Article by George Jerjian of Retirement Rebellion
If you’ve read the title of this article and dived in to find out more, maybe it resonated with you? Maybe your significant other doesn’t seem like the same person that he did when he was working? And maybe that ‘new’ person is creating a different – and challenging – environment at home.
If all of this rings true – don’t worry, you’re not alone. And more importantly, there are ways to address the issue.
Do some planning
How does he feel about retirement? If you’ve retired first, how does he feel about your retirement? Have you thought about what you will both be doing in this part of your lives? What are your shared passions?
We evolve as we grow older – and so must our marriage or relationship, if it is to survive. It’s a tall order as the two people may not change at the same pace, or want the same things as they mature. Retirement is an extra pressure as routines and priorities alter and you may have more time together than ever before. That’s why planning is essential. So sit down and talk about it.
Leave the shame behind
Have you noticed how retired people often introduce themselves as a ‘retired’ accountant, or doctor, or professor or… whatever their profession was? That’s because most retired people struggle with shame and a loss of identity when they stop working. This could be another reason your husband has become difficult to live with: in retirement, we can feel shame at the lack of a sense of purpose and belonging that came from having a ‘place’ in society.
But retirement isn’t a reason for shame, and it’s important to talk about this with your husband, and encourage him to be proactive, and ‘do’ something – then the shame will naturally disappear. What was his job? How can he either continue to do it (or something similar) in a ‘scaled down’ way that gives him a sense of purpose? Or perhaps he could repurpose his skills, or pursue another passion that he maybe didn’t have time for before retirement?
Be positive about the future
Retirement could in fact be the best opportunity that life offers you both in terms of how to live and work in a new and joyful way. But you both have to be willing to look forward. This is a time to grow, to create new experiences, and to enjoy learning anew.
Nature dictates that if you’re not growing, you’re dying, so, if you want to live and continue growing, it is vital to be positive and active. Of course, go ahead and retire from your current work, go on trips and adventures, long thought about, but then on your return, you can both embark on a new adventure, or a new world of work. Your relationship will thank you for it – and you never know, your husband might stop driving you mad…
George is a true maverick, his life has taken a fascinating, uncharted course now that he’s in his sixties. The former financial adviser is on a mission to impact millions as a mindset mentor, helping baby boomers: the generation that coaching often overlooks. An author, Emmy award-winning producer, international speaker and business consultant. Life has given him successes and failures. Now it’s all about making a difference by lifting the lid – often controversially – on the outdated concept that we all walk unquestioningly towards: retirement.