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Thread: Dh and retirement

  1. #41
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultralight View Post
    I think people need solitude.
    I think some people need solitude, and I'll guess that people posting here tend to want/need solitude more than others. Others thrive on people contact and activity (the constant TV watchers, the ones following others around). In a committed co-located relationship, the amount of solitude and togetherness has to be negotiated.

    This is an issue DW and I will need to address. We're perfectly content to sit in the living room, doing our own things but knowing that each of us is accessible for a question or comment or reaction. We do pursue "us" hobbies and activities with sets of friends that do overlap; this includes spending time with DD/DSiL/DGDs. But DW likes to -- umm -- spread out. There's not a wall in this house that does not have something hanging on it (not my preference at all). DW is a bit of a dervish when she comes home from work -- shoes here, her mail there, a glass of water the other place. Right now she is out of the house long enough for me to combat the disorder to my satisfaction. She kind of pokes at my preference for putting things in the same location (or even putting them back where they came from). It's an adaptive mechanism for me; it's not how she operates at all.

    I'm not sure what kind of adaptation will be needed when she's home 7 days out of 7. It's something we'll need to discuss. I'll no doubt lose some of my househusband duties (that's fine with me) and she'll pick up on some interests which have been fallow while she's been out of the house 50-60 hours a week, working. One thing I'm sure will not need adaptation is the need for each of us to have some alone time. The negotiation will come in how we achieve it when we're both home most of the time. It might even lead to one or both of us being out of the house for a time each week. We'll find out...
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  2. #42
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken lady View Post
    I pretty much want to be around dh most of the time. I follow him around the house, I bend my schedule to his, I hate to sleep alone. If I want to be around people at all, I want to be around him. But I need to have a space I can go to where nobody moves anything. Where I don’t have to move anything. And where I can be alone. Consistent. Reliable. Free from the opinions of others.
    In my NJ house, even though DH and I co-habitated 24/7, one blessing was that he has his own office and I have mine. They are at opposite ends of the house, and even though I hardly have a McMansion, it's enough space to warrant us texting each other rather than getting up and walking through 3 rooms to find each other.

    DH has lost his office up here in VT because I obviously need the second bedroom for my office as the "unretired" one, and as we settle in (this is Day 5), I see that he is using his car as a man cave. He smokes, so that is a big reason for the large amount of time he's spending in the car--in fact I told him I'm going to apply to the township for another address: 41.5 [Street Name] because he's living in there. He's not complaining, but it does represent one of the adjustments in downsizing.
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  3. #43
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    I am a extrovert but still need alone time. Cahterine, as you get rid of stuff you will feel much lighter,etc. The feeling is great. However, I like a few things on coffee table, etc or the house feels too barren.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Float On View Post
    That worries me too. We do really well on our own schedules. Even though we had 14 years of traveling 40 weekends or more a year together where we'd sit in a truck cab for 5-20 hours, work in a 10x10 or 10x15 booth for 2-5 days, then back in the truck cab for 5-20 hours and we did just fine. Now....I really like that he works 3-12. I have evenings to myself to do whatever I want and don't have to stop to make dinner for anyone. He reminded me this morning he'll be switching back to 4 10 hour days for the summer but first there are two weeks of 7-3. Dang it...that's sort of my schedule (I work 9-2). He's going to expect to do things with me every evening. How will I cope? He's 55 and will probably retire at 60 or 65.
    Perhaps, you could talk about it and compromise. Think positive. I'm sure everything will be settled and be fine in the long run.

  5. #45
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    As a woman, I have found it difficult to express my need for solitude with my husband. I’m able to do this more as time passes, but it still feels like I’m rejecting him. However he does not feel rejected. That comes from within myself.

    I believe it’s the socialization of the women in my generation - especially those who were raised in religious settings where we were told that we were a “helpmeet” for our spouse. Remember those days in the glorious evangelical/charismatic revivals of the 70s and 80s?

    It took away any autonomy or even awareness of our own opinions. We were merely a piece of the puzzle to bring completion to the man’s adult life.

    Now that I’m not religious anymore I see it so clearly. At the time it just felt like my calling and I don’t know if I was even uncomfortable with it until I was over the age of 40.

  6. #46
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Shen I got married, my biggest concern and fear was a lack of solitude. And it WAS a little rocky the first two years in negotiating alone time. dH is an introvert and also needs nis space, but we just had to figure it out.

    Really, that was the thing that gave me pause for a long time in getting married. I hate feeling smothered.

  7. #47
    Senior Member KayLR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tammy View Post
    As a woman, I have found it difficult to express my need for solitude with my husband. I’m able to do this more as time passes, but it still feels like I’m rejecting him. However he does not feel rejected. That comes from within myself.

    I believe it’s the socialization of the women in my generation - especially those who were raised in religious settings where we were told that we were a “helpmeet” for our spouse. Remember those days in the glorious evangelical/charismatic revivals of the 70s and 80s?

    It took away any autonomy or even awareness of our own opinions. We were merely a piece of the puzzle to bring completion to the man’s adult life.

    Now that I’m not religious anymore I see it so clearly. At the time it just felt like my calling and I don’t know if I was even uncomfortable with it until I was over the age of 40.
    I had much the same experience, Tammy, and have never really thought it through like you have, but just lived it out.

    It makes me think of something I learned about back in those days---how Susannah Wesley used to find time for herself --among her many children and duties-- by sitting in a corner in a chair with her apron pulled over her head--probably to pray. Everyone knew that was her time and to leave her alone.
    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!

  8. #48
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveinMN View Post
    I think some But DW likes to -- umm -- spread out. There's not a wall in this house that does not have something hanging on it (not my preference at all). DW is a bit of a dervish when she comes home from work -- shoes here, her mail there, a glass of water the other place. Right now she is out of the house long enough for me to combat the disorder to my satisfaction. She kind of pokes at my preference for putting things in the same location (or even putting them back where they came from). It's an adaptive mechanism for me; it's not how she operates at all.
    You've just described SO and me. I'm a 'place for every thing and every thing in it's place' kind of guy and SO is a 'any flat surface is a good spot to set this down' kind of guy. He's gotten a little better (when I went to his apartment the very first time when we were dating every kitchen cabinet was wide open because 'I'll need something out of it eventually'...). He doesn't do that anymore, but mostly it's been me adapting. For instance there's now a mail drawer in the credenza so I just pick up the mail from wherever he set it, put his in that drawer and deal with mine.

  9. #49
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    So, THAT is the sort of thing I am afraid of as far as space issues go when dh retires. He will be home. My mail will be driving him nuts. He will remove it from the couch/table/ottoman/floor and put it in my designated mail spot (whatever that is, you can be sure that it will not be in plain sight in the middle of a living area) in spite of probably agreeing (under duress, because a “normal” person would find it reasonable) to having a designated mail area and to whatever one was chosen, I will never think to look at my designated mail area, because my brain is “out of sight, out of mind” - and I will forget to make my car/cc/share of the home loan payment, or respond to an invitation, or put an important event on the calendar....

  10. #50
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken lady View Post
    So, THAT is the sort of thing I am afraid of as far as space issues go when dh retires. He will be home. My mail will be driving him nuts. He will remove it from the couch/table/ottoman/floor and put it in my designated mail spot (whatever that is, you can be sure that it will not be in plain sight in the middle of a living area) in spite of probably agreeing (under duress, because a “normal” person would find it reasonable) to having a designated mail area and to whatever one was chosen, I will never think to look at my designated mail area, because my brain is “out of sight, out of mind” - and I will forget to make my car/cc/share of the home loan payment, or respond to an invitation, or put an important event on the calendar....
    Look... are you more concerned about where your mail get put or about making the new phase in your life partnership work?

    Something to consider is that just because a relationship does not last a lifetime does not mean it was a waste or a failure. Sometimes a relationship runs its course. Sometimes a relationship works for a certain context but not another.

    A couple might marry, have kids, work to raise the kids, and then after that they realize their empty nest selves are different. So you politely part and move on to live life the way you want, apart.

    Have you considered an amicable termination of marriage upon your husband's retirement?
    “I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

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