My spouse injured his back 8 years ago and retired early due to this injury. He works very occasionally at a community college and does have his retirement income.  I have multiple medical concerns and 3 years after he retired, we downsized so that I could retire as well. This was 5 years ago and as it is, I have no chance of retiring.  Spouse has told me, “Sure, you can retire.  We will just be homeless”. I feel stuck working and feeling fatigued and sick and really resent him. I think he is anxious about working as he has been retired for 7 1/2 years. I have encouraged him to do volunteer work so he has something to be passionate about. Overall, his retiring early has affected me greatly and not him. He has a wonderful life of going to the gym and doing some housework and laundry. I have a good job and got a 30% pay raise last year. That was a total disincentive for him. I want us to work on retirement together, not me working till I die and him having a great time. I am angry and becoming bitter and I don’t like me the way I am. Whenever we talk about this issue, he looks at it as a problem with me. I need to be more positive, which I know is true.  How do I get his actions to affect him? I am planning on a major cruise with my daughter and don’t plan to ask him to go. I figure, if he wants to come, he can pay his own way. Is that a wrong attitude? He just bought a truck and said he needed to work to pay his car loan. Now, I am paying for more bills and he says he doesn’t need to work. I feel I need more boundaries with him and finances. Any words you can give me to assist are most welcome! (From the USA)

A:  I’m not detecting much love in this relationship. In fact, I hear of systematic alienation, a desire to be separate from him, resentment, unfairness, and a lack of support. My question is more fundamental than you’re working status: Do you want to remain together? Would you be better off on your own? Do you have a reason to stay together beyond financial?

The fact that you don’t even want to take a vacation with him speaks volumes. Even if you had time to be together it doesn’t sound like you want to around him. I think I’d ask these other questions first as the retirement issue may be secondary.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral