WSN-MO: Widower to Widower with Fred Colby
In my last blog, we spoke about how alone and desperate, we often feel after our wife has passed. And we discussed how this could lead to horrible decisions that can pretty much ruin your life going forward. So, what happens when we meet a possible “new best friend”? How do we know that our new friend is the “right one”?
In our messed-up psycho-emotional state, it is easy to make a bad decision and have our feelings dictated by wrong motives. It is easy to think that we want to marry this wonderful new woman we just met. (I know this from personal experience.)
And for some of us, the drive for intimacy can be overpowering. The euphoria of a new relationship can wipe out all reason and lead us down a path without regard for the consequences.
So what can we do to avoid these traps when we meet someone who excites us and helps us forget our pain for a while? One thing you might want to do is think a little bit about what you are looking for in a relationship. For example, are you looking for a:
1. Maid: maybe you are one of those guys who leave his clothes all over the place, who never washes the dishes, who wears the same clothes again and again without washing them, and who never mows the lawn, much less pull the weeds. If this is the case, and you were used to your wife doing most of these things, you might just be looking for a maid. I can tell you that hiring a maid to come in once a month is a lot cheaper than remarrying.
2. Cook: Or maybe you have never had to fend for yourself in terms of shopping, cooking, and baking, and you quickly tire of eating out (especially now in pandemic times) or eating frozen meals. There are plenty of widowers who cannot fry an egg, much less cook vegetables, or even a crockpot meal. When a gal comes into our lives who unselfishly prepares tasty homecooked meals for us, we might think we have discovered “the one.” While I am one of those easily impressed by a good meal, I have found that this alone may not be an indicator of how well a marriage will work out. But I must admit that in a good relationship, each of you should bring something to the table and not just money or a home!
3. Concubine: As some of you know, after we lose our wives, we can often have deep cravings for intimacy with a woman just to feel close to someone again, to feel loved again, and to quiet the weird and intensely sexual, physical symptoms we may experience. Such feelings can drive us to distraction as our moral compass struggles with the demands of our body and psycho-emotional state of mind. Way too often, while in this state, we can mistake intimacy with love, leading to poorly informed decisions of the highest magnitude, including getting married. So, if you find yourself in this position, please commit to both yourself and your new friend to slow things down and take your time before making rash decisions. Make sure that what you want is a long-term, lasting relationship built upon love and mutual respect.
4. Wife: If you feel there is more to your new relationship than is outlined above, you have come to the crux of your decision-making. And when I say wife, I also mean long-term commitments that may or may not include living together. As a widower in today’s world, there are many reasons why you may not want to take the marriage route (e.g., social security benefits, family, legal restrictions in wills/trusts). If you feel that your relationship has matured past the euphoric stage to genuine love and respect for each other, then maybe you are ready for this big step. If you have close family or friends, this step needs to be taken with careful planning so you can hopefully retain those other relationships which are so crucial to your mental health and happiness going forward.
In all cases at minimum, please consider:
• Waiting at least one year after your wife’s passing before making such an important decision (if the new relationship is real, it can withstand a few months of waiting), and
• Meet with a grief therapist to talk everything over to ensure your decisions are made based upon a solid foundation that can see you through to a successful conclusion.
Best wishes to all my fellow widowers as we all navigate this strange and challenging period of widower-hood.
© Copyright 2020 Fred Colby
All rights reserved
Fred Colby is the author of Widower to Widower, which is available on Amazon.com. You can find Fred’s column appearing here on WSN-MO every other Tuesday. Widower to Widower is available through your local bookstore, my website, and Amazon.
© Copyright 2020 Fred ColbyAll rights reserved______________________________________Fred Colby is the author of Widower to Widower, which is available on Amazon.com. You can find Fred’s column appearing here on WSN-MO every other Tuesday. Widower to Widower is available through your local bookstore, my website, and Amazon.