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Thread: Dh and retirement

  1. #11
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    Iris,

    cross post -

    upstairs: bedroom - my dresser and shelf are crammed and messy - I tend to leave clothes on the bed and floor, his shelf, two dressers and nightstand are neat, clean and tidy. He has wall hooks for clothes that are “wear again”
    study - I have some photos on a shared computer, otherwise, all his. He spends almost no time in there.

    1st floor:
    old kitchen is a disastrous mess.
    old living room is neat and tidy with his choice of furniture and objects plus one chair he hates, a full curio cabinet, and more stuff on the bookshelf than he would like, BUT there is empty shelf space.
    laundry room is a mess (he does not and will not have anything to do with laundry beyond creating it)
    bathroom - magazine ready
    small bedroom (pre -Dd) stuffed closet, two shelves of neat books and dolls
    large bedroom (pre-Dd) 5 stuffed bookshelves, table with a pile on it, bed, stuffed closet a few boxes on the floor
    enclosed porch (pre-Dd) piles on twin bed and floor
    dining porch - neat and clean but a few trays of tomato plants
    new space - sparsely furnished, no shelves, I have a tendency to leave projects and mail on the table, counter, ottoman and/or floor. Currently I have a book and mail on the couch arm, pottery all over the island, 5 square feet of floor dedicated to a silk screen project, a tote bag on the floor, and a pair of abandoned sneakers.
    basement - half completely his, half completely mine (badly crowded, really messy)

    currently Dd has the two 1st floor bedrooms and enclosed porch - so much of what I had there is in the basement again.

  2. #12
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    CL, this is a conversation you and DH need to start having now. There's little value in conjecturing that things will revert to the way they were 40 years ago; neither of you are the same as you were then. Both of you have the opportunity to start new chapters in your lives.

    DW and I have discussed life as it is now (I'm essentially retired now) and what it might look like in a couple of years when DW retires. There will need to be some negotiation. There are activities that DW would like to increase when she has the free time and my expectation that I won't do all the household stuff then. We've had discussions since before we married about what our home would look like (far more substantial than adding or removing chalk-painted signs). We face a particular challenge in that we'll have about six years before Full Retirement Age, so we're going to have to manage our finances carefully until some other income sources kick in.

    The point is that things changed for us once I quit Corporate America and became the househusband and they will change again once DW leaves work. All of this is subject to discussion, now, in a month, in six months, in 19 months. We'll figure it out. Neither one of us is likely to get all of what we want individually. But we'll agree on an outcome that meets our identified needs.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  3. #13
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    Yeah, so the thing that is bothering me is that I can’t get him to talk to me. He seems to think the only important conversation is the money. For a long time he has joked that when he retires he’s going to “get stoned and play golf” but now I am trying to get some serious answers and I am wondering if he thinks those are serious answers. Because 17 y.o. me would have been like “cool. Why golf?” And he isn’t coming home to 17 y.o. me.

  4. #14
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    Six years is a long ways away until your DH retires - a lot of things and attitudes may change in that time.
    I think it is a pretty common worry for married couples to fret about being together a great deal after retiring. We are still working out our differences but everything is magnified because we moved to a new locale and are basically starting over in the friends and activities department. It is 24-7 time together but I have to say because we are so compatible, it has been kind of like starting over on a new adventure. As time goes by, we both see how important it is to carve out our own space in the house and try to leave each other alone at times to pursue our own interests. Actually, now that this experiment is well under way, I think more about how I would get by without him than how he or his actions bother me.

  5. #15
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    To all those who are looking at changes such as retirement etc., there is no reason for not engaging a marriage counsellor. I wish we had done this before DH retired, I really do. I was finally free to explore some professional challenges hoping to change legislation and he wanted me to keep him company.

    I regret very little in my marriage to my late DH but do regret that I didn't stand my ground that the changes ahead were significant and I wanted us both to bloom. WE had gone through so many things as a team and thought that it would simply work out. He ended up discovering that all the 'work friends' disappeared as other retirees had told him happened to them as well. I was his best friend, partner and I felt trapped between guilt for leaving him for long portions of the day vs wanting freedom to follow my interests. CL is right to feel concern.

    I had a patient who sat down in the chair and started to sob. Shocked, I gently asked what was happening in her life. Her response - "this is the first time that I am by myself without my newly retired DH". He followed her everywhere, even closing the kitchen cupboard doors as soon as she opened them to find an item. This is a common story as the number of 'grey' divorces demonstrates.

    Look for examples of this around you and stress to your partner that you want positive retirement for both of you and neither knows how. It is investment that is so worthwhile to get some direction facilitated so that you are both heard.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  6. #16
    Senior Member KayLR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken lady View Post
    Dh is talking about retirement. Not “soon”, in about six years.


    I am worried about pressure to make a sudden, radical, lifestyle change.
    How on earth is it a sudden radical lifestyle change if it's not happening for six years? Sounds to me like his just looking forward to retiring after a long life of work and wishes you to be a part of it at some point. How nice!

    And on the cooking---my husband has decided to take on all the cooking in his retirement, and I feel spoiled. We sit down and do a menu plan session every Sunday and he cooks what we decide upon, period. The only fattening stuff in the house is his chips and ice cream which he doesn't cook, and I don't care about. It's not like he's baking cookies every day. If he did, we'd have to talk about that.

    For myself, I have worked for 50 years, and I look forward to the day in a few more where I can decide for myself what to do with my day and have some well-deserved fun. I wish that for you, too, CL.
    My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished two bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already!

  7. #17
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    I’m concerned that it is GOING to be a sudden radical change - because he doesn’t really want to talk about it, and the cutting the timeline by 4 yearswith no lead in.

    This is probably should have been in relationships.

  8. #18
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken lady View Post
    i am figuring out who I am NOW without reflecting other people. And I think dh thinks he is offering me the chance to be who i used to be. But I never stopped being that person, she just grew up.
    I totally get this. I am so on the same page. I've always tended to go along, and as I've said, my DH has such a big personality and strong opinions, I often feel like he sucks energy out of my space. And, like you, I'm the more responsible one. And I sadly believe that his idea of fun and mine have shifted apart over the years.

    As for your situation, CL, just do what you're doing for the time being. Six years is plenty of time to settle into a new reality for you and your DH. And no one says you have to be joined at the hip during retirement. Plus you have the right to retire whenever you want.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  9. #19
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    No, HE is the responsible one! I don’t want to be the responsible one! I don’t want to be the one who says “I have to go to work tomorrow.” But I still want to go to work.

  10. #20
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Well, DH just got back from Hermann. He went there
    Sunday morning,

    A second house, an option.

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