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For Better, Not Worse




My friends said that I’m in trouble.  Said I have some adjusting to do.   Said I should give Husband and me some time. Said it’ll work out, but it won’t be easy.  Said it’s not like anything we’ve experienced in our marriage.  These four college girlfriends have known Husband and me since he and I first met, and my friends have all been where we’re going, but I think they’re wrong.


For all the 44 years of our married life, Allen, husband who I must call by name for this column, has worked.  Except for short vacations, he’s showered, shaved, dressed, and gone to work five days a week.  Next week, he won’t.  He won’t go to the office before 8:00 a.m., come home around noon, make his own lunch, eat, go back to work, and come home for the evening after 5:00.  Allen is retiring.


My friends told horror stories about some newly retired husbands, but not theirs.  One husband completely reorganized everything in the kitchen cabinets.  One expected three meals a day, cooked and served.  Another thought he should know where his wife was every minute of every day and what she was doing.  One walked from his bed to his living room recliner and called it exercise.  And one husband suddenly needed to know the exact cost of every item that his wife bought at the grocery store.


Allen won’t do any of those things.  So why are my girlfriends concerned?  When they ask what Allen planned to do, I said that he might want to work part time.  He’ll want somewhere to go and something to do.  And I said that I plan to continue my erratic come-and-go-as-I-please schedule, and I have a list of places for Allen and me to go and things to do.


I retired five years ago and adjusted quiet easily.  I like my quiet mornings.  No TV, no radio, and a leisurely breakfast on our back deck, if the weather is good.  During the past five years, Allen went to work and I spent the day however I wanted.  Exercised at the YMCA.  Played with my Grands.  Hid in my closet office and moved my fingers across my computer keyboard.  Ate lunch with friends.  Piddled the day away.  I didn’t completely neglect household chores.  Laundry and dusting and grocery shopping got done – in due time.


I’m really happy for Allen.  He began working when he was 12 years old.  He stocked shelves and swept the floor at his family’s grocery store where he continued to work through his college years.  And he’s worked ever since.  In retail business.  For Tennessee Tech.  Owned and managed convenience stores.  For an insurance agency.  But starting next week, he won’t go to work.  And he and I will have a grand time together, won’t we?


I think my girlfriends are wrong. Just because they and their husbands struggled through a year-long adjustment period after they both retired, doesn’t mean the same for Allen and me.   This chapter of our marriage is the ‘for better’ not ‘for worse,’ isn’t it?










4 Responses

  1. You will enjoy every minute. You are two independent people that love each other dearly. Retirement has been fantastic for us. We are envious of your 44 years together, but we will take what we can get…for better or worse. Love you both!

    Kat Rust Bobkats@frontiernet.net



  2. I think you have a lovely attitude to life and hope you both have fun 🙂


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