Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Don't Be A Statistic


Not long ago I read that 16% of 30+ year marriages end in divorce.  Most of them occur after retirement.  Obviously most of us married more than 30 years are also of retirement age so of course these divorces occur after retirement, but it is more than the age factor.  
Retirement seems to be a big factor in the decision to divorce, but it can be prevented.
I have been doing research for my upcoming book, Survive Your Husband’s Retirement, and was struck by many how many wives expressed frustration with the situation. 
 “He always questions what I do,”   “He follows me around all the time,”
“He wants to know where I am going and what time I will be home.”  
 “He’s grumpy”  and on and on it goes. 
Perhaps some of these marriages were in trouble before, and his “24/7” presence has only aggravated the situation.  Still, even when a marriage had been all cherries and bliss, the need for adjustments after retirement are significant.  The good news is that many of these adjustments are simple and doable. 
Generally women have an easier time with retirement than men do. That is probably because a man’s identity is frequently connected to his role of provider, and when he gives that up, he finds himself looking for a purpose.  It is not your role to find that purpose for him, but just knowing that might help you be patient as he seeks to find activities that mean something to him. 
Another problem in the relationship can also be that “24/7” presence.  Whether you are retired, still working outside of the home or have been “at home” for a while, you probably have your favorite routines, contacts and activities and are not in the habit of accounting for them all the time.  
Over the next few blogs we will be talking about opening conversation on problem areas; how to help one another realize the needs of the other, and how to identify what is needed to return the harmony in your marriage.
Don’t be a statistic.  Join us in the conversation.  Tell us your stories--what’s great and what bugs you--and find answers from others’ experiences.  Retirement should be fun.  Let’s make it that way! 

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