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Different pace in retirement

(90 Posts)
Rubicon12 Sun 11-Apr-21 17:53:57

Hi, I'm a 64 yo male, retired with a 61 yo partner who works very part time. The issue I have is that I have always kept myself fit and still have the energy to be active in retirement. I like being out and about and, post Covid, want to travel a lot. The problem is, whereas my partner used to be equally active, she now seem perfectly happy pottering around at home. This is fine as it's her choice but I do feel very frustrated that she doesn't want to make the most of these years and I get frustrated thinking that I could ( already have ) spend a lot of my later years on solitary pursuits. She is fine with this and last year was happy for me to go to South America for 10 weeks. I loved it and its given me a taste for further similar travels but its not really of interest to her. I saw a lot of couples travelling together and felt envious.
It has got me wondering whether we are just growing apart and I do often wonder whether I would be happier in my later years with someone who is closer to me in how they want to spend their time.
Am I right to have concerns or am I just being selfish?

cornishpatsy Sun 11-Apr-21 18:15:26

There is no right or wrong here you just have different interests. This seems to be about more than just travel though. You may find someone that likes travelling but that does not mean you will be compatible in other ways.

You can holiday with other people without having a relationship with them if that would suit you both.

I think you need a proper discussion about how you see your futures. If she would like to find another homebody and you want to find a fulltime travel companion then it is time to separate. Do you want a travel companion or a new relationship?

2020convert Sun 11-Apr-21 18:27:39

I’ve no idea, of course, how long you and your partner have been together; whether you have shared interests; whether you have many friends, mutual and solo. Relationships do change, and sometimes (as I found out after 42 years of marriage) what you thought you’d always thought your retirement would be like, just doesn’t happen. You do need to talk to your partner. It’s no good just burying your heads in the sand. If you can get back on the same path .. great. If you can’t .. we’ll, cross that bridge if you have to. Enjoy your retirement Rubicon12

Calendargirl Sun 11-Apr-21 18:52:36

Sounds to me as though you are feeling restless, and questioning whether you want to remain in your existing relationship.

The travel part of it is just one facet of it all.

Patsy70 Sun 11-Apr-21 19:23:27

I can relate to your partner, Rubicon12. We have enjoyed some good holidays together, but I don’t have any desire to go on long holidays with my partner. I wish I felt differently, but we bicker all the time! We are due to have a week on a narrow boat with his children and grandchildren in August, which I’ll enjoy. Other than that, long weekend city breaks are appealing. I’d be very happy for him to go on holiday without me, but like you he doesn’t like travelling alone. Maybe you could come to some compromise.

Tangerine Sun 11-Apr-21 19:30:47

Perhaps ask her if something is worrying her. Yes, I realise Covid is a worry but I mean beyond that.

Does she have stomach problems that she hasn't discussed with you? If so, travelling might be hard for her and a worry.

If you are generally happy with her and she is good to you, would she agree to joining you for some short breaks and you do one big trip alone every year?

I hope you can work things out.

GagaJo Sun 11-Apr-21 19:33:57

Your partner isn't retired yet. You may feel ready to branch out, but she is still tied to work, even if it is part-time.

How would you feel if you broke up your otherwise content relationship, only to find that you are unable to find someone that you relate to as well, and not only end up travelling alone, but being alone all of the time?

There is nothing lonelier than being in the wrong relationship. I've been miserable in many countries, while travelling, due to this very problem. These days, I prefer to travel alone. No one to please but myself!

ixion Sun 11-Apr-21 19:46:09

I thought your issues sounded familiar, and I note that you posted in a very similar vein back in October ('Retirement stresses', October 24th) and that this generated 39 posts offering help and advice in reply.

It would seem, sadly, that you are no further on?

jeanie99 Sun 11-Apr-21 23:41:36

I am always the person in our relationship who initiates our travels, my husband thankfully is happy for me to plan and organise everything and he goes along with it.
Retiring at 62, we set off with our friend of many years on a 12 month backpacking trip around the world.
What an amazing time we had, I kept a journal and took thousands of photographs.
You have to understand long distance travel is not for everyone but I don't understand why you would consider spiting up with your wife when there are alternatives for you unless there are other things where you are not comparable.
My hubby and I don't live in each others pockets we have different interests for some things and share interests.
Relationships are not easy, you are both individuals and there are times when you class.
We are going away separately for one of our holidays this year, that's not a problem for either of us. I am going with a friend and he is going from his club.
I feel sure you could find someone with the same travel interests as yourself or use one of the solos holidays.
I remember when we went traveling in Africa by lorry we were the only couple on the trip the rest were singles ranging from late thirties to early seventies. Don't be nervous about going it alone a friend of mine does it all the time. Best of luck

Redhead56 Sun 11-Apr-21 23:52:04

I wonder if there is more to this besides a need to travel are you bored? Everyone ages different and have different ideas for retirement. Do you have family? because this can change plans in retirement. It's not all about you it's about a relationship.

Oopsadaisy1 Mon 12-Apr-21 07:29:32

In your earlier post you said that your partner didn’t as much money to go travelling as you, is that , and the fact that she still works still the main problem?

My DH loves to travel and is planning trips for once Covid is out of the way, I hate it, I will still go, but for me it won’t be a holiday as I have to organise everything, including all his Meds, paperwork, timings, bookings etc.

Until DH gets bladder and stomach problems too he won’t understand how I feel.

Rubicon12 Mon 12-Apr-21 08:12:31

Hi all, thanks very much for your comments. Perhaps my initial post focused a little too much on the travel aspect which I feel we can find a way to handle. My issue was more about differences in how to live in retirement as I am restless by nature and want to always be busy, my partner is more laid back and can while away the day doing very little. I have I suppose an attitude of making the most of every day and sometimes struggle with the fact that my partner doesn't share this view. I wondered if any of you on the forum have a similar experience and how best to work around differences like this. Many Thanks

Ladyleftfieldlover Mon 12-Apr-21 08:24:06

OH and I are the opposite. I started planning for my retirement a few years in advance. I made copious lists about things I wanted to do, places to visit, things to join and classes/courses to take part in. By and large I have done most of the stuff I wanted to. At the other extreme, OH who retired a year after me, refused to do any planning. He had two hobbies, both sporting. He has had to give up one because of ill health and the other is difficult for him at the moment. So, even during the pandemic I am involved in zoom things while he does basically nothing. Because he worked overseas a lot he doesn’t really have many friends. He refuses to discuss the situation and has told me not to feel guilty about being busy when he isn’t. Another problem is that because of his medication he doesn’t get up until after 10 am and isn’t really with it until noon. At least one day, when restrictions are properly lifted we can start going to the cinema and theatre again. What I am trying to say is, encourage your partners to plan for retirement!

Cabbie21 Mon 12-Apr-21 08:59:35

Retirement doesn’t always work out as planned. In any case, your partner is still working. Surely this gives you the chance to do your own thing for a while? Then plan what you would like to do together and what you are better doing separately.

I had plans to travel when we retired, the trouble was, DH started another job! He is fully retired now, after a further 10 years work, but his health is not what it was. I am not keen on travelling alone, and been nowhere for over a year now of course, but I am soon going to go for day trips by myself and take it from there. As it is, I have several interests which fill half my week, whereas DH spends lots of time doing nothing much.
I think you need to talk, using post COVID as a starting point, about future plans, and see how aligned you are.

Redhead56 Mon 12-Apr-21 10:41:41

My DH is Seventy I am sixty four we both have age related health issues. I have quite aggressive osteoarthritis but I try not to let it hinder me. I have a great passion for my veg patch and other little creative hobbies. I study on line various subjects. My DH has an interest in railway modelling and owns a classic car. He also volunteers at a sports club but has missed it this last year. I think he watches too much TV but that's his choice. We go out for walks together with our dog I love to bird watch we play cards together.
I like to plan a special meal one evening every couple of weeks. It's usually themed so we wine and dine it's like courting again.
I had a very difficult first marriage I learned alot from that experience. You have to compromise and be flexible to make a partnership work.

crazygranny Mon 12-Apr-21 10:44:56

If you loved the time when you were travelling alone then why not carry on doing that. It seems a bit crazy to throw over what sounds like a good working relationship on the grounds that you might find someone who likes doing what you like doing. We never know what's in store. What if, for health reasons, you find yourself unable to travel. Would the newfound 'perfect companion' be right in dumping you?

JaneJudge Mon 12-Apr-21 10:46:01

I know this sounds simplistic but there are two things you need to do
1. you need to find companions to do your exercise with, join a club or invite a friend?
2. You need to find a joint interest together so you do spend enjoyable time doing something you both like. It is up to you both to work out what that is smile would she go to salsa classes or something?

Applegran Mon 12-Apr-21 10:46:01

Its good that you are being able to step back and reflect on your relationship. I think there is no substitute for talking about what you feel with your partner - I mean a really good conversation where you both listen deeply to understand, not just waiting to say what you think. Listening is one of the greatest gifts you can give or recieve in a relationship and this could be an important moment in both of your lives. I wish you well - and your partner too.

Moggycuddler Mon 12-Apr-21 10:46:32

I actually think your partner is being very unselfish and understanding to agree to your going alone to South America for so long. Not many would! My husband and I are lucky in that both of us are much less interested in holidays than we once were, and quite content for the past few years to just have day trips and theatre outings. These days we both prefer to potter at home really. If you are otherwise happy, you will have to accept the situation and either holiday alone or find a companion to travel with.

Witzend Mon 12-Apr-21 10:49:15

I don’t see anything wrong with one of you holidaying alone. I’ve never really understood couples who live in each other’s pockets. My parents did absolutely everything together, which sounds lovely, but it left my mother feeling even more exceptionally bereft when my father died - she wasn’t used to doing anything much on her own.

My dh has been away several times on his own - notably twice to see fairly distant cousins in Canada - who frankly I had no interest in, and he was going to stay with them - a complete no-no for me since however kind and hospitable they may be, I just don’t feel comfortable staying with anyone unless I know them very well.

Among other things, he’s also been on his own to visit WW1 battlefields in France, which I really thought I’d find too sad, though I’ve visited one with him when we were en route to somewhere else.

We still get on extremely well, and pre COVID did also go away together, to destinations we both enjoyed.

jaylucy Mon 12-Apr-21 10:52:16

She still works, so she has commitments outside the home that she probably enjoys doing. At the moment, this is enough for her.
I also think that the lockdowns have made some people realise how much there can be enjoyed at home while you feel that you are twiddling your thumbs and looking outside your immediate walls.
You basically need to sit down and talk and work out when your OH retires, would she want to travel then?
Maybe the thought of travelling long distances, involving long flights, strange food etc worries her. Would she be happy doing shorter trips that doesn't include flying ? There is plenty in this country to see and you may be able to compromise that you go off on your long journeys and then you both go closer to home together.
Have you just assumed that, because she allowed you to go to South America on your own, that she isn't interested in travel at all ? Or maybe at the moment with the fact that the situation with Covid is not over yet worldwide and just feels safer at home.

Annaram1 Mon 12-Apr-21 10:54:27

My happiest holidays are ones I have spent alone in far flung parts of the world such as Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, Holland, and Vietnam. Unfortunately my husband passed away before this time but I know he would not have enjoyed any of these holidays. He loved cruising. We are all different. Enjoy your solo holidays. Go with a company which organises everything so you have no worries.

Newatthis Mon 12-Apr-21 10:59:28

What about going on 'group' holidays where you can share your travelling interests and see other parts of the world.

luluaugust Mon 12-Apr-21 11:00:41

10 weeks pottering happily pottering around on her own, interesting. You need a chat.

dizzygran Mon 12-Apr-21 11:02:23

you are both still fairly young. 61 is too young to be relegated to pottering. Life is not just about holidays and travel. Do you like walking together - maybe visiting places now that we can get out more. try a few weekends away and build up to longer holidays - not many want 10 week breaks. You might then want to think about your long term relationship - but try working on it first. Good luck