Counselor Marguerite Heaton-Colella believes in the old adages "Familiarity breeds contempt" and "Absence makes the heart grow fonder."
Newly retired couples should keep them in mind, said the licensed clinical social worker and certified dementia practitioner. They often come to her because they are arguing more than ever, and their marriages are suffering.
"It is harder for men to know what to do with themselves," said Heaton-Colella, 63, who lives in Egg Harbor Township, practices in Linwood and is offering two free seminars soon through The Stockton Center on Successful Aging.
"Their job is their identify," she said.
And they haven't developed the intimate social network of friends their wives have.
"People come in for couples work eager to tell me what other person is doing wrong," she said. "There really have to be adjustments on both parts."
Men often need to develop new interests and friendships; women often have to become more flexible and learn to include their husbands more in their social lives, she said.
One husband came to counseling convinced his wife was having an affair, when she was just spending time with friends as usual. He had never noticed before, because he was working all the time.
"I said to him, 'Many women in this age group would rather have a hot-fudge sundae than sex,'" she said of a treat they have given up for years.
Heaton-Colella sees a lot of elderly patients, although she doesn't restrict her practice. Her youngest client is 8, and her oldest is 90, she said.
The Seashore Gardens Foundation will honor Linwood's Adrienne Beinfest with the Martin Klein Leadership Award for her advocacy for the Galloway Township nonprofit senior home; and NBC 40 Meteorologist, Dan Skeldon, for his reporting during Hurricane Sandy, at its 2013 gala in July.
Middle School Math teacher Shana Kuchinsky and High School English teacher Nancy Adams recently received Governor's Teacher Recognition Awards for Southern Regional School District. The Princeton University Distinguished Teacher honor went to high school math teacher Christopher South.
If you go
"Now We're Retired, You're Getting on My Nerves," 2 p.m. June 26
"Moving in With the Kids," 1 p.m. Aug. 27
Both will be at Galloway Community Services Senior Center, 621 W. White Horse Pike, Egg Harbor City. Visit www.stockton.edu/scosa or call 609-626-3591.