Not long ago I read that 16% of 30+ year marriages end in divorce. Most of them occur after retirement. Obviously most of us married more than 30 years are also of retirement age–so of course these divorces occur after retirement–but it’s more than the age factor.
My research on surviving a husband’s retirement, disclosed the frustration so many wives feel with the situation––it’s not just you…or me…or your friend–it’s all of us who haven’t hit sainthood yet.
So many wives told me:
“He always questions what I do,” “He follows me around all the time,”
“He wants to know where I am going and what time I will be home.”
“He’s grumpy”… and on and on it goes.
Perhaps some of these marriages were in trouble before, but–even when a marriage had been all cherries and bliss–the need for realignment of the relationship reminds us we’re all human. The good news is–most of these adjustments are doable.
Women seem to experience an easier time with retirement than men do. That’s probably because men frequently connect their identity to their role of provider. When he gives up that provider role, he finds himself looking for a purpose. It’s not your role to find that for him, but being aware of the problem might help you be patient as he seeks to find new, engaging activities.
Another problem with his retirement is the “24/7” presence. Whether you’re still working, or have been at home for awhile, you’ve established some routine that works for you and could get a bit tense if asked to account for your daily activities–minute by minute.
In some future blogs, we’ll talk about opening conversation on problem areas and helping one another solve problems. Don’t be a statistic. Join in the conversation by commenting below. Share your stories – what’s great and what bugs you–and find answers from others’ experiences. Retirement should be fun. Let’s make it that way!