Statistics show that the “gray divorce” is on the rise. This is a term used to describe older couples getting divorced after retirement or becoming empty nesters. Many factors that lead to gray divorces come from the big transition of retirement and this new phase of life.
When you and your spouse retire, it’s easy to fall into some bad habits. But as a marriage coach in Portland, I can tell you from experience that they can damage your relationship. But keeping an eye out for these habits and preventing them from becoming a part of your routine will help keep your marriage strong, fun, and full of love.
Staying in 24/7 – Sure, it’s nice to be able to spend a whole Wednesday in pajamas, tending to your garden or watching a marathon on TV. But staying in is an easy habit to pick up, and a hard one to get rid of.
Going out into the community or enjoying a night out with friends will keep you and your spouse excited, active, and full of things to talk about when it’s just the two of you at home. When couples stay in all the time, it doesn’t take long for them to feel a little stir-crazy.
Not Checking In – Retirement, empty nest living, menopause, birthdays – big milestones in your life can force you to do some serious thinking about your future (as well as your past). During these times, you might need to lean on your spouse for support.
But when a spouse is unaware of these feelings, they might not be as ready to be there. Check in with your spouse, and regularly explore your own feelings. How are you feeling about retirement? How are you feeling about the future? Let your relationship grow closer through this big transition.
Letting the Fire Go Out – The longer you wait to stoke the flame of passion, the harder it is to get it going again. Intimacy is an important part to any relationship. Keep the flame high with romantic date nights or vacations. You have all the free time in the world – why not spend it having some fun with your spouse?
Failing to Budget – Financial stress can put a big weight on a marriage, especially when you and your spouse share bank accounts and spend each other’s money. Keep yourself from tossing and turning at night by making (and sticking to) a budget that fits your new financial situation.
Failing to Adapt – Retirement is a big change, but it’s not the only thing causing friction between you and your spouse. Women’s bodies and hormones change with the advent of menopause and you may notice some differences caused by life and “growing up.” We evolve and change every day, but that is one of the beautiful things about marriage – you get to go through these changes together.
For more ways to keep your relationship growing and positive during retirement, contact a Portland relationship coach today.