A recent conversation with friends proposed this topic: If your spouse died, would you remarry?
Without hesitation, Craig and I both agreed that we would remarry as we would miss the companionship of marriage. He easily admitted that he would want me to be happy, and I wished the same for him. I did forewarn him, though, that I would haunt him if he picked a woman that didn’t place great value in the feelings of our children. Because if they were to lose me, I wanted to be replaced by a woman who would love them, set a good example for them and have their best interests at heart. He agreed that was a justifiable threat.
I was surprised, though, by the response of the other two couples in the room that did not yet have children. One woman was sure her husband would remarry for companionship, but vowed she would live the rest of her life alone in solitude. He was the only man she’d ever loved, and was quite certain that her broken heart wouldn’t allow her to love in a different direction. She was so adamant that her husband would remarry that he opted out of the conversation despite her nervous probing. My assumption is that he cared too much about her feelings to risk hurting them by considering the possibility of the very truth she feared.
The third couple did not answer the question in regards to themselves, but instead focused on the certainty that they would not want their spouse to remarry. The man from the second couple asked, “If you were dead, what would it matter?” Neither one could offer a reasonable answer, and remained un-shamed by their shared possessiveness.
I couldn’t help but wonder what this conversation said about Craig and I as a couple. Were we able to wish for each other’s happiness because our children have taught us to love outside of ourselves? Should we care that the only limitations we place on each other are based on the collective well-being of our kids? Is our commitment to each other less than the commitment of the second couple, who will not be parted even by death?
There are no definitive answers to these questions, and they probably don't even apply because every relationship is different. Whatever the case, I’m encouraged that Craig and I agree that life should be full of love after an unwanted death. And I’m hopeful for the other couples, too, that they share in their own philosophies of 'til death do us part. Because for a marriage to live long enough to find out what would really happen after one spouse dies, I think being on the same page in matters of the heart is fundamental.