Author Topic: Marrying a widower is tough...  (Read 4972 times)


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Re: Marrying a widower is tough...
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2017, 10:59:21 AM »
What an article! Quite the list of comments on that site as well. Hm. We've all got these problems that few around us IRL understand, apparently even our new SO. I did think the 'former widower' thing was a bit of a stretch, though. We wids have to make sure to have the boundaries drawn with inlaws, family, and friends before getting involved with someone else. Those thinking of being involved with a wid need to be prepared for the inevitable baggage. @Serpico, I did remarry a divorced woman. It lasted 4 months. (Now I'm in that club too, yippee!) Blending families was tough, and these two absolutely didn't mesh. However, she only griped about living in 'our' house once, and I honestly think it was only bc she had nothing else to immediately complain about. She generally seemed more angry about my 3 yo leaving a cup in the yard, or my 7 year old not following the orders of her 11 yo to a T. My unified household was totally divided and descended into mayhem nearly overnight. But I don't think she had a real problem with LW. She was more concerned with keeping some kind of daily battle going and just used that once. She certainly had no problem taking off with LW's personal things, bed, clothes, camera, etc.
   That being said, it sounds like your wife is having genuine issues, as she has sought out a site at least somewhat akin to this one. Is moving out of the question? I've never considered it before, but post-divorce, its an option. I think the You's and I's of this world have a tough time navigating our emotions (we really have them!), but when it comes to those of others it gets really murky. I'm sure you know this from previous marriage, just remember that her feelings are as valid and important to her and to the marriage as your thoughts are to you and the marriage. Best of luck, I'm really pulling for you!
Here's to my pretty young wife     sleepin amongst the stars           now they say what's hers is mine but I know what's ours is ours

Bear Tomás

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Re: Marrying a widower is tough...
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2017, 07:09:39 PM »
a) she lives in what was 'our' house, surrounded by memories of 'our' life,

Not a good idea. I speak from experience. Did not remarry but cohabited. I always felt like I was on vacation and not truly starting a new life. Not her fault. It just is what it is. Live and learn.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2017, 07:12:27 PM by Bernard Shannon »
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"Grief can destroy you -- or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone. OR you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared to recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn't allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it."
~ Odd Thomas (Dean Kootnz)

Captains wife

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Re: Marrying a widower is tough...
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2017, 07:06:39 AM »
Thanks for posting. Very interesting discussion. I personally wanted to meet a widower (with kids) in CH 2 as I saw a lot of positives vs. dating Mr Divorced or Mr Umarried guy- but can see the challenges, as in any relationship.


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Re: Marrying a widower is tough...
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2017, 11:52:55 AM »
she didn't realize it would be nearly this difficult when we were engaged.  I think actually making the move and realizing how much my first wife's memory is inextricably intertwined in our lives has been much more difficult than she first though.

I think many who haven't been in this situation are very quick and easy to judge.  I was one, too, believe me, until I was in the situation.  People can be DGIs about things other than widowhood....  For example, I have DH's name tattooed on my ribs near my heart - can only see it in a bikini/underwear or naked really.  Someone asked before I got it if any future boyfriends would be comfortable.  I very angrily and flippantly said: "Well, they'd have my life and body, all [DH] gets is this."  But it's not that simple.  Most people don't just want to share a life.  They want the heart of the person they're with.  The whole heart.  And a widow/widower will always have either a divided heart, or two hearts.  And it's easier to forget when you're not immersed in the departed's home/town/social world/life. 

Serpico, I think just the fact that you came here to air this means you are trying to do everything you can to help her move through this.  It's hard to know how much of it is circumstantial and how much of it is internal insecurity. 

(NG and I plan to move as soon as we can get our adulting in order.  I am looking to that as a kind of personal/relationship salvation: a new start, a unified endeavor, something that is OURS, not just his.) 
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 11:27:16 AM by Mizpah »
widowed 2011 (DH 28)


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Re: Marrying a widower is tough...
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2017, 04:29:58 PM »

I must commend you for really trying to understand where your wife is coming from with this adjustment. I think that is huge that you can talk about it and truly try to get it from her perspective. She is fortunate for that.

I think it is so tough, this recoupling thing. Some people seem to have a much better handle on it than others. I admire that and wonder how on earth I will (or if I will) manage to pull it off myself, so  after four years in a relationship, I just don't.

Before I got involved with NG, who is divorced, I really thought a widower would be better for me. I tried  that route, but there were just so many broken hearts all around----him, me, our kids. It just never took off for me. I had no vision of how we would move forward; it just seemed too complicated. It surprised me that I was so skittish. It was truly my issue, not his.

Move on to meet divorced NG. Once he  got past his propensity (and my shocked reaction) to say our situations were similar (his divorce vs my widowhood) we moved along quite well. He educated himself online without my prompting, and really came to understand our situations did not have much in common.

But alas, what I have also come to learn about myself, is that my widowhood does not adapt very well to a bitter exwife, who even though out of the picture for years, still inserts herself and her  dysfunctional behavior into our lives  whenever possible. She has never met me, but disparages our relationship and me personally at every turn.  Ugh. So now what? It often feels like there are three of us in this gig, even though NG does his best to not engage.

So, I guess my point is, it is just HARD all around, widowed, divorced, whatever. I think it sounds like you guys are doing pretty well, and the fact  that you came here to discuss the issue and seek feedback bodes well in my mind. Time is probably your best ally in this situation. You are still newlyweds. Adjustment will come bit by bit, and hopefully in a few years it will be evident how far you have come together.

Edited to add: In all reality,  NG does MUCH better with my widowhood than I do his divorce.  In fact, he seems to have to no issues at all with it, and he has been tested, believe me. Ha.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 09:44:11 AM by kjs1989 »


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Re: Marrying a widower is tough...
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2017, 06:51:35 PM »
^^^ yes
« Last Edit: March 01, 2017, 11:12:32 PM by wecouldbeheros »


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Re: Marrying a widower is tough...
« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2017, 07:58:12 AM »

But alas, what I have also come to learn about myself, is that my widowhood does not adapt very well to a bitter exwife, who even though out of the picture for years, still inserts herself and her  dysfunctional behavior into our lives  whenever possible.

PREACH. Honestly, I get struggling with a SO's widowhood. I really do. I don't understand some people's inability to move past a break up. It's really difficult dealing with a SO's ex who is still carrying so much resentment over the fact that they broke up, even though the feelings he has for her aren't positive. But at the same time, I know it can't be easy dealing with your SO having someone who may no longer be present physically, but is still very much loved and will always be present emotionally.
You are the Bear of my heart dear,
And nothing can take that away.


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Re: Marrying a widower is tough...
« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2017, 11:08:36 AM »
Sorry I deleted some of my prior response. The bitter ex syndrome is something that really bothered me, I can understand some hurt feeling because of broken families w children, but I've seen it as a pattern, and SO's caving to pressure, which further complicates matters. I'll take widowed over divorced almost every time. Yes there are huge differences imho.


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Re: Marrying a widower is tough...
« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2017, 12:02:25 AM »
At first glance, I, like apparently like a lot of other readers here, assumed the blog writer was a divorced or never-married woman. But looking at her history, it looks like she is a widow also. But only cares about what "the man" thinks, and how his friends and family react to their union. She is not well liked. Apparently she went after the dude a bit quickly after his wife died, which seemed to have caused a bit of an uproar in their religious community.

Yep. A lot of widows would like to hook up with other widows for new relationships post-loss. What could possibly go wrong? Besides everything. As a wise widow once said, you need more than a dead spouse in common to make it work. Divorced, widowed, otherwise, there needs to be chemistry.

I wish you and your new wife well, Serpico, as you navigate these waters. It's a big leap of faith to blend families, and create a new normal.
"I'm breaking through, I'm bending spoons, I'm keeping flowers in full bloom" - REM


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Re: Marrying a widower is tough...
« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2017, 10:13:15 AM »
It's fine that she's found comfort and like-minded people in a blog, but it's MUCH better if she comes to a place where she doesn't need that because she isn't feeling insecure anymore.  I can only speak as a widow remarried to someone who is divorced with 2 kids who go back and forth every week, but I imagine some of the struggles are the same and my top advice would be, compliment her a LOT - I mean, thank her, tell her what a great job she does, tell her how much you love her and how you couldn't imagine having never met her (which relieves some of the, "does he wish he still was with his late wife instead" fears), and also, HELP her around the house as much as possible if you don't already.  Don't put things you should be doing for your kids off on her. 

And take her out on a regular date night if that is not a priority.  The problem with being remarried with kids in the house is that you are newlyweds but it doesn't feel that way at ALL - you say I Do as if it's brand-new but you go home to the 15 years-of-marriage experience.  And if you were like us, you were hit with it the second you rolled back into town from your honeymoon (if you were lucky enough to actually get one).  It is hard to be a new spouse and share that person with their kids, and it's even harder if you feel like you are still sharing their heart with their late or divorced spouse.  So make sure she KNOWS she is #1.  That's what we all wished we had done for our late spouses, all the time, after all.   


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Re: Marrying a widower is tough...
« Reply #25 on: April 14, 2017, 06:48:36 PM »
What seems lost of the author of the piece and probably a lot of people who are with widows is how obligated we feel to keep our late spouses present in the public consciousness. To ensure that they are not forgotten. The new partner is here, but who will speak for our late spouses?

THIS. So this.

I know it must be difficult for NG to hear when I talk through memories or sadness. But the truth is my DH is forever part of who I am.

I found the blog post a little callous.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2017, 07:07:56 PM by MauiMermaid »
To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with. - Mark Twain

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Re: Marrying a widower is tough...
« Reply #26 on: August 15, 2017, 04:12:15 PM »
Your wife and her children have sacrificed for you.  They are living in the shadow of your late wife.  It isn't easy to re-establish your life in a new place as an adult.  Making friends is difficult.  Making acquaintances isn't as difficult as making friends, but I'll bet your new wife is feeling at least somewhat isolated. 

It seems that the two of you are communicating well, but perhaps your wife hasn't really figured out the words to explain some confusing feelings about her new life.  Maybe I am reading too much into this, but I am just trying to relate my experiences to what she might be feeling.  I can easily list about 15 other widow/widower friends that have had to work through recoupling issues...and the biggest success factor has been compromise.  30 miles is not that far to commute.  Perhaps the whole family would be happier if you could purchase a new "us" home near her small city where your wife and her children can get back to some of what is important to them - and where your (younger?) children can thrive as well.

Nobody should live in the shadow of another.

It's just not right.

Yes, transitions are hard but the folks willing to go through them have true commitment and by their continued vigil show true love and dedication. I like that your new man was very eager to help you make the transition to what his life had become and that he was doing his best to help you integrate without living in his late wife's shadow.

The transition is difficult to make while retaining old behaviors and such. A person can quickly feel out of place, alienated and isolated by the sheer magnitude of it. This of course takes them out of their comfort zone quite a bit and many fear for their safety in such circumstances, running away to where they are familiar even if it is miserable.

As for those that responded that the deceased spouse is eternally a part of who they are, this is not in dispute. The point I raise is that the new spouse should not eternally live in the shadow of the lost one as permanently second-best. They are merely a different person and ought to be loved just as the first one was.