Turn ‘my’ retirement into ‘our’ retirement
Since I retired, my wife keeps making appointments for us to go places and do things constantly. I told her that I worked very hard, and now I just want to stay home and listen to my music, read, relax and do nothing.
So now, she doesn’t say anything during the day but just goes out all day. The problem is that as soon as we get into bed at night she starts complaining, nagging and comparing with others.
I said I would move into another room, and that just started another argument. No matter what I say, she doesn’t stop until I fall asleep. What should I do?
Don’t get into bed until you’re asleep (kidding). It does sound like the only way you two can share the same bed at the same time is if you’re both asleep! Moving into another room will just move the conflict to another time.
You looked forward to your retirement so you could finally do nothing. She looked forward to your retirement so she could finally do something — with you.
The only thing you’re sharing now is a nightmare, and only compromise and understanding can change that into a pleasant dream.
If you give up, you’ll gain. If she gains, she’ll give up. Give up a little of your time alone, share some of her plans, and you’ll at least gain a night’s sleep and probably much more. When she gains some of that time you’ll share with her, she’ll give up the complaining and nagging.
Recognize that she’s feeling completely left out from your grand retirement plan. You’ve changed your activities drastically, but she’s still expected to continue doing what she always did while you were working. Changing “my retirement” to “our retirement” may be just the sleeping pill you need.
It’s hard enough to know what to say besides, “Oh, how adorable” when people trot out pictures of their newborn grandchildren.
But now there’s an added problem. What can you say when the potential grandparent excitedly shows you pictures of the unborn fetus?
My neighbor came to me with these pictures pointing out, “Oh, don’t you see it? There’s his nose, and those are the eyes.” I hope that was a nose and eyes, but all I saw was a blob.
What are you supposed to say? Or maybe I should ask, what are you not supposed to say?
— L T.
“Blob” is out! Nods while exclaiming “oh, wow” is in. But don’t say, “I can see he looks just like you.”
Along with “oh, wow,” say, “Isn’t technology fabulous?!”
It is. But let’s face it. Noses and things in a sonogram are in the eye of the beholder — and the beholder should behold them privately in the bosom of their nuclear family.
If you thought nothing could be worse than “come see our vacation pictures,” you now know that that invitation can be topped by “come see our sonogram pictures!”
I don’t know how to accept or deal with a certain kind of hypocrisy, which makes me angry and nasty to the person I have to deal with.
There is this man in a group I run. He is constantly voicing his religious beliefs and criticisms of others. But almost at the same time, he boasts about getting away with little robberies, and supporting politicians who keep doing the things he claims his religion is morally against.
I don’t want to start fights with him, but how can I calm down and accept this religious hypocrisy?
How to accept this? Well, try thinking what he would be like if he didn’t claim any religion!
Ignore him. Only a fool bothers fighting with a fool.
Of course, if nothing else works — pray!
© Helen Oxenberg, 2018. Questions to be considered for this column may be sent to: The Beacon, P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD 20915. You may also email the author at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. To inquire about reprint rights, call (609) 655-3684.