Need Advice about Widowers


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Are there any sisters who have married a widower and can advise me about involvement with a widower? Or any widowers who are happily remarried? How long does a man take to move forward?

I understand everyone heals at their own pace and that there's no way to predict about individual healing time, love, or the future for that matter... But men and women handle pain and grief so differently, and I've heard so much about the woes of waiting for a widower to let go of his deceased wife. I'd especially love to hear some happy endings.

I relate to being a widow myself, having lost my first love/husband (after divorce), AND 10 years ago losing my fiance' who I would have married in the temple. It took me 8 (!)years before I was ready to even consider a relationship because I felt content and loved with his spirit close to mine.

Now I am pretty badly smitten with my new friend who lost his wife of 35yrs, nearly two years ago. For the first few months of dating, he seemed to be head-over-heels for me too, and coming on quite strong (within proper boundaries--though very motivated for physical intimacy within a projected marriage). Then he suddenly got confused about what he wanted and backed way off, though said he still wants for us to be friends. I gave him his space gracefully, but we've continued to be friends and support and enjoy one another, though less regularly. He seems to fluctuate now from wanting more intimacy, contact, and playfulness with me, to thinking we have no future to investigate and that his family would never understand. Some of the obstacles he's brought up are regular issues most older dating couples deal with: several hours distance, blending homes, older children, and in-laws.

I want to continue getting to know him and tackle the challenges together as a team when and if the time comes and it feels right. He's said he doesn't want our friendship to end, but doesn't know if he'll ever be ready. Is it just too soon? I know of several other LDS widowers who are seeking relationships quickly after their losses. I am feeling very vulnerable, but drawn to him in every way. After many years, really since I was a young adult with my first husband, this is the first time I feel this attracted and comfortable about a special man.

Anyone whose had experiences on either side, PLEASE advise! Thank you in advance!

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No advice from me, but I will say that a widower in my ward recently married. He has many full grown children (and some grandchildren) his first wife became sick and died in about 8 months from the time they knew something was wrong. Within a year of her death he had remarried and him and his current wife seem very happy indeed.

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Thank you Alana, for your reply. I also know several widowers who remarried extremely soon after their wife's passing, and are happily married still. I'm just not sure of the likelihood that my special friend is ready and could do the same. Thanks for your encouraging input.

Anyone else have any comments?

Edited by spirettedotter
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My FIL remarried almost 2 years after my MIL passed away. He and his wife are happy together but over the years their relationship has made it difficult for some of his children. Parents need to realize that even though they have a new marriage partner, they are the ones that need to make the effort to keep connected with their own children and grandchildren; that should not be the new spouse's job. And then again some children of widowers can adapt easily to their parent's remarriage and some cannot. I think it's such a big adjustment for everyone involved when a "remarriage" happens. Children need to accept the fact that the extended family dynamics will change and the parents need to realize that due to the loss of their children's mother/father they need to make a bigger effort to stay personally involved in their own children's lives.


Edited by Maureen
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  • 3 weeks later...

This may not be of any help to your particular situation, but I thought I'd throw a few personal observances in here.

I'm the adult daughter of a widower who has just this year remarried. We lost my mom two years ago this month, and dad married "S" this summer, so not quite two years had passed. My parents were deeply and madly in love with each other for over 45 years when mom suddenly died, and I for one cannot be happier that my father has found love again. However, my older sister and brother are very antaganistic towards the whole thing, especially since our new-step mom is quite a few years younger than dad.

I think it's all hogwash. Both of these people are over 50 and as such are quite capable of making wise decisions with no help from their children. All of us kids are are fully grown with families of our own, and it just irks me to no end that my siblings are giving dad such a hard time about this.

I'm sure it helps that I adore my dad's new wife. My brother and his wife had one negative experience with this woman way a few years back and have based everything on that one experience. They won't have dinner with my dad and "S", which is just stupid. They did show up to the wedding reception but not the actual sealing. "S" has never been married and so she and my dad went ahead and got sealed. I'm totally fine with that too.

It may also help that I'm divorced and have actual real-world experience with the whole "ability to love more than one person" thing. That seems to be the thing my sister is most upset with. She thinks mom would be horrified that dad was sealed to another woman. I disagree there too, and have actually had confirmation in my hunches that mom helped pair "S" and my dad up together from up in heaven. She took such good care of him and I'm sure she wants him to continue to be taken care of down here. He's got years and years left of living, we're all sure. He'll probably outlive this second wife too! j/k

My kids (who are all teens) think that Grandpa's cool for having snagged him a "younger woman"!!!

Anyway, you're gonna have some family members give a hard time and some family members will embrace you, if he ever gets his head on straight. I have a feeling that your man is getting flak from his family and that's what is causing his reluctance to take things further. My dad worried about that too, but his friends (two of which are current bishops) and I kept encouraging him not to worry and to just go on and start enjoying life again. Ever since he started dating "S", he looks so youthful and exhuberant. I could not be happier for him.

I wish you luck.

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Dear MM,

Thank you so much for your post! It was very comforting to hear you perspective. I can only hope that my gentleman friend's family would feel as you do about wanting him to be happy. I really didn't get the feeling that his adult children would have much problem with their father marrying a new woman and accepting her into the family... but I have the impression he's just not really ready himself. He sounds so conflicted, not wanting to be alone, wanting intimacy, being very flirty, but feeling guilty and not wanting to betray his late wife. He says he's worried about his in-laws not understanding, but I'm guessing it's mostly internal hesitancy.

I noticed you mentioned your siblings interacted with "S" a few years back, and that your mother passed away not quite a few years ago... So can I ask how long your father knew and dated "S", and how long after losing your mom they started their relationship? I'm just curious how long they courted, etc. At an older age, do folks tend to go slower to be sure, or sooner to not waste time? I'm sure it's a personal choice... But interested to hear the pace other couples are comfortable with.

I'm also really interested in your feelings about your father's new sealing. I think that's great. Also, how long did it take for approval for his second sealing. Was that difficult to get?

I know there's no telling how this will play out for me, so this is a waiting game. But I'm thinking this holiday season, and the anniversary of his wife's death will all affect him over the next few months. I'm trying to give him time and space (as hard as it feels to be patient), yet let him know I care. We'll see... Your comments are very encouraging. Thank you so much. ^_^

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Perhaps this might be a good time to celebrate his wife's life and allow him to move on. I lost a dear friend to cancer on Easter and talked with an oncology nurse that lost her mom Chirstmas day and she said she was sad for several Christmases until she realized what a wonderful time for a Christian to die, on the Birthday of Christ, the one who came so that we could all live once again. After that, Christmas became a time of doubled joy. Christ's birth as well as her mom getting to meet him on his birthday.

Perhaps some counceling to find out why he is not moving may be in order. His wife would not want him morning this long if she loved him, so him staying "stuck" is not a good thing.

Also to gain a perfected body, we have to lose the old imperfected body through the process of death.

Could also be he wants to stay "stick" so he can't marry you. Have you thought of that?

Maybe it is time you start living your life without him so that he would realize it is you in his life that he wants.

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