What to do with my retired husband?

Dear Crabby,

Help!  My husband retired six months ago and is driving me crazy! He has mowed the lawn 1000 times, painted the garage twice, and is now asking to go with me to knitting group. Don’t get me wrong, he is the love of my life- but in order to keep it that way, we need to find him a more constructive use of his time. Is there some way he can use his time and talents to help those in our community?

Retiree’s Wife

Dear Retiree’s,
Dear Crabby assumes that you and your husband have lived in the Rochester area for a while.  After all, people do not typically move here to retire- usually it’s Maui or the Keys! With that in mind, Dear Crabby would love to tell your husband about the many volunteer opportunities available in our area:  The OPC, Leader Dogs, Kiwanis, Rotary Club, Lion’s Club, etc.  These groups are all wonderful and are all about helping our community. With the day job out of the way, your old-timer can finally do some good for those around him and help out a bit!
Dear Crabby imagines that if he were to travel back in time and inform your thirty-something husband that when he retired, he would be following his wife to knitting group, Dear Crabby would need to have a box of tissue to hand the guy after he breaks down crying.  In other words, Dear Crabby suspects that something else is up.

It is the opinion of this Crabby columnist that in making the transition from hard working breadwinner to carefree retiree, your husband did not take many friends along with him.  What your man needs is some high quality “Man Time.”  Instead of trying to shoehorn him back into a volunteer job, give him a chance to stretch his legs, spread his wings and all sorts of other metaphors, and get out with the guys.  Dear Crabby assures you that there is NOTHING better for your husband’s mental health than hanging out in a locker room/poker room/living room/golf course/garage enjoying some male companionship and reminiscing about the days when he had to punch the clock to provide for the family.

Dear Crabby assures you that your husband will be much more laid back after he makes some new friends and learns that there is more to retirement than days spent watching the grass grow or the paint dry!  If on the other hand he really LIKES going to the knitting group, you might need to just pull up another chair and make some room….  Good luck Retiree’s Wife, and Godspeed Retiree!

There’s the easy way and the hard way.  Crabby tells it like it is.  Want your question answered?  Email him at dearcrabby@rochestermedia.com

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 editor@rochestermedia.com.