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Widows dating again...thoughts?

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Widows dating again...thoughts?

Postby nsulham » Wed Dec 05, 2007 10:40 pm

I realize this might be a personal subject for some of you so I apologize right off the bat. I find myself with an internal debate, however, and I could really use other's opinions.

So here's the backstory. My dad passed away two years ago leaving behind my mom. The two of them were married for 26 years. Tonight I finally got the e-mail I'd been preparing for since the day my dad passed: my mom's been invited to have dinner with another guy.

She says she's going to go for it, the guy is also a recent widow, a friend-of-a-friend and it's just friendly dinner. Still, it's a weird situation for me because all I've known is my mom with my dad and now this. I don't begrudge her being happy, it's just something that's weird for me to come to grips with.

Anyone been in this situation before? Am I wrong for part of me wishing she wouldn't go out/see anyone else? I'd appreciate any feedback on the matter.

P.S- And please no "mom" jokes. Thanks.
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Re: Widows dating again...thoughts?

Postby KCollins1304 » Wed Dec 05, 2007 10:55 pm

My Dad passed away about 5.5 years ago. I definitely know the feeling that you have. My mom hasn't dated at all since then and hasn't really seemed to have the urge to. For most of the time I have find of felt like that I didn't want my mom to ever date anyone again, only recently in the last 6 mos or so I have started to realized that it is what is best for my mom. My mom was 18 when she married my dad and he was the only man that she ever loved as far as I know, and I don't think she has ever had that much experience dating. My mom is 44 now, I can't imagine her living the next 30 years or so all by herself. I'm 22, and I have two sisters that are 18 and 16, so my mom has had her hands full with us and will until my youngest sister leaves the house and goes to college. Nowadays, I worry that my mom will go into depression once my youngest sister moves out of the house. It is a selfish feeling that kept me from wanting my mom to date again, but a completely understandable one. And I'm sure I would have some personal backlash if and when she ever started dating. I can definitely understand where you are coming from, you should really just be supportive of your mom though. It would make things even harder for her, if she knew that it was something that really bothered you.
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Re: Widows dating again...thoughts?

Postby AcidRock23 » Wed Dec 05, 2007 11:05 pm

I would recommend staying close to the situation.

It's not exactly the same situation but when my grandmother passed away my grandfather was immediately besieged by widows bearing casseroles and, to make a long story short, he picked the wrong one. He needed a chauffeur as he had macular degeneration so we were all ok w/ him moving on.

He was tight enough w/ his dough that he had decided to keep it separate but my mom was in charge of the trust and it got pretty ugly before he passed away as his new wife did not EVER pass up an opportunity to slag my mom for stuff and got in the way of a lot of family activities that might have gone better had he picked a better gal the second time around.

I am not sure what the situation is but some of the older people I work with have found themselves in similar situations to that of your mom and don't always have the support to help them step back to make rational decisions. I don't think that it's widely discussed but I think that a lot of older people are really averse to ending up alone and will sacrifice all sorts of pride and dignity to get back with somebody, just to have someone around. KCollins is spot on about supporting her I think.

Sorry to hear about both of your dads and good luck w/ this.
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Re: Widows dating again...thoughts?

Postby nsulham » Wed Dec 05, 2007 11:30 pm

KCollins1304 wrote:My Dad passed away about 5.5 years ago. I definitely know the feeling that you have. My mom hasn't dated at all since then and hasn't really seemed to have the urge to. For most of the time I have find of felt like that I didn't want my mom to ever date anyone again, only recently in the last 6 mos or so I have started to realized that it is what is best for my mom. My mom was 18 when she married my dad and he was the only man that she ever loved as far as I know, and I don't think she has ever had that much experience dating. My mom is 44 now, I can't imagine her living the next 30 years or so all by herself. I'm 22, and I have two sisters that are 18 and 16, so my mom has had her hands full with us and will until my youngest sister leaves the house and goes to college. Nowadays, I worry that my mom will go into depression once my youngest sister moves out of the house. It is a selfish feeling that kept me from wanting my mom to date again, but a completely understandable one. And I'm sure I would have some personal backlash if and when she ever started dating. I can definitely understand where you are coming from, you should really just be supportive of your mom though. It would make things even harder for her, if she knew that it was something that really bothered you.


Yeah I'm 27 and I'm in a whole different state so it's hard for me to stay close to the situation. My sister is 22 and she lives at home for now but she's almost never around and my brother is 21 and also lives in the same town but he's got his own place so my mom finds herself alone most nights with nothing to do.

It's not that I'm necessarily worried about someone taking advantage of her, I just can't get the idea out of my mind that it should just be her and my dad, no one else. Plus she's 60, so I don't think she's really looking for anyone for anything other than to spend time with and not be as lonely as she has been. She gets out but a lot of times it's with friends of hers and their spouses, and she's usually the third wheel so it's tough on her.
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Re: Widows dating again...thoughts?

Postby Madison » Thu Dec 06, 2007 12:37 am

nsulham wrote:I just can't get the idea out of my mind that it should just be her and my dad, no one else.


Curious, but why do you feel that way? Not saying it's right or wrong at all, just curious. I have no experience in that regard, closest I am is that my folks divorced when I was 18. I moved out the same day my mother kicked my father out of the house. Both of them remarried other people at later dates and I was happy for both, as I felt both deserved to be happy. My personal feelings on it were irrelevant, as it's their life, not mine, so even if I disliked the people they married, it was still irrelevant to me as their happiness meant more than my personal feelings. I also have an ex-wife that remarried at some point after we divorced (and I only know that due to a banking security screen), but that's cool for her too and I have zero issues with any of the above getting married again (which obviously is much more serious than just dating or having a companion to spend time with).

I know divorce and death are two different things, so maybe that's where the difference is, but I don't understand why you feel it should just be her and your dad. Any chance you can shed some light on it, or is this one of those things that I just won't "get"? If it's the latter, that's cool, I just thought I'd ask. :-)
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Re: Widows dating again...thoughts?

Postby KCollins1304 » Thu Dec 06, 2007 12:44 am

Madison wrote:
nsulham wrote:I just can't get the idea out of my mind that it should just be her and my dad, no one else.


Curious, but why do you feel that way? Not saying it's right or wrong at all, just curious. I have no experience in that regard, closest I am is that my folks divorced when I was 18. I moved out the same day my mother kicked my father out of the house. Both of them remarried other people at later dates and I was happy for both, as I felt both deserved to be happy. My personal feelings on it were irrelevant, as it's their life, not mine, so even if I disliked the people they married, it was still irrelevant to me as their happiness meant more than my personal feelings. I also have an ex-wife that remarried at some point after we divorced (and I only know that due to a banking security screen), but that's cool for her too and I have zero issues with any of the above getting married again (which obviously is much more serious than just dating or having a companion to spend time with).

I know divorce and death are two different things, so maybe that's where the difference is, but I don't understand why you feel it should just be her and your dad. Any chance you can shed some light on it, or is this one of those things that I just won't "get"? If it's the latter, that's cool, I just thought I'd ask. :-)


That is the difference. In a divorce, people are choosing to not be together. When they aren't together because of a death it wasn't their choice to not be together.
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Re: Widows dating again...thoughts?

Postby Madison » Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:39 am

KCollins1304 wrote:That is the difference. In a divorce, people are choosing to not be together. When they aren't together because of a death it wasn't their choice to not be together.


Agreed. Big difference in those two things. ;-D

Still confused though. Hypothetically, if I died, wouldn't it be normal and acceptable at some point down the road for my wife to date, or even remarry? I'm dead, so she "can't" be with me, but that prevents her from being able to be with anyone else ever again? She's stuck to live out her days alone because I got hit by a truck (or whatever) and died? I'd want her to be happy, and definitely wouldn't want her to lead a lonely existence wishing I were still alive, so I would expect her at some point down the road to have a companion, get remarried, or whatever. :-?
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Re: Widows dating again...thoughts?

Postby bleach168 » Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:40 am

Yeah, I'm sure it's weird, but her happiness is what's important.
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Re: Widows dating again...thoughts?

Postby The Artful Dodger » Thu Dec 06, 2007 2:12 am

I'll base my opinion off of what happened with my uncle.

About 7 years ago, my uncle lost his wife to cancer and they had a daughter and a son together, 13 and 5 at the time respectively. The following year, one of my cousins up north had her debut and my uncle and his family flew from England to be there. It was still apparent that the loss was fresh and he was really distraught especially now that his young son didn't have a mother. Without going into too much detail, he was mired into depression as the only family he had around was his kids and as the working-class man, he worked two jobs and I suppose he kept working despite his kids getting governmental support to dumb down the emotional pain. One year later, he got remarried to a woman about 15 years younger and never was married, which seemed kind of rushed to me and I'm sure some would feel that way too.

I reckon his son was OK with his father remarrying, but his daughter, like most teenagers in that position would feel, wasn't so approving. I remember it had taken her some time and a long talk with her godmother to accept her dad's new wife.

Kind of an extreme example given that my uncle wound up remarrying in the end, but I'd think you should use your best judgment about the situation. Kind of hard to do that when you're observing this from a distance, but I believe being supportive about the situation is the best. Trusting your mother that she knows what she's doing is key. I can understand your reluctance to accept her dating because it tends to be human nature that we want a few things to be constant in a world that's always fleeting; parents staying together is one of them. I can understand that you're looking out for your mom too and I think that's all right and good, but just assume she's doing is what is best for her otherwise.

Good luck. ;-D
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Re: Widows dating again...thoughts?

Postby nsulham » Thu Dec 06, 2007 4:36 am

Thanks for the insight guys.

I'm not really sure I've got an answer for you Mad. Mainly I guess it's because until he died, for 25 years of my life my mom and dad together was all I knew. Now it's a shock to the system that she's thinking about going out with someone new. I know I'm just being a bit bullheaded about it but like has been said, I just feel the need to protect her. I'm the oldest, so I feel a natural urge to want to protect her, my sister and brother.

I guess in a way I'm just concerned that with someone new in the picture, I'll focus more on who he's not than who he is, which is my actual father. You're all right, it's her choice and if it's good enough for her then it should be good enough for me. I'm still keeping an eye open though lol.
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