My Husband Just Retired and I Feel Like I’m Just Getting Started

Mindy with her husband, Eddie

Mindy with her husband, Eddie, who just retired

By Mindy Gorman-Plutzer

It’s been almost two weeks since I got the email from my husband that he was retiring as of that afternoon.

He had already decided that retirement would start April 2019. He turned 70 in December, business was slow, really slow, but he felt he owed it to the company he’d been with for more that 20 years to stick it out and leave with plenty of notice. He’s been miserable. Eddie has worked in New York City’s garment district all of his working life.

After being discharged from the Army in 1972 (he was drafted during the Viet Nam war but thankfully ended up in Germany), he married (wife #1) and went to work in the family dress business. That began a long career with ups and downs, some successful endeavors and some not so, until he ended up in his most recent role Suffice it to say that a down turn in sales at his company prompted him to move up his retirement date.

I, on the other hand, have just completed my third certification in eight years. If you’ve read my columns you’ll know I was widowed 14 years ago and set out to re-invent myself. I had married at 21, became a mother at 22 and then again at 24. We lived a charmed life and truth be told, I don’t believe I ever grew up, in the sense we understand today. Until I had to.

My first husband was my trouble shooter, my voice. Oh, I talked a good game, played the part beautifully, but when left to my own devices I was a shell.

I met Eddie, my current husband, shortly after being widowed. He had lost his wife about two years before. We had much in common. We lived in the same neighborhood, our grown kids knew (and liked) each other and we had experienced the same kind of devasting loss. Our relationship blossomed quickly and, new to me, I was introduced to a sense of independence I had never allowed myself to embrace. Eddie encouraged me to speak up and speak out, his support allowed me to discover that I actually liked being alone. I let go of needing to “do” and cherished what it means to “be”. Don’t misunderstand — I was madly in love with my first husband. This was simply the time for my re-birth.

Eddie and I married 6 years ago and have a wonderfully full and blessed life. We share two sons, two daughters, their spouses and eight grandchildren. We’ve traveled around the world and enjoy many of the same interests. He’s encouraged me to pursue my passion for a career in functional nutrition and eating disorder recovery. My life is purposeful, calm and extremely rich with love and rewards.

So, you may ask, “What’s the problem?” I can’t help feeling a bit disjointed. Yesterday was the first Monday I went to work and Eddie did not. Today I saw clients and he played golf. Tomorrow we plan to do a Costco run together. Maybe it’s that I’ve always thought of retirement as something one did to ease into “the golden years.” Maybe there is a part of me that feels I am moving in a way that he isn’t. Maybe it’s that I just don’t know what’s next.

What’s your experience been? I’d love to hear from you.

In addition to being a board-certified health coach and nutritional consultant, Mindy Gorman-Plutzer is a Certified Eating Psychology Coach in Manhattan. She is the author of The Freedom Promise: 7 Steps To Stop Fearing What Food Will Do TO You and Start Embracing What It Can Do FOR You(Balboa Press). For more information, go to www.thefreedompromise.com. Follow her on twitter at @FreedomPromise.

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