This was inspired by something I read in Oprah magazine, but whatever.

If your wife passed away, would you remarry? Have you ever talked about this topic with your spouse?

For some, I know, it's an awful, morbid thought. On the other hand, one set of my grandparents discussed the issue openly. Grandpa's sentiment now that it's a possibility for him is different from what it was before Grandma passed away, for whatever that's worth.

And, of course, any wives out there can answer re: husbands.

Tags: remarriage, widowhood

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If I was in love with the person, and wanted to share my life with them. Probably (but not immediately, one needs time to grieve and learn to be alone before moving into that kind of relationship again). Based on how I feel now anyway, but I reserve the right to change my mind.

Much would depend on my age, my son, and of course, the woman.

I have not discussed this with my wife. But I expect she would answer similarly (and cannot conceive of a reason that marriage would be expressly taboo after one of our deaths).
Why wouldn't you? To me, not allowing yourself to be happy due to some sense of obligation to a dead spouse seems illogical and unhealthy.

My grandfather remarried after his wife's passing and lived with my step-grandmother (whose first husband has also passed) for many decades in one of the most beautiful examples of marriage that I have ever seen. For either of them to have forfeited all those years of love and happiness is inconceivable to me.

Sorrowful things happen but life goes on. Asking your spouse to, or preventing yourself from, experiencing joy and happiness in what remains of their own life seems downright selfish if not cruel. Marriage should be about wanting whats best for your partner as well as yourself, even after death. Plus, what would you care if you are dead anyway?

If I were to die today I hope that my wife would seek out another relationship because I love her and I want her to be happy.
The line in the magazine was something like, "Your grandfather's been gone 45 years now. After him, there was no one else." It wasn't a sense of obligation to the dead, but that no one else could live up to the standard set by the first spouse.

I have quite a few widowed-and-remarried friends. With some, I had no idea I was observing a second marriage, until it came up. With others, there's a definite different quality to the second marriage. It's more about friendship and companionship, less about children, of course, and partnership.
I guess I can see that, but that idea also seems unhealthy. They have basically set up the standard for a new relationship to be the clone of their old relationship which is just as impossible as a person making a detailed list of things they look for in a relationship and then complaining that they can never find Mr. or Mrs. Right. Besides, who would want to be in a relationship with a partner who is constantly judging and comparing them to some platonic ideal?

It also sounds like a defense mechanism designed to prevent themselves from opening up to a new relationship complete with the possibility of new loss and sorrow. By intentionally setting impossible goals they have justified their fear and refusal so attempt to love again.

You seem to assume that people are largely replaceable, which is odd, seeing as marriage should surely be born out of an extreme love - a love that, perhaps, you wouldn't feel for every Jane and Becky or John and Brad you meet in life.  Some people we meet in life are unique, and are people you probably won't ever encounter again, so what's wrong in not wanting to settle for anything less?

I told my husband that if I get killed, I expect him to get remarried (unless we were very, very old and there was no point to it). If he meets a good match and I'm in the ground, I'd like him to be happy.
I have thought that if my wife were to pass away I could only marry a woman who had lost her husband. My wife will always have a place in my heart and nothing will ever replace her. There will be times when I would get sad and miss her. If I remarried a woman who had not gone through something similar in loosing a spouse they would most likely get upset and ask why I can't forget my first wife. Marrying someone who had also lost someone would help help each spouse be able to deal with the loss and not worry about upsetting the other when we remember the first spouse.

A lot of it also depends on the ages of my children. The younger they are the more they need a mother in the house.
I've already told my wife that if she dies she's getting replaced -- a weekend alone with the kids is enough to convince me that I'm NOT cut out for single parenthood!! ;-)
What if the kids were in high school, college or out of college?
Jeff Foxworthy [imitating his wife] -- "If I die ... you have to promise me [you'll remarry] for the sake of our children."
Jeff Foxworthy [as himself] -- "Well ... OK. [pause] Hey, you don't think the kids'd mind having a young stepmom with some big 'ol hooties, do you? ... Hey! ... Where you going!?!"

JB
I was was talking to a guy and he joked that if his wife passed away he would ask his daughter to set him up with some of her friends.
This is a topic my wife and I have discussed extensively. While I don't believe it is illicit for a widow or widower to remarry, I most likely would not remarry if my wife were to pass. There are circumstances where I could see myself remarrying, but it is not my primary contingency. My wife has expressed a similar desire.

"Why wouldn't you?" - Travis

I am Catholic, and our understanding of Holy Matrimony is that of a vocation (in the same way as being a priest, or a missionary, etc). It is a vocation I am completely dedicated to, and which I came to after considerable discernment. In deciding to undertake Holy Matrimony I chose a certain path to the exclusion of some others. However, I have also discerned that if my wife were to pass and I were left fit enough I would likely take up another path. For instance, I may pursue seminary to become a priest or deacon. Priests cannot wed, and one cannot become a deacon if they have married twice. I have also considered monastic life.

"To me, not allowing yourself to be happy due to some sense of obligation to a dead spouse seems illogical and unhealthy." - Travis

We do carry obligations to the dead, especially our spouse. Discernment over remarriage must be considerate of a late spouse and you obligations to them. That person will be part of the new marriage. That does not mean that all widows or widowers must discern the same path.

Note: This is not meant to start a religious discussion or argument. It is an answer to a specific question asked by Travis. Please do not debate the merit of Catholic teaching on marriage as a response to my post. That is not the intent.

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