DEAR AMY: My husband and I have been together for 25 years. He has decided that he will retire in three years. He is in a union and has a good retirement plan through his company. I have been working the entire time of our marriage, but my company does not have a retirement plan. So I will have to continue to work while he is retired, and I imagine that I will be working for the rest of my life to keep up with the bills. My husband also carries our health insurance through his work, so now the expense of the health insurance will be an added expense for us. I am feeling quite angry over his decision to retire, leaving me to work. I have tried to discuss this, but he states it is not up for discussion. He says he's done with working, period. I just can't seem to cope with my anger, and the feeling that I will spend the rest of my life getting up every morning and going to work while he leads the easy life. What can I do to get him to see things from my point of view -- that as a couple, we should be able to retire together, and not just me working until the day I die?
Frustrated Working Wife
DEAR FRUSTRATED: You don't provide details, but yes, this seems at its core a relationship issue. It is hard to imagine a secure and healthy marriage where one partner refuses to share his earned resources toward supporting the household. But you seem to want him to continue working past his retirement window -- and if so, why? And if you are (perhaps) younger, why should you retire at the same time as he? Each of you should maximize your earning years.
You should see a financial planner to take a look at your own income, expenses, debt and retirement income from Social Security and (possibly) savings. Generally speaking, in case of divorce, pensions earned during the marriage are considered a shared marital asset (your husband doesn't seem to realize this).
A marriage counselor could help you two learn to negotiate. You both seem somewhat intractable. If he refuses to discuss this or strategize with you, you might find going to work preferable to spending leisure time with him.
DEAR AMY: I'm a 61-year-old guy. I'm not married and I have no children. I regularly run into this cute girl (who is about 25) at a park where we both work out. We make passing comments to each other. Most of the time she is friendly toward me. I would like to ask her out. Do you think our age difference is too great or would it be OK to ask her out? I am in good shape because I work out most days, so I look about 10 years younger than I am.
Older but Young in Charlotte
DEAR OLDER: Even assuming the possibility that your running friend is 10 years older than you suppose, yes, your age difference is extreme.
However, if you are both available and consenting adults, then you are both free to do whatever you want.
Moving from the stage of strangers passing on the trail to asking her out is too great a leap even for a fast-moving and fit guy like you. If you'd like to get to know her better, you should start by asking her if she would like to run with (not past) you.
DEAR AMY: You never see things from a man's point of view. "Hurt" reported that while out with his girlfriend, a male friend grabbed her backside repeatedly. After she told him about this, he punched out the guy who did it. Now she's mad at the boyfriend! You told him he disrespected her. What a crock!
DEAR DISAPPOINTED: I can't actually see things from a man's point of view, but I can reflect a woman's with some authority: We don't always want men to settle our scores for us.