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Going out with a widow - experiencing some difficulties

 
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Aug, 2010 08:31 am
@Big Col,
Quote:
During this conversation she mentioned about having a break and just meeting up every now and then,


It sounds like you and your girlfriend are in two different places emotionally. She is still recovering from the loss of her husband, and you want a serious relationship.

I would suppose that the reason that she has no pictures of you in her home is because she does not perceive you as part of the family. Also, she may be feeling guilty that she has feelings for you, and those feelings are a slap in the face to the memory of her husband.

I think that she has told you very clearly where she is at as far as your relationship is concerned. IMO, you need to let her go. She needs to do her grieving, and learn how to get on with life.

It looks like she has not reached that juncture yet. Therefore, she is not at all ready to start a serious relationship. Any pushing on your part would only tend to frustrate her, and add to her guilt and ambivalence.

If I were you, I would not stay over her house, or do anything that she could subconsciously perceive that you are taking the place of her dead husband. Any woman who has not yet gotten rid of her dead husband's things is still in the early stages of mourning.

Let her set the pace. In the meantime, you need to get on with your own life. There is a good possibility that the relationship will not work out, so it is important that you revitalize your own social life with other people.

If you are for each other, she will return in her good time, when she is ready. If not, it is futile to spend more time on a relationship that is going nowhere. Good luck!


Quote:
“If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they're yours; if they don't they never were.”
Richard Bach
0 Replies
 
Big Col
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Aug, 2010 08:43 am
I am so confused by it all, the other week she was joking about marriage etc, she tells me she loves me, I just cannot see how she can, I really think she needs a lot of time on her own to sort herself out. When I back off though she just fills the void with constant jobs round her house. I do my best to listen her when she is upset but then it calls into question whether or not she should actually be with me .

I have been doing some of the things you mention, I've starting going out a bit more, spending more time in the gym etc.
0 Replies
 
Big Col
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2010 01:25 am
Well we had a major discussion last night, she does not know what she wants and do not know where I stand, I've never been so confused in the whole of my life, I would seriously not recommend going out with a widow to anyone, it can be a one sided relationship with 2 people, that's how I am feeling about it in the moment.

Rightly or wrongly I've asked her to please not give me any false hopes and pull the rug out from underneath my feet, it's so hurtful though I know it's not intentional.

I've given up on the whole photo's issue in her house, all I can do now is concentrate on my final court hearing so me and my little boy can get on with our lives, I will hold out some hope that things may work out between me and my girlfriend but right now I don't hardly have any confidence in that all, will see how we get on this weekend when we are away.
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2010 07:00 am
@Big Col,
Sorry to see you're still suffering through this, Col. I hate to use such a cliche, but it's true: this is bigger than the both of you! If she doesn't know what she wants but you do, then you have a disconnect of relationship goals that can not be reconciled. You gave it time. You're ready and she's not. Time for you to gather yourself and refocus on other important aspects of your life.

Perhaps you might benefit to understand what transitional relationships are about. A lot of what you mention happens in the transitional point in people's lives when they date after becoming a widow or divorced. You're going through some very different emotional stuff, too. A widow who is in emotional state that she's in is stuck in a different state than you are. You may think you are ready and you might be ready, but she just is NOT.

In another year, you'll have a different life with much different goals. You won't feel the same about this period in your life either.

I will repeat what I wrote to you back in May.
"Only you can decide what is right or what works. If you feel you're not where you want to be in this relationship, then you're the best judge of what to do and when."
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2010 07:17 am
One thing that happens when you lose a spouse - you lose the willingness to "plan ahead" or to even make plans. Trust in the future is gone. Things change and are apt to be taken away in the snap of a finger. It's just better to not make any commitments.

So it's a just- for- today mentality that gets us through.

If you are not willing to be there, day by day, one day at a time, then let go of this relationship.

That's all she can give you now. Don't push her for more.

Stop all the talk about plans or the future, and just concentrate on what is NOW. Take all this pressure off her.

Big Col
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2010 08:18 am
@PUNKEY,
I don't disagree with what you have said, however, it was not me that bought up plans for the future in the first place, it's been her, that's why I am so confused by it all.
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2010 10:45 am
@Big Col,
The word of the day is A-M-B-I-V-A-L-E-N-C-E. Your girlfriend is torn between two things.........She cares for you, yet has not gone through the entire grieving process.

I think that someone already mentioned the concept of "transitional relationships". When a person is grieving for a lost love, he/she often will begin a relationship that will help her through her loneliness. Often those relationships don't last. That is why they are called, "transitional".

That is why I suggested that you back off for awhile. If you really want something serious with this woman, IMO, you need to give her time to work through her grief.

I have read in many places that a person needs a year to recover for each five years of a lost relationship, whether it be by death or divorce. Now I know that is an average, but the message that it brings is that a person needs time to create closure from one relationship, before she can embark on a healthy new relationship.
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2010 11:17 am
I don't agree with the 1 year from 5 formula. (that means I would need 5 years to recover from my grief - no way)

Each person grieves in his/her own time.

Unexpected or violent death makes a difference. Age of the persons matter.
So does the state of the union - good or bad marriage, and whether or not the person was independent or overly attached to the spouse. Being overly religious is as bad as having no faith at all in getting thru this. State of mind even before the event matters. Support of family and whether there are minor children are also influences.

It has not been long for this woman. One part of her is ready to plunge ahead, then she gets pulled back. This is normal and that huge "hole" in our life that we all tip-toe around DOES get smaller.

I have found that the second year is one when I actually "feel" as opposed to being numb. While the "grief spasms" are not as intense or as long, I have a better sense of my loss and can talk about it more rationally.

I feel as though I have walked into another room - different, some parts quite pleasant and brand new - but there is a longing to return to the old room. Only the door is locked and I can only peep through the keyhole.
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2010 11:57 am
I don't understand this at all. I was married for 26 years - and while our marriage was less than perfect, I loved my husband. I still think of him, my eyes fill with tears sometimes - but even if we'd had a perfect relationship - when you enter into a relationship with someone new - you have to think of their feelings. Why won'r Col Man's girlfriend at least add pics of him and them together into her pics. Why can't she take some of the ones of her and her husband down? There is no healthy reason to keep his clothes there for this long. I know at first you don't want to remove them - but isn't it common knowledge that hanging on to this stuff for over 6 months or so is a bit self-indulgent and unhealthy?

One man is dead. Her actions don't affect him at all. One man is alive and affected by her actions at his very core. I think grief therapy is in order for spouses who hang on to clothes and keep baseball caps on hooks and try to keep the dead person present after a year has passed. Memories - yes. A few mementos - of course. But a living mausoleum to the deceased, while breaking the heart of a living breathing person who is devoted to you - no. I think it's sometimes about the survivor - not wanting to move on for their own purposes.
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2010 11:59 am
Happy that Punkey is feeling better - and though my post is after hers - this is in no way a response to her post or her situation. I've had a few friends in this situation - and this is how their behavior struck me.
0 Replies
 
Big Col
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2010 02:14 pm
I've been a transitional guy before but through different circumstances, I really don't want to go through it again, I have to accept the fact that my life is totally on hold with no guarantee that it may work out, it's difficult choice to make, instinct and experience tells me to walk, however, I'm in love with her now and I wish I was not, if I walk before I am pushed it would of been for nothing. It's so frustrating.

I've distanced myself a lot more now just in case I need to start over, tonight she is telling me that she loves me, my thoughts are why? how? You don't know what you want and you have told me so... I'm going to spend more time on my own, the last few weeks I've hardly spent any time at hers.
0 Replies
 
Big Col
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2011 01:55 am
It's been a while since I have updated this thread, a lot has happened. My own father passed away last December. He had been seriously ill for 18 months and was in and out of hospital for the last year spending his last 3 months in hospital.

My court case was concluded, though I still have occaisional difficulties access to my son normally goes with any problems.

I am still in the circular issue of going out with my girlfriend.

The time has now come for me to make a decision, we have circled these issues numerous times, I've never put any pressure on her, it's always her that's come forward and then backed off.

She still wears his bathrobe, occaisionally whilst I am there, there are still no pictures of me and her together.

She has been distant the last few weeks and been critical of me, it's actually been going on for a few months if I am totally honest and it has robbed me of my confidence in a lot of areas in the relationship, and I hate to admit it, also sexually.

I can't critise her for discussing her husband, he was part of her life, last week she learned that her husbands sister was pregnant, the first words out of her mouth when we woke up in the morning was that he would have been so happy. I can't critise her for it but I did not even know what to say..

We had a dicussion last night about how she was feeling, again it came down to she does not know what she wants etc, I said that I really can't help anymore and do not have anything to add and that you cannot expect people to put their life on hold in the hope that there may be a future one day. She also mentioned she wanted to keep the friendship.

Before I went to bed I got a text off her saying to give her a wide berth and that she needs to sort herself out so she can think through what she needs and what she does not need and also telling me not to postpone my dreams. It also said that she did love me but there are many types of love and that she needs to figure out what hers is for me.

I get the impression she resents that I am a single parent and would rather that I could revolve my life around hers, I cannot do that, my priority is my son, she does not have a problem putting her children first which is as it should be, but I am still number 3 in this relationship behind her dead husband.

Crushed is the word that I am feeling right now. To be frank, if this is the end I don't want to remain friends, for me there needs to be closure and I need to move on.

Am I being out of order?
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2011 02:16 am
@Big Col,
Quote:
Am I being out of order?
No, there is no point in being with a woman who cant make up her mind if she wants you or not. Your mistake was a year ago backing off, giving her space. You should have pushed, forced her to make up her mind, and if she decided that the wanted you to agree to behave herself re putting you second to a dead man. You made the mistake of listening to women who told you you could not make any demands upon this woman, what you should have been told is that if you want her then go get her, and that you are worthwhile enough to justify making the demand that you come before a dead man. Now you have wasted a year and your sense of self is damaged, which will take awhile to repair, and it is far too late to go collect her.

For sure dump her now, because bitterness is right around the corner if you dont. Go find some woman who wants you to snuggle up with and have fun, and dont be choosy.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  4  
Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2011 02:19 am
@Big Col,
Quote:
Crushed is the word that I am feeling right now. To be frank, if this is the end I don't want to remain friends, for me there needs to be closure and I need to move on.


From the way that I figure, it has been nearly two years since you and your girlfriend have been going together, and there is no movement on her part, emotionally.

It sounds to me that you are perceiving that this relationship is going nowhere, is causing you grief, and you are ready to move on. IMO, it would be productive if you broke off the relationship, and refreshed your social life.

It is possible that breaking off with your girlfriend would come as a "wake up call" for her, but that does not matter. You need time to clear your head, without the emotional baggage that you are presently toting.

IMO moving on is now in your best interest. You need some time and space from this woman. Whether that time and space is forever cannot be discerned right now.

Good luck and best wishes to you.
0 Replies
 
Big Col
 
  2  
Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2011 04:54 am
Think I have got to the stage where I can't take any more hurt, whether it be intentional (which I don't believe) or unintentional.

I think her timing and how she has handled this poor to be honest, I would not want to be told by text message what was sent to me last night. It's left me feeling worthless and low.

I have done all I can and can't do anymore.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2011 06:11 am
@Big Col,
Sorry to hear about your father. It sounds like the little voice that was telling you this is over is not a great roar. I think you are right that it is time to move on. Take care of yourself and your son.

It it helps, stay around and engage in some other discussions. Many of our regulars here started during a tough time in their lives and have stuck around for the company.
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2011 07:22 am
It's clear that you two are not at the same stage in your lives.

She is not moving fast enough for you, you are moving too fast for her.

Make a list of all the things in your life that you want now or in the near future. A loving, involved partner seems to be one of them. Since she is not able to do that, decide to really work at finding another person.

PS - I am sure that she "loves" you - but it is on her terms, distant and irratic. Push/pull. That's just where she is. She may NEVER be able to really give herself to another person.

You, on the other hand, have specific needs and can identify them.

Good luck.

My condolences on the loss of your father.
0 Replies
 
Big Col
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Apr, 2011 04:48 am
Just to let you know that it is all over.

We basically talked last night, her position is that she does not know in what way she loves and wants the relationship to be casual, my position is whilst I'm not expecting a wedding date or anything, just to know that we have a common goal that we are working towards being together would make me feel better and that a casual relationship is not acceptable.

She's told me it's best that we don't see each other until after the summer and that she does not want to lose my friendship. I however, after this amount of time cannot be just a friend in the sideline hoping that one day she may be able to love me enough to want a future with me.

I have been, the very nature of the transitional guy, I love this woman 110% have supported her, loved her chilldren, helped her grieve, been on family holidays and now that in her words she is seeing things clearer it appears that I am now not needed.

I'm absolutely distraught, I feel cheated in a fashion, she built my hopes up and has now destroyed them, I have not been able to stop holding back the tears.

I don't intend on contacting her again, I've said all there is to say which is basically that I love her, that she was the love of my life and I hope that one day I can be the love of her new life.....

In the meantime, it's time to try and move on, I've never felt so s***t in the whole of my life, I've given it my all emotionally and got nothing in return except heartache for my efforts. Is it wrong to feel this way?

I could really do with some wise words....
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Apr, 2011 06:04 am
@Big Col,
Sorry. Sometimes it only works out on one side and not the other. You shouldn't feel cheated - no one has a guarantee that the one they love will feel the same way. It seems this woman has been sending you signals that she wasn't coming around for a while now. I say that not to defend her, but to hopefully help you move on. If you are interested in movies, rent "500 Days of Summer" (related to your current situation) and take care of yourself for a while.
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Apr, 2011 07:21 am
Yup . . .

. . .and don't give so much without there being the same coming back from the other person.

. . . and don't look for someone whose 'need' level is so high. Did you think you were her knight on the white horse? She has surprised you with her refusal to be rescued by you.

There are many groups out there for single adults. Let all your friends know that you are now "available"

Good luck, you sound like a fine man with lots to offer a woman.
 

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