So, a few months ago my partner retired (early) and joined my blissful early retirement.
Blissful until he joined. I mean.
I’ve heard of couples enjoying every minute of their mutual retirement, I’ve read their stories (albeit not many of them, sorry- all that perfect sticky theme gets on my nerves). “we travel all the time to exotic places!”. “when we return home- we cook together ambitious pretentious meals!””when we finish we cuddle and exploit the fact that the kids are grown and rekindle our lust!”. Oh, come on. just give me a break. either you’re lying or you have no clue what’s really going on in your life, or you happen to be a true unicorn. (if you’re the latter- congratulation!).
OK, I realize how bitter and jealous I sound, but I happen to believe my sarcastic point of view was well earned by almost 54 years of reading books and observing people- almost 30 of these years spent going through thousands of criminal files- revealing a totally different story than the immediate surroundings thought they knew.
Of course- I could be wrong, and everybody- except me- is spending early retirement constantly holding hands with their significant other, but then again- maybe I’m right.
I think people should know that early retirement is a huge decision to make- and take into consideration being joined by their partner, thus changing the situation.
What’s the big deal you wonder?
Well- I had the house for myself for 3 years- from morning till the afternoon- I didn’t throw wild deep purple style parties but I did what I wanted, when I wanted, and where I wanted, without being considerate of anyone else.
I have 3 kids and went to work for more than 30 years -until my early retirement at 50.
I never ever had the house for myself- there was always someone there- someone I needed to take care of. or be considerate of. or just there.
Suddenly- at 50- everything was quiet.
I listened to my classical music radio station on my speakers, at whatever volume I felt like, I cooked whatever-whenever- cleaned, napped- read- just did whatever I wanted.
For 3 years.
now my partner joined me, and he and I are 2 super opinionated strong-headed people, who used to be bosses at work- and now can’t decide who’s the boss.
In case you’re thinking “but why does there have to be a boss? you’re both retired! enjoy each other’s company!”
Told you- 2 very opinionated independent people, used to doing things by themselves -(until now we split the house chores to get them done with work and kids and things)- but now? we both have all that free time!
I hate quarreling, and I especially detest quarreling at home, where your neighbors can get a taste of other people’s fun right outside their window.
So we found a way- and since yours truly is here for you- I will share the useful method of “how not to lose your mind in mutual early retirement”.
Go for a walk.
No no no- not alone “to get some air” –together.
Not a few minutes –an hour at least.
Not once a month- every day.
Not close to your house- try to go as far as can –on foot.
Because then you can talk everything out. and quarrel if you need/want to. shout at each other- that happens too at our house. not proud of it- and it doesn’t happen all the time- but it does happen, and I admit at first I was intimidated by it- but then I realized how cathartic a short session of letting go can be, then again- not near the neighbors- hence the long walk.
I am most certainly no expert on relationships- all I know is that after more than 20 years together- adding the 2 type A personalities that we are- territorial fights seem inevitable.
Again- this is my experience– if you and your partner of more than 20 years just hold hands all the time- enjoy.
But- if you’re experiencing constant quarrels that resemble what I wrote above- try my method and go for a walk, so you can talk the talk.
If it doesn’t help- consult with a professional.
I just have such a huge ego that I believe I can try and fix everything on my own.
The thing is- don’t get intimidated by the fights and quarrels- just keep walking- talk about the issue itself- or about how this makes you feel- or about both- but let it out, don’t hold back- if you have a beach or a trail close by- that’s great- nobody will think “oh that couple is having a quarrel! ” (as if they never have lots of them-or worst- suppress their true feelings in a passive-aggressive way).
I need to say that I am talking about walking and talking- not anything physical or abusive or degrading– that’s a red flag for me– I mean the regular “your mother-my mother ” “I did you didn’t” kind of issues, that in my experience- happen to be a part of living with another person for more than 20 years. and can really turn my day around.
At least you get some exercise in.
I am not a medical/health/emotional/financial /nutrition or any other kind of expert as far as it concerns the contents of this blog, therefore anything written on the blog is not to be taken as any kind of advice, and should you choose to rely on anything I write on this blog- you are doing it at your own risk and at your own responsibility.