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Old 03-21-2015, 08:24 AM
Location: Dallas, TX and Las Vegas, NV
5,704 posts, read 4,433,594 times
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My DH has a very strong personality. I am more easy going. So, I usually let him get his way beause most things that really matter to him I have pretty neutral feelings. Thing is, he pretty much has strong feelings about everything. I mean everything from what restaurant, how/when to do laundry, even when to take the trash to the trash bin. I am exagerating a bit. He just retired in September and until now I have been on my own during his work hours. Also since his retirement, we have bought and sold residences, and vehicles, and planned & gone on trips ..... all with his empathic feelings and me going along on some of the choices but not keenly. We agree on most things, this is not a pre-divorce thing, LOL.

Yesterday morning I was phoning the hair salon trying to make an appt. and I didn't like any of the openings they had available. I hung up the phone and said I'd phone them back. DH recommended a specific time. I didn't make an appt. As the time approached that he had thought was a good time, he reminded me about the appt. I barked at him that I didn't make the appt. Thinking about it, I realize I have been very abrupt with him a lot lately and reject his affection, too. Sooo......is this just an adjustment to him being around all the time? Have others found they have more tension after retirement?
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Old 03-21-2015, 08:31 AM
Location: The South
5,244 posts, read 3,645,924 times
Reputation: 7943
Speaking from my own experience as a retired male, you need to assign him some responsibility around the house. You take care of yours and he takes care of his. Some compromise is going to be necessary, that's life.
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Old 03-21-2015, 08:45 AM
Location: North Monterey County
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He needs a life.. or a job - volunteer or not.
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Old 03-21-2015, 09:04 AM
Location: New Mexico
6,610 posts, read 3,687,027 times
Reputation: 12428
A part-time job or volunteer commitment for one or both would make your time together more valuable. You would have something to share when together but wouldn't always be in each others' way every day. My wife and I had part-time jobs on different schedules but always had Thursdays together to do day trips or special things we wanted to do. She needed the social stimulation of the job and I liked the pocket money and something useful to do. We each had at least one day by ourselves to do what we wanted to do...mine was ?Friday so I had a 3-day weekend each week.
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Old 03-21-2015, 10:19 AM
Location: Loudon, TN
5,806 posts, read 4,854,199 times
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I get what you're going through OP. We have been retired for about 4 years now and sometimes I snap at DH because he also is very particular about the way he wants things done and has started to "lecture" and "talk down" to me sometimes. It is a little bit of cabin fever in our case I think. The cold and dreary weather has kept us a little bit housebound and we are getting on each other's nerves. I think that getting out and taking up some individual hobbies or volunteering or a PT job would help. It gives you both some new topics of conversation and gets you out of each other's hair for a few days a week. I am going to have to take my own advice on this one I'm afraid.
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Old 03-21-2015, 10:32 AM
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How long have you been married? He is who he is and no doubt will be even moreso when around all the time. So, essentially he isn't any different than before retirement?

I highly doubt he will change so that leaves you to do the changing in how you approach things with him.
The other posters suggestions sound like good ideas.
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Old 03-21-2015, 10:58 AM
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,514,657 times
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Default Spouse friction after retirement

Are you trying to say that familiarity breeds contempt?

With such a strong will I can see that having him around 24/7 could get on your nerves. But the good news is, one or both of you could go get involved in a charity, a church, a sport or some other pastime/activity that would give the other breathing space.

The rest of the good news is that you're not unique in this. It happens to a lot of couples and most of us seem to survive it. My wife and I were both in the same, very high pressure and demanding profession when we married and for the next 12 years until we retired (we married late in life) so there was always lots to talk about when we had time together. We also both needed strong personalities to survive in the world of politics. Even more so as we were often on opposite sides of the aisle. Now we have nothing but time but we manage to get along most of the time. I'm sure that as you adjust, you and your husband will settle-in and do so as well without you always having to acquiesce.

After all, it's your retirement too. Perhaps he just needs to hear that. Best of luck!
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Old 03-21-2015, 11:01 AM
Location: Tennessee
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Do you have any friends that you do things with besides him? Does he have any friends that he does things with besides you? Do you still have 2 cars? I can't give you spouse advice but I sure as heck see a lot married women that once they and their husband are retired they are attached at the hip and the wife doesn't seem to want to make a move without the husband tagging along. I find it to be ridiculous, but then again, I'm divorced and like it, so what do I know?
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Old 03-21-2015, 01:10 PM
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,212,814 times
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Based on my experiences and on what my friends have told me about their lives, you are experiencing an adjustment period. Only, the adjustments will have to be made! In other words, if you don't start addressing things and continually keep being the one who compromises or chooses to just be quiet and not rock the boat . . . at some point . . . you will probably get more than just a little snippy.

It is never easy dealing 24/7 with a strong personality and especially a person who has an opinion and strong feelings about everything. And someone who is controlling.

I have had a double whammy because hubby is dealing with serious health issues, so the last thing I want to do is be short or impatient with him. But the controlling behaviors are not going to go away unless they are examined and it is made clear that advice, when asked for it, is appreciated, but paternalistic behavior is not appreciated. I have never required someone standing over me assessing my decisions and actions and I sure don't need it at this stage of my life.

So . . . I had to sit down with hubby on several occasions and point out how annoying some of his behaviors were (especially his need to control my day). He is an intelligent and caring person, so he understood. Of course there are times he still lapses into that sort of thing, but over 18 months, I would say he is much more mellow and less likely to try to "herd" me, lol.

I still self-censor and just don't rock the boat with many of the decisions. But I have found it is not healthy for me to always be the one compromising. There has to be give and take b/c without it, I start feeling disrespected - it feels like I am just the nurse/caretaker/housekeeper/cook and not a partner.

In fact, that is how I explained it to hubby and he sincerely did not realize how controlling he was being. So maybe it is time for a short and quiet but to the point revelation about how you fit into life these days.

I would definitely suggest doing it b/f you find yourself with health issues due to suppressing the annoyances day in and out (i.e., elevated blood pressure, headaches, depression, etc).
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Old 03-21-2015, 01:37 PM
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I think that retirement is a major shift for many couples. I am now in the senior citizen dating scene and the majority of folks are divorced. Generally I find nothing wrong with these folks and many are clearly very desirable. However, here they are. So I would suggest that couples approaching retirement have many very complete discussions.
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