Don cleared the table while Mom and I discussed the difference between the average time to remarriage of a widower versus a widow. A few years ago, widowers remarried on average one year after their loss, while widows on average waited three years after the death of their husbands. Mom suggested that in part, the difference could be that a woman generally must wait to be asked, while a man can pursue. Makes sense. I turned to Don.
“Don, why do men remarry earlier than women? What do you think?”
He walked toward us, his face thoughtful. “Is this a question my answer can win?”
Mom and I broke into laughter. Actually, I think I chortled.
Wise man! Too often when we question someone, we have a preconceived notion of what the answer should be–one that will enhance our sense of security or affirmation. Do I want to hear the real answer, or is the question no one can “win” by answering honestly? (Particularly if that person is one who lives with us and is most touched by our responses and moods).
Don’s response was that men need communication; that even though they’re big and strong and in charge in a work environment, at home they need a woman’s nurture and love. Makes sense to me.
I think another factor may be women’s friendships, which are often deeper, more feeling based, and therefore more nurturing than those men share. So when a woman becomes widowed, she has a stronger support group than men do.
So, while we continue building our relationships with our girlfriends, let’s also communicate in ways that invite, rather than repel, open conversation–where an honest response is always a winner. And … let’s encourage the men in our lives to invest in friendships, Bible studies, activities with their male friends as well.
Why do you think men tend to remarry sooner than women? Is this a nurture or nature thing?