Never Seen My Husband in Such a State

I am totally stressed out because my husband who recently retired at 60 but still works as a consultant, is having anxiety attacks. We have moved to an apartment in a new community and were supposed to build a retirement house on a piece of waterfront land we bought years ago.
But now I don't think either he or I are up to this project. Meanwhile I am missing my kids who are about an hour away.

We have been looking at already built houses as an alternative a bit closer to the kids, but my husband is still drawn to the old project. Meanwhile I just want a house to live in and get on with my life.

It is as if he is a stuck record, unable to decide either way.

Wendy If he just retired, my guess is that he is too new into retirement.. so many have a hard "transition" period. Your husband is still in transition and then to move and make major life decisions, when he hasn't quite figured out WHO he is in retirement, and what to do all day..
is a bit much.

Let's hope some other retirees chime in here to support you both!

Comments for Never Seen My Husband in Such a State

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One more way of facing it...
by: Anonymous

I live in India and retirement problems are a bit different. As rightly said

"basically it is problem of loosing one's identity. Over the years unknowingly you identify yourself as an executive, boss or whatever position you occupy. Your whole power belonged to that position and you get used to it."

After retiremnt all of a sudden you realise you are no one! that gives you a sort of shock for which you are not prepared.

so best practice is that a year or two before retirement, you practice "being Mr. Nobody". and Mr. No body only can be happy.

Being somebody will always result into expecting something from some one. and when your expectations are not fulfilled you are sad.

by: Never Seen

You and your readers might be interested to know that we have postponed our project. This will not be easy as I have said before, but I believe he can still manage his dream but next year.

He has seen a psychologist and is taking an anxiety drug. He may be suffering more of a burnout than a real depression.

We are not over the hill yet, but thanks to help from various professionals and amateurs we have gotten over the worst I feel.

Meanwhile I am trying to get on with my life now that I know we are staying in this area. Thank you again for your comments.

I don't think people realize how hard it hits you when you retire. Most books are written about the financial problems, but, while important, the psychological impact is enormous. The transition really needs to be eased into and allowances made for the stress it causes, especially if you move right away after.

Wendy: Thanks Ever so much for writing back! It really does help future visitors see it's possible to overcome this retirement transition phase -- and it does take time.

I think most folks think "its me" and ONLY me who is screwed up.. not so at all!

I'm absolutely thrilled to see you are both taking this seriously! Knowing that you are working towards something, even a year out, is perfectly fine. You bought the property years ago, why not take another year to figure out exactly what and how to do it?

In the meantime, visit your library and make some friends. Go to Breakfast now and then. Take a walk each night just before it gets dark, and breathe the night air, deeply... Just get out and about -- whatever that means to you.

Life is not over -- it's really JUST beginning!!

It's simply a totally new life and I bet you both will LOVE it -- and soon!

Thanks for the comments
by: Never Seen

Thanks for the comments. The problem is we are stuck in a very small apartment and before that lived in an apartment after we sold our house three years ago. We decided at the last minute when selling our house to wait til my son graduated from high school to move here (he will be going into residence at college). So I am tired of not having a house.

Anyway it is very hard to put away a dream. I know these are problems most people would love to have, but they are very real to us and my husband has worked very hard all his life and would like something to show for it.

Wendy You aren't really "stuck" in an apartment (like you might be stuck with a home). You can move anytime, find a condo or a home that appeals to you... especially with the deals you can find out there today. Plus a new place (even a purchased "new to you" home) might just get your husband busy with repairs and keep the mind away from anxiety - keeping busy is always a good thing!

I agree -- dreams sit in your head for a long time, then if they don't happen as you hoped they would... BUT -- loads of people, many retirees, have seen their investments reduce dramatically over the past few years, thus changing their retirement dreams. Many were forced into early retirements due to downsizing... not ready. Some lost homes due to the mortgage issues. Many have unexpected disabilities that force them to retire without the income and savings they anticipated. Such is life...

To me, dreams are dreams, sometimes they work out and sometimes they change as we move through life. We all have to be flexible.... even tomorrow isn't guaranteed, right? Your dream might simply shift a bit... but like every other stage in life, you will survive.

If your husband needs help, it might be a good idea to see a counselor (church or professional), sometimes simply talking it out makes the world all logical again. He also might need anti-anxiety meds for a bit.. not forever, just to get past this transitional what-the-heck-is-our-retired-life-all-about phase you are both stuck in.

Count your blessings... we all have many, it's just often so hard to see them!

Many prayers sent your way!

Retiree: find a hobby
by: ronaldj

You have to take one day at a time and you have to find something you love doing?? I am almost the same age and been retired for about a year and a half, some days I do much of nothing but most of the time I make a list of what I want to accomplish for the week and get right to it.

What to do is the question? I love to read and write, do wood working, we do live close to our five grown children who are always needing something done, I am a retired carpenter? but make an effort to find a hobby that you love and if for some reason you cannot? pick up a part time job or full time if you have to? but don't jump into anything go slow before getting tied down to something and then regret it... work together... IMO.. let the dream house idea go..

Wendy I love your idea of writing a list each week to give you a guide on what to do, what you'll try to accomplish! If you don't do that, it is often hard to think of what you want to do, and you waste away the day, watching tv, eating, and before you know it another day/another week is gone.

Good advice - take charge of your retired life with a simple "to do" list!

Retired... Stay Put
by: Anonymous

The answer is easy. Don't make a decision on moving closer to the kids or building or buying a house for at least a year. You need time to adjust.

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