By Anna D. Banks, GCDF

Couples who are in marriages that have lasted through the years experience comfort, security, and a feeling of accomplishment. However, comfort and security can often also lead to married life becoming dull and couples taking each other for granted. Transitioning smoothly into married life after retirement requires planning. Apart from planning for financial sufficiency, couples also need to clarify matters like what expectations they have from each other after retiring, such as doing the household chores. One of the important aspects of adjusting to post-retirement life together is wives appreciating the fact that husbands lend an active hand in the house. Since retirement means that they will be spending more time together, weaknesses and strengths may become more pronounced. Soon after retirement, it is usual for couples to experience a period wherein there will be an increase in friction, which they must overcome to enjoy a fulfilling life together for the rest of their days. Here are a few tips that will help you to stay happily married even after retirement:

Avoid Criticism:
It is often the case, that in a companionship that has lasted long years, partners have a tendency to think that they can make negative or unkind remarks to each other. After years of familiarity, people tend to speak their minds regardless of the feelings of their spouses. However, irrespective of the length of a marriage, being gentle with each other is an essential element for marital harmony and strength. Gentleness includes avoiding criticizing each other, forgiving each other, being self-disciplined rather than finding fault with each other, as well as being kind to each other. You need to have self-control and an ability to be responsible for your own actions in order to give up criticism. Although this may often be difficult, even so, as you stop being critical of each other, you will find understanding and love growing in your marriage.

Being Best Friends:
Just like you ignore traits in your friend that you might find irritating, you need to look beyond your spouse’s flaws, focusing instead on the qualities that endear him/her to you. This includes giving each other love unselfishly and freely, without feeling that you are making a sacrifice. Having fun together, sharing your feelings and thoughts with each other, and laughing together are important to keeping your retirement life together happy and fulfilling.

Respect Each Other:
Respecting each other as individuals is an important aspect. Although long years of co-existing with each other may result in fewer conflicts, husbands and wives still need to acknowledge the differences that they have and respect them. The differences could even make the marriage more fun and interesting, adding a renewed spark to it.

Become Allies:
Long years of togetherness can make it easier to be a team. Although differences may still crop up, they may not seem as threatening with the growth of commitment and love. Partners can now appreciate each others differing strengths and perspectives. They can also pool each others corresponding traits together and achieve goals that they may not have been able to by themselves. Enjoy, build, and value this unity.

© Anna D. Banks, GCDF

ANNA D. BANKS, GCDF is an adjunct professor at Essex County College, career development and marketing coach, speaker, and author. Anna helps individuals design a game plan for an extraordinary career or business. Since 1996, Anna has helped hundreds of job-seekers, managers, business owners, and sales professionals achieve career success. For more information send an email to
Author’s Note:
Do you have any questions about career development or lifestyle changes for Baby Boomers, which you think others, like you, would want to know the answers? Post a question on this website or email your questions to me at