A New Chapter In Your Life And In Your Relationship
Approachng retirment can demand considerable changes in your lifestyle,and so this needs to be viewed as a period of transition and change. You are moving into a new chapter of your life and your relationship. The old ways of doing things may no longer work, in the past you have both been busy working in your careers, bringing up the family, and building up your finances. Suddenly you now both find yourselves trying to adjust to each other. This can be a very challenging time. Perhaps viewing this new chapter of change and transition as an exciting and joyful time, can get you motivated and feeling positive about retirement.
The first step is letting go of past habits, and investing in your relationship, as a need for belonging, intimacy and even power are no longer met by the workplace. Improving your communication skills leads to an improvement in your relationship and as we now know, close healthy relationships lead to good health. Learn to really LISTEN to each other. This is the most important communication skill you can learn. Listening is different from hearing what someone else is saying. To really LISTEN requires effort and understanding. Listening is a process of recieving, understanding, remembering, evaluating and responding. You can only achieve this type of listening when you suspend all judgement and focus on the other person. This is not always an easy process. With practice this skill can be learned, and you will see amazing results, You will be better able to acknowledge and understand what the other person has actually said, and bring you much closer.
Retirees need to re-examine thier values and sense of purpose in the light of thier changed status. Where work once defined who you were, now you need to work on re-defining who and what you want to be, and where you want to go. Taking time to reflect on what your values are and establishing some new goals to achieve, can increase your confidence and self-esteem.
Dealing with time is also important, as retirees often feel that time weighs heavily on them. Finding pleasurable and rewarding activities to do together can bring on a renewed vitality. These may include part-time work, voluntary work, joining associations, pursuing a hobby or taking up the study of a life long interest that has been put aside because of work.
Maria Di Martino (Counsellor)