Author Topic: Do we get more than one great love?  (Read 2221 times)

Karin_a

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Do we get more than one great love?
« on: February 07, 2017, 07:27:00 AM »
Not sure if this is post is in the right place. But I have been thinking a lot lately about my boyfriend and how I knew from the first moment I saw him and talked with him that he was the one. We knew what the other person was thinking without even saying a word. What we shared was so special and I knew he was the one person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I know I will always love him and miss him. It wasn´t supposed to be like this, I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him not just the rest of his.

Do you think you can get more than one great love? And what happens if we do meet the person we lost after we die and we have met someone new?

I guess I´m scared that if I would meet someone new that I would forget and disappoint my love... I´m so torn I don´t want to be alone forever and I want a family of my own but at the same time it was supposed to be with my boyfriend and now when he died I don´t know whats right.

Just needed to get it out....dont really have anyone to talk to about this

Wheelerswife

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Re: Do we get more than one great love?
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2017, 07:59:39 AM »
Hi, Karin,

Let me just say that I had a second great love.  Now, my hope is for a third great love down the road a little bit more.  I know many folks who have been widowed who have found love again.  Just a couple of days ago, I was invited to another wedding of a widow I met through the precursor to this board.

I know that people have differing religious and/or spiritual beliefs.  My perspective is that THIS is the life I have and in which I want happiness.  I don't know what comes next...I don't follow any specific religious tenets...but my experience in life tells me that it is important that I live my life as fully as I can.  For me, that includes the very special kind of love that I found with my two partners in life who sadly died long before their time.

I never felt as though finding my second great love in any way diminished the love I had for my first husband.  My second husband was also widowed, and his experience of finding love with me made him the happiest he had ever been.  His colleagues and friends saw the change that came about in him.  I know without a question that he would want me to find another man who will love me deeply and contribute to my happiness in whatever time I have left on this earth.

As far as forgetting...some memories will fade, but it is nothing like how I lost memories of childhood.  Some memories move into the background, but a story or a picture or a familiar smell or visiting a special place seem to bring those memories to the forefront.  The good thing about fading memories, to me, is that the difficult memories also get softer.

I hope that you will find yourself comfortable in stepping out with someone new when you are ready.  A new relationship will be different - and I think that is a good thing.  My second husband had some really amazing qualities that were not a part of the make-up of my first husband, and I cherished those differences.  You aren't looking to replace a worn appliance or car...this isn't comparison shopping.  It is a process of opening yourself up to the uniqueness of someone new, coming to love that person for themselves, and bonding in a way you may never have expected.

Best wishes to you as you continue to explore your future.

Hugs,

Maureen

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

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

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MrsDan

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Re: Do we get more than one great love?
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2017, 10:00:57 AM »
If you're asking if it's possible to experience love on the level that we did with our deceased loves, then I would say yes. I wouldn't have thought so before I met my boyfriend. It's something I had to experience for myself to believe, is still something of a mind fuck for me.

I don't know what happens after we die. I do know what I needed to find this life bearable, to find joy. I don't know how Dan would feel about me being with someone else. I do know that I've grieved, and still grieve very hard for him. I'm also fairly confident that he would have recoupled, and possibly sooner than I did. I also think he would approve of the choice I made, that he would like my boyfriend a lot.
You are the Bear of my heart dear,
And nothing can take that away.

Trying

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Re: Do we get more than one great love?
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2017, 12:32:55 PM »
I agree with MrsDan, I never would have thought it was possible before it happened to me.  I even fought it, tried sabotaging my new relationship a few times because I didn't think it was right to be feeling what I was feeling.  I have settled into acceptance that the heart has a great capacity to make room for new love without replacing past love. 

I am a spiritual person but I don't really worry about what will happen in the afterlife.  God gave me the capacity to love more than one so I trust He has a plan for how that works out in the end.  I know I function better and am happier being in a partnership, being loved and loving someone else. 

I think the questions you have are natural and my experience has been that it is not easy to reconcile the feelings of grief with the hope that new love brings.  In my case, finding someone who could be patient and understanding with the challenges of dating a widow like me made me all the more sure he was the right guy.
You will forever be my always.

Mizpah

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Re: Do we get more than one great love?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2017, 09:07:22 AM »
Karin_a, for what it's worth, my story/perspective:

DH and I were obsessively harmoniously in love, in a way that didn't fade over the (sadly few) years we shared.  He used to say, "No one's in love like we are."  He brought a calm to my life I'd never known.  I'd always had a feeling that stuff was happening elsewhere and I wanted to be there, but with him, I finally felt like wherever we were together was the only place I needed or wanted to be.  All my prior relationships, even long-term ones, just faded into black and white. 

When he died, I truly deeply believed I would never have feelings for anyone ever again.  Not like that.  Maybe not at all. 

After about two years, I started to feel alive again.  (At about 15 months, I started dating someone for a few months.  He was a very kind and good man, absolutely nothing wrong with him, but I had no feelings, which just reinforced my original opinion.)  I met a man who I'd intended to just be friends with - "more" hadn't even occurred to me.  He was a widower and I tried as often as I could to "pay forward" the support I'd gotten.  But as soon as we met, there was something.  It was a feeling of inevitability (at the time, I only recognized it as an inevitability of a fling/sexual connection).  After only a very short time, I realized I was deeply attached to this person, and he was to me, the chemistry was undeniable and overwhelming.  I was SHOCKED.  Fast forward a few years, and what was once a casual long distance fling is now us raising our child together. 

Now for the harsh truth: what we share is not anything like what DH and I shared.  After the initial "honeymoon phase" whirlwind romance, newness, extreme lust of beginnings, it changed.  Keep in mind though: DH and I didn't have children, we didn't have financial worries, we basically just had a life where our only obligation was work, and the rest of our lives were all about enjoyment.  NG and I are co-parents to a young child (read: strain/stress!).  We have financial worries.  We have a house and yard.  We are both widows, so we have emotional baggage.  We have extremely different personalities and preferences (country mouse and city mouse to say the least).  So a lot of it I'm sure is circumstantial - if we were living the same kind of easy life DH and I lived, the nature of our relationship would likely be way more fun.  DH and I were perfect for each other.  NG and I are not.  It's debatable whether we're incompatible (negative view) or whether we balance each other out (positive view).  That being said, though, there are moments in which I love this man SO MUCH my heart hurts.  We have a deep bond and crazy love for each other.  It is different for sure - what we share with one person can never be replicated with another person, with all the multitudes of who they are.  It is different, but it is wonderful and sweet. 

As for making DH proud, there have been many moments (mostly in the past when NG and I were going through major adjustments not gracefully) in which I think DH would be sad for me and angry at me, would want me to leave NG.  In the first couple years after DH died, all I wanted was to pay tribute to DH with my life and my choices and myself.  Life becomes complicated again though, and a laser focus on honoring DH wouldn't honor my life. 

I used to have dreams about DH.  I used to think that, when I gave birth to my daughter, I would be heartbroken because she wasn't DH's.  But I wasn't, and the most recent dream I had, DH was holding my daughter and believed she was his.  I was heartbroken to have to tell him she wasn't, but my heart was NG's in the dream.  I will always love DH, he will always be the most intense love I ever experienced, but my new life/love isn't lesser, and I don't feel sad. 

I say now I have a starfish heart, that we all do.  The arm was gone, destroyed, lost, dead, when DH died.  But it grew back, gradually, different but just as big, just as useful, just as full. 
« Last Edit: February 08, 2017, 02:28:49 PM by Mizpah »
widowed 2011 (DH 28)

Mrs Reader

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Re: Do we get more than one great love?
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2017, 02:08:01 PM »
Thank you all for these. I am crying, but in a hopeful way. I am so lonely. But maybe not forever. Thanks.

fairlanegirl

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Re: Do we get more than one great love?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2017, 04:07:52 PM »
Thank you all for these. I am crying, but in a hopeful way. I am so lonely. But maybe not forever. Thanks.
I see you are very recently widowed and I remember too coming to this section of the previous board almost straight away, when things were still so surreal, just for hope. I remember one widow talking of frantically giving her husband CPR, ultimately unsuccessfully, and thinking as she did it, 'No! You can't die! I haven't finished loving yet!' It is the kind of thing one has to be very careful relating to those who haven't been widowed, and even to those who have, but it is exactly how I felt.
Rambling, but saying I know exactly what you mean. Six years on, it is still hard, but I have a lovely boyfriend who is a good man in a different way, and still love my husband as much as the day we married. It is possible. Hang in there.

Karin_a

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Re: Do we get more than one great love?
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2017, 05:09:35 PM »
Reading all of your replies gives me hope. Something to hold on to. That it is possible, maybe not right now but someday I can find another great love. Thank you.

Quixote

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Re: Do we get more than one great love?
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2017, 08:47:07 PM »
I never thought I'd love again. DW and I met when we were 19, married out of college and stayed desperately in love for 23 years, did everything together, never disagreed on significant things, toured the world, had adventures but above all had that connect you can only have by growing up together-- literally our entire adult lives were together. We shared a secret language no one else could understand, sometimes literally

Five years of being still alive after losing her (and that seemed a 50/50 proposition once), I said to myself:  at least try to meet women. So I gave it a try. Chatted at parties, met up for music rehearsals, even the odd date.  And it all seemed to confirm my suspicions.  I could have a nice evening, enjoy a fellow human's company, maybe even be intimate.   But True Love?  Nah. That I was fortunate to have once. Not everyone does, so I should count myself lucky.

Then NG called me up one morning.  We were good friends from forever. She'd been a friend of DW's too, and in fact they'd gone through chemo at the same time.  Not much alike, but close as sisters.  NG and her fiancée had broken up come months prior. She told me that she was just going to drop that into conversation, since I hadn't picked up on it. But then she heard DW's voice saying to her "Better tell him you're interested. He's clueless".  I laughed so long, as people do to avoid crying. I could hear DW, too.  It's the sort of thing she'd have said.

It's not just the history-- we really are ridiculously similar in so many ways, interests, philosophy and a desire not to waste life. We're going to have our adventures, too. The weird thing is, although we've always been friends, old me wasn't as closely matched as we are now.  It's taken five years of being on my own and the life changes I've experienced to be the guy who is madly in love with NG

I read the above, and realize old me would have thrown something at the computer if he'd seen it. Once, I wore my pain like a badge of honor.  The thought of loving someone new still raises guilt at times.  But being miserable doesn't bring our lost loves back.

Life is precious. It deserves to be lived. And loved.

Captains wife

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Re: Do we get more than one great love?
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2017, 08:55:55 PM »
I think at first after becoming widowed and especially when I read these lovely stories of true loves with very happy relationships/marriages I can understand why some people feel that way. I truly believe there is potentially multiple people out there for all of us - although a true match is a rare and very special thing. I loved my husband but even when I married him I didn't feel he was the true love of my life-my perfect match that I was looking for. But I love him and did enjoy being with him and I was lucky in many ways to have in my life as although there were rough patches - he taught me a good many things and I am a better person for it. I have been dating someone recently  who I think is a better match for me than my husband was - it's early days and it takes me a while to get to those feelings but for the first time I have real hope I will love again - and deeply. Wishing you all the best,

wecouldbeheros

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Re: Do we get more than one great love?
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2017, 09:15:20 AM »
Hopefully

Lmsmdm

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Re: Do we get more than one great love?
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2017, 08:51:50 PM »
I certainly think it is possible. I just don't think it is promised.
You hate me don't you? Yup, so much I married you twice! :)

tybec

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Re: Do we get more than one great love?
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2017, 06:50:45 AM »
With my faith beliefs, YES.  All things SHALL BE POSSIBLE!

I think you will never love the new person the same, because you cannot as you are not the same person, either.  I believe our hearts can grow indefinitely with love. Those with more than one child experience that all the time.  Your heart grows as there is not a finite amount. 

But no promises, as Lmsmdm stated.

mbanyard

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Re: Do we get more than one great love?
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2017, 08:54:58 AM »
I am going to totally crib some bits from your original post, as I am in the midst of exactly the same thing....and my answer is absolutely YES....YES we can have a great love after our spouse passes, and sometimes it's a stronger love because of everything that has happened.

I  also knew from the first moment I saw him and talked with him that he was the one. It was like being struck by lightening! We know what the other person is thinking without saying a word and everything is so comfortable all the time. What we share is so special that I now believe in love at first sight and think that my DH sent my wonderful new love to me.

and I knew he was the one person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I know I will always love him and miss him. It wasn´t supposed to be like this, I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him not just the rest of his.

I was also scared that if I met someone new that I would forget and disappoint my love... I was torn and I felt guilty when I initially dated other people. With my NG I don't feel guilty at all and think my DH is smiling down on us....that he would truly love NG.   NG is also super respective of DH and would never try to take his place....what he takes is a completely new place in my heart....a place I never even knew was there!

I did not want to be alone forever, and know DH would not want me to be alone and lonely either. Now I won't be. I will be cherished and loved.

Believe...there is more love out there for all of us and it doesn't diminish what we had with our spouse one bit.

We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same....and I choose strong!

Mizpah

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Re: Do we get more than one great love?
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2017, 10:20:00 AM »
Found myself coming back to this in my thoughts.  And talking a lot with my therapist about our culture's obsession with romantic relationships as the central facet of life.  And look, what I had with DH was beyond words.  It was everything that songs and books and movies lead us to seek, mostly impossibly, I believe.  BUT.  Think of the pressure we put on ourselves, on one other person, on circumstances, to sustain a belief in the idea of "The One."  Think of it this way - if you happened to have been born in or lived in... Timbuktu... instead of where you were when you met DH/DW... were you destined to "settle" for someone Not-The-One?  No.  You likely would've found someone wonderful where you were, fallen in love, been close, shared a life, missed him/her horribly if you had been widowed - and life and love would've made that person The One, like our lives and love and circumstances made DH/DW our The One.  I think we like to think "no one will ever love you like I do," or "no one could love me like he could," and I think in certain ways it can be true (I do honestly believe no one will ever love me like DH did, but...).  But also, I've had four major relationships in my life.  None of them have been "lesser" loves.  Many people do not have the circumstances that allow them to be with the first person they ever loved for so many reasons.  I'm not trying to discount what all of us shared - I mean, DH was truly the most extraordinary person I've met, and was uncannily perfect for me and my preferences and my personality, etc.  I do believe, however, and he'd be SO MAD if he knew I thought this - I do believe that there are likely many, many people out there with whom I could share the same level (not the same, but the same LEVEL) of ease, excitement, match-edness.  I think if any couple goes through a breakup or a death of one at ANY time in life, it is possible to again find a partner with whom you share something amazing.  I think soooooo much of life is circumstantial, and a lot of it is a choice too (a choice to see a different kind of relationship as not lesser).  Sorry, it's terribly unromantic.  But it's what I think.  And I don't think it decreases happiness or love. 
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 11:07:18 AM by Mizpah »
widowed 2011 (DH 28)