Welcome to A2K.
You have been dating a widower for a year and you'd like some sort of permanent commitment.
he says it might just take me doing this to snap him out of what he is going through. does that make sense, or is it messed up?? how long do i give him to "snap out of it" before i do things that make me happy. everything i have read indicates that he has to be ready....what can he do to get ready...is it a factor of time or can he physically try some things. i think that if he just tries to do the things that are involved in a relationship he will enjoy them and want more...i am talking dates, time together, calling eachother..etc. i am really getting fed up and i know that is sad and maybe not fair,
Old traditional wisdom insisted on observing formal mourning for two years. New theraputic wisdom insists on a two year recovery after death or divorce before embarking on a new relationship.
You say you love this man. You also make it clear that for the year you've been dating, you've been making all the advances, all the compromises, all the spur-of-the-moment readjustments.
He is still grieving--and entitled to his grief. You are tired of dancing attendence on the raw grave of his former wife--and you are entitled to feel put upon.
Right now the two of you are at different life stages and your needs don't fit his needs.\
As for "snapping him out" of grief or wiring his head so that a light bulb goes off illuminating your worth and your needs--forget it. This man is not ready to replace his wife (although he's perfectly willing to use you and subject you to a certain amount of emotional bullying. Sigh. Moan. "I'm just not up to that yet, even if that is something you'd like").
If I were you I'd start seeing other men. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if by the 4th of July he's found another woman for a fine romance. You've done a lot of spade work in his recovery, but he's thinking of you as a self-effacing nurse and caretaker, not a woman with needs of her own.
Yes, you'd be taking a chance--but are you a hammer or a nail. You can't change him, but you can change your life.