Did you and/or your spouse recently retire and you’re finding retirement hard to adjust to than you expected?
Have you wondered if you and your spouse have anything in common now that your kids are grown?
Are old problems in your marriage coming to the surface now that you don’t have work as a distraction?
Retirement is a major life transition. It’s one most Americans look forward to for years and carefully plan for.
However, many couples don’t anticipate the impact a retirement can have on their marriage. Relationship and Marriage problems after retirement are common as couples encounter the many changes common during transition to retirement.
For years, you and your spouse kept busy raising children and with work or volunteer responsibilities. You found time for date nights and occasional trips together, but much of your time was spent focused on the business that comes with the working years. But now, those same distractions are no longer present. You’re empty nesters and now one or both of you has retired.
The Impact of Retirement: Relationship and Marriage Counseling in Retirement
Marriage problems after retirement are actually very common in the early phases of this transition. Here are some of the common stressors I hear couples talk about when they come to couples counseling near, during or after retirement:
- “He/She doesn’t want to do anything but sit around and watch TV.”
- “We just don’t have the same priorities anymore.”
- “I’m busy all day while he’s just at the golf course.”
- “He’s around too much now!”
- “I feel like I don’t even know my spouse anymore.”
- “We don’t have anything in common anymore.”
A period of transition to retirement is normal
Many couples are surprised to hear that it’s normal to go through a transition period first when your children leave the home and then again (sometimes a much bigger transition) when one or both of your retires. It’s common for each person to have a different view of what they are wanting out of this time in your life. You had always assumed retirement would look a certain way. Naturally, you had assumed your spouse was on the same page.
Additionally, most couples don’t realize how much of what they used to talk about revolved around children and jobs. When those things are no longer present on a daily basis, it can initially be hard to even think of topics for conversation! You’re also both used to your own independence during the day. But now, you have fewer obligations. This may mean that you spend much more time together than you are used to. Or the opposite may also be true. Perhaps you had expected to spend a great deal of time together and instead your spouse is always parked in front of the TV or at the golf course with friends.
Marriage Coaching Helps Your Relationship Transition
While a transition period and some initial strain on your relationship is common during this period of your life, it’s also very possible for this to be the best time in your marriage as well. Marriage coaching can help you and your spouse make the most of this time in your life and bring life back into your relationship.
Improve communication with your partner
First and foremost, couples counseling for older couples focuses on communication. By now, you and your partner have fallen into specific patterns of communication. Some are very effective. Other habits may be less helpful at this stage in your life. Through couples counseling sessions, we’ll look at how you and your partner communicate. We’ll look for any breakdowns in that communication. And I’ll teach you skills to help you work through these issues and communicate more effectively with your partner.
Through couples counseling sessions, you’ll learn to better understand your partner’s position on subjects you disagree on. We will discuss why these differences exist and where your partner’s point of view comes from. You’ll learn to better understand one another. Most importantly, you’ll feel heard, seen and appreciated by your partner.
Create a common vision for your retirement and future
If you have some of the mismatched expectations about retirement or your life moving forward, counseling is the perfect place to get back on the same page. We’ll discuss what each of you are looking for. Then, we’ll co-create a vision for the future. Together, we’ll identify how each of you can get your needs met and feel good about your relationship in the years to come.
Increase your connection with one another through relationship and marriage counseling in retirement
Many couples hit a place in retirement where they’re not even sure they want to stay together anymore. It’s not that they’re angry with one another. More like they feel disconnect. They’ve grown apart. This is the perfect time to come into couples or marriage counseling.
If you and your partner have grown apart through the years, relationship counseling or marriage coaching can help you get to know one another again. You can begin to grow together. We’ll talk about how to do this. Sometimes, it may be as simple as talking about communication. However, there are often additional things we can do to foster closeness, affection and intimacy. This may be done through homework assignments such as leaving little notes of gratitude toward one another or spending time together interacting in a specific way.
Bring play, humor and fun back into your relationship
One of the goals of our work together may be to bring fun back into your relationship. Many couples think that they have to settle for a steady, dependable and less than exciting marriage later in life. This doesn’t have to be the case. It’s possible to have fun in your marriage again.
Much of this will come through homework assignments. For instance, you may have a homework assignment between counseling sessions to learn a new skill together. Or perhaps you’ll recreate a fun date you went on at an earlier point, to bring some romance back into your relationship. The focus is on continuing to enjoy one another’s company.
Relationships Can be Fulfilling at all Stages of Life
You don’t have to choose between a miserable relationship or facing retirement alone. It’s possible to find satisfaction in the very relationship you feel frustrated by at the moment.
Relationships or marriages can be fulfilling even when you are 55, 65 or 75 years old. You and your partner don’t have to settle for co-existing. You can have excitement, joy and meaning in your relationship. Relationship and marriage counseling after retirement can help you make the most out of this time in your life by bringing you and your partner closer together.
STARTING RELATIONSHIP COUNSELING AND MARRIAGE COACHING IN CINCINNATI, OH IS EASY:
- Get in touch with Dr. Timothy Barron to set up your first appointment.
- Get connected with a skilled relationship counselor who you can trust with helping you navigate your relationship and marriage while you transition to retirement.
- Begin planning and building better communication in your relationship or marriage, work through any relationship or marriage problems after retirement and enter retirement happy and thriving!
Other Services Cincinnati Mental Health Services
In addition to relationship counseling and marriage coaching for the transition to retirement, Dr. Timothy Barron LPCC-S, a caring relationship counselor, provides marriage & couples counseling, counseling for infidelity & affair recovery, counseling for college students, career counseling, anxiety treatment and depression counseling at his Cincinnati, OH based counseling practice. He also provides mental health resources and tips on his blog. Please reach out today to schedule an intake appointment and start your path to a more fulfilling life!