Dear readers,

This corner will be devoted to give you some help and emotional support. Using a well known psychological tool called “projection” I will hope to achieve this.

Others expressing their feelings and situations seems to be one of the best ways to have a truly good look “inside” ourselves. To do this mechanism of empathy and projection (basic human emotional defence) we can create, recreate, build and rebuild different points of view about different situations. We grow on this basis.

My proposal is for you to bring me different, real situations that can have an impact on our everyday lives, and that may also be an interesting topic to others. I encourage you to take an active part and bring me situations, ask me questions or some possible suggestions, even a consultation if required. This way we are all co-operating together in “mirror corners” to make it work for our own benefits and interests.

This information from yourselves will all be kept in the strictest confidentiality, names, emails, telephone numbers will not appear, you can even leave it simply as ‘anonymous’ for ease.

Why retirement can put stress on relationships?

Ryan (67) and Meg (65) have been living in Spain for 5 years.

A bit of History: Before their retirement Ryan and Meg had lead very busy lives in the UK both working full time and raising children. The idea of retirement in Spain arose almost 20 years ago. Everything was carefully planned and now after 40 years of solid marriage and grown up children, Ryan and Meg felt their ¨time has finally come¨.
Their dreams of spending time together, enjoying morning walks on the beach, dining al fresco in the evenings, the weekend visits to the market and enjoying the Mediterranean climate made them decide to retire early to make these dreams reality.

Situation: Five years ago they chose the perfect area and the house to live in and you might be thinking … where is the problem?
Two years passed quite well, but in the third year of living in Spain, things started to happen. Meg called me to make an appointment. She said she didn’t know what was wrong but she had a feeling of dullness and felt quite lonely. When she was with Ryan, she didn’t enjoy their time together as much as she used to. At our consultations, she would say things like “ I just don’t see the point in doing the same things and being far away from home. “I feel I am wasting my time here, I miss my children and friends and being productive in my job. “ I feel I don’t know my partner at all! I only feel happy with him when our friends are around, but when we are alone we argue a lot” … isn’t it crazy?

Things that we can work on:

1) It is very important to mix with the Spanish culture and find activities with multicultural approach: This prevents us from being ¨hidden inside the shell¨.
It is very exciting discovering differences and things that are almost alike between people. We all need a “pint of adventure” and pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone is actually good for us. It allows us to expand our minds and to learn not only about new things, but also about ourselves.

2) Lack of identification: If you are used to working, rushing about all day and earning a wage then it’s really important to find activities that define who we are and make us recognize ourselves in the “mirror”. It’s a good idea to find common as well as individual activities. The aim is not to earn money; the aim is the activity in itself… at least three times a week a few hours a day, or as you schedule. Perhaps you love reading, writing or swimming and you couldn´t find time to do in the past? Ask yourself what makes you feel excited? And make it a “must”! It is more than important to feel productive.

3) After forty years, is it possible to say ¨I don´t know my partner” ? Yes, it is! … Why?
Because we often do things just for the sake of this or that to satisfy our boss, our children or our partner – but is that freedom? When you or your partner have time, perhaps he or she wants to be alone, or wants to do things his or her way, which may not be met with your approval or fulfil your expectations. This can cause sparks and frustrations! The problem is not the “lack of love”; the problem is the “change of situation” which requires more communication. Express what you feel and make the other see your point of view because now you are not doing things for the “sake of it”, now you are doing things because you “want to”. Time for a “kit kat”! Big institutions have their meetings and agendas, so why don’t you? Try to have a “meeting tea” and NEGOTIATE a “COMMON WANT” … at least sometimes!

When you succeed in going through 1-2-3, you’ll gain a feeling of being a part of a whole where differences are for your benefit and similarities make you feel closer to many people. Activities will make you feel productive and time with your partner will be enjoyable.

If it isn´t, then you have the possibility of weighing up the pros and cons, which at the end is a worth living experience too. At least if after many efforts you end up splitting up, you’ll gain your freedom. It’s never too late to be free, to live happier and more satisfying life. Because there is no other life, as far as I know…

I would love for you to suggest to me some topics you want to know about, for sure I will have had some real topics related to it during my past work history, I have twenty years of folders to investigate. You can ask me any questions, and I will give you my contribution in the form of suggestion, hoping it can help you.

Want to ask Beatriz a question?

Your information will be kept in the strictest confidentiality.