I recently read an interesting article on retirement at, ironically, CFO.com. The article presented to me the possibility that while I may have done everything I could to plan for the financial aspects of my retirement, I may not have calculated the potential harm to my marriage that could result.
I do suspect that my retirement may be hard on my already-retired husband. Right now, he's pretty much got it made. While he does bear the brunt of the duties at home, he does them in the way he wants and in his own time. I have had occasion to come home at lunchtime and on such occasions he intercepts me at the front door and tells me I am forbidden from going upstairs. He doesn't want me to see that the bed is not yet made (or maybe that's where the other woman is hiding, I don't know).
Every once in awhile I send an instant message from work at 4pm that I'm heading home early (I want to give him a chance to get that other woman out of the house). The reply is always "oh no!" (and not because there really is another woman in the house--at least I don't think so!) This is because he must, in that short 15 minute span of my commute home, run to each of the bathrooms, make sure the toilet seats are down, make the bed, take a shower, see that his lunch (and breakfast) dishes are in the dishwasher and the newspaper discarded. (Why would he risk the possibility of me asking "what DID you do all day?")
He really has nothing to gain from my retirement and everything to lose. Yes, he "gets" to have me home with him (but the value of that to him is obviously debatable.) The way it is now is a win-win-win for him: he doesn't have to worry about money, he doesn't have to work, and I'm not home to see that it's 4pm and he hasn't even showered yet!
Giving up the paycheck is a trade-off for me that pays off in the form of more free time. For him, the fact that I won't be bringing home any more paychecks means that he has to now live life on a budget now AND have me underfoot, a lose-lose proposition!
The article in CFO. com goes on to suggest steps to take to maintain marital bliss during retirement, including compromise. I am planning on taking over some of the household duties he has long held, making the bed among them (looks like I'm going to have to start pulling my own weight around here). But the truth is, I suspect the pace of our new life together will be such that, in reality, neither one of us will be heading to the shower much before 4pm each day.
Well, Sydney almost retired, this is your funniest writing yet. As all of us who know you know, your man would NEVER have another woman in his bed. He's got her outside racing bikes with him!!! Ha Ha And, furthermore, he knows how good he's got it. What a life!
All my retired friends say that the first year of retirement is the hardest, but you'll be just fine...after all, your husband has already got it all worked out for you!
Posted by: Wicked in San Jose | December 09, 2007 at 05:06 PM
Yes, but I'm not sure he's going let me join him and his girlfriends outside racing bikes . . . we'll see!
Posted by: Retired Syd | December 09, 2007 at 06:01 PM