My wife

Exactly 5 years ago today, July 6th 2001, my wife was killed in a car accident.

She was driving back from visiting her sister when a tyre blew causing her to swerve into the path of a truck, she was killed outright.

At the inquest a verdict of accidental death was returned and after the hearing the truck driver came to me with tears streaming down his face, the poor man was devasted and kept apologising.
I assured him that it was not his fault and that did not blame him in any way for my loss but even so I could tell that he felt in some way to blame.

My wife was my best friend and I miss her still.She wasn’t beautiful in the way of some of todays catwalk models and the like but to me she was the most gorgeous woman on earth.
Her smile and laughter and the funny way she had of scrunching her nose up when she disliked something were totally unique…when she smiled the world lit up and when she laughed all problems faded into insignificance.

Our son was 11 at the time, he is now almost 16 and I now have a problem in that he thinks that for me to even entertain the thought of seeing another woman would be a betrayal and to some extent I can see why he feels this way.

He says that to see another woman would be like admitting that I no longer care but he is wrong, I miss my wife more than anything and I’ll miss her always.

But I am a normal human being with normal needs and I’m sure that Mrs. Chowder would not want me to live my life alone, I am in my mid 30s and have a good few years ahead of me.

I have tried talking with my son but I cannot seem to make him understand, I hear him crying at night after some of our talks.
He is a good boy, he is doing well at school, he doesn’t smoke or take any drugs, he is a popular lad with many friends.

My brother has spoken with him but he can’t make him see that although I still love my wife I have to move on.

I had to share this and apologise for laying it on you.

I once read something that made a lot of sense to me. I don’t have a cite for it, but the gist was that if a widower had a happy marriage before he lost his wife, he was more likely to remarrry than a man who had not had a happy marriage. Unfortunately it may be a few more years before your son is able to understand that.

I am sorry for the loss of your wife and the mother of your son. I hope time can help.

I’m so sorry you and your son are having such a difficult time.

I’m sure he understands that you’re lonely. I don’t think he sees it as moving on, though. I think he sees it as a replacement for his mother; something he could never comprehend. Explain to him that you have no intention of replacing your wife. That she’ll always be a part of you, and you’ll always love her.

You might consider getting a counsellor for both of you. This is obviously a very important issue, and your son could probably use some help working through the feelings he’s having.

I’ve explained to my son that I’ll always love Mrs Chowder and that my intention is not to look for a replacement, his mother could never be replaced, but to look for a companion who I can feel for in a way that could ALMOST equal what I felt.

I have considered a counsellor, I guess if things don’t work out that’s going to have to be an option.

You probably want to give this serious consideration.

Playing pop psychologist (with no knowledge of your son or any serious psych credits from my distant school days), I would suspect that your son just may have a feeling that your wife abandoned him. He was old enough at the time (and certainly old enough now) to realize that that makes no logical sense, but the feeling persists. As a result, he has any number of unresolved issues regarding how he should feel about her “abandonment” that express themselves in frustration that you can contemplate “tolerating” that abandonment by moving on with your life.

Professional assistance might be exactly what he needs to move past those issues (even if I have completely garbled what is going through his head).

Paging MandaJO

I come to this from the opposite side. My two step-children lost their mother before I married their Dad. thread.

I was always very careful to insist that I would NEVER take the place of their mom - indeed, I helped them to take flowers to the cemetary and such - since my mom has also passed, that point helped make things bearable for us. I just told them I was there to help love them … that I loved their Dad and would always be there to take care of him, but any time they needed some Mom time, I would be there, no questions asked. We have had a lot of deep talks over the last few years.

It’s never going to be the same - but it gets better. Now I can be helping my daughter (16) choose clothes and say "Oh , your Mom would LOVE that … " but it takes time.

Most Mothers’ Days find me and my daughter mooping around the house, passing with the occasional hug or wiping one another’s tears.

The important thing is to let him know that the memory of his mom is something you will Never Forget. I think he can understand that.

I also second the thought of counseling. It helped our situation immensely.

((Chowder & son)))

I read your thread NinetyWt and I sure hope things have worked as out you would want them to.

I’ve told my boy that his mothers memory will last forever, he understands that.

Now what I really need to do is find someone just like yourself, I can but hope.

Thanks and {{{hugs}}}

Chowder - it doesn’t sound like you are currently dating someone…is this still somewhat theoretical?

I think you need to tell your son what you’ve said here - you are human, and you deserve love and companionship as much as anyone else, and I doubt your wife would have wanted you to live the rest of your life alone. Then start dating. Get to know someone, and eventually bring her home to meet your son. He might not like it, and it might make things difficult for you for a while, but really, you are allowed to be happy! If he actually met someone you were dating, if he got to know her, then he’d see that she’s not a replacement, but rather a companion, someone to fill another role in your life, and, if he’ll let her, in his.

My husband’s mother was killed in a car accident when he was almost 4. He doesn’t remember it, and, sadly, doesn’t remember her, but him and his dad were also in the car at the time. His father has gone through several relationships since, and as my husband just told me when I asked how he felt, “It wasn’t my place to tell him who he could be with.” I don’t think you should let your son’s feelings cripple you.

I guess I sound a little cold in this post - I don’t mean to. I just think that he needs to understand YOUR feelings as much as you understand his.

My husband has a wonderful pencil sketch of his mother, drawn in the 70’s (before he was even born) by a street artist in Montmartre (Paris). It means a lot to him. Do you have something like that? A special portrait, or item of your wife’s that you can give to your son? Maybe that can help connect the two of you to her memory.

Even if he doesn’t realize it, I suspect this is less about you dishonoring or replacing his mother and more about anxiety that a new SO might replace him as the number one person in your life. This is a reasonable fear–up until now you’ve had each other to cling to, and if you find someone else to cling to, where is he? Not that you would ever abandon him, but I can see how he’d have a gut-level fear that you might.

I don’t know a good solution to this problem. I suspect that it will resolve itself in a decade or two once your son establishes his own life/family. If you don’t want to wait that long (and you shouldn’t), go talk to a counselor.

You’re very welcome.
And things, as things are wont to be, have been up and down. At the end of the day, tho, the kids love me and I love them. It’s been a rough couple of years but, like I said, it gets better.

I may ask my daughter if she has any pearls of wisdom on the subject, if that’s ok with you. :slight_smile:

Perhaps apocryphal, but also perhaps worth a glance:

"The succession to Dr. Franklin, at the court of France, was an excellent school of humility. On being presented to any one as the minister of America, the commonplace question used in such cases was ‘c’est votts, Monsieur, qui remplace le Docteur Franklin?’ ‘it is you [Thomas Jefferson], Sir, who replace Doctor Franklin?’ I [Jefferson] generally answered, ‘no one can replace him, Sir: I am only his successor.’ (from here, among others.)

D’ye think it possible that he thinks anyone you might pursue would try to have the sort of relationship your wife had with him? That’s something he might not accept until it’s been a few years with someone close to you, or it might be the day he meets her. No way to tell, and certainly conjecture on my part, but it comes close, at least, to what NinetyWt mentioned.


I’m no expert so all I can do is send you a hug.

Teenagerhood can be such a rough time anyway, even for a popular guy who’s following a steady path. Anything that is threatening or different is going to be very scary and emotional. It’s so great you are able to talk openly with your son and that you are communicating, even with bumps along the way.

I’ve been away from the board for a few days but would like to thank yoy all for the input.

I reckon I’ll have to just play it by ear and in answer to Mnemosynes question, yes I do have a special drawing of my wife.

Funnily enough also drawn by a pavement artist in France, Rheims