Should I reconsider retirement plans if I am concerned about having too much time with my husband? I love him but am worried we’ll get on each other’s nerves.
Retirement can be a big change and adventure, and sometimes there are growing pains. This new season does not mean you must spend all of your time together. You and your spouse are each individuals, each uniquely gifted to serve God—sometimes as partners, sometimes on your own. Consider what unique passions God has placed on each of your hearts. Let retirement be an opportunity for each of you to explore gifts, pursue passions, and try new avenues of kingdom service, even as you continue as partners.
Having space and time that is your own offers you both opportunities to focus on passions and recharge your hearts so that you have the physical, emotional, and spiritual refreshment for the opportunities you choose to take on together. Consider what boundaries you’ll set to allow yourself time that is your own—perhaps a space where you can have quiet to write or craft, or time set aside for mentoring others or coffee with friends. Choose to make time for the activities that feed your soul. Likewise, plan times together for adventures as a couple.
More time at home without the normal rhythms of work life will undoubtedly be an adjustment. Talking to your spouse about your concerns can help alleviate your anxiety. Plan together trips you want to take and ministry activities to do as a couple. If you are anxious about too much time with your spouse, consider talking with a counselor to help you process and make a plan for moving forward.
Some anxiety about a life transition as big as retirement is expected. There are many factors in planning for retirement, including health, finances, family needs, bucket list plans, and opportunities for serving, but fear and worry should not hinder your decisions. Discuss your concerns with your spouse and bathe your decision-making in prayer as you discern how to use your gifts in God’s service.
About the Author
Rev. Deb Koster leads the Christian Reformed Church's family and marriage ministry, FamilyFire.com, at ReFrame Ministries. She and her husband, Steven, worship at Grace Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Mich.