Retirement brings lots of changes in how you see yourself and your place in the world. Something people don’t talk about much is how retirement can change your relationship with your partner. Some couples are used to spending only evenings and weekends together, a pattern which definitely changes in post-retirement relationships.
They might have looked forward to spending time together when they were done working. But they can also feel a little lost about how to fill the days. We have a few suggestions to help you get along with your partner in retirement.
If you found a lot of meaning and identity in working, it can feel strange to be retired. Taking up a hobby can help you to make the transition from working to not working. Did you dream of gardening or wood working or getting into photography? Now’s the time to start. It’s even better if you and your partner can take up a new hobby together. It’s a great bonding experience to learn new skills together.
While it can be great to spend more time with your spouse or partner, you still need to make time to be “just you.” Pursue your own interests by yourself or with friends. This will help you to develop your new identity as a retired person.
One person cannot be your everything. You probably already know this! So be sure to nurture your friendships. If everyone in your friend group is retired, how about planning an adventure together? It can be something as simple as a trip to a local national park or even heading out to a new country.
Remember what you appreciate about your partner. It’s easy to fall into hum-drum patterns, whether you’re working or not. Take time to remind yourself of all the best qualities in your partner--their sense of humor, their commitment to their values, their deep curiosity about the world. Find ways to let them know you appreciate them. Focusing on the positive as much as possible will make retirement a fun adventure together.
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