Sign up for the Divorced Girl Smiling newsletter to receive weekly articles that might help you during and after your divorce! I personally have never dated a widower, but I know plenty of women who have. Then again, neither is dating a divorced man. What are the differences? What are the challenges of dating a widower? And are there positives?
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But first, we need to understand what being a widower really means. It comes with a maximum of points on the famous Holmes and Rahe stress scale.
This means that losing a wife bears the immense danger of becoming ill and having psychological and physical disturbances. Furthermore, a widower, especially when there are children involved, has to take care of a never-ending list of every day and, hopefully, once in a lifetime errands.
What we described above are just the issues a widowed man has to deal with upon losing his wife. What is even more important to understand is what he goes through psychologically and emotionally. Whenever we lose someone close to us, we need to go through the grieving process. Depending on a number of factors, it lasts from anywhere between months to decades. After these stages, the widower will feel angry that this has happened to his wife and try to bargain.
When nothing works, he will fall into depression. However, especially with adequate help, depression is followed by the acceptance stage. This is when most grieving men start dating again. One thing that you probably realize by now is this - his deceased wife will inevitably become a saint.
Regardless of how they got along during their marriage, and how she really was with time, the dead wife becomes an angel. And this is understandable. It is also something you should learn to accept. Never try to be better than that image. What you should do is talk openly but with sensitivity about how issues that arise make you feel. Expect your new man to feel blues from time to time.
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Especially on holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and the way to handle it with success are - allow him to grieve. Ask how you can make things easier for him. If he needs some alone time, make sure he gets it. Here are a couple more things to keep in mind when dating a widower:. Never try to secure your position in his life by trying to push her out. Absolutely no need for such a move.
Also, never try to be like her. Yes, you will surely feel the need to try and rise up for the challenge but do it in your own way. This is a slippery psychological slope for both.
You deserve and should expect to be treated like the center of his universe.
Three months after Krista died, I created a profile on an online dating website. Back then, online dating was relatively new, and nowhere as sophisticated as the dating apps of today. After filling out some basic information about myself, I posted a single photograph, along with a paragraph about myself and what kind of woman I was looking to date. In hindsight, I realize I wanted those women to be just like Krista and duplicate that wonderful relationship we shared.
I tell this story because when widowers start dating, their frame of reference for what makes a compatible or desirable partner is based on the looks, personality, and interests of the late wife.
They think that finding someone who looks familiar and acts similarly to the late wife will heal their heart. I was initially attracted to Jennifer because she was very similar to Krista. Like Krista, Jennifer was tall, blonde, creative, and had an outgoing personality. We even matched up perfectly in the political and faith cts of our lives. That alone brought me a level of comfort and familiarity that made it an easy decision to let the relationship become more serious. You should become concerned if the widower tries to mold you and your relationship into a replica of the one he shared with his late wife.
Fortunately, this is an easy red flag to identify. The four most common things widowers who are looking to reconstruct their relationship with their late wife will do are:.
Verbally compare the two of you.
This is usually done through subtle hints about the way the late wife did things and how much he enjoyed them. Constantly point out physical characteristics that you and the late wife share.
Aug 26, W hat's the most important piece of advice for widowers who are looking to get back into dating? "There's nothing wrong with dating soon after losing a spouse. And whether by chance or by choice you do find yourself dating a widower, remember these 5 tips: Always remember it's not a competition. She was an enormous part of his life. But that doesn't mean you aren't too. Be Allow him to grieve during anniversaries and birthdays. Ask how he would like you. Oct 16, Here are a couple more things to keep in mind when dating a widower: Take things slow: An essential thing to keep in mind when dating a widower is to not try and rush the relationship. Communicate: Communication is vital for any relationship to prosper. If you are dating a widower.
Constantly take you to the same places where he and the late wife ate, vacationed, and frequented while refusing to try new things with you. If all this sounds creepy, it is. He will never love you for who you are-only for who he thinks you can be.
Dec 15, Dating a Widower: 10 Things You Need to Know When Starting a Relationship 1. Don't get offended. It may take a while for you to have a relationship that's as strong as their deceased partner, 2. Don't ask for too much information about their spouse. Being a good listener is key in any Author: Ashley Papa.
The best thing you can do if you find yourself in this kind of relationship is to end it immediately. In order for a relationship with a widower to grow and thrive, he has to love the new woman for who she is-not who he wants her to be. When I started dating, I always had an urge to talk about Krista.
I wanted to tell the women I dated what a fabulous person Krista was, how much I missed her, and little tidbits of information about her. For the most part, I managed to keep those thoughts to myself and focus on getting to know the woman I was dating.
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Still, it took a lot of energy and concentration to keep focused on my date instead of talking about Krista. To this day, I have no idea why I had that constant urge. Perhaps it was some kind of grief or coping mechanism. The red flag occurs when widowers find a way to inject the late wife into every conversation or activity.
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You could be listening to music, and the widower finds some way to tie a memory of his wife into the conversation. As time went on, however, I talked about her more often. Jennifer never objected or expressed concern, so Krista became a more frequent part of our conversations. When I was dating Julianna, I was so worried about doing or saying something that would bring our relationship to an end that I rarely, if ever, talked about Krista.
It reached a point where Julianna had to let me know that it was okay to talk about Krista from time to time. It took some time, but eventually I found a way to talk about Krista that worked for both of us. Widowers who are unable to stop talking about the late wife need more help than you can give them. Some shrines are big and obvious, like an urn displayed prominently in the home.
It could be a physical object like her car, her clothes, mementos from trips they took together, or even the home he and the late wife shared.
Whatever form the shrine takes, the purpose of it is the same: to remember the late wife, honor her memory, and bring some emotional comfort to the widower.
My memorial to Krista consisted of a dozen photographs that adorned various rooms of my house.
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Some photographs were large, others were small. Some photos were just of her, while others were of the two of us. Since we spent all our time in the kitchen or living room, I removed the photos of Krista in those rooms.
The next time Julianna visited, I could immediately tell a difference in her demeanor. She seemed more relaxed, and stayed longer than her previous visits. As our relationship became more serious, the rest of the photographs came down one by one. Putting them away was like saying goodbye to Krista. As our love for each other grew, it became easier to take down the pictures.
It took two months, but eventually, Julie could go anywhere in my house without seeing Krista looking back at her. The shrine, whatever form it takes, will gnaw at you until it drives you crazy. Memories always win. The answer is simple: Widowers will eagerly start a new chapter when they find a woman they want to spend the rest of their lives with. And the best part?
Every one of them will tell you that they knew it within weeks or months. When a widower meets a woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with, he will do-not say-whatever it takes to make that woman the love of his life. He will take down the photos of the late wife, scatter her ashes, stop posting on social media about her, sell their home, introduce the new woman to family and friends, and figure out the best way to blend families.
Widowers will try hard to make things work if they want a lifelong relationship with you. About a month after Krista and I started dating, I knew I could happily spend the rest of my life with her.