Hi all. I lost my husband 18 months ago, and know that timelines are specific to the individual, but for me, I would love to have a companion. The sad part is, everytime I think about it, I impose restrictions that would be impossible to meet. For instance, I would love to meet someone with no children I would have to contend with. I also hate the thoughts of someone with a large family that I would have to navigate through the drama they bring. Is this selfish? There will never be one like my husband and perhaps that is what I am really seeking to have. People do form new relationships. I just don't know how they manage to do it.
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Hi Athena, Like you, my husband was caring, brilliant and funny. After he passed (7.5 yrs) I opened myself up for dating a few years after. There were none out there that had all the qualities of my husband. He had been a lawyer turned home builder and also was my second husband that I married at 31. My 1irst husband is a doctor and also smart but not witty. I think the was the poem goes, my next one would be an Indian chief. Anyway, it's sort of like the show House Hunters, each candidate has pluses and minuses. In my case, more of the latter. I've decided that I will not settle and if there isn't anyone out there that's perfect for me, I'll be okay. Who wants to do someone else's laundry anymore? We need to focus on ourselves kindly and leave it in the hands of fate.
This is a very interesting conversation. Truth be told I have been off this site for many years as I got tired of some of the negative environment/discussions. I know we all approach grief differently and it will always be a part of me but I needed a positive environment to help me through the beginning of 'this new life', so I left this site. This thread somehow appeared in my email (I guess I am somehow still attached to this group) and I felt compelled to respond. As I mentioned previously, my husband died 4 years ago, and I met a wonderful man 2 years ago...it was serendipity, karma, kismet. Jim is so different than my husband Dick. I find that he has brought out a side of me that I didn't realized existed. I'm exploring things I thought I was not interested in (but I agree with Athena, no pro sports, video games, or violent movies!).
Last night , though, I was overcome with grief, just like the grief I had experienced shortly after Dick died, but I realized the grief was not for Dick (although that will always be there) but for me, for the independent woman I had become after Dick died and before I met Jim. I miss that woman. And so, I made a decision to renew that relationship with that smart, funny, happy independent woman I somehow lost pieces of, while growing my relationship with Jim. It's about being true to yourself. I truly believe that it can be done, be that independent woman AND be in a loving relationship. I think at our age, we can better define who we are, what a loving relationship is to us, and then make it all work. If anything happens to Jim or our relationship, I know I will survive because I have been through that hellish tunnel before and came out the other end, maybe a little scraped and raw, but I came through it stronger.
It's exciting to redefine yourself whether you do it alone or with a partner. Just know, you don't need to rush anything. Take your time, enjoy the moment, be open to possibilities, look at things in a new way. If we all do that, then life will take care of us and give us what or who we need when we need it.
Claire, thanks for that perspective. When Ron and I met I'd just been through a messy divorce and he was coming off a long-term relationship that had run its course. I was 43 and he was 58. For 6 years we dated and frequently spent the nights at each others' houses and it worked well. We married after we moved halfway across the country for my job and that worked well, too, because we were both introverted enough to want personal space on a regular basis. I can't see moving in together or getting married again. With Ron, I was sure (and I was right)- but now it would just be too much turmoil to reverse if things soured.
Right now the way I explain it is that I'm still figuring out what I want the rest of my life to look like.
I am so glad this discussion prompted so much response. I was in the kitchen just now and reflecting on all of this and came to a realization. I don't want a permanent, constant, live-in companion. I just want someone I can call and say "Do you want to catch a move" or "Let's get a bite to eat." Even my friends have been deficient in that department. Just because I've become widowed doesn't mean I wouldn't appreciate a phone call inviting me out. This is what frustrates me. And yes, I do bring it up to them, but it's always "Yes, we need to do that sometime." Trouble is sometime never happens. Do you find this as well?
I have been fortunate with our friend on Cape Cod (where Dick and I lived). Dick and I were part of an eight couple group that used to go to the beach, holiday dinners, cocktails, etc. After Dick died, I was fortunate that I was still a part of this group but it was always the couples. And they have been wonderful as accepting Jim in my life. Because most of this group are retired, many go south for the fall/winter so things kind of stop. I do have one girlfriend (we connected through a mutual friend) on the Cape whose husband died around the same time as Dick who I get together with when I'm on the Cape.
Through Jim (we share a place 75 miles north of my condo on the Cape, which I still have and stay at a few days during the week. I also have my jewelry studio there so it's like I'm going to work when I go to the Cape) I have met a lot of wonderful women here in Scituate. Some are married, some single, some divorced or widowed.
I consider myself very lucky to have both these worlds.
Tess you are so right. I talk to myself and think the same things. I know I am fun, but have no real friends anymore. It looks like there are couples and no seperates. Maybe they hide like I do sometimes. beans