created by: wzombiegrl | Jan 16, 2009

WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan

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How soon after a spouses death is ok to date?

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  • 6 mo.
  • 1 year
  • 2-5 years
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Since: Oct 08

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#1
Jan 16, 2009
 
I pose this question, for my friend who lost her husband to cancer 6 months ago. She has started seeing someone and her kids (26 & 23) are having fits. She said goodbye to her husband long before he actually passed, and was basically his caretaker, not a wife, the last 1 or so of his life. Is it ok for her to move on?
hmmm

United States

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#2
Jan 16, 2009
 

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The length of time shouldn't matter, it's when she is ready. That will be different for everyone. Not intending to sound cold, but it's not as if the deceased love one can come back.

I'm sure your friends kids are having a hard time with this, but maybe she could ask them some questions. What do they think is an appropriate time? Why do they think that?(whatever the length of time is, or if it's never).
Would their dad have wanted her to stay alone, or be able to move on and find happiness? Do they think because she is seeing someone new, that her love for him is gone?

Mostly just questions to open the line of communication between them. Understanding why someone thinks or feels the way they do can help with conflict resolution.

She should also remember that you can't please everyone, and while I feel for the kids, they aren't really kids anymore. Hard situation for all, best of luck.

“DON'T JUDGE ME”

Since: Jul 08

Holland, MI

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#3
Jan 16, 2009
 

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I can't imagine loving another man if something were to happen to my husband before I'm gone. He's my best friend and my world ... life wouldn't be the same without him. No, we don't have a picture perfect marriage, but he's still my true love ... We're both on our 2nd marriage -- the 1st ended in divorce for both of us, before we even knew each other.

I think it would depend on the circumstances surrounding the death for the mourning time ... I have no experience with this but I'm sure it will vary with each person.
Kelli

Whitehall, MI

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#4
Jan 16, 2009
 
Everyone has a different feeling on this as to how soon they might date again. Some might be sooner than later.

“Cautiously optimistic”

Since: Jan 09

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#5
Jan 16, 2009
 

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My husband is my best friend. If I knew I was going to die I would tell him to please find someone to love right away. I would hate for him to be alone. I would tell my kids this too so they would not give him a hard time when he started dating.
til death

West Olive, MI

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#6
Jan 17, 2009
 

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once the vow has been fulfilled who cares how long one should wait...until death do you part, not until death and then some.
mikelikespike

Ada, MI

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#7
Jan 17, 2009
 

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Having lost a spouse it took me a few months. It took me about 6-8 months to find my present wonderful wife. At the time of my spouses death I had 2 girls age 4 and 6 months.
woodsprite53058

Detroit, MI

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#8
Jan 17, 2009
 

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wzombiegrl wrote:
I pose this question, for my friend who lost her husband to cancer 6 months ago. She has started seeing someone and her kids (26 & 23) are having fits. She said goodbye to her husband long before he actually passed, and was basically his caretaker, not a wife, the last 1 or so of his life. Is it ok for her to move on?
If the husband truly loved his wife and her happiness was his wish then I am sure he would have wanted her to continue with life and happiness. Good for her. I hope she is having fun.
Bunny from the UP

Grand Rapids, MI

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#9
Jan 17, 2009
 

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I think her childern are fully grown adults.
That need to grow up and relize she took care of thier Dad and known what I have seen men and women alike when a spouse becomes ill they learn to say good bye before it happens. Sounds to me she did that with the kind of illness he had.
Her childern need to learn to accept that thier dad has passed away and thier mother needs to move on!
I would hate to see her childern no matter what age they are loose thier mother over BULL.
Childern no matter what age they are think they can pull you back and be thier parent until the parent puts a end to the madness I know my own childern tried to do the same thing to me after my divorce.
She needs to sit down and explain to her kids LOOK I loved your dad he is passed away does not mean I do not or can not have a life after your dads passing.
She did her part its her turn to enjoy life not be a mother full time not be a nurse maid/care giver/wife My hats off to her for taken care of him.
If my mom was to ever find someone even at her age the only thing I would ask is that he dont put her threw what my dad did.
So these kids of hers need to face it all and not worry if she is going to wake her babies up while she comes home late at night~

“Taz say Hi”

Since: Jan 08

Holland,MI

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#10
Jan 17, 2009
 

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My mother had severe heart trouble which led to her being bed ridden the last couple years of her life, so she was sure she would pass before my father did. She told us she would be flattered if he remarried, as that would indicate to her that he was so happy with marriage that he wanted more of it. She never said how long, but I would take that to mean that she did not expect him to take a very long time.

“Almost as Sweet as Gunpowder”

Since: Oct 08

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#11
Jan 17, 2009
 

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I think it just depends on the person. Some people, who have cared for someone who are terminally ill, have prepared themselves enough so that they might want to find someone else sooner because they have moved on sooner. Others might never be ready to move on.

My husband says he'd never remarry. Me, on the other hand...well, I'd have one hell of a difficult time, but I've spent enough time alone in my life.(I'm kind of socially uneasy face-to-face but manage to get by.) I'd want to find someone nice to share things with. Older than me, too. I like that in a guy. My issue would be the trust thing since there's so many creepy people out there. I trust my husband completely enough to be myself around him. It'd take me a loooong time to do that with someone else.

“Almost as Sweet as Gunpowder”

Since: Oct 08

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#12
Jan 17, 2009
 
*who is terminally...

“Be your own hero.”

Since: Jul 08

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#13
Jan 17, 2009
 

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hmmm wrote:
The length of time shouldn't matter, it's when she is ready. That will be different for everyone. Not intending to sound cold, but it's not as if the deceased love one can come back.
I'm sure your friends kids are having a hard time with this, but maybe she could ask them some questions. What do they think is an appropriate time? Why do they think that?(whatever the length of time is, or if it's never).
Would their dad have wanted her to stay alone, or be able to move on and find happiness? Do they think because she is seeing someone new, that her love for him is gone?
Mostly just questions to open the line of communication between them. Understanding why someone thinks or feels the way they do can help with conflict resolution.
She should also remember that you can't please everyone, and while I feel for the kids, they aren't really kids anymore. Hard situation for all, best of luck.
I think this advice is excellent, and I would recommend putting some sentences in with all of those questions. Obviously, she and her husband were together a long time if their kids are in their twenties. She needs to explain that while she will love their father for the rest of her life, she also has room to love another man who can give her the earthly things their father can no longer provide. That when you've had a wonderful spouse for such a long time, it is hard to face the day without your best friend around. Their father's last days (weeks, years, etc.) were hard on her, but she wouldn't have traded that extra time for anything. And she's given him even more time after death in remembrance. Now it's her time, and the best way for her to honor the relationship they had is to be willing to try to capture the love she had with their father with somebody else.

She should also make sure to cover the "he won't replace your dad" points. They will never be expected call him Dad or have their kids call him Grandpa. That they will have their own timeline to accept someone new into their lives, and she will respect their loss and grieving in return for their respect of hers.
buney

Saint Charles, IL

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#14
Jan 17, 2009
 

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I had always thought it disrespectful for a spouse to "date" soon after the passing of their spouse, until Dr. Laura [whom you all love and adore] put it in this perspective to one of her callers:

When a spouse dates & remarries soon after the passing of their spouse, it is a compliment to the deceased spouse, as it indicates that the surviving spouse could not live without them
Alvin

Foley, AL

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#15
Jan 17, 2009
 

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Being open to marriage again or coupling again is a complement to your original spouse, and I sort of think they might make a good spouse too as they want to do it again!
Wendy

Greenville, MI

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#16
Jan 17, 2009
 
I personally think that each person is different when it comes to the death of their spouse. My Grandma never remarried or even dated anyone else after my Grandpa passed (he was in his 30's). She just passed away the other day at age 73, so she went close to 40 years or so without ever being with anyone else. I believe one decides to start dating after their spouse dies so soon because they miss their partner and are very lonely. A friend of mines husband died from cancer when he was 26 and she 24. Imagine being a widow at 24 with a little girl! She said she was so very lonely and no one understood what she was going through. Her husband told her before he died that he wanted her to date and to be happy again with someone else. I feel it's each person's personal choice on when they start to date, and no one has the right to judge them because of it. Kids of her children's ages should be happy their mother found someone to be happy with instead of being lonely and sad all the time!

“love, loyalty, friendship”

Since: Sep 08

Dutchville

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#17
Jan 17, 2009
 

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I think Mom or Dad should find someone new to love whenever they feel it's the right time, but I also think they should remember and be careful of their kids feelings too.

Surviving Mom or Dad need to spend a lot of time with the kids, no matter how old they are. Remember, no matter what your age, losing a parent is a terrible thing. And seeing the other parent act totally different is hard too. Adult kids feel "lost and adrift" when a parent dies and need time and respect to grieve too.
buney

Saint Charles, IL

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#18
Jan 17, 2009
 

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little-me wrote:
Surviving Mom or Dad need to spend a lot of time with the kids, no matter how old they are.
While I would agree with you here if younger children are involved, but when the "children" are grown adults, it becomes the responsibility of the grown children to cater to the surviving spouse

“Really? I mean, REAAALLLYY???”

Since: Nov 08

Grand Rapids, MI

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#19
Jan 17, 2009
 

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little-me wrote:
I think Mom or Dad should find someone new to love whenever they feel it's the right time, but I also think they should remember and be careful of their kids feelings too.
Surviving Mom or Dad need to spend a lot of time with the kids, no matter how old they are. Remember, no matter what your age, losing a parent is a terrible thing. And seeing the other parent act totally different is hard too. Adult kids feel "lost and adrift" when a parent dies and need time and respect to grieve too.
I agree, if their kids are children. But if they are adults, they need to suck it up and be happy for Mom or Dad.

My Dad died when I was 5 years old. My Mom dated a man and got engaged to him. He called off the wedding and ended the romantic relationship, because he was divorced, and he didn't feel right about it. He stuck around as a good friend, though, and helped raise myself and my younger sister.
Goldie

Grand Rapids, MI

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#20
Jan 17, 2009
 

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Widowers tend to remarry earlier and more often than widows. Hmmmm...what does that tell us? I've heard that the men miss and NEED the cook, housekeeper and laundress. Most women I know, including myself, feel that if we were to be widowed...we'd stay that way.

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