Author Topic: Is this normal? Help me pls.  (Read 1271 times)


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Is this normal? Help me pls.
« on: February 19, 2017, 06:50:39 PM »
Hello, I’m new and looking for advice. Please help if you can offer any support. My wife passed 1 month ago and about 2 weeks after she passed, I started developing “feelings” for a close friend of hers. I started telling the friend that I can see something with us. I have been thinking about this woman nonstop. I love my wife - so what is wrong with me? She has actually taken my mind off grieving for my wife. Is this normal? I am fantasizing about this woman, and I can’t stop trying to persue her. I have guilt over the fact that I don’t have guilt. If that makes sense!?! The woman has a lot of stress over what I’m doing. I wonder if I’m doing this for the wrong reasons. Maybe I’m lonely, maybe I miss being with someone because my wife was sick for 2 years. Maybe I'm losing my mind. Maybe I am actually falling for her? I’m consumed with thoughts of her. She actually makes me happy when I’m feeling like crap. She is telling me to slow down, but I don’t want to. Please help. 
« Last Edit: February 21, 2017, 04:02:30 PM by IamTed »


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Re: Is this normal? Help me pls.
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2017, 07:39:27 PM »
First off I am very sorry for your recent loss and the long term illness your wife suffered.  your feelings for this woman may or may not be real.  She may be a distraction from the pain of your grief.  You may have begun grieving the loss of your wife long before her death because of the length of her illness.  You are probably craving physical connection and the need to feel alive.  it probably is too soon for you to act on these feelings without great risk of guilt on either of your parts and a high probability of losing her as a friend.  If she is someone worth being with than she is worth the wait until you are sure you would not be using her as an avoidance of your grief. 

I don't think it's all that uncommon to experience this and I wouldn't be hard on yourself for having these thoughts.  This is a time to be kind to yourself and give yourself the space to grieve and to cope in any safe way that helps you.  There is no rule book.
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Re: Is this normal? Help me pls.
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2017, 09:13:35 AM »
Hello, I’m new and looking for advice.
. . . .  She is telling me to slow down, but I don’t want to. Please help.

Hi Ted - sorry to hear of the passing of your dear wife.

You've come to the right place for advice - I'll be brief:

STOP IT! You're trying to fill the emptiness left by your late wife's passing with a relationship. It's way too soon for that. Most likely you haven't fully processed your grief.

This feeling of a need to reconnect is common - lots of us have felt it. But ignore it. It will pass and you have the rest of your life to seek and rebuild a romantic relationship with another. To jump into another one too soon is a recipe for disaster.

If you choose to discount all I have said, fine - whatever. But then listen to what your new friend is telling you - slow down.

Respect her wishes enough to do that.

It will pay off in the end.

Good luck buddy - Mike
The war is over for me now. But those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again, to teach to others what we know, and to try with what's left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life.


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Re: Is this normal? Help me pls.
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2017, 09:14:44 AM »
Hello Ted.  My sympathies on your loss. You ask is this normal...I don't think there i such a thing as "normal" in what any of us are going through.  Each case is different unto itself.  But, are others in the same situation as you and feeling the same pangs of guilt? Yes!  I could have written an almost identical post.  My husband passed on Halloween, four days after our 15th wedding anniversary.  The final year of his life he bravely fought cancer but at the same time was slowly pushing me away.  Intimacy was non-existent.  If you ask me, the man I knew and fell in love with died a year before he physically left this Earth.  In the meanwhile, I had reconnected online with a friend I went to elementary school with.  He was able to lift up my spirits when the task of caregiving was overwhelming, make me feel desired when my husband pushed me away.  After my husband passed, I experienced the guilt of wanting to start up with him immediately.  However, I had to take a step back and allow myself to reevaluate the situation and give myself a chance to grieve. That was hard but this is all hard.  I've come to the conclusion that my friendship was more important that starting a physical relationship that would most likely destroy everything at this point. Down the road, things may change but I can't force it.

Hope this helps.


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Re: Is this normal? Help me pls.
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2017, 12:53:25 PM »
Hello again everyone,
Thank you for taking your time to read my post and more importantly, reply. I hear what you are saying. I have been on a roller-coaster for years and it just isn't ending. She just makes me feel happy. But I know I cause her stress. I will slow down, but I do miss the companionship. I am not taking away from the love of my 22 year marriage, I must add that. My wife put up an amazing fight against leukemia and I admire her for that.
Again, I appreciate and welcome all feedback.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2017, 04:00:44 PM by IamTed »


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Re: Is this normal? Help me pls.
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2017, 08:52:44 AM »
I love my wife - so what is wrong with me? She has actually taken my mind off grieving for my wife. Is this normal?

This is completely normal - who doesn't want a respite from grief?  I'm with portside, though, in that I think it is far too early to be going down this path and it could further complicate your grief.  Take the advice of the woman you are after - slow down, for her sake and for yours.
'I think I got some of your pickle'


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Re: Is this normal? Help me pls.
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2017, 09:31:14 AM »
Feeling connection and desire and closeness is way better than feeling darkness and a gaping hole where your home and family and present and future used to be.  It's natural. 

I became very close with DH's close co-worker and friend just after he died - he'd lost his fiancee at a young age 15 years prior, and he kind of took me on, and I consider him my widow mentor.  I looked at him like he was magic: "If he can survive that, I can survive this."  (His loss was coupled with another large-scale trauma.)  He knew DH, and that connection was EVERYTHING in the beginning, when I just wanted to keep DH here, retain him in life and existence.  I cared more about his friends and family than mine, because they were a closer thing to him, and getting closer to him, who kept receding in time, inaccessible to me, was all I cared about. 

Lucky for me, this friend moved away a couple months later, and I was not able to continue to lean on him.  Years later, we had an extremely brief fling in another country while I was on vacation, and it made me realize exactly how lucky I was - even years later, the intensity of his connection to DH and our common love for him, mixed with what seemed to be a true connection and crazy chemistry between us and great love and care...  It would've been disastrous for me in a very complicated emotional/psychological way.  (After he left, DH's former boss made advances.  I was extremely vulnerable, desired that connection to DH in any way I could get it, and almost got very involved.  I wasn't thinking straight.  I barely remember the first few months.  At the time, I didn't quite understand why I didn't engage.  Looking back, it seems my instincts were smarter than I was at the time.  I'm glad I didn't get involved.)

My advice: go to therapy.  Go to lots of therapy.  And work out.  And get sunshine.  And write. 

This situation is likely to lead to suffering for you and/or this woman.  (My boyfriend is a widower who got involved with me WAYYYYYYYY too soon, and it led to some of the worst suffering I've ever endured - and I include losing DH, who was my life and my king and my soul, in that.)

You're going to do what you're going to do, and maybe there's no "wrong way," but when given a choice to avoid or minimize hurt rather than increase it, I say do your future self (and her) a favor and exercise some major self-control.  Who knows - maybe you two will fall in love and "live happily ever after," but honestly - she's telling you to slow down (and this is perhaps the most important part - you say you are causing her stress).  Take her advice.  Respect what she's saying.  Stop it.  Don't use her as a balm for  your grief.  It's not fair - to you or to her.  If you were developing true care for this particular woman - HER, not how she's making you feel and how she's distracting you from pain - you'd take the knowledge that you're causing her stress and you'd stop.  You would care about her and her experience of this, not just the relief it's giving you.  That, to me, is the clearest sign to you that you are not ready to engage in a relationship.  Maybe just a fling.  But not with this woman.  It's too fraught.  Embrace/confront your grief and suffering - it's the only way through, IMHO. 
« Last Edit: February 21, 2017, 09:51:34 AM by Mizpah »
widowed 2011 (DH 28)


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Re: Is this normal? Help me pls.
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2017, 02:11:44 AM »

Although it didn't come as soon as with you, I think I have had something similar. And there was lots of pain involved. It surely distracted from grieving. Looking backwards I was trying to fill in the gap of connection and meaning - things I still struggle with. I craved taking care of some one, I craved some one who would care of me.

Anyway, I would like to send you this article that you might find interesting.
Just replace the word " widows" with "widowers" :-)