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Retired Husband's Rules

Updated on November 1, 2015

Retired Husband's Household Rules

By A. Gagliardi

Many women are still working while their husbands have retired. I went from a half-time job to working almost full-time (32 hours a week) when my husband retired. My friends advised me to give him a year to adjust. Other folks suggested he might be able to pick up some of the cooking, perhaps learn to do the laundry or vacuum. I hoped he might get some of the home repairs done while I am at work.

It's been a year and there is a different man around my house. I visited with a friend who has had a retired husband for a few years now. She tells me that retired men suddenly, or gradually change into very different men. They have strong opinions that they did not have previously. Retired men tend to move slower, talk longer, and spend less money than they ever did before in their life. And apparently, just like the toddler rules, there are rules for retired men.

So, here are those very rules. Let me know if I left anything out.

The Retired Husband's Household Rules

1. I don’t need to hang up my coat, or for that matter, any article of my apparel anymore;

I am retired.

· Nor should you hang it up. I may be using it again tomorrow.

2. I can now eat any type of junk food I want.

· You, however need to watch what you eat, so the sweets are for me.

3. I have forgotten how to flush. (If your husband, actually did know how to flush, that is.)

· I never knew how to put a new toilet paper roll on, so I won’t learn now.

· I left my toothbrush out on the sink so I could find it again in the morning.

· If the faucet was left running, it must have been a stranger who came in through the window, who used the toilet, did not flush, and left the faucet on.

· I did not hear the toilet running.

4. I must always be right.

5. If I want your opinion, I will give it to you.

6. If you need to speak, you should phrase your words in such a way that they do not appear in any way to disagree with what I have just said.

7. I am not prejudice – I don’t like anybody.

8. Having lived to retirement age, I now have an opinion about all subjects – and my opinion is the right one.

9.If you find the sugar in the refrigerator, someone else must have put it there.

· It might have been same man who came in through the window and put it there to mess with our minds.

· I did not see the refrigerator door open.

10. Now that I am retired, I notice that the dog farts a lot more.

11. Now that I am retired, I can help with the cooking.

· That doesn’t mean that I will.

· If I cook, you should rush to the table and love every bite.

· If you cook, I will make you wait while I finish the phone call I started when you called us to supper, or I will finish watching this sitcom that I have already seen five times.

· If you cook, I will advise you on what you did wrong & how you could better cook this the next time.

· Let’s eat in front of the TV after all I ‘m retired.

-If we eat at the table and the TV is on, I will need to jump up several times to see what is going on.

12. When we are watching TV, you should not discuss anything with me while the show is on.

· Don’t talk during the commercials unless it is one that I don’t like.

· Don’t be on your phone or computer while we watch TV because this is family time.

· Don’t do any kind of needlework while we watch TV. This is family time.

· Don’t read anything if you are sitting in the room where I am watching TV. This is family time.

· If there are more than just the two of us, you should not be having a conversation while we are watching the show.

· If we are watching the shows I like, it is family time.

· If you have shows you want to watch you will have to go to the smaller TV, or watch them alone.

· If your shows conflict with my shows, we will watch mine.

· I prefer not to watch the shows you like.

13. If you get a phone call let it ring until the answering machine goes off, then we can be screen our calls.

· If you need to talk on the phone while we are watching TV, go in the other room and be quiet about it.

· If the phone is for me, I will ask you to turn down the TV while I take this call.

14. You should avoid any kind of negative, unsavory or ill-advised discourse at the table.

· Don’t talk about anybody’s illness, or death.

· Don’t talk about farts, burps, vomit, or any bodily functions.

· Don’t talk about disasters of any kind.

· I don’t want you to debate anything I say, because I am right.

15. Now that I’m retired, we should not, in any way, spend more money than we spent in 1970 - for anything.

· If it’s something you want to do, we can’t afford it

· If it’s something I want to do, we should do it now because I’m not getting any younger.

16. Now that I am retired, I can spend time watching you clean the house and advise you on what you are doing wrong.

- I will find ways and reasons for you not to finish whatever cleaning job you are doing because my activity is still more important than yours.

17. That goes for the laundry too.

- If I help with the laundry, I will NOT fold the clothes they way you do, and I will NOT learn how to do it correctly. You should be happy that I am helping you. And I will be insulted if you tell me that my way is wrong.

18. My idea of helping with the dishes is taking the dishes from the drying rack and lining them up on the counter or stove top. Even though I took them from the cupboard, I do not remember where they go.

19. Now that I’m retired, I can get to all those small repair jobs around the house – as soon as I ______________ (fill in the blank).

· Any big repair job that you want done will have to be discussed, researched and negotiated.

· If I start a project, it will take up the most space, because I have to spread stuff out so I can see what’s here.

· It will take the longest time possible, because I’m not as young as I used to be.

· It will be done in the most frugal way possible because we need to save the money for something I want to do.

20. If you find me yelling at the TV for no apparent reason – never mind.

21. If you find me searching the house for the glasses that are on my forehead – never mind.

. You should be helping me look even though I will want to be the one to find them.

· It might have been that man who climbs in the window when we are not looking. He takes things, I think.

22. Even though I have 72 clean shirts in my closet, I want to wear this one for at least 15 days in a row.

· I will wear my jeans baggy without the belt, like those teenage boys in gangs.

· I will wear the oldest, dirtiest, most ripped pair of jeans when you want to go out anywhere with me.

23. I am going to keep the house at 62 degrees in the winter and 82 degrees in the summer to conserve energy. I have the time to monitor it because I am retired.

24. I am going to go to bed at 9 pm, and you should too if you know what’s good for you.

25. I am going to pay the bills at your most inconvenient time and ask you to work with me.

26. Now that I am retired I can move more leisurely. That means that what ever we do together will take three times as long as when you did it yourself.

27. You should tell me everything you do, say or think so I am properly informed.

· If I forgot that you told me, you must not have told me.

· If you told me over 48 hours ago, you didn’t tell me.

· If you spoke to me from the other room, I didn’t hear you.

· If you were not looking directly at me, I didn’t hear you.

· If you did not get my attention so I knew you are talking to me, I didn’t hear it.

· If you told me while the radio or TV was on, I didn’t hear you.

· If you told me while an airplane was going over or a big truck was rumbling by, I didn’t hear you.

· If you told me while I was thinking of something else, I didn’t hear you.

· NO, I don’t need a hearing aid! You need to do a better job of keeping me informed.

What annoys retired guys?

What is the most annoying thing to a retired man?

See results


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    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 8 days ago from Central Florida

      As my friends and I compare notes of the way men behave in retirement, many of your "rules" resonate with us.

      You covered it very thoroughly. I think you would write this as a poem as well.

    • agaglia profile image

      agaglia 3 years ago


      Say what, now? I'm not sure what your saying.

    • profile image

      Taylor 3 years ago

      "If you know what's good for you?" Lol, yeah, sure.

    • agaglia profile image

      agaglia 4 years ago

      Hi Lesley,

      thanks for commenting on this hub. Sorry for the situation. If we learn to laugh at our situation, It makes it bearable.

      After 4 years, my husband is starting to cook dinners! --- that I like! He does the laundry (not yet to my satisfaction), he vacuums the rugs and he is putting new tile in the basement laundry room. It does get better.

    • profile image

      lesley 4 years ago

      Hi, my husband retired 18 months ago. His excuse for not doing anything in the house for the last 46 years, was he worked longer hours than me! I am still working 4 days a week, and don't get home until 6pm. I then have to cook a meal, and do anything else that needs doing. he watches repeat T.V. (usually about cars), and talks through my programmes. I agree with all above, especially Sandyz.

    • agaglia profile image

      agaglia 5 years ago

      Bothered by Bama, Hi and welcome to my world. LOL.

      You could create a list of all the "Honey-do" things you've wanted done and let him know that since he will be retired there will be plenty of time for him to get those things done, finally. Start the list now. make it long and show it to him often. ; }

    • profile image

      Bothered in Bama 5 years ago

      My 60-yr-old husband wants to retire even though we can't afford it. He wants to sit on his Man's Chair and watch trash tv while drinking whiskey. I may have to get a full-time job just so I don't have to let him bother me.

    • agaglia profile image

      agaglia 5 years ago

      hi peaches,

      OMG. that is really too sad. I'm sorry for his unhappiness & boredom and your danger. I'm glad you could turn your life around.

    • agaglia profile image

      agaglia 5 years ago

      Hi Sandyz, Boo hoo for you! What you write if very similar to how I felt when my husband first retired. What can you do to turn this around? I asked some friends and relatives to 'suggest' things to my husband, such as, l"et's go golfing", "let's take in a baseball game" and 'have you tried this new recipe since you are now retired?"

      Once he got interested in his own things, he was a nicer guy.

    • profile image

      peaches 5 years ago

      my husband got so unhappy and bored after retirement and with nothing to do, he pulled a pistol on my dogs, and then on me. seriously. he is out of the house and i am learning to live again.

    • profile image

      Sandyz 5 years ago

      My husband has retired young at 60, i am 50 and still working. I hate it, I never have any time to myself he is always there, he does no extra chores because i work fulltime, and he is miserly with his money. I have nothing to look forward to in my life, so suspect we wont be together a long time. I dread coming home from work, the whole time I am at home, unless i am on my own, i have an over whelming dread, of my life at home with my retiree! He used tio be a really cool guy, hes just turned into an irritating old guy, who knows everything, and thinks constantly of himself only, VERY SAD FOR ME.

    • agaglia profile image

      agaglia 5 years ago

      azure_sky, thanks for commenting on the hub. Hey, I know lots of ways to avoid the "honey-do" - which is more like "honey-I don't". Ha!

    • agaglia profile image

      agaglia 6 years ago

      Hi JamaGenee, I actually wrote this article tongue-in-cheek, as I lament his freedom and other wives my age tell me their tales of woe with retired spouses. In comparing notes, I see that many retired husbands tend to irritate or annoy their wives during that adjustment period. My husband has friends, hobbies and loves to volunteer around town. Thanks for reading my stuff, and for commenting.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 6 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      agaglia, I suspect you husband has always been the person you think he turned into only when he retired, and am hoping in the year since you wrote this hub that he's mellowed and actually begun to enjoy being retired. I sensed some resentment on his part that you had a reason to leave the house every day and he didn't. If he didn't have hobbies or friends his age to fill the hours you're working, hopefully he's found some by now. There's a reason divorce rates spike when one of both spouses retire.

    • agaglia profile image

      agaglia 6 years ago

      MOORESHOES, thanks for posting a comment. Is your husband retired?

    • MOORESHOES profile image

      MOORESHOES 6 years ago from USA

      My husband loves this hub, too.

    • agaglia profile image

      agaglia 6 years ago

      b.Malin, Thanks for joining us and I'm glad to know there is life after the working for hire years. You are truly blessed - as am I. I too look forward to reading more of your hubs.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 6 years ago

      Fun glad I stopped by. My husband and I are now both retired and loving it...He is truly my best friend and I his...We are truly blessed. Thanks for becoming a follower of mine and I look forward to following you as well.

    • agaglia profile image

      agaglia 6 years ago

      Hi azure_sky, Too funny! I think a lot of retired guys go to some type of eatery to avoid the 'honey-do' list. LOL. and too bad for us women married to them !

    • azure_sky profile image

      azure_sky 6 years ago from Somewhere on the Beach, if I am lucky :)

      Great hub, agaglia!! Too funny! So true!!

      My boss is 70 years old and has no plans to retire.... because he says that he couldn't handle sitting in McDonald's every morning with his RETIRED buddies wondering what to do that day!! They all leave home at the "crack of dawn" to avoid their "honey-do" lists....hehehe

    • agaglia profile image

      agaglia 7 years ago

      eg - well, YOU know were women find the time - around the edges of everyone else's life you are living! With a house full of people (and animals) sometimes taking the time for yourself looks like sitting with a cup a tea. And sometimes it's sitting at a computer in the wee hours of the night to get these words out of your head so you can go to sleep for Heaven's sake! thanks for being my fan!

      And thanks for the additional note!- funny.

    • profile image

      e g 7 years ago

      Annette, this is VERY comprehensive. Ha. You've also listened to my retirement woes. Forgot one though -- "if we are in the house alone, you never have shut bathroom doors" -- to the point that sometimes you even forget when we DO have company. Ha. Keep up the good work. Where do you find the time????

    • agaglia profile image

      agaglia 7 years ago


      Thanks for your comment. Are you also retired? I think it is a different dynamic when one spouse is working and the other is not. There are different expectations, perhaps.

    • agaglia profile image

      agaglia 7 years ago

      Ahh yes, drbj. I have used that funny too. We say, "sometimes I wake up grouchy, and other times I let HER sleep" - we have four daughters.

      I will take the hearing loss idea under advisement.

      actually, we have a funny retort for hearing loos - what?


    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Very funny, ag. Perhaps you could develop a hearing loss to make your life easier. Just tell the grouch your hearing was stolen by that man who comes in through the window.

      Here's a funny to cheer you up. "Some times I wake up crabby. Other times, I let him sleep!"

    • FloBe profile image

      FloBe 7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Sounds like you have a full-time job at HOME!! haha I married a retired man so I have nothing to compare to except stories about what he used to do ;) I still find them interesting so hopefully by the time I would get tired of them, neither of us will be remembering much! haha