Marriage Survival Tips For Retirement

Daniel called for a marriage intensive. His wife of 39 years had moved to their lake house to think about whether or not she was going to stay or divorce. He had recently took an early retirement package and was struggling with the transition.

When we met with Daniel and Liz, we discovered a huge disconnect between what each thought retirement years would look like and what roles they assumed each person would have. Daniel struggled with finding a new purpose and identity. Liz felt suffocated and smothered by his desire to be with her all the time.

Another Family Transition Stressor

There are several major family transition times that create stress for marriage. Like having a baby or moving into empty nest season, retirement puts pressure on the marriage relationship. It is one of the times in marriages that either pull spouses toward God and each other, or move them away or against each other.

Tips For Surviving Retirement Transition

  • Pray – As with each transition point, inviting God into the issues will help you begin to transition well.
  • Courageous Conversations – Use your good communication skills to discuss important retirement transition issues. Courageous Conversations help you work through assumptions, expectations and issues.
  • Dream – Hear and speak your vision for what retirement could look like. Does it involve increasing travel and leisure activities? How much time do each of you think spending time with family should be?
  • Couples VS Me Time – Hear and speak your thoughts about how much time you will spend together and how much time you will spend in individual pursuits.
  • Roles – Transition to retirement frequently involves identity and role shifts. What are your expectations around who you are and what role you will play with the family and community moving forward.
  • Chores – With the shift it is time to renegotiate the chore chart.
  • Budget – Work together on a budget taking into consideration how long you each may live, your current and possible future health concerns and what if any legacy you want to leave your children.
  • Purpose – Discuss any causes you want to volunteer for and whether it is something you will do together or separately.
  • Date – Just because you may be in the same house more together does not make dating each other any less important. Keep romance alive.

What do you have to say?

We love to hear from readers. What other suggestions you would add to this article? Do you know someone you need to forward this article to?

This article was written by Roy and Devra Wooten, authors of “The Secret to a Lifetime Love”. Learn more at © Roy and Devra Wooten 2017. All Rights Reserved. You may replicate this article as long as it is provided free to recipients and includes appropriate attribution. Written permission for other use may be obtained at