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When Your Spouse Won’t Discuss Death

I really want to preplan my funeral arrangements but my Husband/Wife won’t talk about it. Are you someone who has a spouse who won’t discuss death? I have heard this many times, and it is frustrating for the partner that would like to organize things ahead of time, not to be able to take advantage of the opportunity.

It is frustrating when one partner has the veto power and the other partner has to follow along and keep the peace in the relationship. Often the partner that wants to organize things ahead of time, can see the emotional and financial advantages of doing this.  Yet they must bite their tongue and go along with the usually uninformed decision of their partner.

If it is the Husband that does not want to talk about funeral preplanning, then his wife or partner can be very sure that she will have to do this alone.  Often the husband dies before his wife and she is left on her own to decide and organize the funeral, guessing along the way, as to the type of funeral he would have wanted.

Often there is an undertone of anger.  Not only that he died and left her on her own, but that she also had to organize the funeral and make major decisions within a few days.  Financially there may be frustration as the funeral costs are higher than previous years, and now somehow she will have to pay for the funeral, usually within 30 days.

If, when you spoke to your husband a few years ago about the peace of mind funeral preplanning presents to you and your family, and you did not obtain his engagement in the discussion, then perhaps you may be brave enough to approach this topic again.

There is the notion of Testosterone Flip.  As we age, the level of testosterone decreases in men and the prevalence of testosterone increases in women as the levels of estrogen and progesterone decrease.  So the man in your life may be more willing now to learn more about the emotional and financial advantages of funeral preplanning.  Some men even find that when they do, they take great pride in the leadership role for their wife and family.

If it is wife that does not want to look at the funeral-preplanning piece the same frustrations can be there for the husband.

Another common scenario is that one spouse is not cognitively competent to make informed funeral arrangements.  In this case I often work with the cognitively competent spouse and usually an adult child to provide the information needed, and make the selections for the appropriate eventual funeral arrangements.

Why is it that only 9% of Canadians preplan or prepay their eventual funeral arrangements?

Is it that we are afraid to confront our own mortality?

Or perhaps we are concerned that if we organize things ahead of time we will die sooner?

I don’t believe that either of these is true.

Often people share with me their sense of relief AND their sense of accomplishment that they have organized things ahead of time and have not left it up to their wife/husband or children. Once these plans are on file at the funeral home, you can forget about the “whatif’s” and continue to enjoy your life.

It only takes a little bit of courage to phone the funeral home and make an appointment to learn more about the emotional and financial advantages of preplanning and prepaying your eventual funeral arrangements.  Make that call today – you can do it!

How about you? Have you met with resistance from your spouse? I’d love your feedback. And don’t forget to leave a link back to your own blog if you have one via the commentluv feature here on the site.

Until next time,



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