“PLEASE! Give me some tips for a happy Retirement Marriage,” cried a distraught friend whose husband had just retired. Apparently he was displaying many of the typical retirement habits that initially befall a retiree, and it was driving her to distraction.
Handing her a wet cloth for her headache and a glass of wine for her spirits, I assured her that the need for major adjustments in retirement is common and generally necessary. It’s also true that retired husbands may be in denial of the need for those adjustments even if his wife is certain of that need. I assured her that I had learned a great deal from other wives who struggled in the early stages of retirement and that I would be happy to share those ideas with her.
True, there is no single antidote for creating a happy retirement marriage. However, over the past several years I have heard many helpful ideas from women with retired husbands so we started talking about some of them. During our conversation it occurred to me that, whether new to this Retirement Marriage gig or an old hand at it, one or more of the following ideas could help add a new spark of joy to all retirement marriages.
1. Embrace Change
Face it. Retirement brings many changes; it’s your call on how you handle them.
Be open to changes. You may be surprised what you can learn through each of them.
Give yourself time. Decide which are good changes and which must be transformed.
2. Develop Empathy
Identify disturbing changes and why they bother you.
Consider possible causes of your mates new, perhaps strange, behaviors.
Initiate calm and understanding conversations and seek amiable solutions.
3. Create Dreams Together
Dream Big for you may be surprised at what you can do together.
Choose activities tha will help you create quality time together.
Discover a joint purpose to help eliminate the loss many retirees experience.
The ideas above are just of the few I have heard from wives and their mates who have successfully created a happy retirement marriage. Are there other actions you would write in the comment section below? In the next few weeks, I will be adding more positive action ideas and more explanations of how theses actions can help. Your suggestions are important and will be appreciated by all our readers so please feel free to comment below.
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