I can't answer your question but I'm interested in the replies as well.
Greetings.. I'm New here.. My Liz passed away 2 1/2 years ago after a 5 year battle with ALS... I really didn't think about looking for someone. I had my 2 kids to worry about after all. I was lucky enough to have a great group of friends and family to keep Me from getting into that Dark place a experience like this can push us into.. Long story short I very recently got remarried. I realize to some people it sounds crazy. The person you meet needs to understand that in a way they have to share you with your lost spouse in a way. I'm lucky in that my wife was friends with My late wife and our kids played together when they were little. I hadn't seen my now new wife in over 10 years when we reconnected but she knew what I had been through and what she was taking on starting to date Me. For Me it's not about replacing Liz it's about continuing to live and show my kids that life and happiness is not over. Gosh I hope any of that made sense.
Glad you found someone, Mark.
I think the one thing that would most help find and look after new love is being completely honest with yourself about how you feel and what you want, if you can do that then you can trust your own judgement and work things out as you go along. Unfortunately that’s much easier said than done, when new and old love collide it’s bewildering and difficult to work out how you feel in the first place. You can’t be honest with yourself about how you feel when your feelings just don’t make sense to you.
There’s a thought experiment I used to help me understand how a new love would fit into my heart. Imagine you’re in a romantic relationship with someone else and a genie knocked on your door telling you that one of your late spouse’s friends had whished for him to be alive and happy again. As a courtesy to you the genie wants you to choose how he goes about granting the wish: he can make it so that you and your late spouse are together again and your new love is happy with someone else; or he can leave you and your new love together and make it so that your late spouse is alive and happy with someone else. Either way your late spouse would be alive again and happy, so the choice is all about what you want. How would being faced with that choice make you feel? Where are you now and where do you want to be? There’s no right or wrong answers here, you are who you are.
I posted this link to an article in another discussion but thought it would be appropriate here. I make no judgements I am just passing it along.
great article Mike. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks very much for sharing that article, Mike. I do so wish there weren't so many 'judgy' people out there ... on so very many widowed topics.
That was a terrific article. Thanks, Mike.
Thanks for sharing that Mike. It seems pretty obvious that those who have had to be caretakers for an extended period of time may be ready to move forward with their lives a little sooner. I say that in a very broad sense, of course because we are all quite different. I’ve heard it here many times and in my own circle of friends and acquaintances. Recently, a friend of mine lost her husband of 49 yrs after taking care of him for better than five. It’s not to say she isn’t grieving, however, she has been able to socialize and kind of get around. I remember the first three months as not going out of the house much, not answering the phone or even door! I simply did not want to talk to anyone or even be around anyone. Sounds terrible, but that was me. It took a couple years before I even wanted to go anywhere!
I believe that when you’re caring for someone who is not going to get well, you have already begun to grieve. Witnessing a persons declining health daily, you are forced to deal with that reality. When someone passes unexpectantly, there is shock, even denial. There is also guilt mixed with regrets— all that woulda, coulda, shoulda stuff that somehow you may have been able to prevent it. On one hand, there is the caretaker that has done everything they could to help their spouse and on the other, a spouse that feels they should have had a sixth sense and prevented something completely out of their control.
Maybe what makes these situations different is the acceptance part. I think the depth of grief itself is pretty much the same. As individuals, we grieve until we reach that point and there is finally peace. However, our grief journeys are not all the same. It is quite possible to meet someone and really click with that person. I think it is wise to go slow, but as far as judging, there is no set length of time people grieve. Remember, some people will talk whatever you do! There are women that fear you want their husbands if you so much as talk to them or ask a question. We all need to follow our hearts and do whatever we think will bring us happiness and worry less about someone else’s opinion.
Didn’t mean to stray from the original topic, but I am not totally clear on the question (statement). Is this a situation you are presently in or is this something you fear might happen if you were to enter into a relationship? Are you concerned that you may subconsciously compare them and that maybe, they won’t measure up? I hope you will come back and clarify.
So Very well said!! I was the primary caregiver for My late wife who had ALS for over 5 years. In my case My Children and I knew what was coming. Just not when. We started to grieve her loss years before she left us. I had become a nurse/ caregiver the last 2 years and my role as a husband was really over at that point in a way. The love for her never changed. Everyone's situation is vastly different. Thanks for putting something into words I'd never been able to.
Hi Callie2. You asked: “ Is this a situation you are presently in or is this something you fear might happen if you were to enter into a relationship? Are you concerned that you may subconsciously compare them and that maybe, they won’t measure up? I hope you will come back and clarify.“
I just thought the article was interesting and might be helpful. I don’t have feelings one way or the other.
It is just two months since my wife died and I am not even near ready to consider dating again. I don’t know if I ever will.