Home Couples & Family Psychology Developmental LOVE LINGERS HERE: INTIMATE ENDURING RELATIONSHIPS XVIII. PLATE FIVE: SEPTEMBER SONG (GROWING OLD AND FACING MAJOR LIFE CHALLENGES AS A COUPLE)

LOVE LINGERS HERE: INTIMATE ENDURING RELATIONSHIPS XVIII. PLATE FIVE: SEPTEMBER SONG (GROWING OLD AND FACING MAJOR LIFE CHALLENGES AS A COUPLE)

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John and Nancy do possess something, however, that keeps them from falling apart as a couple. They always reserve Sundays as a time to be together. On that one day, they go to church, have lunch, and then have an “adventure.” According to John:

It’s those weekly adventures that help keep us going. We may go to a movie, or to an amusement park for the first time in fifteen years, or something else. So even though we are working long and hard all week long, we are doing something memorable together every weekend. Before, we certainly worked fewer hours between the two of us. However, we also had fewer “adventures.” As a result, I think we enjoyed life a lot less.

John and Nancy haven taken steps that will ensure that during the years that do remain until they are ready to retire, they will find more time together, without ignoring their desire for greater financial security. John indicated that he hopes to use computer link-ups to continue doing business from his home, as a consultant. In this way, John and Nancy won’t always be like ships passing in the night. John and Nancy also plan to remain active outside their home after retirement, though they want to spend more time together. Nancy plans to at least do volunteer work at the hospital where she now works. She also looks forward to keeping her household to her satisfaction, and hopes to work more on her home’s landscaping and have time to sew. Then, together, they added: “yes, and we hope to have much more time to visit all those grandchildren!”

The days of many men and women in their senior years are filled with recollection of previous life experiences. Rather than daydreaming about the life to come, they reflect back accurately or inaccurately on the life that they have already lived. Long-term couples are similarly inclined to reflect back on their relationship together. A lovely scene in the movie “Gigi” concerns the recollections of two former lovers, played by Maurice Chevalier and Hermoine Gingold, about their special moments together. “Ah, yes,” exclaims Chevalier, “I remember it well!” (having just confused dates, locations and perhaps even lovers!)

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