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Why is this a problem

(83 Posts)
Parcs Thu 23-Apr-15 10:27:18

My husband has retired early due to the dreaded ill health syndrome, he retired 5 years ago and so far it has not been too much of a problem, but I have recently become quite irritated by the fact that he does nothing all day!

He is not one for joining any sort of club and hates gardening.

Everything he does has started to annoy me to the point that I feel like a volcano bubbling and ready to erupt

Is this the norm.

aggie Thu 23-Apr-15 10:30:57

oh dear ! Is he depressed ? what do you do all day ........ apart from all the chores I presume ?

KatyK Thu 23-Apr-15 10:35:41

Sorry to hear this Parcs. I retired first and loved being on my own. DH retired a couple of years later. He was not a happy bunny. He didn't want to retire but was made redundant in his early 60s and couldn't find another job. He would drive me mad and I'm sure the feeling was mutual. Fortunately he is not the type to sit around doing nothing for long. He got a volunteering job with The National Trust which he loves. He is now also in the process of training to be a volunteer to help people with cancer who have no support (he has had cancer himself and is aware that it is bad enough when you have a family but to have nobody must be dreadful) .Would he be able to volunteer for something, his health permitting? There are so many people out there needing help. I go to a primary school once a week to help children with their reading. It's brought me into a whole new world. Good luck.

janerowena Thu 23-Apr-15 10:42:40

It's quite common, you need to slowly suggest things he might like to do. Maybe even buy him vouchers as presents so that he actually gets out and does the things. And go with him, too. FiL was a bit like that at first, now he drives a steam train!

tanith Thu 23-Apr-15 10:49:45

What a shame when you should be enjoying retirement you are at odds with each other.
I was ill-health retired nearly 10yrs ago so I've had plenty of time to enjoy doing what I please but now OH is winding down and retiring in May and I was worrying that it would happen to us but over the last year as he's worked less days we have got used to being in each others company all day and he does have a few hobbies that take him out of the house quite often but he also is a bit of a couch potato if I leave him to it, but he's quite willing to help me around the house and garden if ask.

Could you appeal to his better nature and get him to help you with some of the daily routines around the house and garden maybe if you said you 'needed' help even if you could manage perfectly well it might encourage him. Could you take some outings once or twice a week or even just go out to lunch or coffee sometimes? I think we sometimes forget to just be good friends with our nearest and dearest and see everything they do as aggravating, if he's really getting on your nerves take yourself out for a walk maybe even ask him to join you, getting out in the sun and fresh air away from the house might help.

Teetime Thu 23-Apr-15 10:55:32

Oh yes this happened to us for about the first 2 years I was homicidal! I also couldn't get used to him homing in on my territory- the housework as he didn't do it in the way I would. In the supermarket he kept putting things in the trolley and taking out of the trolley what I had put in. he followed me round the house saying' what are doing' and 'what are you doing next' on and on it went. Now five years later he has settled down a lot and so have I. I have learnt to accept his housework efforts and in some areas he is more efficient than I am e.g. ironing. He has got really into not only playing bowls but doing some admin for the bowls club. his golf has improved so he is enjoying it more now. Obviously we are lucky that he is healthy but a lot of hi fellow bowlers are not at all healthy but enjoy bowls - is that an option - do you have a club nearby that you could go together? If physical exercise is not an option the other thing we did was get a lap top each so no squabbling over who uses it when. For successive birthdays I bought him first an I-pod which he didn't like and didn't touch for 6 months - now its loaded right up with lots of his favourite music and new things he has discovered on the internet. Secondly I bought him a tablet and he plays backgammon, poker and chess with all kinds of people. Do you think any of this might be an idea if he is not yet computer literate there are courses and its quite possible to teach yourself on line - I think that's what we did mainly.
Parcs I hope you don't explode and that we have given you some ideas. flowers

Tegan Thu 23-Apr-15 11:00:12

The S.O. only stays at weekends usually but he has a 'throat clearing' habit which drives me mental [every minute of so; I've timed it blush]. I know I sniff a lot so I probably get on his nerves as well, but he can go home to get away from it...

aggie Thu 23-Apr-15 11:05:46

Why I asked about what you do all day was because I found I was getting in the doldrums with my Husband , he sat around , kindly lifting his feet so I could vacuum , I then developed a bad back and had to ask him to move things for me to clean , he then took over the vacuuming , I can't drive so he had to take me shopping , then he started to go and get a few bits and pieces and I had a bit of breathing space . A few of us decided to start a Seniors club and he actually came to the meetings and joined , became a committee member ,sadly his depression got the better of him and I go to the club on my own , we have a cleaner once a week , I go to painting classes , my daughter takes me shopping . This all means we have breathing space from each other . I think it was asking too much for us to spend 24/7 with each other ........... I know it is " in sickness and in health " but sometimes you have to get out or explode . Now we rub along ok

soontobe Thu 23-Apr-15 11:09:32

My first suggestion is for you to have a short holiday, so as to stop you exploding!
Meanwhile, would he then actualy do anything around the house or elsewhere?

If it has not been a problem for you for 5 years, it sound like a change of scenery is need in the first instance.
The distance, physical and mental, may also give perspective, and help quickstart new ways of doing things for you both.

PRINTMISS Thu 23-Apr-15 16:57:45

I think we all need space, and if the other half gets on my nerves, which is quite often, I will pop to the shops and leave him a few things to do - he really doesn't think for himself when it comes to the every day chores, so a little of being left on his own to get on with it works wonders. Life is what it is and I do sometimes feel like screaming at him to get out of the chair, but it will only create an atmosphere, and we can do without that. I am no angel, I do lose my temper very often, but take it out on the kitchen sink, or the toilet, and the garden helps of course. I would rather he was here as he is, that no here at all.

Nelliemoser Thu 23-Apr-15 17:21:54

Parcs Don't start erupting! is there a U3A near you where he might find a subject that interests him.

Find something you want to do and go out and enjoy yourself. He may get the message that he has to sort this out for himself. It does depend on his health issues though.
Several other posters seem to find that it takes a lot of time for a man to adapt to retirement.

Why are so many men so useless at entertaining themselves without a woman to organise them.

Peace in my house and my sanity are saved by separate interests.
Very separate interests, otherwise he would be always forever telling me how it should be done.

Soutra Thu 23-Apr-15 18:12:53

This sounds rather familiar! We have had a few threads on this or similar topics about the irritation generated by husbands who may have retired before their wives. Can't remember the advice given but you could try a "search".

AshTree Thu 23-Apr-15 18:15:37

We've both been retired for around 5 years. I was dreading being together 24/7, but we mostly rub along OK. We share most of the household chores, though OH does the bulk of the gardening.
The biggest problem is that he seems to want us to do absolutely everything together. Even if he's just popping up to B&Q for some screws he wants me to go with him and often gets really angry with me if I say no (because I'm in the middle of doing something perhaps). Similarly he'll get annoyed with me if I want to go out and have a little browse round the shops on my own. We always argue about this, because I like to have time to myself and he simply doesn't understand this - when we were working, he worked Saturdays and I often used to take myself off somewhere, to a local town or garden centre, a NT property nearby and so on. I really miss being able to do that without a huge row. I keep telling him it's not personal, that I just need my own company sometimes, and that I'm surprised he doesn't. I feel it's almost not healthy to want to be with someone all the time. He plays golf, and he's perfectly happy doing that without me. I go to a photography club and he's perfectly happy about that too. It's just everything else we do, he wants to do it joined at the hip!
I understand your frustration Parcs. I often suspect that retirement is a battleground for most people, for one reason or another.

Marelli Thu 23-Apr-15 18:36:41

Tegan, my DH has a throat-clearing habit as well. He's even started to do it to a beat. It goes like the old song thingy did - "Eye-tiddley eye-ty, brown bread".....the first bit is the throat clearing and the 'brown bread' bit is two sniffs...! Sounds comical, but it's really quite annoying (maybe I make him nervous - hmm)

amarmai Thu 23-Apr-15 19:33:17

Marelli I'm practising this ! thanks for the laugh-altho i can see it would get on your nerves-sorry.

rosesarered Thu 23-Apr-15 19:39:37

Marellie....... I really shouldn't have been drinking coffee when I read your post, aaaaaarrrrrgh!Clean outfit needed now.

Tegan Thu 23-Apr-15 19:56:01

Just imagine if they got together Marelli shock. Can't even describe the S.O's but it's very loud and I can hear it all over the house sad.

Penstemmon Thu 23-Apr-15 20:25:58

It can be tricky to get right! My DH loves his work and would be lost without work. It is what he feels defines him. However at 67 working life does not have a lot of time to go! His work is p/t and he goes to watch his football team (home and away) and is often home at least one of the two days I care for our grandson. .
Together at home we enjoy cryptic crosswords and quizzes, outside the home we enjoy theatre and film and concerts & have a busy shared social life with good friends. I am still working p/t but slowing it down ( I am freelance so can control it) and building up local friends and activities via WI & a volunteer role. I am also the gardener and that takes time! DH is reluctant to get involved in any local activities so I do worry that when he is not working any more he will be a bit lost.

Despite our busy life I do think there will be massive adjustments when we are both fully retired as there will be more time to fill! My plan is to buy hm a gift to attend a writers workshop to inspire hom to write a book...that takes ages and loads of research!! grin

Granne72 Thu 23-Apr-15 20:37:28

It does take time to adjust to being retired together. We have one weekday each week when we have a day out together , we take turns to choose where . The rest of the time we tend to do our own thing . I think the key is to each have some personal space in the house where you can choose to be by yourself . My OH has a small office and I use the spare bedroom as a sewing room. If we are in our own spaces the other tends to only come in to offer cups of tea etc.
I think parcs that you should lead the way by doing things you enjoy both in and out of the house and leave him to find his own way through this. He may just need to 'chill' for a bit before making future decisions. I know I watched too much day time TV in my first few months of retirement !!

loopylou Thu 23-Apr-15 20:46:12

Reading this thread I might just encourage DH not to retire! grin

pompa Thu 23-Apr-15 20:59:56

G72 is spot on, it takes time to adjust. I retired several years before Mrs.P so our roles were reversed compared to some. We both have separate interests that we pursue and some that we enjoy together. We go out together several days a week but most of the others we are out with our individual pursuits. Our joint calendar is very full, very few days when we are both free.

jinglbellsfrocks Thu 23-Apr-15 21:08:56

My DH has started to twiddle his thumbs. I don't think I've ever known anyone to really do that, in real life. He does it in traffic jams, during pauses in conversation, whilst waiting for the meal to come in pubs, any old time. confused

jinglbellsfrocks Thu 23-Apr-15 21:10:26

I don't mean he sits around doing it all day! He's usually out flying his model aeroplanes, or in his shed building the next one.

pompa Thu 23-Apr-15 21:22:56

This is known as transmitter thumb, most often caused by a lack of use. The best remedy is to send him off to the flying field at every opportunity. I am suffering from this worrying condition at this very moment. Building new models is only a short term cure, the day will come for their test flight.

jinglbellsfrocks Thu 23-Apr-15 21:24:57

grin Yep! That could be it.