Retired, Married and Both Still Independant
by Nora P.
We have been married for 12 years and we both worked full time before we retired and we retired at the same time.
Before retirement, we saw each other after work and on the weekends only. I was busy at night cooking, doing laundry and tending to my kids' activities. I was also too tired after a long and stressful day.
My husband is very social, so he often went out in the evening while I stayed home.
We talked about retirement, and planned for it as far as where we would live and if we had enough money.
My husband has never done much as far as housework, and that is still the case. Basically, I do all of the inside work and he does all of the outside work.
We moved from California to Pennslyvania to caretake a blueberry farm. We live on 75 acres and we are very isolated from neighbors. Even though my husband does alot of work daily on the farm, we are together all day.
Because we are new here, I do not have any friends. I get very lonely on the farm, and sometimes bored. I often wonder if I made a mistake to retire and miss my old life, which was very busy and active.
I try to get out everyday, to the gym, shopping or substitute teaching. My husband as made friends here, and he spends time away with them occasionally.
Because we are out in the country, it takes quite an effort to go anywhere and it takes so much time driving to get from place to place. I find my own space and try to do things on my own.
We do spend some time together, going out to eat or shopping. Sometimes he really gets on my nerves because we are together all day.
Before when we were both working, I never made him breakfast or lunch. Now, he expects it, and I feed him three meals a day. Sometimes it is annoying because he could pour a bowl of cereal himself. Little things start to annoy me that did not before. For example, if he eats or drinks something, he leaves the bowl or can where ever he was and I find these items and have to take them to the kitchen.
For the most part, we get along just fine.
Because we are on 75 acres, I can wander the property if I need to be alone. I also like to spend time alone with solitary activities. I read, watch movies, research on the internet, plan meals, and watch TV. My husband never get into my space and allows me to spend time alone.
We take vacations together, and we also take them apart.
Not only did we both stop working, but we have an empty nest as well. Before, my days were consumed with working, taking care of the household and managing my kids. Now, they are both gone off to college and I do not have hands on duties anymore. I spent alot of time with my kids and the absence of them is hard on me.
I really miss working and the intellectual stimulation and social networking of work. I also miss having a routine, though I try to stick to a routine now.
I also miss wearing makeup, high heels and suits. I miss being productive and the status and authority I used to have.
In retirement, I also worry about money and think that I should have worked another ten years. Sometimes this is hard on our marriage because our income is so much less.
I am looking for another job here and it is depressing that I send out so many resumes and get no response. Sometimes I wonder if I am too old, and that makes me very distressed because I feel so youthful and that I have many more years to work.
In summary, our marriage has really not changed that much. We are both very independent people, and that is still the case in retirement.