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  1. Today
  2. i started checking out online dating sites at about 10 months out. I was getting the "push" from friends and I figured I would dip my feet into those murky waters. I had never dated as an adult-met my DH when I was 19. I had a few dates and nothing sparked my interest but it was nice to know that I could go out on a date and hold up my end of the conversation. It really wasn't as difficult as I had imagined it would be. At 13 months, I was on a new dating site and a man emailed me. We hit it off right away and will be celebrating our 6 year wedding anniversary on Sunday. We had 6 kids (youngest 16 and oldest 26-all at home) and a dog and somehow we blended it all together. I always knew that I would be open to dating and settling down again. I think the cloud was slowly lifting when I met my new DH. I knew I was ready when the idea of it didn't totally freak me out anymore. This adult dating is not for the weak ones. LOL Good luck Pat
  3. Wheelerswife

    Picking up the pieces

    Hi, Newtothis, First of all, welcome. I’m glad you feel like you can use this forum to express yourself. I haven’t lost a spouse in the manner that you have, but I have been widowed twice. Please do not think you have to figure this all out and heal in a specific timeframe. Those of us with losses that are well, less complicated, we don’t pull ourselves together overnight or in 3 months or even 3 years. Please don’t put that kind of pressure on yourself. It seems to me that you are really addressing your situation in a healthy way at this point and you should take credit for that. I feel for you and your children and I hope you continue to find this place safe for you to express what you need and hopefully others in similar circumstances will feel more comfortable as well. Hugs, Maureen
  4. Newtothis

    Picking up the pieces

    Thanks y’all for the support. If you don’t mind, I will continue to work out my emotions in this space. There are oh so many of them, profound sadness the one I wish I could express more, but it gets buried under the grind of daily survival (three months before they say it’s a problem right? Lol) and shame and guilt and anger. first, I’m thankful to be healthy enough to start to engage my children in meaningful healing discussions. in a book about trauma I read, the first step is safety and self care. Well, we’ve been physically safe 9 months now, and I’m working on emotional safety and higher level self self care (I mean, we get by. The second step is processing the trauma. Little by little the kids are opening up about the horrific abuse they endured at the hands of my LH. My son said, “it was like a war zone...” It makes me so angry and sad and terrible guilty for being too scared to leave earlier. But you know what? It’s our story and it is past. I looked my kids in the eye tonight and apologized for not being strong enough to leave earlier, and my son said, “it’s not your fault.” And I told them I will never allow another person to treat them like that again. i mean it. I loved my husband the best I knew how, and he did us. We hurt each other in all of the worst ways. He was profoundly traumatized, addicted, and socialized into terrible violence. He gave us some of the best and worst memories we have ever had. He’s free now. We’re free now. But our freedom is full of the frustration of having to fix the legacy of our dysfunction alone. The anger that he’s not there to help me make things right. The resentment of not having time or energy to heal my own wounds... i suppose I have to carve out space for myself. I find myself lacking the self love to do that.
  5. Heres the another viewpoint: kids (depending on their ages, of course) aren’t equipped to deal with their widowed parents’ dating lives. They don’t necessarily need to know, and it’s perfectly okay for you to be non-transparent about what you do on your own time.
  6. Some great replies here. One of the best indicators of this question was someone who declared her readiness was "when I had more good days than bad ones". There is something to that, whether you're 6 months or 6 years out. There's a lot of truth there. To the OP I would ask, are you social in your everyday life? Happy to get together with friends and family? People you've know before and after loss? Or feeling a void that you're hoping some unknown person can fill. Someone who is healthy and able to bring a new person into their life, and able to handle rejection if for whatever reason is doesn't work out, may be ready to handle "dating" and all it entails. You didn't say, and it's ok, but do you have children? Would they in any way be disturbed by your bringing a new partner home? Young children may be completely fine with this; older ones possibly not so much. In no way would being less than transparent with someone who's just lost their father would be OK. Others have different viewpoints. Wishing you the best in any case, and welcome to the forums!
  7. I am so, so sorry for your dual loss, psclan. I hope you find peace and solace. The community here is very supportive.
  8. I am not even sure where to begin. I lost my husband of 34 years to an accidental overdose. He was with my brother at the time so they left this world together. I have not even really acknowledged my brothers death as I was not surprised by it and knew it was only a matter of time. My husband on the other hand was a complete shock. He had been struggling with addiction for years now due to an accident. We had separated for the first time ever after I had started attending Naranon meetings. He was trying so hard towards the end to beat it and get his life back on track. The guilt and pain of his passing is some days almost to much to bear. All the questions, the what ifs.My heart is broken and I feel like I don't fit in with most widows who lost their loved ones to illness. Even though he had an illness, addiction it is different. There are no grief groups at least none that I can find for spouses who lost a spouse to addiction. I have yet to fine a therapist who actually specialies in this topic. I am surrounded by family and friends and yet feel alone, scared and sad.
  9. BrokenHeart2

    Dating after Loss: How soon is too soon?

    Very well said MikeR! It's been 5 yrs for me and I'm just thinking about it. I've been asked out and politely declined. I just wasn't ready. There is so much I miss about being in a relationship and yet so much I miss about "our" relationship......... I need that clarity before I go there!
  10. Yesterday
  11. stawcie, In reading your post and all the replies I think there are really two things to consider - when are you ready to date and what to watch out for when you do start dating. The calendar time is completely unimportant. Shortly after my wife died, a coworker told me that she met someone three months after her husband died. They ended up getting married and were together 15 years later. Definitely on the short end time-wise, but it worked for her. I guess she was ready (she was still grieving her husband at the time but her new man helped her through it.) For me, I started thinking about it about a year later. I've known widow(er)s that took several years before they started dating. Some emphatically state that they never will! Only you will know when you are ready. To me, the important thing was resolving conflicting feelings - guilt, feeling unfaithful to her memory, loneliness (as the sole motivator to date). Once I came to terms with what I was feeling (and what was bothering me), I was ok reaching out. I was still working on my grief, mind you. I still missed Cathryn and had good and bad days. But at that point, I had reconciled her death and that I was still here and had a life to live. When I did date, I thought I was perfectly fine and equipped to deal with anything that came my way. Thing is, the emotion of finding another person that you connect with can overwhelm your logical mind and allow you to do things that aren't really in your best interest. What I mean is, we are still fragile emotionally and it is easier for us to get our hearts broken, or to be taken advantage of. The elation of finding what we think is new "love" can cloud our thinking. So my advice is when you do start to date, TAKE IT SLOW. If the guy puts pressure on you, exhibits too much jealousy (we all can have some - just not too much, ok?), asks for money, or a dozen other things that do not come from LOVE, then take a step back and think about it before you do anything. That you are thinking about it tells me that you will be ready someday - probably not too far off. Mike
  12. I was definitely not ready to date at 6 months when a guy from my distant past came back into my life. Talking to him for a few weeks on the phone I started to feel like I wanted give it a try and go on a date with him. Emotions progressed pretty quickly but it was a tumultuous start as my children and I still navigated some heavy grief. Luckily he was patient with my situation and we married last fall just after the 4 year anniversary of my late husband's passing. A happy ending for me but not what I would recommend! I still can't say I've really dated as an adult, I met DH when I was 19 and fell right into a relationship with current DH who I had known when I was 18. Falling in love so quickly complicated my grief and caused as much stress as joy in the first year and 1/2 of our relationship. We are all unique and I don't think you can really know if you are ready until you try. Be cautious, take things slowly, and be prepared that the dating world is a whole new game!
  13. I joined an online dating site about 9 months after LW passed away, went to supper with a couple women before meeting a woman I really liked. We went on about 5-6 dates and I thought we were really hitting it off. I was surprised when she called things off, saying she wasn't having the feelings she needed. I was disappointed because we had become quite intimate (which is a big deal to me). It was my first time really dating someone in 20 years and was a good lesson to take things slowly and remind me of what I wanted and what I valued in relationships. I went out with a couple other women in the past year on a few dates and made myself take things more slowly, which felt more normal for me. I thought I was ready to date at the time, but I was still going through some of the stages of grief for sure. It's over two years now since LW passed away, and I only feel like I've really found myself again in the last few months. I haven't dated anyone since February and am fairly content with this. I let my online dating subscriptions run out. If I meet someone where there is a spark, fantastic, but I'm not really searching anymore and feel happy. I have a teenage daughter who was very anxious about my dating, so that plays a role as well in how much I date. If I meet someone I really like, I will pursue it, but I don't want to be leaving my daughter all the time to be dating a different woman every month. Things will have to get very serious before I bring a woman to my home where my wife and I lived our whole lives together (it will feel strange to me and my daughter at first for sure). I may be over cautious, but I don't want to cause my daughter to be anxious by bringing home a different woman every month, I also feel this doesn't set a good example for her for when she starts dating. I guess all our considerations are different. The things I miss the most are having someone who knows you inside out, having someone to plan and do fun things with. The physical part is lonely sometimes too, but I can live with that.
  14. It is complicated to re-partner, the baggage is inevitable. I like the idea of carrying our own baggage and allowing our SOs to manage their own, and choosing to be together on the same journey. Easy to say this and tougher to manage, but for me this gives some structure to a difficult situation. Sigh ..... yes, I long for those simple and uncomplicated days with DH and our small family. Keep on keeping' on, tybec - good for getting out there and connecting with others. And best to you on having a high schooler - some of my best friends now I met through my children's high school.
  15. I started dating about 5 months after my late wife died. I suppose the signs, as you put it, I noticed were; I was able to look at other women “that” way and wonder if I wanted to pursue a romantic relationship with her, I no longer actively ached for my wife, things like that. One of my boys, the 9 yr old, also was pushing for to start dating. That probably fed into it a bit too. It is important to have your head on straight before you dive in to the dating scene. Dating can be difficult and if you aren’t ready or do it for the wrong reasons, you can make a mess of it. On the other hand, when you are ready and approach it with your eyes open, it is great fun and one of the ways to get your new life started. Have some fun and, if nothing else, meet some new folks. Good luck! Mike
  16. I feel it depends on your life situation, how you've dealt with your grief, and if you feel you want a relationship. For myself, I initially didn't want to date but as time progressed and I understood myself, my needs, and what I would want, I was open to try. Please note I never dated as an adult. My LH was my high school sweetheart. I never had to date to find companionship. I started dating at 1 year after LH passed to understand how modern dating works. I mistakingly thought being open minded and giving every guy a fair chance was a good thing. It wasn't. Men felt it was an opportunity for free unattached sex or to find a way to take advantage of you. One guy even asked me for money thinking I may be loaded with insurance money. Ew. I learned how to be much more specific in what I wanted and what was important in a man and what I would and would not compromise. I felt online dating would work best for me. I found free sites didn't work because of what I mentioned so I switched to a paid site with filters you can customize. I did take breaks here and there in my journey because it's all very mind blowing or overwhelming at times. The good old news is I started dating a gentleman earlier this year in late January and we have since committed to one another. We are happy and we are figuring things out. It can be complicated since he's divorced with young kids and I have 2 teenagers, one in high school and the other in community college. We sort of are in different stages in our parenting so we are content in just enjoying one another. Is he anything like my LH? He is a different personality. Yes, he's kind, brunette, and likes Star Wars but that's about it. I've assured him I don't compare him to my LH. I love him for him. I'm grateful for the time I had with LH but I require love and affection and hugs and intimacy. So that's how I felt I was ready. Sorry this got long.
  17. Hey there, tybec -- best on having a high schooler! Your comment about carrying the history/baggage or taking separate trips is certainly an interesting one. Is it possible to do both? It sounds like that's where you are to an extent. You are there for your BF but have your own things to take care of, which gives your BF space to handle his issues. Just a thought there. {{{hugs}}}
  18. Last week
  19. Wheelerswife

    Dating after Loss: How soon is too soon?

    Welcome to Widda! You have a question that a lot of people think about. I was 6 months out after losing my first husband when I met my second husband. We were married a year later. That is definitely on the quick side. We were not “dating” when we met. But we just clicked. He was also widowed. It has been 4 1/2 years since my second husband died and I am just now starting to consider dating. That is a 4 year difference in the same person! I don’t know if you are looking for advice, but I would tell you to listen to your gut, protect your heart, and just be safe. Hugs to you, Maureen
  20. I’m curious... how long did you wait to start dating after losing your spouse? I know everyone is different, and everyone’s grief is different, but I have started thinking about my future, and how I’ll learn to date again one day. It’ll be a year since my husband died in November. What “signs” in your life did you notice that told you you were ready?
  21. Thanks for your support. It has been an emotional week. It throws me back wishing my LH was here and we had our simple little life of us 3 without all these complicated matters I never would have conceived. AND I do get angry that they fight over the kids who are lucky to have TWO alive and well parents who love them and both do spend time with them. I got my kid to high school, so I feel good about that. And he seems well adjusted so far. At this stage of life, everyone has their history/baggage. When to say you want to carry it with them, or take separate trips, I don't know. Keeping busy with my son's new commitments, meeting new people that way and will start small groups back up in Sept. through my church. Trying to make this life fulfilled. Time will tell.
  22. PaulZ

    Triggers in public places

    I've had similar feelings traveling, I know what you mean. Vacations are always a memory-making time with family, and we will never make memories again with our lost partners and it stings, always will. I was away for a work conference that my wife used to attend with me and this most recent trip often went to bed early when everyone else was starting to party, very unlike me, but it just didn't feel right going out, still when it felt like she should be there. This was 1.5 years after my wife passed. Had another person ask if I brought condoms with me to the conference in case I picked up someone there, as I was by myself. The physical intimacy is great, but not what I really am looking for without the connection with someone. Not judging anyone who is comfortable with that, it's just not how I am wired. I had a couple cries that week, even though I was in a beautiful place with lots of friends, grief is a long process...
  23. Flying for business this morning, everywhere around me are the happy vacationing families with small children, so exited to get to their destinations... I keep clenching my jaws in the effort to not to reduce to tears, thinking how my little girl is missing out... I know, total self pity here. Feeling this way took me by surprise, I thought I learned how to not spiral out; it’s been 2 and a half year, wtf! Sitting in the airplane, short of sobbing uncontrollably, hopefully they won’t unload me. Thank you for listening...
  24. Love2fish

    Southern Maine coast -- September or October

    You are not late Penny, september 16 would be late. 😉 i am happy you will be joining us.
  25. sikeuritgadeun

    Is there a members list?

    Thank you Lewis. Your info was very helpfu[.
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