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Dating a widowed man

 
 
Reply Sat 20 Feb, 2016 12:20 pm
I have been in a relationship a widower for the past 7 months now - he unexpectedly lost his wife to cancer in February 2014. He's 32 and I'm 26. We became close friends 6 months after she died, and we became a couple in June 2015. He's done nothing but treat me like a queen - he's always buying me flowers, taking me out on amazing dates/trips away... he even introduced me to his late wife's parents 2/3 months into the relationship. He donated all her clothes to charity in November 2015 (wedding dress included!) and he's started to decorate bits of the house this month.

On Friday afternoon, I called him to have our usual chat and he just said, in floods of tears, "I'm not ready for this. You're a great girl, you deserved better than this." I won't lie, it completely caught me off guard. He texted me the following day to say "I deserve your anger. I'm getting help but I just need some time by myself. I know I've taken the coward's way out and I'm sorry".

His mum (who I am great friends with) messaged me on Facebook (I don't have her number) and said that he's not sure if he can love me back properly and he feels incredibly guilty. He texted me the following day to say that he's getting help but he needs some time by himself (he even mentioned that he has been drinking more than he should). His best friend said that he has agreed to get help with his grieving and that he still cares about me. I'm praying that this is all just a blip and he'll come back!

Any advice?
 
Itsmeagainandagain
 
  4  
Reply Sat 20 Feb, 2016 07:52 pm
@oursusanellen,
In my opinion he was not ready. You just don't get over a person you were married to and love so quickly esp since her death was unexpected . I don't think it has anything to do with you. He did not take the proper time to heal. Maybe you should let him know you understand. And tell him you will be there for him when he wants to talk etc. Give him space. He will probably come back around if you give him space and time. I hope things work out for you both
0 Replies
 
Shewasmine
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Feb, 2016 09:19 am
@oursusanellen,
Both of you are very good and loving person it seems... But he should not have involved himself with you emotionally so quickly the fact is his wifes sudden death created a blank space all of a sudden and may be he tried to be practical or may be he was trying to forget the shock or may be he was trying to keep himself happy while spending time and loving you and seeing you happy... But suddenly he gets reminded about her wife or may be he is seeing that is not being able to forget her so quickly by this process or may be he is guilty of the fact that he is loving you for his own happiness so that he can forget this tragedy or may be he is guilty of the fact that he is going to give her place to someone else and that too within a couple of year and so...
He is puzzeled he needs time what his brain and heart wants so stay cool n give him space..
And after that also he is not able to take a decision then help him in thinking what he actually wants...

But i would like to know how many years was their marraige? And was it a love/arranged marraige?
oursusanellen
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Feb, 2016 09:53 am
@Shewasmine,
They started dating in 2002, got married in 2010 and she died in 2014.
0 Replies
 
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Feb, 2016 10:02 am
This situation is only a problem if:
1. He thinks there is some standard his relationship with you needs to compare with and/or
2. You think so. (you sounded a little giddy about the dress)

Neither is necessary, but I understand this goes against society's BS ideas about love.

(In my 3rd year with a widow married 47 years)

oursusanellen
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Feb, 2016 02:08 pm
@Leadfoot,
He got rid of the wedding dress of his own accord (his parents went to his house to help him) and I was really shocked, but in a good way. I kept saying to myself, he must really love me if he did that without me pushing him to do it. He's done so well and I'm really proud of him for getting this far.
Leadfoot
 
  2  
Reply Sun 21 Feb, 2016 02:23 pm
@oursusanellen,
I don't say or do anything to encourage 'my widow' to put her husband in the past. To the contrary, when appropriate I ask about him, their time together, things they used to do, etc. I'm interested and I think it helps her too. I feel no need to 'replace him in her life'. I don't think people are interchangeable parts.
0 Replies
 
FOUND SOUL
 
  3  
Reply Sun 21 Feb, 2016 03:25 pm
@oursusanellen,
Getting rid of the wedding dress is a good sign, he is trying to have closure, he is trying to move on. 2002 to 2014 is a long time together he was in his early 20's when he met her, there would have to be alot of love there, alot.

He needs a friend. He needs company. He needs time. He needs help but he may always love her, deep in his heart and you have to allow him to as well if you want him in your life. That does not mean that he can't won't love again but never expect him to forget her.

Give him the space he wants, needs. Let him know you fully understand after all she was a major part of his life, 1/3rd of his life was spent with her. You are there as a friend and hope that one day, in the not too distant future you can pick up where you left of. But, also let him know that naturally, you are not going to wait, if someone else walks into your life and wishes to love you and you feel the same way, that's the way it is.

I have no doubt he has feelings for you, nor does anyone else but at this point in time, he needs closure at least to move on again and he's starting to try to do that.

Give him space.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Sun 21 Feb, 2016 04:45 pm
@oursusanellen,
oursusanellen wrote:
I kept saying to myself, he must really love me if he did that without me pushing him to do it.


you have to understand that this was not about you - it was about him trying to move forward

give the guy some space
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Sun 21 Feb, 2016 04:47 pm
@oursusanellen,
oursusanellen wrote:

I have been in a relationship a widower for the past 7 months now - he unexpectedly lost his wife to cancer in February 2014. He's 32 and I'm 26. We became close friends 6 months after she died, and we became a couple in June 2015.


poor guy

he tried to move on too soon

give him the space he needs

get on with your own life

maybe you'll be available when he's ready, maybe not
0 Replies
 
oursusanellen
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2016 01:17 am
@FOUND SOUL,
I've not spoken to him in a week (we've exchanged two text messages after the wobble happened and that was it).

I spoke to his mum yesterday and she said "He's asked us for space too. We are just trying to not bombard him. He knows where we are if he wants us, but we are giving him space, which he's thanked us for". He's the best thing that ever happened to me so I'll wait it out for as long as I can.
0 Replies
 
benjadams
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2016 05:19 am
@oursusanellen,
You need to give him space. 2 years ago isn't that long and I completely understand why he would still be grieving. He's making steps and you just need to show that you can support him, even if it's just as friends and not as a partner.

If you still want to be with him you need to be with him through the grieving process and not abandon him. He will know how much you care and how willing you are to stay with him. He'll come back to you, but you need to give him space.
oursusanellen
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2016 06:12 am
@benjadams,
He's been nothing but absolutely amazing with me so I'll stick it out. I'm back in work full-time now after having such a horrible week off, so that should hopefully keep me busy. When my dad fell ill earlier this year, he was there with me every step of the way so it's only fair that I do the same for him. We've been in touch once (which was last Saturday) and I told him I'm not giving up on him no matter what he says.

His family still speak to me and they're always updating me on how he's doing which is really encouraging.

I guess being friends for now is far better than losing him completely!
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2016 09:50 am
@oursusanellen,
oursusanellen wrote:
I told him I'm not giving up on him no matter what he says.


I hope that is not how you phrased it.

Also, it is great that his family are friends of yours but it would be better if you didn't discuss him with them. If they bring up his process/progress with you, change the subject. I can guarantee that in the long run, it will not go over well with him that the conversations happen (and someone will mention it to him).
oursusanellen
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2016 11:46 am
@ehBeth,
They've said that they will leave him be and let him get the help that he needs. They've also said "we'll all be here for when he needs us and we'll let him come back in his own time".

They still update me anyway which is really sweet.
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2016 12:13 pm
@oursusanellen,
oursusanellen wrote:
They still update me anyway which is really sweet.


he's not going to think it's sweet that he's being talked about

he'll contact them when he's ready

he'll contact you when he's ready

he's doing a good thing - figuring out what he needs for himself
0 Replies
 
FOUND SOUL
 
  2  
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2016 02:37 pm
@oursusanellen,
Quote:
They've said that they will leave him be and let him get the help that he needs. They've also said "we'll all be here for when he needs us and we'll let him come back in his own time".


Listen to the wisdom of his parents and act in the exact same manner.

Telling him you "wont give up no matter what he says" is putting so much pressure on him.

Re-read what they said, what they are doing and I agree with eh-Beth, as you are also clinging and contacting for up-dates.

Breathe. Let go. What will be will be. "If you love someone, set them free, if they come back to you, they're yours, if they don't they never were"...

Concentrate on you and let him come back in his own time what ever that is, be it a text message or a call or nothing for a month then a message. He needs space.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2016 02:49 pm
@FOUND SOUL,
Not to pile on, since I can easily understand how susanellen feels, but she hasn't been taking in all the opinions noted, mostly sheds them.

Years ago at a2k we had a poster, Noddy. She always answered similarly, in cases where the deceased person was loved (no matter how complicated), it fairly often takes two years to emerge from the loss.

People in the meantime may be stopgaps in the learning to live again, who am I?, process.

Staring at my own history, that kind of loss happened three times, and it was something like two years to come back from it - and my losses were not deaths.
The two years thing may naturally vary, but I wouldn't be surprised, and am not surprised the guy feels pushed.
0 Replies
 
 

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