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So -- Widowed And Weirded Out


USU78

How Long Should Widowed Person Wait to Date?  

21 members have voted

  1. 1. Please identify your own sex with your comments

    • Start right away
      5
    • Wait 3 months
      1
    • Wait 6 months
      6
    • Wait a year
      8
    • Jump into "the coffin there with Caesar"
      1


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I'm getting dinner invites to include other people of the single (divorced/widowed) persuasion as well. I've even contrived to be "partnered up" with someone I've been friends with for years and have done community work with.

All very discrete and away from the Ward and my girls . . . but how soon would people say is too soon . . . and how long before I'm a malingerer and a self-made monument to grief? Me? I've got no particular opinion, but know that one-on-one is something that fascinates, yet the thought makes me awfully nervous. Not sure where I'll end up coming down on the subject.

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Wow, that's a hard subject. I would pray about it and go with whatever your answer is, but I know when people date very soon after losing a spouse, people feel hurt by it. I have known at least a few people who were remarried within 3 months. I think when children are at home, it's even more important to take your time out of respect for them and not forcing too much change on them at once. There is also concern that the grieving spouse might not be thinking clearly and will choose someone wrong for them.

I asked my husband to wait a year if I died and focus on getting counseling for him and the kids so he can be sure he's not making such an important decision out of desperation.

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I asked my husband to wait a year if I died and focus on getting counseling for him and the kids so he can be sure he's not making such an important decision out of desperation.

Wait a year to date or wait a year to remarry or wait a year to start a new family?

Questions.

Sorry . . . bad joke. I do wonder why you would feel the need to get everybody into counseling. I've instructed my girls to have somebody sing or play on the organ Hit the Road, Jack at my funeral.

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Wait a year to date or wait a year to remarry or wait a year to start a new family?

Questions.

Sorry . . . bad joke. I do wonder why you would feel the need to get everybody into counseling. I've instructed my girls to have somebody sing or play on the organ Hit the Road, Jack at my funeral.

A year to date. I just want to make sure my kids especially will have dealt with their grief before they have to deal with a new mother on top of that. I've seen kids terribly hurt by having a step-mom too soon. If they were grown and out of the house, that would be different.

I've joked that I want "Another One Bites the Dust" at my funeral.

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A year to date. I just want to make sure my kids especially will have dealt with their grief before they have to deal with a new mother on top of that. I've seen kids terribly hurt by having a step-mom too soon. If they were grown and out of the house, that would be different.

I've joked that I want "Another One Bites the Dust" at my funeral.

That would depend on the age of the kids, I think. Counseling might not be necessary with older kids who can talk about it with each other and who feel comfortable enough with their parent to share their concerns.

My opinion would be to ask your kids for their input, but not right away, maybe three months after their mom's death, if you are concerned about them. Since her death was not unexpected, your kids may have a very different POV. As for yourself, as a woman I would want a man to not be on any sort of emotional roller coaster, but have resolved the turmoil and pain that death can cause.

Death of a spouse is rated the highest life stressor, divorce comes next but is significantly less stressful IIRC, so don't underjudge the effect the loss of a spouse can have on someone else (or downplay it on yourself).

As a side note, stats show that men who rate their first marriage high are more likely to remarry and remarry relatively quickly. It is not a sign of rejection for them to start looking for someone to share their life with again, but rather a sign of how important that relationship was in their life and their need to fill that void.

OTOH, I think women are more likely to view looking for another spouse as some sort of betrayal and take much longer to resolve that feeling.

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True. A guy I know brought a date to a party less than a month after his wife passed away and it didn't go over well.

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Wait a year to date or wait a year to remarry or wait a year to start a new family?

Questions.

Sorry . . . bad joke. I do wonder why you would feel the need to get everybody into counseling. I've instructed my girls to have somebody sing or play on the organ Hit the Road, Jack at my funeral.

USU78 I would say some depends on how long your wife was ill before she died. I am well aware that when you have a chronically ill spouse you grieve a little everyday as you watch them struggle with their afflictions and quite often by the time they go you have done most of your griving and havn't got much grief left. With someone whose dear partner goes suddenly and unexpectedly I would think that one should take some time and grieve personally and with family and closr friends. That duration would kind of depend on the individual and family.

Again my condolences and best wishes.

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I'd say give it six months or so. I remember after my Aunt passed away, my Uncle happened to meet someone fairly quickly, within a few months or so, but there were no children involved there.

It differs I suppose for each situation, but I think four to six months sounds good.

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USU,

I'm sorry for your loss. It'll be right when it's comfortable to you. That time may never come. It never comes for a lot of widows and widowers. :(

I think abstractly at least six months. A friend of my dad died and his widow was married within six months. That felt a little weird even to me, but my family has a history of losing spouses and never remarrying, so I'm clouded by personal experience.

It might appear to be insulting the deceased's memory to be out dating too early, but again the widow/widower needs to feel comfortable, and comfort might exist in immediately being with someone because they're so used to being in a relationship, sharing a bed, having a partner, etc. Ultimately life is a gift that should be lived, and people are free to make their own choices and decisions.

Edited by Bond...James Bond
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Hello USU...

I became widowed quite unexpectedly... my dear one passed away from complications following surgery. He was in intensive care for eight days and was just unable to recover... I remember the emptiness I felt when I walked into the house after I came home from the hospital... and when I got back from the funeral in So Cal... walking in and feeling so alone in the retirement home we had designed and built. So final...

I think a person should wait a minimum of six months to a year after losing a spouse to actually "date" someone, although attending group activities such as singles' family home evening, dinner groups, etc., are perfectly fine fairly soon, in fact, can offer a support system vs one-on-one dating. The fact that you have your girls is a consideration I didn't have...

Each situation is different, particularly when there are children in the home, so I agree with those that suggested prayer and following the Spirit...

Good luck...

GG

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I think the opinions of others is just that (of others) I see no reason not to date immediately if you so desire. To me if someone else is offended too bad. It is your life. I think the passing of your wife is very sad, but we know you will be with her forever. I knew a man whose first wife passed away and he waited sometime before he married my aunt, who later was diagnosed with cancer and then she too passed away. I saw him again about eight months later he was already remarried and she appeared to be about half his age. It was a little surprising at first, but honestly I thought good for him he suffered the deaths of his first two wives, I was happy for him and thought he doesn't want to outlive another wife (and he probably wont he being in his early 50s and her in her her 30s). Others might have felt it disrespected his first and second wife but I did not, I knew he loved them both and is a faithful honest husband and thought if they love each other why wait until others approve?

Edited by Anijen
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I really like Garden Girls response although I would not mind if you dated immediatly and she says six months either way

Each situation is different... prayer and following the Spirit...
is good advice! I know my choir teacher in high school (with young children) his wife died after a long illness and they both knew she was going to pass. She made him promise her that he would be married within one year, so the kids would have a mom. He was married within 11 months after her passing.

USU78 we have faith in you that whatever you do will be fine, acceptable and will trust that whenever it happens, you will be ready.

We love you bro and wish nothing but happiness and comfort for you in this time of grief.

Anijen

Edited by Anijen
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To me if someone else is offended too bad. It is your life.

I would agree with this for all save his own children, though it would be unfair to bring someone into a social situation where you have set her up to be a pariah before she even meets anyone simply because of one's own carelessness. A little diplomacy and thoughtfulness should take care of that though in the vast majority of situations I can think of.

However, with his children, they are grieving too and as a loving father he will not want to make the process worse for them. OTOH, if they are adults themselves and independent, he no longer needs to put their needs ahead of his own so in the end the decision is his and about his life, not theirs....I am not suggesting they be part of the decision process, rather that he understand their feelings so he can make an informed choice about what would be the best path for a new relationship in the long run. If he has close relationships with his children, he will not want to cause pain for them or a future companion by not taking into account how they may feel about someone new in their dad's life and thus new in theirs.

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As a side note, stats show that men who rate their first marriage high are more likely to remarry and remarry relatively quickly. It is not a sign of rejection for them to start looking for someone to share their life with again, but rather a sign of how important that relationship was in their life and their need to fill that void.

This is how I feel about it. I wouldn't know how to act if I lost my wife.

Sorry for your loss USU.

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I think an important clarification for the people responding to your post is that he's asking us what would we do, not what he should do. It may be semantics, but it helps a little when we are talking about a subject as sensitive as this.

Of course, in my opinion, there nothing wrong with dating right away. The only thing similar was after my divorce and that's a little different. I started dating right away because I really wasn't offending the memory of anybody - whatever that means. For me, it was an important step to move on. However, while I started dating right away, and wanted just to have fun meeting new ladies on a date and doing new things, I wasn't adequately prepared for the lack of standards of the ladies I was dating. So be careful! LOL

I went to some of the LDS Singles websites and started meeting a lot of them there. But again, the lack of standards was surprising. It was even worse in the non-LDS single associations out there. I also found it difficult to date in the ward I was in. What I have settled on for me was living in a family ward, and knowing who the singles reps are for the stake and getting on their mailing list for activities. Those can be really fun.

I probably have a millions reasons for me personally why I wouldn't marry again. And, I've come to understand that's ok - for me. This is one of those areas where there really isn't a set plan or program in the church. When we grow up, we seem to just be 'doing the steps'. Priest, Elder, Mission, BYU, Temple Marriage - and so on. It can feel a little strange when the church isn't providing you the steps. For me, I've just had to wing it, but in doing so I've developed a much closer relationship with the Lord in the process. Its quite a shift, but one that can certainly increase one's faith in the Lord.

I guess my point is, we have the authority to and right to call on the Lord to develop our own strategy and plan for our own lives. When you feel that authority, then you'll be ready to move on to whatever next step is yours. Although there will be plenty of naysayers out there, (and you know who you are), remember they don't have authority over you.

Edited by Messenger
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A guy I know brought a date to a party less than a month after his wife passed away and it didn't go over well.

No one else's business, and if someone else if offended by it, they would do well to read what the Bible says about "busy bodies" and President Hinckleys talk about Gossip.

I am sorry for your loss USU, I have no kind words for people who make you feel like a bad person. You spent a large portion of your life with someone else directly in your life. That is what God intended, and it is very natural to want companion ship. So date with confidence, be respectfull, and bring her home before midnight -- as I hear it the HG goes to bed at midnight.

Colonel Ludlow, Ret. from Legends of the Fall, has a great line that expresses my sentiments towards others who would double your pain.

-----

side note, my sisters (5 of them) told me "Every RM is a dork for about 6 months after they get home, so don't expect many dates"

Edited by frankenstein
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... I've instructed my girls to have somebody sing or play on the organ Hit the Road, Jack at my funeral.

That's ... um ... nice, ;) except that funerals aren't for those who've passed on to The Great Beyond; they're for those who've been left behind. (My mom says that when she passes on, she would like us to hold a wake at Raging Waters, a local waterpark ... :D)

As for how soon one ought to begin considering new potential mates after having been widow(er)ed, I think there are as many potential answers to that question as there are widow(er)s. Look at the Twelve and the First Presidency: there are those who have opted to remarry (e.g., Elders Oaks and Nelson) and those who have not (e.g., Elder Scott and President Hinckley). I could be completely wrong, but I don't think the sole reason for that is because the former had suitable opportunities while the latter did not.

MorningStar, as usual, gives sound advice. As for her advice that your family seek counseling and your puzzlement over that advice, I think you'd do well to keep in mind (not that you haven't already; I'm just judging by your apparent puzzlement) that even if you're adjusting well, it doesn't necessarily mean that's the case with the rest of your family (even if it seems that way on the surface).

Even "Sweet [being] The Peace the Gospel Brings," and even if a passing brings welcome relief from suffering, dying (and being left behind) still sucks. I think it's perfectly natural to feel conflicted over those two realities, often for quite some time after the passing of a loved one. Only you and your children can decide how much of that "suckiness" needs to be (and can be) resolved before deciding to bring someone else into your lives.

I'm sure you're perfectly well aware of how your children and their wishes (depending on their ages) ought to factor into such a decision: no matter how you feel about each other, she's not Mrs. Right if your children think she's Mrs. Wrong, and you're not Mr. Right if her children think you're Mr. Wrong. Which also pretty well means that I, as a 41-year-old never-married single man in the Church, having been confirmed a bachelor (betcha didn't know we had that ordinance in the Church, didya?! ;)) and having become what my dear Great Granny used to call "An Old Batch", am destined to remain a Solitary Figure, Seemingly Sentenced to Singleness! :rofl:

It also means that every word of the foregoing likely is completely irrelevant and inappropriate to your situation, and if you're smart, you'll simply ignore it! ;)

P.S.: Oh ... :huh: ... and I'm a Red-Blooded American Male! :D

Edited by Kenngo1969
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... ide note, my sisters (5 of them) told me "Every RM is a dork for about 6 months after they get home, so don't expect many dates"

Some of us are dorks for waaaaaaaay longer than that, apparently, which also does much to explain my long-continuing single state! :D

P.S.: And I'm still a Red-Blooded, American Male! :D

Edited by Kenngo1969
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However, while I started dating right away, and wanted just to have fun meeting new ladies on a date and doing new things, I wasn't adequately prepared for the lack of standards of the ladies I was dating. So be careful! LOL

As soon as I became (Ahem!) eligible to start dating, my bishop gave me A Little Black Book and told me to fill it up: the heading on the left-hand pages was, "Chicks With Class," and the heading on the right-hand pages was, "Chicks With No Class ... But Who Cares?" ;)

(USU78, I know this seemingly isn't necessarily relevant to your situation, but perhaps you ought to take a similar tack: fill up a Little Black Book before you begin thinking seriously about any one person. I know the potential reasons why we tell our sixteen-year-olds not to rush into anything and the potential reasons why one might tell someone in your situation not to rush into anything are completely different, but ... :D)

I went to the LDS Singles website and started meeting a lot of them there. ...

The ... ? You mean, there's only one? You mean, there's only one that's ... uhhhh, how do I put this? ... authorized? Jeez, this business of being single is waaaay more complicated than even I thought! :D

P.S.: Oh ... and my gender hasn't changed since my last post (at least, not that I know of :D): I'm still a Red-Blooded American Male!

Edited by Kenngo1969
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Double-post. Sorry. :unknw:

Edited by Kenngo1969
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The ... ? You mean, there's only one? You mean, there's only one that's ... uhhhh, how do I put this? ... authorized? Jeez, this business of being single is waaaay more complicated than even I thought! :D

P.S.: Oh ... and my gender hasn't changed since my last post (at least, not that I know of :D): I'm still a Red-Blooded American Male!

Um, did I say there was only one? I dont think I put a URL on there. But hey, Kenngo, if you need to replenish your black book, search this. J/K

It also means that every word of the foregoing likely is completely irrelevant and inappropriate to your situation, and if you're smart, you'll simply ignore it! ;)

P.S.: Oh ... :huh: ... and I'm a Red-Blooded American Male! :D

Dang, I wish I would have read the ending of your post before I went all the way through it. An there's that reminder again. Did you forget?

Edited by Messenger
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No one else's business, and if someone else if offended by it, they would do well to read what the Bible says about "busy bodies" and President Hinckleys talk about Gossip.

I am sorry for your loss USU, I have no kind words for people who make you feel like a bad person. You spent a large portion of your life with someone else directly in your life. That is what God intended, and it is very natural to want companion ship. So date with confidence, be respectfull, and bring her home before midnight -- as I hear it the HG goes to bed at midnight.

Colonel Ludlow, Ret. from Legends of the Fall, has a great line that expresses my sentiments towards others who would double your pain.

-----

side note, my sisters (5 of them) told me "Every RM is a dork for about 6 months after they get home, so don't expect many dates"

I don't recall there being gossip about it, but people assumed she was a relative still there for support and it was very awkward. No one was prepared for it.

It is the spouse's decision, but they need to know that people are going to feel hurt for various reasons when they start dating immediately.

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True. A guy I know brought a date to a party less than a month after his wife passed away and it didn't go over well.

My personal belief is that you marry the family of the spouse and she marries yours, so there's lots to consider with them. But thats the immediate family only. In my opinion, It wouldnt include ward members at a party. If they got wierded out, I would just go to another ward. They are the ones with the problem. People shouldnt be seeking approval from ward members, only the Lord. These threads remind me of the Jerry Seinfeld show - what is acceptable human behavior to one, is not to another. Perhaps a thread about nothing!

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