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Retirement can create multiple tensions at home

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Marriage. That it solves some problems while causing others is hardly news. The problems it solves – loneliness, a drastically declining national birthrate – are forefront nowadays as marriage declines, a victim of economic and social trends unfavorable to it. So many young people who want to marry feel they can’t, hobbled as they are by insufficient income, job instability and the lack of opportunities to meet significant others, that already roughly a quarter of young singles are considered likely – whether they like it or not – to remain single for life. The percentage is rising rapidly.

Most single people, polls consistently show, would marry if they could – but would they be happier if they did? Or merely unhappy in a different way?

Marriage tends to be covered from one of two opposing perspectives. There are those who long for it, and those who are imprisoned by it. To Shukan Post (May 27), the prison is a narrow cell indeed, the fact that it’s shared making it less, not more habitable.

Things come to a head when the husband retires. While he’s working, the marriage may be intimate or chilly or downright hostile; in all three cases the amount of time spent together is limited, which refreshes the intimacy and slackens the tensions. Post-retirement, there’s simply no escaping each other.

Within a year of retiring, “Mr. A,” 66, was a nervous wreck.

“Every day my wife would be after me for the most trivial things,” he tells the magazine. “If I don’t put the toilet seat down for her, she tells me to pee sitting down. If I open the curtains, I never seem to do it quite neatly enough. If, trying to be helpful, I do the laundry, I get scolded for causing her more trouble than if I did nothing, because she has to do everything I do over. It got to the point I was waking up with heart palpitations; I was suffering shortness of breath; at her mere approach, I’d break out into a sweat.”

This sort of thing can send a man to hospital – in fact Mr. A checked himself into one briefly.

Medical experts Shukan Post consults cite a combination of psychological and physical stress factors. Psychologically, retirement, however long looked forward to, brings with it the shock of lost status – a man is not the executive at home he was at work; on the contrary, on the home front, the wife tends to be boss, the husband a subordinate – if not a downright intruder. That takes some getting used to.

Physically, as one doctor explains, many men of retirement age are going through the male equivalent of menopause – swelling prostate, diminished (if not lost altogether) libido. That too can be hard to accept gracefully.

Two pieces of advice emerge from the discussion. One: limit the amount of time you are physically in each other’s company. Five hours a day is too much; three is about right. Two: sleep separately. That needn’t mean – in fact has nothing to do with – an end to sexual relations. It’s simply a fact, specialists say, that different people require different sleeping environments – window open versus window closed, and so on. Sleeplessness due to being in the wrong environment is not conducive to the amiable spirit of give-and-take that marriage demands under even the best circumstances.

Shukan Post raises a third point as a kind of postscript. Men in their 60s, having grown up under different mores, tend to be rather brusque toward women in general, and toward their wives in particular. Women no longer stand for that. It’s worth noting, if you want your post-retirement “second life” to be what your first life probably wasn’t – restful.

© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Most single people, polls consistently show, would marry if they could – but would they be happier if they did? Or merely unhappy in a different way?

Get rid of the fantasy life expectations of marriage, and quite thinking that a dream princess or prince is going to sweep you off your feet. Odds are there is someone in your life, right near you now, that likes you and would marry you if you would take the time to look!

Two pieces of advice emerge from the discussion. One: limit the amount of time you are physically in each other’s company. Five hours a day is too much;

This is actually not bad advice, and for recently retired folks, stress increases particularly for the housewives who now have to deal with a change in their lives as well.

This best advice I have ever heard, from people who have been married a long time, get a hobby, find SOMETHING you like to do and it's different than your spouses, but doesnt cause problems in the home. Find it BEFORE you retire and build on it after. Keeps you both out of each others hair.

People change over the years, my wife and I both, and we've been married 30 years. There are days we dont like each other, but we always love each other.....

Two: sleep separately.

Cultural differences showing here, my Mom and Dad were married for over 50 years, and the ONLY time they didnt sleep together was when my Mom was having her children in the hospital, or when they both, in their golden years, needed to be in the hospital for one or another illness.

My wife and I do not sleep together, but for the first 15 plus years of marriage we did, it was a matter of convenience that we stopped, my work hours and her hobbies.

It all depends on the couple.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

It is a clash made worse by the fact that they have little understanding of each other, except in terms of the roles they played, which have now come to an end. And when the man retires it is a revelation to him how little his wife has been doing around the home since the kids grew up and she feels suddenly exposed and guilty by his discovery.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Two: sleep separately.

are you kidding???? that reminds me the girls` talk my fiancé brings home every once in a while. Seriously the girls here ask each other: "so do you two kiss?? aaaah urayamashii'~ how many times a month?". snorts

5 ( +8 / -3 )

“Every day my wife would be after me for the most trivial things,”

This just didn't start after he retired, but has been going on for a long time during the marriage I imagine. It was probably diffused since he went out the door everyday to work. The best advice I can give for both, don't try to make each other into what you want them to be. Understand and deal with your differences, and don't try to make your partner what you think the "others" think that they should be. Will save you a lot of hassle.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

People most happy in retirement enjoy a variety of activities like volunteer work, exercise, socializing, reading etc. and many on the road to retirement may spend a lot of time traveling. However unexpected physical ailments may make extensive traveling difficult. That's why you need to be flexible in planning for retirement activities. Retirement is like a career change because you not only leave something but you are to begin something new. It's one of many transitions and coping with this depends on the role of work and family in the life of the individual, the timing of the retirement, the degree on the role of work and family in the life of the individual, the timing of retirement, the degree to which the work has been satisfying, the degree to which a meaning life is established and, of course one's health and sense of financial security. In other words there are many factors that contribute to helping people negotiate the retirement transition.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Sounds like Mr. A is married to bi**h !! Ughh . . . How do & why some men put up with that crap their whole lives?? Beats me.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

If a couple haven't gotten tired of arguing in their 30s, 40s, 50s, don't expect a peaceful retirement in their 60s.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

NOT KNOWING WHAT TO DO AFTER retirement can create multiple tensions at home

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Everyday I tell my husband "how I wished he'd retire soon", I can't wait to do things together , simple things like strolling in the park, going to the beach, eating in quaint French cafes in Tokyo, gardening, and even doing some de cluttering at home regularly and beautifying surroundings which can bring relaxation mode in our life. Not to mention playing with our grandchild, and doing all sorts of stuff together, theme parks, pool, and if strong enough even travel in nearby towns....there's just so much to do in our twilight years, and if we don't hurry how to spend all these, we will miss just about the beauty of having a partner. It's not that I don't tell him to put the toilet cover down when he oee's,etc...that's an everyday petty thing that we don't sweat about!

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Is Rick Romero reporting for JapanToday these days?

Since when has a major career change for one or both spouses not created financial havoc in a household? Retirement is also a word for UNEMPLOYMENT, so there is that.

But mainly, a husband and wife, joined in a TIL DEATH DO US PART union, find out that they really prefer NOT to spend eight hours a day together.

Put it all together and throw in some empty nest anxiety and depression and dementia, and you have a recipe for "multiple tensions."

2 ( +5 / -3 )

i know i will get flamed and hydrogen bombed for this, but how about the old lady finally working and contributing and stop being a parasite.

12 ( +17 / -6 )

Can create tension and give life a big blah if you dont want to do the same things. My parents split after 45 years together, shortly after my dad retired. He was the breadwinner 45 years and dreamed of enjoying retired life. When that came along my mom wasnt interested, they had different ideas. In addition, she was on him about everything. Eventually, you have to decide. Interestingly, my dad is living life like never before and my mom has become bitter and uninterested in anything. You only have one life and if you share nothing in common with your partner it`s probably best to move on.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The problem is far too many in Japan DONT have much of a life to start with! As one poster said its more like ROLE PLAYING, one works, one stays home & manages the fort.............

Folks if you don't START having a life once your married, good luck having a hope in hell come retirement.

I had to encourage my wife to try to keep her friends when we first got hitched & get new ones over time, many wives have to ditch their friends............

Also got her to pursue her hobbies, so for couple decades she has been into gardening, patchwork, sewing, also a fantastic cook. Me I also garden & grow veggies, chop wood for the stove, play some guitar, photography.

We love going out for lunch/dinner, me I could do Izakaya till I die but the mrs is ok with them but loves pasta etc so we mix it up.

Lots of other stuff we do together & apart, if we retired today we would just gain some time & carry on what we are already doing & have been for ages.

You cant wait to START life come your 60s, if you do you will pay the price!

13 ( +14 / -1 )

We hear these sorts of stories constantly, and they all boil down to one thing: The marriage ended years ago and turned into empty cohabitation, but one or both of the participants is unaware that a change happened (or aware and unwilling to do anything to fix it).

I blame the work culture here. In other countries we might easily hear similar stories, but the tone is always different because this notion that you can just expect the husband to be out of the picture 60-80 hours a week doesn't exist. In other countries, a husband spending all their time away from home and neglecting their marriage is recognized as a conscious choice on the husband's part. Here it's practically mandatory. So of course when retirement comes, couples barely know each other.

YubaruMAY. 23, 2016 - 07:09AM JST This best advice I have ever heard, from people who have been married a long time, get a hobby, find SOMETHING you like to do and it's different than your spouses, but doesnt cause problems in the home. Find it BEFORE you retire and build on it after.

I upvoted your post and I agree with these words, but I also find it genuinely terrifying that Japanese society is in such a state that this needs saying. Needing to tell people to get a hobby is tantamount to needing to tell people to enjoy life. Is this society so far gone that people need to be reminded that happiness should be pursued?

11 ( +15 / -4 )

If a new management comes in and suddenly makes changes to the work environment and long-standing practices, you can certainly expect angry workers who are used to how they have been doing things all along - even if the practices and work environment wasn't that good to begin with. They will be dissatisfied with the new management who "don't understand how we've been doing it until now. They haven't been here."

Similar situation with Mr. A. His wife has been doing things a certain way for 45 years, and now that he is home and doing things differently to how she has done it, she is going to feel disgruntled by the changes. I'd say that if he had been helping with various housework all along and spending extended time at home during the weekends during the entire marriage, many of these issues would have been worked out along the way.

Looking at the retired lives of various family members, while it is expected to have various "tension" in the house with the change in lifestyles that come with retirement, problems that arise post-retirement were surely there pre-retirement.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Yubaru's advice:

find SOMETHING you like to do and it's different than your spouses, but doesnt cause problems in the home. Find it BEFORE you retire

Good advice, which so many do not seem to take. I am 5 to 10 years from retirement, but I got lucky finding painting when I was 33, and have just started again so I can get something out of it (an income even???) later. (This is despite my wife now trying to start her own business and who assures me I can sleep late, go to the beach, do whatever when I retire while she works very hard to support me, and please don't worry about helping! This worries me because she is not the ironic joke-making type).

No need to follow in my footsteps. However, advice to anyone is simply make sure you HAVE SOMETHING TO DO!

At least my wife and I are on the same track there.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I agree with people?s they mention hobbies, sports and activities either together or apart.

Shocked how many Japanese have no hobbies, Interests, etc and that includes teens too. So you get the average person that only works and the Otaku that are major into their hobbies( a term not just coined for anime/manga lovers, you can be a Train Otaku, Motorbike Otaku, etc too).

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Let me see if I got this right. So, the man goes out every day, works his arse off for decades so that the ungrateful, lazy wife can stay home spending most of her time drinking coffer and chatting with her friends and buying expensive brand name stuff and at the end the man has to feel bad for cramping her style?! Are you kidding me? Don't tell me house work is somehow a big deal, it isn't. Anyone can do the dishes, vacuum or do laundry. Been there, done that. And sending the kids off the school isn't such a big deal either.

So yeah if this is what a man can expect it is much better, and cheaper, to get a maid and spend some money on girls of the night, Who needs a wife from hell like the one in the article?! By the way why doesn't he just leave her? Withdraw all the money from the bank account, after all HE earned it, and walk away. Better yet, kick her out, it's his house, isn't it? He paid the mortgage!

I will never understand why J. men give all their salaries to their wives. It's the craziest and most dangerous thing to do in a marriage, it gives all the leverage to the wife. I guess a lot J. men never really grow up, first their mommy takes care of them and then the wife takes over the role. Mentally they remain little boys forever. However if that's the case they should just shut up and put up with the situation they have created.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

The problem is far too many in Japan DONT have much of a life to start with!

Ohhh tell me about it. I was out and about one fine sunny afternoon. I saw an (old enough to b retired) Japanese gentleman taking up-close photos of plants and flowers in the park.

The camera looked very expensive. In my head, I was like, "No way . . . get a life dude-"

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Could JT publish more positive articles about 'living together' than these depressing, stereotypical stories (imo made up by lazy magazine editors similar to what was published in the "shukan post').

Not all men are 30-70yo weak blokes who snore, have no sex drive and get bullied by the missus at home and/or realise (too late) they had just spent the last 10-40 years with a dragon. Not saying it doesn't happen but surely it's not the norm? It's always about a dude (who worked all his life) and a stay at home/parasite dragon wife.

These stories remind me of the slightly manufactured 'letters' that were published in our teen mags in the late 80s, i.e. 15yo 'wondering' if its normal to have had a 4 threesomes in the last few weeks. You can do better than that.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

After retirement a certain period of adjustment is required. The wife has to accommodate another person disrupting her routine (even happens on the weekends, too), and the husband has to deal with no longer being needed by his company (which begged him to work overtime for free).

It is easier to adjust if both people have other things to do and talk about besides housework and work.

On the other hand, I agree with goldorak, this sounds like a fictional account dressed up as real and passed on by JapanToday.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

It is a clash made worse by the fact that they have little understanding of each other, except in terms of the roles they played, which have now come to an end. And when the man retires it is a revelation to him how little his wife has been doing around the home since the kids grew up and she feels suddenly exposed and guilty by his discovery.

Wow, what a stereotype comment here. Being a housewife is probably one of the world's hardest and tiring jobs that receives no pay.

Particularly now a days here in Japan the "wife" is not just a wife, but everything else too. The husband brings home a paycheck and expects his wife to do everything for him when she is just as tired and worked just as hard but even harder because now she has to take care of his lazy ass.

No wonder they divorce.

Could JT publish more positive articles about 'living together' than these depressing, stereotypical stories (imo made up by lazy magazine editors similar to what was published in the "shukan post').

I agree, but I think JT would be hard pressed to find them or even create one fictionally on their own. They get more traffic posting the doom and gloom.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Being a housewife is probably one of the world's hardest and tiring jobs.

I've done the dinks thing, I've done the sengyo shufu thing, I've done the sahm thing, now I'm doing the wahw thing. By far the most rewarding - and the hardest and most tiring - thing was the sahm thing. The least satisfying was the married-but-no-kids-and-no-job thing (forced into it for a while cos of visa considerations), though it was tempered a bit on account of us being newly-weds and living in a rose-coloured bubble at the time.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Get out of the friggen city! Move to a more relaxing environment and find some hobbies.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Ohhh tell me about it. I was out and about one fine sunny afternoon. I saw an (old enough to b retired) Japanese gentleman taking up-close photos of plants and flowers in the park. The camera looked very expensive. In my head, I was like, "No way . . . get a life dude-"

He's got a hobbie and spending some of his retirement time enjoying it. Photography comes in many different forms. Some people photograph people, others landscaping, flowers, the stars, etc.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

YubaruMAY. 23, 2016 - 01:45PM JST Being a housewife is probably one of the world's hardest and tiring jobs that receives no pay.

You're kidding, right? Care to enlighten us how it is difficult to put the clothes in the washing machine, then do dishes, do a little vacuuming and then hang out the clothes to dry and perhaps do a little cooking? Have you ever lived on your own? 'cause of you have then you have done all the above AND worked full time as opposed to being a house wife who does nothing else after finishing these chores. So, being a housewife is one of the easiest jobs in the world. No demanding boss, no annoying coworkers, no commute, all the free time in the world. And get PAID for it. Man, is it an awesome "job" if there ever was one. Little surprise that wives outlive their husband by a large margin in most countries.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

So, being a housewife is one of the easiest jobs in the world. No demanding boss, no annoying coworkers, no commute, all the free time in the world. And get PAID for it. Man, is it an awesome "job" if there ever was one. Little surprise that wives outlive their husband by a large margin in most countries.

Add a child or two or three into the mix, which is typical btw, and then please climb off your pedestal and tell me what it's like.

Been there, done that, 3 kids raised between the Missus and me and it aint at all like you try to paint it here.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I do have kids, and a full time job. I know exactly what's it like and have zero sympathy for housewives. Go to any cafe around 2pm, all you'll see is smartly dressed housewives, with brand name bags bought from hubby's salary, eating 1,000 yen cakes and sipping 1,000 yen teas. Ask them where do they get the time and money to enjoy such pass time. And where their husbands are?

2 ( +8 / -6 )

I do have kids, and a full time job. I know exactly what's it like and have zero sympathy for housewives. Go to any cafe around 2pm, all you'll see is smartly dressed housewives, with brand name bags bought from hubby's salary, eating 1,000 yen cakes and sipping 1,000 yen teas. Ask them where do they get the time and money to enjoy such pass time. And where their husbands are?

Must live in an area with cash. Dont see that down here all that much, but then again my wife and I are working so we dont get around to places you are. Must be nice.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Ohhh tell me about it. I was out and about one fine sunny afternoon. I saw an (old enough to b retired) Japanese gentleman taking up-close photos of plants and flowers in the park.

The camera looked very expensive. In my head, I was like, "No way . . . get a life dude-"

Oh and what do YOU do in your spare time, me laddo? I think if he's happy with his photography hobby who are you to pour cold water on that?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Oh and what do YOU do in your spare time, me laddo? I think if he's happy with his photography hobby who are you to pour cold water on that?

Probably jealous that he or she couldn' t afford the camera themselves and were actually thinking, "I'd better get a life".

I've seen plenty of retired folks taking pictures all over the place, if it makes them happy so what! Personally after I retire I plan on making some cash along the way, open up my own izakaya and drink my way through my golden years!

Plenty of friends around to support it, and I will only serve food I want to make that day. Pay one price, self-service, enjoy the comradarie, friendship and of course alcohol, AND I'll be out of my wife's hair during the daytime.

She will come and sup with me at dinner! I literally can not wait! Might even retire early!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Retirement can create multiple tensions at home

Blaming retirement for multiple tensions at home is like kicking the cat when the TV breaks down.

Tension is caused by people.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Care to enlighten us how it is difficult to put the clothes in the washing machine, then do dishes, do a little vacuuming and then hang out the clothes to dry and perhaps do a little cooking? Have you ever lived on your own? 'cause of you have then you have done all the above AND worked full time as opposed to being a house wife who does nothing else after finishing these chores. So, being a housewife is one of the easiest jobs in the world. No demanding boss, no annoying coworkers, no commute, all the free time in the world. And get PAID for it.

Sure it's all easy if you do your housework around the kids if you do very little with them. Having kids and doing housework is NOT the same as doing things WITH the kids, FOR the kids AND THEN doing the housework.

Can you play with your kids outside, read books with them, take a walk with them, doing homework with them, sit next to them and watch them draw pictures AND THEN do the housework at the same time? Sure you can do housework if your kids are doing their own stuff and you're not with them much.

What you see in some expensive café is not what all the housewives are doing.. Expensive brand bag? Many of my J-housewife-friends have 1 or many 2 brand bags they cherish.. they are usually birthday/Christmas gifts or what they saved money and bought. Not many housewives have lots of money to buy many expensive stuff nowadays.

I took 1 year off when I had my first baby, and I always thought it'd be much easier to go to work outside because I'm not walking outside in the 30 degree heat carrying a baby (baby didn't like to sit in a stroller so I often carried my baby and put my bags in a stroller). Nobody would follow me into the bathroom if I went to work. Nobody would be climbing up on my shoulder while writing/typing/doing things... Nobody would ask me to sit next to them to just watch what they are doing. Nobody would ask for the amount of attention I'd be asked for at home with a small child.

So, I'd be more careful when talking about what housewives do.

And just so you know, being a single living alone and doing housework is totally different from having kids and doing housework. With my kids playing sports, the amount of laundry is crazy and doing laundry is not a once a day thing. Doing dishes for the entire family is not the same as washing dishes just for one person. Cooking for the whole family is not the same as fixing for yourself to eat something.

Doing housewife while raising kids CAN BE easy if you don't really put energy into kids/housework.

I guess what I want to say is, it all depends on the people... Just like people who work outside - Some get easy, some don't. Some housewives get easy, some don't.

I would not generalize.

And by the way, yes, I have had a full time job while living alone - wow things were much easier (I could eat whenever I wanted to. whatever I wanted to, and could sleep a lot on weekends, quiet, freedom) -

I would not replace my life with family with any of the "freedom" I had while I was single, though :)

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Why wouldn't a guy want to provide an environment where his wife doesn't have to work?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Why wouldn't a guy want to provide an environment where his wife doesn't have to work?

I guess some guys do, some don't. My husband said I didn't have to work, but gave me the "freedom" to work. In return, I promised him that I would not neglect my family, and he promised me he'd help as much as he could. Some women including me prefer to work whether it's full time or part time... gives us some "life outside of mom's world" while earning money.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If the wife wants to work, she should be free to. That's different than what I was trying to say though - I was commenting on the fact that so many guys seem so bitter about the idea that their wife may finish the housework and actually have free time to sit around or meet a friend or something.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I think anyone who says they have kids, but still insist that being a housewife and mom aren't really participating much at home. Every once in a while I get frustrated that something isn't done in the home by my stay-at-home wife. But then I spend a few hours at night or weekends with my toddler and think, "Holy crap, I'm tired. And I can't get anything else done!" and remember to feel grateful to her and what she is doing.

I agree with Strangerland, if the wife wants to work, she should be free to do so. But if the man is able to provide and she wants to spend her time with the children because she feels that is the best way for her to spend her time, she should be free to do so as well. No need to look down on either.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

My wife would divorce me or kill me, whichever came easiest first.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Marriage is not easy. It is particularly difficult when companies include long work hours, extra and unexpected work, obligatory participation in non-work-related events, including weddings and funerals (like the boss's grandmother!! I kid you not). Weekly meetings after work with much required alcohol consumption, rare nights at home with the family, particularly hard to handle when a woman has children to tend to, bathe, cook for, read stories, illnesses to deal with, without any help whatsoever, and a spouse comes home high from a great and productive night out in Ginza with entertainment and may not have any patients in dealing with children vomiting, having diarrhea, 39 degree fevers or babies that will just not go to sleep despite the looming hangover of the father. I am lucky that my husband never referred to me as a "dragon" or a "parasite" like some of the commenters obviously see women. Those are the very men who are most likely not a full partner and enjoying the depth of family and friendship a marriage can offer. This is a reality in Japanese families. Add to this a job that the wife may have to juggle. She decides it is better to let her busy and over-worked husband sleep alone and focus on his career. I have a letter from a former executive "explaining " how it was essential for me to be supportive of my husband's career. Couples often seem to hate one another here and do not actually communicate and have fun. After decades of marriage, grown children, we are better friends. The hellish early child-rearing times are over. What next. Okay, get to know one another again. We bought a great new bed. Sleep really well and together. The new mattress is so good the other does not even know when another is getting up in the middle of the night! We do not discuss our marital problems with others. Tempting. But, it is our rule. Sometimes we are so busy we have to make appointments to meet. Social media can be so interesting that one forgets that one actually lives with other humans! So, we limit it and make time to be together. As sexual activity naturally wanes, there are a lot of other things to do and are fun! We try to stay at least physical. Build things. Take power walks. Recently, we were really angry at each other. We walked in silence for like, 2 hours, burning calories and stuck out in the middle of nowhere, but it was great! Go ahead and be angry but play paint ball or buy water guns! Don't think about divorce just because he or she is a jerk at some point! Admit our own weak points and kiss and make up. Set up a bar at home and sing bar songs, rock songs, Country and Western songs, enka, whatever. Record them and listen and do the unthinkable-- LAUGH! I do not want to be a stuffy old couple. We plan on being human around any ensuing in-laws and/or grandkids. We have had to lighten up! Not easy, but in it for the long haul! Till death or murder do us part! 31 years down, few more to go!

Keep positive, JT.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

It seems some of you are forgetting that toddlers/babies grow and go to kindy, ele school, JHS... Being a SAHM mom to small kids is without a doubt hard but once those kids go off to kindy? Sorry but no. Those SAHM aren't doing much more housework/child rearing than your average FT working mom in this country.

As for the topic at hand, well if you lead separate lives from the get go - hubby at work all the time, golf on the weekends and wife raising kids and having hobbies - why would anyone think it would be easy to deal with each other when retired? Its common sense but as we all know, common sense it's so common.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

It is an interesting article and some good comments as well. Probably more good advice in the comments than in the article itself.

I think any major life change brings tensions. Having kids was sure a big one! Focused more on the kids when they were young and now that they are out of high school (another big life change) focusing on paying for their education.

Personally I will probably work until I drop (or until I can't). Was lucky enough to travel the world when younger, took a few years off of work in 30's and lived in a few countries before settling in Japan. I guess I am very lucky as I like what I do, can probably do it until no longer capable.... and thus do not see a "retirement".

Either way as long as people can find a way to be happy in the end that is what counts.

Again some great advice in the comments (especially from "jpntdytmrow")

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Can you play with your kids outside, read books with them, take a walk with them, doing homework with them, sit next to them and watch them draw pictures AND THEN do the housework at the same time?

Most of the lifelong housewives that I know are middle-aged or elderly, and only raised two children at most. Do you seriously believe that they have been spending the past three or four decades reading books and drawing pictures for their children, morning noon and night? Because if they have, then they are clearly failures as parents, and should've outsourced the whole thing from the start (which is what most parents do anyway, once their kids are six).

If the wife wants to work, she should be free to.

That's mighty white of you.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Because of the age of the people mentioned in the story, I wondered about early-onset dementia or Alzheimer's. I know a family in a similar situation. Both the husband and wife retired around the same time, and were home all the time all of a sudden. They had teen children, but the husband was much older. They began to fight, really bitterly, all of a sudden.

They went through all sorts of things to try to work things out, but the man, especially, was prone to rages. It turns out, he had the early stages of Alzheimers, but it's really hard to diagnose early on. They weren't fighting because they were together all the time. Being together all the time just made the problem come to the fore faster. They went to marriage counselors, and one of them asked the wife if she noticed any physical changes in her husband to go with the changes in his mood. She said that while her husband was always really fit and strong, he was starting to walk much more slowly, and was sort of unsteady. It turns out that might be a marker for dementia. http://caregivingforyou.com/can-walking-more-slowly-indicate-alzheimers-disease/The counselor suggested they go to a doctor that specializes in identifying dementia. Sure enough, that was what it was. The poor fellow eventually needed to be institutionalized.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Marilita-Fabie-Fujisawa1 ......Your comments remind me of my late wife. The way to happiness in life, is to find someone like yourself, whom you love and who loves you. The same attitudes about important things is the key; all that remains then is mutual attraction. It takes work to find that person, but it will bring the most happiness to you both. If you see a guy who is attractive to you.....smile at him, girls....instead of looking away.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The camera looked very expensive. In my head, I was like, "No way . . . get a life dude-"

He is probably happy with what he is doing. Leave the guy alone. Bullies make the world very unpleasant.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The camera looked very expensive. In my head, I was like, "No way . . . get a life dude-"

In my head, I was like, "Picking holes in someone else's hobby, that they seem to be getting innocent pleasure out of while hurting/inconveniencing no one? No way, you get a life, dude.'

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why retire? It's bad for the health and frequently results in mortality with 5 years. If you're ambulatory and still have the power of rational thought, keep on working till the end of the day.

I remember back in the seventies Japanese wives used to call newly retired husbands "gokiburi teishu" (cockroach husbands) because they were always underfoot and scurrying around in the house. In the eighties they called them "sodai gomi" (large garbage, like old appliances). It'd be funny if it wasn't so tragic.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Can you play with your kids outside, read books with them, take a walk with them, doing homework with them, sit next to them and watch them draw pictures AND THEN do the housework at the same time?

Perhaps they could do the cleaning when the kids are away getting their homework from school? Juku? I mean really, homework being given means someone else is with the kids...

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Perhaps they could do the cleaning when the kids are away getting their homework from school? Juku? I mean really, homework being given means someone else is with the kids...

Walk in the shoes first, tmarie. fishy is right on the button. One kid at school often still lives his little brother(s)/sister(s) at home needing caring for.

It's always the kidless ones who are so quick to tell us how easy it all is......

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Often? Sorry but when does school start where you are? Kids grow up and these small, hard years don't last that long unless a couple is constantly having babies.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Kids grow up and these small, hard years don't last that long unless a couple is constantly having babies.

But they are constantly having babies ... 1.46 per woman!

It's always the kidless ones who are so quick to tell us how easy it all is......

And it's always those mothers of 1.46 children who are so quick to tell us how taihen it all is ...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

And it's always those mothers of 1.46 children who are so quick to tell us how taihen it all is ...

The difference being that only one of those groups knows what it's like to be on both sides of the equation.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Sorry but when does school start where you are? Kids grow up and these small, hard years don't last that long

Have two kids spaced three or four years apart and you have 10 or 11 years between the first one being born and the second one starting school at 7. Granted it's a bit easier when the youngest hits kindy, but they're still home by 2.

it's always those mothers of 1.46 children who are so quick to tell us how taihen it all is ...

Like I said, wear the shoes first. Sad how it's these brilliant women who are sure it's all so easy who (choose to?) miss out on having kids....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sad how it's these brilliant women who are sure it's all so easy who (choose to?) miss out on having kids....

Considering that my young pupils literally spend more of their waking hours with me than their mothers, I don't feel I am missing out on anything.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Why we reject patriarchy? Modern way of life isnt civilization legacy. Its big mistake. There is no space for democraty in army and in family and in between sexes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Granted it's a bit easier when the youngest hits kindy, but they're still home by 2.

Maybe where you live they are. They certainly aren't home by 2:00 where I am.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They certainly aren't home by 2:00 where I am

I don't know where you are, but my kids were always home around 2 unless there was some special event going on (in which case usually Mum was expected to be at kindy, too). When the grandkids get home from kindy and call me, it's always before 2.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Just because that's your area doesn'T mean it is for every other Cleo.... Round and round we go.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

tmarie -

Perhaps they could do the cleaning when the kids are away getting their homework from school? Juku?

I have 3 kids... and no, we do NOT send our kids to Juku. I am around my kids (doing housework) when they do homework at home so that I can help when and if they need.

Yes, I did the cleaning when the kids were away, but I always had at least one little one with me while doing housework until a few years ago when my youngest entered elementary school.

It sure got a little easier after the kids got a little older because I had a routine, but until then, it was difficult because my schedule was all up to the kids' schedule.

I mean really, homework being given means someone else is with the kids...

this is what I mean by Doing housewife while raising kids CAN BE easy if you don't really put energy into kids/housework as I said in my post earlier.

Like I said, some get easy, some don't. It all depends on how much energy, effort and love you put into what you're doing. Those you see are not all that exists.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Fishy, if you've read my posts on this kind of topic, those with little kids at home are not the ones I am talking about. If one has little kids at home, managing housework and a small child is no easy feat.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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