Some retired couples have elected to take up hobbies together such as painting, tennis or golf. Taking lessons and learning to do new things will provide common goals. Others feel happier when they retain separate interests.
By: Natasha Morgan
The famous quote “I married him for better or for worse, but not for lunch” is a reoccurring theme among women who have newly retired husbands.
We all have routines that have been developed over a life time and when they suddenly become disrupted, we can get frustrated, annoyed or even furious. Take for example Mike, who is a retired police officer. For years his wife Edith spent sleepless nights and anxious days when her husband went to work. Oh, how happy she would be when he finally retired!
Two weeks into his retirement she began to feel that he was constantly “under foot”. Mike would appear suddenly asking “what’s for lunch?” Edith was used to making a quick snack for herself when she was hungry. Now, it seems there was another meal to plan. She felt a loss of freedom.
How is she to adjust to this new lifestyle when she feels that everywhere she looks, her husband is there.” I know he is trying to be helpful” says Edith, as Mike suggests improved ways of handling chores.” It’s just that I feel totally incompetent doing even the most menial task.”
With the first of the baby boomers turning 60 this year, this scene will play out over and over again. To avoid a major crisis, plan ahead and discuss future activities. Some couples have elected to take up hobbies together such as painting, tennis or golf. Taking lessons and learning to do new things will provide common goals.
Others feel happier when they retain separate interests. Once men have retired they often find activities that they previously would not have considered. Mike for instance, developed a passion for cooking. It may have started with Edith refusing to prepare lunch every day but whatever the motivator was, he has now taken over the kitchen entirely. He scours the internet for new recipes and shops for groceries at a nearby Farmers’ Market.
Edith has her freedom back! Once again she has time to play cards with friends and volunteers at the local library. She enjoys spending time with Mike and the delicious meals he is whipping up are a bonus that she least expected.
Keeping occupied is a good path for both partners to follow. Taking this new phase of your life in stride and keeping your sense of humor will make it that much easier.
This article was written specifically for notjustthekitchen.com.
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Photo: Michael (mx5tx)