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Life Phase Number 4 is a different World!

Updated on April 16, 2015

Life Phase 4 Event Horizon

Whether you are shoved, pushed, or entered willingly, everyone will cross the event horizon of Life Phase 4.
Whether you are shoved, pushed, or entered willingly, everyone will cross the event horizon of Life Phase 4.

Whether you are shoved, pushed, or enter willingly, everyone will cross the event horizon of Life Phase 4

While this is a stand-alone article, it does dovetail into the three part series that I just completed on Hidden Secrets on Aging and Retirement. I do hope that you will read the first three parts before reading this one; I believe that you will get more out of it if you do. Welcome to the different world of Life Phase #4.

Man plans his path, BUT God secures his steps!

While we hadn’t planned on arriving to Life Phase #4 for another 10 years, we got shoved into the vortex of a Life Phase change. Actually it was a water hose in our path that catapulted us. Thank God that we had a plan, we would hate to see what would have happened if we hadn’t.

The wisest piece of advice once we crossed the event horizon was “Let’s give it the next 48 hours and see where we are then” which came from my husbands’ supervisor in the emergency room that first night. Through those words of wisdom, I heard my own voice, as I had ministered to countless others, saying “just breathe and let’s see where we are.”

  • That is precisely my best advice to everyone, pushed, shoved, or voluntarily jumping into Life Phase #4; you really have no idea where you are for the first 2 years. Yes, I said the FIRST TWO YEARS!
  • Just Breathe!


I gave you the Life Phase Chart to De-Stress Your Life in the series mention above:

1/4 = 0-25 yoa spent learning about the world and people

1/4 = 26-45 yoa spent raising a family and working

1/4 = 46-65 yoa spent career building and saving

1/4 = 66-85+ yoa retirement

Life Phase Number 4 commonly known as retirement; we break it down in little simpler terms.

Life Phase 1 – (B.K.) Before Kids

Life Phase 2 – (D.K.) During Kids

Life Phase 3 – (A.K.) After Kids

Life Phase 4 – (4 R's) Re-treadment, Rested, Restructured, Retired

Life Phases and Quality Couple time

Life Phase #1 (B.K.)
21-25 years of age
Quality Couple time: 5-8 hours daily
Life Phase #2 (D.K.)
26-45 years of age
Quality Couple time: 0-3 hours daily
Life Phase #3 (A.K.)
46-65 years of age
Quality Couple time: 5-8 hours daily
Life Phase #4 (4-R's)
66+ years of age
Quality Couple time: 16+ hours daily

Don't try to adjust your picture, you have now entered the Re-Grooving Zone!

The picture is posted correctly.  The world as you have known it is completely upside down from what you thought you knew.
The picture is posted correctly. The world as you have known it is completely upside down from what you thought you knew.

Once you find that your World has been turned upside down, it's time to Get a New Groove

The Life Tread that got you to Life Phase #4, will need to be re-grooved for the road ahead.
The Life Tread that got you to Life Phase #4, will need to be re-grooved for the road ahead.

Enter Life Phase #4 - Re-treaded, Rested, Restructured, REFIRED!

Re-Treadment Phase – your “life tread” needs re-grooving.

  • Once the children get grown and start their own families, which has been characterized as the “empty-nest” is nothing compared to the re-treadment process that you enter after being swept into the vortex of Life Phase #4.

The 4 Life Phases Explained

While Don, my husband and I have discussed and examined what we had been thrust into, we came up with this simple approximation to the different phases of life:

When you first got married, (B.K.), more than likely, each of you had jobs, Right? Based on this statically fact we developed this basic Life Phase quality time chart.

  • Life Phase #1(B.K.) – Before Kids you had about 5-8 hours each day, together as a couple. This doesn’t account for sleeping time; we were just looking at average awake “together time”.
  • Life Phase #2 (D.K.) – During Kids, your quality couple time has been cut down to 0-3 hours each day, together time. Your time and attention whether your realize it or not is no longer on each other, it is mainly on the children. This is especially true when you have more than one child. More children, less quality couple time.
  • Life Phase #3 (A.K.) – After Kids, your quality couple time has been increased back to your (B.K.) days. 5-8 hours each day.

However as Don pointed out in this discussion, you don’t have the same “want to” when you were in your (B.K.) days. Meaning you might have changed. If you only hung out with your surfing crowd before kids, you may or may not still be into surfing.

This life phase can get a little more skewed also, for those folks who were into the drug scene, who no longer are into that and don’t have those friends any longer.

  • Basically any life changes or challenges throughout Life Phases 1-3 will become amplified when you reach Life Phase #4.
  • Life Phase #4 (4-R’s Phase) – Your Couple time has been increased to 16+ hours each day and 8 hours in the bed…do you see where there could be an issue when you enter Life Phase #4.
  • In order to survive as a couple through Life Phase #4, your Life must be Re-Grooved for the Road of Life ahead. If not, there will be a Blow Out along the way, and this is why sometime when couples reach this stage of life are getting divorced.

Best Friends

Source

Honeymoon or Doom-moon: It can go either way

While we didn’t have family to discuss what comes next, and our role models were either in different houses or living in different rooms of their house for the duration of their life.

God did provide what I nicknamed as “My Geriatric Congregation” when I first entered the ministry years prior to our Vortex journey. I named them my geriatric congregation because every one of the members was over the age of 70 except me.

Once again, God provided my education on a topic that He knew we would need sooner than we thought. This group I believe was heaven sent, even if it was for a short time, to educate us on what we are now able to teach to you.

The First 6 months into the Vortex:Whether you willingly jumped into the Life Phase #4 vortex, or as with us, we were shoved into it by accident. The process is the same. The first 6 months, is what we call your Second Honeymoon. However, this honeymoon can go either way.

Allow me to explain our thoughts, findings and research.

Worst Enemies

Role Models

Watching my parents go through this phase was not pretty; however some of the best lessons in life come from what NOT to do. In the first 6 months of them entering this phase, we listened and watched.

We had confirmed to us our 9 basic life lessons that we built our marriage on.

  1. Every Rose has its Thorns.
  2. Don’t hold your past life experiences against your partner.
  3. Don’t let outside influences come between the two of you.
  4. Life and Relationship challenges will complicate The Golden Years.
  5. The children are going to grow up and it will be just us.
  6. Never lie to each other.
  7. There are two kinds of workers; those that work with their hands, and those that work with their brains.
  8. Those that work with their brains need to learn to work with their hands before retirement.
  9. Those that work with their hands need to learn to work with their brains before retirement.

Every Rose Has Its Thorns!

My Dad taught me this one around the age of 8 when he first started taking me hunting with him.  Then again with six words.  I have always wondered why most bridal bouquets had Thorn-less roses in them.  Deception by the Bridal industry no doubt!
My Dad taught me this one around the age of 8 when he first started taking me hunting with him. Then again with six words. I have always wondered why most bridal bouquets had Thorn-less roses in them. Deception by the Bridal industry no doubt!

As long as your Watercolor Memories still reflect the Beauty, the Thorns Won't Matter

As long as your Watercolor Memories, still reflect the Beauty, the Thorns won’t Matter

As the picture shows, the watercolor mutes out the thorns. However, if your watercolor memories only reflect the thorns, and the beauty of your relationship has withered and faded away, you golden years aren’t going to be so golden.

I learned this lesson up close and personal with the first six words of the last serious conversation that I had with my dad before he moved out of the house. He said, "I am tired of the lies!"

  • He had gotten to the point where he wasn't willing to deal with the struggle and could no longer see the beauty but only the thorns.

Unfortunately, up until the last few months of his life, they lived in separate residences for most of the last 20 years of their married lives. Not really a statistic for divorce after retirement, but a better financial alternative to divorce after retirement.

Don’t hold your past life experiences against your partner

I must admit, Don had to teach me this lesson. Having come from a highly dysfunctional family, and a couple of failed attempts at wedded bliss, my watercolor memories were nothing but thorns.

In one of our first arguments just after having moved into together with our “Not so Brady Bunch” family of our five combined children, Don had to grab me and look me in the eyes and said to me. “I am not the one that hurt you, quit making me pay for what other people have done to you.”

  • Regardless of how bad your past life experiences were, never hold your past life experiences against your partner.

All of which led to this addition to “Our happily ever after vows.”

Walters 21 - July 2010

Regardless of the size of your family.  Even your children will try to come in-between you and your partner.  Whether on purpose or not, all children will try to come in-between you and your partner's relationship.  Especially in Second Marriages.
Regardless of the size of your family. Even your children will try to come in-between you and your partner. Whether on purpose or not, all children will try to come in-between you and your partner's relationship. Especially in Second Marriages. | Source

Nest Filled with Cardinal Eggs outside our Front Door! And in 4 to 5 weeks the babies will fly away.

Cardinal Eggs that Momma Laid outside our front door in our Holly Tree EVERY YEAR!
Cardinal Eggs that Momma Laid outside our front door in our Holly Tree EVERY YEAR!

Don’t let outside influences come between the two of you. NOT even the Children, because the children will be flying away from the nest sooner than you think!

This one piece of advice came through our first date/marriage counseling session that we still believe to divinely orchestrated. You can read more in detail about that event in our lives in my first two books; A Life of Significance and Sharing your Faith Effectively where I discuss this is more detail. However the point that we want to make in this article is:

Regardless of how well-meaning family and friends might seem, they will try to come in-between you and your partner. Their bias and life experiences are what fuel most people’s opinions on what others should do with their lives. You and your partner are just that, A Partnership for Life. The outside influences will try come, and the two of you need to be on guard at-all-times against this relationship killer we call "outside influences."

  • Never allow outside influences to fuel your emotions.

Emotions are fickle things, and should never be allowed into any relationship. You and your partner are united, and when you become divided, from whatever the issue or influence is, is when your relationship will fall.

A Life of Significance Second Edition

Blue Collar vs White Collar Workers need to learn from each other.

Source

There are two kinds of workers; those that work with their hands, and those that work with their brains.

Don, being raised by a single mother, and every man in town adopted him as their own, one of his “other fathers” told him at an early age; “Son, if you ever learn to work with your hands, you will never go hungry.” And he took that as his mantra for life, and we have never gone hungry.

What we have learned over time is that there are two general types of workers as we all have known for some time, however, when you enter Life Phase #4 you may require a change:

  1. Those that Work with their Hands. (Blue Collar)
  2. Those that Work with their Brains. (White Collar)

I will never forget the day, about 6 months or so into my dad’s forced retirement, he came out to our new home that we had just purchased and was surveying our property.

He made a curious statement that day as he was looking through the transit. He said, “looks like I’m going to go hungry because I never learned to work with my hands, they found a way to screw me out of my retirement.” See, he was an electrical engineer, and had what would he considered a job that worked with his brain, not his brawn. Unfortunately, he never did learn the lesson of having to make a change and re-groove his life for the road ahead.

Funny, how one statement; “If you ever learn to work with your hands you will never go hungry” has developed.

Life Phase #4 really is A Different World, if you make it through the vortex of change

Living our life by our 9 basic happily ever after vows, once we reached the 2 year point through the Vortex of Life Phase #4, we now see and have learned that this is where you really can do whatever you want to do, and be whatever you want to be.
Living our life by our 9 basic happily ever after vows, once we reached the 2 year point through the Vortex of Life Phase #4, we now see and have learned that this is where you really can do whatever you want to do, and be whatever you want to be.

While it is true that everyone will enter the life changing vortex of Life Phase #4, we recommend three things to prepare.

  1. Don’t make any sudden life changes in the first 6 months to a year once you enter the vortex.
  2. Take things slowly, and Breathe through the Life change that Life Phase #4 brings.
  3. The More cross training you do in preparation to crossing the event horizon of Life Phase #4, the better equipped you will be when you enter.

© 2015 Cammy Walters

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      Cammy Walters 2 years ago

      I have written several other articles that go along with this one. You should check them out as well Indian Guy! Blessings!

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      low cast indian guy 2 years ago

      Expecting more

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      Cammy Walters 2 years ago

      thank you Melissa for your comments, learning new stuff is always fun.

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      melisasource 2 years ago

      Wow I had no idea about these life phases! Definitely learned a lot from reading!

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      Cammy Walters 2 years ago

      Thank you for your comments and I am glad that you learned something new.

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      Ida 2 years ago

      I didn't know there were 4 phases. This is a great article. I agree that children can try to come between you and your partner and it makes it even harder on a blended family.

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      Cammy Walters 2 years ago

      Thank you so much for your comments and Enjoy your Phase 2, it's a rough Phase but highly enjoyable. And yes, once you get through the Vortex of Life Phase #4, it is wonder-filled to be sure. Please be sure to read my articles on Aging and Retirement and BUY-UP on everything you during Phase 2.

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      Christy Garrett 2 years ago from TX

      This is an excellent post. I had kids when I started dating my husband. My kids were 7 and 11 at the time so they could entertain themselves for the most part. After we got married, we started trying for another baby so I feel like we started over on the kids phase. I'm not ready for my oldest to spread her wings yet. She has at least one more year at home. My nest won't be empty anytime soon but I look forward to those days.

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      Cammy Walters 2 years ago

      Tara, Phase two is a Great Phase...just lay your plans out on a path that you both are agreed upon, and Enjoy the Adventure. Above all, keep your communication lines open and honest, as well as NEVER let outside influence come between you...no matter what! Blessings, and thank you for your comment.

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      Cammy Walters 2 years ago

      Wow, thanks Shonda for your insight...yes we aren't quite at 30 years...23-24 years...you have read my books so I know you understand why we have a hyphenated anniversary. You guys will definitely have it differently than most, however, what I hear you saying is that that Becoming One thing is difficult...and to that I do agree. Blessings my friend!

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      Shonda Riley Crawford 2 years ago

      My husband and I have had the insights gained from earlier years in our, (so far!), 30 year marriage; we've worked at jobs where we were together 24/7, and we've been through periods where he was driving a truck, over the road, away for 6 weeks and home for 1 or 2. Good lessons, in retrospect! My personal codes are simply these: don't ever put yourself in the position of possible temptation, even if that means you let go of some friendships you had before you committed to your soulmate...and don't fall out of love with each other at the same time! This takes work! You will fall in and out of love, if it happens at the same time, drastic measures may be called for! These may include something as seemingly mundane and easy(ha!) as scheduled dates, or as convoluted(ha!) as therapy. Then, you may also get the added bonus of a never empty nest for a myriad of reasons, and you will need to figure out mutually agreeable and beneficial ways to compensate for that situation! It's never going to be easy, but the feeling you will have, knowing that, in addition to your Heavenly Father, you have an earth-bound partner for life is worth the work! Thanks, Cammy!

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      tara pittman 2 years ago

      Very interesting take on the seasons of our life as parents. I am in phase 2 right now.

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      Cammy Walters 2 years ago

      Katrina, I completely understand, there is 9 years difference in age between my husband and I. Take it slow, and keep communication open and honest between the two of you...

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      Cammy Walters 2 years ago

      Thank you Shonda for your support and insight. I do agree with you I don't agree with having children later in life. I remember all to well it was hard enough when you are young and have LOTS of energy.

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      Katrina Weghorn 2 years ago

      I've never considered the 4 phases of life before. For us, we're still having, much less raising kids going from #3-#4, especially since my husband is older than I am. I too like the advice of waiting a short period of time before making any major decisions if you can. Thanks!

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      Shonda 2 years ago

      Very interested topic. I've not thought of life in these 4 segments before. For many these days, I think #2 and # are reversing. People are working on careers, then using other means to have children later in their years. I am not so much in agreement with the switch, but it definitely seems to be a growing trend.

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      Cammy Walters 2 years ago

      I love your candidness Nancy!

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      nancy 2 years ago

      This could be part 4. This is the closing for the 3 part series. I agree with everything you said especially the life phase #4. 16 + hours day after day after day...... Thank God for my kindle and rum. I bet you could also keep adding to this topic. Love the blogs.