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Im dating a widower

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Hi my name is Stephanie and I am new to this group.  I thought I would reach out in hopes to get some advice.  I am dating a man that I have known since high school and he is a widower.  He actually met his wife in high school as well, she was a couple years behind us.  I knew of her and them back then and through social media knew of them getting married and having 2 children. As adults we never spoke much but only maybe liking each others posts on social media.  Well 3 years ago I also found out along with a lot of our friends that his wife had suddenly passed away. We knew she had been sick well had a medical condition  for some time but did not expect her to pass.  After her passing he did date before me.  We however have been dating now for a year.  Our relationship was one of those that we never saw coming. We have a really good relationship.  I have of course been through my share of losses and that helps us understand each other and we are patient with each other and I really think that is why we have such a good relationship. BUT in all honesty I have having a difficult time lately with my own emotions and insecurities about his wife and their relationship.  I cant figure out why because like I said we do have a good relationship and I am happy.  He is really good to me and is always so loving and affectionate with me, so I cant pin point why I'm feeling this way other then maybe because of the holidays that just passed and her anniversary of her passing.  I try really hard to keep my feelings to myself because he isn't doing anything wrong its just me and how I'm feeling but lately I've just been so sad whenever I start thinking and have no idea where these thoughts come from.  I start feeling less than, that he is only with me by default, what if he's only with me for convenience so he isn't alone.  This year I really didn't want to hear about her anniversary date and I feel like such a jerk for feeling that way. Maybe it just really rubbed me the wrong way that he wanted to post something on social media  for her anniversary but I really didn't want to read about the love of his life on his page and have our friends or their friends comment about their relationship. the last time he posted about her was months ago and I didn't have a problem with it until some of the comments were made from her friends about missing them together and what not and it just hurt my feelings like I don't exist.  He didn't bring it up much and maybe that was to help me with how I've been feeling lately. I don't want him to walk on eggshells with me about it but at the same time I am being selfish inside and not wanting to talk about it with him either.  I know we have only been together a year but I think about all that we have been through in this year and I am so impatient wondering if he could ever move on with me in the next chapter of our lives.  I know this is all me and my insecurities but I just don't know how to get past these feelings.  I know I sound like such an insensitive jerk I just don't know how to process this, I've never had to deal with something like this.   I have tried to do some reading on this issue but I find things that say things like...You won’t celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary. You won’t be buried side-by-side. Widowers Will Stay in Relationships with Women They Don't Love. Unfortunately, this doesn't stop widowers from telling the women they're dating that they love them and are ready to start a new life. A lot of women end up falling in love with a widower, only to end up with a broken heart after the widower unexpectedly tells her he's not ready to move on.

Those kinds of things are hard to swallow. I guess I just love really hard and I want the same in return and I'm scared he wont love me that way.

I know some of you are going to tell me how wrong I am for feeling this way but I think me putting this out there for you to give me advise is a big step in trying to not be so selfish and more understanding of his situation.

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Dear Stephanie,

Sorry to hear about everything you have been through. Relationships are so hard.

I would suggest posting your story to our Loss of Spouse thread and hopefully there will be more replies there.

I know there are challenges with dating a widower. I found this link that might help:


Always know your feelings are valid and need to be acknowledged and honored.

Take care.


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Hi Stephanie

I am in the almost the exact same boat as you! I am back with my boyfriend of 30 years ago :) We broke up after 3 years in the 80s and quite soon after he met Lisa and got married to her. They had three children. She died six years ago and we got back together five years ago. He has two big kids who live in the city and the 14 year old lives with us. We really love each other and I have a good relationship with 14 year old as I have known him since he was 9. But I feel like I am living and competing with a ghost. There are photos of her everywhere and I even have to put up with a photo of their wedding on the wall! He says they are for the kids but he is just too chicken to address it with them. As well the big kids do not want me in their lives. They tolerate me for their dad but it is clear they do not care for me. It kills me.

My partner's son just made a big deal of telling his father and younger brother that his girlfriend is pregnant with the first grandchild. How he told them was to give them both a "belated Christmas present". It was a key ring that said best grand dad and best uncle. Nothing for me. No mention of me. We have been together over five years and live together but I am still nothing. I am nothing. I would never have gotten involved in this situation if I knew how awful it would be. My partner and I are very happy together but it is everything else that is probably too much to bear. I have tried for five years to be whatever they want/need but I have failed. Any advice anyone please?


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