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(44 Posts)
cazzajen Sun 15-Jan-17 19:26:49

Why are men so short sighted? My husband and I retired 7 years ago. We both built up lots of hobbies and interests and were enjoying our retirement, even though money was a bit of a struggle at times. My husband in his wisdom then decided to take a part time job, at least it started that way, now he works virtually full time and I find myself spending our retirement alone. Our relationship is suffering and now we seem like two strangers in the same house instead of a married couple. I am unable to work through ill health or I would go back to work myself. I've tried to tell him how I feel but he just shuts off to it, he cannot see what he is losing in front of his face.

Antonia Sun 15-Jan-17 19:43:18

Perhaps he feels upset, as you said money was a struggle, and he is trying to take care of you financially. Why not find some kind of group you could join, for interest had companionship?

Eggers Sun 15-Jan-17 19:51:11

Money is a struggle, he wisely got a job earning money, and you'd prefer? Among efforts to occupy your time - maybe you could work online.

cazzajen Sun 15-Jan-17 20:13:30

I would prefer to have my husband around me to appreciate the little important things in life, money isn't everything, we were getting by.

Cherrytree59 Sun 15-Jan-17 20:25:49

cazzajen you don't say how old you & your DH are.
Did you both take early retirement?
Could you ask your DH to go back to part time.
Maybe have 2 todays off when you could do things together.
My DH has just retired and I wouldn't mind him working part time. smile
We are never satisfied.

Greenfinch Sun 15-Jan-17 22:11:57

Perhaps he likes working.Could you not accept that and find your own interests.My DH hated being retired and went back to work full time at first and now part time .At 78 he is still not retired.If we go our own way in the day it gives us lots to talk about when we get together.Your DH must be allowed to do as he wants.You cannot change him so perhaps you could change how you feel about it.

rosesarered Sun 15-Jan-17 22:37:55

My DH likes a little part time work now and again, it seems to do him good , and the money always comes in handy.
I am quite happy pottering about and seeing friends.Is it because you are ill and need help, and you don't see any friends?If so, then yes, I can see why you would feel unhappy,Can you get out on your own?

jusnoneed Mon 16-Jan-17 08:32:16

He may of found it difficult being at home all the time, I know my Mum wouldn't retire for that reason, used to say she would go around the bend. My Dad still wonders why she wouldn't stop work.
I often wish my OH was still working, I rarely have the house to myself these days. Those times when I could have a really good cupboard turnout, do my sewing or spread things around without someone needing to get to where I am. The simple things I used to like to do when I knew nobody was going to interrupt me for a few hours ....
I just thank heavens I still get out to work a few days.

Takingthemick Mon 16-Jan-17 09:18:37

We moved to a new area after retiring and decided to do some voluntary work. We both 'work' at the local community centre on different mornings/afternoons. This gives us the routine we were used to when working. A paid part time job would be useful but a least this gives us a social life without too much cost. So many of our volunteers have health problems but love feeling useful.

radicalnan Mon 16-Jan-17 11:04:03

Men love working, it is their status entirely, that and the car, women can (I think) let go a bit more, especially when their health isn't good, maybe its because we have done the home making thing in the past and had periods when we have had to rely on our own company or just being mum, was sufficient status for us.

I would try to make the most of the time you have together especially if he is bringing in some more money for you to enjoy yourselves........

I loathe being without work now I am retired and do vol. work however that doesn't feel quite real enough at times but my health isn't good enough for paid employment.

Life is never quite convenient is it ?

If his self image, is best preserved by working then that is probably a need for him that only work can supply, plenty of people just die when they give up work........I hope you can strike a satisfactory balance that suits you both.

paddyann Mon 16-Jan-17 12:08:21

my husband will never retire and I wont expect him to,he loves working and although he has cut back on some of the stressful aspects of his main job he has started a new career and has applied for a seasonal job too.If thats what he wants and he's happy then I'm happy for him..Let your other half have his job,find other things to keep yourself amused

Azie09 Mon 16-Jan-17 12:10:42

My husband is on the edge of retirement, he can take his state pension this summer and he has a private pension too but he keeps on working and I can't see him stopping. He has a small consultancy with a friend and although we have talked about him giving up, he clearly isn't ready to yet.

That makes me a bit sad. I have been able to retire because he earns and because I have a small company pension. I'd have liked us to retire together and do things together such as travelling for substantial periods of time. However, I think men do struggle with losing the status that work brings them and if they've worked full time (unlike so many women who work part time and do most of the childcare), then it's a big change.

I've been sorting out activities and voluntary work since I retired earlier this year but it is odd not working. I wouldn't rule out doing something paid at some point but the key for me would be doing something I enjoyed. A lot of the part time work I did in the past was something I hated and couldn't wait to escape from. I'm sure I've read reports about working beyond retirement that emphasise the difference between those doing jobs they enjoy and that are rewarding vs working for the dosh only. I am amazed, with the children gone, how little we actually need to live a comfortable life.

glammanana Mon 16-Jan-17 12:20:49

My hubby took an interest in restoring small pieces of furniture to be sold at our local charity shop and I worked as a volunteer for 2 days a week,I ended up being the full time paid manager of the shop just over 2 yrs ago after selling my catering business and am now looking to retire "again" at the end of February hubby will continue with his restoration and will be out of the house for 2 full days,it gives us something to chat about as we both have a similar interest by way of The Charity and the friends we have made over the years.

lefthanded Mon 16-Jan-17 12:56:11

Why are men so short-sighted? I have a better question for you. Why do you assume (in the thread title) that all men are the same?

EmilyHarburn Mon 16-Jan-17 13:48:39

I think you should accept your husband's regular pattern of work and make plans to do things together in your joint free time that you both enjoy: such as a meal out, going to the theater, cinema whatever.

You do not say if you have a car of your own or even if you can get out on your own. I have a very full programme at the University of the Third Age U3A. If I was stuck at home all day I would be reading, sewing, painting and perhaps seeing if a friend who could drive would agree to volunteer at a local charity shop, hospice of Citizens Advice Bureau so that we could have a regular working day out.

Hope you feel better about this soon.

VIOLETTE Mon 16-Jan-17 15:13:14

Funny thing is often men and wives who have retired together never see each other ! I met my husband when he was 68 and had moved to Menorca after the death of his first wife, as he had good friends there ....but being on his own he found boring and difficult and that is where I came in ...he said he needed someone to share his life with (!) what he really meant was someone to be there after he spent all day on his boat fishing (sometimes we went out on it together .......but normally he and a man friend when fishing (complete with bag of beer bottles's a wonder they ever managed to get back !)....the we moved to France and the obligatory renovation .....which meant, in a three storey house with vast numbers of rooms, we never saw each other as he was in one part renovating, and I was in another doing the same ...then it was gardening and laying pavements, etc etc so I was on my own doing different bits to the house ,,,we briefly saw each other for dinner ,,,,then we moved again, and didn't see each other very often during the day for several years, but now he is 84 and winding down we do spend the day in the same house, but that's about it .....he prefers his old films and music in the conservatory whilst U (like now !) am in my office filing and doing the accounts, and messing about on the computer ,,,,we may see each other at dinner time, unless there is a particularly enthralling episode of Police Interceptors on we do virtually nothing together, but it seems to work for us .....if I was unhappy by this there are plenty of charities needing help or online things I could do ....never seem to have time for hobbies or reading which I love !! If however you are unhappy, perhaps if you talk about it with your husband you might be able to find an activity you could do together say at the weekends ....

Everthankful Mon 16-Jan-17 15:22:03

I think you should enjoy having time to yourself to pursue those hobbies and interests you mentioned. I dreaded the thought of my husband retiring as I thought he would be under my feet all and every day, hogging the TV remote and commenting every time I insisted on having a biscuit with my tea! (I have a sweet tooth, he didn't!) I would willingly let him have control of the TV now, but unfortunately, he died almost two years ago, a couple of weeks after he officially retired

Everthankful Mon 16-Jan-17 16:13:56

Must add, his demise was not of my doing!

Greenfinch Mon 16-Jan-17 16:26:59

sad That is really sad.A horrible time for it to happen.

Witzend Mon 16-Jan-17 16:31:14

Must say it's the first time I've heard this sort of 'complaint' - it's usually the opposite, wives driven bonkers by newly retired dhs under their feet all day, or 'hovering', bored and unable to amuse themselves.

Or else 'nobly' tackling some domestic task such as hoovering, and then making a massive thing of it, as if they're expecting a medal...

Shazmo24 Mon 16-Jan-17 17:12:36

You just need to tell him how you feel and come up with a compromise so that you spend at least one day a week together My husband and I go to the cinema in the winter and a NT property when the weather is nicer...if you don't tell him you cant moan

wot Mon 16-Jan-17 17:39:21


Smurf52 Mon 16-Jan-17 17:47:35

This is a different angle to those wives who retired before their husbands have said once their DH finally retires. They complain hubby gets under their feet and in the way, which i think is strange as surely you should look forward to enjoying retirement together.

NotTooOld Mon 16-Jan-17 17:59:14

A couple of posters have mentioned the possibility of working on-line. I'd love to know what opportunities there are for this but I'll start another thread so as not to spoil this one.

Ginny42 Mon 16-Jan-17 18:19:41

We planned to travel when we retired, but his affair with my friend got in the way of those plans. He left. Being alone was not for me, so carried on working and now virtually retired I have joined clubs doing all kinds of things, some learning a new skills and working with a charity supporting women and girls both nationally and internationally.

What I'm saying is be very glad that your husband is in your life. Love him for simply being there and caring enough to want to provide more than just 'surviving' whilst he's able. Make a busy life for yourself too. I agree together time is very important, so how about sitting down together making firm plans for going out, learning new skills together, possibly weekends away and holidays? Would that help you feel closer?