Like most couples who have the courage to confront their marital woes, Candace and her husband went to counseling. During those sessions, Candace admitted that at times, like other people I’ve talked to, she had wished her husband would die and he admitted that he had had similar thoughts about her. Becoming a widow seemed easier than working through a divorce. Here’s Candace:
At one time, my husband had a sailboat and he wanted to sail around the world. We were talking with somebody who had done that and his wife stayed home. I said I would have to go with him because I would rather die with him than live if he died. I didn’t want to be a widow.
That was before I had kids and it changed from choosing to go down with him on a ship to having furtive fantasies about plane crashes and death. It wasn’t like fantasizing about a flaming plane. It was like a little firefly of a thought on the way to pick him up from the airport or I knew he was coming back in the next 24 hours and I’d go to the grocery store or pick up some laundry off the floor and there’s was just this glimmer that maybe he wouldn’t come home.
Usually, you’re hoping they’ll be fine but with us, there was this underground negative stuff coming through. It was more of a
“Hey, this could happen,” and if it did, if he did die,
“Well, at least I won’t be that upset,” or
“I’ll be free and at least I’ll get lots of sympathy.”
It comes out of deep unhappiness, out of misery. It comes because it seems like it would be an easy way out – it’s just outside influences, natural consequences. Divorce is difficult and telling someone you don’t love them anymore is very, very crushing to them. It’s the truth but it’s a cruel truth.
When you think about the plane crash fantasy, you realize you need to make a change because a plane full of people do not have to die gruesome deaths so you can have a different life. Just get divorced!
The Divorce Coach Says
I was glad Candace was willing to talk about this because I suspect many spouses fantasize about being saved from dealing with pain of divorce by the death of their spouse. I suspect this is one of those taboo conversations about divorce. When Pippi also said, I wish my husband would die, I said I didn’t think it was so much a wish that most of us would actually do anything about. It’s more something that would mean simply that you weren’t the bad guy for wanting a divorce. You’d be a widow and society looks on widows differently. These fantasies are normal.
But, you do need to listen to them. Like Candace says, innocent people don’t need to die. So if you do feel relieved when you think about your spouse meeting an untimely yet convenient demise, then it truly is time to find your courage and talk about ending your marriage.