The obsession of starting a new relationship
My post is not to challenge/criticize anyone but to try and understand the need for many surviving spouses to focus so very quickly (within 2-3 years) on finding someone. I don't subscribe to "Life must go on" scenario since that sounds like more of an excuse to validate ones behavior.
Personally, I don't see myself in another relationship...ever. But that is because I am a bit of an introvert and that Janet said she would haunt me if I brought another women into the house. Now I know she was kidding but I understand by her comment that she wanted me to honor her respectfully.
Rich....I'm an INFJ introvert with a need for a fair amount of socialization in my life but also a LOT of down time.
I have never been able to envision being with someone else, and it's been over six years already. There are a few reasons for this. One of them is that I was always quirky and odd, my husband was quirky and odd in the same way, and I can't imagine finding anyone who would elicit that "Yes, you are my tribe" feeling. And I haven't (not that I've been looking).
Another, at the risk of TMI, is that I lost all interest in sex when menopause hit. I hear women talk abut the contacts they get on dating sites, and I'm disgusted. Not morally disgusted, but at the assumption that women are sex-starved harpies who will jump into bed with anyone. (Disclaimer: If that is your cup of tea, ladies, have at it. It's just not for me.)
And then there's the question of not wanting to "go out there" to be judged as to my desirability in a world that worships youth, thinness, and beauty, none of which I have. Why put myself through that? I know what my worth is as a human being and partner, but the truth is that looks are what people see first, and many just can't get past that. (I've been guilty of this myself when I was young, but some of that was that my mother always said I couldn't expect to have someone tall and attractive because I wasn't pretty like my sister, so it was important to me to prove her wrong.)
Then there are financial considerations. I am financially independent and really don't want to risk my financial security on someone who might be looking for "a nurse and a purse." Which brings us to the health and time issue. At 64, men my age are interested in women in their 40s and 50s at most. So my dating pool would be men in their 70s and 80s. And quite frankly, I don't want to deal with the health problems of someone I haven't had time to build that strong bond with.
I've gone through the drill of "What would I be looking for in another person?" And it always comes back that the only one I want is the one I had.
So I'm at peace with the idea that the "loving and being loved" part of my life is over. It makes me sad sometimes, but I try to focus on the small miracle that I had 30 years with someone who was the perfect oddball for me. I only wish I'd remembered that during the bad times.
I think it is easier when you are older to just "hang it up." i was 58 when my husband died which is kind of on the bubble of being OK with that part being over. I think it's hard for women who are in their 40s and 50s, because they are bumping up against the youth and beauty fetish, whereas by the time I was two years into this journey, I was already 60 and it was "OK" to just say "Naah. I'm done."
In my mind no one could compare to Janet. Also, at 65 I'm so set in my ways (stubborn German) that it would be unfair to subject anyone to me.
NoLongerinBergenJC so much of what you have written echoes my own feelings, especially the line where you said you don't want to risk your financial security on someone looking for "a purse and a nurse". I had to chuckle at that.... I too am blessed that at this point I am financially independent. Also, I took care of my husband through two major medical crisis....one when he suffered a stroke in 1998 and when he had to go on dialysis in 2013. We had known each other in the 6th grade and at 20 and 22 were reacquainted and united forever. I have no regrets It was a honor to have been there for him when he needed me the most. When he was admitted to the hospital this last time I was committed to doing whatever was needed. That's how much I loved my husband. That said, I am 71 years old and I know the ups and downs of being a caretaker. I do not want to even contemplate putting myself in that situation or vice versa. I too had a lot of eccentricities. Thank God for giving me a mate who lovingly put up with me and never once complained. When others would comment he would just shoo them off , put his arm around me and declare that's why he loved me all the more. I really don't see anyone out there having that kind of patience or tolerance. So as I have said before....I'm good! Thank you so much for your comments. It helps to know I'm not the only one feeling this way.
If another relationship is in my future I’d prefer to have one where we reside in our own homes but see each other frequently. I would keep it an exclusive relationship but still not give up our own lives as they exist now. Does that sound strange? I just feel we might be to set in our ways to change entirely. That said I’m not really looking or expecting anything right now. Whatever happens, happens and I guess I’m OK with it.
No, it doesn't sound strange. I actually know a married couple who live next door to each other! They each have their own nome, bUT do most everything together! Hey, I say, whatever works for the two of you. I also think what you are saying is you like the freedom of having your own time for your own hobbies. I miss my husband every day , but he was retired and I was still working. He had all day to do his own thing, but when I got home he wanted to be together. I don't think he realized I needed some self time, too. Once in a while. And, girlfriend time.
I went a year after my wife passed before I started thinking that being alone was not my thing. So I decided to try dating and see what happened. At first, I had a few okay dates here and there, but they were one or 2 dates per person and that was it. I then decided it wasn't working so much for me so I stopped for a couple of months using the apps. I had bought a 6-month subscription so I decided to try again in the last month and that is when I found the person I have now been dating for 5 months. I am an introvert, and I have very few friends, but I am an introvert who hates to be truly alone. I like to have a companion who is there with me, tells me things and whom I can hug and hold hands with. I like the human touch and for me, I am not a real casual person when it comes to relationships, I tend to dive in. I am in my late 40s, I could not imagine the prospect of living potentially 50 years alone. I don't have kids, my family is small and I don't see them very often as they are all in other states, and almost all my friends are married and the ones that aren't, aren't in the area.
Each person will find their way through this maze of life, and for some of us it will be one and done, for others we may go back to the well multiple times to see if we can't find love again. No way is right or wrong, it is what makes each of us enjoy the life we have. That said, I don't think it dishonors my late wife for me to be with someone new, there is no way she would have expected me to live the rest of my life alone.
Nice to hear Tony. Wondered if you ever sorted out your complicated feelings that you expressed in your earlier posts. Be happy. Love always sets free and if allowed love always expands because it is limitless. Hugs! lj
Something that kind of fits in our discussion which a friend sent me this morning.
Hope it helps.
Life does go on, and if you can share it with someone, all the better!
To have someone to hold,
someone to love,
someone to walk with,
someone to talk to,
someone to share your life with, well, you get the picture! That's what makes the world go round and life worth living.
God gave us help meats, that we might have life in abundance.
There is just something about a lady that adorns a man's life, like nothing else can.
Her warm embrace!
Her gentle ways!
Her femininity adorns our masculinity and fulfills us as nothing else can.
God fills up our spirit, a woman fills up our arms and makes a house a home.
A woman adorned with the Holy Spirit is more than a lover, she's your soul mate!
And if you lose one and be so blessed to find another as I was...... It can be all you want it to be.
Just cherish her, and leave the baggage behind.
Believe me! Trains don't run on a torn-up track, no matter who tears them up.
So leave the baggage at the station when you say "I Do" again!
It's a whole new beginning, don't drag into it what you can't change. Leave it at the station.
It's a whole new beginning for you and her.. Set your heart free, give it wings to fly, for you will never pass this way again!
For, your sake, drink life to it's full. Love is the breath of life that makes the heart sing!
I know, it's not easy to let go. I've been prying my fingers lose for a long time. And hanging on in the rain can cripple you for life.
You've got to turn lose at some point in your free fall, spread your wings and soar above the pain and live in the sunshine of love.
P.S. I've got to stop now, there's a thunderstorm ahead........ "Pray for me, I'm in a bit of a fog. I'm flying blind! The last time I did this, I crashed and burned. But I'm going to be OK as soon as I can get my wings fix!
Regarding your comment:
"and leave the baggage behind"
Janet and our life together (even through her short illness) never was or will be considered "baggage"
The baggage is the pain we hold on to, not the memories. Sorry for your lost. I know the pain of that all too well. That's what I am trying to turn lose of, the pain! That's why I'm here, trying to heal, like the rest of you. Thanks for the kind words from you all.
P. S. I didn't mean to be unkind., sorry!
Rhythmic Sounds of Pain!
The pain that flows through my emotional veins is excruciating at times! A little music and kind words are soothing to the heart and soul.
When I study, I like a little music. It sooth my emotions.
Changing your train of thought is also helpful, it tens to derail the pain by switching tracks of thought. Not always easy to do, I know, but I keep working on it.
Thank you for the clarification.
There are many like myself that do not want to let go of the "pain" since that is one of things that keep us connected to our wife/husband. But I'm also connected with memories and love, pain is just one of the connections. However in my mind, you lose one, you lose all.