Saudi Gazette | 10 Rajab 1437/18 April 2016

An academic said the belief on the importance of children in marital life and that they can be likened to nails for fixing marital relations and protecting them from collapse is a misconception. He said their existence only affects the time separation or divorce takes place. It might delay their occurrence.

Dr. Humood Fahd Al-Qash´an, dean of the faculty of social sciences and postgraduate studies in Kuwait University, emphasized this during a lecture entitled “Ways of improving family relations” at Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Center for Science and Technology (Scitech) in Al-Khobar. He said a family could be one that makes life or produces destruction.

Al-Qash´an said: “People have a belief that marital life is all ‘enjoyment´ and family life, too. This is not true. Marital life has got to pass through several stages before reaching the stage of stability.”

He added that marriage passes through five stages; three basic and two exceptional stages.

Al-Qash´an said the first basic stage is the ‘acquaintance stage´ and its duration is the first 5 – 7 years of marriage. It is followed by the “stage of harmony”. Here the husband and wife share in the upbringing of their children. The couple cannot reach this stage except after surpassing the first stage correctly.

Speaking about the third stage, Dr. Al-Qash´an said in “the stage of assisting one another” there is interdependence between the husband and wife. This is usually noticed in elderly couples. He added that it has been discovered in one of the studies that the couple in this stage become one soul due to the great similarity between them in facial expressions and voice tone. He said that two exceptional stages come within this stage; first is “the power struggle stage”. This comes after ‘the acquaintance stage´. It is one of the serious phases of marriage in which the couple must struggle with all their strength to surpass it and reach the ‘stage of harmony´.

As to the second exceptional stage, Dr. Al-Qash´an said it is “the stage of contemplation” or “the middle age crisis” that takes place between the ‘harmony´ and ‘assisting one another´ phase. It usually affects the man and woman equally after the age of 37 for women and post-42 for men. Here there is great suspicion between the couple.

A study showed that after the death of his wife, a husband tries to continue his life alone, but there are some cases in which the husband dies two years after his wife´s death.

As to the wife, she can continue her life after her husband´s death due to her big social networks.