Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Crimes to the Third Degree.

In a discussion today on how men and women grieve differently and how they start over differently, I realized something I hadn’t before. I don’t know if it’s really a man vs. woman thing or just what I’ve observed personally among the people I know or maybe it’s just me. But it was an ah-ha moment, yet again.

Flying By Night novel

I’ve heard many times that when a person loses a spouse to death or divorce, they grieve it differently if they’re a man or if they’re a woman. Women grieve alone, I’m told, and that was certainly true for me. I can think of plenty of women who’ve found themselves physically alone and chose to stay alone for a year or two before slipping back into a relationship with any staying power.

Men grieve with another woman, I’m told. I’ve certainly seen that, too. Their wives die or ditch them or desert them for someone else and about…four months later, per what I’ve seen soooomany times, the guys announce that they’ve mourned, healed, and moved on from their wives. In almost every occasion, what had really happened was they had started sleeping with someone else and that constituted moving on, if not healing.

I’ve seen good men who’ve lost their wives go on to find a new woman, often as similar as possible to the now-gone wife (whether they realized it or not), and they’ve done it in remarkable time. I can think of very few who weren’t in new, bonded relationships or remarried within two years of the breakup or funeral. It’s like they must get back on solid ground ASAP and a new woman in the role of devotee is critical.

It’s also been explained to me as, “Hey, men must have sex.” Maybe that’s true. I don’t know. I think it’s more than just lonely penises.

But I think it goes back to the healing process and how it differs in men and women. Women seem to heal from the inside out, looking deep within and figuring out their issues and trying not to repeat the same mistakes and just looking at everything so damned hard. It’s a massive clearing out from the inside out, healing at the core and letting the Light ease back out from deep in the pores. A process of gaining perspective and becoming content with one’s self.

In this particular discussion today, it was pointed out to me that men are often shaken financially and emotionally in a death or divorce and they rebuild financially first. They get their bearings again on their wealth, their image, their social status, their concrete plans for the future. Then they start to settle into the emotional rebuilding.

And some settle into a new marriage as part of that outward building and then more slowly, over a longer period of time, rebuild emotionally.

So women, when starting over, rebuild from inside out. And men rebuild from outside in.

Or maybe it has nothing at all to do with the sexes.


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