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How do I cope with this

(271 Posts)
tcherry Wed 20-Aug-14 22:13:44

My husband has now retired, I am still at work and when I come home I just want some alone time but obviously he is there all the time!

Nearly everything he does now annoys me and it has made for an unhappy home

I don't know what to do, it is driving me crazy, has anyone experienced this?

rosequartz Wed 20-Aug-14 22:40:18

He is probably looking forward all day for you to come home, and you are tired after being at work all day.

Has he got any hobbies or interests? It seems to take time for some men to settle into retirement and find other things to do. When DH retired people used to ask him 'are you enjoying your retirement?' and they got a very grumpy 'NO' in response. However, he is now really busy with his 'projects' and voluntary work and seems much happier.

Someone once advised me not to downsize too soon after retirement - because she said that 'you can't get away from one another!'.

It is a big adjustment and does take time; he will probably have settled into his retirement routine by the time you retire, so have some plans ready for yourself.

janerowena Wed 20-Aug-14 22:41:46

Me. Every summer, for two months... He is a teacher!

My aunt. It drove her crazy. In the end she managed to get him to join a gym, by telling him he needed to keep fit as so many men die shortly after retirement. Golf in the summer. I realise your male might not fancy those, but he was trying to carve a life for himself by taking away all the jobs that she liked best and leaving her with the drudgery. She said it took a year or so before they finally found their roles.

tcherry Wed 20-Aug-14 22:52:07

but jane how do you cope I feel so trapped!!

janerowena Wed 20-Aug-14 23:00:33

I try to be where he isn't. It's even harder now, he has an ipad so reads it wherever I am, instead of using his computer in his study. I send him to the shops, and keep busy while he is around and then race upstairs and read for 15 minutes while he is out and the house is peaceful. My biggest bugbear is endless Time Teams and Great Railway Journeys. Or sport. Our house is open plan apart from dining room and study, so there is no escape. My computer is in a corner of the sitting room, and when he sits on a sofa even at a distance he can still see what I am looking at, so comments. I spend a lot of time in the garden. I make a lot of jam and preserves. I love him dearly, but he doesn't seem to feel the same need for a bit of solitude that I do.

tcherry Wed 20-Aug-14 23:04:32

That is so confusing though because how can you feel love for someone that you don't really want to be with as you say .. you love him dearly

I do not feel that I love my husband so confused

tcherry Wed 20-Aug-14 23:05:10

It sound such a bad quality of life for you, as is mine, do you agree?

rosequartz Wed 20-Aug-14 23:05:49

Sounds as if he is perhaps a bit needy?

What he perhaps needs are hobbies and interests, can he join U3A or a voluntary organisation? I am sure the voluntary sector is always looking for men, as there always seem to be plenty of women volunteers but not so many male volunteers. I have noticed that some charities have male van drivers who collect furniture from people etc, and there must be lots of other voluntary sector jobs out there that would give him an interest and get him out of the house.

tcherry Wed 20-Aug-14 23:07:42

rose he is too lazy to do volunteer work besides he is not kind of person at all

merlotgran Wed 20-Aug-14 23:14:39

I bought mine a BIG shed and called it a workshop.... Sorted!!!

Galen Wed 20-Aug-14 23:18:59

I bought a small (29ft )yacht. That sorted out the spare time , when we weren't sailing it!
(They take a LOT OF MAINTENENCE as JaneAinsworth would agree!

tcherry Wed 20-Aug-14 23:25:13

What is it though that makes you not want to get out of the situation, why is it that people just soilder on?

Elegran Wed 20-Aug-14 23:47:18

Perhaps what makes them stay together is the same thing that made them marry in the first place. He is the person they want to spend the rest of lives with, but not every waking moment, 24/7.

There is a book about it - "For better or for worse - but not for lunch"

tcherry Wed 20-Aug-14 23:53:43

I go in phases I try so hard to make it work but sometimes I just want to be alone and independent and not feel so Trapped

thatbags Thu 21-Aug-14 06:40:10

Could you install your computer in your bedroom, perhaps? Or, even better, in a spare room. Then just tell him you need unwinding time after work without any demands from other people, including him. State that you want some alone time, that it is about you, not about him. Assert your needs. Tell him you want to be left alone for a given period of time, then you will come and talk to him or whatever. Start with a short time, say fifteen minutes, and gradually extend it as he gets the idea

All that sounds awfully blunt. Maybe it is but sometimes one needs to be blunt if subtlety doesn't get the message across. I did a similar thing with my kids when they were quite young (still preschool)—I established a half-hour reading time in the afternoon when they were to play in their bedroom, which I'd made safe, and they were to leave me alone! Obviously I would have responded to real crises but there weren't any; they stopped coming to tell tales on each other and generally pester me with, well.... pesterings various! If they interrupted my reading time, I just reminded them it was my reading time and I would deal with everything later.

Good luck.

kittylester Thu 21-Aug-14 07:13:29

When I need me time, I go for a drive or sit in the car somewhere nice and look at the scenery. DH used to welcome the half hour drive home from work as his bit of solitude before the bedlam of home and small children!

Good post Elegran.

vampirequeen Thu 21-Aug-14 07:27:25

It's very difficult for some men when they retire. Men tend to be defined by their job. Suddenly the job has gone and they are adrift. This is not justifying him driving you insane. It's just one explanation of why he's in your hair all the time.

Does the house need redecorating? Does the garden need reorganising? He needs something to occupy his mind and his time. I know it sounds like you're spoon feeding him but most men never had to think about time filling. The went to school and then they went to work. Suddenly he has time on his hands and doesn't have the understanding of how to fill it.

kittylester Thu 21-Aug-14 07:32:56

You could buy him a puppy. It would need training, walking etc and it could give you a shared interest. Having a dog to walk also gives you a reason to escape for a while.

Gagagran Thu 21-Aug-14 07:33:50

I do empathise with you tcherry and a lot of the strategies suggested already could be adapted to your circumstances. You need to find a way to get him out of the house for some solitude for you. My DH rides a bike and is off out with a group of similar aged chaps whenever he can. I joined a choir and the WI - which has saved many a marriage I can tell you! It also helps that we have a study as an escape route from TV programmes which either of us does not want to watch. We all need time apart to bring fresh talk and news to the marriage.

Has your man got a friend he could go for a walk with or to the pub for a pint? Does he like football, cricket or rugby? Could he take a grandson (?) to a match? Does he read? How about a trip to the library? You need a strategy to get him up and out wrapped up in a show of concern for his tendency to fossilise. Come on - be clever!

This all pre-supposes you want to keep him and make things work. Are you wanting to escape altogether or just the state of things as they are now? Needs careful thought. Good luck!

Mishap Thu 21-Aug-14 08:05:06

Have you told him how you feel? Communication is the key.

Perhaps you could give him all; your attention when you first get back, as he has been on his own all day. And then ask for a bit of time to do your own thing.

It is all part of a long relationship - you go from wanting to be with that person every second to something a bit different where you can be yourselves in peace and space from each other, but still secure in the relationship.

You say in another thread that you are into meditation - perhaps that could be your time apart - he must know this needs to be done in peace. And it would calm your feeling of irritation.

tcherry Thu 21-Aug-14 08:06:19

I felt as if you could read my thoughts Gagagran you are so close to what's happening with me, I am so tired of trying to make things work, this is just another thing..I just need a break from him but not sure how to make it happen...were would he go??

tcherry Thu 21-Aug-14 08:06:50

He is not the sort to go to a friends house or family.

tcherry Thu 21-Aug-14 08:09:46

And then what after the break, what if I do not want him to come back, which I feel may be the case.

It is all a bit of a nightmare that has been going on for a while but I don't seem to be able to get out of

I could leave myself but I have worked hard for the home we live in and I feel that I have found a home that I now want to stay in.

shysal Thu 21-Aug-14 08:20:40

tcherry, I was dreading our retirements for the reasons you mention. That contant feeling of annoyance was draining. Having stayed in a loveless marriage until the children were married and settled, I decided it was time to put myself first and plucked up the courage to divorce him before finishing work. We sold the family home and just managed a tiny terraced house each. In fact we then became good friends at a distance, until he married a bitch!
I love living alone, should have taken the step earlier. I am not answerable to anybody, do what I want when I want, and any item I use gets put away again in it's proper place!
Whatever you decide it might be worth having a calm discussion with your husband and lay down some ground rules. He is not being fair to you. Good luck! flowers sunshine

vampirequeen Thu 21-Aug-14 08:32:20

I left virtually everything I owned when I left my ex. It was hard to give up the things I'd worked so hard for but then I realised they were only things. Once I'd left I realised that the knot in my stomach which had been there forever was actually disappearing. My home became my sanctuary. It was my safe place where I could be me.

I still don't own as much as I used to but that's because I realised I didn't need them. It hurt when I found out that he'd ruined 'my' carpet until someone pointed out that my carpet was in my home not the place I used to live.

The freedom and peace I found when I left was worth so much more that the material things I left behind.