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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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Rich, 

Fellow introvert here. 

Some people might think that a 2-3 year period would be a sign of respect, while others might wait for six months to a year and others wait more than five years. [I know of a widower who was asking friends to "fix him up" at his own wife's wake--no joke; conversersely, I know of another widower who began dating again (and later married) at eight years.] 

I think that this comes under the heading of "Everyone is different"/"To each his own".

John:

Thank you for your response.

I know a woman that got asked out by a widower at his wife's wake. They later remarried.

I had a cousin about 20 older than myself who appeared very devoted to his wife, both were active in the church, started dating when they were 16. She dies of cancer at 49 and boom he is marrying the divorcee down the street all in 6 months. I didn't get it, still don't get it.

When you are in a healthy marriage how can you so quickly discard that life? Just seems very self centered to me.

Rich

I wouldn't say that people "discard" what they had. This is a major change in our lives, and we are starting from Square One as we figure out our new life--whether that be alone, or with a new partner/mate. I do worry about those individuals who try to "replace" the new relationship for the old one. 

I think that everyone wants to be loved--even those of us who are introverted. I venture to say that it is possible to love two people in different ways, although I can't say that I have had any success in this area myself. I am also in Year IX as a widower, so I have had casual dating experiences...and am still single. I figure that, if something happens--either way--I will be OK with the results and am free to explore things. Being widowed, I am doing nothing legally, socially, morally or religiously [were I religious] "wrong" in seeing other women from time to time.

Some people merely "survive" while others "thrive"--it's all in one's outlook. 

Rich, I think sometimes people just want to fill the hole in their lives.  I know someone who started dating six months after her husband died tragically in an accident. It's usually a mistake, but sometimes not. Some people start sleeping around compulsively.  Grief, especially new grief, is a terrible thing to endure, as we all know here.  I don't blame anyone for wanting to not go through it, to try and make it go away by "filling the hole".  I  know that the hole can't be filled and we have to learn how to be whole ourselves before we can make good choices, that there are no shortcuts through grief.  But I don't blame someone for finding it unbearable and thinking someone else is the answer.

Totally agree!

Rich,

Similar to your cousin, my cousins lost her mother to cancer and her father quickly remarried and is very happy. I see it that some people don't do single well, while others thrive and some are absolutely miserable. I believe we run the risk of making a big mistake if we rush. I was very happily  married, but when my husband died I went on a few dates about 8 months later. Over 2 years later, still haven't  found 'the guy' but I have learned alot. A friend of mine lost her husband 7 months ago and has been living with a boyfriend  for months. I really want to find someone, but I now realize I was in so much pain from my loss that I thought I could bury the pain by finding a new partner. Wrong. But we can't control all our subconscious thoughts.

I'm really glad I have set high standards and I will wait as long as it takes! And I am living with  my father who has dementia in Michigan, but I am usually  in Florida. So probably good I'm still single... 

One more thing, I may not have partnered up, but I've made some really good friends, so I'm not disappointed in my dating life!

RE: The obsession of starting a new relationship. Finding a new spouse has lots of factors.

Your age, whether there are children in the home or not, financial considerations, how long you were married, what was the quality of your marriage, just to name a few. In my case, it was a marriage of almost 50 years, but it was not a good marriage and probably should not have lasted that long.  It took me two years before I started to date and then it was because I wanted someone who would enhance my life. My children and grandchildren were grown and there were few responsibilities any more. I wanted guy to be a companion and join me in traveling and laughing and being playful because that was missing from my daily life. Fortunately we found each other and life has been very good the last four years.

I am in awe of those who did have long-lasting loves in their lives and they are so very blessed. There should never be any pressure on them to create anything different in their life. We each walk our own path and should be respectful of our differences.

Barbee:

Thank you for your response puts a added perspective on things. 

Rich

I was married to a wonderful man and the marriage was a match made in heaven. He died almost 3 years ago and my first relationship was less than a year after he died- re-connected with an old friend from college.  I'm now dating a very nice man I met on Match.com.  

Ron, my late husband, was 15 years older and had some health issues; I knew this was the likely scenario.  I enjoyed having a good man in my life so, yes, I went looking for one again. We live a little over an hour apart from each other and neither of us is interested in remarrying (he divorced 7 years ago).  We just enjoy ding things together.  And, frankly, my husband and I had a "dry spell" the last few years of the marriage- his stamina had decreased as he got into his mid-70s and as his health problems worsened.  Yeah, I missed that, too.  I'm happy to have that part of my life back again and I wanted to wait till I found someone I liked and trusted and whose company I enjoyed in EVERY room of the house.

Rich i don't think you dishonor your wife if you find another woman...i think that all of us  want back that happiness to share our life with a special person...everyone of us   lost it and we're only trying to regain that wonderful life...ciao roxi

This widower was in the group who said that I was never going to date again.   I had a good run with my deceased wife for nearly 20 years. (See screen shot for exact length of marriage).  In my 2nd month on Widville one of the ladies sent me her phone number through Widville mail asking me to call her.  I was shocked by this and had no intention of calling her.  We had friended one another and had a couple emails to each other via Widville but I didn't anticipate exchanging phone numbers.  Another email from her through Widville email and she was still awake having a bad night like I was and it 2:00 a.m.  Now I never cheated on my deceased wife and calling this lady from Widville seemed so wrong like I was cheating on my deceased wife. 

Then I got to thinking about the 2-times my deceased wife when living woke me up in the morning of the night crying and ordering me to be happy when she was gone.   Dazed and confused by this the 1st time I asked what are you talking about ?  She went on to basically order me to find another love for my own sanity, happiness, and hopefully a good role model for our 2 school age daughters.   Both times I was woke up and given this order it made me made.   I said there is no way I am going to do this because I'm married to you. 

So at 3:00 a.m. I got to thinking if I'm in the Indianapolis area and the lady from Widville is from Delaware what harm could come from talking on the phone especially if I set and adhered to some boundaries.  I told myself we'd never see each other so one call couldn't hurt anything.   

This lady from Widville  (Delaware) and I talked about our deceased spouses for 3 solid hours with the both of us crying our eyes out on the phone.   Turns out she was never going to date anyone either.   Now I'm feeling safe around this woman because we're both on the same page here and feeling very much still married to our deceased spouses.  At the end of the call she asked if we could chat more later on in the future should one of us get to having a bad day.   I was feeling a little bit better having talked to another person who completely "got my pain" and said yes by all means we should continue to talk as it helped the way I was feeling and she said it helped her too.  Time went on and we had many more phone calls and more tears than either of us could count. Then we noticed that we were excited about coming home from work again and couldn't wait to hear how the other person's day went.   We literally went from 2 people who couldn't get out of bed for our grief to 2 people who were now working again and had a purpose.  The lady from Delaware was a sales representative and at the time I was a field inspector for earthen dams in Indiana.  So with me going to the field by myself and sometimes running into dangerous situations she wanted to know my schedule in case I didn't answer her call or make a call to her at the end of the day.   She and I were inadvertently checking in with one another just like we both had when our spouses were alive. 

Then one day I was going to the field and she was in a sales meeting when she saw the CNN scroll on the boardroom TV telling of several tornados in Indiana.  She excused herself from the meeting so she could call me and find out if I was OK.  She literally freaked out crying on the phone when she heard through the phone all the hailstones hitting my truck and the tornado sirens sounding.   I told her to hold on as I was going to try and outrun this storm because I could see where it ended.   It was at this moment when we both realized that we both had a lot of "Living Yet To Do".  

Long story somewhat shorter.   We both were out on dates locally that didn't work out.  We made arrangements to get together in person.   But before that happened I had someone ask me to consider another lady who lived in Baltimore.   I  asked the lady in Delaware what her thoughts were about she and I having a serious relationship given our vast differences; 16-years age difference, me with 2 kids and her with none ect. etc.  The lady in Delaware said that we would make better friends than long-term lovers as she didn't want to have kids or to become an instant mom.  She urged me to go out on this blind date and give her the scoop.  Well I did go out on the blind date (Baltimore) and eventually married her.   

Get this, on one of my trips to Baltimore my blind date and now 2nd chapter wife Tamela and I went on a double date with the lady in Delaware; she and  her then date - now husband attended my 2nd wedding. The lady from Delaware and I are best friends still to this day. 

So that is the short story of my story. 

Now I tell all widowed people to never say never when it comes to dating after loss. 

Take care. 

Doug 


Doug:

Thanks for your post.

Although my intention is not to date your post (and others) helps me realize that my opinion is just what it is...an opinion, not a roadmap for everyone.

Rich

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