In retirement, Family and Marital Issues is defined as “The degree to which you derive satisfaction, intimacy, connectedness, love, and a sense of well being from your marital relationship and/or family life, or ‘How is your relationship with your spouse and family?'”
Are you someone who desires exceptionally satisfying interpersonal relationships with family, especially with your spouse (if you’re married or in a relationship). Do you see your marriage and family life as positive, uplifting, enriching?
As part of a large family (11 kids), we learned to be fairly adaptable. By this, I mean that there were always others to be considered when decisions were made.
For example, a few months ago we held a ‘girls weekend’, which we hold every two years or so. You might remember me talking about this in one of the earlier ezines. All of the girls in our family (my Mom, sisters, sisters-in-law) all get together for a weekend of FUN! This past May was one such occasion. The planning began last Christmas, when a few of us were together. Initially, I asked for a date since I thought I’d be hosting it at our Cottage in Manitoba. We tossed a few dates around, anticipating who would have conflicts with each chosen date, and we booked two dates – one in May and one in June.
We also tossed around ideas for locations, since it had been held at our cottage the last time. We like to keep alternating locations, so one person doesn’t have the responsibility every time, to also minimize travel so the same ones aren’t always travelling far distances. We then emailed everyone with both dates (or hand-delivered or mailed any who didn’t have email access), had them reply which works best for them (or if both work for them), and picked the date that the most could make it. A confirmation of which date and location, and everyone started to make plans or change plans so they could attend! Oh, don’t get me wrong, there was some who can’t make it (in a family of 11 kids, it CAN be difficult to co-ordinate everyone’s schedule), but believe me, everyone gives it their absolute BEST effort. Even if they could only make it for one of the days, depending on the location, they were welcome! We have so much fun, they don’t want to miss out!
As you can see by the way I talk about my family, my scores in this area were very adequate. Generally the area of family and marital issues reflects either adequate or very low scores when clients complete the assessment. When a marriage or family relationship is not good, both parties usually know it. It’s clearly reflected in the assessment results. Unfortunately, the lower scores are usually not a surprise to the clients.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are ways to improve relationships, and getting the help of a professional is just one of them. There are specific relationships coaches who work only with that aspect of life. Depending on the severity, professional help of a counsellor may be recommended.
Start by having a discussion right now. When you were first married, you developed a contract with your partner, whether written, verbally, or over time through an unspoken agreement. These contracts contain agreements of how much time you will we spend alone or together; whether or not you have the same tastes, identifying which are different; how you will spend and save money. This may be a time to consider discussing whether or not you need to re-negotiate the contract. It’s important when moving into this next stage of life to recognize that some things will change: living 24/7 with another suddenly brings up your respect/need for privacy. You will need to let each other know you are listening and trying to understand their point of view, validating their thoughts and feelings. You may consider becoming involved in separate activities, to allow each of you to develop new routines. Roles in the home life can now be shared or swapped, allowing each to gain a new appreciation for the other. Whatever you do, keep up your appearance and make special efforts to communicate.
Occasional habits that seemed okay when you were working, can become troublesome once retired. Frequency can increase, usually not all at once but instead over a period of time. More leisure time can bring with it more opportunity, which isn’t always a good thing. Discuss issues you might anticipate before they arise. This helps to take the emotion out of the situation if and when it does arise.
Tracey Fieber is founder of “The Secrets to Retirement Success System™”, the most complete Retirement Transition program for executives and small business owners.
Using her own principles, Tracey went from a corporate executive to a retirement filled with adventure, passion and purpose, in less than 8 months!
Tracey is the celebrated author of the Retirement Success Home Study System™, and author of the upcoming book “How to Retire to a Life of Adventure, Passion and Purpose”. Get your free CD “7 Steps to Cracking the Retirement Code”, available on www.NewFaceOfRetirement.com.