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4 Ways Your Life Changes if Your Spouse Dies

  • March 14, 2021

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When you marry someone, you typically hear the person performing the ceremony say, “till death do you part.” The insinuation is that you agree with your partner that you will be with them until one of you passes away. It’s tradition to have the minister or whoever else is marrying you say that, but you probably don’t like thinking about it much.

The reality is that you will, in fact, be together till death parts you unless you divorce each other. You have legally tied yourselves together since marriage is a formal declaration that you have committed yourselves to one another.

You’re both probably hoping that death, when it does come for one of you, does not occur for many, many years. But what if it occurs sooner than you expected? Let’s look at four of the ways your life will likely change if such a tragic event happens.

You’ll Have to Determine Whether You’re Responsible for Their Debts

If your spouse dies, one of the first things you’ll need to do is determine whether you’re responsible for their debts. This is a complicated affair, and it’s likely going to vary depending on the state in which you live.

Some states demand that you cover all of your deceased spouse’s debts, while in other instances, you might have to pay for half of them. On some other occasions, you may not be responsible for any of their legal obligations.

Your spouse’s creditors are going to want immediate consideration, and even though you’re mourning, they’re going to get in contact with you before long. You’ll probably need to contact an attorney who can explain to you what your obligations are. They might be able to get you off the hook for some of what your spouse owed.

You May Not Have the Same Money Coming In

Whether you have to pay for some of your spouse’s debts, all of them, or none of them, one sure thing is that your spouse is no longer there to act as a breadwinner. That means you can no longer rely on their income stream when you think about your future.

You might have to modify your lifestyle in some ways because you now have less money coming in. You may have to live more frugally than you did before. Things like vacations, new cars, or moving to a larger house might be out of the question, even if you had planned on all of that just a short while before when they were still alive.

You Might Have to Raise Kids on Your Own

You might have young children, and when your spouse is gone, it falls on you to raise them. Being a single parent is extremely challenging. You’re mourning your spouse’s death, but at the same time, you have mouths to feed.

You’ll need to get the kids to school, help them with their homework, feed and clothe them, and you must do all of it on your own. Maybe you have other family members who can help you somewhat. Still, there’s no denying that there’s typically a lot more pressure on you as a single parent, as there’s no spouse to share the burden.

You Might Have to Wade Back into the Dating World 

You also might have enjoyed marriage for many years, which means you haven’t had to date in a long time. Now, if you’re alone again, you might be lonely. It’s not surprising when someone who has a spouse die when they are still relatively young wants to find love again.

The only issue is that the dating world might have changed considerably since you were last a part of it. Now, you might have to contend with dating apps. You will also have to explain to your potential romantic interests that you’re a recent widow and you have kids from your previous relationship.

Some individuals might be okay with that, but others might not want someone with that much baggage. 

Also, even if you find someone interested, it’s hard to go from an intimate marriage back into the uncertain dating world. You need time till you trust and love someone in the same way you used to have those things with your spouse.

It’s a very tough adjustment going from married and comfortable back to single again. There are virtually no parts of your life that this event will not impact, but hopefully, you can find happiness again eventually.