Social Question

danimal's avatar

Is dying w/o a spouse and kids really that bad?

Asked by danimal (63points) September 22nd, 2009

You read it throughout the literature of time, “happiness exists only when shared” “No man is an island”, type of things. Almost as if darwin himself was creating the literature to over populate the world.

Is being married w/ children really that great? are relationships really worth it? Is being alone, single on your death bed really sad?

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26 Answers

DarkScribe's avatar

There is a little truth in all of it. Celibate people can experience contented lives, but it certainly makes almost everything better when you have someone close to share it with. Even now, If I see or experience something special when alone, it isn’t real until I have shared the experience with my wife.

Having children can be rewarding or demanding. I have kids who I love and feel blessed to have known, but I often wonder whether I would consider having children if I was starting out now. The current mores and the laws seem designed to raise a breed of little terrorists rather than loving children. Discipline has been almost stopped, yet they still expect children to be controlled, self disciplined and grow into responsible adults. I am not seeing it so far – the opposite seem to be the case.

laureth's avatar

Everybody is different. This is one of those “one general answer doesn’t fit all” questions.

XOIIO's avatar

Did you know that Darwin wasn’t originally an evolutionist? He gradually became one over a few years.

I’ve been alone my whole life, and haven’t felt a need for a relationship

Critter38's avatar

@danimal Darwin was influenced by Malthus and his views on the perils of overpopulation, and how many individuals must die for populations not to cover every speck of this planet.

“In October 1838, that is, fifteen months after I had begun my systematic enquiry, I happened to read for amusement Malthus on Population, and being well prepared to appreciate the struggle for existence which everywhere goes on from long-continued observation of the habits of animals and plants, it at once struck me that under these circumstances favourable variations would tend to be preserved, and unfavourable ones to be destroyed. The result of this would be the formation of new species. Here, then, I had at last got a theory by which to work…”

I don’t think Darwin has anything to do with your question, in fact his views were very much influenced by the problem of human overpopulation as presented by Malthus, and the culling in the natural world that normally circumvents it.

@XOIIO Darwin gathered the evidence to refine our understanding of what processes could drive species to change through time (eg natural selection, sexual selection). So depending on what you define as an “evolutionist”, it would have been hard for him to have been one prior to developing his own theory of evolution.

In regards to the actual question, see laureth.

oratio's avatar

If you are happy, and people around you are happy, who cares. There is no purpose to life. Life just is. Enjoy it.

Hobosnake's avatar

you hurt less people with your death if you don’t know anyone. You just hurt yourself more during your life.

Marriage isn’t everything, but when one comes it should be important. The world today has that completely backwards. Rage against.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

it depends on the person. it doesn’t matter at all what other people consider to be happiness, if it’s your own that you’re concerned with.

YARNLADY's avatar

According to census reports of the US, approximately 20% of US citizens never marry. People adapt to the life they have. Being or not being married is not the deciding factor for happiness or it’s lack. There are entire website groups dedicated to the never married. Many religious people, especially priests and nuns never marry.

Hobosnake's avatar

to be honest, seeing as how I can never see myself as even a father, this is how I plan to die.

So maybe I’m biased.

DarkScribe's avatar

@Hobosnake Keep your virginity?


I think that I was about six when i lost mine. I can even remember her name. She was an older woman – seven.

Hobosnake's avatar

lol. That’s why I edited that out. And yea, if you haven’t noticed by now I’m a Christian (and I actually care about a few of the values, unlike most of the “Christians” nowadays).

I’m a hideous nerd so it’s easy for me =P

DarkScribe's avatar

@Hobosnake if you haven’t noticed by now I’m a Christian

So am I, but few notice that because of my intense dislike of Churches and the men corrupting them. I try to follow most of Christ’s examples – that is as far as I go toward Christianity. I am a Christian atheist – I believe in Christian principles but not in Gods or any formal form of religion.

XOIIO's avatar

@critter38 it was a joke

willbrawn's avatar

I believe life is meant to experience joy and happiness. Sharing experiences and a relationship with a spouse is one of the most important things you can do while alive. Of course there is good and bad, but you learn and grow in ways you couldn’t if you were single.

Children, I haven’t yet had. But I am very much looking forward to it. You get to raise a child and help them become
there own person. The joy of family is greatest gift god has given us. And they are the only thing that we will have in the next life as well.

Critter38's avatar

@XOIIO Relieved to hear it.

so parody is indistinguishable from sincere posts…...hmmmm

valdasta's avatar

Contentment (a life without covetousness) is a key to happiness. If you live your whole life desiring to be married, but never do – that is sad. If you spend many years in the bonds of marriage wishing to get out – that is sad as well.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

No dying alone isn’t really all that sad, unless it saddens you, specifically. and marriage and kids CAN be great but aren’t necessarily, for all

CMaz's avatar

It’s not over till it’s over.

Ya never know who will come your way and when.

wundayatta's avatar

Is being married w/ children really that great?


_Are relationships really worth it?-


Is being alone, single on your death bed really sad?


I believe that there are some lessons that it is important for all individuals to learn. One of those lessons is about how to live in an intimate relationship with one or more people. Having a family is a great way of learning that lesson, although it can be learned in other ways. I think that learning this lesson is especially important for those who are counseling others about having successful relationships. It is nearly impossible to understand the issues unless you have been there. It has always struck me as odd that Priests who are supposed to remain unmarried throughout their lives give advice to married people about marriages. I don’t think book learning is enough.

Anyway, I think relationships are worth it because the lessons you gain from them—well they help you in every aspect of life. I think it is nearly impossible to relate to others without knowing a lot about relationships. Some people can become hermits, but not a lot. Even then, you are in relationship with your local environment. You just can’t get away from relationships. If they aren’t worth it, then how can life be worth it?

Being alone on your death bed seems sad to me. While we are all alone in death, it seems to me that being alone when entering death is a lot more scary than having people who love you be there as you pass away. Humans die in many ways—some violent or unexpected—but it seems to me that having a chance to say goodbye and to experience the entrance to death without fear and suffering is the best way to go. Going alone seems like it would be harder and more painful. Hence sad.

Zen's avatar

@danimal This is an excellent question and maybe more taboo and difficult to discuss than one would immediately assume. As I get older and the kids grow up, I often debate whether I should compromise and be in a relationship that I might not be 100% happy – for what if I were to get sick or die – alone? I do not have the answer. It’s too personal and individual – I think everyone here looks at it differently, and their opinions might change over time, which is completetly legitimate.

janbb's avatar

I think dying probably sucks whether or not you have a spouse and kids, but living is certainly better (for me) with them.

benjaminlevi's avatar

@daloon Just because you think marriage, children and relationships are great doesn’t mean other people could not be sad living alone.

wundayatta's avatar

@benjaminlevi True. And many books have been written about solitary lives.

YARNLADY's avatar

Being the spouse and children left behind is not an experience I would wish on anyone, eihter.

littlewesternwoman's avatar

There are no guarantees in life.

Just because you have a spouse and children, doesn’t mean you won’t be alone when death comes. And just because you don’t – doesn’t mean you will be alone when death comes.

I second @oratio, and would add: Happiness is ours to find – no spouse, no child, no friend – no one – can or should be responsible for our happiness. Whether or not you’re married, you’re responsible for making your life what you want it to be. Yes, happiness grows when you share it – with anyone you love. Strive toward what is meaningful to you – only you can decide whether that will include marrying and procreating.

Silhouette's avatar

You can have a full life with or without family. I can see some advantages to dying alone. Less unfinished business to worry about. What if my family needs me and I’m not there to help them? I find that idea the scary part of dying.

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