If you’re like me, you retired before your spouse. Now that I’ve been retired for two plus years, I’m starting to wonder what it will be like when my husband retires.
There’s actually a term that can apply to this: Retired Husband (Spouse) Syndrome. I first heard about it through another blog I follow.
Retired Husband Syndrome
It’s called this because typically husbands retire after their wives, or their wives never worked in the first place. In this day and age, it’s more appropriate to refer to it as Retired Spouse Syndrome. There are examples of husbands retiring before their wives, and I have to believe this applies to those couples as well.
When one spouse is used to spending most of his/her time alone during the day, having the other spouse suddenly around full time can actually lead to physical ailments, due to the increased stress. I don’t expect that to happen to me, but it will definitely be different than it is now.
As you might remember from a previous post, I lived alone for 32 years before Tim and I were married. So, even getting married was bound to be an adjustment. However, I have to admit, it’s gone pretty smoothly. And at first, we were both working and really only had one full day together each week.
When I retired, it was kind of like living alone again. I have five days each week where I control my schedule. If I feel like eating lunch at 11:30 or 1:30, there’s no one to consult. If I feel like reading all day, I can do so. My only interruptions are Mickey and Brutus, when they think they need a treat!! 😸
In many ways, it’s like still having the positives of living alone.
When Tim isn’t working now
Now, on Tim’s days off, it seems like we’re always running around, either with errands or other stuff. That’s OK; we have to do those things. And I enjoy the time we have together. But I’m always ready for Tuesday when I can get back into my routine. It’s not because I’m tired of spending time with Tim. It’s because I need my alone time.
Last summer, we tried to do special things on his Mondays off. For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you might recall our Tenderloin Trail adventures. (I will write about that soon, including some things you didn’t hear on Facebook.) We had the best time doing that. This summer, though, we haven’t had a goal like that, so there have been no little trips. We may drive to Ankeny for lunch, but mostly we stick close to home.
So, what will happen when my husband retires?
I’m not sure how things will go. Tim has many things he likes to do – running, biking, fishing, washing cars – and he’ll finally have time to do all of them. It will be nice to have him around to take care of some of the things I prefer not to bother with, like finally cleaning the grill??? 😉
When we have seven days together instead of two, we can’t possibly be on the go every day. We’ll have to establish a routine that includes individual time for each of us, as well as couple time. We like to go to movie matinees and hopefully, we can do more of that. The benefit of being retired is doing those things when others are working.
But I will still need my time – for reading, baking, sewing, cardmaking, blogging, paying bills, etc. I know we’ll be able to work it out, but it could be a little challenging at the beginning because Tim is more inclined to want to get out of the house than I am. (Actually, that’s often a good thing. I need to have a reason to get out.)
He’ll go through an adjustment period like everyone does when they first retire, trying to figure out what his new routine will be. We’ll also have to figure out what our couple routine will be and how to assimilate that into my current routine.
What I’m looking forward to
There will be many positives to having Tim around all the time. We can visit the grandkids during the week, which will become more and more important as they get older and involved in more activities. We can have them stay with us for a while in the summer. (It will take both of us to keep up with them!!)
We’ll be able to be more spontaneous and if we want to take off for a few days, we can. We can finally take that Route 66 trip or a driving trip to multiple baseball parks and the Baseball Hall of Fame. We can combine it with a visit to see my niece and her husband who just moved to Lititz, Pennsylvania (which is evidently the ‘coolest small town in America’)!! And we could be in Mason, Ohio right now watching the Western and Southern Open!!!
We can spend the winter months in Florida and not have to deal with the cold and snow, at least for a little while. 🏝
All in all, there will be more positives than negatives. After all, until six years ago, I was preparing for retirement as a single. While I like/need my alone time, it’s much nicer having Tim around.
The plan is for Tim to retire just about two years from now. So, I guess I have a little longer to prepare (both of us) for it!!! 😊