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Old 12-07-2017, 10:30 AM
 
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As for the Old Testament business about a man having to marry his dead brother's wife if she had no son, that was to honor and perpetuate the dead brother's name (and inheritance rights, too, I think). If he refused to do it, it was considered shameful and selfish, and he had to go through a peculiar and humiliating ceremony with the widow, if he refused to marry her. Of course, no mention of the widow's preference, or what to do if SHE didn't want to marry the surviving brother!
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,857 posts, read 51,350,636 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coschristi View Post
My great-great-great grandmother was left a 36 year old widow with 6 children when my great-great-great grandfather died in 1894 at the age of 37, from Pneumonia.

She assumed her late husbands role at the grocery store that he had been a co-owner of, with her brother in law. Two years later, her sister died at age 30, leaving the brother in law as a widower with 6 children.

They married in 1901 & raised the combined 12 children together, along with building a successful business & amassing quite a fortune in ranching land.

Apparently this used to be common in communities & was not only considered acceptable but actually the “responsible thing to do”, as joining forces helped otherwise single-parent households avoid becoming dependent on the charity of their community.
I've a similar story in my family's past. In general, although with many exceptions, marriage was a whole different ball of wax. There was no reliable birth control. Large families were very common. The man had to work until he dropped to put food on the table and had zero possibility of taking a role in caring for children. If his wife died, the kids went to relatives or friends, were put up for adoption, or sent to an orphanage. Women often died in childbirth, men often died in workplace accidents, and survival meant finding a new spouse as quickly as possible. Love often had very little to do with the marriage. With luck, the couple might learn to love each other over time, but as many times there was an emotional distance between the husband and wife. You can find signs of that in odd places. A neighbor related to me that an older couple that once lived on my property always had the wife referring to her husband as Mr. Jones in a stilted fashion.

The thread title relates to an entirely different issue, where there is an attraction and enough concern to make a post inquiring about such attraction and how to handle it.
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:39 AM
 
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Thank you all for the insight. It's been so helpful. If anyone knows of a support group int he grief community that is unique to this, I'd love to know. It feel like there are more people who relate than you'd realize. But there's this terrible stigma and fear of judgement from families.
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:42 AM
 
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njkate, did your friend's husband and your friend's sister end up married? I hope they are finding support now, despite the tough early times of judgement.
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry NC/Randolph NJ/Cape Coral FL
12,935 posts, read 24,066,619 times
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Originally Posted by lmk7 View Post
Thank you all for the insight. It's been so helpful. If anyone knows of a support group int he grief community that is unique to this, I'd love to know. It feel like there are more people who relate than you'd realize. But there's this terrible stigma and fear of judgement from families.
In the case of my deceased friend, her husband and her sister, my friend had adult kids from a prior marriage, her sister also had adult kids, none of them except for my friends one daughter were receptive to this relationship, the sisters son didn't speak to her for over 1 year, all that said the kids all eventually came around and accept the relationship now.

If one were to embark on this type of relationship, you must have patience and give family time to come to terms with it.
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:02 PM
 
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If he isn't committed to someone else, that's fine if it is mutual, but make sure you love that person for himself not for reminding you of his brother, etc., before getting too serious.
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:00 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
13,120 posts, read 17,658,319 times
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You know I just fell out of my chair LOL . No eww not something that I would even think about doing and I cant see how that would be even okay with anyone much less the family ....I'm sorry but I have morals and my morals tell me this is forbidden and should be forbidden .
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
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I know a woman who had this experience...she married her spouse's brother after husband died...all went well.

They likely had a lot in common, therefore what is the issue? You don't choose who you fall in love with...it just happens.
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Old 12-07-2017, 02:23 PM
 
15,198 posts, read 16,054,147 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phonelady61 View Post
You know I just fell out of my chair LOL . No eww not something that I would even think about doing and I cant see how that would be even okay with anyone much less the family ....I'm sorry but I have morals and my morals tell me this is forbidden and should be forbidden .
I don't understand why this would be immoral and should be forbidden. Where is the harm? I'm not picking a fight, but I just don't understand your reasoning.

It makes sense in a lot of ways. I could see children of the people involved being uncomfortable with the idea, but I can't think of a reason it shouldn't happen if the feelings are real and mutual. And of course, if the sibling isn't married to anyone else.
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Marlow View Post
Where is the harm?
Some people will be wondering just when the relationship began. And odds are some number of them will be right to wonder.
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