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retired husband driving me crazy

(84 Posts)
suzette1613 Fri 11-Oct-19 17:04:34

We have only been married 10 years (second time for both) and both retired 2 years. Maybe it was all too soon to get together but I feel we have nothing in common and his annoying habits are really annoying me. He has potential serious health problems but wont address them, wont talk about relationship problems either, and seems content to lie on the sofa all day watching youtube or smoking outside.
I don`t think he is depressed, just lazy. I keep myself busy and exercise etc mostly to stay out of the way.
I know it is his life but it is so frustrating.

Tooting29 Mon 14-Oct-19 09:40:31

Ladies, I understand exactly what you are saying. My DH is significantly older than me and after 30 odd years of marriage the age difference is telling. He retired 15 years ago and I still work. He is great at keeping the housework up together while I am work, but we appear to have very little in common. He is set in his ways and predictable. He goes up the pub most days as he likes and needs male company, and then sits in front of TV with paper for rest of day. I have developed lots of other interests as I'm not ready for this. We virtually do nothing as a couple. Holidays are a trial (for me) as I always compromise on destination and activities. I have now started having odd weekends away to do things I like. At times I get frustrated with him and it boils over into impatience and resentment. I agree about kindness and I appreciate that he is feeling his age and is becoming more dependent on me. I retire next year and I hope that once work pressure is off we can find a happy medium.

Coolgran65 Mon 14-Oct-19 09:42:46

What Barmeyoldbat said. Go to your bolthole and get together at weekends. Would be keep the house up to scratch while you were in your bolthole. That could be a condition and would mean he had to be doing something.

Dillyduck Mon 14-Oct-19 09:44:47

After a life of caring for others, at 68 I'm more selfish. I've learned, the very hard way, that we are all responsible for our own happiness. We can't change other people, but maybe we can change our own behaviour. I had counselling, life changing, that showed me how to put my own needs first. Now I happily go on holiday for 2 weeks in September to Greece, and when I feel like it, go away some more. I'm now widowed.

Barmeyoldbat Mon 14-Oct-19 09:45:13

Suzette, he has to compromise, thats marriage give and take. How was he when you first got married? Suggest you give it a trial break one of you is going to be hurt and at the moment its you.

Lilyflower Mon 14-Oct-19 09:46:15

OP, you say you husband would sell your house to pay for his care if he needed it - and it sounds as if he will since he isn’t living healthily. In that case, is it not better to cut your losses now, divorce him, and have at least the half of the assets you are entitled to? You are now managing but unhappy. If he takes the house you will be poor, not managing and unhappy.

And why are you feeling guilty? You have done nothing wrong. It is not wrong to want to be safe and happy.

jaylucy Mon 14-Oct-19 09:47:52

Reading most of these posts, I wonder how on earth my parents, married for 59 years, as well as my other relatives that are or were married for 40plus years stay together for so long !
My parents argued a lot, dad did very little in the house, beyond make the odd cup of tea, wash up occasionally oh and put the vacuum round ( mainly because it was a new one and he wanted to check it worked properly!) and mow the lawns as well as being the driver . But they still loved each other and dad was devastated when my mum died unexpectedly.
Mum on the other hand did the cooking, cleaning, washing and ironing, most of the housework, as well clean houses for other people. She even did my ironing (that wasn't my idea, believe me!)
Maybe nowadays we are so busy with the equality thing that we fail to appreciate that many men are totally incapable of doing anything domestic - probably in their genes or something! The idea of deciding you have nothing in common, after being married for 10 plus years- how did you not realise that before you got married? Or did you, and just assume that once the ring is on your finger that you'd magically transform them ?

anniezzz09 Mon 14-Oct-19 09:48:52

Suzette, he pretends it's all ok unless I make a fuss. If the fuss is enough, he'll make some changes which are guilt driven and don't last. He hasn't been the best of husbands and now he wants a quiet life like so many men but he also wants his own way a lot of the time. Someone posted above (can't see it, sorry) about holidays being a bore. We've got one coming up and I'm going crazy at the thought of being imprisoned with him for days on end. I found a book a while ago called something like Too Good to Leave, too Bad to Stay, says it all, how hard it is to take that step.

Tricia4 Mon 14-Oct-19 09:53:05

You are lucky to have a husband! Some of us on here would love to still have our husbands here....

ReadyMeals Mon 14-Oct-19 09:54:37

Tedber, my thoughts exactly. I believe in letting people be who they are, as long as they're not interfering with your rights to be who you are. The husband isn't moaning at her for exercising, so why moan at him for lazing about? As long as he's doing his fair share of the necessary tasks that is. She'd be right to moan if he treated her as a servant.

TATT Mon 14-Oct-19 09:57:12

Oh, Suzette. My heart goes out to you. It’s so easy for a situation to quietly develop almost without you realising. By the time things are obviously different there are often so many factors to consider that it’s difficult to see how to remedy things. Only you know the advice that you want to hear, but do you really want to spend the rest of your days feeling so discontented? As we get older, we all realise how true the expression ‘Life’s too short’ is. You could try again to tell him how you feel. You could tell him that you’ve thought about leaving. Whether he responds or not is his choice, but at least you’ll have put him in the picture.
I hope that you get find some contentment.

Greciangirl Mon 14-Oct-19 09:58:08

You are very lucky to have a bolt hole to go to if needs be.

If nothing changes, then I suggest you use it.

At least you have a choice.
Maybe try to work on the relationship, but from a distance.

Gma29 Mon 14-Oct-19 10:06:32

He says it’s his life, well yes, but it’s yours as well. It sounds like he would totally please himself if matters came to a head, so I don’t think there’s any shame in you looking out for yourself. It doesn’t seem from what you have said that you are, or feel valued in the relationship. If you are staying out of the way, just to get through the days, I would seriously ask yourself if this is the life you want.

I think retirement can often be a disappointment. Both of you look forward to it, but have different visions of how it will be. I’d envisaged days/meals out, walks, weekend breaks etc, but was left virtually every day in an empty house while he went off to the pub for hours. He’d return, late afternoon, and sleep it off in the chair. His only response was, well, you don’t want to come with me.

I think that you have to live your own best life, even if in the short term that means some unpleasant upheaval to get tomwhere you have your own best chance of happiness.

Embram Mon 14-Oct-19 10:09:56

You are not alone! Retirement completely changes things and I let my partner move into my house and retire simultaneously. We are profoundly different people - he’s an ex squaddie and I’m an ex librarian. We’ve been in a relationship for 9 years. I thought he would embrace retirement, sea fishing beckoned, or so I thought.....he’s never been fishing and is deeply happy doing very little. He’s taken up gaming (late teenager?) and I am never ever alone in my home despite being a loner....You have to develop nice times together - pub lunch, lovely walks, a shared enjoyment of Bake Off. You have to be able to allow him to be himself even though his behaviour drives you mad. Always seek the positives, mine is great at diy and ironing (army creases in everything!). Good Luck and I agree, great advice on this forum.

suzette1613 Mon 14-Oct-19 10:14:04

jaylucy, yes I feel we did rush into this marriage (knew each other for over a year before), as I said we both worked until 2 years ago and, stupid as it sounds, were probably on our `best behaviour` until the honeymoon period wore off. OH admits that too. It is only after retirement and moving to a smaller house and with no paid work to do that I think he has taken the easy option to do nothing but laze about. I shall get on with my own life as best I can and count to ten when I encounter this.
ReadyMeals, he does hardly anything around the house and cheerfully admits it. He is the sort of person with a short fuse when jobs don`t go his way so I prefer this a lot of the time.
I won`t change the person he has proved to be, but would have loved a true partner, not just a selfish roommate.
anniezzz, I must get that book!

CleoPanda Mon 14-Oct-19 10:48:12

Couples counselling! You seem to have a marriage slowly deteriorating. There have been highs, now there are more lows? Your circumstances have changed and the relationship is changing too. Is it worth saving? Counselling is simply a chance to talk and deeply think about a relationship in calm, neutral surroundings. Both of you can air grievances, hopes and wishes. You can talk about what’s good and what’s not. You can see if there is any hope of compromise or change on both sides. Even if he won’t participate you can go alone. A chance to speak in a uncritical environment. It often makes things seem clearer and helps with any future decisions.

robbymax Mon 14-Oct-19 11:06:07

I have read your messages and I wonder do people stop loving each other after a certain age, there is no relationship without love and you don't seem to have any, attitudes either keep you together or drive you apart, don’t moan about relationship problems if you are not prepared to do something yourself, don’t hide if you have a problem. 55 years wed love my wife and we are happy, don’t tell me we are lucky, you both have to work at it all your life.

sarahellenwhitney Mon 14-Oct-19 11:13:45

Why do you stay ?Do you love H or merely tolerate where toleration is the easier and keeps you financially secure.
You cannot force him to address his health issues though you as his wife can contact his GP who will act on your information.Relate is there when needed.The ball is in your court.

Buffy Mon 14-Oct-19 11:34:15

You are luckier than most in that you have a 'bolt hole' to go to. The longer you leave it the worse it will get, especially if he does develop serious health problems. You will feel far too
guilty to leave him. Maybe leaving him will force him to address his health issues. My sister left her husband after an 18 year marriage that started off happy. She's now lives alone, is very content, not looking for another relationship, occasionally in touch with her ex who is now in bad health and feels no guilt whatsoever. I often envy her her uncomplicated life.

Margs Mon 14-Oct-19 11:49:23

Suzette1613 - just Google "Retired Husband Syndrome" - there's loads of pages (and sympathy) to be had.

BritishTaiChi Mon 14-Oct-19 11:54:35

People change as they get older. You spend most of your working life only seeing your partner for a few hours in the evenings and probably two days at the weekend. When you retire you are suddenly together 24/7 and it is a shock. The reasons we liked our partner in the first place may not be there anymore. What once were shared interests, even if it was just raising the family, are no longer there. So you can end up living with someone you really don’t know anymore. It is the reason that ‘Silver Divorces’ are on the rise. So either find a shared interest or trade him in for a new model.

Jillybird Mon 14-Oct-19 12:05:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GabriellaG54 Mon 14-Oct-19 13:16:47

Why mot move back into your bolt-hole and see each other now and again?
Personally, I wouldn't want to look after a man in his declining years and in ill health so I live in my flat and my OH lives in his house. It helps that he's 22 years younger and fit, so no old boy to care for.
We see each other regularly and, as I'm retired and he's got another 16+ years to go, we don't get on each other's nerves.
Don't waste life, have no regrets. Live, love and laugh.
Resentment is not good for your health and as for even thinking about wanting to smother him when you get very frustrated, my advice is to go...leave. It doesn't sound a great partnership.

GabriellaG54 Mon 14-Oct-19 13:18:11

mot not

suzette1613 Mon 14-Oct-19 13:25:29

Jillybird, certainly not as bad as that.

Thank you all for your messages and advice. I have a lot to think about.

Seems I am going to be the one to make any decision about all this as he is very passive and content with the status quo.

I appreciate all the posts, they have really helped, at least I see there are others in worse relationships, for those people I hope things work out one way or the other.

Agranbytheendofthesummer Mon 14-Oct-19 13:32:50

I don’t often post but I have seldom seen such a ridiculous remark as ‘you are lucky to have a husband’.
Do you seriously suggest that ANY husband is better than no husband?