Author Topic: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"  (Read 3466 times)

Quixote

  • Member
  • Posts: 202
"You talk about her as if she's still alive"
« on: June 26, 2016, 06:08:44 PM »
I had one of those moments where someone asks about my wife and I tell them that she died a bit ago (five years).  Then there were the usual embarrassed "I'm sorrys" followed by me telling them it's okay, and anyway it's been a while now.

That's when a friend of mine told me "Nothing wrong with it, but you know you talk about her all the time, like she's still alive."

I guess I do.  I mean, we met when I was 19, so the vast majority of my adult life and experiences were  with her.  And we pretty much did everything together, so if I tell a story about visiting someplace, I'll mention she was there.  And she was pithy and smart as hell, so I often quote her.  It's not like I bring her up in every sentence, but yeah, I probably talk about her as much as people do with living spouses.

It's not an awful thing, I guess.  I like reminiscing about the good stuff, even the mundane things.  But this tendency of mine probably isn't helping me with my complete failure to move on with life.

Anyone else experience this?

AubreeAnn

  • Member
  • Posts: 33
Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2016, 06:54:39 PM »
I'm so sorry someone said that to you. I haven't experienced this because I'm only a few months into my loss. For what it's worth, I don't think it's a bad thing that you speak of your wife like that. It's not fair to you to keep those memories to yourself, to not reference her because you feel like you shouldn't (if that's the case). Wishing you all the best.

twistedmensa

  • Member
  • Posts: 225
  • Embracing the suck since 1968!
Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2016, 06:58:23 PM »
You aren't alone. I still talk about him constantly. I don't care if people think I need to move on; when they've walked my journey, they are more than welcome to offer their opinion.

Virgo

  • Member
  • Posts: 897
  • Location:Indiana Widowed:2/4/14
Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2016, 08:03:39 PM »
I think it's important to talk about my late husband. Especially around our daughters. Do you refer to her in the past tense when you talk about her?
Jen

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." Dr. Seuss

serpico

  • Member
  • Posts: 277
Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2016, 10:49:10 AM »
My fiancĂ©e tells me that I nearly didn't get a second date because I talked about my late wife so much on our first date.  And on our second date she tactfully told a friend that I kept referring to my late wife as 'my wife', which made her question how 'ready' I really was for dating.  I could have taken offense but when I considered her point of view her concerns made sense.

I mention those instances only because I know you've been considering dating again.  If it hadn't been pointed out to me I probably never would have realized how much I talked about her.  And in and of itself it's no big deal, but I could see it giving pause to  a potential mate.
'I think I got some of your pickle'

MrsDan

  • Member
  • Posts: 470
Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2016, 11:05:11 AM »
Yes, it's happened at work a few times. I'd told a few people, and assumed it would get around. It didn't. I actually had to have an awkward conversation with one about the fact that no, that guy who came to the museum is not my husband, my husband is deceased. That guy is my boyfriend.
You are the Bear of my heart dear,
And nothing can take that away.

donswife

  • Member
  • Posts: 552
Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2016, 12:02:53 PM »
yes I also talk about him all the time
LIke you ,we were together longer then we were apart so he's in most of my stories
plus I notice I still say we and our all the time and try and catch myself
Not sure why , and like you is it something I should stop
Now that it has been pointed out to you Does it bother you ?
My everything

Wheelerswife

  • Member
  • Posts: 1099
  • Widowed x 2.
Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2016, 03:11:48 PM »
I also talk about John a lot, but almost everyone I know here knew him.  I think we both talked about our late spouses a LOT when we first met and were talking.  Heck, they were a huge part of our lives.  After a bit, we started our own story together, but our late spouses were always in the background of our minds.  I don't see how that was a problem.

I understand that we as widowed folks need to be sensitive to the needs of a date/potential new person in our lives, but at the same time, if that person is so insecure that he/she finds that talking about a late spouse is offensive, perhaps that person isn't cut out to be the next Mr./Ms. Right.

So Quixote, the right person will be able to handle the reality that you loved your wife wholeheartedly and will find that quality about you to be very attractive.

Maureen
Life is short.  Love with all you've got. 

Barry 11/29/55-9/22/09       John  1/16/57-1/11/14

Empathy  Developer  Responsibility  Adaptability Connectedness

Quixote

  • Member
  • Posts: 202
Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2016, 04:23:14 PM »
Thanks everyone. I don't use present tense, not anymore (did for about a year).  But I call her "my wife", not "late wife", use her first name, that sort of thing. So I get what my friend was saying. And Serpico nails one point--  I've been somewhat half heartedly considering maybe dating again, so yeah, not a winning proposition. There's that whole comparison thing.   But she was and is a big part of my life, part if me, really. Not talking about her at all feels like denying that she existed

Maybe Maurevens right, there's someone out there who can accept that.  My dog does, anyway

SoVerySad

  • Member
  • Posts: 865
Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2016, 05:32:45 PM »
Quixote,

I started out as best friends with my husband at age 15, evolved to dating at age 16, and was with him for 30 years of my life. Unless I'm going to talk about my childhood, my conversations will likely often include talking about my husband. I've not done much happy or interesting in the 3 years since he died. I enjoy talking about him as we enjoyed each other so much. So, yes, I do this, too. I don't think I really talk about him in present tense, but I definitely still call him my husband, not late husband. I agree with Maureen that someone so insecure as to find it problematic, would probably not be a good match for me, because I would not want to feel as if I have to hide my true feelings from a partner. At this point, it still just comes naturally. I spent all of my adulthood with him. All stories I tell about him now are past tense in nature, but he was my husband at the time those events occurred.

Hugs to you...

Without you, Baby, I'm not me.

Bunny

  • Member
  • Posts: 285
  • widowed 2012
Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2016, 08:24:07 PM »
I didn't get married until I was 32, married 15 years, and I still talk about him quite a bit. I still find myself using 'my husband' and 'my late husband' both- though I'm trying to be more conscious about this since I have a boyfriend. Otherwise, it can get kinda confusing for the listener :). I just try to make an effort to show that he is my number one now. I think it does require a strong and secure ego to date the widowed. And a widowed person who is ready to accommodate the feelings of a new partner.

I read a good analogy about this from a widow- she compared it to the Olympics. Her late husband was the winner of the gold medal in the last Olympics, but now this is a new game, no need to compete with old Olympic winners, only hafta compete with the current crop of athletes / dating pool. (I'm paraphrasing, she said it much more eloquently).

« Last Edit: June 29, 2016, 07:30:07 AM by Bunny »
It is a fearful thing to love what Death can touch.

swilson

  • Member
  • Posts: 185
  • Widower since Sept. 2014
Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2016, 09:18:26 PM »
I make no apologies for talking about LW, but it's not as though I bring her up all the time. We were married 36 years and I can't just flip a switch and turn all the life and memories off.
~ she's gone to Heaven so I've got to be good, so I can see my baby when I leave this world ~

Trying

  • Member
  • Posts: 1635
  • aka MissingmyTim
Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2016, 09:44:44 PM »
I was also with DH my entire adult life, 19-44, so I think it's natural he comes up in stories.  I am trying to use "late husband" when speaking to people who don't know my situation but I find many times people don't really register what I said and I still end up explaining later in the conversation that he died.  I think it's the age thing, people just don't expect some one my age to be a widow, they assume divorce because it's more common.

As for my boyfriend, I just use Tim's name and he knows so much about him at this point in our relationship.  I have always been pretty mindful about not pointing out similarities or differences but it comes up any way at times.  Boyfriend luckily is not threatened by this as it is never done to make him feel less than, it usually is just in explanation to my reaction to something. 
You will forever be my always.

serpico

  • Member
  • Posts: 277
Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2016, 10:15:03 PM »
I don't think worrying about a widow constantly talking about their late spouse is a sign of insecurity but rather a common sense red flag that perhaps the widow is a little too rooted in the past to be able to move forward.
'I think I got some of your pickle'

Taurus

  • Member
  • Posts: 86
Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2016, 10:12:03 PM »
...
Anyone else experience this?

Yep, I do it all the time and it certainly helps with the emptiness inside me. When I want to go visit her resting place, I just tell our daughters I'm going to visit mum and it's perfectly natural to say it, and our girls do the same thing.

I don't contemplate having someone else replace my beloved soulmate. I don't do online dating, I prefer to meet people in real life in social environments, and I've several opportunities to evolve potential friendships but I'm always up front that I'm just not looking for any relationships, short or long term. Maybe in time, just not in the foreseeable future..

Carry on as you are...