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Widowed Mother is Dating

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Hi -

I am new to this forum. Needed to just vent about the bombshell dropped on me yesterday.

My step-father died 2 years ago this past March. He was basically my dad and I took his last name years ago. He was in my life for 26 years. It wasn't always sunshine and roses but I always loved him. 

Things weren't great between my mom and him for the last few years of their marriage before he died. He did and said some despicable things. She was very unhappy and they were more or less roommates. 

My mom informs me yesterday that she is dating someone. Now, it's not just anyone. It's a man that was one of my step-father's best friends! We have known this man for at least 20 years. He remodeled part of house. He was alwas doing "handy" work for my step-dad, especially when he had medical issues and couldn't continue doing stuff. 

He was a pallbearer at my step-dad's funeral. He has been there for my mom and helped her with things since then - like mowing the yard or changing a flat tire or even hauling off garbage for her.

Don't get me wrong, he is a very nice person. And I consider our family lucky to have him as a friend. 

But now my mom says "I have always loved him as a friend but now I am in love with him. I just want to be happy before I die."

Of course I want my mom to be happy but I am not coping very well with this news. Everything at her house reminds me of my step-dad still. All his stuff is still there. And I am having a really hard time dealing with the fact that now this man is there as more than just a friend - sitting where my step-dad sat, using his tools, being near my mother. 

And now I feel like I am grieving his death all over again. I can't even fathom stepping foot in my childhood home again because now I feel like it's tainted for me. I feel like this other man will be there constantly.I don't want to see my mom with another man. I don't know how to deal with this at all. 

Right now I am thankful we live 3 hours apart and this isn't right on my doorstep cuz I just don't want to deal with it at all. 


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I was in a similar situation a few years back. My mother and father were married for 54 years. They had a good marriage. My father died, and me and all my siblings thought mom would simply live her lonely little life all by herself because dad was gone. We were dead wrong and shocked to the core! My mother started briefly dating a man MY AGE. While it didn't last, it caused an uproar. My brothers were so angry, they wanted to confront her and tell her it was wrong. My sisters and I, however, realized that while we were stunned, upset and not okay with it, mom had a RIGHT to be happy and not alone. 

She fulfilled her "Til death do us part" vow. She didn't want to be alone. She still doesn't. Who does? She has a right to live and go on. While that truly was hard, we all dealt with it. Mom is currently alone, but she's had a few dates over the years, and now, I honestly wished she had a companion to keep her company. She deserves happiness too. 

I hope you begin to realize that people need people. Your mom is no different. She deserves happiness, and if this man can make her happy, what is wrong with that? It's not like she's done anything wrong. It's just hard to deal with at first. 

We will be here with you,


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Dear Brandy,

I'm very sorry to hear how you feel. I know you are still grieving the loss of your step-dad. I know you would want your mom to be happy but at the same time its a huge adjustment.

My situation is a little different. I am still mourning the loss of my dad, but it feels like everyone has forgotten him and moved on. I'm having a hard time accepting this because I'm not on the same page.

Maybe consider grief counselling or joining a support group. I also find these websites helpful in understanding my feelings. What's Your Grief and The Grief Healing Blog.

Please know that no matter who your mom dates or eventually marries again, no one will ever replace your step-dad in your life. He was a good man. He loved you. Remember that and try to know he would want you to be happy going forward and for your mom as well.

Take care of yourself. Thinking of you. Sending you all my thoughts and prayers.

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