How to Protect Your Marriage When You Retire
A lot has been said about the issue of finances when it comes to retirement. However, there is another important facet of retirement that is less discussed yet essential in the long run – how retirement affects your marriage.
It isn’t rocket science – when two people who previously both worked full-time jobs suddenly find that either one or both of them have so much more time on their hands after retiring, it can be a big adjustment. A new phase of life is expected to be challenging, and it is normal to feel overwhelmed. Here, we take a look at some of the things to keep in mind when retiring together with your spouse.
Maintain your individuality
Do not depend on your partner to make you satisfied with your day or how you use your time. Placing unnecessary pressure on your significant other is a surefire way to brew up trouble in paradise. Instead, focus on your hobbies and engage in activities that you enjoy on your own. This does not mean to say you should not engage in shared activities which are excellent for bonding and quality time together. However, placing the pressure on your partner to constantly keep you entertained or motivated is unfair. Look to yourself for motivation, and keep yourself busy so that when you do spend time with your spouse, it is meaningful and enjoyable.
Divide Household Chores
Retirement turns our daily routine on its head! Everything you know and used to do are all affected, and it can take a lot of energy to deal with it. Perhaps, before retirement, one partner stayed at home and took charge of the housework while the other was out at work all day; now, the working spouse has retired and is at home all day as well. Naturally, this is a call for change since two people are available to share the duties and responsibilities so it is only fair to do so. Having a fair understanding of what is expected of each person in the relationship when it comes to housekeeping is a must. If grounds are not agreed upon, this can lead to frustration or even resentment.
This seems so simple, yet it can be difficult. Giving up a full-time job can often leave people bitter, grumpy, or miserable, and it is often so unexpected that people do not know how to properly deal with sudden strong emotions. Of course, having a spouse around you all day makes them the target of your frustrations which is entirely unfair. Come to terms with how you feel, and address your emotions one at a time. Properly assess and understand what you are feeling and why you are feeling that way. Do not play the blame game or point fingers at anybody else. Ask for some space if or when you need it, but don’t forget to explain your feelings to your partner so that you are on the same page.
Never Lose Communication
This is an element of relationships that you are probably going to roll your eyes at since it is spoken about so often! But truly, everything in a relationship really boils down to good communication. Once you master communication, your relationship is bulletproof! When you retire, it is important to discuss what your expectations are with your spouse and to hear what their extractions are as well. You may find that each of you wants different things from retirement. Communication opens up a discussion about these things so that they can be addressed before they create issues in the future. Communicate your concerns and work together on a plan that will make life easier. For example, set a specific time in the day to spend together and a separate time for yourselves. Or perhaps decide on a project you both would like to do together — in the community, in a workshop, or even something small for the home. Whatever gets you both going!
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, a disruption to the work-life balance is never easy. Throwing in the fact that you are thinking not just for yourself but for two people, you have a recipe for disaster if you don’t know what you are doing. Being considerate, kind, and understanding can go a long way in making the transition more pleasant and manageable for both people in a relationship!
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