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 ichi-bon
Joined: 3/30/2008
Msg: 1
Widow/Widower....dating again, and adult children's re-action to the new SOPage 1 of 1    
I have been on many of the Forums about widows/widowers........and skimmed thru to see if this was addressed.
If it has been, I don't mind my thread being deleted and being directed to where it is addressed.
My query is the re-action of the adult children, and how they deal with, get along with, or accept a new person in their parents life after the loss of a parent or step-parent whom they grew up with, loved, and feel the loss themselves.

My late husband has been gone almost three years........we were together over twenty years....it was an awesome marriage.

I dated several times...and had a half - hearted relationship which was a disaster ........
It ended because it was based on lies, not because I was a widow.......but the vulnerability of me being too "raw emotionally" allowed me to believe things he said ...and the stronger I became, the more I saw thru him.
That was a definite learning process.

My children were very protective of me to start.. ( LOL........my son is in Army 12 years....wanted name , SS, everything), my daughter's wanted to go with me!! All cute, but not nesessary.

The man I am seeing now,......... I have let my children know that no matter what they " think", my life is indeed my own..........and I will make my own choices. They are respectful of that and only want me to be happy. And they do like him.

I have not faced the normal problems of him thinking he is competing with a " ghost" because his mother was also widowed. He was able to accept his step-dad as a loving husband to his mother, and be friends with him.
His experience has taught him that while his mother never stopped loving his father, she had love to give that was seperate from that love and just as deep if not deeper than the lost love...in some ways...... because she appreciated having a second chance at real love.

The other day I was talking to a group of widows and all of them without fail expressed the problems with bringing a new love into their life and their problems with their own children.....or....his.

Is this a common problem ? The only real problem I have faced is my step-children.....like they think I have lost my love for their daddy, and or forgot....by going on with my life. I empathize, but feel I cannot live the rest of my life in memory only..........no matter how much I loved him.

I would really be interested in other's experiences on this.

As a note........my grandchildren simply call him by his first name.
 Azalea7
Joined: 12/2/2008
Msg: 2
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Widow/Widower....dating again, and adult children's re-action to the new SO
Posted: 2/22/2009 7:20:37 PM
I'll put a positive spin on your stepchildren's concern: Maybe they're worried about losing you. Maybe they love you, you know? But there isn't a biological connection, so it seems more possible that you'll drift away. How much you still love their dad would be like a symbol for how much they're still on your mind. Oh god, I do play a psychologist on the webernets after all. Well take what I'm saying FWIW.
 packagedealx3
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 3
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Widow/Widower....dating again, and adult children's re-action to the new SO
Posted: 2/22/2009 8:59:06 PM
The only experience I have had with his was watching what happened to a guy I worked with years ago. He had a really unique situation. He lived here in Fort Worth with his wife of a gazillion years, as a couple, they had kept in contact with a high school sweetheart and her husband who lived in Atlanta. A couple of years before he lost his wife, the gal in Atlanta became a widow. The man's wife was diagnosed with cancer and while they had ample time to talk things through and feel "good" with each other at least before she died, she did go fairly quickly.

One of the things they discussed was him staying alone out of grief. She firmly believed that he would probably be dead not long after her and she encouraged him to go on living and pretty much told him marry "Jane." These wishes were made known to the children by her before she died. He wound up marrying Atlanta lady in a time that would be considered by social convention a little quick, like inside 6 months. My thoughts when I heard about it was, okay, it is a little unusual for someone who truly adored his wife but these folks aren't getting any younger. If they can find happiness together and they both also know that their departed spouses would both "approve," why wait when you never know how long you will have with someone? Just so it looks good to other people while you are miserable as a result? Take out the social spin and it just seems sort of stupid to wait.

Well, the kids went apeshit. They were absolutely furious with their father and did not speak to him for quite a while. To me while this visceral reaction is probably fairly normal, if I were one of the kids, I would have sucked it up and wrapped my brain around the fact that my father is able to find some peace and happiness instead of being totally depressed and grieving for their mother. The sad part was that this woman loved her too and I think they were grieving together for the wife and friend they had just lost. To find some happiness in that pain is a blessing.

I think it is like any blended family, sometimes things go off without a hitch, as was the case for a couple at my church, but then again, I think they had a quiet ceremony and then invited the children to celebrate after to make sure they avoided any weirdness from the adult children. I don't know if either were widowed but that adult kids would object out of anything other than honest concern in any situation is selfish imo and boggling.

OP, the only thing I think you can do is tell your stepchildren that you will never love them any less than you did when their father was alive and that you will always love their father and the years that you so cherished but their father loved you enough to want you to be happy, not get in the grave with him. You might also tell them what you told us in this thread about this lovely man you have found. If they realize that the new man is not threatened by the memories and that he respects your deceased spouse, he will likely be less a threat. Another thing to consider is that they probably wonder if the addition of this man to the family will mean that they lose you too. Rather than being incapable of wanting you to be happy, they may be afraid that your happiness will no longer include them.

Good luck, the only thing you can do is try to keep the lines of communication open and hope they come around. For them, this may have really reopened a wound they thought was healed over and they just need time to integrate the new situation into a positive light.
 Lil Brooker
Joined: 6/17/2008
Msg: 4
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Widow/Widower....dating again, and adult children's re-action to the new SO
Posted: 2/22/2009 9:11:14 PM
Not a widow but my oldest daughter was adamantly against me dating. It was intense and unrealistic. She was ok with her father having a girlfriend. I tried to talk to her about it but the only answer she could muster was "You're not the one who left." I have never understood her strong reactions to Mom dating.
 1Georgia2
Joined: 12/1/2008
Msg: 5
Widow/Widower....dating again, and adult children's re-action to the new SO
Posted: 2/23/2009 6:32:46 AM
"My query is the re-action of the adult children, and how they deal with, get along with, or accept a new person in their parents life after the loss of a parent or step-parent whom they grew up with, loved, and feel the loss themselves."

I'm a widow. My husband and I talked extensively about this subject before he died. His words to me were, "You're a beautiful woman, and you have so much love to give. Please go on Living!"

My children know that I make my own decisions about the men I date and they want me to be happy. They know I was completely faithful to their father during our time together but they also know that people are much happier if they have a SO to share life with. I'm thinking if they did not approve of the man, I would be questioning the why's of it. In fact, I was in a relationship for a while and my children approved but when it started to go sour, they were the first to see it and left not so suttle hints that I was being used. Even then, they still respected my decision to be with him and when I finally saw the llight, they all stood behind me and gave me the emotional support I needed then. I'm very lucky, I have fantastic kids!!!!!!!
 ichi-bon
Joined: 3/30/2008
Msg: 6
Widow/Widower....dating again, and adult children's re-action to the new SO
Posted: 2/23/2009 3:17:53 PM
I'll put a positive spin on your stepchildren's concern: Maybe they're worried about losing you. Maybe they love you, you know? But there isn't a biological connection, so it seems more possible that you'll drift away. How much you still love their dad would be like a symbol for how much they're still on your mind. Oh god, I do play a psychologist on the webernets after all. Well take what I'm saying FWIW



While that is definitely something that can come into play here..... I have always been pretty close to all of my step-children.....including the one from my first marriage. She is now 30 and been my daughter since she was 4. Her children call me grandma and she is listed on my profile as my daughter.

All of his grandchildren still call me grandma. Since I was a young child my mother always told me it was impossible to love someone and not love what was their's.

I have been very blessed in that " blood" has never been the determining factor for me. My grandson Jaxson will be born tomorrow ( adoption) .

They ( his children) have known for a while that I am dating again....but never came face to face with it.
I had a date at my daughter's reception last year and although his younger son was to be seated at our table, the weather barred he and his wife from getting here........they live 150 miles away........He was told I would be with a date. He seemed to have no problem with it. Most of the boys tend to be coming around. His daughter HATES the idea of me even dating....I am her daddy's wife..end of story.

The new man I am seeing has no problem with them still being in my life.
Although honestly, that side of the family possibly could get less attention when I really do get on with my life.

It depends on how much my late husband's children accept him ( or anyone else).
I will not allow them or my own biological children to compare him to my late husband. I just won't allow it.......whether this relationship turns serious or not.
They are two seperate individuals. I am not looking for a "clone" of my husband.

I loved my husband far more than I ever thought humanly possible, and I know he loved me the same way. He wanted my happiness more than anything in his life. While I can't honestly say he would want me to be with someone else ( he never liked that idea in life or death)....his last words were that he could not leave his baby to another man.......... I know he would be unselfish enough to want me to be happy no matter what.
I do appreciate all of the posts so far.
 florence nightengale
Joined: 4/4/2009
Msg: 7
Widow/Widower....dating again, and adult children's re-action to the new SO
Posted: 4/8/2009 8:09:36 PM
I think it would not matter whom you date,as the kids are concerned and sometimes they have a hard time accepting you having someone in your life.
Its not about replacement of a spouse ,its about filling a void in your life and companionship.
It affects the whole family and as long as the right person understands and doesnt take it personally ..it helps.
Its how everyone handles it and i think if you date someone that is sensitive to your kids etc it does help and helps decrease tension.

life is short and you deserve to be happy ..but never let someone force or push your kids in any way as it will hurt them and make matters worse.

all the best''
 ZenBeth
Joined: 2/23/2009
Msg: 8
Widow/Widower....dating again, and adult children's re-action to the new SO
Posted: 4/8/2009 8:44:26 PM
My son and his family are always asking me if I have met anyone special. Nothing would make them happier than for me to meet someone with the fine qualities of Dad and great qualities I haven't experienced. Life is to short and I am sure there is a wonderful wild awesome man somewhere, who would be a great fit for me.

~Beth~
 Kaptain Obvious
Joined: 3/9/2009
Msg: 9
Widow/Widower....dating again, and adult children's re-action to the new SO
Posted: 4/8/2009 9:13:26 PM
Is this a common problem ? The only real problem I have faced is my step-children.....like they think I have lost my love for their daddy, and or forgot....by going on with my life. I empathize, but feel I cannot live the rest of my life in memory only..........no matter how much I loved him.


I don't wish to write a script for you in how to possibly handle your step children. But maybe you can adapt this 'conceptually' to fit your particular situation.

The one thing that I always notice in widowed situations and the dealings with everybody else in the family, always seems to center on whether or not the widowed will forget the belated. You've obviously confirmed this by what you wrote. But what always surprises me more than anything else is the negating of the feelings of the 'BELATED'..... By that, I mean.... if this person were up in heaven right now (depending on what your religious beliefs are....), would this person be looking down on the one they left, wanting them to be HAPPY??? Or would they be looking down wanting that person to be grieving their entire life in some sort of selfish, self serving way, thinking it was 'ALL ABOUT HIM', because he took his EGO along with him?? (like a lot of people actually DO here on earth....which is why most are DIVORCED anyway) Seems to me, that when you die....the ego LEAVES, and all that remains is a spirit of LOVE. Wouldn't the belated, if the marriage was a happy one, WANT for the person they left behind to be LOVED AGAIN in only the BEST way possible?? The answer, I always believe, is a resounding YES.... And that is because, when they were on this planet to begin with.....they got their biggest joy by making the one they loved HAPPY!! That's what made it a GOOD MARRIAGE!!! And that it is quite possible that THEY are denying their own father's REQUEST....

If I were you, I would present it in a way to let them know that the very REASON you loved their father to begin with.....was because of his unfailing LOVE for you, and his desire to make you HAPPY!!! And that HE, right now, loves you STILL enough, to actually WANT nothing BUT the best for your remaining life here, and to see you SMILE AGAIN.... Because YOUR HAPPINESS is what made HIM smile. And your marriage to HIM....was between YOU and HIM... and maybe their father is actually ENCOURAGING you to go BE HAPPY. And that is all the more reason why you could never FORGET him in the first place. And why you'll actually never stop loving him for the man he was, and still is..... REAL LOVE is not selfish... REAL LOVE only wants the other person to be REALLY LOVED....even in their absence.

I hope that makes sense.... Think about it... Maybe it will work...

God bless....
 BigDaddyJinx
Joined: 11/4/2006
Msg: 10
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Widow/Widower....dating again, and adult children's re-action to the new SO
Posted: 4/8/2009 10:10:51 PM

Is this a common problem ? The only real problem I have faced is my step-children.....like they think I have lost my love for their daddy, and or forgot....by going on with my life. I empathize, but feel I cannot live the rest of my life in memory only..........no matter how much I loved him.

Ichi -- If you haven't already watched it, rent the move PS I Love You with Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler.

That movie sums it up pretty nicely about how the ones we love would want us to move forward with our lives, and not live a life shackled to the past memories we had together. A life is meant to be in forward motion...not backwards regression, or standing still.

That movie is a true chick flick to be sure, but has such a powerful deeper meaning to it. I was very impressed with it myself, and I'm not a huge fan of the tear jerkers.

If you haven't yet seen it, rent it ASAP and sit down and watch it undisturbed.

 packagedealx3
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 11
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Widow/Widower....dating again, and adult children's re-action to the new SO
Posted: 4/9/2009 6:58:46 AM
Great movie BDJ, cried like a baby the first time I watched it and then had a crush on both the Irish guys, lol.

How are things gong OP? It has been a couple of months since you wrote the thread, assuming that things are still great with the guy, better with the step-children?
 cookie22222
Joined: 8/4/2007
Msg: 12
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Widow/Widower....dating again, and adult children's re-action to the new SO
Posted: 4/9/2009 7:50:41 AM
What Korky said...!!!

My personal belief is that the baser of human emotions are just that ... human...that in the afterlife the pride, the jealousy and selfishness that exist in this realm are gone - and the spirit is just love, compassion, understanding, empathy...

I've walked in your shoes...although haven't had to deal so much with family issues like yours. I think that others (who's relationship was of course different in nature with the deceased) don't realize what it is to lose such a large piece of your life.

I have a friend, a widower, who when he lost his wife, was just drowned in his sorrow. He was in his late 50's...his children ended up more disgusted with him than anything else at one point, saying, we lost our mother too you know. He said to me - they don't get it - they can go home and they have their wives, their kids - I have nothing...

I wish you luck!
 luvs2laugh78
Joined: 3/3/2008
Msg: 13
Widow/Widower....dating again, and adult children's re-action to the new SO
Posted: 4/9/2009 7:53:37 AM
I lost my mom almost 12 years ago, may she rest in peace, when I was only 19. My father was quite beside himself and lost for a couple of years!

When he first started to date again, he asked what my opinion was. I said well if you are asking it means you have met someone, and I encouraged it! I knew that noone would ever take the place of my mom, but he deserved to be happy here as well.

He dated a few woman briefly, and then he met Krys! He dated her for almost a year before I got the introduction! She is an amazing woman, and so very much like my mom in her character and habits, but not her looks. They are happy together, 6 years now.

Its understandable for kids to put up a guard for there remaining parent, sometimes it just takes some time! However for the parent that is ready to date again, after the loss of a partner! You have to realize that you lived up to your vows etc, and that you deserve to be happy, and it is probably what your partner would have wanted. For you to continue living and find a way to enjoy life without them!
 lonesomerick
Joined: 1/23/2008
Msg: 14
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Widow/Widower....dating again, and adult children's re-action to the new SO
Posted: 4/9/2009 8:11:56 AM
WOW OP, sounds like we've almost walked the same path! including the relationship and the discussion with our now deceased loved ones.

My wife and I have only one child a daughter. When I decided I wanted to get back into life and date, she was the first person I talked to about it. Along with all my family members. I have to say she was reluctant to meet anyone I dated, just wouldn't, until I entered the first and only LTR, then she became very involved, and actually loved seeing her daddy (she still calls me that) smile and laugh again. And she actually really liked the lady!

Well, that was a roller coaster ride, but all through it she was supportive, of both parties, not just me. I think as long as we don't push our kid(s) into meeting someone to early on they eventually see the change in our persona, and accept it.
 ichi-bon
Joined: 3/30/2008
Msg: 15
Widow/Widower....dating again, and adult children's re-action to the new SO
Posted: 4/10/2009 4:56:55 PM

How are things gong OP? It has been a couple of months since you wrote the thread, assuming that things are still great with the guy, better with the step-children?

Hi, thanks for asking.....things are some better......I am still seeing the same man and he is surprisingly patient. I appreciate very much from his standpoint because I know it can't be easy.
DaddyJinx..I haven't gotten the movie yet...but plan to soo. Thank you very much for suggesting it!
 ichi-bon
Joined: 3/30/2008
Msg: 16
Widow/Widower....dating again, and adult children's re-action to the new SO
Posted: 4/10/2009 5:05:19 PM

it could be the combination of this man plus all the others since the three years since passing that has triggered a response.

Well , my husband and I had a marvelous relationship......and all of the children knew that. Whether any of them were secretly unhappy about it..I don't know.
As far as " all the other men". I waited over 18 months before even going to coffee with someone.
I dated one for six weeks.. friends...never even KISSED him.
Second one was on and off.. really not even a relationship of any kind... and none of the children ( his or mine) ever met the second one.
Only my children met the first because he came to my daughter's reception..
This man is the only one they have had anything to do with really at all... and he is special to me.
Thank you for condolenses!
 lindaTMae
Joined: 1/16/2009
Msg: 17
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Widow/Widower....dating again, and adult children's re-action to the new SO
Posted: 4/10/2009 6:44:53 PM
Well, I becamed widowed 4 years ago and although I have not found the love of my life again. Give this point to you and who ever your dating. My dad became a widower at 45, he had sat my sister and I down and stated he had been board out as a teen and then gone in the Marines during WWII. That he did not like to live alone, would only drink himself or couldn't afford it. But that because he had had a great marriage that finding and getting married again was a tribute to my mother. He married my stepmom three months, only a couple of dates after my mom died. He and my stepmom were happily married for more than 30 years. Should I have taken that away from him, no and that tribute to my mom was only that he had had a good marriage after.

So if they don't want you to be happy or their father they need to but out unless they really see something wrong, ie abuse, or substance abuse.
 MtLoopHiker
Joined: 8/6/2005
Msg: 18
Widow/Widower....dating again, and adult children's re-action to the new SO
Posted: 4/10/2009 7:03:54 PM
After losing a loved one, the opportunity to love another is a blessing, not a stigma.
 2Irish1
Joined: 9/1/2008
Msg: 19
Widow/Widower....dating again, and adult children's re-action to the new SO
Posted: 4/10/2009 7:15:57 PM
BDJ,

I loved that movie....cried my eyes out..
Ichi -- If you haven't already watched it, rent the move PS I Love You with Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler.
My Jenny...ended up not being able to speak or move ...with ALS...there were no notes...tapes...just "my" memories...

OT: Gee, Ichi...my kids are 7 @ 8...and I just intro'd them to my g/f...one time...still more concerned about them than I am about their perceptions...I wonder...though...what my kids think or expect...we've talked...I tread very softly...listen..between the lines....let them have their space...and they come back to the subject later..when it's ..safer/comfortable/process time..and talk...we'll see..
 ichi-bon
Joined: 3/30/2008
Msg: 20
Widow/Widower....dating again, and adult children's re-action to the new SO
Posted: 4/10/2009 8:40:07 PM
My Jenny...ended up not being able to speak or move ...with ALS...there were no notes...tapes...just "my" memories...


I hate that for you Irish, .....I have tapes,videos, album after album of notes Ray wrote me or post it notes he left on the bed, mirror, in kitchen cabinet ( to say" good morning Darling" when I went to make coffee)..twenty one years of cards. They were and are still very precious memories of him. I was so fortunate to have a man that wanted me to know everyday, every minute how much he loved me!
I am sooooooooooo happy you have found someone. ( crossing fingers and praying it works for you and your girls!!) I think sometimes the younger children are much more receptive .

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