My spouse is retired...

demarisOctober 28, 2005

and I am not. While this forum looks like it for those lucky ones of you who are the retired ones, maybe somebody can point me to a forum for those still-working, envious souls. I am having a lot of trouble adjusting to him being home and me being at work when I want to be home.

When I searched for retirement forums - what popped up first, after the military ones, was Garden Web! My favorite site that answers all my garden questions and lets me share my projects. I might have known.

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Demaris, I've also looked for similar forums and likely for similar, if not the same, reasons as you.

I'm having a lot of trouble adjusting to DH being home period, although at present I don't work. It seems he's trying to replace his 'manager at work' role with a 'manager at home' role and I'm wearying of it. He also does some really irritating things such as cook but leave an awful mess. Summer isn't so bad but winter is excruciating as he's around 24/7, has no hobbies, does not read, but instead watches sports on TV - at a high volume level I might add. I could go on but likely the point is made.

I like peace and quiet, rarely watch TV during the day, want to put my home in order in the AM and have it remain that way for the balance of the day.

I don't know what the answer is but I'd surely appreciate any ideas.

If I was working, I'd likely be even more nuts as to work all day and then come home to a "mess" would really put me over the edge. :-((

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 2:12PM
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He has no more right to boss you than you to boss him, right?

Sometimes when I gave seminars re retirement, money management, etc. I'd tell a story that as Henry retired, after the dinner, retirement party and gift, (partly envious) backslapping, etc., yesterday was his last day of work.

This morning (possibly, but not necessarily, after having succumbed to the luxury of having slept in), he's sitting reading the paper.

After a time he puts down the paper, looks around for a minute or so, then starts to read again for a few minutes.

Puts down the paper, looks around again, then begins to read once more.

After about four such episodes, Brenda asks, "Something wrong"?

Henry: "Where's breakfast"?

Brenda: "You retired yesterday,didn't you"?

Henry: "Of curse (so help me, this is the way I wrote it, so I couldn't bear to edit), you know that - what's that got to do with anything"?

Brenda, sweetly, "So did I".

Then Brenda continued, "Tell you what - I'll get breakfast now, then we'll sit down to discuss who's going to do what around here".

This story seems somewhat more popular with wives than husbands.

Sharing a home should be a give and take affair it seems to me.

But not really - if it becomes sort of a tit-for-tat shoving match, "I'll let you have one if you give me one", sort of thing.

It's a lot more satisfying (and a lot more fun) if it's more of a "live and help live" situation.

Your turn to comment.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 3:01PM
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I'm amazed that my name is not signed to the post from Holly.
my husband retired just 3 years ago and I feel like my life as I knew it has been swallowed up. I was a stay at homemaker for 40 years while raising our children. I had many hobbies, friends, and social meetings with friends, mostly related to school events.

The day after retirement, he spoke to me about how the towels could be folded better to fit on the linen closet shelves neater. I have not folded a towel in 3 years. Don't expect to the rest of my life.

He "joins" me in the kitchen to chat while I cook. He was not invited. I do not do cooking demos. I've kicked him out.

We have three rooms in our home with tv.s, at any given moment all three are on different news channels, politics or sports.

All the little things that were annoying before retirement are now big irratiations.

Don't get me wrong, I love this man with my last breath.
I just don't remember the part in the wedding vows that said
we'd be joined at the hip 24/7 during our goiden years.

whew, thanks for letting me vent....

    Bookmark   April 19, 2008 at 1:37AM
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Kick the bugger out of the house for 3.5 days (at least) per week!

o j

    Bookmark   April 19, 2008 at 3:50AM
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While LOL, this thread brings back good memmories of at least a good three years of learning to live together 24/7. I sort of retired first, then DH retired fully so I went back to work part time just to keep my sanity.

My DH likes to cook and be creative about it but not the cleanup part. My kitchen was taken over entirely and I recall as a homemaker my kitchen was my castle! Not any more and even my cupboards are rearranged and if I do attempt cooking, he supervises, and we go on and on...I am sure you get the point. He does so many good wonderful things that I cannot say a word about these petty irritating events. Sometimes I feel one of us must leave for a few I usually find a friend to go for coffee with.

Life is just getting too short to let these things become a big issue so I accept them. This his house too, I now realize. I am sure I do just as many, if not more, things that annoy him just as much. We are past 3 years and life is getting so much better and we are doing more together around the house and that it much more fun and jobs get done much faster.

I would suggest remain working for a while or get a part time job. Let yourself ease into is a big doubt about it.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 2:33AM
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Hi love 2 sew,

Does your husband do some hobby-type of things, or minor house repairs, etc.

How would he like you hanging around there, giving some useful suggestions about how he should do those things, where to store the hammer, etc.?

If he makes a mess but doesn't clean up after, how long is he willing to tolerate having the stuff lying around, just as he left them? (Maybe you'd need to go visit a distant friend for a couple of days ... no, that wouldn't work, for many guys make a mess while wife's away, then rush around just before her return to clean things up).

Seems to me that a husband who has such great ideas about how towels should be stored, piled, etc. ...

... should be given the opportunity to demonstrate how it should be done ...

... then, since he does such a fabulous job ... the job is his, from that day on!

I hope that, as "my house" changes to "our house" (and it seems to me reasonable for a wife to, in the main, continue to regard the kitchen as "my kitchen"), there'll be some difficuties as a couple negotiates how is the best way to do things.

Best to try to work it so that everyone wins, rather than having a scenario where one wins and the other loses.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 4:25AM
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You people have me scared to death. My hubby is about to retire in 18 months at age 54. I am 47 and expect to work (which I don't mind....have been working only 8 months at a school the last 25 years). But I DO worry that he may drive me nuts around the house.

His mother was a saint. Raised 8 children and cooked and cleaned like nobody's business. When his father retired he still expected her to wait on him hand and foot all day long instead of just evenings. After a month of this or so the adult kids got together and gave her a retirement party, to Dad's surprise!

p.s. Mom died befoe Dad and he is like a fish out of water. :(

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 5:20PM
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i`am just getting used to my wife being around, she took an early retirement at 52. for yrs we just passed each other in the drive me on my way to work as she was getting home. its going to take some getting used to. oh well, i only have a cpl more yrs to go, unless i`am lucky enough to get a buy out also.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 8:42PM
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Granny suite, anyone?

o j

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 7:18PM
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Holly, If he will use them buy him a pair of Sony ear phones, but make sure he will use them and make sure your TV has an audio outlet or whatever it is. Save the receipt just in case. It's wonderful, he can wear the earphones and you can mute the TV == peace and quiet. they are especially good for the hard of hearing. I am a widow and use them because it controls the volume difference between shows and commercials and helps with the loud background noise.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 9:44PM
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Dad used to say, "He who makes a mess ... cleans it up!".

If he doesn't (+ won't) clean up after himself ...

... next meal, serve up a dirty pot on to his dinner/supper plate.

When he gets indignant, asking, "What the He!! is going on?", you can note that there were so many dirty pots lying around that you couldn't find a clean pot in which to prepare supper.

And can he give you one reason that there's any more reason that you should clean the pots that he dirties than that he should?

As for just swallowing the things that he does that annoy you ... why should you?

It seems to me important that we share with our house-mate the things that trouble us, as it's important that we be prepared to alter our operating systems in various ways to accomodate our spouse's feelings.

Sometimes that's easier than others, and where it gets difficult for the anoyer, that's when it seems to me to give thought to the person being annoyed to just put up with the inconvenience.

I guess that it adds up to whose annoyance is greater?

Good wishes for success in eliminating some of the more annoying trouble-making points in your relatinship ... especially when you're together for longer periods than earlier ... and almost certainly to continue to be so.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 4:35AM
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OMG! Only on Garden Web! The very dilemma I am experiencing at this very moment and for the past 5 years! I am 62, soon to be 63 and still working, my husband is 63, soon to be 64 and has not worked in 7 years! Oh, excuse me, once for 12 days straight as a security guard for a major hotel here in town about four years ago. Well, of course that did not work out for him. I was sure praying it would! But, I understood why . . . He has an income from SS and the VA. According to him, that gives him the right to direct and order . . . everything that goes on!
I do believe that a heart to heart discussion is definitely necessary between a husband and wife as to what roles/chores should be done by the "retired" person before hand! We never had that conversation!
We met late in life. I was 40 and already had grandchildren, had my career and been on my own forever! He had two younger children.
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore and love this man, or I would never have married him, for sure! I was "basically content with my life. We helped each other out in many and various ways over the years.
The main problem at this current juncture is that I work till 6, 7 or even 10 at night and come home to him sleeping and no dinner, or he is on his computer and not paying attention. The pool water is low, bills need to be paid and things need attention, all of which I did for many years and just THOUGHT he would take over these chores! NOPE . . . I just don't know how to handle this, really, I do not. It's very stressful and irritating that after work, I have to come home and attend to the things he has not. Am I wrong for feeling this way? Hmmmm . . .

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 1:54AM
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You are not wrong for feeling that way, but after 5 years, it's highly unlikely he's going to suddenly change on his own. Life appears to be more than ok.....for him!

As women, we sometimes just want those big lugs to figure it out on their own because it will just make us feel so much more valued that we didn't need to tell them what we see as the obvious. My experience is sometimes ya just gotta lay it out there.

So just because you didn't have "the talk" before, doesn't mean you can't have it now. I wouldn't even presume to tell you exactly what approach to take because you know him better than we would. But I do know that with my husband, if I broach any topic when I don't have his full attention is doomed to fail. Insert sporting event, on his laptop/PC, online shopping.

I find conversations in the car to be productive. Used to work with my kids too. Captive audience. No shame in saying that you're feeling spread pretty thin and need some more help. Not sure what his skill sets are. If he's a passable cook, no reason he can't throw together a casserole from time to time. Even say he's going to be responsible for meals on Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Whatever you work out together. Get on a schedule to check the pool water......does he do other pool maintenance?

Even if he's never actually paid a household bill, he should be very aware of what the household expenses are via regular "family meetings". I pay the household bills but my husband is acutely aware of all the details. If you can shift some other responsibilities his way, maybe the bill paying won't bug you so much. I wouldn't turn that one over until I really trusted he could go it well.

Laundry? Change the sheets weekly? Why not? There have to be enough chores that you can both agreeably distribute.

Good Luck! Looking forward to see what's he's making for dinner next week :)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 6:05PM
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