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to find this unsurprising? (men, women, marriage, widowhood)

(25 Posts)
AnotherEffingOrangeRevel Mon 25-Apr-16 07:28:54

More evidence that marriage benefits primarily men.

I don't want to detract from the undoubtedly horrific grief of losing a spouse of whatever sex/gender.

But, at the level of society, perhaps women need to take more note of this type of evidence.

Onlyicanclean10 Mon 25-Apr-16 07:34:46

Sounds like bollocks to me.

A happy marriage/relationship is the best defence against the world

Women are perhaps better equipped to cope as they often feel the need to keep up for children and parents but coping does not equal happy.

DrDreReturns Mon 25-Apr-16 07:37:42

Women have better social networks than men IMO, so I think they can cope with widowhood better than men. I'm speaking very generally though.

FayKorgasm Mon 25-Apr-16 07:40:01

Sounds about right. Not forgetting that it is also women who disproportionally have the responsibility of caring for parents or older relatives. Women are being burnt out.

Ikeatears Mon 25-Apr-16 07:42:57

It's so strange that someone should have put this on here and sail my friend's dh took his own life on Friday. I took her to the doctor to see if he could her something and he started quoting this study!! It was very bizarre and not really something she needed to hear at that particular moment.confused

FayKorgasm Mon 25-Apr-16 07:44:24

Ikea that was very insensitive of the doctor.

AnotherEffingOrangeRevel Mon 25-Apr-16 07:50:17

Yes, silly thing to say to someone, Ikea.

Definitely, Faye. Interesting that it seems husbands tend to add to the burnout rather than protect from it (on average).

Duckdeamon Mon 25-Apr-16 07:51:25

shock at the awful comment from the doctor!

OddBoots Mon 25-Apr-16 07:55:07

I am struggling to draw any firm conclusions from this study, there are too many potential factors in it for us to really understand the 'why'.

Just as one example - I know from chatting to friends it is more usual for a man to have good life insurance than it is for a woman. A good financial cushion can remove a lot of stress even in a difficult time of bereavement.

Tessticklesyourfancy Mon 25-Apr-16 08:04:40

I have a friend who used to work at a hospice and is now a bereavement councillor. From her experience, many men find a new partner less than a year after the death of a wife/partner. A male friend who's wife died after a short illness was seeing someone else after four months, he couldn't cope with being on his own, his words.

suzannecaravaggio Mon 25-Apr-16 08:17:13

Clickable link

Somerville Mon 25-Apr-16 08:21:15

Can't link easily from my phone but the full study is on the journal of women's health website. Worth a read.

The data is from individuals aged over 65, which is important to note. On average, women are married to a man a few years older than them who then dies a few years younger. So statistically speaking women are much more likely to have period of caring for their spouse, and then become widows.

To return to your question OP, does it surprise me that the cohort of women over 65 who were married were more frail than the cohort who were widowed? Not really. Despite their grief, the widows will have much more time for self-care. And better support systems than widowers.

Appalled at that GP but not really surprised. Some people look no further then the headline. I had it quoted at me over the weekend; I assured them that being widowed in my mid 30's with 3 young children meant I had significantly less time for self care and more stress than the average woman of that age who is married. Would have thought that was obvs. confused

suzannecaravaggio Mon 25-Apr-16 08:23:29

I don't find it at all surprising, I've long regarded marriage as an arrangement which benefits men more than women on aggregate

treaclesoda Mon 25-Apr-16 08:32:41

I'd be interested to see how this would compare with a similar study 30 years from now. The over 65s I know are mostly in the sort of marriages where the woman 'looks after' the man.

I'm 40 and none of my friends are in marriages like that. I don't know anyone who eg does all the cooking, the childcare, the housework etc. All of my friends are in marriages where they share these things with their husbands. I'd see marriage for my generation as being advantageous for both parties.

AnotherEffingOrangeRevel Mon 25-Apr-16 08:33:14

Somerville I'm really sorry to hear you have been widowed.

Yes, the demographics are important. I wonder how it applies to younger women, and older ones of different generations. Certainly, in a society based around marriage-orientated values, being a younger widowed woman with children is likely to involve severe stress. I don't know how it compares to being a young widowed man with children, but I'm sure there are data out there.

Overall, it's unsurprising I think that bedrocks of our society tend to benefit men more than women, and marriage certainly fits this mold.

treaclesoda Mon 25-Apr-16 08:33:35

I mean, as compared to previous generations where the man definitely got more benefit from it.

treaclesoda Mon 25-Apr-16 08:35:34

Sadly a young widowed man is probably viewed much more sympathetically than a young widowed woman. Society will put her in the 'single mother' category, with all the negativity that that entails. A 30 year old widower goes into the 'angel' category. sad

AnotherEffingOrangeRevel Mon 25-Apr-16 08:43:03

Are your friends' marriages really all equal in those ways treacle? In my experience, while the women now work and share the housework a bit they still hold all sorts of emotional and practical responsibilities the men don't. Subtle things like healthier eating, doctors appointments, etc.

AnotherEffingOrangeRevel Mon 25-Apr-16 08:44:01

Agree young widowed men will be seen v differently

MyBreadIsEggy Mon 25-Apr-16 09:02:13

I think there's a big difference between being a "young widow" and an "old widow".
My Grandad died when I was 15 at the age of 80 after a long illness, so my Grandma was prepared for his death in a way. She's been on her own for 7 years now and is happy. She socialises a lot, is a member of loads of different clubs, she goes on about six group holidays a year etc. She talks about my Grandad with fondness and doesn't get upset talking about him.
On the other hand, a colleague of my DH's was killed during a tour of Afghanistan. He was 25, his wife was 22 at the time and they had two children. She had no way to prepare herself or her children - it just happened. And she was informed by a knock on the front door and an official visit. I don't think losing a spouse in those circumstances is something you can ever get over or move on from - I know I couldn't.
It's been 4 years since he died, and she is still deeply affected by losing him in such a horrible way. She still has to give her children a sense of normality, while dealing with her grief and helping them understand - my Grandma didn't have that hardship when my Grandad died.

Marquand Mon 25-Apr-16 09:13:53

I think it is very much an individual thing, and it depends on a multitude of factors, gender being one of them. IMHO, that kind of reporting is really silly.

That being said, my dad passed away nearly 2 years ago, aged 70, and 2 weeks after my parents had been married for 46 years. They had a very happy marriage. My mother is struggling a lot, and it is hard for her. However, my sister and I have the reassurance that she has the practical and emotional coping mechanisms to deal with it.

If my mother had died first, my father would really not have been able to cope. He was deeply dependent on my mother as a soundboard (he talked a LOT), and also for practicalities like keeping the household going, meals, etc.

treaclesoda Mon 25-Apr-16 09:24:14

another I don't suppose I can say with certainty that my friends marriages are exactly equal in every way. But I do think in some ways it evens out, I think. eg in my family I would do the bulk of the routine doctors appointments for example, but on the other hand, if one of the dc is sick it is DH who would take the time off work to look after them, because although he outearns me by a huge amount, his job is very much more flexible. So overall, I think the 'burden' is shared fairly equally. I don't think I have any friends whose husbands would pack the kids off to school with a bag of crisps and a bar of chocolate because they can't be bothered making a proper lunch.

So overall, I think there is broadly some sort of equality in our marriages. For example, I don't know any dads who think of childcare as womens work, or who saunter off to play golf every Saturday but consider it to be 'babysitting' if their wife wants to have a day out, or who go to and outing with a few other families and sit and relax whilst the women run after the children.

EnthusiasmDisturbed Mon 25-Apr-16 09:39:37

I am not surprised by the report

I have works in bereavement counselling and I have seen many women blossom after the initial shock of their partners death. Often for the first time in their lives they can put themselves first and are already able to deal with the practical issues

I was initially surprised by how many men I have seen remarry rather quickly and struggle living alone

I think this is likely to change as we are becoming less set in our roles

stopfuckingshoutingatme Mon 25-Apr-16 09:42:03

its a bit "no shit Sherlock" the phrase "merry widow" is as old as the hills

that said, my dad passed recently and I feel like I am the most bereaved of my family, or at least I am not coping as well as the rest of them.

suzannecaravaggio Mon 25-Apr-16 09:58:51

I was initially surprised by how many men I have seen remarry rather quickly and struggle living alone

One wonders how they manage to find women who are willing to get hitched?
it appears that on average older women who find themselves single quickly realise that they are better off that way
you'd think they would take the 'I need a husband like I need a hole in the head' view😉

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