How to redefine your relationship when your partner retires

How to redefine your relationship when your partner retires

Will your relationship survive being thrown together 24/7? Navigate these choppy waters with the help of our top tips.

Will your relationship survive being thrown together 24/7? Navigate these choppy waters with the help of our top tips.

It can be a huge test of a union when your partner retires. A study by Cornell University found that men in particular are prone to depression in their golden years. Another study found that four in 10 couples admitted they had to learn how to live together again, while 29% said they didn’t share the same vision of retirement as their partner.

So how can you ensure that retirement means you can still have a healthy relationship? Here are our top tips…

Plan your retirement together

Take some time to visualise your retirement. Write a dream list of everything you would like to achieve (both together and on your own), from places you’d like to visit, to things you’d like to learn, then prioritise them. Pick two to focus on first, then refer back to your list every time you feel lost.

Remember to be flexible

This is a huge life shift and you won’t know how you’re going to feel about it tomorrow, next week or next year. Having a plan is great, but things can, and probably will, change. Let them.

Find activities in common

Build on strengths in your relationship and find some regular activities you enjoy doing together. Whether it’s a sport, an adult education course, or visiting historical homes.

Don’t be exclusive in retirement

You won’t always want to be together - and neither should you be. Respect your different interests. Allowing each other some freedom to do their own thing is key.

Share the chores between you

If your partner is now at home while you work, it can be easy to expect them to take on all the chores; however, they probably weren’t planning on becoming the full-time cleaner. Draw up a weekly task list and decide who’s tackling each one. If they’re used to being the “man about the house”, let them do the “heavy duty” chores: take the bins out, do DIY, clean the oven, get rid of limescale (although this one’s easy thanks to Viakal), mow the lawn and so on. Rather him than you!

Talk about the change in your finances

Communication in relationships is important. If your partner was previously the main breadwinner, retirement can lead to money worries. Go over your finances together so you both know exactly what you have. Work out who will pay for what, and where the spending money will come from.

Don’t let your partner’s skills go to waste

Encourage your partner to take up volunteering or mentoring. Putting their years of experience to good use benefiting others will give them a sense of purpose.

Don’t neglect your other relationships

Retirement may throw you together more, but don’t just rely on one another for support – invest in friendships and family. Make an effort to spend more time with the people you care about.

Has your relationship changed since retirement? Let us know your tips in the comments section below.

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