Man returns to work at 70 after years of retirement because his wife nags him too much

Mary Duncan

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.*

I am currently forty years old and have been in a relationship for three years, which is the longest I’ve been in a relationship in my life. I have dated a lot of men, but have only been in love twice, and the first love ended terribly when my partner told me he could not be monogamous with me.

I am very happy to be in the relationship I am in now and hope it lasts for the rest of my life, but at the same time, I am a bit sad that I’m at the age now where I’ll probably never even get the chance to have a relationship, let alone a marriage, that lasts fifty years. My grandparents were married for sixty-five years before my grandfather passed away, and theirs was a love story for the ages.

When my grandfather retired at fifty-eight years old with two pensions under his belt he and my grandmother made their dream of moving to Florida come true. They bought a house in a retirement community near Tampa Bay and spent the happiest years of their life together there. I think we’d all be lucky to have a life as great as theirs.

I worked with a man named Trevor once at a restaurant who reminded me a lot of my grandfather. Trevor was in his sixties and was a dishwasher at the restaurant. He’d retired from an office job years ago but took the part-time dishwashing job to keep himself busy and have a bit of extra money coming in as his wife had never worked a day in her life.

Trevor’s wife, Cheryl, was a happy mom and homemaker, but once the nest was empty she became a bit depressed and not a joy for Trevor to be around all the time. She was lonely, and eventually, she demanded Trevor quit his job at the restaurant to be home with her.

Well, two years later, shortly after celebrating his seventieth birthday, Trevor returned to work at the restaurant with his old part-time hours.

“What are you doing back here?” I asked Trevor the night he returned, happy to see him but confused as to why he was there.

He smiled when he saw me, but then his smile turned to a frown and he shook his head.

“You wouldn’t believe it, Mary,” he said. “Cheryl is just intolerable to be with all the time. I have worked all my life, I had no idea what she could be like when I was around her for long periods of time. She was always a bit of a nag, but now it really never ends.”

“What is she nagging you about?” I asked.

“Everything,” he told me with a roll of his eyes. “I can do nothing right it seems. I try to help out with dishes but I load the dishwasher wrong and she yells at me. I take out the garbage but don’t wait until it’s full enough so I’m wasting a bag even though it’s starting to stink. Then, when I try to relax and have some quiet time, I’m just being lazy. I told her ‘Well if you don’t want me being lazy, I’ll go back to work.’”

“That sounds rough, Trevor, I’m sorry,” I told him.

“I’m not,” he said. “I like getting out of the house and talking to other people. At least here no one ever tells me I’m doing anything wrong.”

I felt bad for Trevor, but the more I thought about it the more I think I could see both sides. Cheryl was used to doing everything by herself and when Trevor was home all the time interfering with her usual way of life, she didn’t appreciate it. 

What would you have done if you were Trevor?

Hi, I hope you enjoyed this story! I am a freelance writing single mom trying to create a better life for me and my daughter through words. If you enjoyed this, please consider leaving a small donation:

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I write about the weird complexities of relationships to make a better life for me and my daughter through words.

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