Dear Crabby, Should I Let My Husband Retire?

Dear Crabby,

My dear hubby is talking about retiring in the near future. Heck, I just got rid of the kids. I know he’s going to walk around strumming his guitar for two weeks, then be bored out of his mind. Any suggestions for me so I don’t lose mine?

Signed, not ready for a full time husband


Dear Not Ready,

This is a common issue that many wives have. The best thing you can do is not let him retire. That may sound mean, but it may just save your marriage. Unless he is retiring due to illness or he’s being “pushed out” of his job, you both will be happier to keep things they way they are. The perks include he still goes to work and won’t get in your way and he’ll continue to bring home the bacon. I’m sure you have your own schedule and hobbies – why mess with that – find reasons to keep him working, such as you need to save more money … vacations, kids, grandkids, etc.

However, if you can’t stop him from retiring you need to have a conversation now about boundaries and what retirement will look like for both of you. In some cases, husbands take up hobbies and tend to be just as, or even more busy than when they were working. In other situations, like you describe, some husbands will sit on the couch doing nothing but watching TV and getting in your way. Depending on your own schedule, one may work better for you.

Have that talk now about what his plans may be and how that will fit with your needs. If he likes strumming his guitar, have him start a band (as long as they practice some where other than your house). Or, create a honey-do-list with expectations. Talk to his friends who may be retired and get them all doing the same thing, bowling or golfing, fishing or hunting, or how about metal-detecting … that should keep him busy.

Whatever his interests are, you’re going to have to get him connected with other like-minded people now!

Read What to do with my retired husband? for more Crabby wisdom.

I really think the best solution is to keep him working, at least part time. Staying to a schedule will help a lot. After all, that’s what I did. Mrs. Crabby pushed me into this writing a column thing after I retired, knowing darn well I wasn’t much of writer. But she knew my keen sense of wisdom should be shared with others, to bring them joy and happiness from my advice. I’m sure you’re feeling it now!

Good luck,

Sincerely Dear Crabby


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About Dear Crabby

Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at

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