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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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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!

That is nice in theory but in real life we live in communities with people we care about. For good or for bad, it does matter what "they think".

I'm so sorry about your wife's long struggle and your loss, USU.

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I'm sorry about your wife, USU. I think Garden Girl gives good advice on this topic. While it's up to you how long you wait, if you care about how you are perceived by others--how they perceive your feelings for your wife, then you'll at least consider waiting a short while-about 6 months--I'm talking about actual one on one dating, not group social activities that may involve singles. It's hard to remember sometimes that your children and friends are grieving as well. Yes, they were not the spouse, but they had relationships with your wife as well, and if you don't consider this, you may cause hurt to others by seeming to move on too quickly.

I've seen a number of examples where a widower got involved in a new relationship too quickly, hurt his relationships with his children, in-laws etc. and then, in a couple of instances, got married and then later divorced because they had rushed into marriage--probably to cope with the grief. This ended up straining and damaging family ties and friendships because they did not consider that their actions can and do affect others.

It's best to move slowly and carefully, if you ask me. While moving quickly can have risks, moving slowly, IMO, does not.

Edited by alter idem
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That is nice in theory but in real life we live in communities with people we care about. For good or for bad, it does matter what "they think".

I'm so sorry about your wife's long struggle and your loss, USU.

Julian,

I understand that works for you, and if it does, you should keep using that belief. I’m not here to bash anybody else’s belief that’s for sure. I stated how I do it, and it works for me. As I said before, I don’t care what the ward members think of what I do, if I have decided to do something and have the Lords approval, I simply do it. To me nothing else matters. I've run my life that way and it just happens to work for me. If I did what everyone else wanted me to do, I wouldn’t have joined the church, went on a mission or even gone to BYU. My theory works for me. I'm not advocating that its doctrine and that everyone else should do it. Last time I checked opinions here are welcome. How your run your 'real' life is fine by me. After all, it’s your life, and I would never tell you how to run yours. So I would appreciate it if you wouldn’t declare my opinions as invalid. This is a forum of ideas after all.

If people turned their nose up about who I was dating, It wouldn’t affect me one bit. Most of the wards I've been in have accepted me that way and I've not had any problems in those wards.

Mark

Edited by Messenger
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Speaking of Elder Nelson:

His wife Dantzel died on February 12, 2005. On April 6, 2006 Nelson married Wendy L. Watson.

My wife says, if she dies before me, she'll be sure to give me grief from beyond if I as much look at another woman ;)

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That is nice in theory but in real life we live in communities with people we care about. For good or for bad, it does matter what "they think".

I'm so sorry about your wife's long struggle and your loss, USU.

The stranger is wise . . . and strong!*

Julie knoweth stuff. Any such activity by me would be engaged in strictly outside ward and family for quite a while and any introduction of a woman into any family or ward stuff would be only upon it being a serious relationship and not a casual flirtation. Things are confusing enough in the world, and nobody but nobody should put the wardies in a position to be tempted to gossip uncharitably . . . or family members (especially children) to feel vicarious betrayal.

Keep it distant until the conversation is worth having.

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Julie knoweth stuff. Any such activity by me would be engaged in strictly outside ward and family for quite a while and any introduction of a woman into any family or ward stuff would be only upon it being a serious relationship and not a casual flirtation. Things are confusing enough in the world, and nobody but nobody should put the wardies in a position to be tempted to gossip uncharitably . . . or family members (especially children) to feel vicarious betrayal.

Keep it distant until the conversation is worth having.

Very smart, imo.
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Very smart, imo.

I’m sure she is.

Just to clarity, I’ve always said do what the Lord says. It might very well be that the Lord tells him to do nothing and do not date for a while because it might upset the other ward members. If the Lord told me that I would do exactly that.

This might be a good exercise for all of us. What if ... When dealing with a personal matter, the Lord tells us one direction, and fellow members say differently? You see, I've always said do what the Lord says. But I have my general opinion on what I would do short of actually experiencing any thing that he has. So, I am in no way telling him what he needs to do. The reason why I am not, is because I don’t receive revelation for him. We can tell him what we would do, but can a person say they need to act a certain way with no regard to what Heavenly Father says?

So, what would each of us do, if the Lord told us to introduce someone we were dating to the ward. And regular members of the ward say we should not? Would we shrink and not do it? If we did, would we be denying a teaching opportunity, or some other plan that Heavenly Father had for us and members of the ward?

Perhaps it’s just that I' m a convert to the church and left my own non-member family to be a member of the church. Would Emma marry Joseph if she did exactly what her father said to do? If she followed her own father, where would that have left Joseph? Where would that have left the Gospel? What if someone in our ancestry decided not to become a member because their family said not to?

Hymn # 237

Do what is right; the day dawn is breaking

Hailing a future of freedom and light

Angels above us are silent notes taking

Of every action then do what is right

Do what is right let the consequence follow

Battle for freedom and spirit and might

And with stout hearts look ye forth till tomorrow

God will protect you then do what is right

Edited by Messenger
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I’m sure she is.

I meant USU's decision was smart, though I agree that Julie is very smart as well.

I looked on USU's asking people's opinion here as just a way to help himself 'think out loud' rather than him actually deciding to act based on others' opinions, USU being who he is.

Given that, I don't think anyone here is 'wrong' in their comments, they've all contributed ideas to the discussion that will help USU frame his own ideas and actions that much better.

As to doing exactly what God has told you to do....

God also said something about the appearance of evil and not acting in such a way to become an obstacle for someone else. Being perceptive about how others feel and taking those feelings into account doesn't mean you are basing your actions on those feelings, just that you are being diplomatic and community minded and you can usually do this and follow whatever God has inspired you to do as well.

If one has to choose between God and the community, of course God comes first...no one here is saying otherwise....but that isn't going to happen all that often from what I've seen. There is a reason why God has instructed us to meet together to support and strengthen each other, he is the one who has brought the community together so I think he would want us to put a high value on that community and our actions involving it.

Edited by calmoriah
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I looked on USU's asking people's opinion here as just a way to help himself 'think out loud' rather than him actually deciding to act based on others' opinions, USU being who he is.

Given that, I don't think anyone here is 'wrong' in their comments, they've all contributed ideas to the discussion that will help USU frame his own ideas and actions that much better.

As to doing exactly what God has told you to do....

God also said something about the appearance of evil and not acting in such a way to become an obstacle for someone else. Being perceptive about how others feel and taking those feelings into account doesn't mean you are basing your actions on those feelings, just that you are being diplomatic and community minded and you can usually do this and follow whatever God has inspired you to do as well.

If one has to choose between God and the community, of course God comes first...no one here is saying otherwise....but that isn't going to happen all that often from what I've seen. There is a reason why God has instructed us to meet together to support and strengthen each other, he is the one who has brought the community together so I think he would want us to put a high value on that community and our actions involving it.

You always could express yourself more clearly than I. Nailed it four square.

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If one has to choose between God and the community, of course God comes first...no one here is saying otherwise....but that isn't going to happen all that often from what I've seen. There is a reason why God has instructed us to meet together to support and strengthen each other, he is the one who has brought the community together so I think he would want us to put a high value on that community and our actions involving it.

One thing for all of us to remember when we support a fellow member of the ward in his or her crisis (for lack of a better word) that we do not judge another person - we simply support him/her with Devine Love that is both universal and infinite.

The Lord gives us blessings based on our faithfulness and I would consider that as 'conditional'. It is also true that his Devine Love is both infinite and universal. The Savior loves both saints and sinners as well as those in crisis. The Apostle John affirmed, “We love him (Jesus), because he first loved us.”And Nephi, upon seeing in vision the Lord’s mortal ministry, declared: “The world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him (Jesus) to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men.”We know the expansiveness of the Redeemer’s love because He died that all who die might live again.

I can think of no better support than Mary being with Christ when he was on the cross. When the world turned against Christ, in the most hideous way, she was with him. What better definition of this Devine Love is there? We all owe a lot to Mary for her example of Devine Love as well as Christ.

Matthew 25

35) For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36) Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

In my opinion the last thing we want to create, as members that help and support someone in need, is a more complex problem that adds to the original crisis. I have learned that in these times of difficulty, the person in crisis should get as close to the Lord as possible. Making that an easier task is what support from the ward does. When considering support, we should only make our support conditional when we know a certain thing to be true about a situation; Most of the time we do not have enough information to make such a restriction. And withholding support because of rumor, hurt feelings, or shotty knowledge, is not Devine Love.

So, what can we do to support members in need?

1) Judge not. This may not apply to a crisis of death, but in others it may.

2) Pray for the well-being and happiness of the member in crisis.

3) Help them feel loved. Visit, bake a cake, include in activities and more.

4) Get them involved. Callings can help, also other members can ask to get them involved in other things. Service heals many wounds.

5) Visit the home. Invite the person to be part of social occasions. An invitation to attend a family home evening or a backyard barbecue will likely receive a warm response.

6) Pray for inspiration to know how you can help further.

Supporting a member during a crisis is one of the best things we can do. Making sure what we do is supportive is the challenge that we face. I need to tell the people that read this I have good memories of support from the church and its members. Their support has helped me, when I was in crisis, to focus on getting closer to Heavenly Father and receiving direction from him.

However there have been just a few times when support is somewhat lacking. Upon returning from my inactivity, a member of my home ward where I was baptized made a poor decision. When the sacrament was being passed, she deliberately withheld the sacrament from me, and passed it to the row behind me. I was worthy to receive it, so I tactfully turned to the row behind me, and partook of the sacrament. In a time when I had many challenges to returning, I could have let that stop me, but I did not.

Yet, in most instances, I have been felt much support from my ward. When I was recovering from Divorce, a ward gave me numerous callings of which I was extremely thankful for. I have found that when I am recovering from a crisis, that service to others becomes an important element in returning to a more normal life. When I have not been blessed with a calling, I served both in the temple as well as the LDS cannery. When we serve, we put our problems in perspective and help others in need.

Edited by Messenger
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Unless the Lord specifically directed me otherwise, I would wait at least a year. I think time needs to be taken to figure out what the new normal is, and for my children and I to re-establish our family structure before thinking about adding a new person into the mix.

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First request: I'm a guy.

As to the rest, I voted 6 months, but I see it more as a YMMV kind of thing.

All our children are adults, and so there isn't a lot of concern in that area. But, if we still had younger children at home, I do believe that I would give it at least 6 months before starting to date again, just so the children had the time to get settled out about their mother being gone. I would not be looking specifically for a wife at first, either.

A man of my acquaintance, whose wife died when they had five children ranging in age from under 8 to about 17, got a bit of a head start on his new wife because his first wife picked her out for him, and she was well-known and loved by their children already, her having been their most-frequent babysitter for a number of years. The new couple went on to have another five children, the youngest of which is now about 12. I believe they were married about one year after the first wife's death.

I expect you don't have a similar situation.

If this which happened to you happened to me, I think I would probably wait about a hundred years before starting seriously looking for a new wife. Incidentally, by way of being prepared, my wife has identified someone she thinks I should marry if (a) she dies before me, or (b) plural marriage is reinstated and we are asked to participate. I am anticipating neither event occurring. In fact, I plan to die first and leave the mess for her to clean up. A typical man.

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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.

When you heal from the loss and not a min earlier, if ever. Up to you. Hope otherwise you are doing well enough.

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When you heal from the loss and not a min earlier, if ever. Up to you. Hope otherwise you are doing well enough.

Amen

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Time is precious. Especially as we get older. Start right away or as soon as you feel up to it. We know that it is not good for man to be alone. We know enough about the afterlife to usually feel pretty good about what condition our loved ones are in and how they might really feel, despite anything they may have said in mortality, about us mortals dating and needing companionship. She does not want you to be lonely.

Male.

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Interesting results so far on the poll: 5 for "start right away," 5 for "wait 6 months," and 5 for "wait a year."

Couldn't be a clearer testimony for "up to you, kiddo."

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I didn't vote as I think this depends on each person and their situation. I don't think it is wrong to date and marry shortly after and I don't think it is wrong to wait. I think often times no matter how long you wait, there might be issues by others on it.

I of course agree that the children need to be involved in some regards. They should be mostly okay with you dating again if they are in the home still (don't need their 100% approval, but they should be crying every time you go out or bring up having a date). I also think that children should not meet anyone you are dating unless it is expected to go somewhere. That was just my personal rule from my own dating life. The only time it was different was when I ended up dating someone who was already a friend so the children already knew the person. Even then, I didn't tell the kids they were more than a friend until it was serious.

Sorry again for your loss USU78.

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USU78,

I'm sorry that you're widowed. I'm also a widower, and it's not easy.

In answer to the poll question, I'd say that when you date is entirely a matter of what you and your kids feel comfortable with--it's nobody else's business. Don't worry about what others may think.

If you do get into a new relationship, make sure it's for the right reasons, not in an effort to "bounce back" from the grief. There's no specific timetable, and it's different for everyone. There's no "too long to wait" and no "to soon to date again."

There have been times when I felt it might be a betrayal of my wife's memory to date someone else, but in my more rational moments, I know my that late wife would want me to be happy, not lonely. So... it's ok to keep an eye out for someone new.

I wish you the very best. ;)

DH

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While I'm an advocate to wait a year, I tend to stress that it's more important to strengthen your friendships that have been ignored while waiting to do any serious dating. With kids involve, practically any age, there's less issues if you don't jump immediately back into the dating scene since the issue isn't just about you. If there's no kids involved, I would say to date when you're ready.

As a divorcee for 8 months, I abstain from sharing how I'm approaching this particular topic since it's not the the 'worldly' opinion that most have.....Oh well. :pardon:

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As a divorcee for 8 months, I abstain from sharing how I'm approaching this particular topic since it's not the the 'worldly' opinion that most have.....Oh well. :pardon:

Just out of curiosity, what do you mean by "worldly?"

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Just out of curiosity, what do you mean by "worldly?"

The 'worldly' viewpoint since I'm civilly divorced is that one can date once they're ready.

The marriage vows are between the couple and God and are unbreakable IMO. So even if my spouse decides to get a divorce, there is still the covenant I made w/ God and I will honor my marriage covenants regardless.

For Better or Worse, what God has put together, let no man (or spouse) tear apart.

The RCC recognizes my marriage while the State of California does not. I believe the 'worldly' view sides w/ the state of California.

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