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Switch to Forum Live View Which Hurts More: The Death of a Pet or the End of a Marriage?
8 years ago  ::  Nov 25, 2010 - 4:36PM #1
Posts: 10,753

The essay in the Huffington Post is entitled 'Can Losing a Pet Hurt More Than Losing a Spouse?' and it refers to the emotional pain people suffer when a marriage breaks up as compared to the pain involved when a beloved pet dies.

The author is a therapist who specialises in counselling separating and divorcing couples, and she is surprised by the fact that many of the people who come to her say that losing their pet was much harder to deal with than losing a spouse.

Remember, the author is not referring to the death of a spouse, but rather the break-up of a marriage, which is a very different thing.

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8 years ago  ::  Nov 25, 2010 - 5:19PM #2
Posts: 6,839

An odd question indeed!

I would say that it depends upon who files for divorce and whether or not the other person fully agrees that divorce is the only option. The filer often is in "Lemme outta this!" mode and does quite well once it's final, particularly when there aren't children.

My last divorce wasn't my idea although I knew our marriage had significant problems. It was "last to know" syndrome. The < expletives deleted > even volunteered the info that there was no one else; he just didn't see how we could work things out anymore.

Yeeeeahhh. He married "Ms. Nobody Else" barely a month after the ink was dry on our divorce papers. I was devastated and gobsmacked. It took me six months of therapy to recover from that and to figure out why I'd been attracted to someone so dishonest and devious.

Much, MUCH worse than the deaths of any of the several pets I've had!

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8 years ago  ::  Nov 25, 2010 - 5:39PM #3
Posts: 1,380


I'm very sorry to hear of your experience!

I don't really see a point to comparing levels of pain in order to see who's is worse.  It's all subjective and individual.  Every situation is different and every response is unique.

In my opinion.

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8 years ago  ::  Nov 25, 2010 - 11:44PM #4
Posts: 4,481

I would welcome either.

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8 years ago  ::  Nov 26, 2010 - 1:01AM #5
Posts: 3,329

Well, pets seldom cheat on you or move in your replacement before moving you out while claiming there's no one else as my first husband did. By the time they gave me a carefully edited time-table for getting involved with each other and then marrying I'd learned the truth from someone else.

They divorced after a few years and I've been married to a much better man for 33 years now.

Pets share your life for a long time if you are lucky. One friend had a cat that lived with her for 21 years, through all kinds of changes in her life. How can you not mourn someone who has been with you for so long?

I remember feeling guilty as a child when I grieved more over my dog's death than my brother's or great-grandmother's. My brother only lived 5 days and I only got to see him twice; I'd only met my great-grandma twice with a few years in between. My dog had been there as long as I could remember and I was his chosen person. I remember going out and reading my homework assignment out loud to him because no one else had time for me. He didn't care what I was reading as long as I was just sitting with his head on my knee.

The level of pain in these situations depends on how long either the spouse or pet had been part of your life and who had given you more love and loyalty. I've sent sympathy cards when a friend has lost a pet who was like a family member to them just because they were in pain.

I guess which pain is worse depends on which relationship was more loyal and loving, as well as which one lasted the longest.

"You are letting your opinion be colored by facts again."
'When I want your opinion, I'll give it to you."
these are both from my father.
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8 years ago  ::  Nov 26, 2010 - 1:09AM #6
Posts: 9,782

Well, I guess that would depend upon the pet, and the marriage.

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8 years ago  ::  Nov 26, 2010 - 2:59AM #7
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8 years ago  ::  Nov 27, 2010 - 1:09PM #8
Posts: 6,839

Nov 25, 2010 -- 5:39PM, piecesofthewhole wrote:


I'm very sorry to hear of your experience!

Thanks for saying so. However, I posted it mostly as an example as it happened about 20 years ago. Lotta water under the bridge since.

While it was a horrific experience at the time, I determined I'd find out why I'd gotten hooked into such a destructive relationship...that's what the six months of counseling did for me.

Taking my time to heal and not rushing out to start dating again were among the smarter things I did.

I've now been married for nearly fifteen years to a wonderful man. We have our "heated discussions" now and again but have resolved not to let anger or disagreements fester. And we never go a single day without saying "I love you" at least once to each other.

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7 years ago  ::  Aug 15, 2011 - 10:03AM #9
Posts: 9,274
I had to put my beloved Buster down a 2 months ago.  Lo and behold, my other dog Suzi (7 years younger) began exhibing Buster's personality traits and even physical incapabilities.  Her back end became weak (she couldn't get her butt off the floor for a few days).  She didn't like a lot of petting like Buster (Suzi was an attention sponge!). She began sleeping with her head to the corner of the room on Buster's side.  And most weird of all, Suzi had to be coaxed and retrained to jump up on the bed!  Buster's hind legs were so weak in the end that I had to put a little step ladder to the side of the bed for him and help him up.  But in about a week, Suzi was again able to jump up on the bed.

I have heard that in the spiritual lives of sentient beings, we are able to move in and out of each others' bodies after "death".  Life is a lot more "fluid" in the spiritual world.  In fact, sometimes a soul will just experiment around and see what it feels like to be in somebody else's body, then leave on more exploration.  Other times, a departed soul will "take up residence", just incorporating itself into another's life and just sort of "sleep" there in a dormant state, not even knowing he or she is there.  Sometimes souls are a lot more aggressive and DO cause problems.  I see this a lot in my work of separating enmeshed souls at the spiritual level. 

So the question, do dog sentient beings reincarnate?  Well, I think yes, of course, but many times they just hang out with other family pets for the interim.  They are much more "collective" than humans and it is very easy for them to do that (although humans do it too on occasion).  They just "move right in".  I don't mind if Buster is with Suzi and she doesn't seem to mind...she is just as happy as she always was.  In fact, even more so, because Buster was the more playful one of the two.  So, if they are comfortable, I am comfortable.
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