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By Chandrama Anderson

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About this blog: About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I'm the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in ...  (More)

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Our First Anniversary in my Husband’s Retirement

Uploaded: Nov 26, 2022
Today is my anniversary. When we married, we decided that our anniversary would be the Saturday after Thanksgiving, instead of the date of the Saturday those many years ago. And since retirement is such a tremendous life transition, I thought I’d share stories of what it’s like in my home, so far. I’d love for others to chime in about their own retirement experiences.

At this moment, my husband is making a potato/eggstravaganza, listening to music and singing along. He wrote a loving, romantic, racy note for me. Spoilage is a family value at our house. Acts of service. Words of affirmation. Quality time. Touch. We’re not gift people; instead we like to spend time together, go on trips and adventures. (We’ll happily have a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, pine aroma filling our home, without gifts under it.)

About Retirement So Far
After moving, I spent the next five weeks (in between seeing clients), hanging out with my husband every day, going on adventures together, walking, getting out into nature most days, doing water fitness while he swam, oh, and getting organized. I had not yet created a writing schedule.

One morning I woke up and said to myself, “Self, you’re not retired yet!” That caused me to refocus. I realized I was ready for new clients, and I am now writing book two of I Do, I Don’t: How to Build a Better Marriage.

Here’s a typical day at the moment:
- Slow start together in the early morning
- Walk Bixby together
- Water fitness for me; swimming for my husband
- Write
- Lunch, we often make it together
- Clients and/or writing; projects or singing practice for my husband
- Get outside again if there’s time, see friends
- Make supper together
- Evening hang-out consisting of: reading, listening to music, watching sports or a movie

I realize that not all couples want to spend so much time together. Since our kids are grown, we have the luxury to do so. However you do your relationship--as long as you both explicitly agree, and it’s done with a good heart and not to avoid one another or feel you have to agree to certain things or your relationship would be at stake--is your couple way.

Now I digress in a most important way: Your healthy relationship goal is to have a securely-functioning marriage. This means: you have each others’ back; you create a home that is a haven; you seek comfort and sex from one another; you are each others’ go-to person with joyful, awful, and everything-in-between news, you make repairs quickly, you champion one another, and so on.

Consider how your life is together. Is it what you want? What would you keep the same, and what would you like to be different? Each make a list, and then share them. Have kind, loving, slowed down, multiple conversations about your vision for your marriage. When you reach sticking points, speak the others’ point of view, too.

Please share your retirement stories here.

I am thankful for you, Readers.
Community.
What is it worth to you?

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