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Approaching the Retirement Years and Marriage


Older Couple Hugging at BeachOur Coupletime Group (a small group of couples who meet once a month to work on our marriages) is reading a book on the  retirement marriage. After all, many of us in the group are at this stage in our relationship.  Others are getting near.  Everyone wants to be prepared to make these years some of the best.

David and I have been retired almost five years now so following is some advice we’d give to couples approaching this time in their relationship:

  • Work on your marriage long before you reach this juncture in your marriage.  We’d suggest, right after your honeymoon. You may think we are kidding.  We’re not!  One of the best ways is to get into a marriage enrichment group.  This is one of the best things we have ever done for our relationship.  And now, our children have formed their own groups.
  • Discuss your expectations, talk about your feeling, your dreams and your fears.
  • Be careful of invading the other’s territory.  Talk about how you can help one another without the other feeling like you are trying to take over something that has been sacred space to the other.
  • Discuss how much alone time and how much togetherness you need as individuals and as a couple.
  • Talk about finances and what adjustments you need to make.
  • Find new things to do as a couple.

These are just a few ideas. If you have more, we’d love to hear from you.

Grace and peace,

Penny and David

The Love Offering

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Are you and your spouse ever at polar ends of the spectrum on a subject?  We have found ourselves in this situation many times and neither of us was able to convince the other our way was the best. We pray about it and often the Lord will impress on one of us that we need to see the situation from the other’s perspective.  Sometimes, however, the Lord seems silent, or maybe we fail to wait on the Lord; in those situations, we  give the other a “love offering.”  If our spouse feels very strongly about a situation and it’s not immoral, illegal or out of our budget, we often give in to the other because we know how passionate he/she is about a particular issue.  Years ago I wanted our daughter to go to a particular school, but my husband wasn’t in favor of it. But because he knew it was really important to me, he agreed.  Another time my husband wanted to buy a scooter and I was not in favor of that decision.  However, because it was something I knew he would enjoy and really felt strongly about it, I in turn, gave in on this one.  Just a thought for when you seem to be at a crossroads on what decision to make.

Letting Negative Messages Go?

I j0227502remember a professor once saying, “Let negative messages go.”  What?  Being one who wants to analyze everything and get to the heart of a matter, this didn’t align well with me.  Besides, I had been taught you get things out in the open and resolve them.  Later, however, I realized I was the one misinterpreting what she was trying to teach us.  She wasn’t saying you withdraw or try to escape or ignore a situation.  We all know this is unhealthy and harmful to a relationship.  We don’t want to deny it or pretend it doesn’t exist. What she was trying to get across was it’s not necessary to address every little offense or comment. We need to ask ourselves, “Is this really worth fighting over?”  “Could I have misinterpreted what the other person said?”  “Is this something I could overlook?”  For example, the other day when my husband said, “Let me show you how to make the bed.”  I thought, “Do what? I’ve been making beds for over 50 years. I know how to make a bed.”  I could have easily gone there, but that still small voice told me “Let it go.”  With God’s prompting, I’ve been trying to practice this and it’s making a huge difference.  Some things just aren’t worth fighting over and some are.  After all, that’s often how God treats us and it’s recommended in Scripture (Proverbs 19:11, Proverbs 17:14, 1 Peter 4:8, Ephesians 4:2).  Letting a negative message to is an active choice, often a strong choice and often the right choice.

So when should you not overlook an offense.  According to Ken Sande in Resolving Everyday Conflicts, he points out:

  • When it’s damaging your relationship with a person.
  • When it’s hurting other people.
  • When it’s hurting the offender.
  • When it’s significantly dishonoring God.

You need to consider the appropriate response for each situation.