SENIORS: REMARRIAGE OR NOT

Oct 21st, 2011 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Marriage for Elderly Examined

Frequent searches suggest this topic has current and relevant interest to some of our senior visitors. Rightly so.  It is a consideration not to be taken lightly,”not to be entered into unadvisedly,”as the vows suggest, but “to have and to hold from this day forward.”  Traditional marriage vows, while not always used in weddings these days, make a very pointed reference to the gravity of the choice and rite in which a couple is engaging.

Whatever the words are that unite a partnership, they are intended to create a covenant, which will be long lasting, aware of all possible consequences, and committed to that partnership, no matter what.

Before the occasion occurs on which such a pact is made, it is of essential wisdom to have weighed the implications and to be clear that you and the other are prepared to make such a strong commitment to one another in your senior years, with so many of those years behind you.  Experience teaches that that is not always the case.  The results can be emotionally destructive, somewhat personally catastrophic, and financially compromising.

Some remarriages are predicated on presumed assumptions.  Some are prompted on unrealistic expectations.  Some grow out of attachments that may or not be altogether clear or shared.  Lacking a genuine bonding, many of the hopes of a  senior marital union can be crashed against the sudden awareness that careful thought did not precede the act.

Common Understandings Essential for Seniors

The other day in a visit with some widows, the confession was shared by one who said that she never cooked in any of her three marriages.  Further, if she were to remarry she wouldn’t then either.  Was that on the table, as it were?  Had it been discussed?  Did each understand the implications and complications that might create?

Perhaps, each of the three husbands had volunteered to be the cook, or promised to “go out” every night, or make other arrangements for their dietary and culinary needs and enjoyment.  The real question is, had there been an understanding?

Senior remarriage is not necessarily easy to slip into and expect a mutually comfortable relationship.  Lifelong habits, interests, routines are established and comfortable for each party; the problem is that they might not mix well in a marriage.  All kinds of issues must be uncovered, discovered, and intentionally and thoroughly discussed and debated.

Lack of conversation before a marriage, lack of a willingness to address possible differences or problems can only contribute to the likelihood of conflict and communication which can destroy that relationship in short order.

Remarriage is a process of jumping many hurdles, being aware of the potential pitfalls and perils, requiring a maturity of understanding and deliberation that may not have existed in a previous relationship.  Making the same mistakes again suggests that the cause for remarriage had best be examined with great and judicious care. In that should be a dollop of love, a large dose of patience, and a good quantity of understanding.



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