I'm so sorry for your loss. As for your dilemma, might I offer this:
I am a retired Marriage and Family Therapist. it sounds like this relationship is not off to a good start. There's a saying: If your family and your friends don't like him, there's a reason. First, he's jealous of your first husband. That is a warning sign. If he's jealous now, he's going to continue to be jealous. Jealousy is about fear. He's afraid he won't get enough of you and he will always be in competition with your first husband.
I understand your daughter's feelings. I can only guess at the reasons. But if they resent him or dislike him, they may feel he is a "replacement" for their dad - not that that's your intention, it's just they way they feel. Can you talk to them about it and find out why they despise him? It may give you some clarity.
But you are right that if you are having problems now, they won't go away. If you really want this relationship, I'd suggest trying some therapy. It can help you to communicate what is really going on.
I wish you good luck, and know that you will make the decision that is right for you.
Thank you very much for your reply. My girls and I have been discussing the reasons they do not like him - mainly they think he has communication issues- which is partially true but in his defense I would be unsure of myself around them considering their rudeness, they do not like the way he raised his children - they feel he ignored them and that is why the son is in rehab and thirdly they feel I can do better.
I think he is very insecure and I do not know at 54 if he can overcome this. I do not know if I can overcome all these obstacles with him. He and I are both in therapy separately - he is going for addition therapy for his son and I am still going to my therapist. He told me last night he was jealous of me because I had another love of my life and he never had one. That makes me very sad. When I am with him I do not see all of this because he does make me happy in the moment (not sex) just hanging out.
Anyway thank you for answering me because even as I am writing this I see with more clarity what I ultimately need to do. I've never broken up with someone and this sucks - luckily not as bad as your partner dying. Thank God because I can't do that again.
We are all so different, that's for sure. I was married for 28 years, we were best friends for 37 years. I'm an empty nester now. I'm not wired to be lonely, nor was Cindy. It's been five years for me since Cindy passed. Dating was such an unknown for me as it is for so many of us. With time I found that it was easy to meet people, although not necessarily always the right person. That realization did make me more grounded.
My family and my children are so important to me. I have realized so many of my hopes and dreams in life, so in some ways this is the "bonus round." I'm perfectly happy to spend the rest of my life alone, but it would be so wonderful to spend it with someone else with similar values and so much more. I have dated those that are divorced. My girlfriend that I dated for 9 months was divorced, but there was no weirdness/jealousy as it related to Cindy. A couple of the other women that I dated did have a problem with the "ghost of wife past." My significant other is a widow and that works well for me. I'm so glad that we found each other.
Thanks Doug. I'm not remarried. I have been going out with the same woman for quite some time. I joined this group so I could participate in the discussion. In my lifetime, I certainly have known and do know so many widows and widowers who have remarried.
We are all so different, that's for sure! I've know some remarried couples that do remember and celebrate together their spouses who have passed. They talk and share stories about the past, other couples not so much so.
There are so many different issues to consider, doesn't lend itself to a one size fits all answer.
My story is that I have been widowed twice, in January 1999 my first wife Jean died of congestive heart failure, leaving me as the single parent of
3 kids 1 daughter and 2 sons ages 17,15 and 12 respectively.
In February/2000, I met a widower, Carolyn in person at a young widow/widowers group that I had previously met on line, Singles with Scruples, a couple of months earlier. Prior to meeting Carolyn, I had briefly date a couple of divorcees and didn't enjoy the experience. In contrast, Carolyn and I immediately got along, she brought two younger children ages 4(daughter) and 9(son) into my life. We were married in July/2000. Life was good again, Carolyn understood that a piece of my heart would always belong to my first wife and I understood the same about how she felt about her first husband. We understood that even the best days were tinged with a little sadness because of what our first spouses were missing. We experienced many wonderful times together.
I felt that having been widowed before was a guarantee against being widowed again. I was certain that this could never happen to me again. Well, I was naive to say the least. Carolyn was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma in August/2013, she fought bravely but eventually the cancer went to her brain which caused her death in October 2014. At that point, I was sure that I would never marry again. When you are widowed twice, you not only feel your 2nd loss, but you feel your 1st loss again as well. I got into a Hospice support group soon after Carolyn's that was led my fellow widows and widowers. I found it to be incredibly healing to be in a group led my those who "got it". I also attended two Camp Widows, CWE(2015) and CWW(2016). I found both of those CAMP experiences to be incredibly healing.
I was planning on attending my 40th HS reunion in October of 2015, but was a little apprehensive about going since I hadn't really seen any one in person from high school in years. During the previous summer, I had reached out to some of my classmates on FB to ask them to pray for my wife Carolyn. One of the women who had responded to my prayer request would check up on me from time to time to see how I was doing. She had been divorced a number of years before. We realized that we both were going to the reunion without dates, so we agreed we would go together. Well, we found it very easy to talk with each other and started to see each other. I live in NO VA, she lived in the Nashville TN area, so we did a lot of travel. I proposed in August of 2016 and we were married on May 20th, 2017, Julia's 2nd marriage, my third. We have 7 kids and 7 grand kids between us.
There is definitely a difference between marrying a widower and divorcee, it takes a lot more communication to be able to understand the life experience differences. Divorce is terribly devastating especially to the one who has been betrayed. I've told Julia because of my being married twice before, husband Steve version 3.0 is an upgraded version of the first two. I feel blessed that Julia is in my life and that I was also blessed to be married to other wonderful women who loved me until the day that they died. In my opinion, life is best when shared with someone who gets you. It'd be easy to stay on the sidelines and not to not take a risk to be involved in another relationship. But the greatest risk is to take no risk.
Thank you for sharing your remarkable story.
I loved this part:
But the greatest risk is to take no risk.
Because I have only recently come to that conclusion. My beloved husband died 5 years ago,