What are dinks? That is how you call couples who have double incomes, no kids. Obviously childless couples that make a choice not to have children fit into that category, but I want to discuss the ones who are now empty nesters and middle aged. If you happen to have a good marriage and your kids are grown, living on their own and financially independent, you can have the best of lives.
When does middle age start and end? Somewhere from 45 to 65. Some say middle age starts at 40, some say at 50. Anyhow, since we are all living longer and looking a lot better at 50, I think that age group has been pushed forward.
This phase of your life can be the best in many ways. Your health should be good, provided you take care of it. Your finances are usually more secure, provided you have not been a victim of the job loss and economic upheaval of the 2008 recession former President Bush left us with. Having two incomes, sharing a house and not having any financial or time obligations with your kids does allow you to travel more, invest more, remodel more, enjoy hobbies, eat better, exercise more…the list of benefits is long. Not everyone though is lucky to have a companion at this phase of their lives, especially with the high divorce rate. And some people do very well on their own, financially and emotionally. For people like myself though, for whom having a loving relationship rates as a priority, being part of a DINK is just the ideal situation to be.
An interesting experience to share: see the meme on the left about women in Saudi Arabia not being able to go to a library alone? Well, I had the chance of listening to a Muslim woman in a party I went to last Friday. This woman said that even though we see Muslim women as victims of oppressive men, THEY are the ones who want to maintain the status quo, in particular the ones from rich families. The system that keeps women from enjoying the freedom that we have here also “protects” them in her view. They don’t have to work and they sometimes have a beautiful home and everything material they need. They like to take care of their husbands because they are the providers. They are scared of being homeless, live in poverty or become single mothers. So they like their golden cage.
Which makes me think that women have not yet found power, and never will until they have money. Money rules. A woman who can support herself and well doesn’t need to subjugate to anyone. There are many who have achieved this in the western world, but overall women continue to have the simplest positions and the lowest paying jobs. Therefore, they turn to men to save them. We all know that a man can be fat, old and bald that he can still find a younger woman who is attractive as long as she sees him as a good provider. Money has an interesting way to create “love”. Obviously, she will move on to a better provider if she has the chance.
It’s a vicious circle. Education is the route to financial independence; so it entrepreneurship. Many women feel they can’t compete so they lag behind. A man is the only way to feel safe and secure, especially when children are involved. That is one of the reasons women stay in bad relationships and “fall in love” for men with money. In third world countries that is very common. So I was presented with this other angle of the “poor Middle Eastern oppressed women”. This lady also said the mothers raise their own sons that way, to feel more important and more valuable than a woman, and have sisters cater to their brothers since a young age.
I say education is key, but women’s desire to be protected keeps them from achieving.
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