For Older Widows, Marriage Is No Longer Top Priority
There was a time when “Mom” was the average American housewife. They were all about fresh baked goods and canned vegetables, three tables of bridge with the “girls” in the afternoons.
But by the time “Mom” was widowed, she’d been through the trauma of seeing her much beloved husband die and finding her way was no easy task.
Then comes the day that “Mom” finds love again and that’s when she decides to “live in sin” rather than ever marry again. And after years of a intimate and caring relationship, she still has not married but has formed a durable, loving relationship with her new love.
I thought this would surprise me, but when talking to older women their main comment is “I just can’t take care of another man,” and of course I knew well the depth of the agony that reflected.
It seems that researchers have found that older women are especially reluctant to marry in later life, citing care giving strains that marriage may involve as well as perceived loss of freedom. I can see their reasoning as I’m in my fifties with the same concerns.
My concerns may be just unfounded fears as these partnerships are not only a surprising new trend, but they are also remarkable for their duration. Those that live together tend to stay together – only 18% end up in separation. Most last until the death of one partner even though only 12% end up getting married.