Tips for building a happy marriage in retirement


Nina Chen, Ph.D., CFLE, Human Development Specialist, University of Missouri Extension

Retirement can be enjoyable and satisfying as couples can spend more time together and grow closer. But it requires planning and committing to each other to maintain a happy marriage in the retirement phase of life. The following are some suggestions to make the transition easier and to help with creating meaningful and healthy relationships in retirement.

Open Communication

Couples are less likely to have a happy marital relationship when they don’t talk about their different expectations of retirement. It takes time and effort for couples to create a retirement plan that they enjoy. Communicate with each other about thoughts, concerns, hopes, challenges, dreams and expectations of retirement.

Talk to each other openly about changes that retirement may bring and options to make adjustments. Mutually agree on roles, expectations and how household tasks will be shared. Being flexible to negotiate and willing to share and compromise with each other can help ensure the transition goes smoothly and strengthen the relationship. Continuing to keep open lines of communication is an important part of the journey.

Quality Time and Boundaries

Couples need to spend time together to enrich and recharge their relationship. However, lacking personal time can create stress, frustration and strain. Both time together and time apart are important for couples in the retirement stage…

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