Will your Marriage Thrive During Retirement Living?
Pay attention here, and think about it, “Will your marriage thrive during retirement living?”
Have you even paid attention to how you are thinking about your relationship with your significant other?
Do not become a statistic. A wise old owl can help you live a happy retirement living time.
Often we are more attentive to our grandchildren. We tend to take spouses for granted, they have bee are our spouses forever, after all, we think.
For short times, this can be excused, but when someone or something else becomes more important than your spouse? Oh my, this is a setting for disaster.
Men are from Mars and Women from Venus
This is as true in your life as it was all those many years ago when you read this book.
The different God-given feelings men have for their children from what women have is often hard to grasp. Even so, you as a wife or as a husband need to be aware of the difference. You must keep this relationship healthy and sound.
You need to know that your husband is not consumed with feeling put down or neglected because of your care for other members of the family. He needs to know that he is important to you as well. Yes, it would be nice to not have to take time out to remind him of this fact, but it is necessary.
Then there is retirement
If these feelings are also at the time of retirement when he is adjusting to another kind of life, this can be doubly damaging to your relationship.
He doesn’t understand why women can go on gushing about a babies sweet smile for hours. (Most of the time I can’t either, but it is so wonderful) Nor do the things little ones do as they mature and grow through the different phases hold his attention as they do yours.
He is not being difficult, he is expressing his actual feelings. Honor and respect this. Do not belittle him or make fun of him. To you he is being difficult and stubborn, often acting like a toddler himself.
To him, he is expressing his feelings and reactions to feeling neglected and abandoned. Are there better ways to express these feelings? Yes, but your spouse may not know about them.
Help your spouse understand you
You as a husband, please realize that your wife can not help but be overly protective of your grandchildren, just as she was with the children when you were all much younger. You were busy as a provider and concentrated there.
You came home tired and ready for quiet. Often you were asleep before she got to sit still and talk.
Time marches on
The roles are just reversed. She loves being important to her grandchildren, it is for such a short time in your and their lives, she will soon not have them to indulge, and she knows it.
Help her enjoy the younger years of grandchildren, when she can be a part of their lives and spend time with them is so important to her.
Food for thought
Was your marriage healthy as you retired?
One of the more venerable parts of retirement living is marriage.
Do you know the stages of a relationship? Don’t let the marriage grow less important as you age. There are things you can do to make your marriage stronger, even in retirement.
Do you have a clue as to how you can help your marriage improve during and after retirement? The language of Men and Women has been different since the beginning of time.
Now is the time to make sure your communications are more clearly related to the outcome you want from your relationship.
Retirement Living is a joint operation
One thing for sure, your spouse is the best one to help you understand what is happening in your lives at retirement time. His or her life is affected, even if he or she never worked.
It is a good bet that he or she wants life during the retirement years to be the best it can be. Your spouse is the most invested in the future of your retirement years with you. He/she is the most affected by the strength to weather getting older with a spouse who has had the experiences you have shared.
Who else has as much at stake as your spouse?
This happy retirement living will not happen if you are at odds with your marital relationship. Take a few minutes to think through how this affects you. Are you feeling loved and appreciated by your mate?
Talk to him or her. The words will come to you once your partner understands that you are speaking what you are feeling at a deep level.
Write it down
Plan how to say these things if necessary. Often when the things you are thinking hit the light of day on a page in front of you, you will see the direction that the thoughts start from. This will make it easier for you to understand why you get the reaction that you do when you speak without really thinking about it all.
Retires have lived a lifetime already. You know truth and fiction when you see it. Are your words reflecting the truth, or just what that ego really wants to hear? Have you considered the word you use in your daily communications with your spouse? Do they reflect what you are really thinking?
Is it time to change your words?
It is much too easy to fall into the same habits that carried you through the working years before your retirement living.
When your career is winding down, and you are retiring, (major news flash) you are older. All joking aside, now you have the opportunity to do it, make some changes.
Naturally, there is less energy than when you were younger, so the last few years of employment probably found you dragging in from work in the evenings. You were feeling more physically tired. Less inclined to be ready for conversation and interaction with your mate.
We are all human and it is so easy to just sit there watching TV till bedtime.
These habits are hard to break in retirement. You finish up with whatever you did during the day, and found yourself ready for some quiet and a bit of TV time, then to bed. The actions of someone who is tired of making decisions, of being around people, conversation.
Watching TV is what most people do on the evenings you are at home. This happens as much from habit as from an actual desire to watch the programming. This is what you have done for years, and it is comfortable.
Changing up how we deal with our spouses
While this is not counterproductive in its self, the lack of communication is often easier to cover when you are letting TV control your attention.
Maybe you were undemanding in the past about the programs that appealed to you, and soon your mate just assumed the control of the remote. No big deal, this worked for years.
Now in retirement, it is time for you to decide what you can do to make this a time you are happy with your viewing time as well. Your mate will not know that this is no longer working for you if you do not tell him/her.
I’m not saying ignoring and moving on to do something else. That is not talking, that is getting out of sight. Actually say, “honey, I would like to watch another program for a while. We have been watching football a really long time today.”
Let your spouse know that you would like something else for a while. You are an adult, you have words. Use them. Express yourself. Let your partner know what you want. They can then agree or disagree. At least you have a starting point.
Actually, the pre-marriage contracts that seem so silly when you hear them discussed in a movie. A marriage contract is not that bad an idea.
The husband states what he expects from his wife, meals prepared, sex 4 days a week, whatever is important. At least his wife can decide to comply or not. They both know what to expect.
Of course, there must be some items stated by the wife as to what she expects or does not expect in this agreement. You have to give some thought to these agreements, and do not get married thinking that everything will be wonderful blissful filled days and no adjustments along the way.
The same can be said for retirement.
Did you give your retirement much thought regarding your relationship with your spouse? Most retire not really knowing what the partner expects from them.
Most of us enjoy going to the other TV to watch a program. However, while some time spent watching alone is alright, TV watching is really more fun if shared.
You as a retired senior citizen should not miss this shared time with your spouse. The conversation and visiting that is sparked by an enjoyable program are some of the activities that do build your communication skills together.
Being honest and talking about the many parts of life that get woven together to make a happy relationship will go a very long ways toward building a strong union.
A small family gathering over the weekend and conversation about couples and relationships reminded me that just being a senior citizen and retired does not exempt one from being a supportive and loving mate to your spouse.
While you may tend to skip over an article titled, “5 Things to tell your Mate,” maybe it deserves a 2nd look. Maybe there are sometimes that you could actually benefit. Keep an open ear.
Remember that young people often communicate much better than you do, and happy retirement living is the goal.
This one thing that has happened in the generations that were born after the senior citizens that are retired and getting ready to retire can do, that was all but impossible to my generation?
Talk about feelings
The ability to voice our thoughts. Are you able to do this, express yourself? Don’t be surprised if you find this a bit frightening too.
Being able to express myself in a way that relays what I am trying to say and communicate, not be “preachy’ or demanding or nagging. This is a skill that you can learn. It does take some practice. However, being able to request something personal from your spouse is a desirable outcome.
This is another place that practicing writing your thoughts down and getting comfortable with the words will help a shy communicator.
Being able to be loving and supportive with your mate will make both of you feel happier and more inclined to make the adjustments to ensure the goal is the same. Each of you can benefit in different ways.
Show your mate that you care about him or her
Men are happier, feel better and stronger when their partners let them know that they are loved and appreciated.
Women are also happier and more ready to work with a marriage commitment when they receive love and feel appreciated.
What will you do
How can senior citizens be openly affectionate to one another in public? A simple hug as you pass by, a loving soft pat on his shoulder, a soft caress will make him know that even though the room is full of people, he is still important to you.
Guys, by now you know that lots of your peers and family know that you really love your wife. A gentle pat on her shoulder or a quick hug does not affect your masculinity. They will not think you are being soft. That is a part of you that changed in your maturing.
Being stoic and cold. Not showing any affection or love for those around us is not being the strong one. While this is how you may have reacted when you felt a bit venerable as a younger person, this kind of interaction with your family and friends is a one-way street to lonely as you age.
Go slow, talk, get comfortable sharing and communicating.
Ensure the strength of your marriage in retirement. What have you got to lose?