Young Widow Forum

Young Widow Forum => General Discussion => Topic started by: Quixote on June 26, 2016, 06:08:44 PM

Title: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
Post by: Quixote on June 26, 2016, 06:08:44 PM
I had one of those moments where someone asks about my wife and I tell them that she died a bit ago (five years).  Then there were the usual embarrassed "I'm sorrys" followed by me telling them it's okay, and anyway it's been a while now.

That's when a friend of mine told me "Nothing wrong with it, but you know you talk about her all the time, like she's still alive."

I guess I do.  I mean, we met when I was 19, so the vast majority of my adult life and experiences were  with her.  And we pretty much did everything together, so if I tell a story about visiting someplace, I'll mention she was there.  And she was pithy and smart as hell, so I often quote her.  It's not like I bring her up in every sentence, but yeah, I probably talk about her as much as people do with living spouses.

It's not an awful thing, I guess.  I like reminiscing about the good stuff, even the mundane things.  But this tendency of mine probably isn't helping me with my complete failure to move on with life.

Anyone else experience this?
Title: Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
Post by: AubreeAnn on June 26, 2016, 06:54:39 PM
I'm so sorry someone said that to you. I haven't experienced this because I'm only a few months into my loss. For what it's worth, I don't think it's a bad thing that you speak of your wife like that. It's not fair to you to keep those memories to yourself, to not reference her because you feel like you shouldn't (if that's the case). Wishing you all the best.
Title: Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
Post by: twistedmensa on June 26, 2016, 06:58:23 PM
You aren't alone. I still talk about him constantly. I don't care if people think I need to move on; when they've walked my journey, they are more than welcome to offer their opinion.
Title: Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
Post by: Virgo on June 26, 2016, 08:03:39 PM
I think it's important to talk about my late husband. Especially around our daughters. Do you refer to her in the past tense when you talk about her?
Title: Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
Post by: serpico on June 27, 2016, 10:49:10 AM
My fiancĂ©e tells me that I nearly didn't get a second date because I talked about my late wife so much on our first date.  And on our second date she tactfully told a friend that I kept referring to my late wife as 'my wife', which made her question how 'ready' I really was for dating.  I could have taken offense but when I considered her point of view her concerns made sense.

I mention those instances only because I know you've been considering dating again.  If it hadn't been pointed out to me I probably never would have realized how much I talked about her.  And in and of itself it's no big deal, but I could see it giving pause to  a potential mate.
Title: Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
Post by: MrsDan on June 27, 2016, 11:05:11 AM
Yes, it's happened at work a few times. I'd told a few people, and assumed it would get around. It didn't. I actually had to have an awkward conversation with one about the fact that no, that guy who came to the museum is not my husband, my husband is deceased. That guy is my boyfriend.
Title: Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
Post by: donswife on June 27, 2016, 12:02:53 PM
yes I also talk about him all the time
LIke you ,we were together longer then we were apart so he's in most of my stories
plus I notice I still say we and our all the time and try and catch myself
Not sure why , and like you is it something I should stop
Now that it has been pointed out to you Does it bother you ?
Title: Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
Post by: Wheelerswife on June 27, 2016, 03:11:48 PM
I also talk about John a lot, but almost everyone I know here knew him.  I think we both talked about our late spouses a LOT when we first met and were talking.  Heck, they were a huge part of our lives.  After a bit, we started our own story together, but our late spouses were always in the background of our minds.  I don't see how that was a problem.

I understand that we as widowed folks need to be sensitive to the needs of a date/potential new person in our lives, but at the same time, if that person is so insecure that he/she finds that talking about a late spouse is offensive, perhaps that person isn't cut out to be the next Mr./Ms. Right.

So Quixote, the right person will be able to handle the reality that you loved your wife wholeheartedly and will find that quality about you to be very attractive.

Maureen
Title: Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
Post by: Quixote on June 27, 2016, 04:23:14 PM
Thanks everyone. I don't use present tense, not anymore (did for about a year).  But I call her "my wife", not "late wife", use her first name, that sort of thing. So I get what my friend was saying. And Serpico nails one point--  I've been somewhat half heartedly considering maybe dating again, so yeah, not a winning proposition. There's that whole comparison thing.   But she was and is a big part of my life, part if me, really. Not talking about her at all feels like denying that she existed

Maybe Maurevens right, there's someone out there who can accept that.  My dog does, anyway
Title: Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
Post by: SoVerySad on June 27, 2016, 05:32:45 PM
Quixote,

I started out as best friends with my husband at age 15, evolved to dating at age 16, and was with him for 30 years of my life. Unless I'm going to talk about my childhood, my conversations will likely often include talking about my husband. I've not done much happy or interesting in the 3 years since he died. I enjoy talking about him as we enjoyed each other so much. So, yes, I do this, too. I don't think I really talk about him in present tense, but I definitely still call him my husband, not late husband. I agree with Maureen that someone so insecure as to find it problematic, would probably not be a good match for me, because I would not want to feel as if I have to hide my true feelings from a partner. At this point, it still just comes naturally. I spent all of my adulthood with him. All stories I tell about him now are past tense in nature, but he was my husband at the time those events occurred.

Hugs to you...

Title: Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
Post by: Bunny on June 27, 2016, 08:24:07 PM
I didn't get married until I was 32, married 15 years, and I still talk about him quite a bit. I still find myself using 'my husband' and 'my late husband' both- though I'm trying to be more conscious about this since I have a boyfriend. Otherwise, it can get kinda confusing for the listener :). I just try to make an effort to show that he is my number one now. I think it does require a strong and secure ego to date the widowed. And a widowed person who is ready to accommodate the feelings of a new partner.

I read a good analogy about this from a widow- she compared it to the Olympics. Her late husband was the winner of the gold medal in the last Olympics, but now this is a new game, no need to compete with old Olympic winners, only hafta compete with the current crop of athletes / dating pool. (I'm paraphrasing, she said it much more eloquently).

Title: Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
Post by: swilson on June 27, 2016, 09:18:26 PM
I make no apologies for talking about LW, but it's not as though I bring her up all the time. We were married 36 years and I can't just flip a switch and turn all the life and memories off.
Title: Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
Post by: Trying on June 27, 2016, 09:44:44 PM
I was also with DH my entire adult life, 19-44, so I think it's natural he comes up in stories.  I am trying to use "late husband" when speaking to people who don't know my situation but I find many times people don't really register what I said and I still end up explaining later in the conversation that he died.  I think it's the age thing, people just don't expect some one my age to be a widow, they assume divorce because it's more common.

As for my boyfriend, I just use Tim's name and he knows so much about him at this point in our relationship.  I have always been pretty mindful about not pointing out similarities or differences but it comes up any way at times.  Boyfriend luckily is not threatened by this as it is never done to make him feel less than, it usually is just in explanation to my reaction to something. 
Title: Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
Post by: serpico on June 27, 2016, 10:15:03 PM
I don't think worrying about a widow constantly talking about their late spouse is a sign of insecurity but rather a common sense red flag that perhaps the widow is a little too rooted in the past to be able to move forward.
Title: Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
Post by: Taurus on June 28, 2016, 10:12:03 PM
...
Anyone else experience this?

Yep, I do it all the time and it certainly helps with the emptiness inside me. When I want to go visit her resting place, I just tell our daughters I'm going to visit mum and it's perfectly natural to say it, and our girls do the same thing.

I don't contemplate having someone else replace my beloved soulmate. I don't do online dating, I prefer to meet people in real life in social environments, and I've several opportunities to evolve potential friendships but I'm always up front that I'm just not looking for any relationships, short or long term. Maybe in time, just not in the foreseeable future..

Carry on as you are...
Title: Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
Post by: MamaZ on July 02, 2016, 12:51:34 PM
It's been ten years and I still do this. Occasionally someone will comment that it's weird. D and I did life very much together for over twenty years. If I tell stories from most of my adult years, he will be highly likely to figure into it. I usually comment that I am sorry if it weirds them out, but it makes me smile to remember.
Title: Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
Post by: Mr C on July 04, 2016, 11:08:09 PM
I look for opportunities to talk about my wife in conversations to the extent that many people would think she is still alive. It makes me feel better to talk about her and makes it all still feel real.
Title: Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
Post by: twin_mom on July 08, 2016, 12:43:42 PM
I talk about him often too, partly for my kids' sake and partly because he was such a huge part of my life like everyone has said.  ...New Guy is great about it- he says at times he's upset about it, but the fact is I was with my husband for 15 years and with him only 2- but when we've been together for 15 years if I still talk about the dead guy (how we lovingly refer to DH in our house) more than I talk about him (new guy) it signifies that something is wrong.  ;D
Title: Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
Post by: hikermom on July 08, 2016, 07:12:38 PM
It's been almost four years and I still talk about my husband. I can't say late husband - I tried it and it feels awkward and unnatural. I don't talk obsessively about him, it is more casual. Sometimes in passing, sometimes a whole story. It depends. It feels right and it helps keep him present to our daughter and to me.

It is not unique to widow/ers- I went on a date and the guy -divorced- kept talking about his wife. Not ex. His wife. After awhile I began to wonder if he was divorced! So I guess I could see how it may feel odd to the non-widowed. BTW, I think I mentioned my husband once on the date - to explain that I was widowed. I made a very deliberate attempt to keep DH mentions to a minimum.

I think it is natural. I think people often want us to not talk about our spouses because they feel more comfortable if we don't. Oddly, it doesn't seem to matter if we are matter-of-fact, telling a funny story, sharing a memory, or being emotional. People freeze or don't know what to say so they prefer we say nothing.

If you're going out on a date, you may well talk about your wife. She was and is a big part of who you are. Anyone worth their salt should be thrilled that you love your wife. Someone who has loved before is certainly able to love again. In fact, they've got an excellent track record!
Title: Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
Post by: jonesandjenn19781979 on August 08, 2016, 03:39:01 PM
When someone is your whole world, you cannot help but include them in everything. You included them then as they did you and it's a force of habit. I want Clint here more than anything and everything we did, we did together. All of my happy moments (and annoyed, and sad, and silly) were with him and it's the only thing I have to talk about really. Everything is life has changed now. He will always be a constant in my life even if he isn't here any longer.
Title: Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
Post by: Lmsmdm on August 09, 2016, 04:29:55 PM
This article says it all

http://www.scribblesandcrumbs.com/2015/12/02/i-talk-about-him/
Title: Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
Post by: Now and Zen on August 17, 2016, 11:30:51 PM
It is almost impossible to share things about yourself without in someway mentioning the person you have share more than half of your life with, it is sad when when anyone especial friends can't understand that. I've had friends tell me they were afraid to say my DW's name. I simply replied, it would be worse if they allowed themselves to forget her. 
Title: Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
Post by: Julester3 on August 20, 2016, 11:47:39 PM
I too had a long history with my husband and though it's only been over 4 months since he passed, I still talk about him in the present tense. It's a tough transition, I think, especially when you have a long history together.
Title: Re: "You talk about her as if she's still alive"
Post by: Amor on August 21, 2016, 09:16:10 AM
I talk about my Love all of the time.  I helps me get through the day to think of my Love and the good times we had together.  For me I think of this as healing for me, not a set back.  The best parts of my life were shared so why would I leave that out?
Let others know about your Love, that is the best way to honor their lives is to let others hear about them.
Amor