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  1. PaulZ

    New here

    Hi Sassy, glad you came to this forum. There are a variety of topics in here that will likely mean something to you. My wife passed away 4.5 years ago. Having kids (I have only one) presents lots of other challenges, but also lots of love and support. There's lots of people here who have gone through a lot. Some can share what has worked well and what hasn't gone well for them. I hope you find some of these experiences helpful for you. I certainly found a community here who understood pretty well what I was going through.
  2. PaulZ

    Whom do I love?

    I think if you really care about the new man in your life and you would like to see the relationship continue and develop, it would be a good idea to see a psychologist to help you sort out these feelings. It will be hard for your new guy to understand your feelings if you can't express to him why you have these feelings. Hopefully this means it is someone who you can envision getting to know better and developing something great with! Good luck!
  3. PaulZ

    Thank you.

    Hi Leadfeather, we joined this forum around the same time. I'm happy to hear life has started a new great chapter for you. I got engaged about a month ago. I found this place to be huge help and place of safety and advice as well. Cheers to newfound love and lives.
  4. PaulZ

    France's past relationships

    Thanks klim, I know we can, and am glad to know it is not just me who has encountered this situation. I know it isn't fair to her, but can't really control my reaction, even though I am the furthest thing from a controlling person and totally trust her.
  5. PaulZ

    France's past relationships

    Thanks for sharing your experience Tybec. My fiancé agreed to not tell me anymore about past relationships, and I am happy to forget about it, as I do trust her. We are going to work together on taking down most of my wife's pictures, but not all. I want to make my home hers as well.
  6. I had a bit of a tough night last night with my fiancé. We've been dating almost 2 years and she proposed to me a few weeks ago. It has been a wonderful relationship and she is fantastic with my daughter. I have been widowed about 4.5 years and am almost 47 years old. I had to ask her a while ago not to talk to me so much about her past sexual history, as she would sometimes go into detail as to how far things went in the bedroom with past boyfriends. She was never married, and her only longterm relationship was a common law one with a guy for two separate time frames of 2 years each. When she would talk about being with several other guys over the years (not a scary number, probably pretty normal number for someone her age who was never in long-term relationships), I would find myself visualizing her with other guys and feel upset about this. I asked her not to talk about this with me anymore. I was married since I was 27 and was faithfully with my wife for almost twenty years. I know she has been with more partners than I have, and understand our histories and situations were different. We left supper last night and were going to go to a trivia night at a local pub, when she says " Just so you know in advance, I slept with the guy who does the trivia night a couple of times." I got that same feeling of being upset and picturing her with someone else. I got very quiet and we didn't go to trivia. We had a shitty night after that, with her accusing me of making her feel guilty for being with other guys when she was single even though she has to look at pictures in my house that are still up of my wife and I. I tried to explain it is my issue and I don't want to feel this way and I understand she did nothing wrong or immoral. I told her that I totally trust her (we still live apart), which I do, and while I appreciate her being upfront with me about the trivia dude, I'd really rather not know anymore about other people she's been with, as it has no impact on our relationship and is in the past. I also let her know I'm fine with talking about past relationship issues with her ex-common law partner. Any suggestions on better ways to deal with this for me? Thanks, Paul
  7. PaulZ

    Belief and Grief

    I no longer believe in organized religion, but fully believe in a spirit world. I have felt first hand and heard too many stories from people I trust about the presence of spirits to not believe. I do, however, believe organized religion causes as much hurt and conflict as it brings peace and harmony. I was going to church only a handful of times a year the last couple years before my wife died, and don't go at all anymore. I believe in being kind and treating others with respect whenever possible in place of preaching the bible or any other religious text.
  8. PaulZ

    Reliving events

    Hi Tigerlilly, I did some reliving of the events of my wife's death as well (I did CPR on her). I think that is normal. I have on occasion felt signs she is still around me and believe in spirits. While it is easy to turn to anger and bitterness, this will never let you find happiness again. It took me many months before I could feel happy again about anything. I'm sure your husband would want you to find happiness. Eventually, hopefully there will be some smiles when you think of him, instead of tears. This takes time. Feeling grateful for the time we had with them can help you on the path to happiness again. Unfortunately, life is not about fairness. Life doesn't care if you were a kind, good person, or how you took care of your health. Bad things happen to good people every day. All we can do is live in a way that brings us peace and joy and let the chips fall where they may. Please be easy on yourself and know the intensity of your pain will lessen in time.
  9. PaulZ


    Hi Tigerlilly, I'm very sorry for your loss and pain. This is a good place to share thoughts and ask for help and experiences from others who have gone though something very similar. I's been 4 years since I lost my wife when she was 39 years old.
  10. I'd agree with Mike that you can offer some information about your past without sharing everything on the first few dates/conversations. When you meet the right person for you, they will have the response you need from them. There will be a guy out there with the right mix of kindness and empathy for your loss and experience who wants to know you for the person you are, and looks forward to creating good memories with you in the future.
  11. PaulZ

    Powerful article about extreme caregiving

    My sadiversary is tomorrow, it will be 4 years since my wife Laurie died. She got encephalitis 16 years ago, which left her with severe epilepsy and extreme short term memory impairment as well as other cognitive deficits. She was still the same person in her personality, although it took her about a year to accept what had happened to her and how her life would be forever different. She lost her ability to work as a nurse and drive. She would take anywhere from 2 - 10 seizures a month. My daughter, as she was 5 months old when Laurie got sick, never knew her mother as I did before her encephalitis changed all our lives forever. My in-laws live next door to me and lived with us a few months after Laurie came home from hospital to help take care of my wife as she recovered, and my daughter while I was at work. It was not a physical condition, and people could not tell by looking at her how sick she was. I lived on high-alert all the time, always waiting for the next seizure , some of which caused hospitalizations if they were hard to stop. We tried every medication combination possible (I am a pharmacist), tried brain surgery and an implanted medical device to try and stop the seizures, but the damage to her brain in certain areas was too severe. I never fully relaxed. When at work, I would worry that she was ok at home, worry about her taking a seizure while walking down the stairs. My care-giving was not a constant as some others here have experienced in terms of being physically next to their partner every moment, but I was mentally beside her every moment. It was strange to have our relationship shift from fun and romance to often a caregiver/patient relationship, as Laurie was 27 and I was 30 when she got sick. I have been dating a wonderful woman for 1.5 years now, and feel that marriage is in our future. She lost a sister in a car accident 15 years ago and a few other close friends at a young age and has a solid understanding of what grief is like. It took me awhile after Laurie died to be able to fully relax and not have to be on alert at all times. That aspect of caregiving takes a toll on people. I developed palpitations due to lack of sleep and stress. Tomorrow is going to be one of those tough days. Laurie died at home, after a seizure stopped her heart and I performed CPR on her until the paramedics arrived. As we approach her sadiversary, I sometimes have moments where my mind relives the day she died, having to tell her parents, my parents and my brother. I get very sad when I replay her funeral in my mind. Thankfully I am now able to smile when I think of her and who she was and all the laughs and fun we had together, both before and after she became sick. The first several months I could not do that, just pure loss and sadness. I know Laurie wants me to be happy and enjoy my life, my daughter, now 16, and I will bring flowers to her grave in a couple hours. When people would ask me how I dealt with becoming caregiver, my first response was always "If it was me who had gotten sick, I know she would do the same for me." The essence of true love in my opinion is that nothing brings you greater happiness than seeing or making your partner happy. Cheers to all you caregivers out there for sacrificing your own wants and needs out of love.
  12. PaulZ

    Teenager vs. Mom vs. Covid

    If he's watching a lot of media/social media coverage. it can get overwhelming and obsessive. There is very little in the news these days that brings joy to a person. If you can suggest limiting his online time for his own happiness (I know not easy), there may be a benefit to the results. Spending time together doing things inside (board games, exercising, etc) may allow you both to share some positive time together without compromising his fear of going outside. These could be baby steps to him getting the happy chemicals moving in his brain again. You may have already tried these things, just thoughts of things I might try! Good luck
  13. The first anniversary was the worst for me. I'm approaching the 4th anniversary now. It is the worst of the "special" days on the calendar to me. I can think of the good times on Mother's Day, her birthday, Xmas, our wedding anniversary etc, but all I can think about on the sadiversary(the day my wife died) is the pain of my loss. For me, I don't feel it's a bad thing for my daughter to see me upset, I feel it allows her to see how much I loved her Mom, but I guess it depends on each person's situation and the ages of those involved and sensitivity to these feelings. I do believe a good cry once in a while is healing and therapeutic and is harmful to suppress, and I certainly cried a lot more the first year than I do now. My advice would be to do what feels right to you, the social distancing sure makes grieving a more solitary experience unfortunately. Hopefully, some of our shared experiences can help you feel some form of community and support here. Take care
  14. Hi Katrina, I found it took me almost 2 years before I truly found who I was again. My wife was 39 when she died almost 4 years ago. I always felt like one half of a whole and it took some time to find who I was before I became a husband. I am working with the public daily too. Stay safe and I hope this online community can help you in some ways.
  15. PaulZ

    Widow since January

    Hang in there Debra, losing your wife unexpectedly like that leaves quite a shock. Glad you found our group for support and advice.

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