Reply Wed 14 Dec, 2005 09:58 pm
You over reacted.
Thank you for the apology.
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Reply Wed 14 Dec, 2005 10:02 pm
Before all this feather flying, my point was that histories can gather, and coalesce.
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Reply Wed 14 Dec, 2005 10:07 pm
She removed the pictures out of consideration for your feelings, and now they're back? I'm not giving advice, but this sounds worse than if they had always been there.
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Reply Wed 14 Dec, 2005 10:07 pm
ossobuco wrote:
Before all this feather flying, my point was that histories can gather, and coalesce.

Yet, "you can never quarrantine the past." (Stephen Malkmus)
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Reply Wed 14 Dec, 2005 10:11 pm
LionTamerX wrote:
ossobuco wrote:
Before all this feather flying, my point was that histories can gather, and coalesce.

Yet, "you can never quarrantine the past." (Stephen Malkmus)

Not me, anyway.
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Reply Wed 14 Dec, 2005 10:45 pm
A friend of mine who loved her husband beyond measure - they were a team, very thick, both creative but he with the more fame - lost him suddenly.

She flailed for quite a while. Not least that they were in the middle of rebuilding his studio. Both were creative, and fed off each other's support, and arguments, and nattering, and rages. Then she made bisquits.

It has taken her a few years. There is the composition of self, or recomposition of self. And the moving on as self. It is a lonely time.

I guess it can be short circuited, especially if the spouse wasn't all that loved... but even then. Well, that depends, of course.
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Reply Thu 15 Dec, 2005 03:06 am
Lash, I'm sorry to hear of your loss.

Ok, well right off the bat I'll tell you I have not dated a widow/widower. I do believe I can contribute though bc of my experiences. My mum became a widow in her 30's. She loved my father deeply and his passing was sudden. I was 14 at the time. My brother was 12.

Does your love interest have kids? Do you have kids? Don't have to answer, but that area I have 'expertise' in.

Mum started dating a fellow approx. 2 yrs into widowhood. She was still grieving, still loved my father. The fellow she dated later became my stepfather. Turns out: his children were more of a factor than her grief and love for my father (and his kids were full grown at the time).

Anyhoo, I got to spend ten years getting to know and love my stepdad. He shared many stories and struggles of the 'early years' of dating mum.

I think it is a tough ride for everyone. A few things I noted that kept my stepdad in the scene:
He respected my mother's love for my father. Never attempting to compete or deny his presence.
He presented what he had to offer honestly. Hell, he even did this with us kids even though it meant a lot of bs to put up with.
He kept his own home for many years. Her home was the home she had memories in. They went out a lot and spent a lot of time at his home in the early years.
He at least tried to accept my mum's feelings at face value. Many comprimises and waiting did he endure. Apparently, he thought she was worth it.
He helped establish new 'traditions' that did not conflict with the memories /associations mum had built with dad. Example: He took her to the USA for the first time in her life. Shared something with her that had never been offered to her before.
He respect the family dynamics and relationships mum had before he came around. He was infinitely patient.

Geez, I could go on forever, and yet I am not even sure if this is helpful. At the very least, I can say that I have witnessed a merging that was sucessful and beautiful. It can be done. And I know that one love does not mean denying or forgetting other. Love is huge.

Good luck to you.
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Reply Thu 15 Dec, 2005 06:30 am
JohnCarter wrote:

By the way is there a proper label for her former husband: dead husband, ex, former husband, deceased husband, Joebob, ???


I'm guessing, Joebob. I suspect it would be tough to not have a residuum of feeling, so I think referring to him by his first name kind of validates that.

My brother's mother-in-law (that doesn't sound like a close relationship, but we all know and care for one another) is widowed, and we all refer to the deceased as A___ (except for my sister-in-law, of course, who refers to him as Dad). And this is even because this woman was widowed long before her daughter met my brother. A___ was a very real and very beloved person. His widow dates lots of men, she's a popular gal. Smile Through what she's told us, we feel we know him a bit.

I know the dynamic is different, because it is a dating relationship, but it may be that your lady friend wants to open up a bit about her loss, and about Joebob (we'll call him that). A lot of talk is too much, I'm sure you know your tolerance point far better than I or anyone else here does, but is there any discussion about him? It may just be that your lady friend feels a need to keep the flame of memory burning, very low. It may be a case where a very small amount of talk is enough -- but no talk looms large and makes things a lot worse.

Hope this helps.
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Reply Thu 15 Dec, 2005 08:29 am

We have in fact discussed the display of the Dear Departed. We have also discussed her feelings for her deceased husband. She loves him and he will always have a special place in her heart. The photos went out of the bedroom only to re-appear a few weeks later.

By the way is there a proper label for her former husband: dead husband, ex, former husband, deceased husband, Joebob, ???

I was curious what the opinion of people who may have dealt with similiar situations was. How big an issue do I make of the photos? I know I would never move into a house with another man on the wall. I presume(correctly?) that most people would feel the same way.

Lash: You have my sympathies.

I am going to jump to conclusions and say that you dont live with her?
And these pictures are in her bedroom?
Im not being rude here.. just a bit blunt.. but its her home. She can have her pictures where she wants them.
I am not so sure that you have much say so in that option until you two live together. It IS her home..

On the flip side of the coin..
She took them down so you could be comfortable, then replaced them so SHE could be comfortable.
That sounds to me that the feelings are still a bit fresh for her.
Having a relationship with her... a meaningful COMPLETE one that doesnt revolve around memories and pictures... Is going to take abit more time on your part then you may want. Are you ready for that?

I live with my mother in law who is a recient widow. Her husband died of a sudden heart attack in thier home early in the morning one day. She didnt learn of it until hours and hours later.
This was almost 2 years ago.
She still wears her wedding ring, pictures are all over the home and his 'decorations' if you will.. ( small trinkets he bought over the years) are still on display ..AND she still keeps his mail going.

My point..
people grieve diffrently.
The woman you are seeing may NEED to have images of her dead husband around her home while she is trying to go on with her life to remind her that.. it is ok to keep living.
I know my mother in law says alot of times that she truly doesnt believe her husband is gone at times. Shock is a painful thing.
And it isnt until something concrete , like a picture, or unopened mail, is in her hand that she is able to grasp reality again.

just that you are able to talk with her about this so openly is a great sign.
I assume you are not a widower yourself?
Be patient. Give patience. And if she still wants pictures in her bedroom...
have sex somewhere else for a while.
I gotta agree.. pictures of someone else while you are having sex is wierd..so just go around it for a while. ;-)
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Reply Thu 15 Dec, 2005 09:19 am
Depending on how close you feel to the Dear Departed, refer to him either as "JoeBob" or "Mr. Smith"--or even "Mr. S."

The pictures of Mr. S. disappeared and reappeared because your lady is still sorting out past and present. A part of the mourning process for many widows is making the transition between being Half A Couple and an Independent Person.

If you are spending time in her bedroom, she obviously does not feel that she's betraying Mr. S.

When romance seems likely, could you turn his picture face down? Or facing the wall? (Of course you'd ask her permission, first.)
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Reply Thu 15 Dec, 2005 07:36 pm
Flushd and John--

Your kind words make me feel better. Thank you.


I'd like to thank everyone for being candid on this thread. I am reading your feelings and observations with interest. You'll probably help many people.
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Reply Thu 15 Dec, 2005 11:12 pm
Thanks for all the great advice!

I am not a widower but I am divorced. I have had close relationships that ended but for reasons other than death. Like being chased out of the house with a rolling pin(just kidding).

Jane(psuedonym) and I do not live together and I am well aware that it is her house. I have not been testy about the subject but I do note the pictures and say to myself "I don't know if I could live in a house with another man's pictures all over the house AND the bedroom".

Jane and I have talked about love and marriage in the future sometime. There are a couple older kids(>18) and one younger child of hers and I have a child of my own.

I suppose I will wait and be patient and see what happens. The pictures don't seem that big of a deal on the surface but indicate another more subtle issue of me being in another man's house and also sharing someones love(and not with kids or relatives as I understand this quite well). This is not so much of a concern now as of a concern for the future. I am actually being fairly patient, understanding, and flexible in the relationship. FWIW I am not concerned about one picture or pictures in the child's room. Is this a cross that bridge when I come to it situation? Maybe I am answering my own question here.

I guess I am used to dating divorced people where this has never been an issue.
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Reply Fri 16 Dec, 2005 08:33 am
I hope my post didnt sound rude to you at all.
I definatly didnt mean to be rude, or short.
And I definatly wasnt implying that YOU were being rude either.

I remember, when I was 23, I dated a man who had lost his girlfriend in a car accident. He was 27. In his apartment, he had pictures of her and some of her stuff , even 3 years after her death.

That was very awkward... and ultimatly the demise of our relationship.

Granted, him and I were at a younger stage then you and 'Jane' are, but from that experience I think I have an idea of how it feels being the one staring at the pictures feeling like an intruder.
You almost feel like you are 'sneaking' around the deceased to date the living.
Awkward indeed.

Does Jane see someone about this? If she isnt, maybe she should. That will help her heal in many ways.

Another idea I had, -
Do you have pictures of you and her together? Or is it still too early in the relationship for that?
Maybe, you could have some photos taken of you two and have some of those displayed as well?

Kind of a silly suggestion.. but ?
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Reply Fri 16 Dec, 2005 11:08 am
My mother-in-law, a widow in her 60's remarried a widower of the same age. They agreed that as part of their wedding presents to each other they would store away the memories of earlier lives and begin a new life together.

If Ms. S. has a child at home, this could account for the rotating photograph situation.
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Reply Fri 16 Dec, 2005 11:37 am
I approach this thread with caution because I am a widow, and I have not dated yet (and may never).

But there are many empathetic things said in this thread ~ especially by flushd and shewolfnm. I just want to maybe shed some light on the recurring photographs: Widowhood emotions are a rollercoaster. What we can put away today is sometimes something we need desperately tomorrow, as badly as we need air to breathe. The photos have nothing to do with you, JohnCarter, or her preception of you. However, since they came down once at your request and then went back up, I think it deserves another (delicate) discussion between the two of you -- from which you might be able to gauge her ability to move forward with you.

If you want a fuller explanation, you might try a widow BBs, such as Widownet.org ~ they have forums for non-widowed people to ask questions, and for widow/ers in relationships or remarried. You can read only, if you want, or you are welcome to post (in the appropriate forum).
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Reply Wed 21 Dec, 2005 06:18 pm
Hello everyone, I'm new and would like your advice please
Hello Everyone,
I found this forum in a search for some answers to a unique situation I find myself in.
Let me explain, i divorced this year after 23 years, the divorce process took me nearly two years to work through and come back into the light.
Thankfully everybody involved is OK, I have remained great friends with my ex and have 2 grown daughters and I am looking forward to the future with great anticipation now.
My ex wife and I met back in 1981 and at that time I dumped my current girlfriend who was 16 then for my ex wife.
now life is so strange, about 7 yrs ago a dear friend showed me a pic of my ex girlfriend, she ended up marrying the son of his neighbour, (still with me I hope), now purely by chance a month or so ago during my Christmas visit to my elderly friend, just as I was leaving he informed me that my ex girlfriend sadly lost her husband.
So I wrote to her and we have met now on two occasions with more dates planned. her Husband passed over only 5 months ago but my ex and I seem still to have that old chemistry from 25 years ago which is lovely.
I fully understand her position and will be as patient as it takes, because I don't want to lose her again, she has forgiven me dumping her all those years ago and like a young fool back then I didn't realise how much she thought of me.
She remembers everything about our relationship back then as if it were yesterday and still has our photos.
Any advice please, she has lots of anger at the moment with the big man upstairs and lots of regular guilt feelings. Her family seem supportive and protective and her daughter from her first marriage has met one of mums exs, (me),on the first occasion we went out.
After my two years of darkness and back into my light I can offer my lost love all the help and support she wishes, my feelings for her now are very very strong, your comments would be very much appreciated.
Thank you all and nice to meet you.
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Reply Thu 22 Dec, 2005 10:20 am

Welcome to A2K.

You might want to start a new thread dealing with your situation. This thread doesn't seem to be active right now and a new thread would focus on your problem.
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Reply Fri 23 Dec, 2005 07:28 am
new Thread
Thanks Noddy, will do.
Happy Christmas my friend.
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Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2006 02:28 pm
Greetings to all, maybe this thread is dead, but I am interested to know how the relationship is progressing. As a widow, like Lash, I sympathise, but each new relationship is different and comparisons are odious.
However I do think it would be good manners in the widow to take down the pix of the Late Lamented, if she's intending to entertain her lover. Personally, I haven't thought of another man in that way yet - but if I do, I'll try to make it easy for him!
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Reply Wed 25 Jan, 2006 11:23 am
john, its glad to see someone else is in the same boat with me.

i too am dating a widow, and it seemed kind of awkward at first. i was always wondering if he was comparing me to his wife, and if i could ever live up to his standards in a partner. however, soon into the relationship he reassured me that he wanted nothing else, and was totally and completely in love with me. he has also told me that im not very much like his wife, but thats a good thing, and he doesnt want to compare because its two totally different relationships

but recently we moved in together, and i must say it is tough to come home to see pictures of him and his wife, instead of pictures of us. i dont want to take away his past, but would like to replace those pictures with his new life

sorry to revive what seems like an old topic, i was just excited to see that im not the only one who feels this way
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