Anyone who has read anything about grieving or experienced it personally learns one major truth quickly, there is absolutely no one predictable, correct timeline for grief, no one way to do it; and no way of knowing when it ends. Anyone who searches the internet for statistics about remarriage will also learn that marrying soon after a spouse dies isn’t actually uncommon at all, especially for men.
For men whose marriage ends only because of death there is often a desire to repeat the happiness they knew. These men love being married, and they are good husband material. Many will be not be prepared for the experience. The loss of a spouse often is crushing for men physically as well as psychologically.
Women who lose their husbands often speak of feeling abandoned or deserted, widowers tend to experience the loss “as one of dismemberment as if they had lost something that kept them organized and whole. All this means that doing something rather than feeling something, in this case, finding a companion to connect with and heal with so as to not sit around alone feeling horrible forever may be simply the best they can do.
So it isn’t so much that women mourn and men replace so much as it is that women are simply more equipped to go it alone because they are typically better at coping with grief. Men may look to another woman for companionship and sympathy because they take longer to get over their spouse, not because they processed their feelings with the efficiency of a trash compactor. Men typically have fewer support networks, too.
Women, who tend to be more vocal about their emotional struggles, are the squeaky wheel that gets the grease from friends, from online communities, from books, and from therapeutic approaches. Women are encouraged to go on an emotional journey of self-care after a divorce, while men are expected to need help learning how to cook and parent on their own. When you Google “how men handle divorce,” many of the links advise women on what to do if their husbands become violent during the divorce process. Why is there so little focus on how men can heal after a divorce?
And of course, it’s always worth reminding ourselves that there is no timeline for falling in love again just different human beings, stumbling their way through it.