Author Topic: A Little More Private About ch2?  (Read 2091 times)


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A Little More Private About ch2?
« on: August 31, 2016, 11:22:41 PM »
I am so delighted by my ch2. Yet, I have no desire to gush about him.

I work in customer service. When my husband died, everyone at work knew and many clients knew too....not by my own choosing.
I was always very proud of my ch1, and was never bothered by the occasional regular client who would ask about my personal life.
But now I find myself sort of appalled by any question about my personal happenings. A very sweet regular client(who knew my husband died) recently asked if I had a boyfriend. And I was so caught off guard. It felt like it was none of her business. Glad to talk about ch1 with her because he's already on the discussion block. But I don't want spectators to whatever happens in my life now. I don't want anyone being happy for me, nor passing negative judgement. So I fumbled on my words and just said "uhhhmm, maybe -- that's kind of a weird question."  She apologized, and I elaborated "that's my personal life, and I rather just leave my private life at home and come to work and do my job".
Ch2 will die one day or maybe the relationship will just go to shit.....why would I want to involve this lady in that? Or anyone else for that matter?

And I guess it just got me thinking. These days I just don't want to have an audience to my life. I just want to live it in privacy. Someday when ch2 dies, I don't want a local world of onlookers getting off on my misfortune like it's entertainment. 

I also don't want to open the door to people saying more stupid shit (like the c*nt who told me "it's a good thing your husband died")

I also worry about sending the wrong message to people if they know about ch2. Just because I have a ch2 doesn't mean I am doing amazing or moved on or whatever bullshit-feel-good thing they want to perceive. I don't want congratulations. If they want to congratulate me on something it shouldn't be being dateable, it should be for being an outstanding wife to my dead husband. I'd take that.

I haven't been on Facebook in 7years. I am so glad for glad that my trauma didn't have to unfold publically on Facebook.

I have told precisely three non-family people about ch2. Its really hard for me to do...I drop it in the most casual way feasible. My ch2 had been feeling like he was a secret in my life.....and for a long time he was. I am just sloooowly letting the lid off about him. But not getting detailed at all. And honestly, I'm content if no one else at work knows about him from here on out. I am not ashamed of him...he is an amazing gift to me, I am so grateful for his presence in my life And especially during such a strange time in my life. But I don't want to talk about that with anyone but family who knows more nitty gritty details about my situation.

How have others here dealt with matters of privacy? For those of you on FB, did you find your manner of using it changed surrounding the death of your spouse?
And what about your ch2? How do you feel discussing the presence of your ch2 in your life with various people?


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  • aka MissingmyTim
Re: A Little More Private About ch2?
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2016, 06:37:39 AM »
I can relate very well to this.  When my chapter 2 relationship started I kept it a secret for several months, only telling one friend and my sister.  I waited about 6 months before telling my children and didn't feel comfortable putting it out to the world before they knew.  I was very slow in introducing him to friends and family and I do not gush about him. We were together a year before I put a picture of us on FB and probably only 3 more in the year since.  He was very understanding for a long time but he did eventually wonder if the privacy I was keeping was a reflection on my feelings for him.  He is now very much a part of my life but I still don't find myself gushing about him to others.  Maybe it's an age thing, maybe it's partly respect for my marriage to DH and the fact that I did not choose for that relationship to end.  I don't like being the subject of gossip and have been very uncomfortable since DHs death with the amount of talk around town about my boys and I (not necessarily negative but feels like being judged). 

I'm sharing this not because I think I am a role model in any way.  I think I have isolated myself too much because of my fear of judgement or pity in many aspects of widowhood.  Opening myself back up to a few close friends is a goal I want to work towards.  Privacy at work and on social media is very appropriate but I think I took it to the extreme among family and friends.

Enjoy your relationship as it unfolds and share as much as you feel comfortable sharing.  There is no instruction manual for us to follow.
You will forever be my always.


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Re: A Little More Private About ch2?
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2016, 10:11:58 AM »

I also worry about sending the wrong message to people if they know about ch2. Just because I have a ch2 doesn't mean I am doing amazing or moved on or whatever bullshit-feel-good thing they want to perceive. I don't want congratulations. If they want to congratulate me on something it shouldn't be being dateable, it should be for being an outstanding wife to my dead husband. I'd take that.

I assumed this would be my view as well, that  I wouldn't want anyone to know, because they would make presumptions about my grief or feelings for Dan. But when I started falling for N, I found the opposite to be true. I wanted to gush about him. My only concern was making sure Dan's family heard it from me. I told his siblings and good friends over the phone; his parents I made sure I told in person. There were some people I believe, who got the impression  that I was "better" to the point that they approached me after a period of zero contact. That I found irksome, but that's about it.

All of our good family and friends know, but for reasons involving issues of custody and parenting time with his daughter, his ex doesn't know, so we are not public on Facebook yet. And that bothers me, which makes me feel entirely silly. I think it's because as a widow, it feels like a big deal to no longer be "married to Dan" on Facebook, but I'm ready to do that for N. I have no desire to list myself as widowed or single, but would be happy to say that I'm in a relationship with N. Instead of the choice being guided by my negotiation of my grief and feelings, it's being dictated by this horrible person. There are other reasons why I would really like her to know about me that I won't go into. I mean, I don't even feel  I can post a picture of us here. But  basically, I really thought I would feel the way you do but I don't. So I think your feelings, and mine are equally valid.
You are the Bear of my heart dear,
And nothing can take that away.


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Re: A Little More Private About ch2?
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2016, 10:24:11 AM »
Thanks for this topic.  I, too, have been now with NG 6 months, long distance.  He asked not to put things on FB.  Best relationship is no relationship on FB, he said.  Well, I felt concerned as he had his previous GF on there, from 2 years ago.  But, now I am okay.  I have been in public places, church with him and vice versa without gushing all over FB about my NG.  I also can post what I want about DH memories regarding our son, which I do, and is okay, as my FB folks know my marriage of 21 years and our son.  So, I have decided it is a good course for me to take.  I am not hiding it but not putting it all out there, either.  Privacy.  Now, my neighbors all see his vehicle at my house, and I know they are curious as one just asked me.  Small town life.....


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Re: A Little More Private About ch2?
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2016, 12:42:19 PM »
Relate so much to this topic.  Not a FB fan and I use it solely for family and distant close friends and relatives.  Maybe I am overly cautious and private but I don't want to put myself or my kids picture and private happenings out there.  My Ch. 2 feels the same way and it works for us. 

As I read Trying's comments I found myself nodding my head.  Yes. Yes. 


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Re: A Little More Private About ch2?
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2016, 08:50:47 AM »
I can also relate. Since we weren't very far out when we got together, we didn't confirm we were a couple until a year after we were together on FB. I was mostly worried about people misinterpreting our relationship as a band aid for grief, when in reality it was very serious. I asked myself a lot why I even cared, but I always came back to it would be hard for me to deal with people thinking I was dishonoring Joe. The truth is, even waiting a year, people still thought that and cut off ties. At that point I realized those people had no interest in me doing better and if they aren't on board with me being happy, they can take a flying leap into their own misery.
On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good. - Unknown

Don't be concerned about being disloyal to your pain by being joyous. - Hazrat Inayat Khan

Joe: 1979- 7/2014


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Re: A Little More Private About ch2?
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2016, 08:04:05 PM »
I find as I get older, I don't want my home life to be everybody's business: whether chapter 2 includes a partner or not.

In fact, I rarely talk about it because I don't want Boss to think, in the back of his head, "Nonesuch has a man, now, so she doesn't need a raise."  I don't think Boss is mean spirited, I just don't need him knowing who I live or don't live with.  I'm  little more open with actual friends. 

I have kind of a policy that I don't make connections on Facebook with the people I work with.  I see those folks 4 or five days a week.  I already know all I need to about them.


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Re: A Little More Private About ch2?
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2016, 06:41:07 AM »
Looking back, I was super-cautious about letting anyone "in" on my "secret" (well, except a bunch of people from the old board) because my husband had been such a "personality" in this town and among the arts people I continue to work with and as a former and much beloved teacher in this community.  It seemed like a breach of trust or betrayal or something.  I'll admit, having a secret was also kind of fun. 

But somewhere along the line, I threw all of that out the window and just thought "F*ck it. I am happy so why not show it in any way I want."  I'm sure we've annoyed the living hell out of people this summer with pictures and posts on social media but I do not care what they think.  I've had people suggest that everything is all perfect all of the time or that all we do is have fun and I always want to say, "Facebook lies."  It lied while my husband was ill and I was carefully curating a photographic narrative of how we lived out his two year illness and death; it was life on exhibit, NOT what was going on inside my house or in my heart.  That is mine to hold close and share only with the people I trust and that is still true.  It amazes me how people look at things on social media and think they're somehow getting the whole story. 

Anyway, I am rambling!  I wasn't ready to go public with my relationship for a long time.  It didn't feel right and I was enjoying the middle school-esque feeling of having a secret. As for the rest of my life, for a long time I wasn't ready to let the world in again.  It has taken a couple of years for me to get to a point where I can let my guard down.  My impulse toward anonymity and privacy at the beginning was strong (I needed it to feel in control) but I took it too far, isolating myself unnecessarily and to my own detriment.   In the end though, I came out of it with some really strong relationships and a much clearer sense of my own limits and boundaries.  This is all such a process; a seemingly endless process that evolves and changes over time.  Do what is right for you and change course as circumstances or your feelings about things change, too, because in my experience they inevitably will. 


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Re: A Little More Private About ch2?
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2016, 07:52:22 PM »
Thanks everyone for your replies. It was really nice to hear all the perspectives.

Jess, I think you hit on a big one..... The desire to avoid looking like you are dishonoring the deceased spouse. I am sorry that people still saw it that way in your life. What a weird world that people think they have the whole picture on someone else's life.


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Re: A Little More Private About ch2?
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2016, 05:12:08 PM »
Thanks, Semper for posting. This is my first view of the 'relationships' thread and I hadn't even let myself think that far ahead with NG until recently ... I have a couple people I privately gush to a little but I've never been one to talk about my private life much. I think because of my negative Ch1 experience, I became very cautious. Then when he died and I got close to the man who became Ch2, I just maintained my quiet. I realized not too long ago why -- in a conversation with a couple of ladies at the gym I shared that my two husbands had died and one of the women in the guise of a joke called me a black widow. It annoyed me more than anything and made me sure I'd done the right thing not to talk too much about NG, who I truly would love to be my Ch3. He is a private sort as well and we are slowly growing into what I would call a real relationship but aren't labeling it. I have mentioned to my mom (who was thrilled) and stepdaughter that I have a 'friend' (just so she won't get publicly weird about it down the line) should it become Ch3. Beyond that, all quiet on the western front, except on a few places here of course :) Interestingly, he made a comment a few days ago about 'when I tell my friends' about his cooking, which made me wonder if he's telling his friends about mine LOL!

Seek peace, and pursue it - Psalm 34:14b