Q: Since we retired, my husband has lost a lot of his patience. Within just a year, he's become a cranky old man.
Now, every time something goes wrong, he blames me and won't let even the smallest things go.
What happened to the lifelong lover I've been married to for 38 years?
A: Retirement changes everything. Men often find the transition into retirement to be especially difficult.
Unfortunately, you are the one who is closest to him and getting to hear him voice all of his frustrations. Over the course of his career, he developed a routine that retirement has now interrupted.
Additionally, he has separated from the circle of acquaintances that he's familiar with and used to dealing with. He has probably found that building new relationships with people of similar interests takes time and patience.
As you're now spending the whole day together, you should consider scheduling some privacy for both of you. We aren't meant to spend all of our time with only one person — absence makes the heart grow fonder! With your husband, discuss a plan to address your needs.
One technique for better harmony is to be strategic about communicating. Set aside a routine time to discuss your thoughts and feelings — you can share coffee or a glass of wine and unwind together around dinnertime.
In his frustration at his different life, does he understand your feelings? Does he realize that you both may have to make some compromises? If you don't tell him what you're thinking, he has no way of knowing these things.
Ask him about his day and what he would like to do tomorrow. Creating a schedule will help with the lack of structure with which many retirees struggle.
Become a team again, and remember that communication and compromise are the keys to domestic harmony. The more time you spend together, the more important these things become. — Doug
PAIR IT DOWN
Q: Last week, my billfold fell out of my pants pocket at a conference, and I couldn't find it even after frantic searching. Fortunately, a good Samaritan picked it up and contacted me the next day. I couldn't believe my luck!
What can I do to avoid this mistake in the future?
A: To avoid losing your wallet again, consider wearing pants with a deeper pocket or ones with a button. A smaller wallet style may also be able to fit in your front pocket, making it easier to keep track of.
Having an oversized wallet makes you much more susceptible to losing it. Remove any unnecessary cards, photos, receipts, coins or other extraneous items. Some of these personal items are also irreplaceable and better off at home.
In case you lose it again, make sure to cancel all of your cards immediately. Although replacing them will be aggravating, dealing with any missing money will be even more so. It's better to be safe than sorry.
Remember that thieves consider seniors easy targets! Keeping your wallet more secure will also prevent any "accidents." — Emma, Doug's granddaughter
Doug Mayberry makes the most of life in a Southern California retirement community. Contact him at [email protected] Emma, Doug's granddaughter, helps write this column. To find out more about Doug Mayberry and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.