Last night, I was sitting up in bed and writing on my laptop, when my husband came in and walked over to his nightstand, picked up the framed photo of me and gave that picture a kiss. It made me smile and he said “you do know that if you die, I will kiss this picture every single night?”. This might seem morbid to you, but to us it’s normal conversation. My reply might surprise you as well. I told him “assuming that you would remarry, I don’t think that your new wife would appreciate that very much” to which he replied “I’m sure that she would be fine with it, as well as all of the times that I would tell her – that’s not how Madeline would have done it or that’s not what Madeline would say”. As I listened to him fall asleep, I laid there thinking and asking questions. Why is remarriage such a taboo subject? God, if you release us from the bonds of marriage upon death, why do we have such a difficult time with the thought of becoming one with another special human being or accepting that our spouse will want companionship again?
A spouse, especially a man that has been separated by death from his wife, will likely want to remarry. He may feel lonely and guilty at the same time. He may feel ready to live life again with a new companion, but struggle with feelings that he is betraying his wife. Family and friends might even judge him for moving on too soon with another woman. Why do some men remarry so soon after becoming widowed? What if he knew the woman while he was still married? What if he is aware that his wife didn’t like this woman? What if his children, family and friends don’t approve of her? It gets complicated, doesn’t it? All of this can send adult children into a tailspin and often those that don’t have a say-so in the matter, will force their opinions upon him. I believe that it all comes back to creation. Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” A helper suitable for him. God will provide a suitable helper because God says that it is not good for him to be alone. God also has said that death releases us from the bonds of marriage. Clearly, it is not up to others to judge a widower for who he chooses to remarry or when he chooses to pursue her, once he has been released by God from the bonds of his marriage.
My father-in-law was widowed in his late 80’s, and within two months he was involved with another woman. He actually knew her while his wife was alive and he was probably aware that she was a good woman. When he announced that he would remarry, some of his children found it difficult to accept. He was always a faithful husband and father. He was at his wife’s bedside when she died. He did nothing wrong. He just didn’t want to live out the rest of his years without a faithful companion. Now, almost ten years later, his children couldn’t be happier about the woman that he chose and she being completely different from his first wife, has offered him an entirely different marriage experience.
When a man is widowed and has inclinations to remarry, usually it does happen quickly. To understand this, we must look at one of the differences between men and women. Women often have many friends and one or two that they can confide in. Most men don’t have a friend that they confide in. They might have many men that they know and regularly grunt and mumble with, but not a close confidant. This is where their wife comes in. Even though our husbands don’t talk as much as we do, they view us as their closest friend, confidant and supporter. We are their best friend.
If a man remarries quickly after becoming widowed, it is a compliment to his previous wife. She made marriage wonderful and he wants to experience it again. This is between him and God. Why not offer support and be happy that he is happy again?