This might be unfair but I believe it to be true.  Divorce is worse than your husband dying.  It feels awful to say it particularly as I am in the midst of witnessing a family member having been left a widow.  Perhaps this is what brings me to this post, watching and reflecting.

When widowed, you’re allowed to grieve.  You’re entitled to a period of mourning and it’s expected.  Rituals take place which may allow for closure to take place.  But most of all, there is a constant stream of sympathetic family members and friends at your door, flowing in and out.  Photos, anecdotes and memories are shared about the one departed, smiles crease over faces as silly moments are recalled.

During divorce, you’re expected to get over it.  No one brings over bowls of pilau, there are no sympathy cards, in fact people may shut you out as though you drove him away.  Family/friends initially appear, in the first couple of weeks, then fade out having felt like they’ve done their bit.  You’re forgotten about sitting in that little house, people not realising how lonely iddah is and how tortured you feel.  Real sympathy but most important of all, understanding, is in short supply.

When your husband dies, there are no doubt plenty of happy memories which can be looked back at with love and affection.  After divorce, the good memories are buried along with the bad.  It’s no longer appropriate to talk about them and you’re aware of that shift in atmosphere if you bring up his name… you stop, referring to him only as a past “friend” when asked who you tried that diner or visited that country with.

Divorce is not seen as life impacting as death.  Yet what people fail to realise is that the grieving process is identical.  I have been told on numerous occasions during the past month that my pain was in no way comparable to that of a husband’s death particularly as he cheated.  What they fail to realise however is that for me, the day he chose to leave, my husband too died yet I will never be afforded the same sentiments as that of a widow.


9 thoughts on “Comparables

  1. This is so true yet so few people understand it in the way you have explained it, divorce is extremely painful – I say that having lived through my parents divorce and seeing my mum fall apart and never being the same person again. You are right, there is no sympathy yet the grief is identical.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No, there is very little sympathy or most importantly, empathy. It will never really be understood in the same way or deserving of the same societiel understanding. I’m sorry to hear of your mother’s circumstances but I hope she will find herself in a stronger situation even if she is not the same person from it x


  2. So true- I catch myself looking back at the good times and feeling guilty and angry for doing so. More than anything I grieve for the person he once was.


    • I think that’s exactly what happens at the beginning. You feel like you don’t know them anymore or perhaps ever knew them which leads to its own sense of grief. Then there is grief for the future you thought you had with that person. As easy as it is to say, don’t ever think you have to feel guilty at looking back….he and those memories were part of your life x


  3. I feel the exact same way. The grieving of a divorce is it’s own pain and nightmare. I’m sorry that people are not as empathetic and understanding of your experience. But I know (somewhat) what you went through. You are not alone. And for writing and articulating this, you’ve made more readers feel less alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hope you’re well healing, have been thinking about you lately since your last email x Perhaps there’s also the added factor that in divorce, you have to relive it time to time when you see each other if you live in the same place. Not so much an issue for me but I can imagine it’s unpleasant.


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