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Dating a Widower...Push and Pull Emotions

 
 
Reply Mon 21 Mar, 2016 10:39 am
First of all, thanks for taking the time to read my story and any support. I have been seeing a great man that lost his wife of 40 years plus about 3.5 years ago. I didn't know her but have heard that she was a wonderful lady. We have been dating for about a year and very much in love. He would like to marry me and says I'm his soul mate. I feel the same about him. He is much older than me but that isn't an issue. We have a long distance relationship but talk on the phone all the time and visit each other frequently.

He has two homes and every time he returns to the home they shared for many years and where she died, it is like flipping an emotional light switch. He gets really down and pulls away from me by telling me with a cold tone that we don't need to talk all the time or as long. And that we need to take it easy and just give him time to rest. And that he is busy. He will also use things to get upset with me to get off the phone and act as though that is the reason for his distance. He acts as though I am being needy. This time he hadn't been to this home for a long time. And his pulling away has gone on for days. Which has been very hard for me.

I mention to him that the only time I see him down and pulling away from me is when he is in that home and that it may be part of grieving his wife. He will then say, no that isn't it at all. I have moved on with my life. I have remodeled/renovated the entire home and put new furniture as well.

My heart goes out to him. I see a man that is moving on with his life in many ways and saying he has moved on with his life. I try to be understanding but it is so hurtful to me. Suddenly, I feel all alone and question his love. How can a man go from wanting to talk to me all the time and be the love of his life to contacting me once a day and at times not at all. If he senses that I pull away in response, he will want my attention for a little while. I have forced myself to leave him alone and text a couple times of day with nice thinking of you messages. I have poured my heart out to him once he pulls away and have even cried but he seems to pull away more and almost get upset. Anything I do or say during his time of pulling away seems to be wrong. It's a no win for me.

He has talked about selling the home where they lived but I don't want to have much of an opinion since I feel like that should be his choice. He wants to get a home together.

I don't know what to do at this point. I don't want to be selfish but it truly hurts me to my core. Just can't imagine being without him. Any advice you may share, I greatly appreciate.

Thanks so much for reading
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Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 3,680 • Replies: 28

 
PUNKEY
 
  3  
Reply Mon 21 Mar, 2016 12:45 pm
He lost his wife 3.5 years ago; you have been dating about a year. That means that at only 2.5 years ago he was in the midst of grief. And you have become so serious that there is even talk of marrying, at "just about a year."

I am going to tell you that he is not ready to marry again. He has a ways to to before he can really think about that.

Is there a reason for the marriage for you (financial security?)

Insist that he go to grief counseling. He has issues to deal with - that have nothing to do with you. It's about letting her go and realizing that after the winter, there is a spring.
ehBeth
 
  4  
Reply Mon 21 Mar, 2016 12:51 pm
@Rosebud50,
this piece is encouraging

Rosebud50 wrote:
He has talked about selling the home where they lived

<snip>

He wants to get a home together.


punkey is correct in that it is still early days in the grief process, particularly if he has not had any counselling to help him through it

you could try suggesting pre-marital counselling for you to attend together. hopefully a counsellor there would help guide him toward grief counselling.
Rosebud50
 
  0  
Reply Mon 21 Mar, 2016 12:52 pm
@PUNKEY,
Thanks for your reply. Wow, you have jumped to conclusions. I don't need financial security.
Rosebud50
 
  2  
Reply Mon 21 Mar, 2016 12:53 pm
@ehBeth,
Thank you. Yes, I thought about suggesting it to him. The hard part is that he doesn't see it. I will try. Thanks for your advice.
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Mon 21 Mar, 2016 12:55 pm
@Rosebud50,
Punkey asked a fair question - what is the purpose of marrying (for you)?

Why not leave things the way they are (other than his need for grief counselling)?
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Mon 21 Mar, 2016 12:55 pm
@Rosebud50,
Do you think he would go to premarital/couples counselling with you?

it's probably a good idea, however all of this turns out.
Rosebud50
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Mar, 2016 12:58 pm
@ehBeth,
That is a much better way to ask the question. I don't have to get married. In fact, I have told him that and probably would not for some time. Marriage isn't the issue for either of us. It's the pulling away after being so close. At this point, I want to help him and don't want to loose him. But I am not sure how long I can go through the hurt of when he pulls away.
0 Replies
 
Rosebud50
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Mar, 2016 12:59 pm
@ehBeth,
Do you think this is something he should do on his own? I don't want to interfere with his grieving or the privacy of it.
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Mon 21 Mar, 2016 01:03 pm
@Rosebud50,
I think there can be a number of benefits to couples counselling.

In this particular case (though I wouldn't tell your boyfriend), one of the benefits could be a spotlight on his grieving and his need for counselling for that.

I might present it as something adult couples can do to help them work through both of their histories - to help prepare a solid foundation for a future together. I'd focus on the benefit to the couple, rather than to one member of the couple.
Rosebud50
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Mar, 2016 01:06 pm
@ehBeth,
I feel good about your advice. Thanks so for taking the time to help.
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Mon 21 Mar, 2016 01:16 pm
@Rosebud50,
You are very welcome.

Good luck. I hope you and your boyfriend find a way to a happy future.
Rosebud50
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Mar, 2016 01:16 pm
@ehBeth,
Thank you
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  2  
Reply Mon 21 Mar, 2016 02:37 pm
Sorry, I didn't mean to be blunt, but financial concerns are an issue for the widow(er) - especially if there are children who are concerned about inheritance or their parent moving too soon into another relationship. If he has been married for that long and has two houses, I suspect he's somewhat well off.

If you two don't plan to have children, why get married? You mentioned that he was quite older than you. Provisions can be worked out with a lawyer about your future, if you decide to live together.

I just see this too many times when elderly get re-married. Just throwing out some things for discussion.

Yes, pre-marital counseling would be a good start for you two if you are talking marriage. I am sure there will be talk of a pre-nuptual, too.
Rosebud50
 
  2  
Reply Mon 21 Mar, 2016 02:51 pm
@PUNKEY,
No problem. I understand where you are coming from. Thanks for your time. I will consider.
0 Replies
 
Rosebud50
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Mar, 2016 03:41 pm
@PUNKEY,
By the way, I would never ask him to sign a prenup to protect my money. He isn't after mine either. So pathetic that you are so focused on money, marriage and if I am going to have children. Do you know how old I am? Am I too old to have children? Do I need his money? Does he want mine? You sound like you have issues with younger women with an older man. Perhaps you should get some counseling. We all have an opinion...
FOUND SOUL
 
  3  
Reply Mon 21 Mar, 2016 03:49 pm
@Rosebud50,
I'd say at least 50..

I see nothing wrong with what Punkey wrote, this is a Forum and we don't all just reply to someone, if we see "something" within a thread, why not make general comments for discussion?

It was exactly that, a general comment for discussion and it does occur quite frequently either way, either gender.
Rosebud50
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Mar, 2016 03:50 pm
@FOUND SOUL,
Administrator?
Rosebud50
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Mar, 2016 03:51 pm
@Rosebud50,
What a crazy website. I want my post deleted now.
Rosebud50
 
  -3  
Reply Mon 21 Mar, 2016 03:52 pm
@Rosebud50,
I want nothing to do with this website. You are using my private information and will contact my attorney if my posts aren't deleted now.
 

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