Retirement Changes Things

My husband retired at 62. We have been married for 46 years. Retirement rearranges the dynamic between couples. Both have to find a new identity and we see sides of one another that we may never have noticed. It is very difficult.

My husband is pleasant and happy. He is, however, one of those "take charge" people who was in management his whole working life. So now that he has no one to manage, he thinks he can manage my life. Things I've done for decades are now subject to improvement.

He has always been "nosey" but is extra-nosey now and has to know everything I'm doing, every thought I'm thinking. He even weighs in on how the neighbors live their lives!

His day revolves around his needs. Sometimes I feel like a babysitter. He does not like being alone. I am very much a loner. I liked it when he went off to work and I could be alone and free for a few hours.

But now, our world is all about him, his needs, his questions, his boredom, etc. Frankly, I find I don't really like him as a person. Sometimes I think I never really liked him at all.

I know there are all sorts of good advice here, but I still think the possibility of divorce should be an option for people who have simply had enough and want a life without having to carry another's burdens. Life is too short to hang on just for the sake of hanging on.

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Wee-Zer post
by: Wendy,

This is a good post to be sure to read. My dad, during the after care from hospital stay, was told by professionals he needs to help out more.

They told my 92 yr old mother -- don't do it all for him. Yes, you can help him get dressed in 10 minutes but... Let him take 45 minutes to dress himself. They suggested she is kinda hurting him physically by doing it all, he becomes more dependent, loses more and more physical ability.

He is now trying to make the bed and does alright. He gets himself dressed too.

It's the small things in life that are really helping my mom out.

NOW, if only *I* can resist helping Mom with everything! Yikes!

by: Mitz

46 years is a long time to be with someone. Having someone by your side is proven to help us in life. Being alone loses its charm quite quickly once it becomes permanent.

Have you had frank discussions with him. Regarding his micro-managing of your life?

You will have to get out of the house as much as you can by yourself.

Is he up to traveling? Sometimes variety and adventure can be the ticket. Make a list of place you and him want to see.

by: Wee-zer

I think your husband is suffering from boredom and is looking to you to solve what ails him. You both are stuck in a rut of you do your thing and he was used to doing his thing.

If he has the management skills you speak of, he should put them to use in some volunteer capacity. Has he looked into anything like that?

In our town we have the local historical society. There is a private park that has fund raisers during the year to help maintain the park. We have a village fair every year that must take a lot of planning. The fire departments have fund raiser chicken dinners, spaghetti dinners, roast beef grinders. There is the Chamber of Commerce, VFW. There are ethnic organization like Italian clubs, Irish clubs. Church activities. He could get a part time job driving a school bus or at a grocery store or hardware store.

Maybe before you consider divorce, tell him the truth that you need ME time and you are not getting enough of it. But also, maybe you could plan to compromise a bit too.

Depending on if he gets a job or volunteer gig, you could make new traditions as an example every Wednesday go out to a different lunch venue. Every Friday, go to a pub for dinner. Find a park to go to and walk around together.

When you first fell in love, there must have been things you did that are memorable. Like a picnic at a lake or driving to a new touristy town to browse the shops, eat some snacks. Look into bus trips where you might go to a big city on a guided tour.

Take a vacation to a new place you have never been and take in some shows and sights. Go to a museum, find free things to do. Maybe you could assign your husband that task of finding fun free things to do and he could investigate and plan outings.

Maybe he needs assignments and you need to TELL him what to do. Look at all the grocery fliers and find the bargains, make a list and assign him the task of shopping at various stores for these bargains. Then, assign him the task of putting it all away. Then, assign him the task of making recipes with the groceries.

In a weird way, you could probably keep him busy, in a good way, and he will be out of your hair for several hours. Also, do you have any craft schools where he could go and be creative making items and learning a new skill? If so, buy him a gift certificate to let him try something new. If all else fails, maybe go to a marriage counselor.

You didn't specifically say what you do but you seem to want to be alone to do your own thing. What is your thing? Housework or do you have hobbies?

Good luck!

Retirement changes things
by: Elna Nugent Lenox, MAYour Name/Location

When I read your story-- and it probably sounds familar to many women with a newly retired husband......have you ever asked him to sit down and let you tell him how you feel.

You might even ask him if he ever feels like divorcing--which will certainly get his attention. Let him know how difficult it is for you to change your schedules and routines.

A talk like this may shock him into realizing he hasn't been conscious of how you feel, how you have enjoyed living before his retirement and that you aren't sure you can get used to the way you are living now, especially when he tells you what to do all the time. I hope we hear from you again.

Truth can be hard to take but you both need to hear each ohers pain. Blessings.

Google "Shadowing"
by: Wendy,

Shadowing is one thing that happens with dementia... my dad follows my mother around, asks several times (in 3 minutes) where she is? He constantly needs to know she is there.

I recently showed her the definition of Shadowing and printed a page out to show her it's NOT just her problem. Their life revolves around dad too...

Just wondering if your husband is in the beginning stages of dementia and this is how he is showing up?

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