Retirement spoiled the Marriage

by lmb
(Utah mountains)

Well retirement spoiled our relationship but that was because of many factors.

We both retired to move to where my daughter was so I could help her with her children. We moved from a warm place to a cold mountainy place...

I always wanted to try living in the mountains and was excited about it and he wanted to build a house on my land (he is a woodworker but had never built a house) and he wanted to start his own business.

Immediately upon moving, he seemed to resent living near my family. Since I was paying the bills while he built (and he took 5 years instead of the agreed upon 1-2) he became more and more "entitled" in his mind. Finally the house was finished but it cost too much (mostly from my IRA) and is way too big and expensive to maintain.

And now I dislike the snow and cold and though the mountains are beautiful, aging seems to go better, for me anyway, with warm weather. He doesn't seem to have enough faith in his new business to think he can support himself with it, though for the last year he has paid half the bills.

But working full time for someone else, he seemed to be a happier person and certainly kinder to me. I'd never advise marriage to older people, especially if one has more financial resources than the other.

Wendy: I don't think you can say "never advise marriage" as it kinda sounds like you had a good life together - before retirement (or you wouldn't have taken this leap together, right?).

I don't know you or your living situation at all - except for what you said above - this is just my two cents, ok?

Retirement is a HUGE life transition -- huge! It would have been a huge transition to retire AND move, alone. Not just for him, for both of you. Just moving to a new condo in the area, would have brought huge changes, good or bad, into both of your lives.

That alone (even JUST the retirement) hurts many marriages... its a huge transition... maybe he was a bit depressed losing all his friends, same with you, co-workers, its a big deal. On top of retirement, you guys move away -- you have family, and hopefully you all tried to make him feel welcome - but still you are both still without your lifetime friends.

I would BET he didn't resent living there, after all he agreed to move there.. but it's just a huge mental change, no friends, nobody nearby to chit chat to, working alone for years on a home that he's never done before, wants to get right, that is a big stressor too.

Even if he LOVES the new area, its a big mental transition again... and probably earned him a tad of anxiety/depression as it does many newer retirees (even those who don't admit this part of the retirement transition).

On self-employment vs. being employed,... the person being self-employed wears so many hats. Now he has to be the accountant, the purchasing agent, the contractor, the wood worker, the chief everything guy. If he went over budget and over time... I'm sure it was VERY stressful.

If its totally not working, yes, divorce BUT before you do, think twice... as you will likely live alone for the rest of your life. There are many more single women who are retired, than men.

Instead -- Think again!

RENEW yourself (and HIM too!) Change your mental activity, think nicely, compliment him for something, anything, give him some SUGAR (be your sugar sweet self) and see if his attitude also changes. It will! Find things you LOVE in the house he built for you and just say "WOW... doesn't this staircase or kitchen cabinet look fantastic today in the sunshine!"

If the two of you begin to work together, losing the issues of your five year transition, I bet this relationship could be healed. Just forget the past, too many changes in life all at once, and it didn't work well for either of you.

Maybe, just maybe, there is HOPE -- and you two could live happily ever after -- there in the beauty of the mountains or elsewhere in the sunshine.

Just please think twice, change your daily attitude just a degree to change his too -- and find your own "HAPPILY EVER AFTER".

I am keeping you both in my prayers....

Comments for Retirement spoiled the Marriage

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All is not lost yet!
by: Kae from Canada

I hope I'm not offending you in any way but I feel compelled to respond to your post.

Is the house you two built big enough to prepare for renting part of it out to suitable tenants. This could be a financial helper.

Is your husband interested in helping you look after the children too? Maybe he feels left out and would love to spend some time with the grandchildren but doesn't know how to go about that.

Wendy's comment regarding complimenting aspects of the house is a great one. You probably already compliment his woodworking skills, but some persons can never hear enough compliments. I'm just in awe of the fact that he built something.

My husband is not handy (but he thinks he is)and I'm usually the one to fix stuff. Sometimes I find that frustrating. I would enjoy a compliment from my own husband regarding my fix-it skills. It would put coins into the emotional bank for sure.

Maybe your marriage is not spoiled, maybe it is in transition and you just need some kind, loving individuals to help you through the changes.

Finding substituttes for work perks
by: Anonymous

Well maybe.

I don't see anything wrong with living together (once the female of the couple can no longer have children as I think children need and deserve an intact legally married home) but marriage once older? too many problems.

Getting untied legally is a hassle. Getting untied when there's nothing legal wouldn't be as bad.

Is it really so bad to live alone? I wonder.

Also plenty of women live alone in older age anyway because of men dying younger than women and also women usually marrying men older than they are.

So who knows.

I do know that I need to start spending winters somewhere warm... luckily part of my family just moved to nice warm S. Nevada so we'll see what happens this next few months.

Don't see any other comments about this: are there some I"m not seeing?

by: GINA


Wendy wow..thanks Gina, just my two cent perspective... no right or wrong ideas, just many options, and sometimes we are too close to them to think it all out.

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