When Couples Retire Is “Inseparable” a Happy Thought?
What happens to couples when they finally retire and being “together” twenty-four-seven becomes a reality? Though plans were dreamed and schemed with excitement all those many years ago, suddenly they find that their once-gaiety of looking forward to their happy future in retirement is shattered and gone! It is therefore even more surprising to find that couples, though they’ve been “happily” married 20, 30, 40 years and more, no longer want to spend all those days and hours in each other’s company. What happened?
The truth; they grew apart. The once common ground they shared, of raising their children and caring for their home, and their many interests faded and died. Or they just simply changed. Often, who they were when they first got married may not be the same person when they retire.
For many couples, too, they’ve found discouragement and disappointment in their advancing years—regrets, losses, guilt. And blame. Blame is placed on their partner for [usually] their own unhappiness. What they thought life would and should have been turned out very different in the end. Future plans were unrealistic. And rather than stand together in the light of a new life, with all its many changes, they fall away, and many even choose to go their separate ways entirely.
Preparation and acceptance for those inevitable changes in the future, is of the utmost, if a marriage is to continue and thrive in their advancing years. Setting realistic goals, establishing common interests now, and accepting that the children will one day leave to make lives of their own, will better prepare a couple for when it is just the two of them.
I’ve met couples that celebrated their 50th and beyond Wedding Anniversaries, and they were happy and content with where life had brought them. Together they’d seen each other through sickness, faced poverty, and enjoyed money flow in abundance. Some of these couples faced things in life that would have torn many apart early on in their marriage. But here they stand today, retired and happy to be together, whether it’s just watching television, reading a book, listening to music, sharing work in the garden, or cooking a meal together.