How to Survive Your Husband’s Retirement

How to Survive Husband's Retirement-Rebel Retirement

Are you looking for a solution for how to survive your husband’s retirement? The best way to ensure your survival is to check in with yourself first. That’s because the only person you have control over is yourself.

You don’t have control over your husband or his retirement.

It’s up to you to make the decision to thrive, not simply survive.

With that said, you’re not alone. Many of us have had concerns and questions about how to handle our husband’s retirement. It can be challenging when daily routines change after many years.

Also, it may be exacerbating if you have a couch potato for a husband or one who always seems bored. In spite of that, it’s important that you maintain your well-being. At the same time be considerate of your husband.

For example, don’t let your husband’s seeming inability to occupy himself put you in a bad mood. Yet, try to understand that he may feel lost. Transitioning into retirement can be difficult for anyone. But is generally more difficult for men than for women.

No. 1 – Start your day with positivity.

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

No. 2 – Embrace change.

Retirement is challenging. Lifestyles 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.

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.

No. 4 – Spend quality time with your husband.

Most men look forward to retirement and spending time with their wives. Make time for your husband as you would a close friend.

No. 5 – Communicate.

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.


Rebel Retiree and I  have been married for almost 50 years, semi-retired for 15, and retired for 3.  I’ve learned a lot about how to survive your husband’s retirement.

With that said, let’s dig a bit deeper into some of the key points.

Start your day with positivity.

We’ve all experienced getting up on the wrong side of the bed. And we also know that it will likely lead to a bad mood all day. So, before arising, take a few minutes for yourself while still lying in bed.  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 be something that gives your day purpose.   

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

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

→ Embrace change.

It’s true. Your husband’s retirement can be an intrusion into your domain. 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, it’s likely that you’ve 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. At the risk of sounding Marabel Morgenish, embrace the changes. Instead of demanding your life remain the same, be flexible and go with the flow. 

Read: How to be a Happy Retiree? Embrace Change

Yet, the responsibility of embracing change shouldn’t fall completely on your shoulders. Your husband should embrace change as well. Each partner’s needs should be met with mutual respect. This is paramount for a successful retirement.

For clarity, this is not about compromise. A win-win solution is best for retirement conflict resolution. I’ve put the link below if you’d like to read the article about how to create a win-win solution.

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

To further illustrate my point, 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 husbands.

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

→ Create space for a happy retirement.

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 because being together builds a strong, loving bond. Yet, it’s also 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.

For example, he respects my space and understands when I retreat to work in my office. In turn, I make time for his sharing the news throughout the day.

Communicate your needs and create space for a happy retirement.

→ Spend quality time with your husband.

“Remember that your husband is your best friend.”

Most men look forward to ending their careers and spending time with their wives. Yet, sometimes we wives are kinder to our friends than they are to our husbands.

It’s disappointing for men to retire and discover they’ve become a nuisance to their wives. They feel hurt and often bored.

Read: Help Your Husband Overcome Fear of Retirement Boredom

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.

→ Communication is key.

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.


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 they have 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 out 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!

Last Updated 05/02/22

Image by Mike Flynn from Pixabay

Do you have any tips on how to survive your husband’s retirement? Please feel free to comment below! And before you go, please take a moment to subscribe to our newsletter, and like us on Facebook!  

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4 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. 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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