Alternatives to remarriage in later life

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remarriage

Differences in desire to repartner

Men and women not only have different remarriage rates, but they also differ in their desire to repartner (to establish a new romantic relationship). A year and a half after the death of a spouse, 15% of widows and 37% of widowers ages 65 and older were interested in dating.[19] Differences in desire to repartner may stem from the different benefits men and women receive in and outside of a marriage.

The most frequent reasons older adults give for remaining without a partner after losing a spouse are gender-specific. While the common myth is “women grieve, men replace,” research does not support this pattern. Rather, widows are more likely to report that they are reluctant to give up newfound freedom and independence.[20] Many widows perceive a sense of liberation no longer having to take care of another person, and value this more than additional companionship.[21] Widowers, on the other hand, tend to report that they have not repartnered because they are concerned about being undesirable partners due to older age and ill health.[20]

Some studies have found that women who are not interested in a new relationship have explicitly decided to remain unpartnered. In contrast, men were more likely to report that they would not rule out the possibility but had not encountered a suitable relationship yet.[20] Interviews indicate that widowers are more prepared than widows to take a chance on a new relationship.[21]

Among widows, social support appears to promote interest in new intimate partnerships. Widows with confidants are more interested in repartnering than those without close friends.[22] However, for men this pattern may be reversed. While overall widowers are more interested in remarriage than widows, only the men with low or average levels of support from friends are any more likely than women to report desire to remarry in the future. When widowers have high levels of social support from friends, they have equivalent levels of interest as widows. This suggests that men may be more motivated to repartner if they do not have as much social support as they would like. Women on the other hand tend to have more diverse sources of social support within their social networks.[19]

Although the gender differences in desire to repartner are most well documented, younger age and greater unhappiness also predict increased interest in remarriage.[23]

Likelihood to repartner

Men are more likely to repartner after losing their spouse; more than 60% of men but less than 20% of women are involved in a new romance or remarried within about two years of being widowed . . . .

Remarriage is not always the goal or ideal arrangement for divorced and widowed adults. Especially among older adults, there is a growing acceptance and interest in alternative romantic commitments like cohabitation or Living Apart Together (LAT). While for younger adults cohabitation is typically a precursor to marriage, older adults have additional reasons why they may not want to remarry and cohabiting may be the ideal partnership.[9] For some, remarriage inspires feelings of disloyalty, and adult children can discourage remarriage based on concerns about inheritance.[34] Many older women are interested in companionship but may want to avoid long-term obligations and are hesitant to give up their new independence.[19][35] However, an arrangement called Living Apart Together (LAT) offers an appealing alternative; it is a form of intimate ongoing companionship that allows each partner to maintain autonomy and independent households.[35][36]

Published by auntyuta

Auntie, Sister. Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, Mother and Wife of German Descent I've lived in Australia since 1959 together with my husband Peter. We have four children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. I started blogging because I wanted to publish some of my childhood memories. I am blogging now also some of my other memories. I like to publish some photos too as well as a little bit of a diary from the present time. Occasionally I publish a story with a bit of fiction in it. Peter, my husband, is publishing some of his stories under berlioz1935.wordpress.com

2 thoughts on “Alternatives to remarriage in later life

  1. Many older women are interested in companionship but may want to avoid long-term obligations and are hesitant to give up their new independence. However, an arrangement called Living Apart Together (LAT) offers an appealing alternative; it is a form of intimate ongoing companionship that allows each partner to maintain autonomy and independent households.

    LAT does sound alright to me! 🙂 I am all for a form of intimate ongoing companionship that allows each partner to maintain autonomy and independent households.

    Like

    1. The following I find also an interesting statement:

      ‘Widowers, tend to report that they have not repartnered because they are concerned about being undesirable partners due to older age and ill health.’

      I ask myself, why on earth LIVING APART TOGETHER (LAT) would not suit them, if they do not have yet something like a ‘terminal sickness’?

      Like

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