the issue.

Just think... if you retired at 60, you could have another 20 years of being alone. If you are lucky enough to live longer, like my mother at age 90, you'd be alone for 30 years!

Twenty or Thirty years -- alone -- as a senior... it's not the best of worlds. Just saying,...

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