How to Survive Your Husband’s Retirement

How to Survive Husband's Retirement-Rebel Retirement

If you’re 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.

Needless to say, it can be challenging when daily routines suddenly 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 while being 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.

Start your day with positivity.

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

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.

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 and find yourself resenting his retirement.

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.


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


As Rebel Retiree and I enter the 4th stage of life together as a retired couple, I believe I have a lot to offer on how to survive your husband’s retirement.

Now, let’s dig a bit deeper into some of the key points.

Embrace change.

It’s true. Your husband’s retirement can be an intrusion into your domain, especially if you’ve worked from home all 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 according to your own schedule.

Additionally, you probably have a routine that’s worked well for years – 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 – 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, instead of demanding your life remain the same, be flexible and embrace change.

Read: How to be a Happy Retiree? Embrace Change

This doesn’t mean that all of the responsibility of embracing change falls on your shoulders.

Your husband should embrace change as well.

In like fashion, each partner’s needs should be met with mutual respect which is paramount for a successful retirement.

For clarity, this is not about compromise. I personally believe a win-win solution is best for 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 and regret that we gave more value to washing the dishes than taking a walk along the beach with our husband.

Embrace change. Be flexible. Change up your routine. I think 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. However, it’s also important to respect each other’s space.

That said, I need more space than Rebel Retiree.

It took a lot of communication before reaching a conclusion on what a comfortable retirement lifestyle balance is for each of us.

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.”

To my understanding, most men look forward to ending their careers and spending time with their wives.

However, sometimes wives are kinder to their friends than they are to their 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 even if you don’t fully appreciate it.


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 – especially, if they have unrealistic expectations of what retirement should be like.

As simplistic as this may sound, it’s essential 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, I think you’ll find you’ll have a happy retirement. You will thrive, not simply survive!

Updated 1/13/21

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

  1. 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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