Study: After Husbands’ Death, Wives Tend To Be, Um, Less Stressed

We'll just assume they mean after the grief has settled. sippakorn/


There have been about a billion and a half studies that have shown just how good marriage is for various aspects of health (see: heart health, men’s health, cancer survival, longevity, etc., etc.)—but apparently, when it comes to wives’ emotional state, well, that is another story. (And, er, study.)

In a new study, researchers from the University of Padova in Italy followed nearly 2,000 people to find out what happens to the spouse left behind when the other one passes away, and they found a few eyebrow-raising (or maybe not-so-much) occurrences:

  • Men suffer more negatively after their wives pass away due to the loss of the women’s common role in household management and healthcare, according to the study’s lead researcher Dr. Caterina Trevisan—a role that women can find “restrictive and frustrating.” In general, men tend to rely more heavily on their wives than vise versa.
  • Because women have a longer lifespan than men, they can often find themselves in the stressful role of caregiver later in life.
  • Women are less likely to become depressed after the loss of a partner than men: “Many studies have shown that women are less vulnerable to depression than men in widowhood, probably because they have greater coping resources and are better able to express their emotions.”

There’s a good deal more, actually, which you can read about here—but kinda gives new meaning to every frustrated utterance of “You’re killing me!” when you’re at your wits’ end with your guy’s habit of {fill in the blank}, doesn’t it?

Like PW on Facebook | Follow PW on Twitter | Sign up for the PW newsletter

Getting married? Start and end your wedding planning journey with Philadelphia Weddings' guide to the best wedding vendors in the city.