Author Topic: Expect too much ?  (Read 6623 times)

Sugarbell

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Re: Expect too much ?
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2015, 08:07:50 PM »
Well I see both sides....as I woman..no I don't think you expected too much. You've been seeing each other since August-a simple text hoping your day was brighter is not too much to ask in a relationship.

However (and hope I don't get flamed)

SOME (and not all) men who have never walked the Widda world-are really uncomfortable with certain deep aspects of this journey. You had a bad night and cried at grief group..You told him...SOME men's take on it would be "She needs time to be alone..she misses her husband...I will wait till tomorrow"

They (again SOME men and women) just really get uncomfortable with certain aspects of this mess and would rather us work it out on our own or with our peers (fellow wids)

Took me a few years to realize this. Men we get involved with aren't grief specialists. You don't know how to handle this journey unless you have been thrown into it like us.

Ugh...I know the whole thing can be complicated.
B.W.H. 9/24/2007

Momtojandj

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Re: Expect too much ?
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2015, 08:55:44 PM »


Repeat after me: "I am responsible for my own happiness."
[/quote]





Bear, I agree ! Thanks for the reminder
"To love another person is to see the face of God "

Momtojandj

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Re: Expect too much ?
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2015, 08:58:18 PM »
Sugarbell, no flaming .. I appreciate all advice.  Not sure what is or will happen with this guy , time will tell. I could be wrong , but thinking maybe it's not our time.. Many reasons. We shall see.
"To love another person is to see the face of God "

Lisa

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Re: Expect too much ?
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2015, 09:00:37 AM »
Im confused as to whether he felt you were right expecting too much or right that he should have texted? Nicely I have to say I dont think it is fair to expect him to be a mind reader. Texting is the bane of the existence of midern relatiojships and dating.
"All the waves must reach the shore before the water calms"-Ray ♡

Mizpah

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Re: Expect too much ?
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2015, 09:28:44 AM »
I definitely don't think it's too much to hope for a quick hey how are you, especially since he knew you were down.  But I've been told I'm needy - I HATE this word.  I just hope that people (especially those in intimate partnerships of two) would have each other's back and express concern and support always about everything.  It's natural and instinctive to me to do these things, and isn't even something I have to think about, it's reflexive.  But I'm a woman and come from a really communicative, (overly?) loving family, and my relationship with DH was the most extraordinarily close and happy I've ever witnessed, so I'm spoiled.  My current boyfriend has asked me how I'm doing maybe 10 times in the past year and a half, and that includes a pregnancy, half of which we did long distance!  I think (some) men just aren't as up in our $hit as we are in theirs - do we care more?  Maybe.  When I've brought it up, he's so annoyed by the whole thing and always wonders and asks why I don't just bring up what I want to talk about or just tell him how I'm doing, how I'm feeling, how my day was, etc.  (I'm not the kind of person who just talks about myself when it's unsolicited.)  I do see his point, but I see mine too.  A long-winded way of saying I totally get wanting your partner to express concern.  I also am very familiar with the opposite of that!

Bear, I wish all men would do what you do (apologize) - it's not universal by a long shot. 
widowed 2011 (DH 28)

robunknown

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Re: Expect too much ?
« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2015, 12:16:18 PM »

I think this boils down to plain old miscommunication, and I blame it on texts. My rule of thumb these days has been when someone I know texts me something (or doesn't text me back) and really torques me up, and I am itching to send them one hell of a response.... I stop, and call them. 99.99% of the time something was lost in the communications and everything is "cool".

Captains wife

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Re: Expect too much ?
« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2015, 12:18:15 PM »
I feel for you on this issue - I have read your posts and having similar issues with someone I am dating myself. I think it was ok to tell him you were hurt that he didnt check in. But, to be fair to him, it was kind of him to call you initially and check in - so that is a good sign. The "problem" I have found in this new dating life is getting what you feel you want and need in a relationship is hard if the person isnt "built" that way. I think part of it is that he probably doesnt fully understand how much you were hurting so thought all was ok and he might not have thought he is was being insensitive. I am finding now I am needing more support than maybe in the past in my relationship but I am dating someone who isnt particularly sensitive to this or my needs - and he is a great person in many ways but he doesnt think like I do about situations and he is "tougher" than me emotionally. I think in your case too, maybe he just cant read what you are really needing ? Im sorry that he isnt supporting you like you want, though, that in itself must be frustrating. And please dont "blame" yourself. Relationships are a two way street.

Momtojandj

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Re: Expect too much ?
« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2015, 02:08:28 PM »
Lisa, to be clear he did agree that I was right he should've checked in.

However we had along talk this am, (and I agree texting is evil, I need to start calling when I don't get the text, most times it is miscommunication.) We had a heart to heart, he told me he feels he is always letting me down... My heart broke, I took as much responsibility and told him going forward I will be more clear, like please call me later and check on me or heck I'll just call him. Thanks for everyone support.
"To love another person is to see the face of God "

hachi

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Re: Expect too much ?
« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2015, 02:50:12 PM »
Managing expectations has, by far, been the most difficult part of my relationship with new guy. He has plain out told me that he is a "simple guy" and if I need something, I have to ask. On the surface, it sounds reasonable, but our hearts are anything but reasonable. I, plain and simple, don't want to ask. If I expect this relationship to work, I have to ask.

Can I learn? Maybe, I am trying. But part of me feels like, if I have to ask, somehow, the deed isn't worth as much. Not really coming from a place of  wanting to cherish and care for me. But I own that, not him. I am trying to be more direct, and so far, when I am, I get what I need. But I am also learning that for him, it is more like a check list, and once it is checked, that's it. So I might have to ask again. And again...  sigh

If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.      ~ A. Einstein

Mizpah

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Re: Expect too much ?
« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2015, 03:26:16 PM »
Hachi: same here.  All of it.  A huge adjustment from my relationship with DH.  And all relationships I've ever been in. 
widowed 2011 (DH 28)

messageinabottle

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Re: Expect too much ?
« Reply #25 on: March 17, 2015, 05:43:27 PM »
I do think us women do tend to make a big to do out of something that we shouldn't sometimes.  We simply think differently than men.   And in this day and age of instant communication we tend to think that there should be more responses to our situations than we would have before a cell phone around and text messages if that makes any sense.   Anyway rambling. but honestly putting myself in your shoes as a woman I would have felt the same way :)

Captains wife

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Re: Expect too much ?
« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2015, 06:44:07 AM »
One question I continually ask myself in relation to the initial post is - how much should we expect a new man (or partner) in our lives to support us in our grief ? Lets face it, this doesn't go away quickly and its onset can be rather unexpected and its not rational. Should I expect a man to be more sympathetic and let me cry on his shoulder about my dead husband and the loss of my married life ? I don't know...I think that is asking too much for a lot of men (or women for that matter). The man I am dating is very supportive about me talking about my husband, my "old" life and doesn't feel threatened in any way but he struggles with my grief and cant deal very well. I have also found this in prior dating relationships too. I depend on this Board, my mother and my grief therapist for my grief. Maybe with the "right" person, I wouldn't be asking these questions? I don't know what is realistic to expect another person to deal with. I am almost 3 years out and when I hit a rough patch, its not great, feel depressed, withdraw, cry a lot....much like others on this Board I suspect.

I think its great Momtojandj that you can be open with your new guy and talk openly about your grief.

Lisa

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Re: Expect too much ?
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2015, 08:45:17 AM »
Im glad you had a good talk and are both willing to work on communication
"All the waves must reach the shore before the water calms"-Ray ♡

Max2507

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Re: Expect too much ?
« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2015, 09:39:03 AM »
I think in any relationship its important to tell the other involved what you need. No one is a mind reader. If you had said I am having a bad day can you check in with me later, would he have? I know sometimes its hard to say what you need because its hard to know what you need.

anniegirl

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Re: Expect too much ?
« Reply #29 on: March 21, 2015, 11:52:31 AM »
Quote
The man I am dating is very supportive about me talking about my husband, my "old" life and doesn't feel threatened in any way but he struggles with my grief and cant deal very well. I have also found this in prior dating relationships too.

Just talking and sharing about the past is a fairly common thing that we all do. After all, widowed, divorced or single, we're not like new Barbies and Kens fresh off the shelf.

But grieving is tears, missing, hurt, regret that even if the new guy/gal is the most self-confident, grounded and emotionally steady person in the world, they are - over time - going to start to feel not so important. Second.

We are all only human. If you are dating someone who seems to you to be channeling a lot of emotions and doing a lot of thinking about the last love - whether that love died or things didn't work out - it can make you doubt yourself. Doubt the relationship. A little or a lot.

That's the tricky part of dating/recoupling in the first year or two-ish. There is the unfinished business of grief. Because the constant of grieving winds down with time not effort.

Like with our children (those of us who are parents), you can't totally hide the tears. For one, it's not healthy for anybody and two, it would cause more problems that it solved. But there has to be balance and it's the same in relationships.

From my personal experience and those I know who've dated/remarried, the new relationship has to be a high priority (if not the priority) if it is going to grow and last. That's how it works.

It's a good idea to share when you are having rough days and occasionally the new partner is going to be the shoulder you cry on, but it's also a very good idea to have a friend or family member you can go to so that your new love is your love and not your grief counselor.

Both my husband and I are widowed. Initially, we were just LDR friends and we shared a good bit about our struggles but as the relationship changed and then we decided to date - that stopped. In the first couple years of marriage, we tired to be conscious of each others' "dates" but finally, I initiated a discussion about it and we realized that neither of us really like that and that stopped too.

I know widowed couples who incorporate the past and present. Successfully. I know of instances where it ruined their marriages.

Of the "mixed" couples that I know the past figures only as much as it has to and that usually because of kids.

If there was a rule book and no exceptions to the rules ever, this would be easier. But relationships are like snowflakes (to use a very greeting care analogy) and aside from the "snow" part, every one is different enough that any but the most general rules are pointless.

It would be terrific if we all started dating when we felt completely grounded and ready but that isn't normally what happens.

The rules that do work are the same whether you are widowed or not: Be yourself. Be honest (but not brutally so). Ask for what you want/need. Treat the other person the way you want to be treated. Be kind.

I think having expectations is not a bad thing in any type of relationship. Articulating them is where it goes wrong because we don't for whatever reason.

Everyone on this thread has shared really great things and has (whether they know it or not) more of an understanding of how this dating thing after widowhood works than not. Dating hasn't changed. Relationships haven't changed. You've changed.
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