This has been a phenomenon reported by many women and is also written about, with many books to the credit of this theme. What most women face is that they are married to men whose beloved wives have died or few women also say that this happens when they are married to men who have willingly or unwillingly divorced from their previous wives.
Pressure on new wife
There can be a great pressure on the new wife to do things the exact same way as the previous beloved wife. This is especially true of aristocratic and traditional families and households. Usually, this happens because the previous beloved wife has been a part of the household for long enough and everyone has gotten used to her ways.
Depersonalization of new wife
It may not seem like a big deal to everyone else, but for the new wife, who already is facing the struggles of a change of environment, there are major hurdles is she is asked to be a carbon copy of the previous beloved wife. She may develop a sense of depersonalization as she may be increasingly confused about who she really is and who she should be.
Psychological effect on new woman
The pressure put on her to confirm to the expectation and the criticism she may feel if she is not the same as the previous beloved wife can lead to the development of psychopathology as the woman may feel ostracized and lonely. It can lead to the development of depression, anxiety, somatic and even psychotic symptoms.
She may have develope guilt feelings
There can be a sense of confusion because copying the ways of the previous wife may give her the praise of the family, but at the same time she may feel like she is lying to herself and fooling the others and this may make her feel guilty.
She may have possession episodes
In many collectivistic cultures like India, it is seen that these women face a decline in health and wellbeing and start having possessions too. In fact, it makes a lot of sense that they have possession episodes, since these are the only times when these repressed women are allowed to be themselves and no one bothers them.
Remarriage means healing by new relationship
To avoid such instances of repression and agitation, men wanting to marry again should make sure to work through the grief of the previous beloved wife’s loss before they marry again and use the relationship to heal and not worsen someone else’s mental health.
Rethink from her point of view
They should also consider their reasons for marrying: do they really want a partner or they just fulfilling social obligations? All these important questions should be considered to save the sanity of not only the woman, but the entire household.