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 (from days to 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.
Sorry for your loss, I can understand your position and I thought that I personally wouldn't think of dating again or looking at another relationship, after losing my wife of 22 years, Lisa to Breast Cancer and Metatastic Brain Tumours. My wife and I thought we would grow old together and continue Cruising in out Golden years. But this wasn't to be.
Lisa was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in Sep 2016, the following April Lisa was first diagnosed with her Brian Tumour, while in hospital she wrote me a letter telling me that she wanted to me to meet someone when she passed, as she knew I would need someone to share my life with and be a mum figure for our three kids. At first I thought nah I couldn't think of being with anyone else, and my daughter who was 14 at the time said she only had one mum and that I had to be single for the rest of my life.
I was going through a very dark time last year in May of 2018, very much at the lowest of lows, was over 125kg, and not sleeping as I was Lisa's full-time carry since April 2017, and wasn't getting support from family and being told I wasn't doing enough (yet I was doing everything), I felt that I got to a point that I was going to walk out on life, but a friend reconnected via Facebook at a time that I needed someone, we talked a lot and even called, back ground info is I've know "T" since we were 12 years old and even dated through High School in our senior years.
"T" was my first love and High School sweet heart, Lisa had meet "T" as we had gone to her wedding in 97' as she had come to ours in 96'. and in 2018 Lisa asked more about "T" and what she was up to and how she was going, it was like she was happy that I had "T" back as a friend and I think that she wanted me to have a friend after she passed, and in hind sight we had a lot of conversations about me find someone that I could be with and that would see our kids as theirs and be there for me and them.
When Lisa passed on the 24th Jan 2019 (10 months yesterday) "T" and I talked everyday it helped me a lot as I was dreaming of Lisa passing in front of me every night for two weeks, I was at the hospital with my three kids when Lisa passed. "T" got me through that I even felt like I was cheating on Lisa, but realised that I was now a Widower (that took bit to swallow), My kids noticed I was feeling better and smiling, and told me to talk to "T" more (I was still having more bad days than good) I even lost weight, from Feb to June I lost 20kgs. I spoke to my kids about "T" and how we were talking more and more, and asked what they thought about it, Ash was very happy for me as she was now in a relationship herself and now knew what it was like to have someone to share every day things with, my oldest son told me what ever makes you happy dad, while my youngest just wanted a mum in his life, as he was coming up 9 when Lisa got breast cancer and she really couldn't be a mum while she fought for time, she tried but I took on the role as Mum, Dad, Chef, Uber driver, Drug Dispenser, PA, Nurse and in the final weeks Husband.
I live on the west side of Australia and "T" on the East, that's over 4000km between us, I meet up with her this year in June, we were both very scared as we didn't want to loose our friendship we came to realise that we both never had feels that were more than "Friends".
I take every day as it comes and if "T" and I get together next year, then I am all for that, I wasn't looking for love again and didn't think I would, but I feel that Lisa gave me her blessing last year and pushed me towards "T" and knew that she would be there for me and my kids.
Do I believe that you can find love a second time? or in my case restart a relationship.
Walk through your Bad Days, Embrace your Good Days....
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 ...
Losing someone you love is heart breaking, I'm only 4 months down the line since losing my wife of 33 years and I hate every day that I am alone but I am slowly learning that however many tears I cry and I cry often it will not bring her back.
She fought cancer for 4 years and during that time we spoke often about what would happen after she died. She always said "It's ok to be sad when I die but eventually I want you to be happy and if you meet someone else then you have my blessing!"
I struggled with this and told her I didn't want anyone else and I meant it with all of my heart. What I didn't realise until after my wife died that she had had the same conversations with both my daughters as well and told them both to tell me that I still had a long time left and that I should find someone to love.
Four months in and I'm certainly not ready for a relationship. These are strange times with Covid and I must admit that I took social isolation to the extreme and still only venture out if I really need to so the chances of a relationship are essentially nil. I do know that at some point that I am going to have to rejoin humanity in some way but in the meantime I am busy adapting as best I can.
In regard to grieving, time can be your friend. Your broken heart needs to heal first. You will find the right person to enhance your life when the time its right. Be patient and love yourself for now.
Jumping into a new relationship before you have your head on straight is a dandy way to make a very big mistake. It takes time to get used to life without your wife, to do some soul-searching and see if you DO want to find a new partner, and if you do, what you're looking for. It's not fair to either you or another person to expect her to be just like your wife. Take your time.
The widows I know who have waited a while are the ones who have been successful in a new relationship. The ones who jumped into bed with others, well, it ended in disaster.
As for me? Well, I am nearly seven years into this and really have no interest. My entire circle of friends is women who are single for various reasons, and I would not want to give up my friends. The longer I am alone, the less interest I have.
You will know when/if you are ready.
6 months ago tomorrow my wife died suddenly. We never had the conversation, but I think she did say something like "Dad would suck at being alone" to my daughters. If so, she was right. I'm fine with the day to day practical stuff like cooking, laundry, etc., but I suck at not having someone (other than myself) to cook for. Somewhere around 3 months ago I decided that although I wasn't ready for, or interested in any sort of dating, I would be open to something if it came along. Not at all to replace my late wife. After 40+ years together, that simply isn't possible. What is possible, at least for me, is maybe a life worth living if I'm open to it.
Hi Estragon. I enjoyed reading your little dilemma of not having anyone to cook for anymore. It reminded me of my sweet Alex who lived to cook for his children, parents and for me. Being widowed, we see things that we enjoy most like our life partners are no longer around, not coming back to share our recipes, morning coffee, early evenings unwinding with 1/2 glass of wine or beers, simple pleasures that accompanied our treasured conversations and time together!
I'm sorry about Your wife sudden passing 6 mos ago. My life partner died suddenly last February 20, 2019 after a fatal accident. We didn't talk about the day when one of us shall pass but he did tell me that death would be only reason that will separate us. One of the things I like most about this site is that we all share "being loved" and missing that very dear person we shared our wonderful life with. With this Covid19, I'm struggling with isolation. So I'm thankful for WV to have this avenue to read others stories, reply or respond back and in away a form of conversation. Like you and everyone else, we can most relate when our old paired up friends try but not quite getting our feelings and experiences. Have a nice weekend.