Dating a Widower

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Original Visitor's Question from a 51-60 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!

User Submitted Advice from a 41-50 year old Female
Have patiente

I too dated a widower, and it was hard - but in the end it worked out beautifully. The key is patience..and compassion (for each other). I met him only a year after his wife's death. ANY grief counselor will tell you that is clearly not enought time to "get over" your grief - especially for someone that was married happilly and for many years. We went slowwwllllyyyy. After year two we started to become more "we" than "three". BUT, was still hard for him at times (and UNDERSTANDABLY so)...AND...he came to realize for how hard it was for me as well. But by this time we both realized we had LOVE (and great amounts of it for each other). We were eventually married, and my husband now tells everyone that he "was blessed TWICE". He doesn't see me as a replacement - or merely someone he has "nice feelings" for. He tells everyone he was blessed with "true" love twice in his life. One does not replace the other does not discount the other either. As another said, "you still have to go on". It comes down to a choice in the end...choosing happiness (and not settling - but really searching for happiness AGAIN..and believing it can happen). BUT the person dating the widow or widower must have patience and compassion and understanding...and more patience. The widow or widower needs to understand that the person they are dating are probably have much mixed emotions and feelings as well. If the love is really there (true love) then the patience and compassion that is needed to bring a dating situation like that to a happy ending IS possible. We are living proof; and no others as well. We have a friend that was married 30 years to his first wife (happily) and two years after her death he married again and was married to her for 20 years. She passed away last year. He is 76 yrs old now - and dating..again. Why? Because he knows love is possible in a life time..and more than once. He says he loved BOTH his wifes. They were two entirely different women but both great and happy marriages for him. Dating a widower is hard though - if you are not one with lots of patience and capable of holding onto your own feelings until they are ready - (and it takes time...lots of time)..then it probably isn't the dating situation for you.

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