Dating a Widower

Visitor's Question from a 41-50 year old Female
My sister is dating a widower. He has been widowed for over a year now. They were close friends before his wife died, and just recently started dating. She understands that he will always love his wife and will have things that will remind him of her. The problem is- the other day- he pulledout a compact in front of my sister and smelled it deeply, and then sighed. She asked him what it was and if she could see it- but all he would tell her is "Don't touch it". It ended up being a compact with his deceased wife's perfume. When do you know enough is enough- and how can I help her deal with the situation? She is at the point where she feels she will always be 2nd to him and he will never be able to love her as he did his wife. Please help her out! Advice
Well, actually my boyfriend's mom passed away just a year ago, and it's still something we think about a lot. The loss of someone that close to you takes many, many years to get through. Yes, the survivor starts dating soon, because after being "with someone" for so many years it's really hard to be alone. And it's also sort of exciting to be with someone new after all those years. But still, it takes a long time to "let go" of the previous person. Look at Paul McCartney, they talked about his dead wife during his wedding ceremony to his new wife.

She should respect that he still loves his old wife - that says a lot about his stability and stick-at-it! To me that's *far* better than someone who says "OK she's gone! Ha ha ha!" So think of it as a positive thing. It'll fade over time. Over time he'll put the compact on a shelf and take it out less and less, and then just look at it once a year. It's like an old high school sweetheart - it's nice to remember the memories, but you still do go on with your life.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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