Have you ever heard the expressions, “If you think you’ll have a lousy time, or that, if you think you will fail, you will?” When I first heard these supposedly simple statements, I was struck by their profound concept. When we enter into an activity or endeavor, we set our expectations––even if unconsciously––and that sets the bar for our level of enjoyment and success.
My thoughts on this were reinforced by an article I recently read in the Huffington Post. A study presented to the American Psychological Association has shown that realistic optimists are the happiest group of people. While they generally have an upbeat attitude, they are also capable of being acutely aware of the possibilities for success or failure and able to plan accordingly.
This struck me as particularly important for retired couples. Often I have heard women say that they dreaded their husbands’ retirement or that they were going to work full-time when he did retire. Admittedly, there are many adjustments that have to be made when a spouse becomes a 24/7 presence in what many women may have thought of as their domain. However, if we start off thinking that the problems or adjustments will be impossible, they will be.
I believe that it’s never too late to change the way we think. It may be hard, but we can do it if we make up our mind to do so. We control our own destiny, and the more we believe in ourselves, the more control we have over that destiny. If we want a happy retirement marriage, it’s important to ask ourselves what’s really important to us and have an honest discussion with our spouse. Each of us is 50% of our partnership and how we approach our relationship in retirement is the first step to making the Impossible, POSSIBLE.
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