How to have a happy relationship with your spouse after retirement
This podcast episode falls under Significant Other in the Six Pillars of Retirement. And today, our guest is Nora Hall, a dedicated problem solver, set out to find solutions to the struggles she and her husband encountered after he retired. Numerous interviews with retirees revealed that most couples experience similar stress during their adjustment period in retirement. Nora shares their stories and offers proven solutions and inspiration for all retired couples, to help them have a happy relationship and stay happily married.
Prior to writing full time, Nora worked as a teacher, arts administrator, fundraiser, and writing consultant.
Nora started writing her book and blog because when her husband retired, they didn't expect the change in their relationship. They didn't really anticipate anything about retirement but soon learned they weren't having fun and enjoying it. Nora started to wonder what was going on and decided she needed to find a resolution. In her research, Nora discovered that there were some common circumstances that almost every couple experiences when they initiate their retirement.
- Many times husbands tend to become angry initially during retirement. Their identity is wrapped up in their careers and when they retire they feel they are losing their identity
- Now that the husband is retired, he doesn't know what to do with himself
- The change of being together all the time put a strain on relationships
Another common problem Nora discovered in her interviews and in her own relationship, is that when their husbands are retired there are suddenly always there. Women tend to have a lot of structure in their day to day activities. Out of boredom, the husbands will check on them to see what they are doing throughout the day. Women tend to perceive this as a sort of “butting in” if you will. In reality, the husbands are trying to be helpful and the women find it annoying.
It’s so important to be sensitive to one another’s needs
Nora tells us a story about when her husband retired and she was still working as a freelance writer at home. She didn't have a door in her office and her husband would come in and start talking to her and distracting her. Her husband didn't understand why Nora would get angry and Nora couldn't understand why he didn't realize that she was busy. She discovered they weren't being sensitive to each other's feelings.
So what was the solution to this problem? Their grandchildren solved the issue. They put a sign on the pantry door that lead to Nora's office that said: “Do Not Enter”. When she didn't want to be disturbed she would open the pantry door with the sign on it.
Having a happy relationship with your spouse after retirement might be difficult because of the adjustments you both have to make.
Nora also talked about the 5 types of husband:
- Bossy Husband
– These are husbands who are in a managerial position (managers, directors, CEO, etc.). They are used to being the boss so when they come home it's natural for them to expect that they are the boss.
- Always There Husband
– His days are spent in his workplace then suddenly, he's at home all the time. This type of husband doesn't typically have many outside friends to go to lunch with or do things with.
- Dependent Husband
– Not the type of always-there-husband but really doesn't know how to fill his time throughout the day. For example, he wants to go out every Friday but he expects his wife to plan the trip.
- Angry Husband
– Their identity is wrapped up in their work. There is more anger in men. These husbands don't know what to do with themselves after retirement.
- Doesn't-Ever-Listen Husband
– This one drives women crazy. Before finishing the sentence, they're already questioning you. This can cause a lot of contention in relationships
One of the things that creates a happy retirement is if a couple is willing to compromise
Nora suggests that if you realize as a couple, the things that each of you do that gets on the other person's nerves, are not intentional. You can start to have meaningful conversations about the things that are bothering you.
Nora does a workshop for couples. She helps couples identify how they are going to create a happy relationship with their spouse.
One example of how she does it is they discuss a particular topic and then they break into groups and discuss further what that meant to them and how they can use that information to create a happier life.
Do you have any tips on maintaining a happy relationship after retirement? If so, share them in the comments below!
Nora's book is available on Amazon – Survive Your Husband's Retirement
You may also want to visit Nora's blog by going to www.surviveyourhusbandsretirement.com
This post about retirement and retirement lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com