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Hi!

   I have a question...

   What do you do when you have an older son who was VERY CLOSE to Dad. And in his eyes, no one MALE should get too close to Mom The son is very protective. 

Susan

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Hi Susan,
That's a tough question. You say you have an "older son" but did not say how old. Old as in teenage or adult?

My suggestion is if your son still lives at home, meet your date somewhere. Introduce only if your relationship has become serious.

Don't know your background or how recently you have become a widow, but remember your son has suffered a loss too. If he was real close, then he may not want you to "replace" his father. You're going to have to assure him that will never be the case, but you feel the need for companionship. It might be normal for a son to be protective of his mom but it may stem from insecurity too from losing his dad. Again, it really depends upon his age and the entire scenario. Sometimes these things resolve themselves when maturity sets in or when he is introduced to someone you and he can trust and love. Either way, it might be best to keep your private life private unless or until you find someone you truly care about.

Hi Callie,

   He's 37... My husband passed away last year....  I wrote that post when I was worried that he wouldn't like it. ... If I ever meet anyone I want to be friends with, I do n't think he'll mind.  I'll just keep it private, like you said.

Susan

I'd still open a dialogue with him, right now when it's theoretical.  I've got a 32-year old son, a wonderful young man (and father to my two beautiful little granddaughters) and he's a conservative evangelical Christian.  I'm a flaming liberal Episcopalian.  God has a sense of humor.  My late husband was his stepfather; I divorced Bio Dad in 1997 and Bio Dad died 7 years ago.  I've been talking to my son because I have no intention of ever marrying again- too many legal and financial complications- but I'm open to a serious relationship and yes, that includes sex.  He lives 3 hours away and I'm wondering if it will have to be a secret relationship, or if he'd be willing to meet the gentleman in question but will just pray that I'll repent.  I want to know what would happen if I were to travel with a male friend when my granddaughters are old enough to understand the implications (the oldest is 3 so no mad rush).  In the end, I'll live my life.  I hope I don't have to hide anything from my son but I won't give up male companionship to satisfy his theology.

 

We're dealing with two different types of objections, but in your case you need to talk with your son about how he'd feel, how he'd react.  You may be able to ease some of his concerns or you may conclude that your relationships have to be kept private, but at least you'll know what you're dealing with.

In the end, it's your life.  If you find a good man who makes you happy, why should you give that up?  Your son also needs to have a life of his own- not just trying to protect you from Bad Guys.

Thank You for your words Athena !

   I think I'll just contemplate my soon to be born Grandson ! I don't want to get married again. No one can possibly be as wonderful as Paul.

Susan

Athena, my family experiences lots of different religious and political beliefs, too. After 49 years of marriage and almost 3 years of widowhood, I found a wonderful man who was widowed also.  We are now a couple and thoroughly enjoying our Chapter Two.  We keep our own houses, thirty miles apart, and travel in his motor home. We aren't getting married for financial and legal reasons. When I talked to my pastor about this (because it is a serious relationship --and the sex is good!) , he stated we not going to have children (I'm 76; he's 82) or buy joint property, so why would we want the government in our personal business? That sure got me thinking!!!

One daughter told me she didn't want to step-father since she is in her late 40's. I told her I wasn't getting her one. I was getting a companion, a friend and lover, someone I could trust, who would be there for me the rest of my life. Or his. My gift to me and for me. We know we do not have decades ahead of us. But we have today and it is important to make it a good one. We both believe that God had a purpose for us to find each other.

If our children do not approve of how we live, it is their problem to work out. Don't let your kids ruin a good thing -- you would never have let them get away with that when they were little, would you?

barbee, thanks for your encouraging reply!  I'm "only" 64 but just did a 34-mile charity bike ride last Monday so I don't want the physical part of my life to be over just yet so I'm happy to see you and your 82-year old partner are still active.

What makes it hard in this case is that it's not just a spoiled brat who's afraid Mom will spend all her money on a man (my son has said he doesn't want my money and I believe him) or is threatened by a potential father figure.  It's a solid religious conviction and I respect that even though my theology is more liberal.  We've already talked about how we'll handle areas where he and I disagree when my granddaughters are old enough to understand, and he's OK with them being exposed to different points of view, so my biggest fear, that I might somehow be cut off from them, probably won't happen.  Still, I wouldn't want him to give me admonitions about my eternal soul on a regular basis.  I may have to keep that part of my life private.

In developing my new relationship, I lost a 50+ year friendship with a girlfriend. She is an ultra-conservative, evangelical Christian. I have a deep faith, but mine is a little different. She could not accept that I, a widow, would be dating, and she felt it was morally wrong. She was absolutely appalled that we would travel together without a chaperone!  She and I did the Bible quoting thing back and forth. I firmly believe that God is the ultimate judge and we are individually responsible to Him. She felt "called" to correct my ways.  She became so very critical and judgmental and she was the only one in my life who felt that way. My children, grown grandchildren, neighbors, other close friends (some also 50+ years duration), church friends -- they all expressed happiness for me. I suggested we agree to disagree, but she wasn't interested. I tried keeping my mouth shut and diverting the conversation, but she kept revisiting the issue. I decided to go with the majority!!! Sad to lose a friend, but very happy with the rest of my life.

That reminds me of an old saying: "Some people come into our lives for a reason, some for a season, and some for a lifetime."   Guess she was one of my reasons.

Barbee, it's hard for me to understand your friends way of thinking. I was unaware that any religion frowned upon a widow dating or finding happiness in a new relationship, that's a new one on me! Even worse was her attempt to try and control you or alter your way of thinking. Sad to see such a long friendship end but true friendship should not be based upon "conditions" or another persons' beliefs. I agree with you wholeheartedly--He is the ultimate judge. The Bible is pretty clear regarding that.

Good to hear you have full support of your family. Wishing you all the happiness in your new relationship.

I found that strange, too-  I thought even the most orthodox of religions agreed that a widow/widower was no longer bound by wedding vows.  Many of the stricter ones, though, still consider sex outside of marriage to be a giant "Thou Shalt Not".  I even asked DS how he'd react if I married someone in a church ceremony and then we came back after the honeymoon and divorced to be free of the entanglements imposed by the state, but still respected our wedding vows.  Nope.  Not buying that, either.  I ran this by a friend who's a candidate for ordination and she said it sounded fine to her but she'd have to ask her bishop! 

Barbee,

    Good for you! It sounds like your happy :-) I'm happy for you both!

Susan

I think that this involves timing.  As we are talking about an adult son, he is going to be protective of his mother.  Plus, it your are ready to explore a need for companionship, he may not be at the same place that you are in your life.  When he becomes ready to encourage you, is going to depend upon how well he has processed his father's death.

This December will be 5 years for me, and I believe my two sons would be excited for me if I were to get involved with another woman. 

You need to talk with him frankly, and at the same time recognize his thoughts and feelings, and if he's not ready to accept your thoughts and feelings, back off and give him room.  And, continue on your path.

((HUGS))

Frank

As they say, timing is everything ...

I recall many widow/ers ready to date were questioned about their love for their Mom or Dad ...

Even though dating is an individual choice, children, no matter their age, need their time to grieve ...

Changes are not easy for anyone ...

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