How to Survive Your Husband’s Retirement

How to Survive Husband's Retirement-Rebel Retirement

If you’re looking for tips on how to cope with your husband’s retirement, know that you’re not alone.  Many of us have concerns and questions about how to adjust to our husband’s retirement.

However, the key to surviving this transition is to start by checking in with yourself.  Remember, the only person you can control is yourself, so it’s important to prioritize your well-being while also being considerate of your husband.

Transitioning into retirement can be difficult for anyone, but it’s often harder for men than women. Your husband may feel lost in this new phase of life, so try to be understanding and supportive.

Understanding this may go a long way to surviving your husband’s retirement.

Older Retired Couple - Rebel Retirement

5 Tips for Adjusting to Your Husband’s Retirement

I’ve been married to the same man for 50 years.  Eighteen of those have been semi-retired/retired. 

I’ve learned a lot about how to survive your husband’s retirement.

Along with the knowledge I’ve gathered from others, here are a few nuggets of wisdom from my own experience. 

No. 1 – Start your day with positivity

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We’ve all experienced getting up on the wrong side of the bed. And we also know that it likely leads to a bad mood all day. So, before arising, take a few minutes to center yourself while still lying in bed. 

Choose morning activities that motivate and inspire you. Listen to motivational speakers, exercise, read something inspiring, or keep a gratitude journal.

Stretch, meditate, and visualize how you would like your day to progress in a positive manner.  Cultivate a morning routine that gives your life meaning, It can be simple, but ideally, it should give your day purpose.   

Dress for the day and plan to get outdoors regardless of the weather. 

Carve out time for yourself.  Schedule a time to work on a special project or hobby that grounds you.

No. 2 – Embrace change

Retirement is challenging. Your lifestyle will likely be different than before. If you’re unwilling to embrace the changes that come with it, you are setting yourself up for misery.

Your husband’s retirement may indeed seem like an encroachment into your personal space and responsibilities.

This could be especially true if you’ve worked from home most of your life. It can drive you nuts having him around 24/7! Even if you’ve had a career outside of the home, you’ve likely run the household. And it’s been according to your schedule.

Additionally, you probably have a routine that’s worked well for years. You’ve scheduled time for work, chores, errands, cooking, and so on. Suddenly, now that your husband is retired, he expects you to be available at his convenience. He wants you to be available for conversation, a walk, or an outing he wants to enjoy together. He seems incapable of occupying himself. 

Instead of demanding your life remain the same, it’s important for your happiness, to be flexible and go with the flow.

This doesn’t mean that embracing change falls completely on your shoulders. It’s your husband’s responsibility to embrace change as well.

Each partner’s needs should be met with mutual respect. This is paramount for a successful retirement.

Embrace change. Be flexible. Change up your routine. I think you’ll be happy you did.

Read: 5 Reasons to Embrace Change in Retirement

No. 3 – Create space for yourself

We all need time where we can be alone and recharge. If you’re constantly with your husband, you may feel overwhelmed. With so much together time, you may find yourself resenting his retirement.

Having said that, more often than not, my husband and I spend time together. We grocery shop, enjoy outdoor recreation, have long conversations, and so on. It’s great building a strong, loving bond.

However, it’s important to respect each other’s space.

That said, I need more space than Rebel Retiree. It required a lot of communication to reach a comfortable retirement lifestyle balance.

Now, he respects my space and understands when I retreat to work in my office. In turn, I make time for him to share the news throughout the day.

Set boundaries. And communicate your needs to create space for a happy retirement.



No. 4 – Spend quality time with your husband.

Many men say they anticipate retirement and look forward to spending time with their wives. Their careers have ended and what better way to spend the day than hang out with one’s wife?  

It’s disappointing for a man to retire and discover he’s become a nuisance to his wife.  This results in hurt feelings. Boredom often sets in.

Consider whether you are kinder to your friends than you are to your husband.

It’s important to remember that you are friends and shared dreams as a young couple. Together, you’ve been through thick and thin. Retirement is an ideal time to strengthen your relationship.

Make time for your husband as you would a close friend.

Read: Help Your Husband Overcome Fear of Retirement Boredom

No. 5 – Communication is key.

Communication with your spouse is the key to a successful retirement. Work together to create the desired outcome that is pleasant for both of you.

Communication is a two-way street. Additionally, good communication is the key to any successful relationship.

Don’t let issues go unresolved until they fester into major resentment. Try to rekindle whatever brought you together in the first place.

  • Have a date night and find an activity that you both enjoy
  • Discuss what each of you values for retirement
  • Be a good listener
  • Make time for your husband
  • Involve yourself with something that your husband enjoys. Try to be open-minded, even if you don’t appreciate the activity.

Read: Don’t Compromise with Your Spouse on Retirement Plans


Rest assured you are not alone if you dread being with your husband 24 hours a day. Realistically, a husband can get on your nerves. This is likely if a husband has unrealistic expectations of retirement.

The simple solution is to embrace change, be flexible, and encourage communication. Retirement should be a harmonious experience for both husband and wife.

Respect each other’s space and remember that you started as best friends. If you choose to follow these suggestions, you’ll find you’ll have a happy retirement. You will thrive, not simply survive!

I don’t think any of us want to get to the end of life regretting our choices. It would be sad if we gave more value to washing dishes than taking a walk along the beach with our husband.

Last Update: 11/17/23
Image by Mike Flynn from Pixabay

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6 thoughts on “How to Survive Your Husband’s Retirement

  1. Curt says:

    I loved this article and your style of writing…..I am a husband that has semiretired and I agree wholeheartedly with your insights. We husbands can be a bit overpowering and needy at times (ha). My wife is my best friend and as long as I remember that, things will be ok. To all couples facing these unique challenges, good luck – with a little patience, your relationship will grow stronger!

    We have also recently undertaken many of your suggestions for a healthier and happier life – including simplifying and decluttering our own little part of the world…..and you know what, we now have an abundance of everything! God bless!

    • Yoga Woman says:

      Hi Curt!

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. Comments like this one make my day! You sound like a very understanding man. I’m confident you and your wife’s relationship will continue to grow.

      All the best!
      Marlene, Yoga Woman

  2. Julie Nunn says:

    I have discovered that carving out time and attention to doing the things I enjoy while also giving time to do things together as a couple has helped me cope. My husband is the proverbial couch potato and has no hobbies other than the TV which for me is a fate worse than death.
    I just ordered myself a bicycle and plan to join a bike club. I can’t stand to be cooped up inside on the days that I don’t go to work at my supplemental part-time job. I have to get outside and breathe!!

    • Yoga Woman says:

      Hi Julie,

      I agree! Carving out time for yourself as well as having couple-time is important. I think when we do something we enjoy, it gives us time to recharge and return as better partners. You sound very motivated to keeping yourself happy and healthy! I hope you enjoy your new bike! And I hope your husband can pull himself off of the couch and find an activity that he enjoys. Perhaps something on this list will suit his fancy. /50-boredom-busters-things-to-do-when-retired-and-bored/ Thank you so much for stopping by and subscribing to Rebel Retirement. I’m looking forward to hearing from you again!

      Marlene, Yoga Woman

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