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How to Handle a Retired Husband With Nothing to Do

by Tamara Runzel, studioD

Retirement is bliss – or is it? Couples look forward to retirement and spending more time together, so why does having your husband home all the time drive you crazy now rather than offer you the happiness you expected? It’s not unusual to experience these feelings. In fact, researchers in Japan even have a name for it – retired husband syndrome. Women diagnosed with this syndrome suffer physical ailments, including ulcers, high blood pressure and depression according to a November 2006 Paul Kenyon article on "BBC News."

Talk about your expectations for retirement if you didn’t before your husband left the work force. Think about your personal activities, such as your own hobbies and friends, as well as mutual activities, such as traveling and joint hobbies. Discuss what you expect to happen in retirement.

Plan out how much time you expect to spend separately and how much time you expect to spend together. A major issue in retirement is finding a balance between separate time and shared time, writes Christine A. Price for the Ohio State University Extension. Discuss how often will you see family, spend time with friends and attend activities outside the home.

Recognize that your husband has lost a part of who he is and help establish new roles for him. Leaving his job might leave your husband feeling lonely and over dependent on you, writes Robert Laura in "Forbes" magazine. In an article for MensLine Australia, Pierz Newton-John suggests new roles for your husband, such as a community elder or becoming a more involved grandparent.

Divide household tasks recommends Price. For years, whether you worked or not, you probably carried out more of the work around the house. Dividing household chores helps you keep your routine around the house while allowing your husband to contribute.

Help your husband find a hobby that allows him to spend time outside the house or even on his own at home recommends Pierz Newton-John in an article for MensLine Australia. Newton-John suggests encouraging your husband to stay physically active, helping him find a class at a local community college or online that interests him or even working a part-time job doing something he enjoys.

Encourage individual friendships for your husband through his hobbies or other outside interests, such as church or the gym, recommends Laura.

About the Author

Tamara Runzel has been writing military, parenting, family and relationship articles since 2008. Runzel started in television news, followed by education before deciding to be a stay at home mom. Her articles have appeared in military publications as well as numerous online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from University of the Pacific.

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