By Dr Khalid Ahmad Al-Saleh
There isn’t much effect in a family’s life when a woman retires in all countries of the world. The woman, by her nature, is an active human being and will find something to keep her busy and maybe more. As Kuwait’s youth love to travel, the mother will care for the grandchildren. In the Eastern family, a woman is partly responsibility for the children of her daughters, and this role grows larger when the woman retires. It is said children carry the names of the father’s family, and embrace the attitudes of the mother’s family.
The case is different with a man, as when the man retires, it will be the last important stop in the wife’s life. The life of the woman, that patient human being, goes through many stormy stages. The first is when a man asks to marry her, the second when she delivers her first child, and the third when the husband lurks around after retirement.
Social science professor at Sharjah University Dr Hussein Al-Othman said: When a man retires, he feels the loss of power and a feeling of depreciated value. No one needs him anymore, and the result will be difficult for the entire family. There are retired men who create value for themselves by interfering in family and children affairs, and even the wife’s kitchen is not spared. There are men who will be frustrated and isolated to a point that their family relations deteriorate, and the wife feels that she has lost her love although he lives among them.
An encouraging matter for a man’s retirement was mentioned in a study by University of Amsterdam and published by Journal of Health Economics – that retirement may be the reason for prolonging a man’s life, as it found men who retired from work at 54 years were the least exposed to early death at a rate of 42 percent by five years, compared to those who continued to work.
Most men in Kuwait retire at an early age, before 65. These people’s storms are less dangerous, because they will listen to the advice of their wives and children. They will find something to keep them busy, and they may become friends with a group with whom they have arguments with and stay away from family disturbances.
The real storm comes with those who are over 65. The retirement of these is compulsory. There is no chance for them to a find another job, and these are the ones the wife must know how to deal with. The wife must prepare herself for a “new child” in the house. The woman marries a child, gives birth to a child and finally returns to deal with a child.
The smart woman is the one who prepares herself for the “old” child as she did for the first child. She must bear with the first months of retirement, so the man can adjust, benefit from her knowledge of her husband, so she can provide him the tools he loves. If he likes food, she creates a special place so that he can make his food creations; if he likes writing, she finds him a special place to practice his intellectual creations. Each human being has wishes that were not satisfied – retirement is the opportunity to satisfy these wishes. Ladies, you alone have the responsibility of raising this last child and make your life happier. All you have to do is prepare yourself for the final birth.