Thursday, June 9, 2011

Retired Husband Syndrome - A woman's full time job

Retired husband syndrome is a psychosomatic stress related illness that occurs in Japan.  This illness seems to affect women of ages 50 to 65 as soon as their husbands reach retirement. It is also one of the causes for divorce in Japan among older couples.

With a husband that is mostly busy at work, the Japanese woman has a lot of time on her hands and becomes dependent on certain activities. He might start complaining about different things but the wife will tolerate such behavior as she knows his presence at home is short. However, when husbands retire, their whole personality is revealed and they can become too irritating for their wives, who are used to spending their free time away from them. Also, a lot of Japanese husbands help little around the house and having one who stays at home all the time means more cleaning.
A woman declares that her husband takes over her domicile and wants to cook or direct the way she cooks; he either leaves a lot of dishes or he fries everything too much.
The cracking of eggs is something else. Crushing them with his hands (as presumably he has seen some chef do it) always results in picking out egg shell from the food while we attempt to eat it, or throwing the whole dammed thing away.

Women begin to show a pattern of symptoms and this led Dr. Nobuo Kirokawa to identify and coin the term retired husband syndrome. The symptoms are: depression, skin rash, asthma, ulcers, and high blood pressure.

We should understand that Japanese society demands that the husband does well in his career so he spends little time with his wife and kids. They will also have a hard time interacting after he is retired because they are not used with that level of social intimacy. Men socialize with the work colleagues and women with their friends, so their activities together are very few.

It seems that almost 60% of the wives of retired men suffer from retired husband syndrome. There are also support groups that help Japanese men to be independent, stop demanding so much from their wives and communicate with them.


  1. It's funny they made a syndrome for the more accurately notion of "Traditional couple."

  2. that's funny....and so all we need is the nagging bitch syndrome :)

    PS: is there a problem with your website's rss feed or it's just my lack of technical skills?

  3. I've checked it, seems to work fine...

  4. Oh, sorry for bothering you with that; i'll just have to figure out what I'm doing wrong :)))