The term widow is given to a woman whose spouse has died. The term widower is applied to a man whose marital partner has died. Widowhood is a broader term used to describe the state of being a widow or widower. This entry discusses what widowhood is and how widows and widowers cope with the changes that come with this life transition.

Widowhood as a Marital Status and Event

Widowhood describes both a marital status and a marital event. As a marital status, widowhood is similar to both divorce and never married in that it describes a state of being unmarried. As a marital event, it is similar to divorce in that it represents the dissolution or end of a marital relation. However, in contrast to divorce, ...

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