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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. 

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Even if you and "T" end up in the friend zone, that's not a bad thing.  That shared history that you have with "T" is important for a close relationship, whatever form that relationship takes.

That "shared history" is, I think, one of the things that keeps me from wanting a relationship with anyone else.  I just feel that at 64, and with a dating pool consisting of men in their 70s and up (under the reality that men tend to want younger women), there really isn't the life expectancy to build the kind of shared history and true knowledge of someone else (and he of me) that is really the biggest thing I miss in my very good life now. A sizable number of people who have met someone else have found that someone else to be either someone they already know or someone they knew a long time ago.  I think it makes it easier.

Back in the 70s, I broke up with my college boyfriend, when I graduated college because neither of us were able to stand up to our mothers.  His mother thought I was white trash because my parents were divorced, and my mother hated him because he was not "courting" her as much as she felt she was due. He was kind of "the one who got away" and I spent the next six years hoping to meet "L" but without the affluent family and mother from hell.  When I met my husband, I found that guy -- he really WAS "L" without the mother from hell. And we were together 30 years.

If "L" were widowed or divorced and looked me up, would I meet up with him just to see? Maybe.  But barring that it's hard for me to imagine meeting someone else, and frankly, I don't want to put myself out there to be judged not youthful enough, too short, too fat, too old, not pretty enough, and so on.  Been there, done that in my 20s and it was not fun then.  It would be awful now.

I hope that whatever form your relationship with "T" takes, it is satisfying for you.  :-)

I felt the same for over 7 years, Rich. I worked hard to create a new life full of all sorts of things so that I could fill this last season of my life living alone. I stood on the soap box for others who didn't want to date … because it seems many just expect that we will want that. I did not and truly believed I would spend the next 30+ years alone by choice. I was married for 41 years - since I was 18 - and just could not imagine having another man in my life. I was happy for those friends who found new loves. It just wasn't for me.

But a year ago I decided to give dating a try (hated it, actually) but was blessed to meet someone fairly quickly. He's widowed, too, and we both are comfortable mentioning our spouses and sharing our previous lives with one another. 

I don't believe in judging others, so if someone decides to date quickly that is their choice. Some people just cannot live alone. I don't believe it means they didn't love their spouse or they aren't honoring them. Life is complicated sometimes.

Life goes on and what I want and what I have are two different things.  I can't build a new relationship for hanging on to the past, to what I've lost and still love so deeply.  But if I don't turn loose of what I've lost it's going to tear me apart.  I'm worn out with the pain of grieving.  There is a time for everything.  This is my year for healing, to set my house in order emotionally.  Divorced and widowed, thirty years plus one and a half of bittersweet memories is enough!  I am going to grab a handful of sunshine in one hand and joy in the other.  I'm going to live like there's no to-marrow, dance in the sunshine and cry in the rain and pray that these tears of mine will wash away the pain of remembrance..... So help me God!

What you might find is healing is needed to resolve grief ...

No part of grief goes away without patience while learning to cope w/loss ...

Many people date or remarry while continuing to grieve as they find a need to move onto a board or forum specifically for the remarried/new relationship ...

For myself, just the thought of struggling with divided emotions was troublesome, annoying & far too much work to distract me from my goal of restoring my life to a healthy state ...

I never tried dating, however, its okay to try it out to see if suits you ..

Emptiness lingered for 6+ years till I found the only person that could make me happy - my focus had to be on me, otherwise, I would be living through another person's life ...

This is what I did when my husband was alive as well as during the time I was raising my kids. I was useful to other people, but hardly aware of what I needed to make a life for myself ...

Be patient with yourself & seek out adventures when possible ...

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