People Who Find Themselves Single Again – Death of a Spouse
I’ve read women on other sites mention that while they were married, other married couples would befriend them, hang out with them.
The moment their spouse died (it’s usually the husband – when a wife dies, people tend to show more care and concern for a widower), they say they are instantly persona non grata, to the point that married friends at church don’t so much as say “hello” when they pass in the hall way in church.
I have heard one exception: one adult, never married Christian lady said she noticed that when a woman in church husband died that the church rallied ’round that woman to act as a “surrogate” husband, where the men in the church traded off mowing her lawn, changing the oil in her car for her, etc, and the women in her church brought the newly widowed woman food, etc.
The never-married Christian woman wondered why in the hell churches aren’t that freaking supportive of women who have never married. She never had anyone at her church offer to change the oil in her car, or bring her a meal, and she would have appreciated the occasional help.
I have no idea either, why churches will help one type of person and not another… it’s like after my family member died, I was very broken over it, but the Christians I met, that I confided in for understanding and for comfort treated me like crap, but sat there and cried tears for women in homeless shelters. And these were not women they knew personally, but only saw once a month
You’d think if a Christian is going to show compassion to ‘People Group A’ that they would be equally compassionate of ‘People Group B,’ and everyone around them equally, but no, Christians feel only certain types of people deserve mercy, pity, and help.
If you are not in their preferred “Group O Victim,” they will tell you insensitive bullsh*t like, “stop having a pity party!,” “just think of how orphans in Africa have life worse than you,” and religious platitudes like, “read your Bible more.” No mercy, no compassion, just lectures, insults, and platitudes.
But the majority of anecdotes I’ve encountered are the first variety: the husband dies, and over night, the church ignores the new widow.
The newly widowed woman becomes an outcast the minute her spouse dies. No more invites from former married couple friends.
It is really disgusting to me how society, even Christians, treat people based on marital status.
People who are never married or widowed are not diseased and do not carry cooties, for the love of God. But singles are often treated like total lepers by Christians.
I don’t think the marrieds who don’t even stop to consider the crap singles go through realize that their husband could drop dead tomorrow from a car wreck or something (which is what happened to one aunt of mine, leaving her single in her 50s).
Even if your husband drops dead of natural causes in his 70s – 80s, you will probably out live him and be alone then.
So it might behoove you, you who are currently married, to start advocating for singles around you now, because you will be single again some day – and when you are, do you want to be ignored by the church?
Or, if they noticed you at all, do you want Christians treating you like you’re a temptress Jezebel out to steal all married men?
Do you want them telling you that singles aren’t as qualified to lead Sunday School as marrieds, so they give you nothing to do? Do you want to be left out of weekend dinners hosted by a married couple merely because you are single?
Because that will be your reality WHEN your husband dies. Not “if,” but WHEN.
The moment your spouse dies, your current married friends will drop you like a hot potato. No more dinner invitations from them.
Then you will start to notice how the church has no special programs or ministries for singles. You will start to notice how churches isolate and ostracize the un-married.
And if you’re a man, you will also be ignored or treated to insults by churches when your wife dies, should you out live your wife.
(Though in my opinion, widowers are treated a bit better than widows. For whatever reason, churches feel more sorry for a man who loses his spouse, than for a woman who loses hers. I have no idea why in the hell there is a discrepancy there, but it exists. I don’t know why churches think males deserve more help and compassion than ladies).
Here is the story about a Christian woman whose husband died, and she found herself single later in life.
(Link): Second Singlehood: A Time to Blossom, by Diane Marty
- Guest post by Diane Marty
[Bella’s intro: This guest post by Diane Marty is the story of how she transformed herself from a person devastated by the death of her husband and the prospect of become single anew at 67, to the person others pointed to as a model of how to embrace second singlehood.
Diane writes in more of a literary style than a blog post style, which I welcome. She has offered us a mini-memoir of becoming single again and I thank her for that. I also particularly liked her point in the second-to-last paragraph about the kinds of events that single people feel comfortable attending.]
…the memory of my own experience with widowhood and transitioning back to the single life had flooded into my mind.
My husband had been dead about a year when the world seemed to come crashing down upon me one day in May of 2008. My five year old Chevy truck had broken down and I was staring at a repair bill over seventeen hundred dollars. My husband always did all the repairs on our vehicles. He was a skilled mechanic and I hadn’t realized how much money he’d saved us over the years. Registering and maintaining two vehicles was expensive and I was in a quandary as to whether or not I should get rid of the truck. My small car was good on gas but the truck with its four-wheel drive was safer for Michigan winter driving. What to do?
… And then even the weather that May had turned ugly and I had trees down on my property and I’d been without electric power going on the third day. My freezer full of food was defrosting and that was a loss I didn’t need on top of the expense with the truck. If only my husband were alive, I thought, he’d fix the truck, and he’d hook up his welder/generator for power and we’d get through this together. But he wasn’t alive and I went to bed yet another night crying myself to sleep.
…Though I had some lingering doubts about the ease of returning to the single life at age sixty-seven, I left my house that afternoon ignited with a fresh verve for life.
…I had a second chance to nurture my individual personhood but I wasn’t sure I knew how to go about it. Those of us raised in the self-sacrificial Christian tradition were taught to suppress individual desires during the coupled years when the needs of the conjoined entity, the couple, are paramount. [ALL Christians get this message that is is sinful or selfish to get their needs met, not just married women — Christian Pundit].
But I was another entity now—a widowed, newly single-again woman, uncoupled and free to make new choices. All I had to do was figure out how to re-enter the blazing sunlight of unrestricted freedom my regained singlehood offered without getting burnt.
As I re-evaluated my options from my new perspective as a woman in late-life singlehood, I decided that the quickest and safest way to re-enter that narrow gate into a happy Singledom was to follow the joiner road leading to any group whose activities, interests and philosophy matched my own. I adopted a pro-active attitude knowing I had to take responsibility for myself—that no one was coming to take me by the hand. I began by joining groups open to everyone,
investigating how the people in each one treated each other and interacted with each other, mindful of my first requirement that people be accepted and valued as individuals.
What I found confirmed that I’d made a wise choice in gravitating toward groups. It became clear to me that singles congregated in groups precisely because groups are made up of singles!
You can read the rest (Link): here
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