Gransnet forums


struggling to carry on

(11 Posts)
Ydoc Tue 01-Jun-21 11:12:46

Ive been maried 41 years im 62 husband 68.he retired 16 years ago at age of 52!!!!!! I knew it was going to be a bad thing for me .I was in a job i disliked and left 4 months before he retired just to have some time alone, fast forward to now and it has been far , far worse than i could ever have imagined. He was always content as he calls it to do little.whereas i like to be very busy. For the last 10 years he has done hardly the point now hes watching tv continually, its never off .A year ago his leg bone snapped with no trauma he now has osteoporosis. His memory is abysmal and in fact has a brain scan next trying to hang in there till scan results but really struggling. I have a very real fear it is all down to his personality.he just told me hes sitting because he can, ie hes retired.
If you have never lived with such apathy and unmotivation you can really not understand how it affects you. even when im out im dreading getting home.anyone else suffering this?

Blossoming Tue 01-Jun-21 11:18:24

No, but I think it must be appalling for you! He obviously isn’t doing his health any good. If he won’t listen to you will he listen to his doctor? I think I’d see your doctor too, this situation won’t do your health any good either.

Soroptimum Tue 01-Jun-21 11:28:06

I sympathise entirely with you Ydoc. Though not as bad as your husband, mine is content to be on his ipad all day. He retired 2 years ago, he’s 59. The garden is a mess, before he retired he would say ‘When I retire’ but it’s just not happening. Sometimes I despair. So can’t offer any advice as I don’t know what to do either. I get frustrated. Hope others can advise us!

greenlady102 Tue 01-Jun-21 11:49:59

I wonder if he has been having memory symptoms for a while and that is why he retired? That "I am sitting because I can" comment I have heard before when I was working in the NHS in community care. It was almost always a fear defence because memory was failing and the person knew. Was the fracture just caused by osteoporosis?
Its a pity that there is this background of liking different levels of activity. Its very common in retired couples. Under normal circs if they are financially stable I would be suggesting more time spent apart doing what they enjoy individually. Where there is an issue of one partner "needing" the other to cook, clean and so on then some kind of expectation adjustment is needed but its not impossible. In your case though, I'd be waiting to see what the scan says. If there is no evidence of damage then you make one set of plans; if there is brain damage then obvs you need to make a different set but either way you need to factor in some me time.

greenlady102 Tue 01-Jun-21 11:55:07


I sympathise entirely with you Ydoc. Though not as bad as your husband, mine is content to be on his ipad all day. He retired 2 years ago, he’s 59. The garden is a mess, before he retired he would say ‘When I retire’ but it’s just not happening. Sometimes I despair. So can’t offer any advice as I don’t know what to do either. I get frustrated. Hope others can advise us!

Two comments here. Did he lead a busy working life? Sometimes people need to take time to decompress and find their retired selves; sometimes its actually a kind of grieving for their old life. Its common for people to have a lot of their feelings of self worth bound up in their jobs and it can even lead to depression when that is taken away (even if they choose it) Practically, can you afford to do things like get a gardener in? If your husband is not a keen gardener himself then maybe getting yours back under control is not tempting enough to get him off his bum?

mumofmadboys Tue 01-Jun-21 12:03:11

Can you encourage your husband to go out for a walk with you each day , say for 15 minutes to begin with? Encourage him it will help him have healthier bones. Also you need to find things you enjoy doing and go out and do them. If he chooses to sit through his retirement, that is up to him but don't let him waste yours too. Obviously it does all depend on what further investigations show. Hope things improve

Philippa111 Tue 01-Jun-21 12:35:13

Oh, that sounds really miserable for you Ydoc. Not at all easy and for such a long time. Perhaps he felt/feels he worked hard and got burnt out. I think many people get a new lease of life when they retire, but others just don't. I hear your sadness and despair... and weariness. He sounds like he is a disabled person and I would try to just accept that he is the way he is and look for stimulation and good company elsewhere, otherwise you could potentially end up more depressed. Can you find any positives at all in your situation? Maybe grateful that you are still able to be active and get out and about and not reduced to slumping in a chair? Maybe you need to grieve the loss of what you would have liked to happen in your latter marriage? You do need to look after yourself in this. Are there any services near you where you could talk this through, any groups etc. They can really help. Age Concern? Are there any family members you can speak to? Can you get a break, if only for a day or two? I hope you can find some relief.

Redhead56 Wed 02-Jun-21 16:17:24

When we retired my DH took to the armchair. I literally nagged him everyday we had arguments about it. Quite frankly I found his watching TV and falling asleep depressing.
I deliberately told our friends when we went out with them. This most certainly helped they made sure to ring him or call on us to shake him up. I have to say I think he was embarrassed because he did change his ways a bit.
He has got more involved in general house and garden maintenance now which he never did before. He also got a voluntary job but it's stopped because of Covid. It's supposed to be starting up again soon.
He still watches TV but I am glad to say not as much as he was doing. I think sometimes when people retire they just feel lost and need pushing.
You could try to encourage your partner more and make sure you have a social life of your own.

Oopsadaisy1 Thu 03-Jun-21 05:59:05

So if I’m reading this properly you also finished work 16 years ago? You were very young to stay at home.
Time to start getting out and doing your own thing, lockdown has been an absolute B****r, but hopefully we will be through it very soon.
there are plenty of good quality ready meals that you can leave for your DH, whilst you either get employment or volunteer somewhere and make some new friends.
If he wants to act as a disabled person, then let him get on with it.

Having said that if his GP has ordered a brain scan then there is possibly a medical problem and you might need a total rethink of how you live your life and whether you can cope with the new situation. At the end of the day, do you love him enough?
I hope all goes well.

BlueBelle Thu 03-Jun-21 07:29:37

If your husband is happy sitting and you are happy doing and have been for 16 years why not accept that you’re at opposite ends of the spectrum and up your life with friends, colleagues clubs or even out and about alone If he’s getting memory problems enough to have a brain scan you will maybe needing to spend more time with him in the future, so get out and enjoy yourself now, so you’re both content He doesn’t have to like what you like and neither you him of course it’s ideal if you both grow older liking the same thing but many will be in your position
No point in you both being miserable and resentful leave him to his game play

Party4 Thu 03-Jun-21 08:32:53

I am in a similar position with DH, he became very anti social yrs pre retirement and pushed for us to move house which was in our long term plans.Following illness I had to retire,problems get travel insurance so our plans to travel never materialised.Then Covid shielding which was DH ideal world.He is on medication and has sleep issues so doesnt get up til 9 then needs to come round 10a.m but insists day finishes at 3p.m. refuses to sit in garden but lays on sofa watching same t.v day in day out.
I try and keep in contact with people but now find months pass and I speak to no one.I cannot believe this is how our life has turned out no visits to pub as DH doesnt drink, no friends, neighbours,hobbies,outings,invites,holidays in fact no future plans.I try and hold family ties together but DCs/DGCs have their young lives to lead so I get to do frequent childcare and weekly family meals and that is it.I do love my DH of 47yrs but feel we are just sat waiting for life to end.If I try to discuss situation with him he insists I am just looking for something to worry over and nothing stopping me from doing my own thing.