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Would You Do It Again?

Get Married, That Is ...

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If your marriage ended because your spouse died, do you think you would eventually get married again?

POLL:

Would you get married again after the loss of your spouse?

1) Yes
2) No
3) Maybe
View Poll Results

There is an old story about a famous politician who we'll call Mr. Jones. He was at a dinner party with his wife and the question was asked of the group, "If you died, but could come back as anyone you wanted, who would you want to be?" This gentleman allegedly said, "As Mrs. Jones' second husband."

Some people believe that the willingness or unwillingness of a surviving spouse to remarry is a test of the couple's marital happiness or unhappiness.

Susan Shapiro Barash: “For men whose marriage ends only because of death, there is often a desire to repeat the happiness they knew. These men love being married, and they are good husband material.”
Source: Elizabeth Olson. "Widowers Are Eager for Another Whirl." NYTimes.com. 6/01/2006.
Dr. Luisa Dillner: "Men often react differently when their partner dies - research suggests that women grieve and men replace: the Office of National Statistics says widowers are at least one-and-a-half times more likely to remarry."
Source: Dr. Luisa Dillner. "Widower on the Rebound." Guardian.co.uk. 10/27/2006.

Many years ago, Morton Hunt, in The World of the Formerly Married mentioned that marriage fills "need for emotional satisfaction, security, and individual happiness."

Hunt also wrote, "Until society invents and perfects some new forms of grouping, some new kinds of attachment among people, we will need to have our marital partners be romantic as well as companionable, sexual as well as parental, exciting as well as domestic."

"This being so, we are right to be idealistic about marriage and to hope for much from it. We naturally rejoice greatly when it yields most of what we want, and cast it aside grievingly when it fails us."

If what these folks wrote is true, then it would seem only natural for folks to want to marry again. Yet formerly married people, both widowed and divorced, often say "no." They will not ever marry again.

Reasons Some Decide To Not Marry Again

Why do some people refuse to get married again? Of course, their reasons are varied, but here are some of the reasons we've heard.

  • A fear of repeating mistakes made in their first marriage and having to deal with the same old problems again.
  • Financial considerations, believing they are better off single when it comes to money concerns.
  • A feeling that they had to sacifice way too much of themselves in order to keep their previous marriage together and they don't want to do that again.
  • Concern over their children's response -- both minor and adult children.
  • Health problems -- both their own health and the health of a prospective spouse.
  • The belief that they did have a great marriage and they don't see how they can ever be that fortunate again.

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