How a retired husband’s sleeping habits are driving his wife mad

Mar 21, 2024
The predicament struck a chord with many, with advice pouring in from fellow users, offering a spectrum of perspectives and strategies. Source: Getty Images.

In the cozy world of retirement, one might imagine long mornings spent together, sipping coffee, and cherishing each other’s company.

However, for one fed-up wife, retirement has become a frustrating tango with her husband’s increasingly nocturnal habits.

Venting her exasperation on Gransnet, the fed up woman sought advice on how to navigate her husband’s seemingly perpetual slumber.

“My husband seems to be sleeping more and more. He’s 72 and has been retired some time. He’s had plenty of health checks and I appreciate he doesnt always sleep well….fidgety legs being one reason,” she began

“It’s driving me mad as if he gets up at midday for breakfast half a day has gone already, we are all out of sync and I actually feel a bit lonely. I’ve tried speaking to him and he said he will make the effort to get up earlier but a week on from the conversation we were back to the same old scenario.

“He says ‘come on and wake me’ – I don’t want to be responsible for waking him, he’s not a child, he has an alarm clock – I don’t want to become a nag but I don’t think this is healthy and doesn’t help with his sleeping badly at night.”

The predicament struck a chord with many, with advice pouring in from fellow users, offering a spectrum of perspectives and strategies.

One user suggested a pragmatic approach.

“Perhaps consider doing your walking, exercise, and dressing before he wakes? As our children say ‘you do you, I’ll do me’. Is there a real problem, or just you want your own way? I often want my way, I understand wanting my way though I can’t always win my way. It’s called being in a give/take adult relationship,” they suggested.

“Why don’t you get on with what you want to do, meet a friend for coffee go for a walk, sign up for sone morning volunteering work There’s absolutely nothing worse than twiddling your fingers while someone else sleeps but you don’t have to, get out and do your own stuff, like all us single nans and grans do Then when you get back at lunchtime and he’s up you can both share the afternoon and evening together
Win/win,” another user said.

“He’s aging in years, his brain and body are slowing down, his get-up-and-go is not so-much-getting-up-and going any more! Try to give hubby a reason, even if only once a month for getting up earlier, take him to his favourite eatery or his favourite movie at the cinema, whatever. Nagging him to get up earlier won’t get either of you anywhere. Let him rest and get up when he feels OK to do it,” commented another.

“Just go out and about and do your own thing in the morning, then you can spend the rest of the day together without resentment and guilt tainting your days together,” one advised.

In the end, the solution to the conundrum of the retired husband’s sleeping habits may lie not in ultimatums or coercion but in empathy, communication, and compromise. It could very well be about recognising and respecting each other’s needs and finding a balance that allows for individual fulfillment as the pair enjoy their retirement years.

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