Retired Spouse Syndrome: What is it and what to do?
How to find the bond of the beginnings in his marriage?
Over time, the couple’s relationship changes. We move away, we communicate less, we argue. Yet we still love each other … So how do you get your relationship back on track and rediscover the bond and laughter that made us fall in love?
According to scientific studies, nearly half of women have difficulty with their spouse’s transition to retirement. Very few men are affected. We know that retirement is a stressful time that raises a lot of questions and doubts. Going from an active life where the schedule is almost millimetered with habits and constraints, to retirement can be very destabilizing. The constraints can finally be reassuring so when they fall it’s the big leap into the unknown! This is what makes that the first year in general, many retirees have trouble living their new way of life. They are doing badly and possibly their spouse at the same time. It is a new stage of life where everything has to be reconsidered and sometimes to be rebuilt. Retired spouse syndrome: what is it and what to do?
Retired Spouse Syndrome: What is it and what to do?
Definition of retired spouse syndrome
Retired Spouse Syndrome is a transient emotional state that occurs when one spouse retires while the other is still in the workforce. Or already well established in his retirement. This syndrome affects many women and very few men. We are talking about stress, depression, insomnia, mood disorders, loss of appetite …
The retirement of a spouse involves big changes in habits since you have never lived like this.
A new stage of life
It is an important stage in a life, often badly lived and which causes a drop in morale in those who face it. You have to relearn how to live differently and that seems almost insurmountable at the start.
This confronts the passage of time, of the advancing age with the fear of health problems for example. But don’t worry too much about it if you have it. First, almost one in two women is affected . Second, it is only temporary . For the person who is facing the difficulties of their spouse this can be a difficult time to go through. Being retired means a change of pace, everything needs to be rethought. Your life is turned upside down and you have to find a new rhythm .
Retired spouse syndrome: what to do?
# 1 If you are retiring
Your retirement does not happen overnight, you know the date in advance. So this is something that you can prepare , especially with your spouse. In order to avoid marital problems that might arise, both of you discuss it beforehand. Everyone had their own habits , whether or not they were already retired. So talk about it so as not to encroach on those of the other and vice versa.
Explain yourself so that each does not feel suffocated by the presence of the other. Respect certain rules of life. For example, if one of you needs to have moments alone, the other must accept it. If the other wishes to receive friends he must be able to do so without constraints. These decisions just need to be taken upstream so as not to create tensions. Anticipate all this organization, without entering into a pattern of military life, to be ready when D-Day arrives.
# 2 if you keep working
If it is your spouse who finds himself in retirement before you, it is necessary to find a balance in the household tasks. Let’s be honest, this is often the subject of arguments in couples! The important thing is that one is not dependent on the other. He is at home so he can invest more in household chores, DIY and shopping for example. But neither should his schedule revolve around that.
When you come home at night and on weekends, still continue to invest in your home. Share the story of your days by questioning each other. It’s important to keep finding things to talk about as a couple . This will allow those who no longer work to feel empowered , despite the fact that they have stayed longer at home and have seen fewer people.
# 3 get to know yourself again
It may seem weird to you and you will say that you know each other perfectly after decades of living together. And yet, sometimes, not that much… Of course you know who you married but during all these years you have been caught in the whirlwind of life, routine and daily life. Work, children, financial problems, real estate projects, family and friends …
In short, a whole life spent side by side but without the daily “face to face” of retirement. You are face to face at home, your children have been gone for a long time, so you have to relearn “to get to know each other”, to just live together. It is also ideal to practice a new activity together.
# 4 find new occupations together
Test new things. Even if you get it wrong, it doesn’t matter you will find what suits you both. For example, ballroom dancing lessons, involvement in an association of your choice, sports lessons or manual and artistic activities. The choice is varied. Also enjoy your children and grandchildren, your friends. And take the time to explore new horizons by taking a trip from time to time.
You are still young and you have the time, use it wisely! Spend time together, of course, to get used again while each retaining your independence and your respective hobbies. This will help you find a balance , for the young retiree to accept this new life and for the one who is already there to integrate his partner into this life he has already tamed.