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+1 vote

We have been married 41 years.  We always got along great in the past.  We have 3 daughters and 3 grandchildren.  He was my best friend and we rarely argued.  Back before we got married I was warned about marrying someone 10 years older than me but I didnt pay any attention to that.  I was 20 and he was 30. I like him and respected his way because he was a really nice guy and I felt I can learn from him to become a better person.  So what changed???  It all began when he retired 15  years ago.  I had to add he worked many hours and we both had busy schedules at the time. Once he retired and he was around a lot he began cursing and acting like a jerk with me. I cant help wonder if he was developing this as time passed but since we werent around each other I didnt see it happening.  We havent been sexually active in 11 years.  I am 63 yrs old and he is 73.  We basically cohabitate. We both sleep in separate bedrooms.   If I had any idea many years ago this would happen I wouldve prepared for it and left by now.  I also am conflicted because of how much time I invested in this marriage.  Its gotten to the point where we cant even travel without breaking into huge arguments.  He never really shows me any affection.  He speaks civil to me for the most part now but we barely speak.  I mostly engage in conversation with him otherwise nothing.  He is working part time right now and it bothers me when I hear him having great conversation with his friends and laughing and all.  They get to see the side of him I dont. I find myself feeling depressed a lot due to not having any companion especially during the Covid.  We lived in NJ 7 yrs ago and I literrally had a life up there.  He never bothered getting involved with anything.  Since we moved to FL he got involved with doing things with coworkers and I still havent been able to find what I left up north.  So for this reason I count of him for companionship but no matter where we go we always end up arguing.  I feel he resents me which makes me not want to speak much to him so to keep some kind of peace between us.  I just needed to vent I guess.  Anybody out there go through this? Any advise?  My children all live up north btw.  I am still working .  Im hoping to feel better when I can engage with groups and go out more without him

in Married Life by (1,140 points)

4 Answers

+3 votes

You say his behavior changed once he retired. I wonder if his behavior is somewhat due to depression because of the retirement, or whether he was just bored with himself. 

   There are things you can do to help yourself. For one, you can both go into counseling if you value this marriage and want to save it. If he refuses to, there's another option of you yourself going into counseling to see how to deal with him daily. 

   The other choice would be to leave, if nothing else you do works. You're working and so thats good, because you are independent of him. If you can afford to move back up north, or somewhere you like, maybe close to your kids, you may be happier. It will be tough but life gets better when you change it for your own good. 

   I myself took this route, the 2nd one. I had originally wanted counseling for my ex and myself, but he said I was the problem and refused to go, so I had already made up my mind to leave because life was not good when a simple statement by me ended up an argument. I was never good enough, smart enough, etc at anything and I was not respected. I couldn't imagine life like this forever, or have my daughters think the way he treated me was normal, so I divorced him. I did go to counseling on my own to deal with it. It was the hardest but best decision I ever made for myself, and I'm told he regrets not going into counseling then. 

      Good luck with your decision. 

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.       -Socrates

by (1,157,550 points)

Thank you. I appreciate your response  and will consider it


You're welcome, and again good luck with your decision. PS I am a NYer, too. 

0 votes

Retirement is a big issue, age is a big issue, sex is a big issue.  That said there were problems before the retirement, really.  A 70 yearold man does not or should not have problems with sex - seriously.

Doc & I have a 17 year disparity and are expecting our 3rd in Feb.  At my age getting hard is never a problem, for the female equivalent never a problem. Your issue is you 2 never evolved as a couple - Seriously.  Learn to walk away and find what you need & Want.

Now Doc & I are beyond the US marital norms, however well within the Austrian marital norms. We are finding out we are slackers in the Portuguese retirement community, we are less frequent.  Our Retirement Villa is above Porto.  Again go figure in a very conservative area sexual congress to be that high.

Not we do have 3 y/o's with a new sibling due in Feb. We are financially independent.  We also love being parents.  Go figure since we do not do distance parenting.  We are hands on except when for Business reasons we need our Nanny....

“Better a true enemy than a false friend.”

by (2,820,060 points)
+2 votes

Oh sure.  We share many traits.  Except the wife and I are both the same age.   We have separate bed rooms, which is a blessing and a curse.  And we are basically roommates.  We have not had sex for over 15 years.  Lol, I have long thought that having a wife 10 years younger would be better.  She might still be interested in sex.

Which I believe is the heart of the problem.  Sex was always important to me, she knows that.  Never very important to her.  It is easy to not be affectionate to your roommate.  You have to be civil.  But I feel that if she cared about me at all, she would at least touch me.  That is what prompted the separate bedrooms.  I was keeping her awake with self sex, so it was easier to go somewhere else.  We have talked about it.  She says she never refuses, which is a lie, but if she does anything she acts like it was the ultimate sacrifice and I should be forever grateful.  To be honest, if it wasn't for the sign of caring it would not be worth it.

On another issue, it might be the same, my wife thinks that I am basically incompetent for life, and so when we travel I get a constant stream of criticism.  She is negative about evetything.  Sometimes I lash out and then she sulks for a week.  I have just learned to do the best that I can and try to enjoy myself, but  ihave learned to never drive.  She ends up screaming at me by the end of the day.  Maybe, one or both of you are the same.

When we try to talk, she never wants to listen.  If a tv show is on, she tells me she is watching.  If I wait for a commercial, she is suddenly listening to that.  I tell her to let me know when a good time to talk would be, she gets angry.  The easiest solution is to not say anything.  You might be having a similar problem.

Overall, I am stuck with the situation.  It could be worse, nobody is abusing anybody.

Advice.  Sure.  Find something to do that doesn't involve him.  Just resign yourself to roommate status.  There is freedom in that.  You are working, surely some of those people could be friends.  Find an interest away from home.  Librarys are good.  Volunteer at places.  A friend of mine finds people, mostly women, to help at a church he goes too.  Any number could be friends.  Sports are good, besides being healthy.  Or the gym/spa.  You just need to accept the situation and live your own life.  Worst that can happen is that he will divorce you.

It is true that I waited much to long, like you.  I kept hoping that it would improve.  But at this point in my life, I don't think that is a viable solution.  It might be for you.

by (1,571,280 points)

Thank you for responding. I appreciate your comeback and advise.  

My situation began when my husband began showing a lot of forgetfulness.  The list is long and I became concerned.  I spoke with my daughters about it and we agreed he should be evaluated.  You see, his mom was diagnosed with Dimentia early in her 60s.  I researched it and found he showed many of the same symptoms. So when we moved to FL I setup a Dr appt for him. When I told him he was outraged.  He did go to the appt. but the Dr had me sit outside. She tested him and apparently he passed by a point.  That Dr joked sarcastically with him about how I practically jumped the gun which only gave him more ammunition towards me.  Once we left there I can tell he was resentful towards me.  I cant tell you how many times I drove to work crying not wanting to be in the same house with him.  Finally, one day I made an attempt to sit with him and tallk.  He admitted to me he felt I was just looking for a way to put him away.  I was blown away.  I told him this was something my daughters spoke with me about and we ALL agreed he should be checked so if it turned out to be true there were medications and other things to do to prolong it.  I also reminded him how his mother did not turn on his father when she was diagnosed.  He said to me " Oh well you shouldve told me all this"  I told him in my wildest dreams I would never believe he would think I would think such a sick and twisted thought.  Whats more, if he had approached me with this I wouldve appreciated it and jumped immediatley to get checked.  So, with all that said, it really killed what little I felt towards him as a wife.  I am a very forgiving person and hold no grudges but it took a while for my fuse to fizzle.  I was so hurt that he thought this way. 

So before the shut down I intended for 2020 to just make a life outside without him. Join groups and meet people and try to enjoy life.  I am not looking for romance or relationship.  I dont want to get caught up with any more drama.  Just focus on my Faith, grandchildren and  enjoy with travel.  So now I pretty much go from work to home and vice versa.  We talk occasionally at home but just short conversations.  I began taking drives on my own on weekends just to enjoy the fresh air and peace.  Im praying next year the pandemic is much under control so to begin traveling again and socializing.

I agree with you 100% about living like roomates.  Thats exactly what Im doing.  I dont volunteer anywhere because of safe distancing and prefer to stay away for now.  At work I have my own office where I close my door and speak to others via intercom for the most part. 

Prior to that I have always been big with volunteering at my church. 


A little insight in a guys brain, I can offer.

Guys hate doctors and don't really want to know when they are sick, if they are sick.  So, suggesting something was wrong and forcing him to confront it was a hard thing for him.  We all know that we are losing it, but don't want to be institutionalised.

Guys have a fragile view of their self worth.  Especially if they are having a bit of trouble sexually.  Either he cannot perform, or you don't value it.  Guys want women craving sex, even if they know that it is fake.  A guy thinks that one of the valuable things that he brings to the relationship is a penis.  When it is no longer working or of any seeming value, it is a blow to our self esteem.

Sex is one of the ways that guys think that their partner likes and cares about them.  If the woman no longer values the intimacy of sex, even if she doesn't really want to, then the guy feels rejected.  Then he asks, at least I do, "what am I really here for" is is just opening jars and reaching high things?  

My guess is that you were growing apart due to any number of reasons, and he was feeling old and left out.  Then you started on the path to have him committed.  I probably would have reacted about the same.  She only needs me for the social security check, and to open bottles, but she keeps buying gadgets to assist her in that.  Lol

Is there a way out.?  I am not hopeful.  Making the best of a bad situation is all that I can offer for advice.  Good luck.

0 votes

Separate. Divorce does not need to happen. Unless you both choose that. 

 Move north to be with your children... and grands.  They grow up so so fast!!!   

Just Smile  :)

by (20,660 points)
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