The dynamic of your relationship may change in retirement. While you were working you may have been living parallel to your partner, thus making it difficult to live in concert. This may be especially true if both of you are now retired. Or perhaps you are still working and your spouse is newly retired. Now, their only human interaction is with you. Of course, you just had a long hard day and the last thing you want to do is hold a conversation. I’ve compiled a few tips to help guide you through these challenges.
Just because you can spend all your time together doesn’t mean you should.
You’re home a lot more now. You see your spouse every single minute of the day and you feel like you are suffocating. Take a deep breath. No, your marriage is not falling apart. You are human, and as much as we crave intimacy we also crave solace. How do we find that happy medium?
Schedule some “me time”. It really is as simple as that. Whether it be yoga in the park, checking out your local library for new titles, or even taking a walk on your own. Take some time to check in with yourself, and recalibrate. After you’ve done that you can go back to your partner refreshed.
Listen to understand, not to respond.
It may seem a little cliche, but communication really is key. No one gets on your nerves worse than people that know you the best. Even the smallest of issues can escalate quickly when you are spending a lot of time together. What do you do?
- Pause – take a moment before you respond. Count in your head to three. It’s too easy to get riled up and fire back without a second thought. Take a deep relaxing breath….
- Ask – Challenge yourself to ask what your partner’s intentions were with the action they did or words they used. Odds are they weren’t meant maliciously.
- Respond – Now that you have collected yourself you can give a response that will better help the issue at hand rather than adding fuel to the fire. Remember your partner is human with feelings too.
Keep your intimacy alive.
Many people fall into a routine or a rut when it comes to intimacy with your partner. This can leave one or both irritable, causing an even deeper rift in the relationship. How can you combat that?
Remember intimacy is more than just sex. As a noun intimacy literally means close familiarity or friendship. Another way to think of intimacy is how you show love. What makes you feel loved? Is it when your partner smiles at you? Or perhaps when they subconsciously reach over to hold your hand when you are watching television together. What is it that you do that makes your partner feel loved? No matter how long you’ve been with someone you should never stop showing them you care. Now you’ve got all the time in the world to show them just how much.
Find some ways to laugh or add humor to your interactions
Laughter is a wonderful way to break down barriers and feel connected.
Can you and your partner still find ways to play together?
What makes you laugh and smile???
Never forget this new adventure is for the both of you. Take time and enjoy each other’s company. Keep learning about one another. Most importantly, have fun! I’d love to hear which of the tips you found most helpful in the comments below!