Friday, December 5, 2008

What's for lunch, honey?

I’m single, so I don’t have to answer that question, but this topic came to me one day when we were sitting around the clubhouse and I overheard a lady say, “Oh no, it’s 11:30 so I’ve got to run home and get lunch for Bill”.

I could tell by her tone that she really didn't want to leave.
Many couples have a tough time adjusting to retirement when all of a sudden they are thrust together for 24 hours a day. Those first few months after retirement are often filled with conflict as they attempt to renegotiate the boundaries of their relationship, especially when the wife hasn't worked full time and has a set routine that she's not ready to give up.

To ease the transition, spend a lot of time before you retire talking to each other and jointly deciding how much time you plan to spend together in a typical retirement day. Some things to think about:
  • Keep your own friends. When working, I’m sure you both had your own set of friends. Don’t drop them now when you need them the most. Plan to still get together with your female friends for lunch or the theater. And for the men, why not start a ROMEO’s club and get together once a week. Oh, yeah, ROMEO stands for Really Old Men Eating Out

  • Be prepared. If you are both retiring at the same time after having had full time jobs, you will now find yourself together at least 50 more hours a week. How are you going to creatively spend that time so that you don’t get into each other’s hair? You’ll not only have to rework the time spent together aspect of your relationship but also the space boundaries – like what will the wife do if all of a sudden your husband want’s to take over the cooking? Can you willingly give up your old turf or perhaps a compromise to cook dinner together is the best solution.
  • Develop separate hobbies. It’s been proven people are happier after retirement if the have a part-time job or do volunteer work. Find something you’ve always wanted to do but before just didn’t have the time before--- perhaps it’s drawing, golf or volunteering for your favorite charity; then suggest that your spouse pursue a new hobby on their own. You need to spend time alone so that you can both bring something new to the relationship.
And the best answer to that question above is ---
Let's go out for lunch, dear and you can pick the place!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My husband retired 1 year ago and I'm the one still working full time. There are times that I resent that he can sleep in and I have to get out of bed at 5:30 am. He's the one that always said he didn't want to retire--they'd have to carry him out of the place. He loved to work!

I was lucky enough to spend 9 1/2 years at home with our kids--which I wouldn't trade for anything. But now I'm paying for it by having to work more years before I can retire.

Of course with the economy in such sad shape, I'm hoping I can retire in 2012 :) and be able to afford health insurance.