You know the common saying, darlings, that pertains to retired husbands. For better or for worse, but not for lunch.
As women, we’re caught in the middle of a dilemma. We are darned if we do and darned if we don’t. In other words, how do we draw the line between between wifely responsibility and our activities? This is a Catch-22 for many of us with retired or semi-retired husbands. A heads up for women who will eventually face this situation: the truth of the matter is, most men need their wife after retirement 24/7.
Our Conversations Before & After Retirement
These days, our conversation follows a similar pattern every day. My semi-retired husband asks, “Where have you been all day? Who did you talk to today? What did you write today? Where are we going tonight?”
Previously, when he was working 60 hours a week and traveling for business, our conversation went like this. I would ask him, “How were things at the office today? How did your important meeting go today? Who did you talk to today? What business or charitable dinner commitments should I put on the calendar for the month?”
My husband, Sheldon Good, is no shrinking violet! He is still very much involved and interested in everything he touches. But not 60 hours a week! What’s a wife to do? What do you do?
The Difference Between A Retired Husband & the Woman in His Life
When our husbands or significant others were career driven, their minds were filled with how they would provide and save for their families. The wheels in their head were always turning. When they slowed down, their minds relaxed and they suddenly found themselves with too much additional time on their hands. What do most of them want and need? Us, darlings, us!
Why do they need us? Because most men are loners. They don’t gab on the phone, send emails or texts to their grands, play cards five days a week or work out at gyms non stop. Now they have time and want to spend it with their significant other.
Most women are so busy, they are dizzy! Age has no bearing on slowing them down. They are busy all day with family, friends, charities, home, career, hobbies–the list never ends because, darlings, women are multitaskers!
One day, I decided to pose two questions to my semi-retired husband over our morning cups of coffee:
- What are your three top priorities?
- Are you happy that you are semi-retired?
Without hesitating for a moment, he looked up at me and said, “My three top priorities are you, you and you! Yes, I am happy I slowed down. I worked hard all of my life so I wouldn’t have to work all my life.”
Deeply touched by his response to my first question, I was disappointed with his answer to my second question because, darlings, I wanted him to say that he missed the business world.
I have now concluded with certainty that women continue to use their voice and stay active after they become empty nesters or retire from the workforce. I am sorry to say when our husbands or significant others retire, a large part of their life retires along with them because their life was oftentimes their work.
What Is A Wife Or Significant Other To Do?
I am reminded of a conversation I had with my ultimate concierge just last week. The phone rang in our apartment. It was Shelly.
“What are you doing right now?” he asked.
It was around four o’clock.
“I just finished brushing America and was going to sit down and reread the blog I wrote early this morning. Why? Where are you?” I questioned.
“I am in the park. Just finished my book by Daniel Silva. I would love to tell you about it. Why don’t you come down for a while so we can talk?”
Goodness, I think to myself, I don’t feel like dropping what I am doing. But instead I say in a loving voice, “Of course I will come down. See you in a few.”
Why did I say this? Because, darlings, I adore and respect my husband. If I had said no, we both would have been sad.
I close my laptop, secure America’s leash and the two of us take the elevator down 71 stories and walk across the street to the park. As soon as I see my semi-retired husband, my heart melts. I sit down happily next to my smiling husband on the park bench.
Gratitude Today and Every Day
Remembering my feelings that day as I sat in the park with my “lonesome” husband and fun-loving pup America, I felt so grateful. My husband loves me. He is interested in me. He wants to be with me. I sat there smiling to myself as I thought about how fortunate I am that he asks me everyday, “Where have you been all day? What did you do today? What did you write about today?”
Tomorrow I will make him lunch because for better or for worse, it is my pleasure to make him lunch.
And, what should you do?
Prioritize, darlings, prioritize! Your most important priority, above all else, is your husband or your significant other. Take care of him, darlings!