Never alone any more - awful OAP cliche

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
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morganlefaymorganlefay Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
I think this sounds sad, but I would welcome some practical advice. My OH has just retired, I did so 5 years ago as am younger. I have been used to being alone in the house all day doing my thing, and really enjoyed it.(two children grown up and moved away). OH and I mostly get on fine, but now he is here all day it is driving me mad, and I have been trying to escape by going out shopping for things we don't need (hence NOT moneysaving at all, inc cost of petrol). We don't have a huge house so I can't hide in the ballroom or orangery and I am sure he means well but he keeps asking me what I'm up to (usually something dull and simple). I don't have any secrets, but do need to be by myself occasionally. He has no hobbies etc etc and I am trying to find things he would enjoy to get himout of the house occasionally. I have tried suggesting photography courses, cookery etc etc and he says he'd be interested but just doesn't bother. He's not depressed, and is probably enjoying just being at home, so that's OK, but its been 4 months now, and I am never alone - night or day - which I find completely stifling. Anyone have any ideas about how I achieve some time alone without having to go out and spend, or go for long walks (bad arthritis and anyway he'd want to come too.)?
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  • PssstPssst Forumite
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    I am quite sure this is a common dilemma. Work takes up such a big part of our lives,sleep takes another chunk so the little bit we have soon passes. Contrast this with retirement when we are sharing the same space for a long time,like never before,and it is then that our minds start thinking!

    In the later stages of life,many of us settle into a state of companionate love. There isnt that great passion that there once was. Just a state of comfortable co-existance. Someone might say,why settle for that? why can i not have the excitement and passion that i once had? Thats a fair point of view and one which might need to be considered.

    No doubt you OH is having difficulty re-adjusting also. There is a dnager he could beocme depressed and no wonder. Suddenly he has moved from being what he sees as a worthwhile person,someone who is charged with doing things,having responsibility etc ,to someone who doesnt need to do anything if he doesnt want to.

    For perhaps more than 40 years,he has been given things to do,to be responsible for,now all of a sudden,that has been cut off and he now has to find things to do. Its difficult for him too.

    We all need our "alone" time and together time.He needs to be encouraged to paddle his own canoe a bit,find his own pursuits,develop friendships etc. Only he can do that.
  • bonnie_2bonnie_2 Forumite
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    My oh is being redundant in october, i would like some tips as well, It's going to be really hard spending 24/7 with someone on a limited income.
  • PssstPssst Forumite
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    Is there anyone who has a female partner retiring or is this just a man thing?
  • soolinsoolin Forumite, Board Guide
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    My OH was made redundant 3 years ago and was at home for 6 months before he found new employment.

    I found it very very difficult especially food wise as I tend to grab cups of tea or just a glass of water when I pass the kitchen and lunch is very moveable..just when I get hungry and whatever is in the fridge. From about 10am every morning it was 'when is lunch' or 'what are you cooking for lunch'. I ended up spending a fortune as he wanted proper lunches every day, poached salmon with salad was his favourite, or else he would ask me to make scones for elevnses (I do my own cooking as I am gluten free).

    Every time I got near the PC where I work he would sort of sigh and say 'on the PC again...'.

    Luckily towards the end of the 6 months he decided to build a new railway in the outbuilding in the garden..so he disappeared down there most of the time and just came up every half hour or so asking for tea or coffee. Is there something like that you could suggest that would take up a lot of time..something creative that he can work on for ever? Maybe not build a boat in the back garden, but restore an old bike or something..anything?
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  • PssstPssst Forumite
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    Soolin-dohhh...what you put up with..i would have been directing him to make lunch,that would have occupied him!

    By the way, I'm male and can cook too !
  • floss2floss2 Forumite
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    Maybe send him off to the library to research his family tree, or find out about daytime courses to "keep his mind occupied" (and out of your way abit too!).

    I would guess he will find it a novelty for a while, but may start to get bored, especially if he has no hobbies like golf or rambling.

    Have you got a Probus group near you? From what I can gather from DF's parents, it's a sort of retired person's Rotary / Round Table / youth group!
  • morganlefaymorganlefay Forumite
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    Thank you for that Psst, and of course you are right, but I have to say that 5 years ago I went through all that - having had a busy and high powered job. The difference is that he seems not to have anything he'd like to be doing whereas I couldn't wait to get stuck into all the things I'd been wanting to do. He really isn't depressed about stopping work, honest, as he'd been hating his job for the past many months and couldn't wait to stop. I just don't know how to make him see that THIS IS IT ! the time we've all been waiting for when we've looked after our children till they left home and could now start to live our own lives - so rudely interrupted by much-loved babies some 33 years ago !!
  • PssstPssst Forumite
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    Perhaps you need to take a holiday ..together....or maybe not? Do you find him an imposition when on hols?
  • morganlefaymorganlefay Forumite
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    soolin I think you are sharing my husband ! I had forgotten the thing about lunch. I eat the leftovers from last night, or a bit of bread and cheese or whatever there is, so a proper lunch is a novelty here, and as you so rightly say the discussions about what might be for lunch start at about 12 every day. Good idea, a trainset - I may have to invest in some starter bits but I think he'd LOVE that, thank you lots !!!!
    and Psst, I have tried to get him to cook - I am currently encouraging the idea stir fries because of the nice BBC programme(and because I never do them), hopefully that will work, tho I'm not holding my breath !
  • troglodytetroglodyte Forumite
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    I'm sorry I don't have anything really constructive to add as I'm not in that situation yet, but my Mum is - Dad retired in 1985 and she hasn't stopped complaining about him since! I know her experience it's exactly the same; she would love time to herself but he just wants to be with her and help with whatever she's doing! If she gets him started on something then goes off to do something else while he's busy he just stops and goes after her!
    Does he garden? If so the classic shed at the bottom of the garden or on the allotment could be the answer. I know of other people who have learned to cook or taken on volunatary work (in this case a day or two at the Citizen's Advice Bureau every week) - or how about volunteering at a charity shop or getting involved in conservation work or some sort of community activity? Is there anything like that around your way? I hope you find something - time alone is important for one's mental health!!
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