Author Topic: Widowed vs. Divorced  (Read 754 times)

Captains wife

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Widowed vs. Divorced
« on: November 14, 2017, 08:23:03 AM »
I have to admit I am rather weary of dealing with divorce/custody issues in dating NG - by that I mean listening to ex stories (regarding confrontations/interactions), revolving around ex schedule, dealing with child custody scheduling issues, dealing with the fact that he and his ex have things they do together with their young son (and my young son and I are not part of this) etc. I would like to add I'm surprised how much it bothers me.

BUT NG said something interesting to me this weekend (when we were talking about it) and I wanted to see what fellow widows/widowers thoughts/feelings were about this topic.

He thinks part of my (negative) emotional reactions to what he is dealing with, with regards to his divorced status stems from the fact that its not "even" - in that I am a widowed, single parent that doesn't have the other partner is our lives anymore. He wasn't trying to be unkind, he was trying to better understand what I am going through.

I guess I didn't think about my emotional reactions that way - but there is some sense in what he says...maybe I am a little bitter in having to deal with his stuff and make quite a lot of compromises since I am parenting alone and don't have my son's father anymore.

« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 11:43:46 AM by Captains wife »


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Re: Widowed vs. Divorced
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2017, 11:16:41 AM »
I can not speak to this issue with any authority as I have not yet been in your situation. However, your post reminded me of a good blog post I read on the subject and I wanted to share.
Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.
-Corrie Ten Boom


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Re: Widowed vs. Divorced
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2017, 01:21:21 PM »
It's a trade off. There's "good" and bad to each situation. I don't have the crazy x that I have to share kids and communicate with. He doesn't have to deal with me complaining about custody issues, or feelings of resentment or whatever for an X. But, I also have no one to take my kids every other weekend, or to be there for them when I can't, etc.

NG has the X to deal with. She sometimes is irrational and asks for dumb stuff, just to be annoying and continue to insert herself into his/our life. Luckily for us, his kids are 17 and 20, so required contact is very minimal.

I wouldn't be able to do it with a NG who has young kids. I just have too high of anxiety level to deal with that kind of a situation. I can understand your feelings, it's not fair either way.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2017, 05:05:32 PM by daysofelijah »
Amy, mom to four (15,13,10,6)


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Re: Widowed vs. Divorced
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2017, 04:09:26 PM »
I think widowed people have an appreciation for some things that the divorced simply can't because being devastated by death changes your perspective in some pretty radical ways. Yes, both events cause major heartbreak, but the emotional changes just seem to manifest themselves differently. This became extra clear to me recently when reading poetry by two women- one widowed, one divorced. Both heartbroken but so different.

It's irritating two adults can't get their shit together enough to co-parent, irritating they can't realize life is short and beautiful and they should appreciate the extra set of hands and heart to raise their children- that it is a gift to be able to give a child two parents, a joy to have someone to share in the triumphs and the disasters- even if the marriage is over. Yes, it's especially maddening to witness when you are juggling all of the balls all by yourself. Widowed have a lot more in common with single parents than with divorced parents.

As the divorced man who tried to court me explained oh so eloquently: widowed people are sad their spouse is dead, divorced people wish their spouse was dead. Talk about a serious mood killer... so, I guess maybe some divorced people envy what they view as a much less messy situation and thus deem it easier to be widowed. And hey- maybe after viewing some of the batshit crazy stuff their ex can pull, you might see how that thought can occur to them.
It is a fearful thing to love what Death can touch.


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Re: Widowed vs. Divorced
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2017, 09:11:28 AM »

You got IT!  It is hard.  I know you have read my posts so I understand where you are coming from. 

Leadfeather, I have shared that article from that blog, too.  It is good.  She also wrote about how she will always love her DH and will always be his widow and now her new husband's wife.  I appreciated that perspective since people want to put us in a box of "you can't move forward if you still are in love with your dead spouse."  It is so much more complex.

Bunny, you nailed it with the quote.

widowed people are sad their spouse is dead, divorced people wish their spouse was dead.

Not all divorced folks, but many.  We have shared on here and the old board about things divorced folks say to us.  LIKE, you have it easier, yours is dead.  Yeah.....

WE can't change our situation anymore than they can.  Just life.  Trying to figure it out, also, CW..


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Re: Widowed vs. Divorced
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2017, 10:28:40 AM »
I am part of a meetup group which is mainly consists of divorced or separated people. I can see how we have different perspective of family. They think I am better off as I don't have to deal with X issues and I feel that i wish she was alive and divorced so that I can at least see her and kids will still have Mom. They sometimes think they are single parents and then I explain how I am single parent and they are separated parents. I always say
I would do / give anything to see my spouse and they would do/give anything not to see their spouse.



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Re: Widowed vs. Divorced
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2017, 06:46:33 PM »
I used to get very angry about this topic and the comparisons divorced people would make with me.  I still get annoyed at times.  Our children are not luckier because one parent is dead.  Divorced parents can choose to have cooperative parenting, we can't.  Divorced parents get "time off", usually a few days each week, to find their way in adult life as a single person, we do not.

Marrying a divorced person and watching my SIL go through a divorce I now realize a few things about the other side.  I can look back at 20 years of marriage with happy memories, divorced people look back and see they made a poor choice in partner or with anger over how things turned out.  We have control over how our kids are raised, divorced people have no control over the situations, people and values their kids are exposed to 50% of the time. I can spend every holiday and birthday with my children, divorced people may miss half of these special days.

Both situations suck, in different ways.  The big difference is that one is by choice and the other is by bad luck.

My current husband in the heat of an awful battle with his ex and full of frustration said "I wish she was dead!" I could totally see where he was coming from because she was being horrid to him but my reaction was " I love your children too much to ever wish that".  Different perspectives. 
You will forever be my always.