Outliving Your Great Husband

This is odd topic but with Venus (Love) in Aries (Men) squaring Pluto (death), it seems appropriate to broach it. I had a client wondering about having a second husband. Shortly after that conversation, a man I know told me that he tries to prepare his wife for his passing. He expects to die first and he doesn’t want her to suffer or lose it when/if that happens.

My husband does the exact same thing with me. He knows the odds are that he will die first. I know this as well. We’ve had numerous conversations about it. I am glad about this. I feel it will help me if I do have to face this scenario.

I know of a number of people, men and women, who enjoyed a long happy marriage. When their spouse died, they were sad and just too lonely to face the rest of their lives alone. It’s common that people like this marry a peer. The marry someone who also lost their spouse and the second spouse is often a lot like the first.

I also notice that people who remarry after losing a long-time spouse tend to live a retiring type life. They retreat with their new partner, because in many cases it’s painful for friends and family of the deceased person to see their spouse appear to move on. It’s as if it’s disrespectful to seem to be out there livin’ it up.

The thing is, you can marry in your 20’s, lose your spouse in your 50’s and be looking at living into your 80’s. Personally, I don’t blame someone who’s rather not spend 30 years alone. It’s a hell of thing.

What do you know about this?

39 thoughts on “Outliving Your Great Husband”

  1. Personally, I’ve been witness to all kinds of scenarios involving wives who lost long-time husbands. Some wives just can’t get over (or don’t want to) the loss and have the “black cloud of mourning” with them wherever they go. It’s sad and painful to watch in a social situation, and emotionally draining on a personal level.

    Other wives get through the mourning and move on. I feel it’s their Life – and choice- to find another to share their time left here on Earth with another man.

    I’ve had this conversation with my 3 kids over the years – especially since my husband has health issues. They know I will move on and probably find another husband since I like sharing my time with another – I have told my husband this as well. But, my husband has said he wouldn’t find another wife – “I don’t want to replace you” he says. My reply is “That’s your decision as I will be gone and won’t care, but I’m not spending my remaining years lonely”.
    Harsh? Nope, just realistic..

  2. After the death of my grandfather, my grandmother quickly remarried on a whim because she was lonely (she and my grandfather were the definition of soulmates). She just as quickly divorced. She’s been alone for the past 25 years because she can’t be with someone who isn’t my grandfather. She chose loneliness.

  3. My grandfather supposedly told grandma that he did not want her to remarry. She lived another 25 years alone. In a similar vein, my mother-in-law’s husband ran away before my wife was born. Mother-in-law never divorced him and lives alone to this day. She’s had several men interested but chooses to remain faithful to keeping up her end of their wedding vows. I don’t suppose I’m as principled. I suppose too, my grandmother was honoring her husband’s wishes as opposed to “til death do we part”. Maybe their generation is just different than mine. I would hope my wife would live, love and be happy in whatever way she could. Do you think there is an astrological angle to the older generation’s marital attitudes?

  4. After my Dad died, my Mom got together with my sister’s first husband’s father. They both had just lost their spouses and shared a grandson. They have been together 18 years now. He had a stroke last year and she has massive short-term memory loss, but they still manage pretty well with minimal help. I’m happy for them.

    On the other hand, I’ve been single 20 years in May. I wish I could find someone to grow old with.

  5. When my Uncle passed he left a wife of something in the line of 40 years of marriage. She never remarried and lived alone in their home until she went blind and died about five years ago. My heart broke for her. He was her life. Also the same happened to my other Aunt who was more prepared than the other one. She is doing quite well, engaged in clubs and activities in her late 80’s now. I think if you are prepared for the inevitable, you do better. Another case, is my Step Grandmother, lost her husband of 52 years and soon got cancer and died. She smoked all her life up until her late 70’s but when he went, I think her body just gave up. She was a touch cookie but when she lost him, she lost her best friend.

  6. My parents had a close groups of friends for decades….2 of the husbands died many years ago, and the remaining 3 husbands died within the laat 9 months, my Dad included. Now all the women are alone and in their 70s and 80s. Yes, its a helluva thing, but the women are all doing surprisingly well! It’s like a new life for my mom and now at 82 she can do all the things she never could before. Being married in 1954 means that there were certain expectations that came with the marriage..and although she misses him terribly, the Universe has other plans for her now.

  7. My dad and step mum are like that. Dad says if he lost his lady that would be it for him. My step mum says the same thing. They both openly admit they would continue to live life to as happy and full as they could manage, but when either of them go, there will be no other.

    When dad had a heart attack and stroke a few years ago, my step mum had to face a reality she didn’t think she could handle. She suprised herself. In the moment of truth, she found she had strength and would go on.

    Luckilly dad got better and they’ve been living it up big time ever since. Off around the world.

    I can’t imagine one of them without the other. It would be like the sun without the moon. I’m so happy my dad didn’t give up after my birth mother, he found love with my step mum and it has truelly been about as good as it gets. I’m very happy for both of them. I have a feeling that even after one of them goes, likely to be dad; his shadow will follow my step mum. They will always be together in a way. Who says romance is dead? I know both of them would want each others happiness.

    I feel divorce is similar kind of death. The person you thought you’d spend the rest of your life with, is now gone. Breathing but still gone and off with someone else. Death has many forms. So does resurrection and life.

    Personally i’d just like to have a great husband, let alone considering outliving him. 🙂

  8. Funny timing; my husband brought home the paperwork for long-term care insurance earlier this week, so he and I had a conversation about this very topic. We both have examples of spritely nonagenarians in our families, so I guess its a draw who would go first….I’d put my money on him oulasting me, and I do hope hewould marry again. If I outlive him, I might just allow myself to go downhill fast.

  9. Once you get to that point life has trained you a little bit in loss, if you’re lucky. But in vedic astrology, its seen as a fated event that brings about other potentials in the life. Whatever it is that you’ve lost, it will be replaced by something else unless you absolutely refuse it, climb into bed or the bottom of a bottle.

    And even then it’s tough. Somebody has to get up off their asses and pay the bills, and in the process they might begin to think it would be nice to have some company.

  10. Scorpioandproud

    I don’t equate being unpartnered as being lonely. And spending time alone doesn’t seem a bad thing to me. I need my alone time to recharge. I need it as much as I need water and air.

    Being in a relationship doesn’t immunize you against loneliness.

    The more I become friends with myself, the less terrorized I am of being in my own company (Suzie Deitz)

    I am not sure that myself or my husband would remarry. We have been married to other people. We have both been alone. We have talked at great length about one of us losing the other. He swears he would never remarry but I can’t imagine him trying to take care of himself. While I am certain I would not remarry today, one can never be sure what is up the road. There is nothing that is certain….

    My Aunt just passed and within a couple of months my Uncle followed. We are certain he died of broken heart. He had no will to live without her. He was just not going to do it. He would have never entertained the thought of loving another. It was all about her and without her he only saw the end. Heartbreaking but deeply touching too. That kind of love is a beautiful thing.

    Both of my grandfathers passed first. My fathers mother went on to live another 24 years and would never have thought to love another. My mothers mother lived about 11 years after my g-father passed and she wouldn’t love another either. They both spent time with immediate family…lots of time with their kids and grandkids. They loved it. They gave all of themselves to us. I was thrilled to have so much of my grandmothers and my special grandmother (my mothers mother) …well we could have hung out with each other without another person ever being a part of the equation. She was my soul-mate.

    I have a g-baby I feel the same way about. When she is around there is no one else in the room. Not a man…not anyone. Just she and I. I often wonder if she is my special g-mother reincarnated because I have only had this kind of bond with her….when we are together we pay little attention to any other persons around us.

    I guess my point is traditional partnerships are not the only important relationship that keep us from being alone or lonely.

    I think the one thing I learned from past divorce is to never try to get everything you need from one relationship. You have to have your own interests and work outside your marriage. Things that make you happy and keep you fulfilled so should something like this happen you’re not dealing with total devastation and finding another partner is not the first thing on your list of things to do…..

    I can only add that losing my husband would be a great loss. He is my blessing. My best friend. He looks out for me in a way no one except my grandmother ever has. He loves me. He makes sure I know it. With actions. He says it but he shows it more….. It would take me a long time to recover from his loss if I ever did at all. There would be no way to replace him.

  11. Women mourn; men replace…

    I think most men expect to go first. I know my dad was completely flabbergasted when mom had the audacity to die on him. Lord, he was pissed.

    He wanted and needed a new

  12. …grr…partner, immediately.

    I understood this, but the ladies do not. He really liked mom’s friend and she, him, but she felt too guilty.

    Oh for F’s sake! I can hear mom saying.

    I think I am going to go first, in my relationship. We tend to do that…and B is from heartier stock. :::shrug:::

  13. My mother is absolutely not interested in repartnering. She doesn’t trust men, turns out, and for all his faults, her world revolved around my dad and she liked it like that.

    She’s not a recluse, far from it, but when she gets hit on at the senior center, she goes into total Pisces avoidance mode.

    She has even asked me what to do when that happens, and I told her, well I usually make up an imaginary boyfriend but in your case that’s not going to work, ha.

  14. Avatar

    I know everything about this. My wonderful husband of 10 years is a pilot, and when I married him I knew that I can’t clip his wings but must live everyday with the spectre of losing him. He was widowed at age 58 and our marriage two years later freaked out his four kids–who were all over 30 and married at the time–and should realize their Dad deserves a life! We are very happy together, but always sad that the kids are unable to understand that DEATH HAPPENS!

  15. I agree with Fairhavenmaven: DEATH HAPPENS.
    I lost my husband in 2008 due to cardiac arrest. We had talked about remarrying if one of us would die and agreed that the other should not stay alone, after all I may live to be 100 years old.
    The truth is: I would love to have a new partner, but up to now I have not found any man who can interest me the way he could. We had a marriage made in heaven and I will not settle for less than that.

    It is the way it is. Until I find a new man I will remain alone and lonely.
    Maybe soon now I will meet a new partner, I have worked through my grief and I can honestly say: I am now ready for a new partner.

  16. My father was so ready to die. I was blind to what was going on in that house just 5 miles away. A house where I visited my grumpier and grumpier parents. Until I wasn’t and could see the struggle as they approached 90. It was just 2 months after I started my daily pilgrimage to their home to care for them that my father passed. His physical health was so bad and with mom’s dimentia he couldn’t leave until he knew she would be cared for. A long tough ride for him and then me. I had no clue what he lived through as my mom slipped into another dimension. 67 years. It took mom over three years to reconcile her life but she passed peaceably too.

    I saw a preview for a movie, Away From Her, that looks interesting. Now to locate.

  17. I most certainly will be left behind by my husband (to be)…I have plans. I am dying to get my ass back to India, and he hates crowds. So the first thing I’ll do is head back.

  18. I have a question for you, Elsa.
    I became a widow in 2008.
    My best friend (I’ve known her for 34 years) became a widow (from her second husband, she divorced the first) last year in July.
    In September!!!!! she went on a datingsite and in December she met a new man, who is living with her since January.
    I found it very difficult to deal with this situation as it took me some 5 years to get over the death of my husband. Of course I would like to see her happy but find the time in between relationships very short.
    How would you deal with this?? And your readers ?? I would love to hear how other women go about this kind of situation.
    Can you say something on this?

  19. willeke – If you post your question and your chart on the boards here – https://elsaelsa.com/forum/
    More people will see it and they’re sure to weigh in.

    As for an opinion, I don’t believe I should be judging others. I see their choices to be none of my business.
    This is just my personal make-up. It doesn’t mean I don’t understand why you would question this.

  20. Willeke, she is divorced. Her relationship was already over. Yours is not. It sounds like two different people with two different situations and both with needs unique to themselves.

    I googled some stats on percentage of widows remarrying. Results vary but under 45 years, good possibility like over 50%. Over 45, less than 10%. Would make an interesting study why women choose or do not choose to remarry. Widowers remarry more (it’s okay for them to marry younger: applauded actually. However, not so for widows.)

  21. Until you go thru it don`t try to explain how someone can go on you just survive . I`m glad I was a punk rocker in my youth .

  22. Hi,
    It was not about judging my friend. I wish her well and hope everything works out fine for her. It’s just that I can’t understand how somebody can be so quick about these things and I had difficulty adjusting to the situation (I have Moon in Cancer, she has Moon in Gemini). But everything is fine with us now.
    And Notch:
    it was her 2nd husband who died, she divorced her first husband. You did not get that, I suppose.

  23. Hello all!

    I came upon this site while searching my aspects – specifically Juno (5th house, Aquarius – chuckle)- since I was widowed at age 51 (sudden – heart attack) & it has taken me 9 years to finally say I AM READY!!! I am filled with joy & cannot bear another day without sharing this adventure named LIFE. It was not to my advantage, when my husband died, to be very attractive, & still isn’t since I look 40 and feel 30! Married girl friends dropped me since they feared I would want THEIR husbands & divorced friends viewed me as the new competition.
    My prospects of re-marrying as per the statistics posted in a previous comment are true – so not in my favor. And it certainly doesn’t help matters that I scared guys off before my husband stepped up to the challenge of creative “me” ~ LOL

    All I ask is if all you kind folks would send the universe encouraging thoughts, prayers & energy in my behalf & ask that Cupid send some love-arrows my way.

    Elsa, if you send me an email, I’ll send you my natal chart info + the payment for your services.

    My chart is wonderful – graced with all the GOOD, including Libra rising! My sun is in the 10th house in my sign of Cancer – right at the mid-heaven. Jupiter is charging towards me ~ if ever there was a time to accomplish this goal, it is NOW!
    Being a mystic, it is no coincidence that I landed here! Sending my loving energy to you all!

    What you seek, is seeking you! ~ Rumi

  24. Elsa ~ You’re home!

    Thank you so much from actually bringing up the topic of “widowhood.” It is a matter that one simply does not want to think about, let alone discuss… until that ball lands on your number.

    It is a journey that one walks alone. Yet, I made it one of my personal goals to reach out my hand & offer my help when someone became a member of this club. Now it is I who is seeking help.

    You made me comfortable enough to stop by & share my thoughts ~ and make my plea – my first public announcement, when you nailed it with your honest closing remark: “Personally, I don’t blame someone who’s rather not spend 30 years alone. It’s a hell of thing.”

    Thank you, Elsa. <3

  25. P.S ~ The information I sought was found by clicking on your tabs. Will send YOU an email. If not tonight, tomorrow. Thanks again!

  26. Avatar

    This has been a topic on my mind constantly since Saturn moved in on Scorpio last october..

    It changes my perspective on life evrytime i think of this..”my partner dying before me”..i just cant bear the thought of it..but its been a thought so constant in me that im becoming a different person on many levels..im morphing psychologically just through the experience of ‘thinking’ about death, almost like im trying to prepare myself for what is really just the inevitable! it feels crazy to say the least..

    I have known some people out there so affraid of this scenario..’falling in love so deep & the emotional attatchment of the relationship’ that they just avoid falling in love or having a close intimate relationship at all! or with..anybody! Its so sad to watch, because i have always believed that everybody needs someone to love, & be loved.. but i sometimes i envy those people…because i want so bad to be free of all emotional attatchments when life & love get overbearing for me..( im also not sure either sometimes, if the latter or the former is more selfish & self centered ).

    At the moment..im just doing my best to accept whats most definately certain in this life for my future..

    birth, death & taxes.

  27. Well….my husband died a little over a year ago, so I also got to join the club no one wants to be in. I always knew he would die before I would, but knowing is not the same thing as being ready. He very much wanted me to remarry, by the way. He said so many times.

    My grandmother lost my grandfather 30 years ago, and never remarried or even tried very hard to meet men. She found dating awkward and basically gave up on it and threw herself into her work life. She often tells me she regrets not remarrying and that I should not do what she did. By often I mean around once a week or so. She deeply regrets that choice.

    In general I have been encouraged to marry again, but what happens is, everyone’s got an opinion about when you should do this and that, what the appropriate timeline is, and so on. I will not choose a retiring life when that time comes. There is only person whose opinion on this question really carries significant weight with me, and that person would never have wanted me to do that.

  28. Thank you, Elsa. I do appreciate the kindness people have shown me, here and elsewhere. This is another thing you will find if/when this happens to you (I mean general “you” here). Be prepared to really see what people you deal with are made of. You will encounter scumbags attempting to take advantage of your walking wounded state, but you will also see a lot of spontaneous kindness from strangers. I got both but I actually saw a lot more of the latter.

    I don’t know that people who don’t remarry necessarily don’t do it because that is what their spouse wished. I think many may think it’s somehow nobler or finer not to. One reason I walked away from a widow/widower support group I joined was that I was really put off by how many people were playing a game of grief one-upsmanship. Who was grieving harder, deeper, more nobly? Who had gone the longest without shaving her legs/paying the electric bill/eating? I’m afraid I don’t see a constructive purpose in encouraging each other in that.

  29. Avatar

    Everyone handles grief differently. After my grandmother lost the love of her life (she reunited with him some 40 years in the last 1980s after they dated in the 1940s), she never wanted anything to do with a man again. I also knew a woman, a nurse, who remarried within months of losing her husband to cancer. There’s no wrong choice to make here, only what helps you survive the pain. As long as everything’s out in the open and in these cases it usually seems to be.

  30. Many men, at advanced ages, are still able, sexually. What I would like anyone to know, is, telling potential partners so, within the first few concersations… many women will be turned off – out – because, socially ineptitude isn’t appealing! Iconoclast is a separate animal from inappropriate.

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