Writing the article last week on retirement transition triggered some interesting thoughts on the sort of changes we might anticipate in this life stage. One transition I hadn’t given much thought to is the possibility of caring for my spouse at some point. It’s not that I wouldn’t do it—it’s just that I hadn’t thought much about it. However, an article I read this week made me think about yet another retirement transition. I’m glad I saw the article because it’s something any of us could face in our lifetimes.
Again, I quote Robert Laura for his wisdom and insight. He states that, “One of the most surprising reasons couples fail at retirement is because they aren’t prepared to suffer together.”
WOW—that’s a sobering thought. I’ll bet the majority of caring retired couples take that concept for granite. However, do we truly think about the implication of that possibility? Though I know people who have taken on major challenges in support of their life mate, I don’t know that I have pondered it personally. That possibility, however, is yet another retirement transition to consider.
It’s important for couples to have that conversation. Our willingness to face and discuss these crucial issues opens new levels of concern and caring in a relationship.
Yet, another possible retirement transition
While no one is looking (or hoping) for problems, a couple’s ability to overcome them together opens avenues of love and sharing that deepens a relationship.
One of my first retirement interviews was with a charming couple, in their early 90’s. Sitting with them on their cozy sun porch, I noted their keen minds and deep love for one another. I remember thinking that their shared joys and sorrows had melded them together like a fine wine. Perhaps the most telling comment during the interview was Mary’s who said,
“It’s nice to have him here. I smile as I do my writing and watch him read.”
Mary has much to write about. Their life time of sharing, caring and even suffering together could fill an engrossing manuscript.
What are your thoughts on working together to solve life’s difficulties? Do we have the emotional intelligence and outlets to cope with potential problems? Are we prepared to have those discussions with our life-mates?
Please share your thoughts in the comment section below. This is an important discussion for every retired couple to have and your observations could be most helpful.
Sharing can change the world; the smallest amount of caring has potential to turn a life around. Sharing is Caring.