Shocked by my husband’s “Future Focus”

My husband has been very supportive that I joined SCS and we have worked together on some of the material (ex: financial) and have talked a lot about the concepts. As I was working through this month’s homework and got to the section “Future Focus” I thought it might be good to have us both do the homework and compare responses, since we share a life/future together.

When I finished the assignment I felt encouraged about my future. Based on my estimate of how long I expected to live, I had great thoughts about what I would be able to do and experience in the next 5, 10, 25 years, including the prospect of experiencing retirement (or at least a job that is less demanding), travel, grandchildren, etc. My husband (who did sit and put some thought to it) told me he believes he will die early and so he couldn’t articulate any vision beyond 10 years from now (he is 52) – just “continue doing what I’m doing”. He was emotional about it. When we got to the question “what does your future self have to say to you/what advice would you give yourself” his response was “you should have taken better care of yourself. Still could, but you won’t”.

I was shocked and saddened by his responses. He is usually a very positive and upbeat person. He has many friends and is generally very happy. Right now he has been struggling with a lot of knee pain (he had a knee operation last year on the opposite knee that really helped). He is a larger guy (6’1, 280 pounds) but is very active. He feels like his body is falling apart at 52. He has told me on a few occasions (even as a teenager – we have been together 37 years) that he didn’t think he would live a long life – but I have never put much stock in it (who really knows how long we all have).

For some reason this has really thrown me. Maybe it was because he was emotional and not flippant about it. I am having a hard time processing that he really can’t envision a real future or get excited about future possibilities. It also really bothers me that he thinks he should take better care of himself and is already telling himself he “won’t”.

Unintentional Model:
C: Husband’s homework response
T: “ I can’t believe he thinks this”. He doesn’t plan to take care of himself.
F: Shock, sadness, fear
A: Thinking about his response a lot, worrying about our future
R: Doubts about our previous plans, including my plan to retire in 3-5 years.

Intentional Model
C: Husband’s homework response
T: I can’t control the future. There are still many good things yet to come in my life regardless of what happens. I can take care of myself.
F: Encouraged, hopeful
A: Continue to set goals, including a solid financial plan
R: Best plan for the future I can make within my control

It has taken me awhile to do a model on this and it still doesn’t quite feel “right”. Not sure if it just because it is a morbid topic that makes me feel uncertain and uncomfortable. Any feedback or insight would be appreciated!