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Do any of you have some thoughts or experience with how to open your heart to someone new while continuing to love your late spouse? How do you make room for two and what does that feel like? I have been trying unsuccessfully to move on and have been struggling with this. 

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It's possible. It happened to me when I was most definitely not looking for it, I was still grieving heavily. If they are the right person they'll be understanding of the extra struggles that come along, especially as the relationship gets more serious and possibly gives you overwhelming and conflicting feelings

It's been a year for me. While I really would like to be in a committed relationship, I still can't stop feeling like it would betraying SJ. I understand intellectually that it is not cheating or betrayal, but my heart won't have any part of it. Also, I feel like it would be unfair to any young lady for me to bring that baggage into a relationship. Hopefully this will dissipate, but right now I just can't bring myself to do so. All of us go through this differently, and there's no quick easy answers, even though we wish we could hit the "delete" button and wish it all away.

It is possible. Go slowly; time is on your side.  I'd been widowed for over two years when I met a widower who had been alone 12 years. Neither of us was looking for a relationship. We have been together three years now. We honor each other's down times around spouses' birth dates and anniversaries. We talk about our deceased mates often and that sharing is important to us both. The hole in each of our hearts for those we'd been married to for almost 50 years will always be there, yet there still is room to add love and good times and laughter.

Congratulations, barbee.


Everyone over a certain age has "baggage". This is just a fact of life.

I had quite the struggle the day I first noticed another woman after I became a widower. It was only after sever hours of over-thinking (plus a conversation with a friend about the incident) that I realized tha maybe the time for me to consider dating again had arrived. The first few times I went out, I was afraid I'd run into someone who'd tell my (deceased) wife they had seen me with another woman--in which case, I suddenly realized, I should just follow the person...and get back to Judith.

No doubt chef, we all have "battle scars". SJ and I met in our 50's, so the stupid stuff we did in our younger days was not an issue. She had her warts and lord knows I have mine--nothing serious, just stupid stuff we do when we are young. I'm still struggling to get past that it's not being disloyal or betraying her. I understand it is not in my mind, but my heart is still kicking my ass about it. SJ is a tough act to follow. Thank everyone on this site for sharing their experiences because it really, really helps.

Barbee that is awesome. Thanks for sharing because there are a lot of times when we feel like it will never happen for us. Sounds like you found yourself a good one, and so did he.

Thank you for posting this, it's a great conversation.  I am positive it's possible I just don't know how to do it yet.  I'm looking forward to everyone's thoughts.

Great topic. Each is so different with so many different situations before and after the loss. It all depends on YOU.But bottom line is NEVER SETTLE for less than you want and deserve. There are no replacements , but there are many vultures lurking and ready to devour.Sad but true...... They say you must kiss a lot of frogs to catch a prince. That is a true and false statement .YOU control the wait, and preparation of the heart, but also listen to your gut. Yes it is possible, but also know ahead of time , and i am not being negative, it is just the real world and a real fact. More fail than make it. Your heart is ready when you know it is , and yes there is room , but , that heart better be ready and prepared  as one wrong hurt can bring you beyond where it all began. Find the New YOU first as the OLD YOU no longer exists.Time does so much in our healing..Never say Never and Never Settle.. Best wishes to all...

Yes, it's possible--and the guilt/betrayal aspect is a part of this for many of us. [Been there, done that and have the T-shirt.] The marriage vows most of us recite have the line "...'til death do us part...", so socially, legally, morally and religiously (that is, if one is religious), one is doing nothing "wrong" by considering this option. Most of us tend to be our own worst critics when we get to this square on the board as we work through grief, and thus the biggest obstacle is "intelelctual"/ourselves.

I agree with both barbee's and BESTBUDS1 advice. I can say that I also know both widows and widowers who have either had relationships (without marrying) or married again--and seem to be happy in the new relationship. Can't say that I've met anyone after nearly eight years, but I remain open to the possibility. Best of luck to you.

I certainly hope so. My husband taught me how to love deeply, and those teachings didn't leave with him. I believe he would want me to find joy again. My feelings are that my days of relationships may have passed me by. I'm not into on line dating, I don't even do social media. I also don't go out often, so it would have to be meant to be. I like the meeting, friendship, and growing of a relationship, but I'm not into advertising for companionship. If a relationship happens, I will embrace it, but , I've got loads of memories if I never have another relationship.


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