I'm living with a widower

Reply Wed 3 Jun, 2015 01:00 pm
We met when she was still alive, dying...passed after7 months. I thought I could handle and help him through his grief. I didn't know it would become so difficult for me too. Its now been almost two years since she passed, two and a half years of being in this relationship and he hasn't gone to grief counseling yet. He's a good man and treats me well, but he is emotionally unavailable. I am self seeking and have lost all respect for myself. That I could stay in this relationship is hard, yet I want to see it through. Does it ever get easier for me? No clothes are gone yet. Nothing has really changed, but he did sell her car and has replaced some furniture with mine. Redone a floor, etc. But the master bedroom remains locked with her shrine in there. I just wish he would wake up and come have a new life with me. Should I tell him? I hear its not good to push.
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Reply Wed 3 Jun, 2015 01:13 pm
Two years is a fairly short period of time to get over a death. He's likely still in the very early stages of recovery.
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Reply Wed 3 Jun, 2015 02:09 pm
Flapjack wrote:

. I just wish he would wake up and come have a new life with me. Should I tell him? I hear its not good to push.

This seems to be a matter of minimizing the lesser of the evils, perhaps. You're not a therapist so stop taking on the role. Perhaps you could 'strongly suggest' grief therapy. Perhaps help him with researching an appropriate grief counseling group or counselor.

In every grieving situation is different timing when someone is 'ready' but typically after 2 years, people who are grieving should be closer to moving on than he is. Certainly removing her clothes was a must...and that should have happened quite a while ago.

I've heard various time frames and it's so individual. But this relationship seems not ready for prime time - just judging from your talking about your feelings.

However, I'm unclear as to when he moved in with you? Or was it vice versa? I'm also unclear why you moved in when he has maintained this shrine with you there as his live-in partner?

You've sacrificed enough. I'm loathe personally to hand out ultimatums but unless he goes to grief counseling, there is no realistic basis for you to be in the relationship. Where is the fulfillment for you?

Your wishes and needs count, too. At this point, he should've moved on and accepted his new status. You're indulging and enabling him. There'll be no future happiness as long as this continues the way the relationship has.

Stop enabling this situation...and stand up for what is fair for you, too.

Good luck.
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Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2015 12:19 am
I'm a widow, and lost my husband 5 years ago. This is the first year I have been able to function 'normally'...again. Grief is complicated, and painful. I notice and experienced that those around a grieving person want to help and make things better. They can't. Those around a grieving person are very uncomfortable with 'raw' grief and expression of loss. Some grief counselling might be a good idea, but only if he wants to go to grief counselling.

I'm not sure what the answer is, but he's not going to wake up and things will be different one morning. You may be stuck in a negative enabling cycle. You know you are able to receive counselling as well for some guidance on the dynamic you have with him.
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