Retired Husband Syndrome

Written by: Vasundhara Shukla – M. Phil (Psychology)

Last updated date : September 24, 2022

Table of Contents
Article title – Managing irritable bowel syndrome
  1. Chapter 1
  2. Chapter 2
  3. Chapter 3
  4. Chapter 4
  5. Chapter 5
  6. Chapter 6
  7. Chapter 7
  8. Chapter 8

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Retired husband syndrome is a relatively new phenomenon that was first seen in Japan. Women suffering from it get ulcers, high blood pressure, rashes, and depression as the date for their husband’s retirement nears. This mostly happens in women who belong to the baby boomer generation. The common perception among people in that generation was men are the breadwinners and women are the homemakers. They have to take care of the household, provide for her husband’s needs and express love and gratitude for the man to bring money to take care of the family. This stops when the husband retires and spends all his time with the family. In this article, we will talk about retired husband syndrome, why it happens, and how to deal with it.

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Chapter 1:
Causes of Retired Husband Syndrome(RHS)

The cause of this issue lies with the patriarchal expectations placed on the women in the household. The man of the family tends to be the bread earner of the family. During this time, he bids goodbye to the life of working for a more relaxed life. Most of the time we talk about how men are affected by it but rarely about its impact on their wives. ‘Homemakers never retire’ is a common phrase used to describe the hours of hard work put in by the wife to keep the house in order.

When the husband goes to work, there is not much direct interaction between the couple. But after retirement, they get to come in close contact with each other. This can put pressure on their relationship as new issues crop us related to the women’s caregiving and new expectations of the man to be taken care of by his wife.

Women have to take care of the emotional and physical needs of all the family members. Their share of responsibilities can be very draining and it does not get due credit as it is unpaid. Since the retired couple is in close contact, they might also realize that their decisions do not match, their way of thinking is different and they might become critical of each other.

All this can lead to retired husband syndrome.

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Chapter 2:
Effects of RHS

In most societies, the woman has to take care of her husband and children. This puts too many responsibilities on the women which can affect their health. The signs of RHS are developing ulcers, rashes, irritation, and depression in the wives. These are mostly signs of stress which are also affecting the physical body.

RHS is a problem that develops because of long-term stress.

The lack of space along with the children’s closeness with their mother can make men insecure about their position in the family. They tend to try to regain control over their family. This leads to changes in the family order and creates more stress.

This not only creates stress for the wives and the entire family but can also lead to divorce.

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Chapter 3:
How to Deal with Retired Husband Syndrome?

One can deal with RHS by preparing yourself for the changes. Use the following ways to deal with it-

Develop a Support System

Having a good social circle has many benefits. It can provide you with a listening ear when you need it the most, give advice, discuss solutions and provide opportunities to interact with people outside your home. It can be a source of support which is very much required by everyone. Having a support system can also protect you from developing many stress-related problems and mental health issues. You can also join a support group for wives of retired men to deal with retired husband syndrome.

Training the Husband

In this situation, the husband needs to be made aware of the changes which will happen after retirement. This will also include the effects of retirement on the family members, especially the wife. The husbands also need to be trained in completing their household chores like cooking, cleaning, and shopping for themselves. This will help reduce the burden on the wives.

Counseling

This is an important way to help prepare for retirement. Seeing a counselor will help you understand which changes can you expect when your husband retires. And this information can also help you make some changes to make this transition smoother for yourself.

Finding a hobby or a job

Most women keep delaying their work plans first because of kids and then because of their retired husbands. Retirement is a good period to start something new for yourself. Start taking time out to prepare and apply for the jobs of your link or just develop a hobby. This can help make you feel engaged creatively. This is one of the ways you can deal with retired husband syndrome.

Doing Things Together

This is the time when both you and your husband can make time to do things together. these do not only mean household jobs but something that you both have an interest in doing. Taking dance classes, computer lessons, and learning a new language are fun activities that keep you active and alert together.

Plan Your Retirement 

Planning can make the change easier for you and your husband. This can also keep you informed of changes that will happen and give you time to prepare for it. You both can set your goals for this part of life, understand the expenses and plan how you both would like to spend this time together.

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Chapter 4:
Call For Action

The Japanese women call their husbands ‘Sodaigomi’ which means oversized garbage. Retirement is not easy for either partners. And preparing for this new phase in life requires work by both partners. This is the only way the change can be accepted and liked by both. You can use the solutions given in this article to ease your transition. It is important to deal with retired husband syndrome because it can cause long-term mental health issues. This can affect self-esteem and how we see ourselves. Enroll in our course ‘Low Self Esteem‘ to knowing more about this issue and how to handle it effectively.

Reviews 4.1

Learn evidence-based scientific ways for managing irritable bowel syndrome.

95 Lessons

3 hours

  • Educational Content
  • Quizzes
  • Self-reflection material
  • Suggestions & feedback
  • Worksheet, tips & tools to use

€9.00 €12.00

25% discount