It is NOT a calculated effort to bring them to eye-rolling, babbling insanity.
It is because they previously had something to do all day. And, now, they don't.
That's a lot of energy with no place to go. Except to try to find helpful things to do at home.
In many families, the husband ceded control of the household to his wife. She had sole right to:
- Plan meals
- Buy food
- Organize the house
- Do chores on HER schedule
- Pay bills
Now, she finds another adult with time to kill, and a deep-seated desire to be useful. So, that adult wants to take on some of her job.
Now, some women can look at this as an opportunity to 'retire'. To let go of part of her previous job. To free up some time for hobbies, socialization, FUN!
For that second group, this is THEIR stuff. And, if someone tries to assist them with THEIR stuff, they BETTER do it the way she says.
It's a control issue. Some people are better at re-drawing boundaries than others.
How to manage this situation?
HELP him find his niche:
- Work to help him create, and grow, non-work friendships. Many men find this difficult - in the past, their work or neighborhood provided male companionship. It did not require them to make an effort.
- BOTH should look for volunteer activities. It's a chance to do something useful, enjoy the status of being in charge of something, and truly help out a community that needs the assistance of adults, but hasn't sufficient people without family or work responsibilities to do those jobs.
- Exercise - this can be together, or separately. Walk with a friend, join a gym, do WiFit or televised programs. Aim for both to have as active a life as possible.
- Make a list of household responsibilities, and split them up. Decide that the owner of that job will be the one to set the standard for that job (MANY women will have trouble with this. They are fine with husbands doing the job, but super-critical of HOW they do it. Many will find that they go around after the job is done, re-doing it - STOP that. Truly give up that responsibility).
- Make some time for togetherness. Have a Date Night. Plan vacations. Make the holidays special. And make sure he can point to some part of all of that as HIS contribution.