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Relationships and Retirement

by Lori Sciame September 7th, 2018 | Relationships
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retirementA few months ago, I wrote an article concerning my husband’s retirement.  I wondered how this major life change would affect our relationship. At the time, I felt unsure as to what aspects would change, but I instinctively knew that change was inevitable. In  this update, I can report that we have survived the first two months; however, even with our easy going personalities, the process has been a bit bumpy.

The Good News

The fact that my husband would no longer stress over work after retirement was a given.  He had been a police officer for 33 years, and being retired gave him a chance to finally relax.  People may not realize it, but law enforcement personnel must behave in a certain manner every minute, of every day, for years on end.  Each word and action needs to be carefully measured in order to maintain professional integrity. It’s not that my husband has started speeding when driving or that he drinks too much, it’s just that he doesn’t have to worry about the political ramifications of his every day actions.

His more relaxed attitude has positively affected our relationship.  In essence, I feel relieved that he no longer serves as the public information officer for our local police department. We can finally go to public events without wondering if he will be asked to give an interview.  WHEW!

Another benefit of his reduced stress: more laughing.  It’s been great getting to know his more carefree side, one that had been affected by years of seeing such things as car accidents and crime scenes first hand.

The Bad News

As a result of his retirement, our marital roles have changed. These changes have challenged our relationship.  He has had to wrap his head around the fact that I am now the main provider for our family, and I have had to get used to working full time while he remains at home.  (I admit that I find it difficult to accept that he can sleep in if he wants to, and that naps are an every day occurrence!)

In addition, as the spouse who is home most of the time, he has had to become responsible for managing the household.  He needs to cook, clean, do laundry, grocery shop, and take care of the bills while I am out in the work force.  So far, it’s been difficult for him to accomplish these tasks. I don’t think that he doesn’t want to do them; I think he doesn’t know how to juggle so many things at once!  He has finally admitted to me that being “domestic” is hard work.

Final Thoughts

My husband’s retirement has had both positive and negative ramifications on our relationship.  While I enjoy his new, more fun loving personality, I have been annoyed by how reluctantly he is tackling the role of stay at home husband.  What we both need to realize, however, is that marriages continually change, and that these changes can be worked through if both parties love each other!

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