Inappropriate widow


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I've never had this experience before so I haven't been able to figure out how to deal with it. A woman ( a widow) moved into our ward about a year and a half ago. I hadn't really noticed her so much until I realized that every week we came to church or went to an activity she was smiling ang staring at my husband. He, by the way, didn't have a clue. I am not concerned about him. I know he loves me.  The problem is that I have gotten so I have a really hard time going to church and seeing her.  She obviously has some kind of inappropriate feelings for him. Going to church should always feel like a safe place and it doesn't now. It feels like a place where someone is trying to mess with the sanctity of my marriage, even though I know it's just in her head. This has really gotten to me. I have talked to my husband about it a lot and he assures me that he could care less about her.  He even goes out of his way to avoid her because he knows it is so upsetting to me. It's just uncomfortable and has caused  me so much stress. Why does she think it's ok to do that? ( it's been a lot more than just smiling and staring. I'm just condensing the whole story) 

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If I were you, I would talk with the bishop about it.  Your bishop, being a figure of authority in the ward, is in the best position to maybe pull aside this widow and gently tell her that she is making people really uncomfortable and needs to back off.  He is also in the best position to clarify the law of chastity and remind this widow that infidelity of any kind, as well as interference in someone else's marriage, is sinful.  

It is unfortunate that this stuff should happen among Mormons.  I personally keep a respectful distance from the sisters in the ward (both as a sign of respect to my wife and the husbands of these members), but the church attracts such a wide range of people that a (hopefully very) small percentage of members either struggle with this type of thing or don't know any better.

Edited by DoctorLemon
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9 hours ago, Spence said:

No not at all. It just feels a lot like when you're in high school and some one likes your boyfriend. But worse of course. 

Ok: so if she has these feelings, she's already controlling herself and not acting upon them.  That's really all anyone can ask for.

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9 hours ago, Spence said:

No not at all. It just feels a lot like when you're in high school and some one likes your boyfriend. But worse of course. 

Frankly, I wouldn't worry about it at all, and unless there is some specific behavior besides "she is looking at my husband a lot" it might be time to be a little introspective about your own feelings.

If she starts to blatantly flirt then that might be a problem, but otherwise who knows why she is staring.  For all you know, your husband might remind her a lot of her spouse that died and simply seeing someone that looks/acts like her dead spouse might be bringing a little bit of joy into her life.

My guess is that you are fairly young and so is she (i.e. this isn't your "typical" widow case and she is young enough that should would eventually be looking to get remarried). Having come close to being in that situation myself, my biggest piece of advice.

Have some Compassion and Christ-like love for her.

It is said that as a rule of thumb people need to grieve at least one month for every year that they were married (I think that is a little jilted, but hey it's a rule of thumb). It is entirely possible that she is either a) still grieving or b) has started to transition out of grieving to living a "normal" life.

Quite frankly, losing a spouse at a fairly young age, I say <60, is extremely hard and unless you've either walked that path or come close to walking that path, you will never know the pain, suffering, and agony that one must go through. To say it is rough is the understatement of the year. Your whole world is turned upside down, if you have kids, even worse so. Screwy, weird thoughts and feelings come and go, it is a roller-coaster that you never know when the high or the low will hit.

And if it has been a while and she hasn't remarried, it can be even worse b/c unfortunately in this church (not a dog, just the reality), the available pool of quality men or women to marry from the ages of say 30-50 (they are already married and having families!) is pretty pitiful. So take someone who had a temple marriage, living the good life and then their spouse is gone at say 35.  They still want companionship and to love, staying single from 35-80+ is no way to live life, yet who are they going to marry at 35? Just about anyone who is quality is already married, and even worse-off for them if they had an awesome spouse.

It is highly doubtful she means anything harmful by what she does.  Rather than be jealous, have compassion and become friends with her, who knows . . .maybe you are the key to helping her get remarried to an awesome man-a friend, a co-worker you know who is single, etc.

Edited by yjacket
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11 hours ago, Spence said:

even though I know it's just in her head

I submit that no one knows what's in another person's head* unless said other person has truthfully spoken what's in their head.  Rather than drawing conclusions based on your own experience and avoiding the issue, follow yjacket's advice, or talk directly to her (best option, IMO - and should consist of what you feel and how you are interpreting things rather than making statements of what she is feeling or thinking, as if you knew them*), or if you have to talk to someone else, talk to the bishop.

* Except brain, eyeballs, blood, fluids, and the like.

* There are few things more annoying that having another (mortal) person tell you what you think or feel (or what you don't know or what you did/didn't do/say when they weren't present), as if they could possibly know without you telling them.

Edited by zil
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12 hours ago, Spence said:

I've never had this experience before so I haven't been able to figure out how to deal with it. A woman ( a widow) moved into our ward about a year and a half ago. I hadn't really noticed her so much until I realized that every week we came to church or went to an activity she was smiling ang staring at my husband. He, by the way, didn't have a clue. I am not concerned about him. I know he loves me.  The problem is that I have gotten so I have a really hard time going to church and seeing her.  She obviously has some kind of inappropriate feelings for him. Going to church should always feel like a safe place and it doesn't now. It feels like a place where someone is trying to mess with the sanctity of my marriage, even though I know it's just in her head. This has really gotten to me. I have talked to my husband about it a lot and he assures me that he could care less about her.  He even goes out of his way to avoid her because he knows it is so upsetting to me. It's just uncomfortable and has caused  me so much stress. Why does she think it's ok to do that? ( it's been a lot more than just smiling and staring. I'm just condensing the whole story) 

Instead of being a child about the situation why not try having a conversation with the lady, get to know her and you might get to know whats going on in her head.  Odds are you are upset about nothing.

Edited by omegaseamaster75
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14 minutes ago, omegaseamaster75 said:

Terrible advice. Don't bother your bishop with your high school drama he has bigger fish to fry.

Actually, you never know . . .the bishop might just give the non-widowed sister a new calling, something like compassionate service leader or the like and then part of her church responsibility would be the care of the widows.

Besides the youth, one of the main responsibilities of Bishops to care for their flock, especially the poor, sick, the needy, the widows.

Jame 1:27

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

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54 minutes ago, omegaseamaster75 said:

Terrible advice. Don't bother your bishop with your high school drama he has bigger fish to fry.

We should NEVER EVER tell people on this forum to not talk to their Bishop.  It is never up to us to make that determination.  Nor should we ever recommend otherwise.

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