What's worse divorce or death

I once lost a friend over this argument, but I think divorce is worse, especially after a very long marriage. Just think about it, if you’re over 50 (like me) and have been married your entire life and he kicks the bucket, everyone gathers around you, you’re the poor grieving widow, you have a funeral, a good spread afterwards and lots of sympathy from friends and relatives.

There is a support system for widows, there are rituals in place to help them grieve. You can’t sit shiva when you get divorced, no one brings casseroles, there are no sympathy cards. In fact friends may shun you as though divorce was catching. Or you may be blamed for driving him away. Real sympathy and understanding is in short supply. It may take longer to recover from a divorce than from the death of a spouse.

In fact I’ve been told by a girlfriend who went through both that her first husband dying was easier than her nasty divorce. It’s harder to mourn someone who not only isn’t dearly departed, but may still be around trying to make your life miserable. Then there are all the friends who constantly tell you to move on already. At least if your husband dies you get a decent period of mourning. You’re not expected to move on as if the marriage never happened. When your husband dies you get to remember him with affection and think about your long, hopefully mostly happy marriage. When you get divorced after let’s say twenty-five years, you have to try to forget your long, probably mostly unhappy marriage. It’s like losing a huge chunk of your life.

Did you ever see Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? I cried for twenty four hours after seeing that movie. It’s about a couple who break up and the woman, played by Kate Winslet, undergoes some futuristic procedure to erase her memory of the relationship. Then her boyfriend, played by Jim Carrey, undergoes the same thing but as his mind is being erased he starts fighting the process because he doesn’t want to lose all the good memories as well as the bad. That really got me. I realized that because my marriage ended badly I’d lost eighteen years of my life, good memories as well as bad. If my husband had died I would have gotten to keep those good memories. That just devastated me.


I agree, although we haven’t divorced (my husband told me he was filing for a divorce) It is much worse than death. When you lose a spouse, you can’t touch then or recieve comfort from them but with divorce (or impending divorce) it is worse because the person is right there and they are the one you want to get comfort from but they are the one giving the pain.

I totally agree. I have heard from others also that they felt that going through their divorce was harder than going through a loved ones death. And with the way I am feeling I absolutely believe it. It is hard to reflect back on happy times when current bitter times color everything a sad shade of grey. I just went through a funeral of a grandparent (who raised me and was more like a parent) and it was extremely hard and depressing but I was greiving with others, like having a support group, and i could easily reflect on memories with happiness and love.

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I’ve had this conversation with a good friend who lost his wife to cancer last year. Our marriages were similar and we both didn’t see it coming. 18 months of surgeries and treatments an 11 months or pure hell on my end. His wife died, mine went on to serial date and finally find a guy that my son says is alot like me(?). During his crisis he had everyone in his corner, several collections of thousands of dollars and the sympathy of the entire hospital. I was nearly fired for not being as productive, having coworkers throwing me under the bus for made up situations and having to take emergency FMLA to protect myself and my career. But my lawyer told me not to tell my wife so I sat in my car during hot summer days and went to parks, etc. to kill time. I actually was bleeding money trying to scrape up a down payment on a new house. Death is a natural thing that occurs to young and old. Divorce is about as ugly as humans can get. And you get to see someone else step into what you worked your backside off for years to build. I submit this and ask you, what’s worse?

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Death is more scaring!

Divorce, but it is still a death of a marriage. Death is either way. I feel like i am dying anyway with the pain. I could cry all night long.

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Both are awful.
Divorce is worse.
At least with death you get to be with them again on the other side.
Divorce is forever.

I totally disagree. If it is a death of your husband. Its both a divorce in a certain way and death. From personal experience, my husband had cancer for about a year. We had to see him go through certain procedures and watch his health deteriorate. He would get angry or agitated and lash out cause he is in pain. Divorce is all about separation, but it is not as bad as having a death. It is much easier to cope with depending on the situation. But death is death, and experiences come with death, such as past experiences and your mental stability of taking care of someone. You have to do so many things before death, name changes… in fear of one day he will die. You will watch him die and if you have never been through the situation, you would never know how it feels like to go through this. it is worse than divorce

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not everyone believes in heaven and “the other side” If divorce wasnt so nasty, you could have a peaceful divorce, not every divorce has to be so nasty. If it is peaceful, death is much worse

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I’ve seen the death of my parents, siblings, friends and patients. Emotionally draining, heart wrenching, sometimes overtly dramatic or numbingly apathetic. But it’s the natural and logical end of a journey, no matter how short or long. You get to find out who your stbx is during divorce and it is horrifying. You question every moment that you thought that person loved you and cherished you. You have to deal with them for coparenting issues. They are still there but in a very different way. The love is gone or very thin. You force the memories of them out of your head, especially during quiet times alone. You regret much, including wasting your time with them. I still love my folks, sisters and friends that have passed. I wish they could come back. Not my ex.

Divorce is akin to death. I grieved for a long time. And you are so right about friends. They don’t know what to do or say around you. My entire lifestyle changed and I went through a deep depression you would have thought someone had died, even though the divorce was my decision.

I think it feels like a death he moved out and im left with 22 years of memories to go through while he sits in a new place with a 25 yr old girlfriend without a care in the world it’s really a hard thing to go through not that i want him back I really would like to see him suffer my divorce was just final 2 days ago

I have asked 2 men who lost his wives suddenly the same question about which is worse (divorce or death). I did not get an answer either time! Neither is good! After being “surprised” by divorce papers delivered in a work parking deck and having to replicate 12 inches of paperwork! My husband’s divorce attorney made repeated new requests for more and more copies of statements for my bank, investment accounts and credit card statements! I still worked full-time and was exhausted spending all my free time at a local copy shop chain. In the last 5-8 years before his divorce, I continued to do our laundry, iron his dress shirts and pants, prepare meals and clean our house with little communication or help from him. Essentially, I had a roommate who shared a bed for sleeping only after he spent 4 or 5 hours in his “mancave” on Facebook each night as I cooked, did laundry and other household chores, etc. after work. I now realize I was a live-in maid to an unresponsive spouse! He remarried soon after he moved to Arizona

I’ve thought about this issue quite a bit, observed both sides of the coin and solicited answers from people that don’t know either. I believe that divorce is so patently worse. It is not difficult to understand: when you deal with the death of the spouse, one has a sympathetic (many times, an empathetic) support system, one often has financial support to a greater degree than created by divorce, one has a shared sense of loss with children and family.

In a divorce, there is blame. Children can be pitted against a parent. Families can be ruptured depending on the circumstances. The fallout goes on and on. It does not end when it appears that part of the equation has moved on. If children are involved and there is a new “situation,” the children and left-behind paren has to deal with that. The child might feel conflicted about being “okay” with the new situation. The dumped parent might struggle with not expressing bitterness, dealing with their child’s expressions about a new “parent,” whatever they call it, whatever. It’s tricky and it’s not pretty. As awful as death is, we tend to idealize a lost loved one. With divorce, depending on the situation, that is often not possible. It’s a several front war–one has to deal with loss, failure, betrayal (perhaps) and much more. There’s no burial. There are life events where previous couples have to show up and navigate this wretchedly-uncertain domain. I don’t minimize what someone goes through when a spouse dies. Just awful. I do believe, though, that divorce is usually much more traumatizing.

Divorce is worse. Especially when one is blindsided after asking repeatedly what’s wrong and husband says nothing and things are not true, until one day he said he had enough, and leaves. Within 2 weeks is “talking to someone” and within 4 weeks is out in public everywhere with her. Tells 12 yo son he has a gf but doesn’t make plans to see him regularly. He was in an emotional relationship at least 8 mos before he left. Never said a word after 16 years. Blames me for belittling him and treating him badly but never took any steps to talk or fix. Says I shouldve seen the look on his face, or noticed the elephant in the living room. Meanwhile I worked 10-12 hr days, commuted up to 4 hrs per day, would spend weekends cooking to make life easier, make 2x his salary and always felt dismissed and taken for granted. I am devastated and now hearing friends say they’ve seen him out with her. Then he only texts and says he wants his cut of the house and won’t pay a dime for expenses in the house because he doesn’t live there anymore. Says I should pay for son bc I make more money. He went to his parents and his mom irons his clothes and cooks for him. He is 46! Walked out of the house like he left on vacation. Still a pile of laundry on our bed. My son and I had to pack it all up and put into garage. He didn’t see that there was anything wrong with that. He is living in a fantasy, running away from his reality. Says he loves me but not in love anymore. Okay, I get it. But I don’t know this man who I spent 16 years loving. He is so different and is a stranger now. Breaks my heart daily. It’s like death on a daily basis. To be despised by someone I love so much is horrible.

Divorce. Nobody wins.family is broken forever. You still see them. In death you dont.Your never the same.But we all gotta go. DIVORCE is a ongoinh.constanly changes heartache. It’s hard to see your life partner moving on and never understanding how he can forget everything you both had. Even if they dont remarry. Hope my Ex best girlfriend is happy. Not a penny for me.Least she could do.Greed is so ugly. KARMA IS A BITCH.NOT FOR US TO HANDLE. NEVER NO WHATS IN THE FUTURE…LOVE YOUR KIDS.,YOURSELF.AND IT WILL BE WHAT ITS TO BE. NEVER HURT ONE TO LEARN TO LIVE ALONE & JUST LOVE YOUR PEACE . FAITH.

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I believe divorce is worse. Though i have not experienced the loss of a loved one. I have been separated for 14 months now. And the pain, sleepless nights loss of appitite and other physical pains are far.to great. Missing my wife and hoping for a chance to heal. If i had any advice to give id say never give up the pain of divorce is to great

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I feel for what you’re going through. I’ve been separated 5 months and can’t seem to let go either. But after 14+ months I hope you find a way to let go and heal. If you’re not already in counciling I encourage you to do so. Also do the things that build yourself up like eating well, exercise, mediation, getting out into nature, talking with friends, etc. If you need help and or an ear feel free to reach out.