When you get married, it's all about love and the white gown symbolizing your so not virginal "virginity" and the fact that you are just so happy you finally found that one person to spend the rest of your life with. It's magical. There are bells ringing. Birds chirping. Sometimes even harps playing. All is happy happy joy joy. Then time passes. You get older. And you start thinking about what your life would be like if your husband died.
There is a scene in This Is 40 that has the characters talking about what would happen if your spouse passed away, gently, softly, of course. Yes, fantasizing what life would be like if you were separated by death. I will admit that I have done this.
Not in the way you think. I don't want my husband to die. Ever. I'm not fantasizing about it in a romantic way -- I'm thinking of it in one of the oh my gosh what if this happened what the heck would I do kind of way. A panicked way. The same way that I thought about what would happen if I died after I became a mother. Motherhood made mortality a real fear; I couldn't die now because I have these two little beings to take care of and to love and see grow up.
But I have thought about it. If my husband died, I don't think I'd get married again. I'd probably stop shaving altogether. Downsize to a smaller house. Fill it with stuff I find on the side of the road and thrift stores. And not eat nearly as good as I do now since my husband is an incredible cook. When I asked my husband what he would do if I died, he said that was a terrible thing to think about. Good answer. It is terrible. The grieving would be so intensely painful. After nudging, he too said he'd get a smaller house, which is a good idea because since he doesn't clean he would need less space to get messy. I clean; he cooks. Clearly we need to die at the same time or else face a life lacking quality. We both said we'd miss the other terribly.
Some people though, fantasize about their partner's death as a way out. Jezebel writer Tracy Moore points out through psychology professor Benjamin Karney that the end of a marriage by a death means there is no failure involved like the feeling one would get from divorce but the person is gone. Gone gone. It's the way out without the stigma of divorce.
Death is certainly one way to leave someone. And honestly, it's the only thing I want to come between me and my husband. I took till death do us part seriously. So in one way it is more romantic to think that's the only thing that could separate us. Morbid, too, but death is inevitable. Though thinking about your partner's death as a means to get out of your relationship is a whole other issue.
Do you ever fantasize about what your life would be life if your partner died? What would you change or do?
Image via minicooper93402/Flickr
Something my kids handmade
A fun holiday at home with my family
Some time off!
Something just for me, like a plush robe