Author Topic: Family attitudes toward remarriage  (Read 991 times)

kjs1989

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Family attitudes toward remarriage
« on: May 23, 2017, 07:52:22 PM »
NG and I have been together for almost four years. We don't live together. He owns his house. I own mine.He is very financially stable and I am, also.  We have no plans for cohabitation any time soon. Marriage doesn't really get talked about either, although I know he would be very open to living together and eventually getting married. I am just not there yet emotionally. Not to mention it would take sitting down with my attorney to sort out financials  and do a prenuptial since I own a business. As I said, I am just not there yet, but have been hoping I might find myself there sometime with the support of my siblings and kids. I think my kids would actually be ok with the idea since they are getting on with their own lives see the advantages of Mom having someone special  in her life.

Well, this weekend my siblings were back in the area for my mom's memorial service. During some downtime we were talking about financial issues. I made some vague reference to remarrying eventually, sort of to test the waters a bit for their response, and my brother had a fit. He narrowed his eyes and looked at me, seemingly  shocked, and  said in an appalled manner, "That would be asinine! Why on earth would you even CONSIDER remarriage!! There would be NO benefits to that at all! Dumb!" He went on ad nauseum.

 I looked at my older sister, usually my cheerleader, but she also said it would not behoove me, and added her own two cents worth, though she stated it in a less forceful manner.

I was so taken back I didn't know what to say. I stammered something about them not being in my shoes and how hard it is being on your own after 23 years of marriage and it was always something I hoped for someday when I was able to move forward. They remained adamant that pragmatism must take precedence and I would not be thinking straight to consider anything else.

Wow. I felt like a 19 year old trying to justify moving in with my boyfriend to my parents. It just made me realize one more damn judgmental aspect to this widowhood thing. Right when I thought maybe I  was doing ok and people (friends, family) trusted me to make decisions on my life at this point, I find that after almost five years that I am still being thought of as guiless.

Just wanted to vent. Makes me sad and now I can't shake their reactions. I even feel guilty for THINKING of moving forward.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2017, 07:55:22 PM by kjs1989 »

Portside

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Re: Family attitudes toward remarriage
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2017, 08:21:12 PM »
I even feel guilty for THINKING of moving forward.

Well then, just stop it. :) Only you are in control of how you feel about this. Please don't give the power to others, particularly the fam members that are totally against you possibly remarrying.

My wife also owns a family business that was in place decades before I came onto the scene. Similarly, I own a farm that was passed on to me from my grandparents - it has been in the family since at least 1825. Neither my wife nor I own any part of the others' interest in these two assets. We have other assets of course that belong to us jointly. If this issue is similar to the one that is the cause of your family's heartburn, there are many, many avenues to protect each of you in case of death or divorce.

Sure, legal and financial folks will have to be involved to put this all into place, but by no means, are they insurmountable obstacles.

I have a feeling, however, your family's issue with the whole thing is also based on some additional concerns.

Four years is a long time for the family to be closed to the idea of you moving on. You really have two simple choices: Talk the issues out with parents/sibs or ignore them.

You are the one that has to live with your decisions. It's too important to allow others to steer you in a direction you don't want to go.

You may never have their support. Sad, but like I said, you are the one that has to live with the decision.

Good luck - Mike
« Last Edit: May 23, 2017, 08:32:32 PM by Portside »
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.

fairlanegirl

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Re: Family attitudes toward remarriage
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2017, 08:24:45 PM »
What is their big objection? Is it financial, are they afraid you would get ripped off?

 I am similar, have been with my new fellow 5 years now, same, not cohabiting, have talked marriage but not in near future. Logistically it would be hard as he doesn't own a home, my kids are still young and finally fairly stable, and I don't want to uproot them to another house or part of town. Financially I would lose benefits, but that is not really an impediment. Yes, i would have to draw up a prenup. And yes, emotionally, I love him very much, but I am not ready to marry again yet. I think I will be one day, just don't feel any pressing need.

Just wondering why the reaction? You are right, I remember being treated like a child/moron soon after my husband's death, by those I know love me, with good intentions, but it is galling after this long for you.

Julester3

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Re: Family attitudes toward remarriage
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2017, 08:25:48 PM »
Wow, I too am surprised at their reaction. What century are we living in? Their idea that you need to stoicly be alone for the rest of your days is antiquated. Now that you planted the bug in their heads, let's see if they grow up any. Hugs to you. I think most of us would hope our siblings would have our backs.

faye

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Re: Family attitudes toward remarriage
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2017, 08:42:38 PM »
Some months after I had started to date, a wise person I know quietly said my first priority should be to protect my assets for my retirement.  I love my Chapter 2 man a lot, but he has no money.  If we marry, I could be responsible for any unpaid medical bills.  He wants to get married in the worst way. I do, too, but the financial situation scares me.

 I may take the situation to the lawyer who handled the probate and ask if there would be some way to protect myself.  There are no legal or financial experts among my siblings, though, so they don't get a vote.

Your sibs' reactions sound out of proportion to the situation.  What's it to them?  Wouldn't your own children inherit what you failed to spend during your life?  If you Google pros and cons for marrying later several sites come up that list the pros and cons of marrying later in life.   

kjs1989

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Re: Family attitudes toward remarriage
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2017, 09:18:03 PM »
Thank you for the thoughtful replies.

Yes, I think mostly their concerns are the financial disparity. NG is comfortable with very little debt,  but there is still a difference in our financial standing. My siblings are older than me and also very secure financially. I really don't think either one would have an interest in remarrying should they be widowed. Money is extremely important to both of them and is always a topic of conversation.

Also, they saw my husband as sort of a superstar. They greatly admired and respected his success at a young age and also him as a person.  NG to them is an "ok guy," but he will never measure up to D in their minds. They don't openly say that,  but it is  not that hard to pick up in their attitudes. They see him as a companion for me, but not a marriage partner. In other words, I think in their minds I would be "settling."
« Last Edit: May 23, 2017, 11:37:16 PM by kjs1989 »

BrokenHeart2

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Re: Family attitudes toward remarriage
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2017, 03:04:22 AM »
kjs1989, I too am very surprised at their response.  I have 5 siblings and I couldn't imagine them replying that way but then again they also treated me like I lost my brain when I lost my DH.  I haven't met anyone but if I did they would not have any say in what I decide to do.  God help them if they thought they could just chime in on my life decisions without me asking for their opinion.  I have since straightened them out that if I want their opinion I'll ask for it.  They were somewhat taken back but too dammed bad.
I don't want it to be his legacy that his death destroyed me.
I need to honour his life by rebuilding my life.

faye

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Re: Family attitudes toward remarriage
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2017, 06:59:15 AM »

Yes, I think mostly their concerns are the financial disparity... My siblings are older than me and also very secure financially.... Money is extremely important to both of them and is always a topic of conversation.

Might they be afraid that should New Guy's debts become yours, that you my need assistance from them, down the road?

Trying

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Re: Family attitudes toward remarriage
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2017, 08:27:21 AM »
kjs I am so sorry your family is not supportive and that they seem to not trust your judgement.  I am engaged and have some practical matters to get in order that my fiancĂ© is completely on board with.  There are lawyers and financial consultants to advise on these matters so they become a non issue.  What your siblings don't seem to understand is that for some of us life is better when shared with a partner we love.

 I went through weighing all of the pros and cons, the disparity in our financial situation, him having younger kids which means I will be that much older before I have the freedom to travel or move.  But for me, the pros were so much more important.  We love each other, we support each other, he brings joy to my life, we are each other's "in case of emergency", he sets mouse traps and fixes things around the house, he holds me when I have a bad day, he is the one person I can be completely honest with.  After losing DH I realized that life is for living, now, today.  We can't count on tomorrow, so while I still think we have to be practical and plan and protect for the future, I don't want it to prevent me from being happy today.

My sister and a few others have not been overly supportive of my plans to remarry though no one as outspoken as your siblings.  It hurts and I wish they could be happy for me but it's my life, not theirs.  Do not let their opinions make you second yourself or cause you any guilty feelings.
You will forever be my always.

kjs1989

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Re: Family attitudes toward remarriage
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2017, 09:18:53 AM »
Wow, BINGO, Trying! Everything you said. NG has been there for me through so many  crises after D died---situations with my kids, the business, inlaws, etc., and he has not freaked out or run away. He has been stellar. And yes, he is my go to and fix it guy. My " in case of emergency" guy. I love him.

Our situations sounds quite similar.

My siblings are nearing retirement age, and although they are both very financially secure, as I am also, they constantly discuss their retirement futures and express concerns about health insurance costs, investments, pensions, social security, etc.

And Faye, no, they are not concerned they would need to help me down the road; they just see little benefit and many complications  in remarriage for me.

For example, yes, it is true that if I remarry before age 60 that I will be unable to draw on D's social security, which would be considerably greater than either my own or NG's. NG also has child support for five more years, college expenses down the road, less equity in his home, still helps his adult daughter financially, and several other expenses I don't have.

But, it would be make my heart warm to know I have their support if and when I decide I want to marry NG. They are the only family I have now as my parents are gone. They don't see it as a smart move. Forget love or emotional security! And up to this point, I have not seen it as a smart move either, but now after being widowed for almost five years, I feel like my thought process may be changing, and I  could see moving in that direction in the next couple of years....maybe.

Just makes me second guess my thinking, but the support here and feedback helps so much. Others have been there and worked through the issues, I realize.

« Last Edit: May 24, 2017, 09:39:44 AM by kjs1989 »

faye

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Re: Family attitudes toward remarriage
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2017, 08:36:25 PM »
Wait until you're 60, then.

Not my choice, but some people have commitment ceremonies that aren't marriages.

Of course marriage makes things more complicated.  Your life and mine would be much, much simpler if we kept to ourselves, sipped/swilled wine, watched movies on HULU, fed the 10 cats we'd collected, and didn't bother with new partners, or even go out at all.  That way we wouldn't be a reminder to our friends or the public that we're all mortal.




kjs1989

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Re: Family attitudes toward remarriage
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2017, 09:26:20 PM »
Haha, love it, Faye,

The swilling wine part I got down.

Got only one cat. And a dog.

Watch my movies on Amazon.

Keep telling myself I need to develop new interests and meet new friends. Maybe I should go to a new church, or any church for that matter.

And yes, life is short. I should just do what I wanna do. And I am getting over it. I was just very bummed after their reactions. Just one more shitty judgmental thing about losing D. The grief I expected, and the having to rebuild my life, but truth be told I envisioned being in a different place after almost five years. And I didn't expect to be still be placed in this box for "safekeeping"  so to speak by my own family.

Venting here is cathartic to say the least.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2017, 09:41:08 PM by kjs1989 »

faye

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Re: Family attitudes toward remarriage
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2017, 06:36:00 AM »
When I was very, very young, I was disappointed that my father wasn't prouder of me.  A wise older person took me aside. He said, I'm telling you this for your own good, and I mean it in the best way possible: grow up. You father may never see you for who you are, and his opinion of you is no more valid than a stranger's on the street.  The only weight is has is the value with which you imbue it.  It's that way with all our relatives.  They have their opinions, probably heavily influenced by knowing the younger, more naive us.  If they're functional, non-toxic people, they probably want the best for us.  That doesn't mean they're objective.

Wheelerswife

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Re: Family attitudes toward remarriage
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2017, 07:29:26 AM »
My parents are pretty conservative. They refused to come to my first wedding. The primary reason was that my then-fiancé and I bought our first house together and moved in 7 months before the wedding. They didn't condone that we were living in sin. That was 25 years ago. I was 30 years old and they felt it necessary to tell me how to live my life. They were not pleased when I let them know that I was moving to be with DH2 either. More living in sin. I was 48 years old and they still felt the need to tell me how to live my life. They never accepted that marriage. Sadly, they didn't take the time to get to know my husband, either. My mother came to his memorial service (my father wasn't healthy enough to travel) and after a day of listening to my husband's friends and colleagues talk about him (and our relationship, too) my mother finally acknowledged what an amazing person he was.

We have to live our lives in the ways that make us happy. If I had concerned myself with how my family felt about my marriages, I might have missed out on the best things that ever happened to me.

I don't know if I will ever meet a third great love, but if I do, you can be darned certain that I am not going to make life decisions based on what my family thinks is good for me.

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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tybec

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Re: Family attitudes toward remarriage
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2017, 08:18:42 AM »
Quote
When I was very, very young, I was disappointed that my father wasn't prouder of me.  A wise older person took me aside. He said, I'm telling you this for your own good, and I mean it in the best way possible: grow up. You father may never see you for who you are, and his opinion of you is no more valid than a stranger's on the street.  The only weight is has is the value with which you imbue it.  It's that way with all our relatives.  They have their opinions, probably heavily influenced by knowing the younger, more naive us.  If they're functional, non-toxic people, they probably want the best for us.  That doesn't mean they're objective.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Kjs1989.  This is something I struggle with, also, but more about not marrying lawfully and "living in sin."  I am a pleaser, typically, to a fault.  I don't know why our families have such a hold on us. If they lived where I saw them frequently and HELPED me out, it would seem to hold more water.  But to see them a couple times a year now since our hub changed due to my DH's death and mother's old age, why worry?  But I do. 


Thanks for the wise words from others.  You would think we would all be fearless given what we lived through and they have not, and therefore, do not get it.