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黐線 ~Chiseen~
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I have observed quite a many women react differently to men who shares that he is a either a widow vs. divorced.

The difference comes from the tone and speech used. If in the scenario of "widow", womans' voice turns to sympathetic and sad tone level. They're hesitant, but may or may not try to pry into asking what happened.

If in the scenario of "divorced", it depends on the womans' stance on the situation but they ask "What happened with the relationship?" Depending on answer, the womans' tone almost always do not correlate to sympathetic or sad. And almost always takes the side that the man in front of them is wrong regardless if they're not until explained otherwise just because the man said he was divorced.


Not part of the initial combinations, but in the scenario of "single", the woman can go in any direction. Flirtly or precautious depending on the guys' level of confidence. Overconfidence and arrogance may lead the woman to believe the person has had more than one previous relationship as opposed to no confidence and self-esteem to the shy ones on the other end of the spectrum. Conversation in both instances varies depending on interest level the woman wants to keep.


So, I understand between "widow" and "divorced" that one of the two is by choice, the other is by nature. Question becomes ... why? The fact remains is that the dude is single. Why bother initially judging the guy based on that? Both situations are sad, especially if they involve kids/children.


I can picture SF's going the emotional route with the above scenarios, thus constitutes their attitude, tone, behavior, and body language.

What about the NT/NF audience? How is your stance toward the above?

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Male Audience: forgot to include... what about role reversal? how would you feel if girl you're speaking to is widowed or divorced? What's your stance on this?

As an NT, I'm impartial to either scenario. I just need to understand the history to see how I can fit into said person's life / lifestyle if there's an opportunity. Otherwise, if too much risk / involvement, move on and continue looking.
 

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I think it has to do a lot with the level of presumed commitment. If I'm interested in someone for a committed relationship, I want to know that they're capable of that commitment. Someone who is widowed is single not by choice, but by circumstance (unless he killed her). So I'd feel more sympathetic because here's someone who wanted to make that commitment and did, for one person, and things ended badly and probably too early (I'm assuming this person is in their 30s or 40s).

If I meet someone who's divorced, I want to know what the circumstances were. Did he cheat on her? Was he a bad spouse? Does he talk badly about her to an excessive degree? All those things could be signs I don't want to be with that person. Sure, the other situation could've been the same, but as people we're prone to generalize and stereotype because it makes judging easier.

With someone who's single, I want to know that he has had at least one serious, long-term relationship. I'm always edgier around people who've never had serious relationships, because it probably means they're not emotionally-developed enough for me. Note the italics -- this all has to do with personal preference.

I'm less likely to date (at this point in my life) people who are divorced or widowed, though that's due to my age and desire for simplicity. I'm not saying I wouldn't do it, but I think coming to the table with similar amounts of baggage is preferable to trying to navigate situations or circumstances I've never had to deal with before (like children from a previous marriage). That said, I'm open to all kinds of possibilities, it just depends on the person.
 

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Thanks so much for asking this question. I'm a widow and it was really eye-opening how men reacted to me disclosing it to them when I started to date again.

I didn't go on very many dates before I found my current boyfriend (I went on less than 10). But a couple of men reacted really, really badly and almost disrespectfully. They didn't know what to say or got flustered or weird. I know people have a hard time dealing with death and how to deal with addressing a widow/widower -- or they get awkward about it -- but it was crazy to me that a couple of people got strange on me about it. It was actually helpful in giving my gut the little extra boost it needed to wave the red flag I needed on those two people.

But when I found out about people that had been divorced -- maybe it's because of what I've been through -- my reaction always was one of extreme concern and sympathy.

I think about what *I* went through. Where my last words to my best friend on his death bed literally were "I love you, sweetheart" and a kiss. And the same from him. There isn't more beauty and closure, than that. More trust and certainty. I can love him in my heart forever. When I think about divorce and the hell it must be -- what it must entail: To lose trust, To feel someone slipping away, to feel love slipping away, to feel betrayed or to betray someone else...

I don't think I could live with something like that in my life compared to what I went through. So when I met my boyfriend and he told me about his impending divorce (involving a child that was not his) and how much it was breaking his heart that he was going to not be able to raise a child he didn't even sire before she wouldn't be a toddler any more and wouldn't even remember him... A child he was madly in love with...

He sobbed to me about it.

Most women would have seen it as a huge red flag. I saw through it to his utter heart of gold. And the devotion he was capable of. We've been together ever since and he's proven more than worthy of my trust many, many times over.

I think people see divorce or kids (or having been cheated on or some other form of emotional baggage) as some sort of ugliness or flaw. It can be a sign of a great leap of faith and belief in love.

Every bit as much as a broken widow's heart.
 

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I've been alive for a long time. If anyone is bereaved, whether death of child, spouse, or anyone else, some show of sympathy might be socially required. If the person is divorced, I try to respect their privacy by not expressing any particular emotion or opinion, unless they want to talk about it.

But if you're talking about potential romantic partners, I avoid widowers. They never get over it. Divorced men can be like that too, but widowers are the worst.

I think with women it's different. My wonderful fiance died at age 51. It was very painful for several months, but then I got over it because I knew he was really gone. With an ex, it can feel like unfinished business for much longer.
 

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Everyone's lives and experiences are different. If someone confides in me that their love one died I would offer sympathy because that is appropriate. Whether someone is divorced or widowed doesn't make a difference to me. Obviously however, there are possible issues with both - if she died and there are children there would be more responsibility and less role competition than with a divorced ex. Divorce often is not a sign of lack of commitment, but it can be.

Hard yes/no answers for NTs I think are difficult.
 

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@Senah -- Thank you for your post and widow solidarity.

I don't know the particulars about your widowhood and it's not my place to ask. But I found that because my husband was sick on and off for ten years before he died -- I did a lot of my grieving beforehand. To be honest -- when he died I mostly felt relief and a sense of peace that I hadn't had in a long, long time.

I fell deeply in love with a dear friend about six months after he died. That helped heal my broken heart quite a bit. Now I'm in love with someone else (an INTJ -- I'm an ENFP) and we've been together four happy years.

I think I would be having a lot more trouble with grief if it weren't for those two wonderful love affairs. Some days it still mows me down like a truck but it gets better every year.

Hope you and your loved ones are safe during these troubling times.

<x>
 
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