Changes in relationship concerning to couple now full-time RVing

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Dear RV Shrink:
My wife and I retired two years ago and began traveling in a new RV. It was something we had dreamed of for years. We both love history and hiking. This lifestyle is perfect for discovering and enjoying both interests.

The only confusion we have is our relationship has changed. We seem to argue more now than we ever did during our 40 years of marriage. It’s insignificant little squabbles, but they seem abnormally frequent. I always thought we agreed on almost everything but I am finding that not to be the case. Do you think it has anything to do with our new lifestyle? —Confused in Canton


Dear Confused:
It’s really quite simple. You used to be part-timers and now you are full-timers. I’m not talking about your RV lifestyle – I’m talking about your marriage.

During your working life, one or both of you worked. That meant you didn’t spend most of your waking hours together. When you were together you had a lot of catching up to do and no time for insignificant problems. You had to fry all the big fish and move on. Now you are full-timers – living in a small space, together 24/7 with all kinds of time to discover each other all over again. That is not necessarily a bad thing. It takes some work. It takes some understanding. It takes some compromise.

After two years you must be making some progress. Many people find they can’t make those adjustments and stop traveling or find ways to pare down the togetherness and cultivate alone time. Separate hobbies like photography, crafts and sports can accomplish this. Volunteer work and part-time jobs can also help.

You sound like you have a wonderful relationship so maybe you both need to accept that you are the same people you have always been and stop letting the insignificant differences you are discovering annoy you. —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink

Editor: Here’s a short video from full-time RVers Joe and Vicki Kieva about finding time alone while full-time RVing.

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his e-books, including the new Book 2 in his two-book series: Dr. R.V. Shrink: Everything you ever wanted to know about the RV Lifestyle but were afraid to ask or check out his other e-books.

##RVT898

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Jerry X Shea

YEP – NO surprise here. Years of “separation marriage” (one or both work all day) and now it is a 24/7 relationship. I could write a 850 page book on this with just the last 12 years of RVing and talking to couples that are having a hard time “living together” in a RV. The secret- allow each of you to have your “own time.” My wife and I sit 3′ from each other and, “by design for the day” DON’T TALK TO EACH OTHER as we each read a book, search the internet, review Facebook (or other sites) – the point being – WE EACH NEED OUR SPACE TO DO WHATEVER.” At dinner time, just like our family time before we did RVing, we talk about our day. My hike, her talk with the kids, etc. STEP OUT OF THE RV.

Terri Foxx-Wishert

This can also be a sign that one or both are developing hearing problems. WE are full-timers and have a lot more issues, if one of us has not heard the other one clearly. Or, sometimes it’s the memory that has a bit of a hitch in the get along.