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I had a person who was in the throes of divorce tell me that MY loss was "beautiful and romantic." My husband was dying of cancer at the time.

 

I felt sorry for her, and so, she went un-punched.

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I’ve been both divorced and widowed and there is one thing I would like to mention here regarding the difference between the two. It can be especially devastating when you’re unsuspecting and do not want a divorce, but out of the blue, your spouse is requesting one! This happened to me and to a friend of mine years later. After my husband died, she did mention (correlated) her feelings of loss but did acknowledge there was a difference. We both understood each other. Circumstances around divorce vary but it is still considered a major life event.

Someone said here that pain is pain and that’s so true. When your spouse dies, neither one wants to separate. Divorce can break our heart but most people can heal and move on with their lives. Death breaks our heart but also cuts deep into the soul. Healing is slow and probably never complete but we do kind of get used to them not being around. It takes time to find peace but it does come.

My first husband did this too me. He left me for another woman.He filed for the divorce. My daughter had just turned three.  Last I heard he left his third wife of twenty years and is living with a fourth woman. I don't think their divorce is even finalized.

One thing that makes a difference between divorce and death is that if you lose your spouse who was also your soul mate then the loss is even more severe than ever. I had been divorced before to someone I was in love with and I didn't see it coming. Devastating? You bet, yet it was tame compared to losing my wife who was most certainly my soul mate. You know when they are alive and you sure know it when they have left. I realized years after my divorce that that person wasn't at all a soul mate yet there was still love there. Pain is pain yet it has many levels. Like when a doctor asks you "On a scale of one to ten, what is your pain level?" I would say on that one.....11.  Perhaps losing a spouse who you loved but yet was not a soul mate might feel to some quite similar to divorce. You wish those that make that comparison knew what it was really like but I would not wish that pain on anyone.

Well said.  My husband and I were one...so many women compare it to their divorce.  I really feel like half of me died and although I am functioning as the 4 year mark approaches I am not sure I am living.

I know the feeling! I felt the same when my husband died. I'm almost hitting the two year mark on December 1st. I'm beginning to feel a separateness now, so I'm able to maneuver through life a little easier as than before. Although, I still sleep on my side of the bed. I haven't been able to travel as much without him. I do okay with the travel when I have my daughter and grandson with me.  

As I stated earlier, I've been divorced twice, but this widow's journey is no comparison to either of those divorces I've experienced. As one preacher said it; "I've been on both sides of those tracks."

My husband and I were always together.

You’re so right katpilot. But it is hard to rate pain on a scale from 1-10 when that pain (divorce) is the worst you’ve felt your entire life. You would almost need something to compare it to. That is why I measure in depth. Ex. After a very shocking and painful divorce, two years later I felt ready to date again or at least socialize. Two years after losing my husband (and soulmate) I was only beginning to accept that he is really gone. It just reaches all the way down into the soul, I don’t know how else to describe it. Once you’ve experienced it, only then can you really understand. This is why I don’t let any “comparisons” upset me. We don’t know what we don’t know sometimes. One thing I try hard not to do is trivialize someone else’s pain even if they cite silly analogies. I had a dog many years ago that developed liver cancer. We kept her going with a special diet and some TLC. for  around six months. I cried when we first got her diagnosis up until weeks after she passed. I hadn’t had any close losses at that time in my life and found the experience quite painful. Of course it’s not anywhere near the depth of pain of losing a person—especially a spouse, but at the time, it was very sad.

Divorce is still a choice, even if one may not agree. Death is not, at least in most cases. However, it is certain. We will all be leaving here one day. If we were fortunate to experience true love during this lifetime— for no matter how long—then perhaps the pain is worth it. I have had friends and others pass through this life without finding real love so what right do I have to be angry?  I was given a true “gift”.

Misplaced jealousy? I, like you, would have hoped she was kidding.

Geez! What the hell is wrong with people! Knowing my nature, I would have gotten up, and told her to have a nice life. - Off the topic for a bit, I did this on a job interview back in April. They practically told me that I didn't have the qualifications, so I got up and shook the woman's hand. She wondered what happened since this action took her by surprise. Here I sat in a noisy room, being humiliated for over an hour, and she expected me to sit there for another two hours to fill out a lousy job application; that I wasn't qualified for in the first place according to her standards!  Since Gil died, I've developed a few of his ways. He was a type of no-nonsense person (lacked tact at times), and would have come back with a catchy phrase or two that weren't so nice; and probably would have dropped the F bomb or two depending upon his level frustration reached by that point. Although, I didn't cuss on that crappy interview, but don't think for one minute that I wasn't far from it! I know now when  I'm being abused time-wise and emotionally. - Pardon my rant, folks - 

It's a shame that I found this stuff out later in life. I've earned the right as an older person to be respected as a human being, and that I don't have to sit and be abused by jerks. I think some people do this to get a reaction.

Are married people really that miserable with their spouses or is this just their way of rubbing our noses in their muck? My brother tried this with me and I haven't spoken to him since January. He was cheating on his second wife every chance he got. But just he and his second's wife attitude towards me after Gil's death was a real turn off for me.-  Pardon my crassness. -  

I have taken on a few of Martin's habits, as well. It's amazing to know that when they were here, they were themselves- a counter balance to us. But now, I realized how much I knew and learned and I use it every chance I get.  I am 54 and it is hard to get back into the job market. The thing I had going for me is that even though I did not earn a paycheck, we owned our own business, so I  had some "skillz". :) Keep looking forward, you'll find something and will be treated well.

I agree with you on this YLG. Owning your own business is the way to go. The job market can be very sketchy and unpredictable at times. I was looking for another agency that I happened to stumble across on one of those popular job sites. I;m already employed with a nursing agency, but work was slow during that period, so I applied for a position as a Certified Nursing Assistant. I've decided to stay with the nursing agency where I'm currently employed on a part time basis for now. I also have a full time job as well. I took a part time job because I needed the income after Gil passed, and I enjoy working with clients. They have free classes offered at the Community College in my area, and I took the Nursing Assistant and Dialysis Technician courses. They were fun and I learned a lot. I worked in the field over twenty-seven years ago. Those skills came in handy during Gil's chemo treatments.

I apologize, I didn't mean to get away from the main topic here.

Yup, I get it! Stunned is all you can be, because even if she was kidding, there's truth behind it.  doesn't sound like the kind of person you should waste your time with.  

At my older age now, I tend to blurt out my first thought when surprised/shocked by such a statement, I see my one second pause stare, then simply, "you're kidding, right?" It's like I would let em off the hook, but kept uncomfortable with the company.  The scenario would stay with me regardless of my reaction though. Because the offense had already been made.

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