Embarking on a new marriage in your 50s has to be considered an “adventure”. Set in your ways because of age and the habit of living alone, adjusting to a new partner at 56 was different than the first time when I was 22.
In a lot of ways it was easier. I am more comfortable with myself, know to let the little things go, have better communication skills, worry less and just generally in a lesser state of anxiety than when I was in my early 20s.
But – there are complexities that didn’t exist the first time we both did this. We have grown children who belong to one not to “us”. All four will likely (hopefully!) never live in the same house with both John and I at the same time so that frequency of daily contact won’t be there, but nor will the inevitable squabbles that comes with living in close contact on a daily basis.
Then there is the money thing. What happens when two pre-retirements get married. Do you blend your money, keep it separate, something in between? We went with the latter. We already knew that our money values were in alignment but getting married at that age also meant making sure that any risks were managed. Which meant a pre-nuptial agreement. In our case it was very simple, what you bring in you get to take out. Any money grown through our time together gets split 50/50. No one goes into marriage with the expectation that it will end in divorce and I certainly didn’t and don’t think our relationship will end in divorce but the last think I want to be after working so hard all these years is to be a broke little old lady.
So we decided to have a joint account for all our household and regular personal expenses. We each have some discretionary funds where we can spend on whatever we want. But – mostly our funds and expenses are shared.
We managed to settle into our new domestic life easier than I expected. We generally have the same life values so that makes it easier. We talk things through while they are still little annoyances, not letting them fester. We compromise on our home environment. John wears tank tops and shorts all year round and I wear pants and fleece all year round. John prefers hard rock but accepts listening to jazz all day long and now understands that meals don’t always come out of a box and accepts cooking from scratch.
Anything worth having takes effort, but finding a new partner and creating a new life in your 50s might very well be worth it if you are considering it!