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When a man loses his wife after being together for many years, it fills him with depression and emptiness. He reacts to such emotions in various ways as he tries to cope with the loss. Here’s how widowers react and cope with their loss in their senior years.
In their senior years when the husband loses his wife he goes into a complete shell. Don’t misinterpret his silence as wanting to be by himself. It is just that he cannot express what he is feeling. Whenever loved ones come to spend time with him and share about the happy memories with his wife he starts opening up. If you are a widower and coping up with the emotions of loss then don’t stay cocooned up anymore. This doesn’t mean that you go out and start socialising but you can reach out to people with whom you can connect easily. Talking and sharing is the best remedy to heal in this case.
It is ironical to call women the “weaker sex” because it is men who want to give up when their wives depart. Research has shown that when a senior man loses his partner he completely breaks down to the extent that he starts showing suicidal tendencies. The effect is such that he is unable to even take care of himself and his daily chores. These negative thoughts can be curbed by going out into the open – slowly start interacting with people by traveling or joining yoga and meditation sessions.
For as long as she was alive he knew that some things would just get done – her special touch – the flowers in the vase on the dining table, the knitted sweater for Christmas every year etc. When she passes away, he notices these missing from his life and that hits him hard. Thus he removes all artifacts from the house that reminds him of her. This is not the way to react and cope with the loss. The solution is to learn these missing elements and start doing them.
When the man loses his partner of decades, he becomes so helpless that he begins to lose his focus in life. It will be positive to think of what his wife’s last wish could have been and make that his mission. Once this is achieved he will find that he is able to control his emotions better. For example, if the wife was a writer and was completing a novel then he should finish it and publish it posthumously.
Some men out there exist who make it without their wives in their aging years because they have humour on their sides. They miss their partner immensely but they cope by sharing funny anecdotes with friends or write about it. For example you might find him saying, “Thank god no one screams at me anymore for keeping the wet towel on the bed.” Laugh with him then but if his eyes turn moist, you will know why.
When a man finds that he has to take care of the house which his wife was managing for all these years, he just gives up. The house, hence, slowly, begins to become unkempt and messy. If you are on this boat, you are allowed to give yourself time to cope with the loss and feel blurry; don’t try and over achieve –start by trying to make one decent meal for yourself. Write down all the things that you need to get back in order and start with baby steps.
When the wife dies, so does his regular sex. But, even in the senior years, the man has his sexual needs. Hence many widowers have sex with a woman, with no intention for a serious relationship. Yes, you can have sex with another woman but make sure that you use proper protection and try to keep these as casual affairs.
When older men find others trying to help, he tries to control the situation. It is the psyche of a man which makes him want to show the world that even though he has suffered a loss and even though he is aging, he is still in command. In the process he might exhaust himself. If you are in this situation, then what you must remember is that you should not overdo things. Instead, allow others to help you. Remember that you will always be taking the final call when it comes to your life. But, there is no harm if genuine people are reaching out to you.
Older men are often found to remarry. It is not always because they have fallen in love or need to satisfy themselves sexually. Often senior widowers feel so lonely that they search for a mate who they can be with. Marriage done in a hurry, however, can result in a divorce, and hence it is best if men find a partner but not rush into marriage immediately.
Most men never really go through a phase when they have been on their own. Their life begins by living with their parents, then they live with a partner, and finally with a wife. Hence, when he becomes a widower in his senior years, often he is found grappling to find a foothold back into his life. If you are in such situation, then take your time to heal and find constructive ways to do so; don’t give into impulsiveness.