Women Over 85 are Happier After Their Husbands Have Died, Finds New Study

A study by the NHS found that women are less happy than men until they are 85, but after that age, they are happier. This coincides with the age where men die.

Women Over 85 are Happier After Their Husbands Have Died, Finds New Study

The study indicates that women on average are not happy in marriages with traditional gender roles, even if they might stay married to their partner. It also goes in line with statistics that show that women are much more likely to suffer from severe health conditions throughout their lives, including mental health conditions. Particularly young women between 16-24 are more likely to have mental health conditions, as well as women over 34. This coincides with the ages where most pressure is put on women and how they look, and later on married women who not only need to care about themselves but their families.


These statistics are very clear. Many women are not happily married and do not thrive in roles where they need to worry about their own life as well as their husband's. I think this is a clear sign that men who actually love their partner will not let her be submissive and work for them, but will care for her wellbeing and put just as much into the relationship as she does.

Women Over 85 are Happier After Their Husbands Have Died, Finds New StudyIt makes me so sad to see all these women spend the majority of their lives unhappy and with mental health issues, only to find happiness once their husband is dead and they can finally stop worrying about someone else.

And don't say it's not true, I worked at a community center for elderly where I arranged bingo nights, and got to talk to many women who took care of their husbands until they died, whereas all the women were taken care of by their children while they still had to prepare meals for their husbands even though they could barely walk.

Men need to take responsibility in their marriages and take on the role of the carer as well. You cannot expect your partner to care for you, clean for you, do your laundry, manage your schedule, cook for you, raise your children, if you don't do the same for her at the same rate. Especially after pension. It's unacceptable that a woman's job as carer has to be until her husband dies.

It doesn't mean that those women didn't love their husbands. It means their husbands became a burden. Don't be a burden. If you're not ready to take on equal responsibility for the relationship, you're not ready for a relationship. Don't put your partner through a lifetime of hardship.

(And I'm not talking about couples sitting down and discussing how to share responsibilities, or her choosing to be a stay-at-home mom. Though that has issues too, as stay-at-home mom are at a higher risk to be depressed and lonely. I'm talking about the majority of couples where women do more work than men throughout their entire life and do not get adequate remuneration for the work.)


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Most Helpful Guy

  • What these studies really need to do, is ask first of these women if they married for love or security/social standing.

    Because I have observed over the years, that women that married for love and had genuine emotional connection to their husbands. Were happy in their marriage, even if they did not seem to have anything in common with their husband.

    Than there are the women that married a guy, for security and social standing. I am willing to put money up, that the women in this study fall into the marring for security group.

    Married couples that have an emotional connection, tend to work together and share responsibilities from housework to children. Couples where security or social standing played a major part in them getting married, usually have defined roles. The husband makes money and raises their social standing, the wife is at home and her role is to take care of the home husband and kids.

    Than they complain they are not happy, because they have to take care of the husband. That is what you signed up for, when you married for security. Security comes at a price.

    There is a saying. When you marry for money instead of love, may you have to earn every penny.

    I am acquainted with a few married women, that married for security. They all have a nanny that looks after the kids, a housekeeper/maid that comes in threw the week to cook and clean. The only thing they have to do, is look pretty when they are with the husband at business or social events. Yet they bitch constantly, about how unhappy they are.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • Seems like only women age 85 and older are interviewed for this study, which means they were born 1932 and earlier. I think society's pressure that sex and children is only acceptable within a marriage, that people have be married before reaching a certain age and that it's unacceptable to get divorced have a lot more to do with old unhappily married people who are happier once they are widowed. People from younger generations would just get divorced.
    I'm fairly certain that the same study conducted in the next generation will yield completely different results, because those who stayed until the very end had the option to opt out without stigma.

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What Guys Said 42

  • Condescending and insulting. Certainly makes an even greater argument for not getting married. It's not as though men aren't nagged enough in marriage, threatened constantly with dissolution of the bond, worked to death supporting a family only to be constantly emotionally bashed for not ever being "good enough". Now it's men's fault that a woman can never find happiness without the death of a man and the subsequent insurance payment.

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    • Damn, who hurt you

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    • I think we agree on this, if I work half days, and my partner works full-time with overtime, it's obviously a given that I do more at home. I disagree a bit about the income, because that's not necessarily an indicator of hard work. My partner works in finance, I work at an NGO, so his income is higher than mine. But I often work more hours than him. The way we deal with income difference is that we put our household budget together from the same percentage of each income, and that means he obviously puts more in, while he also gets to keep more for his personal account. He also pays for his daughter's school and all, because I haven't legally adopted her yet.
      But yes, everyone should help out, especially if you see your partner is struggling. It seems so obvious but I've experienced so many people not doing it.

    • That is why I mentioned hours worked along with income. Both are indicators of input to the household support.

      I was raised as a farm kid. Everyone did chores and to your ability, not to an arbitrary sequence but to what you can do. Our home is a single income enterprise.

  • At 45 , I was VERY glad I made the decision to get rid of my idle , complaining ex wife. Life is better , even as a single dad , still working FT , far less stress & negativity without her... I would likely be dead myself from a stress induced coronary if still with her !! Any wonder men are avoiding marriage... damned whatever we friggin' do !!

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  • I did my own study and found that that men are the happiest creatures on earth if they don't get married at all

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    • unmarried men die earlier and have more health problems than married men. women its opposite.

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    • @Alpha89s In the past maybe, now there are many happy single women. After my father passed, my mom made a group of friends, all of whom were divorced or widowed women, and non of whom would ever let a man back in their lives. You're right, people seek company. But it doesn't have to be the company of the opposite gender. If it is, great, if not, there are enough people who want friends.

    • I'm talking about the general notion ! not just an example of people who are close to you.
      a lot of women wants to get married yet the modern man is leaving the idea of marriage because it will not suit him in the long run.

  • if i had a penny for every woman who is uhappy cause her husband does all the working and paying... i would have a negative balance.

    when presented with the option of working their ass off or leeching off their husbands who make much more money, most women will gladly waste time hanging out at home or at malls while their husbands make a living.

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    • Only if your husband is super rich. If you're not the 1%, most are obviously not into that.
      Vice versa, if their wife was a billionaire, many men wouldn't do any uncomfortable jobs either.

      Though considering that more and more women give up children and marriage in order to work, I don't think your right. If I take myself and my close friends as an anecdotal example, none of us want to hang out at the mall. I wouldn't know what to do with myself.

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    • his daughter? so i assume he must at least in his late 30s right?
      no it is not possible at all, what men want is different from what women want, men who cook, clean and work aroun the house like their wives do, end up looked down upon by everyone including women, you can't have it all, you can't have a husband that does everything for you and at the same time expect him to be a real man it just doesn't work like that in the real world.

      yoy say women tried to suck him dry in the past right? i will tell you why that happened, because he is not a real man ! he is not assertive, dominant or masculine, all the "we're super equal what you do i will do as well" BS made women view him as a giant pussy and as a result never took him seriously or considered him more than an atm.

    • No, because he is kind and has a daughter with this woman. He broke up with her and won custody, so she failed, obviously. Please stop pretending men cannot be kind, you're not doing your gender a favor. There are as many different men as there are women. And having grown up with a dominant, abusive father, who passed away, I appreciate my boyfriend even more, because he's not afraid to be kind and vulnerable and does not hurt the people around him. He is more man than my father ever was.
      He's 29 and has a really good job in finance, I'm 24 and am communications director at an NGO. We both work hard, bring in income, and split our tasks. We're too busy to worry about silly things like what other people think. We're making it happen, I love his three year old as if she was my own, and that's what matters.

  • A study by the NHS... thats awfully vague lol. I would like to see the published paper.

    Also, have you seen the state of the NHS recently? Its a fucking shambles!

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    • That's as detailed as any news article would put it down, expecting you, an intelligent person, to connect the dots and be able to look it up knowing the date, topic, and publication. I found it, I don't get why none of you can.

      The NHS is far from being in shambles. It isn't perfect, but it's way better than what most of the world has. Trust me, I grew up in Bangladesh.

  • Well multiple studies show the exact opposite about marriage, also statistically men do more work then women in side the marriage so its not a matter of him not doing enough, if anything women don't do enough work but all the bitching and complaining about not being appreciated. In fact statistically women where happier in the 50s then they are now. But link the study, I would like to take a look at it and their methodology.

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  • I'd like to see the studies. This seems a lot like an underhanded attempt to discourage people from having families.

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    • Google it, it's a study from the NHS.

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    • If the agenda is that men should respect their partners and not expect them to serve them while still working full-time, then I'll gladly push it.

      This is her comment on another one !!! the bitch exposed !!! lol

    • @AlphaStyle89 You're old enough to know you shouldn't call a woman bitch. Also yes, if both partners work, sharing home duties is a no-brainer. If you don't want that, find a partner who doesn't want a full-time job. Don't just expect your partner to work double, why would you do that?

  • Sounds bullshit to me.. Why because I don't trust random articles with 'New Study shows' or ''Study shows'' or 'Find new study'' especially without links to any of the papers.

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  • Not my grandmother. My grandmother completely shut down after my grandfather passed, and they were both in their early 80s when he did. She was depressed until the day she died after that. He was her sweetheart, and she loved him so deeply. Sure, she had to take care of him in the end due to his dementia, but being alone after being together for 50+ years is very difficult.

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    • But then again, she was as strong-willed and caring woman who put others first but also stood up for herself. She never once complained about her role as "carer". My grandfather was a strong stoic man who fixed things, worked hard on projects around the house, while my grandmother was the one who cooked, cleaned, and arranged holiday get-togethers. His calm demeanor perfectly balanced her strong and assertive personality. My grandfather didn't take any shit, but he wasn't a dominator. He helped to clean dishes, yard work, and so much more, but they each knew their place in the relationship.

  • Dont get married then and the problem is solved. Dont tell men what to do. Tell women not to get married or to divorce if they dont like marriage ffs.

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    • As a man you have a responsibility too when you get married. If you're not able to deal with that, you're not fit for marriage. In this case the men are the one not pulling their weight, not the women. If you're not able to love your partner enough to carry the burden with her, let her find someone who can.

    • Yes iam not fit for the marriage and she should not marry me, iam not forcing her. Iam way too young to be married anyways so its not about me.
      Also there is a thing called divorce. If you are not happy in the marriage fking divorce, dont try to change people and force them to be what they dont want to be. No one should be forced to be/do what they dont want. If a woman is not happy as you said *doing two jobs* dont fking get married. No one can force you do to anything so just dont.
      Agree with your last sentence, she should find someone else who is more adequate for her yes.

    • Once again, not that easy if you want to build a family. If you as a man aren't ready to be in a partnership, don't get married. Obviously the woman in this scenario is ready, which is why she's looking to get married.
      Divorce isn't that easy. You'll have to look at your finances, if you have kids, you have to determine who gets them, etc, etc

  • And the high suicide rates of men, show that they are also happy with their lives?

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    • No, but there might be more men who are very unhappy than women, but generally more women who are unhappy. I'm not sure, I haven't looked that up. But they aren't mutually exclusive statistics.

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    • @COCOCHANEL thanks I'll look into it

    • @Warmapplecrumble it's probably painful though so i'm not saying to do it

  • It may be true that women are happier in their widowhood, but that men are happier before that than women, I doubt that. Men commit suicide more.

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    • This is an overall average. Meaning men have a higher well-being on average. That doesn't mean there can be more variation in men. It could be that most women are very close to the average, whereas many men are way above average, and some way below average, which then evens out.
      I'm not saying we should ignore male well-being at all, or not care about men. I obviously care about all the men in my life and would do anything for them. Even now, whenever I'm home, I cook for my grandfather and help out my grandmother (my brother doesn't.) But I hope that for my generation of women we can take care of each other, that our partners can take care of us as well. And i don't mean finances, many of us got that covered.

    • I am mostly just trying to make the point that psychology is not an exact science my history with therapists has been less than ideal.

    • I'm very sorry to hear that. I think we all need to be more kind to each other and our partners. I hope you'll feel better.

  • You say women should not conform according to what traditional gender roles want from them but we should conform to what one study says? doesn't make much sense to me.

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  • Also, teen white girls are more likely to be depressed.
    I am not sure if this study is real or not, depends how many women were sampled, from what geographical areas, their prior relationships, cause of death, fiscal standing, etc. There are so many variables here to deal with that this study is biased. Saying that the reason women are happy after their husbands death is very hard to prove

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  • Hey, don't blame your shitty marriage on everyone else.

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    • I'm not married, but experienced this first hand in my family. My mother became much happier after my father passed, because now she can do what she wants and does not have to clean up after him all day (his hobby was forestry, so he'd always be full of mud and walk through the house and get dirt everywhere, because he never cleaned and would refuse to take the dirty clothes of in the garage, little things like that drive women crazy after 40 years of marriage.)
      My grandparents are both 90 and sick right now. My grandpa is in a wheelchair and my grandma can barely walk because her legs are swollen like tree trunks. And still she cares for him, helps him go to the toilet, helps to wash him, makes him food. Meanwhile, when she hit her head and was unable to walk, my mother had to go in every day and care for her (my grandpa still could walk then).
      It's much better for women now, but I think it's an important thing to think about. The care taker role takes up lot of mental energy.

    • I made sure to find a partner for myself who cares for me as much as I care for him, but I worry for the women who get stuck with men who keep thinking that everything they do is more important than what their wives do. Especially in this day and age, it usually isn't. Both jobs are important, both lives are important, both people should care for each other.

  • oh my god shocker, did they really need a scientific study to find out bitches like cashing in on that top shelf life-insurance policy...

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  • Most women out live their husbands so I would imagine when they hit 85 years old and their husband passes away earlier they would have a plenty to be happy about when the insurance kicks in and what money is left to the surviving spouse in the will.

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    • They're 85 though, at that point money doesn't mean that much anymore. Like, what are you gonna do? Buy a new house? Go on vacation away from your family? Buy more jewelry?
      It also doesn't explain why men are comparably unhappy after 85, meanwhile the caretaker role would explain that, because now they're on their own.

      I've tried really hard to come up with other explanations, but I really can't see any other ones that account for an comparative increase in women's wellbeing and decrease in men's. I'm open to suggestions though, that's why I posted this!

    • I think maybe they just feel happier without the husband around if he treated her like crap throughout the marriage and she basically just stayed with the guy for the worse times and rode it out till either of them passed away.

    • Where is this men are unhappy after 85, coming from?

      I know a few guy in the age group, and they are far from being unhappy.

  • Plot twist : they don't even remember they were married

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  • I don't believe that. You would have to check if women were also happier after their husband would die way younger than that.

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  • mmm no you see when they were married it probably was arranged by there parents which mean she never loved him in the first place.

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What Girls Said 14

  • I hear you. Though I think it has more to do with the fact that they're on their old days so they are wise enough to know that there's no time to worry about nonsense unlike 16-24 yr old girls. As for unhappy marriages, well, women over 85 got married in an era where their partner was pretty much arranged or chosen based on status or money, not love. so of course they were unhappy. Nowadays women, and men of course, have more open choices to choose their partner.

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    • but then why would the difference be after 85, and not say 65, or 75? I tried to think a lot beyond reasons that the people who did the survey gave the newspapers, but I couldn't really come up with any. No one here has either, because everyone's busy yelling at me for being feminist. lol
      Especially if you look at the male statistics in the excel sheet, they become significantly more unhappy after 85, which makes me think that it's also due to losing their partner and carer!

      You're right, now women do have more choice, which is great. I tried to make that clear in the last paragraph too, which apparently not one of the guys read. This post was supposed to be more of a wakeup call for all the men who refuse to get with the new times and still treat their wives like servants, with no regard for their wellbeing, not for the millions of great men who want their wives to thrive as much as they do!

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    • haha, yea I might have gone a bit too clickbait/newsy with the title, I should be careful with that next time lol.

    • Feminism is cancer and more men and women are waking up to this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTGmwsMzaBU

  • Well that NHS study I think could be slightly flawed just because that generation of over 85s is very different to ours and has very different ideas. For example, it wasn't illegal to rape your wife til around 1990/91 in Britain where NHS is. For those older people, their marriage was made at a time where if your husband beat you, you stayed. There was no option of saying no to sex. You did what he said and that was that. It was also quite taboo to leave, and even today those women of previous generations find it more difficult to leave than we would. They stay trapped, because marriage is for life, even if it's being married to a pig.

    Nowadays, yes, women do still take on a larger proportion of house work and childcare, regardless of if she's working the same as her husband is or not. Women are much less likely to feel pressured to stay in such unhappy marriages that they actually feel happy when the partner dies. I think if they do this study again in 20 years or so, when the 40 year old of today are a bit older, the results will be different. And do it 40 years after that and it will be different again, because I notice now how it is becoming more and more normal for a father to take on child care, take the kids out, do his daughters hair for school, make lunches for school, make dinner etc etc.

    I have always felt sorry for that generation. So many marriages I have seen that look wonderful, but after having deep talks with the woman on life, love, marriage etc... Just regular girl chat, I see the immense pressure that that generation has had on their shoulders, and see how reluctant they are to leave a horrible relationship.
    I hate how quick people are to divorce today, but hate that in the past they couldn't divorce when they really needed to.

    That generation of women, they didn't have the choices we have. Even when it became legal for them to have those choices, the stigma was huge so they'd just 'put up and shut up' as they say... Sad.

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  • One important thing you're forgetting is that the majority of people lean on one side of being submissive or dominant or pleasers or receivers. It's extremely rare to find someone who is both of those things at once.
    Forcing equality in a relationship is bs. You need compatibility instead. You can't put two Subs together, it just won't work out. They could try to force "equality" but neither of them will ever be happy together. If you are a pleaser, you need to be with a receiver in order for the relationship to work out. The problem here isn't about lack of equality, it's about people jumping blindly into relationships with people they aren't compatible with, or not knowing or caring what makes them compatible with someone. P. S. I know plenty of older couples who thrive with the kind of dom/sub relationship you describe. But if the person who is being forced to care for someone's needs is NOT the kind of person who enjoys that, then of course it's not going to be a good match for them and they will be very unhappy.

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    • That's not the issue though. You can be caring and more submissive without burdening all the chores. Just because someone is submissive, doesn't mean they should be taken advantage off when it comes to shared responsibilities. You know, being caring can be something like fixing someone a drink when they come home, giving them a back rub. There's no need for it to be doing all the chores around the house by yourself while your partner watches TV. Some people may be into that, but most women I've met were pretty upset about that.

  • thats not a real study lol
    regardless, why are u trying to push an agenda?

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    • It's a survey by the National Health Service getting information from over 8000 people. That's pretty real.
      If the agenda is that men should respect their partners and not expect them to serve them while still working full-time, then I'll gladly push it.

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    • How are none of you able to find this? You grew up using the internet just like me, didn't you?
      Fine, here: http://digital.nhs.uk/catalogue/PUB30169

      I have a whole paragraph writing about how if it's a mutual understanding that was talked about, that's totally cool. For lots of people in the past it wasn't, it was just what was expected. And I've been in relationships now too where guys expect me after a while to take care of their apartments, as well as mine. Which is ridiculous, and which is why I left them and found someone who respects me.

    • Lol Troll, you claim a study that never existed, than link to a study about obesity, and smoking rates in the UK... Epic Troll fail!
      Go back under your bridge!

  • Good post.
    A lot of this has to do with them being from an older generation too. A lot of women who are in their 80s now probably didn't work outside the home.

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  • hahaha I will be happier when they die too starting with my dad.

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    • They made a mistake having you in the first place !

    • And OP you gave her like? now whats that will tell about you !!!
      vile creatures.

  • just like most women here in japan, very happy with the money the husband brings home but depressed when they actually have to spend time with the man.

    i do not have sympathy for such bullshit.

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  • I can understand why this study had these findings.

    Back when these women married, it was up to the woman to do all the childcare and house stuff. The woman stayed at home and the man worked. Gender roles were very rigid and for women it was not a good time.

    Women didn't have much other choice than to go along with social norms. Even if the woman wasn't interested in being a wife and mother, she really had no other choice.

    Women are often still considered to be the carers in a relationship. Even though we feel that things are equal, they often aren't.

    I think it's important to have a balance in a relationship. Both partners need to check in with one another and make someone doesn't feel like they are doing it all while the other just reaps the benefits.

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  • My great grandma is 87 she still cook a and cleans and gets sound better than many. She plays the role of a housewife which is something she chose to do.

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  • This makes me very sad because my Dad is very similar to my Mum.

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  • From my experience, my grandmothers live a better life now without their husbands.

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  • okay now I am having second thoughts about marriage... :P

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  • That's depressing.

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  • They are the ones with bad marriage.

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