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Don’t Make these Marriage Mistakes in Retirement

Retirement can kill your marriage, pretty bold statement. We recently interviewed a therapist and her quote was this: even the strongest of marriages are tested during retirement. I mean think about your marriage up until retirement sure there were bumps along the way and there were stressful times, and hopefully there was also some Joy, but one or both of you had the distraction of work right. You had relationships, work friends, you had fulfillment, you had purpose every day and then bam you retire. Just like we did Friday December 29th, 2018 and Monday morning. We found ourselves sitting across from each other having a morning coffee and we said: now what or? What are you doing? Today, what are you doing today? So it is a huge transition and it can absolutely create such stress for your marriage, and you know, are the big change that takes place. Is the 800 pound gorilla in the room is time in retirement? You may spend more time together than you ever have before. You will spend more time together than you ever have before you may. No, you will, because I mean I'm thinking of us and all of our friends that's that's the heart, not a hard fact. It is a hard it's, a bad thing. It's a good thing though, but it can be a challenge I mean we have had some of the greatest times in the last four years, but we've also had a lot of challenges figuring out. How do we fit in together in this new phase of Life yeah today, we want to make sure you don't make some of the common mistakes that we made when you retire. We want you to come away from this video with a heightened awareness of critical things that you can control as you move through this phase of retirement with your partner. So what's? Why does this matter? I mean well it's a long period of time. I mean many of us have 20 or 30 years ahead of us, together with all of this day to day time. So think about that our I know my career. Well, if you think of life is three phases you have, you know up until college and then you get in your career and you get married and that for me, was like 38'years right now we have 30 more. I know that's a lot of time to spend together without you know, without having any other distractions yeah. The other thing is about divorce right. The divorce rates in America are actually down, but great divorce is dramatically up and that's people getting divorced over the age of 55, And it's sad that you spend your whole life together. Building your nest egg and then you hit retirement and now all of a sudden you don't get along anymore right and you get divorced right and the other thing is, you know just your overall happiness Factor. You know so many retired people are portrayed or older people are portrayed as unhappy or grumpy or curmudgeoned or whatever they are, and the fact of the matter is you have a choice for the next 30 Years to choose your attitude and it's important yeah. We want to talk about that today. We don't want you to be that unhappy miserable copy couple out to dinner that are sitting there in their phones or not talking. They're, not learning new things together, they're not trying new things together. They're not putting the effort into the marriage that they should be, and you need to put effort into your marriage all the time, your entire life, but particularly now in retirement, because things do change absolutely so let's go through some of the common Mistakes, people make that you can definitely avoid the first and foremost thing is you have to communicate effectively the single most important predictor of success in your relationship as you enter retirement? Is communication? Listening really well, not interrupting right. I'm good at that. Yeah being disinterested right, providing a solution to what it is you're talking to me about when you don't even want a solution. You just want to talk to me and the other big thing we have a video on this called react versus respond when you and I are talking to each other. The tendency is to react to what I said or Iraq, what you said: it's better. Just to respond, and sometimes the response should be nothing because really good time. Poor communication can ruin your relationship, and you have all of this time together with all of these Avenues and opportunities for good or bad communication. On the other hand, effective communication, you know responding with care being an active listener. You know giving full Focus to what your partner is saying, with no technology interruptions and using a term or a technique called inquisitive inquiry. When you're talking about desires or fears that each of you may have yeah and those are some important things that you can do to be effective and that's just asking more questions – Jody's talking to me about something she's, not Looking for a solution but asking more questions, why do you feel that way more open ended questions to dig deeper on what the issue really is. That will bring you closer together than you,'ve, been in a long time right now. The other thing that's really important, particularly – and I think this is really hard for men, but really being able to in this phase of your life, with your wife or your husband. Whoever it is your partner, dropping your fear and becoming vulnerable really being open and honest me being open and honest with Jody about what my needs are. Why I'm struggling right now, really really letting my heart open up and tell her what's going on, because the fear is that I'll be judged or she'll jump all over me or say: isn 39! T that ridiculous! You need to drop that fear and trust each other yeah, and I somewhat disagree with your instinct that it's harder for men than it is for women and we debate vulnerability in our house. Quite often the definition of – and you know I I think, as long as you have a safe Space, men and women are at the same level of dropping their guard and becoming vulnerable. It's just hard for me and the men that, like it's, but it's meant for women too. Okay, I've never been a woman and you've never been a man right. So, but I see women are more. We're not going to debate this here. Are we we debate this in our house all the time? Brene Brown started this debate in our house so but basically it's helpful to your relationship. If you can have open and honest discussions with your partner yep, a third thing that we found is taking vacations while we're in retirement is a must getting out of our normal routine in our home, with our dog grocery shopping. Taking out of the trash you know, cleaning the house like doing all of our normal stuff is great. We are spending time together, but doing something different creative, exploring traveling together or with another couple stretching each other outside of our comfort zones to you know, go ziplining or go trekking for gorillas or you know so. So the thing is when one of your, when one of you says hey, we really need to get away the answer. Shouldn't be no, we can't afford it. The answer should be okay. We should figure that out let's set aside some money. Let's put a budget together, let's plan it together and let's go somewhere. It could even be a mini trip. It can, but do it with open eyes and open heart, and just say you know what you're right. We're, not in sync right now: let's go away for a couple days and find a way to get in sync and plan it out, and do it right it's going to make all the difference in the world to your relationship. The fourth thing is to find activities to do together. You know things that can create camaraderie. You know things uh activities that give you something to talk about later in the day or evening, or even maybe give you something to laugh about. And finally, you know Finding activities that will expand your social network. So we we play golf together, which we both learned years ago and we're at different levels and sometimes it's frustrating for each other. Because of that. But if you can find something to do together and start together like we did with pickleball, we are complete beginners moving our way up to intermediate. We started it together and we're learning together. I'm, not coaching Jody. We're reminding each other of the rules that we learn and we're reminding each other on how to hit the ball, but it's not like you need to do this and you need to do that. So it's actually brought us closer together. This whole world of playing pickleball, which has been really good for us and it's increased our social networks, which is a big thing. So the other thing is to, I think, well think from me anyway, find activities to do alone. I I need some autonomy away from Jody away from the house away from the kids, some things that are important to me and it expands your personal Social Circle. I have a men's group that meets down here on Marco once in a while. We just get together and chat about life issues. We have breakfast together and you know I've met some great new people. For that I mean you. Do you?'re doing some things on your own. I do I mean I do yoga. I've got my community around that that I do on my own. Some non profit work and you know I spend a lot of time doing things with you. Obviously, but um. I also you know like the richness that it adds to our relationship to do a few things by ourselves right. The other thing that this is probably the hardest thing to think about doing, but talking together about the tough topics, if you're stubborn and your wife says if Jody says to me, I want to talk about this, and I say I don't want To talk about it that's not fair and that's going to pull us apart. There's, things like sex downsizing issues with the kids, whether we can afford to go on vacation or not. You've got to be able to talk through these things together, so you can hear what your partner says about it and it's important to set the topic. If you know it,'s going to be difficult set, the topic up, so you both feel comfortable right, acknowledge that changes may have taken place. If you're talking about a topic that includes your physical well being or your physical, you know your current physical state, you know, and it also acknowledge that the conversation may take more than one time at the table, and it could be that you just say There's here:'s a technique. There's, something I really need to talk to you about, and I'd like you to listen to what I have to say and I don't want a response right now. I just want you to hear what I have to say and let's take some time, and maybe we'll talk about it again tomorrow, just setting these kind of rules together. So you can talk about the tough topics. If you bury them, they're not buried right. They don't their way. They don't that's. The way I was looking for they don't go away. Definitely you know. Living in a home together can have its challenges being together. Every day for most of the day, even makes said harder. So you know, if you think about the six things we just talked about to build a better marriage and build on your relationship. You can avoid some of the major pitfalls, so remember effective communication. You know being vulnerable with your partner taking vacations together. I think finding activities do together. New activities in particular, is really important. Finding things to do alone, to give you some alone time and also you've, got to have the courage to talk about some of the important matters that make a difference in your life. Now we hope you enjoyed this video and if you did you're going to love this next one keeping the magic alive in your relationship. We go deeper on spouse, partner relationship and give you clear steps and activities to make this happen.

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