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  #1  
Old 05-15-2007, 09:18 PM
brewha brewha is offline
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How long should a widower wait to start dating?

Basically what the subject says. Youv'e been married to the same women for 35 yrs. She has just died of cancer. How long do you wait to start dating?

Bonus question... You have a 27 YO son that is devastated by his mom's death. How do you explain to him that it is all right to start dating after 3 months?
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  #2  
Old 05-15-2007, 09:24 PM
Scarlett67 Scarlett67 is offline
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Youv'e been married to the same women for 35 yrs. She has just died of cancer. How long do you wait to start dating?

As long as is comfortable for you.

Bonus question... You have a 27 YO son that is devastated by his mom's death. How do you explain to him that it is all right to start dating after 3 months?

You say something along the lines of, your life with his mother was so wonderful that you'd like to experience something like that again.
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  #3  
Old 05-15-2007, 09:43 PM
Eliahna Eliahna is online now
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I'd say it's bad form to bring a date to the funeral. After that - to each his own. You can't put a time limit on these things. I know a man who remarried within six months of his wife's death, while others aren't ready to date ten years on.

As for the son... it's difficult and a lot of sensitivity is required. Scarlett67's response is good, but I think with a little discretion, perhaps he doesn't even need to know for a while?
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Old 05-15-2007, 09:44 PM
alphaboi867 alphaboi867 is offline
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My uncle remarried withing 6 months of his wife's death from cancer (to a woman he met a support group while my aunt was still alive). My mother and I were the only family members to attend the wedding.
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  #5  
Old 05-15-2007, 10:13 PM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewha
Basically what the subject says. Youv'e been married to the same women for 35 yrs. She has just died of cancer. How long do you wait to start dating?
I'm sorry for your loss. (Assuming this is you we're talking about.)

In the Old DaysTM, there would have been precise rules, dictated by Etiquette, to answer just such a question. That way, as long as you followed the rules, you wouldn't have to explain yourself or worry what other people would think.

For better or for worse, those days are over. You'll have to do what seems right to you.

Quote:
Bonus question... You have a 27 YO son that is devastated by his mom's death. How do you explain to him that it is all right to start dating after 3 months?
There probably isn't a good way. Maybe something about how his mom wouldn't want you to be alone (if you believe that to be true).
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  #6  
Old 05-15-2007, 10:30 PM
Manda JO Manda JO is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarlett67
You say something along the lines of, your life with his mother was so wonderful that you'd like to experience something like that again.
I would NOT say this. It sounds too much like you are trying to replace or to replicate your old relationship. If it were my mom less than a year in the ground, I honestly think "I need the release of mindless sex" would be more comforting to me than "I want to love someone else as much as I loved your mom" would be.

Anxiety about parents dating are often rooted in a sense that you've lost one parent and here the other one is going off and forming a new family that you won't ever really have a place in the way you had a place in the old family--and that's TRUE, that is what happens. That doesn't mean the old relationship between the father and the son will have to be weakened, but there is a very real chance that it will be, so anxiety over that possibility is not crazy talk. How you soothe that anxiety is going to vary quite a bit, but it ought not be downplayed or dismissed.
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  #7  
Old 05-15-2007, 10:35 PM
Yag Rannavach Yag Rannavach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewha
Basically what the subject says. Youv'e been married to the same women for 35 yrs. She has just died of cancer. How long do you wait to start dating?
As soon as I have reason to.
Quote:
Bonus question... You have a 27 YO son that is devastated by his mom's death. How do you explain to him that it is all right to start dating after 3 months?
"You weren't dating your mother."
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  #8  
Old 05-15-2007, 10:43 PM
Enright3 Enright3 is offline
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My wife died four years ago (2003) this July 11th. This September would have been 25 years.

I started dating July 2005 only after talking to my kids about it, and my inlaws to as my wife was their only child and my children are subsequently the only link they have left to their daughter. I also asked their permission when I asked this one person to marry me.
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Old 05-15-2007, 10:44 PM
panache45 panache45 is online now
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My only answer is: you'll know you're ready when it happens. And nobody else has the right to judge how long that should be.

Just sit your son down and talk it out. He's an adult now, and should understand these things. But he will, nonetheless, have some major feelings to work through. Give him time.

And when you finally introduce the two of them, it would be really insensitive to be openly affectionate in front of him. Just cool it for a while.
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  #10  
Old 05-15-2007, 10:48 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is online now
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Originally Posted by Cazzle
I'd say it's bad form to bring a date to the funeral.
Agreed. Picking up an attractive mourner, OTOH, is perfectly acceptable.
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  #11  
Old 05-15-2007, 11:22 PM
Zoe Zoe is offline
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I married a widower with three mostly grown children. He waited almost a year before going out. But if the children of the single parent are going to resent the parent finding companionship, they may be unpleasant about it five, ten or twenty years later.

When my own father died, I encouraged my mother not to watch the calendar. Why should I be selfish about her having companionship? That had nothing to do with how much she had loved my dad.

As a result, my mother has been comfortable in talking with me about a relationship with a gentleman that has lasted for several years now. It's quite a love story. She's ninety-four.
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  #12  
Old 05-15-2007, 11:48 PM
Quiddity Glomfuster Quiddity Glomfuster is offline
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A friend lost her mother to a cancer a couple of years ago. Mom was only 47. Her dad was doing very poorly on his own. He met a lady in less than six months, they hit it off, and married last fall. Now this lady (who's 45) has ovarian cancer I feel so bad for that poor man. This new lady was a real tonic to him; I think he's one of those gents who needs to be in a relationship and his daughter realized that; while she was somewhat upset at what happened, the new lady was very nice to her and my friend realized that her dad was much better off with a nice lady in his life.
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  #13  
Old 05-15-2007, 11:53 PM
Scarlett67 Scarlett67 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manda JO
I would NOT say this. It sounds too much like you are trying to replace or to replicate your old relationship. If it were my mom less than a year in the ground, I honestly think "I need the release of mindless sex" would be more comforting to me than "I want to love someone else as much as I loved your mom" would be.
I'm having a hard time understanding how "I liked being married/in a relationship" equates to "I want to replace your mother." If anything, I would see it as a tribute to how the deceased partner made the husband a better person, happy to be in love, etc. Sort of the flip side of bitter people who get burned/divorced and then are afraid of commitment/"against marriage"/ etc. Perhaps my original wording could be tweaked a bit, but I don't see any problem with the sentiment.

I would think that once you've been (presumably happily) married for 35 years, it would be mighty hard to go back to being single, especially in an empty nest. And if the kids are well into adulthood, they need to deal with Dad dating. It's not like he's trying to bring a new mommy into their home.

I speak with a good friend very much in mind. His wife (a warm and lovely person) died of cancer just this past week, after 25 happy years of marriage. The kids are grown, although I think one may still be living at home. They basically got married right out of college, so he has never "been alone." Mr. S and I decided that we wouldn't be surprised if, after an appropriate amount of time FOR HIM, he found another special someone.

(I can't speak from he perspective of the adult child, unfortunately. I won't shed a tear for my father when he goes, and I doubt my mom would even go looking; if she goes first, I don't give a rat's ass what he does after that.)

(Looking at the OP's previous posts, it appears he is talking about someone else, not himself as either the parent or child. Is that correct?)
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  #14  
Old 05-16-2007, 04:25 AM
Carson O'Genic Carson O'Genic is offline
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Enright 3,although I don't think that's required behaviour, that's very decent of you.
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  #15  
Old 05-16-2007, 05:10 AM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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I agree with Scarlett's posts. My grandfather became a widow after 20 years of marriage (and three kids). He dated after she died, and 4 years later married a woman who is the only grandmother I know and recognize.

They were married for almost 40 years. My grandfather died a couple of years ago, and about 6 months later, my grandmother renewed the friendship she had with a childhood friend, and eventually he asked her to marry her. She was 82 while he was 80, and their wedding was beautiful. Before the wedding, they went to the cemetery and talked with their respective deceased spouses.

Why would I be concerned? I wasn't, I was happy for my grandma! She was married and in love all those years, she shouldn't be sad and lonely at the end of her life!

My grandfather had mentioned that he thought marrying after the spouse died was a better way to honor the deceased partner than not doing so. I guess because of what Scarlett's said.

Last edited by KarlGrenze; 05-16-2007 at 05:10 AM..
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  #16  
Old 05-16-2007, 05:45 AM
Kalhoun Kalhoun is offline
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I think each person is entitled to live their life as they see fit after the loss of a spouse. We had an instance in our family where the widow was pregnant and married in six months following the death. There were small children involved and she received a LOT of insurance money. The shit hit the fan and it was years before some family members would speak to her. They STILL don't speak to her new husband, and never will. It got very ugly, but hey...she's the kind of person who can't be alone and she filled the void she felt. That's her business.
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  #17  
Old 05-16-2007, 07:20 AM
Slithy Tove Slithy Tove is offline
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I waited just under a year, but like everyone here is saying, what works for you is appropriate; especially since dating is an overall learning experience anyway; it was too soon, you'll know.

I learned that I wished there were more widows in my age group. Not that I wish more guys would get knocked off; just that a lot of the single women I meet are single due to divorce, and so they tend to be angry because their ex is driving around in a corvette with some bimbette half the ex-wife's age. When your ex is in an urn in the next room you don't have these issues, so it's hard to relate.

Plus, I really hate sympathy; or rather, I crave it and then I realize it's an unhealthy craving. The women who make a big deal of offering it are just playing with you, but the women who don't take your grief into account don't care about your feelings in general.

I've had it used as a convenient deal-breaker: "I've decided I was just stressed out about my job/relationship with my kid/divorce/etc, and I was just acting-out sexually with you. I don't really have feelings for you (but just so I don't look like the bad guy here) I don't think you really have feelings for me, either: you're just insecure because of your wife's death."

Or how about this one:

"So where is your wife" (valid question - there's a lot of players out there)
"She died early last year."
"How did she die?"
(Oh shit, another direct question, but this one isn't as easy)
"She committed suicide."
"GASP - WHAT DID YOU DO TO HER?"

So when's a good time to start dating again? Oh, never, since "good" and "dating" are 99% mutually exclusive concepts. Ah, what the hell, why should our suffering as widowers exempt us from what everyone else suffers as daters?

As for the son, well, my daughter took it better than I did. They know they got their lives ahead of them and are ready to move on. We old guys have to grapple with the possibility of "oh shit - was that it? Did I just get involuntary early retirement?"
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  #18  
Old 05-16-2007, 08:23 AM
Sailboat Sailboat is offline
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Isn't it "Until death do us part,"?

Not "Until death, and the unrealized fantasies, unsolved guilt, secret fears, undiagnosed neuroses, and assorted hang-ups of various descendents, ancestors, meddling friends, and hangers-on, are resolved, do us part."

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Old 05-16-2007, 11:28 AM
MovieMogul MovieMogul is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarlett67
I'm having a hard time understanding how "I liked being married/in a relationship" equates to "I want to replace your mother." If anything, I would see it as a tribute to how the deceased partner made the husband a better person, happy to be in love, etc. Sort of the flip side of bitter people who get burned/divorced and then are afraid of commitment/"against marriage"/ etc. Perhaps my original wording could be tweaked a bit, but I don't see any problem with the sentiment.

I would think that once you've been (presumably happily) married for 35 years, it would be mighty hard to go back to being single, especially in an empty nest. And if the kids are well into adulthood, they need to deal with Dad dating. It's not like he's trying to bring a new mommy into their home.

I speak with a good friend very much in mind. His wife (a warm and lovely person) died of cancer just this past week, after 25 happy years of marriage. The kids are grown, although I think one may still be living at home. They basically got married right out of college, so he has never "been alone." Mr. S and I decided that we wouldn't be surprised if, after an appropriate amount of time FOR HIM, he found another special someone.
I think your explanation is a good argument for the position of "I don't like being alone/I want an opportunity to socialize with other people/I enjoy companionship and miss it."

But saying "I liked being married/in a relationship" jumps one step even further ahead. The former says "I like the company", the latter suggest "I'm looking for another mate." How could a grief-stricken kid not interpret that as "looking for a replacement"?

I would think framing the situation in simple emotional terms (solitude vs. socializing) and not ambitious ones (looking for love) would not only be more honest, but less threatening to anyone else seriously hurt by the recent (or even not-so-recent) passing.

Last edited by MovieMogul; 05-16-2007 at 11:29 AM.. Reason: punctuation
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  #20  
Old 05-16-2007, 03:31 PM
Dangerosa Dangerosa is offline
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I think that it can be quite different with something like cancer - where you generally know for a long time and go through a lot of the grieving process before the death. You also often seem to meet other similarly aged survivors - the "I married someone who lost their partner that I met in support group" seems like a common scenario. For that reason, dating after terminal illness seems to happen faster than in sudden death situation - often within months. And doesn't seem inappropriate since everyone is ready to move on.

As to grown children, sensativity is important, but so are establishing boundries. Explaining that "you loved their mother very much and will always have a hole where she was" while also explaining "I'm lonely, I want to find someone to share my life with, this is the rest of MY life and I'm not going to clear my dates with my children."
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  #21  
Old 05-16-2007, 03:48 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is online now
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WIFE: . . . [*cough*] . . . Listen, dear . . . This is important . . . After I die I want you to marry again . . . and I want you to give your new wife all of my jewelry . . . [*cough*] . . . and all of my clothes . . .

HUSBAND: Oh, darling, I couldn't do that! She's a size 8 and you're only a 4!
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  #22  
Old 05-16-2007, 04:46 PM
brewha brewha is offline
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The OP was a but vague on where I fit in on the question. I'm the son. I just found out that my dad is dating and has been dating for some time now. I'm just having a hard time dealing with it.

I haven't talked to him since he brought it up, and I'm trying to figure out what to do/how to act when I do speak to him again.

It is not my call when he starts dating. I have my own life 200 miles from him. I just hope he understands that I'm going to have a difficult time dealing with this for awhile.
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  #23  
Old 05-16-2007, 05:00 PM
StGermain StGermain is online now
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My parents were married almost fifty years. In the case of my mother, she married one of my father's best friends (going back to Jr High) less than six months after Dad's death. And she chose to tell me on my birthday, less than three months after Dad died, that this was her plan. "Happy Birthday! Here's a punch in the gut!"

I had very hard feelings, particularly after she said "Dogs won't cut it as a companion for me", in reference to my single life with a couple dogs. I took over year to reconcile myself to it, but I will say that Jim treats my mother wonderfully, and I'm glad he's there to care for her. On th edown side, she has this idea that there should be some sort of familial ralationship between me and my siblings and Jim's kids from his first marriage. Sorry - they aren't my family.

StG
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  #24  
Old 05-17-2007, 04:44 AM
Malacandra Malacandra is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slithy Tove
"So where is your wife" (valid question - there's a lot of players out there)
"She died early last year."
"How did she die?"
(Oh shit, another direct question, but this one isn't as easy)
"She committed suicide."
"GASP - WHAT DID YOU DO TO HER?"
Yeesh. That's... uncouth.

(ETA: Is it just me, or would no-one even consider asking a widow a question like that?)

I really wish my father, then 68, had considered dating again (mind you, his elder brother has been widowed twice now). It's been just 14 years as of yesterday. I believe it may be too late now.

Last edited by Malacandra; 05-17-2007 at 04:46 AM..
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  #25  
Old 05-17-2007, 06:18 AM
Dangerosa Dangerosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewha
The OP was a but vague on where I fit in on the question. I'm the son. I just found out that my dad is dating and has been dating for some time now. I'm just having a hard time dealing with it.

I haven't talked to him since he brought it up, and I'm trying to figure out what to do/how to act when I do speak to him again.

It is not my call when he starts dating. I have my own life 200 miles from him. I just hope he understands that I'm going to have a difficult time dealing with this for awhile.
I think if you tell him that "it isn't my call, I want you to be happy, but I hope you'll understand if I have a difficult time dealing with this" you'll both be fine.
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  #26  
Old 05-17-2007, 07:13 AM
scareyfaerie scareyfaerie is offline
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Have you considered that perhaps your father had a tough enough time working out how and when to tell you that he's been dating and perhaps he expects (and understands) that there will be difficulties for you?

My advice to you would be to phone him, don't be confrontational but do explain to him that you are having a tough time dealing with things. It's important that you don't lose the relationship you have with your father over this, he's apparently doing what he feels is right for him and perhaps he felt it was better to tell you than to date someone in secrecy, not being able to share his new-found happiness with you.

In his position, yes it's only been a short time since losing his wife, but when did wallowing in self-pity and misery help anyone?

I'm sorry for your loss, and I hope you find a way to deal with your feelings without losing touch with your father.
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  #27  
Old 05-17-2007, 11:42 AM
TVeblen TVeblen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewha
The OP was a but vague on where I fit in on the question. I'm the son. I just found out that my dad is dating and has been dating for some time now. I'm just having a hard time dealing with it.

I haven't talked to him since he brought it up, and I'm trying to figure out what to do/how to act when I do speak to him again.
Don't beat yourself up for feeling weird about this, brewha. Since when are any feelings logical? About the only thing you can do is adjust at your own speed. It might help to talk with your dad about it, if that's the kind of relationship you have.

At his age, I imagine just about anybody he dates will be a widow or at least a veteran of a marriage. It just goes with the territory. This is relevant only in the sense that any new companion/possible romantic partner will be coping with a loss of her own. In my experience, folks in that position--bereaved, second time around--go into dating with a different approach. Both must come to terms with always loving the lost partner while still trying to build something new. Not, never, a replacement but something to help keep going.

Corny but true...your dad's willingness to take another chance on a companion, passing or permanent, is a real compliment to your mom and to their marriage.

Any chance you could talk to your dad about it? Just ask how he's doing? Maybe he didn't want to burden you with how bad his own loneliness and grief have been. I can't imagine he didn't feel very weird about the idea of dating. Would it help either/both of you if you broke the ice?

All comfort to you, brewha.
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  #28  
Old 05-17-2007, 11:57 AM
VunderBob VunderBob is offline
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There's a minor scandal where I live, because my fire chief is getting married 10 months after his wife died.

Most of those who are upset only know him lightly; anyone who knows him well thinks it's great, because her death hit him very hard.

The new wife is someone he and his old wife knew before she ever got sick, so there wasn't near as much getting to know each other in the courtship.
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  #29  
Old 05-17-2007, 12:20 PM
ivylass ivylass is offline
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I've heard it said that men in long happy marriages tend to remarry fairly quickly after their wife dies. They miss the companionship (Paul McCartney, anyone?) and the relationship.

That said, I would recommend a year. Mainly because you (or whoever we're talking about) have been through the most traumatic experience a spouse can go through, and you need time to get through it. Plus, you have to get through the first Christmas, the first birthday, the first anniversary, etc, after the death.

As far as your son goes, I would submit 3 months is a little soon. See above paragraph.

My condolences on your loss.
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  #30  
Old 05-21-2007, 10:19 PM
brewha brewha is offline
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Here's the honest truth - I can not express feelings sober. I posted the OP while I was drunk and am posting this in the same state. I had just dealt with the worst mother's day of my life when I got an email from my dad telling me that he intended on dating. My sister lived with him at the time, so she kept me updated and I knew that he had been dating soon after my mom's death.

Bless my sister's heart. She moved back home when my mom fell ill to help take care of her. There is no way I'll ever be able to pay her back for that sacrifice.

I can understand my dad's reasoning and had a heart to heart with him tonight. He knew that his wife - my mom- was dying for months (over 60 months to be exact) before she passed. He had been prepared for her death long before it happened.

I, OTOH, was not. My mom was the type of person that was happiest when those around her were happy. She knew that her days on this earth were numbered, but never told those closest to her. She would rather see everyone enjoy the holidays than worry about her. She kept a brave face till the very end. I didn't have a clue about the severity of her conditon until 3 days before her passing.

Because of this, I'm riddled with regret. I wish I had more time. I wish I could tell her what I wanted to.

How do you end a post like this? I guess there's no good way.
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  #31  
Old 05-21-2007, 10:37 PM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewha
The OP was a but vague on where I fit in on the question. I'm the son. I just found out that my dad is dating and has been dating for some time now. I'm just having a hard time dealing with it.

I haven't talked to him since he brought it up, and I'm trying to figure out what to do/how to act when I do speak to him again.

It is not my call when he starts dating. I have my own life 200 miles from him. I just hope he understands that I'm going to have a difficult time dealing with this for awhile.
I think you do need to talk about it. My dad was 26 when his mom died. His father remarried (wife #3) eight months later. None of the kids understood so my grandfather shut them all out, all six of them. He died when I was 23, and I'd only seen him a dozen times in all those years. There was this huge rift between my dad & uncles (and a lesser extent my aunts) and my grandfather that never healed. My dad went through a lot of guilt when his father finally died, because neither of them made enough effort to fix their relationship.

Don't let that become your story too. Say you have kids someday, are you upset enough now that decades from now your kids will say they barely knew him? It's hard to think of the long term when you're grieving, but falling out of touch now might dictate the course you stay on from this day forward. Talk to him about anything, even if you don't want to bring up his dating.
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  #32  
Old 05-21-2007, 11:52 PM
SnakesCatLady SnakesCatLady is offline
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brewha, I completely understand where you are coming from. Your dad knew about your mother's illness long before you did; he had time to grieve before she died. You did not have that time, so your grief is still fresh. Your feelings are completely understandable. It is how you decide to deal with them that is the issue.

Your dad wanting companionship is a compliment to your mother, not an insult. He is not trying to replace her, he is trying to continue on with his life without her. I think, if you are honest with yourself, you will find that you would be much unhappier and much more worried about your father if he holed up in his house and became a hermit. Do not let his decision to move on with his life become a source of stress between the two of you.

I am very sorry for your loss.
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  #33  
Old 05-22-2007, 03:10 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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Tove, that royally sucks.

brewha, there is no time limit on when it's good to start dating again. Sometimes a new person comes along so fast that you can't believe it, sometimes it never happens. My mother and her best friend are both widows: their take on dating is "I was married to one of the good ones and it was no heaven, why would I want to give it another try?" Sounds like your Dad's opinion on the "average quality of women" is better than these two ladies' on the "average quality of men"
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  #34  
Old 05-22-2007, 11:27 AM
ivylass ivylass is offline
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Okay, so your father is one who wants to start dating?

I can see your concern...he's have five years to prepare for his wife's death, and you only had three days to prepare for your mom's death.

I think you need to have another heart to heart with your dad...he may be ready to move on, but you're not.

And slow down the drinking, dude. That's not going to help the situation.

Last edited by ivylass; 05-22-2007 at 11:28 AM..
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  #35  
Old 01-07-2013, 03:49 PM
twigs twigs is offline
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empathy

I am a widow and have some wonderful friends and family that try to understand and support me, but I KNOW that no one gets what I am going through. However, they are kind enough to have some empathy. There is no way that anyone can feel the sudden devastating loss that I have been through if they have not been in a good marriage for 40 years like me. My husband loved me dearly and I loved him with all my soul. He knows that and would not want me to be unhappy the rest of my life. He would not want me alone with no one to care for me. I went out on a date to save myself from depression and try to want to live again. I had to stop thinking about the past and create a new future for myself without my husband. My kids live far away from me and should not have to worry and take care of me. That is what I want, but I never expected that through my trying to take care of myself, trying to be happy again, and trying not to be a burden to them because I love them, that they would never speak to me again. I truly understand that they are grieving, I have lost my dad too early. I understand that it is strange and uncomfortable to think of their mother with someone other than their father. What am I supposed to do for the next 30 years? Be alone and stay home and cry all the time? I did that for nearly a year.
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  #36  
Old 01-07-2013, 04:08 PM
Taomist Taomist is offline
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With grown children, I agree with "It's up to you when it's a good time" and also that it's never going to be a good time for the adult children, so keep it as circumspect as possible until you know it's something that will lead into a long, long-term relationship. Yes, the kids will have to know eventually, but dating is for you, not them, and they will have to handle it in their own way. In the meantime, 'need to know' is a good rule of thumb, especially for something so private.
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  #37  
Old 01-07-2013, 04:19 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is offline
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I hadn't really thought about it in terms of this particular subject, but one of my rules of thumb for life is "If you're not ready to talk about it, you're not ready to do it."
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  #38  
Old 01-07-2013, 04:59 PM
jsc1953 jsc1953 is online now
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Wow...are you me?

For me, the answer was: 6 months. Wife died in August, I joined eHarmony and started going out on dates in March of the following year.

My children (also in their 20's) were fine with the concept of me dating, but reserved the right to object to any particular individuals. And their acceptance of their father being in a serious, committed relationship has been bumpy, but seems to be progressing.

Best of luck, and I'm happy to share more about my own journey if you think it helps.
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  #39  
Old 01-07-2013, 07:14 PM
PandaBear77 PandaBear77 is offline
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FWIW Jewish law allows remarriage after 3 months.

I think short of bringing a date to the funeral, any amount of time is ok and it's nobody's business what the bereaved wants to do. MrPanda has a great uncle who remarried within 3 months of his wife dying -- his dying wife actually picked out his next one.
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  #40  
Old 01-07-2013, 07:44 PM
ReticulatingSplines ReticulatingSplines is offline
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Considering some people start dating new partners when their spouses are alive and well, I think any time after his/her death is respectful enough.
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  #41  
Old 01-08-2013, 06:58 AM
PunditLisa PunditLisa is offline
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I think that there's a respectful way to go about things. For instance, if Mom has been dead for less than 3 months, I see no need to bring a new love around her children, or parents, right away. Give them time and space to grieve over the one loss before making them deal with the emotions of seeing their (father/son-in-law) with a new person. Gradually introduce the new "friend" into the family. Resist hugging and kissing in front of people who are still reeling from their loss.

IMO, it's not so much about hard and fast rules, but rather about acknowledging and respecting other people's feelings.
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  #42  
Old 01-08-2013, 07:15 AM
sandra_nz sandra_nz is offline
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That extra information has really shed light on what you're going through, brewha. You've got a lot of emotions to work through, and your dad had time to (emotionally, mentally, and every other way) prepare for your mum's passing, and you didn't.

The decision your mum made not to tell you was clearly what she thought was the right decision. But I've never heard anyone say, 'I wish my loved one hadn't told me they were sick, I would have been much better off not knowing until their last moments.'

You asked the question 'how long should a widower wait' but I think that's an impossible question to answer, unless the answer is, 'when the widower feels ready to date.'

Clearly your dad does feel ready, and in a way, don't you feel glad that your dad is continuing to seek happiness and companionship in his life, rather than constantly grieving at home alone?

Last edited by sandra_nz; 01-08-2013 at 07:17 AM..
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  #43  
Old 01-08-2013, 08:21 AM
Anaamika Anaamika is offline
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I'm the daughter, and less than a week after the funeral my dad was talking about seeing other people. I have to say it did not bother me at all. I knew what he was saying - he'd just seen his wife of 35 years (yeah! same as the OP) die of cancer (again! just like the OP) and she'd been ill for three years. He was lonely, dammit, and unhappy and sad and miserable all at once, and who knows how long it had been since he'd had sex or even closeness with anyone.

My dad's a human being too and wants the same things as any other human beings.

I didn't have proper time to say goodbye to my mother, either, brewha. I seriously could be your sister in all this. I only knew my mother was dying at the end. But the fact is, I will not take away from my father's happiness, whatever he can glean at the end of his long life, for my own selfishness.

It's been two years, btw, and I don't know if he's seen anyone. I know he was looking at personal ads in India Abroad, and I've even helped him by e-mailing a couple of people. I know he loved mom, he evidenced that by taking care of her when she was sick, cleaning up after her, doing everything for her. Of course he loved her. But it's his choice when it's time to move on, not mine.

Last edited by Anaamika; 01-08-2013 at 08:22 AM..
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  #44  
Old 01-08-2013, 08:47 AM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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Just want to point out that twigs posted to a 6-year-old zombie thread. Sounds like there is more conversation to be had, but I suspect brewha is in a completely different place mentally by now...
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  #45  
Old 01-08-2013, 09:00 AM
Anaamika Anaamika is offline
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Whoops! Bad twigs!
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  #46  
Old 01-08-2013, 09:54 AM
elbows elbows is offline
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Just be honest with your Dad. Start with just a little, if it's hard. "I'm going to have a hard time with this for a little while, but I'll get over it. Please forgive me."

One sentence. You can do it. Once it's out there and you've told the truth, the importance of all of it will greatly diminish, I promise.

If he wants to talk you into being better with it, be honest again. "I just need some time, is all. Let's just leave it alone for now, okay?"

Good Luck to you, I know it's not easy. But it will get easier, with baby steps.
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  #47  
Old 01-08-2013, 09:55 AM
elbows elbows is offline
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Didn't even notice the smell of Zombie!
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  #48  
Old 05-01-2014, 04:12 PM
Katz333 Katz333 is offline
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Am I in a rebound relationship

I have been in a relationship with a widower for 20 months. His wife died almost 3 yrs ago. He is adamant that he loves me and does not to be without me but also says he never wants to get married again. He was with his wife for 38 yrs. there are many photos of her and the family on display in his house, I very rarely go there as I feel very uncomfortable. 3 weeks ago his daughter got married. She had invited me to the wedding but I decided not to go in the day as some aspects would be quite difficult for my partner and daughter as they are still grieving. However, I did want to go for a couple of hours in the night but my partner did not want this as he felt that his father-in-law would refuse to go to the wedding if I was there at any time. He didn't actually ask him and the father-in-law has been aware of me from the start. I feel deeply hurt and very angry about being treated like this. Am I wrong to feel this way? He also added more photos to his display before the wedding and didn't understand why that upset me. He has many photos of me but there is not one of me anywhere to be seen
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  #49  
Old 05-01-2014, 04:29 PM
OneCentStamp OneCentStamp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katz333 View Post
I have been in a relationship with a widower for 20 months. His wife died almost 3 yrs ago. He is adamant that he loves me and does not to be without me but also says he never wants to get married again. He was with his wife for 38 yrs. there are many photos of her and the family on display in his house, I very rarely go there as I feel very uncomfortable. 3 weeks ago his daughter got married. She had invited me to the wedding but I decided not to go in the day as some aspects would be quite difficult for my partner and daughter as they are still grieving. However, I did want to go for a couple of hours in the night but my partner did not want this as he felt that his father-in-law would refuse to go to the wedding if I was there at any time. He didn't actually ask him and the father-in-law has been aware of me from the start. I feel deeply hurt and very angry about being treated like this. Am I wrong to feel this way? He also added more photos to his display before the wedding and didn't understand why that upset me. He has many photos of me but there is not one of me anywhere to be seen
Arise once again, zombie widow thread!

Katz333, from the description you're giving me, that guy doesn't sound very considerate or committed to you. Speaking from experience as someone who is married to a widow, my now-wife was always extremely careful not to make me feel I was living in someone else's shadow. No photos of her dead husband on display. We have a box of his things in a closet, things my stepson (age 12) may want one day. Everyone's grieving process is different, but I have to say that if it's still so raw and painful for him almost three years later, he probably isn't ready to date.
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  #50  
Old 05-01-2014, 04:50 PM
Katz333 Katz333 is offline
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One cent stamp. I think you are right. His grief is very close to the surface. He had a good marriage but I think the thought of marrying someone else in the future makes him feel disloyal as the first thing that enters his mind is his wife and children even though they are all adults. I have often felt that there is 3 of us in the relationship. When I tried to end the relationship before he was distraught but I wonder if that is because in a sense it is another loss to deal with rather than being "in love" with me.
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