When you think of relationships most people think of the younger generation. Teens often worry about their first date or kiss. Young married couples have to deal with the daily stress of family, children and financial issues. So what happens when you hit the 50+ age group? Does this mean that your relationship is solid for the rest of your lives or not?
As you age your relationship with your partner/spouse changes. It can almost be something that you take for granted and don’t think about anymore. Many older couples find that there is a lack of romance in their relationship. Or they just know each other so well, that they can’t even surprise each other anymore.
One big issue that often crops up in mid-life is when your home becomes an empty nest. Your children are all grown up and you find you have more free time on your hands.
Many males find that this is a time when they realize they have worked in the same job for the last 20 or more years. They become fed up and frustrated, as now there are no children to support, so the need to go to work is less important.
Around the same time females, who have been busy raising their children, discover that their looks aren’t what they used to be. They may also be dealing with menopause and other issues such as sagging breasts and hair that is greying.
It is a sad fact that men in the fifty age group suffer from depression and this age range also has one of the highest rates of suicide. If you think you or your spouse is suffering from depression then make sure they seek out help. Many employers provide confidential access to help lines and services that can help.
For females in the fifty plus age group getting in shape and looking younger again becomes super important. Many women will start looking at ways to enhance their breasts and will often result to breast supplements to do this.
They also start to look after their health by taking up some form of exercise. Exercise is a great place for senior couples to bond together again. As you both have more time on your hands it is easy to enjoy an exercise class together. Or you could take up swimming, biking, tennis or golf. Any activity will help keep you fit and healthy. Plus it helps to get you out into your community connecting with other people again.
How Did You Get to This Point?
On the other side of the coin married couples in their fifties and sixties have been married for a good 20 years or more. So what is the secret to their happiness? How do you have a long and healthy marriage?
It isn’t that difficult to have a happy relationship. Just about every couple will run into rough patches. What is important is how you deal with them and how you move forward.
Here’s a few secrets to staying happy:
- Don’t fight or argue over the smallest things
- Remember it always takes two
- Be committed in your relationship
- Enter your relationship with a view to the long term
- Always listen to both points of view
- Don’t let money issues become a huge issue
When problems or issues do arise then don’t ignore them and let things smoulder for days or weeks on end, this will only make things work. Tackle any problems head on with an open mind.
How to Stay Married Longer
You want to view your fifties, or golden years, as a point in your life where you can try new things. No doubt as you were raising your children you had moments when you wished you had done something. This may have been to travel somewhere new, or you might have wished that you had taken up a particular sport or hobby. Now you have time to do all of these things. So why not pick one and try something new?
This can also be the perfect time to rediscover who you both are. For the last twenty years your lives have focused around work and kids, and just generating enough income to pay the bills each month.
Now you have the time to get to know each other again. Have you discussed what your goals and dreams are for your retirement years? Are you in a position to even retire early, now that you have fewer responsibilities?
Sit down together and discuss things such as:
- Your personal goals
- Your feelings, you may be feeling insecure
- Spiritual goals
- Your sex life
- Your hopes and dreams for the next 10 years
- Things you would like to do together and/or alone
- Preparing for future support
- Any health issues that may need more attention as you age
All of these things can help put some closeness back into your relationship. You may have forgotten things such as you both loved playing golf, tennis or swimming. As you rekindle your interests you can also add that spark of romance back into your relationship.
Your Are Never Too Old for Love
One thing you both want to remember is that you are never too old for love and companionship. As you age your relationship may be less about sex and more about being there for each other. You can still console and comfort each other when necessary.
There is no reason why you cannot go out on dates, have romantic dinners and just appreciate each other again. Why not take turns cooking each other a romantic dinner and set the table with candles and flowers?
It is the small things that often count as well. How about making your spouse a tea or coffee in the morning, if it is usually something they do for you? If they make an effort to get the morning newspaper, switch turns for a few days.
How to Enjoy a Happy Relationship as Seniors
To enjoy your senior years with your spouse you first need to be happy with who you are. Are you satisfied with your life? Are you still active and have hobbies or activities that you enjoy? Or are you at a point where your health and mobility is affecting your daily life? Other areas that you may want to look at include if you have accepted the person that you have now become?
If you can say that you are happy with your life and your health is good then you can concentrate on enjoying time your spouse. Even if certain health issues get in the way, look for ways that you can still be active and enjoy certain things together.
If you used to play golf but can no longer walk the course, can you rent a cart or play a shorter game of golf? If not, how about taking up a new activity that you can both enjoy together.
Swimming and Tai Chi are two sports that many seniors enjoy together. Plus it gets you out of the house and meeting new people.
Your senior years can sometimes be challenging and frustrating. While you may still feel young at heart, your body may not agree. This is often the most challenging aspect of facing your senior years. You need to accept that your body is not as flexible as it used to be.
Instead of feeling frustrated try and look at certain things with a sense of humor. You may find that laughing at some aspects of your life, makes it easier to bear. Remember everyone had a sense of humor when they were younger, just don’t lose yours!
Your golden years should are for enjoyment, ideally with your spouse. By planning ahead and preparing for this time you can both enjoy a wonderful time.
Facing This Time Alone
On the other side of the coin you may have lost your spouse and be facing your senior years alone. Statistics show that woman live on average 8 years longer than men. This means that there are a lot of widowed older women living alone. Getting out and joining a seniors club is a great way to stay social. Plus, of course, you just might meet that someone special!
If you still want to travel you may find that having a travel companion is a huge help. Your companion could even be someone some years younger than you. This way they can do all the heavy lifting, book accommodations and any extra running around that may be necessary.
If you are alone, you still have family and friends that will help you stay busy and active. How about taking your grandkids for a few weeks in the summer? Or you going to visit them for a change.
Many young teens often bond well with one or both of their grandparents. Quite often if the senior needs help, a teenage grandchild can manage this. They can go shopping, do gardening and other chores around the home. This creates a strong bond that can last for many, many years.
You could also volunteer to help out at a function at your seniors club. Or you may be feeling confident enough to give a talk to children in school.
A Four Legged Friend
Many seniors often turn to having a pet during this time. Having a cat or dog around the home gives you a sense of having to do something each morning. A dog will need walks on a daily basis. Plus an animal is just company and will sense your moods and feelings. There is nothing nicer than snuggling up on the couch with your pet when you are feeling tired or under the weather.
There are certain benefits associated with owing a pet and these include:
- Less stress
- Better moods
- Lower systolic blood pressure
- Lower cholesterol levels
- Lower rates of heart disease
- Longer lifespan
Pets are such a great idea for seniors that many senior living facilities allow their seniors to have a pet with them. Pet therapy is another alternative health approach that is really taking off. A therapy dog can easily put a smile on a senior’s face and provide that needed companionship. Whether the senior owns the dog or the dog comes in for visits at pre-arranged times with its owner.
So whether you are in a strong relationship or not. As you approach your later years, take the time to strengthen your ties with your spouse. Stop taking them for granted and start adding a little flare and romance into certain aspects of your life.
If nothing else make the time to get outside and spend time together walking in your local park or down by your favorite lake. You have all the time in the world, so why not have a few picnic lunches and rekindle your love once again.