Yesterday I had my "annual" holiday reconnection lunch with H.B. who on Friday turns 85 years old. H.B. and M.E.B. were our neighbors when Susan and I lived in our Condominium.
H.B. retired early at age 51 and so I naturally asked him what retirement was like for 34 years - and especially what M.E.B. thought of his retirement. He said, "For Better or Worse", but not for lunch".
I think "second half" transitions are extremely difficult on relationships. For the female this happens usually when the kids are gone (empty nest time). For the male, it occurs on career retirement. Like any major milestones in life, neither party really can predict their mental state when these big transitions occur.
Working to a new equilibrium is critical to making the second half - more better than worse.