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Still in the School of ‘Life’…

July 15, 2010

Life never stops offering up lessons to be learned. I don’t remember wanting to learn math or how to drive, but sure am glad I know both now. (Math mostly for the quilting). The lessons keep coming; we’re in a different stage of life so lessons are brand new. Here’s what I’ve learned in the past 3 1/2 months:

If you spend the entire day with your husband you don’t necessarily need to spend the evening with him. If you feed him dinner he might be quite content to have the remote while you disappear to another part of the house.

Do not clean the floors in the house while your husband is doing yardwork. Mowing, edging, raking, mulching, whatever – they all get tracked inside. Tackle the floors when he’s in the shower and you know he’ll come out with clean feet.

Men will only expect three prepared meals a day if you are dumb enough to start the tradition. Point to the cereal, granola bars, yogurt and juice.  Once a week cook a big breakfast and eat something light for another meal that day. I have a girlfriend who serves popcorn every single Sunday night for ‘supper’. Brilliant!

Phone time with females is essential to your sanity, and his. If you can go to another part of the house where he doesn’t have to listen to every single word that might be good too.

Sharing a bed is good on many realms. One of the best is that you have to be close to each other. Makes it hard to stay mad.

In light of the previous, ear plugs are a beautiful thing – not only blocks out snoring, blocks out the cat calling for human involvement at 6 am, neighbors who start mowing at 7 am to beat the heat. The benefits are endless.

If you slow down, take a break here and there, he will feel free to do so also. If you work all the time, he’ll do that too, and overworked, tired, hot men are grumpy. Taking a break is good on many levels.

If you go spend time with grandkids, go alone for the first few days. You’ll enjoy it more and he will too, when he joins you. God did not gear men to nurture, in my humble opinion, and grandkids were created to nurture and enjoy, not fix.

Find a hobby, or pick up a hobby and the husband will likely find or pick up one too. Even if his hobby is rewatching all the old movies stored in the cupboard. Men seem to be content with being passively entertained much of the time. This might count for at least 50% of why pole dancing is such a draw… (or 10%).

Schedule a hair and / or nail appointment every 4 – 6 weeks and go alone. He’ll enjoy the break and appreciate it when you come home looking nice.

Play one day a week, and plan it ahead of time to give him something to look forward to. Let him pick the activities too, and just go along for the ride sometimes.

Ask his opinion on decorating, but only give him a vote on choices you can live with. Do not give him the entire paint palette and ask him to choose – rather ask, ‘which of these two greens do you prefer?” He’ll feel included and not overwhelmed.

Go to Home Depot or Lowes and part company. Tell him you’ll meet him at the front in 30 minutes or an hour. Either store has lots of fun stuff for women to look at and most men could put up a cot and live there! Do not do this at the grocery store, however. Men tend to come back with slabs of beef and such.

Do not take him to Target if you can help it. He’ll start by asking, ‘what do you need?’ and no woman goes to Target because she ‘needs’ anything…..

Shower often, smell nice. Fix your hair and wear makeup even if you’re not going anywhere and it may sweat off by the end of the day. He has to look at you all day long. Sweaty men are sexy, sweaty females are sweaty.

Be the initiator for making friends and getting involved. Most men would be happy to just stay in the cave forever.

Give grace. Pray for him. Get enough sleep so you can be pleasant. Remember you’re a team and it’s a whole new ballgame for him too.

“It is better to live on the corner of a roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife”. Proverbs 21:9 I don’t want the neighbors driving by and wondering why my hubby is up on the roof!

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. July 15, 2010 2:40 pm

    Wow! As a retiree, I say this is some of the best advice I’ve ever read! Seems that you have aced Retirement 101 . . . When I read the Proverb you quoted, I always think of the cute picture a little girl in my church group drew years ago. I asked them to pick a Proverb verse and illustrate it, and for some reason, she chose this one. Wish I still had it!

    I also enjoyed reading your challenging post on freedom, too!

  2. July 15, 2010 3:44 pm

    This is great, Bev, and most of it we should start putting into practice long before retirement hits!

  3. July 15, 2010 3:58 pm

    You need to write a book. You have so much wisdom and such a sense of humor to go along with it:-) I was thinking just what Dianne said… a lot of this would be helpful to marriage at any stage!

    • July 15, 2010 4:04 pm

      Thank you Kelly! I do wish I’d learned some of this 20 years ago, and likely my husband would say Amen to that!

  4. July 15, 2010 4:34 pm

    You sure have learned a lot in a short time. I am telling you … there is a ton of wisdom in this post . A ton.

    And am I “the girlfriend” who serves popcorn on Sunday nights? If not … then make me “another of your girlfriends” who serves popcorn every Sunday night. I do.

    I have to tell you that shopping with the Butler is so distressing. He picks up Every Single Item in his wake and says, “Do you need this?” No kidding. Every item.

    Maybe it is good that we have a few years yet before we are retired 🙂

  5. July 15, 2010 4:41 pm

    Just – Amen sister!

  6. Kristina permalink
    July 16, 2010 12:05 am

    My favorite part…. “no woman goes to target because she “needs” anything.” This is SO true!!!

  7. July 16, 2010 7:05 am

    Well said! Wish I’d learned sooner–or in some cases–at all. Didn’t realize until I read your post that I have continued to expect the hubs to be as nurturing with the grandkids as I am. Thanks, Bev, for so much wisdom! And wit. 🙂

    • July 16, 2010 9:05 am

      Rhetta, our next door neighbor told us when his grandkids come to visit he heads for his boathouse! Mine does pretty well, has a wonderful heart but I’m convinced they just aren’t geared for the gentleness and endurance that little ones require from us as we get older. Small doses for both the kids and the Papa seems to work pretty well.

  8. Jean permalink
    July 16, 2010 10:58 am

    Thank you. What a lovely, thoughtful posting.

  9. July 16, 2010 1:56 pm

    Definitely a must-read for those facing spending more time with retired spouses! I agree that you could/should write a book.

    • July 16, 2010 9:40 pm

      Thanks Pendy for the vote of confidence. Much appreciated!

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