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Hi everybody. My name is Steve and I was partnered to the same man over 30 yrs, until his passing in 2009 from cancer. We were both in our teens when we committed to each other and I loved him very much. I grieved hard for 3 yrs after his funeral and in 2013 I met a new wonderful man. Never thought it was possible to have these feelings again for another soul. Well new partner and I have been together now over 2 yrs and have reached a stage in our relationship where we are both considering the ending of our relationship. We both love each other very much, it will be very hard on both of us to break up, however, there are some problems we are trying to work on. One of which is my problem in the bedroom. I love my new partner very much, I'm very attracted to him emotionally, mentally and physically. But I can never reach "nirvana" with him, if you will forgive my euphomism. Everything is wonderful, all parts are a go, but no matter how I try, just can't get to a happy ending. I have no problem getting there on my own, everything is functioning normal, but for some reason, I'm holding back, this part of myself from him. I have never ever been there with anyone else but my first partner, and I wonder if it is some type of mental block, emotional block I am putting up because of loyalty or grieving, or something. My new partner has a problem with self esteem, and believes it's because secretly down inside, I'm not attracted to him. This has caused him to not want to be intimate with me, or if we do, it's awkward and uncomfortable. He finally told me why. It never bothered me. I just really enjoyed being with him and never realized it was a problem for him. Anyway, hope this subject is ok, don't mean to be crude or inappropriate, just wondering if any other people are having the same trouble.

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Steve,
I am not involved with anyone nor have I been since my husband passed in 2008, so this answer does not come from experience. However, I don't think there is an specific length of time it takes until we are able to become emotionally ready for a new relationship. Maybe you weren't quite there yet? It sounds like your biggest problem may lie with communication. If you can get him to understand the profound effects grief can have on a human being, maybe he could understand. It is way more complicated than a break-up or divorice which is what he may be comparing it to. With those situations it can be devastating however we tend to bounce back and can "get over" that hurt and disappointment eventually. A loss through death is completely different--we never "get over it", we just learn how to live with it as time begins easing the pain.

I can well understand that your partner is feeling insecure. I don't know if counseling would be helpful or if maybe you need to take a break until you can figure things out. It's not about failure on either part. I wish life weren't as complicated, but the best you can probably do is be completely honest with each other. There are many ways for people to express love, other than in the bedroom. My husband used to always say "don't tell me you love me, show me!" This was not in reference to sex. He brought me coffee in bed every morning! He serviced and washed my car. He bought me flowers and candy for no reason. I cooked his favorite meals. I would buy him clothing. Detailed the inside of his car. You know, there are lots of ways! I am sure you know all this having been in a thirty year relationship. If a relationship is based only upon sexual ability, that's not real commitment, at least in my eyes. Be completely honest with yourself too, do some soul-searching. Good luck, Steve.
Hi Callie 2, I'm so sorry for your loss. I absolutely know that road and my heart goes out to you. Thank you so much for your reply. I agree with you 100%. My new partner is a good person, I enjoy him very much, as I mentioned we have several issues we are considering and pondering. It's very strange, being in a new relationship, so many wonderful things, and some problems too as all relationships go thru. As everyone probably knows, there is no little "timer" button that pops our of our body like a turkey when it's done, to let us know when we are ready truly, for a new love. We all have to figure this journey out on our own, stumble, make mistakes and figure it out as we go. New partner is understanding, empathetic, patient, lots of good qualities, we have had some painful conversations, the idea of breaking up has come up and both of us are so pained at this idea, however, realize it might be best overall for us. We have put everything into neutral, as far as decisions right now, he is in middle of career change, we are in lease together till February 2016, and we get along very well. We have never once had an argument or a fight, it's not heated or uncomfortable at all, we are still very affectionate with each other and spend a lot of time together, just being together. Neither of us can stand the idea of not being in each other's lives, we are just trying to be patient, and slowly figure out if we are meant to be partners, or maybe wonderful friends. I have to admit, some of our major problems are surrounding my missing certain wonderful parts of my former relationship, that is not part of my new relationship yet. The truth is, it took years, maybe even decades, for these qualities to develop in my first relationship, so it's not fair at all, for me to expect these qualities to exist in my new relationship, yet and logically this all makes perfect sense, however, in the "day to day" living, when I'm unfairly expecting something that used to be normal in prior relationship and it's blatantly missing in new relationship, I get very hurt, disappointed, almost devastated at some points, and I grow cold and stand off ish, to new partner. I get this is wrong. Unfair. Meanwhile, he has no idea, why I'm being such a cold bitch to him. It may be true, I am discovering, I am not ready yet, or I may find a way to comfort myself and stop taking my unfair expectations out on new partner. I have shared this with him, too. Anyway, currently, things are good, happy at home, being patient and still talking about things as they come up. Thanks again. Take care and hugs to you.
You're very wise, the neutral phase might be opportunity to get to know each other without pressure. If it's meant to be, things will work out. We can never replace the love we lost but just maybe, we can learn to appreciate something new and different. Just keep an open mind!
Hi Callie2, thank you and I agree. you are very wise as well.

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