ANSWERS: 14
  • Whatever is appropriate for the widow/widower. It can not be our place to make assumptions on the lives of any person in such a situation, because we can't know what they have experienced. It has been documented in psychiatric journals, however, that the average period of grief and resolution, and continuation after spousal death is seven years.
  • There is no set time. In the past, people remarried quickly, especially if there were children involved, but, depending on the age of the kids, it is usual to wait. But, if they are old enough to understand, then tell them that times of mourning end. When the time you have decided for mourning has ended, then sit the family down and announce that. Tell them it does not mean that the dead parent is forgotten, only that life must go on. Let them know that, sometime in the future, someone might come along who you might want to date, even marry. Assure them that is not the case now, but who knows? That is how life goes. And if it does happen, you would like their constructive input as to what they think of the new partner from day one.
  • Imade the huge mistake of remarrying only six months after my son's mother died of cancer, my thinking (if I was at all)was if I recreated the family unit my son would be secure, sadly I made a terrible error in choosing a 'replacement' she had a lot of probles , well hidden , until I started finding out she owed over $100,000 to an international drug dealer, she walked out on my son and I on his 6th birthday, kind of sums her up, I think you have to grieve for as long as it takes then take it very slow, especialy if children are involved, as they will have their own issues.
  • I have been widowed for 7 years and my soon to be spouse has been a widower for 2 years. I think the most important thing is that people TALK about everything and go to grief counseling or grief groups. Make sure the person you are going to marry is willing and WANTING to keep the deceased spouse part of the new "family" in that pictures can be displayed and the person talked about. Not that the old marriage pictures are hanging on the living room wall right next to the new ones, but treat the deceased with respect. After all, you are the person you are because of your first spouse... and the children deserve the respect and honor of their deceased parent.
  • big time, this is not a spouse but a new family member (and a replacement) - the fit must be correct for ALL members of the group or serious problems are on the way
  • It really depends on the situation, but etiquette would normally dicatate at least a year. Of course, this assumes that you didn't start dating until after your spouse's death, and an appropriate courtship period. I would suggest that if there are young children involved, the time should be longer, to get them used to the idea.
  • When a husband dies his widow is going to be in shock for a while and that incapacitated state differs for everyone. There are no rules or guidelines when it comes to grieving; everyone's time of grief will be different, depending on the individual. Remarriage may help one recover and was, traditionally, a method of survival for a widow back in the days when we lived in a more rural setting. If you need a specific length of time as an answer I would say at least a year. Remember, the children have also lost someone important in their lives and you must be sensitive to their feelings of loss, as well. A new widow needs to be stable enough emotionally to be able to make good decisions. A new relationship may not always be a "safe harbor". Widowers usually do remarry within a year because they are emotionally, physically and practically more dependent on their wives. You may get more answers in my book, The Widow's Walk: A Survivor's Handbook by Kay Long. It is available in bookstores and through the publisher, AuthorHouse. Best of luck to you - I understand, I've been there, too.
  • I am 27 with no kids and just lost my 27 year old wife to Ovarian cancer back in May after a 2 year struggle against it. For about the first month after she passed, I begun hanging out with one of her best friends, the one that spent the most time with her at her death bed. This woman was my rock through a difficult time, and during that following month, we talked about her, would hang out and watch movies and go for hikes and things. And then I began to recognize things in her I found attractive. I asked her out on a date, things were a bit weird but nice and over the past couple months we've began to flourish as a couple. I have taken a lot of flack from family over this, a lot of hurtful things have been said, including accusations that I was cheating on my dying wife and that her friend was just waiting for her to die to move in on my wife's territory, etc. We continue to build our relationship because I am mature enough to see past this petty bickering and can genuinely see a future with my wife's friend. Here I am trying to find something positive in my life and move on and family, which by definition is supposed to be a network of support, has provided next to none for me. I get told by my parents that my actions are shameful and embarassing. But what's truly shameful and embarassing are the self righteous judgements of people who have no concept of what I am going through only what textbooks and hollywood movies tell them about the grief process. Maybe if they took some time step back from their self absorbed reality they would see that there is no definitive time frame. There is no "at least one year for etiquette". There are an amazing number of factors. One cannot compare the greiving time for a young, childless man who watched his wife slip away over two years to a 45 year old with two kids who's wife died suddenly in a car wreck. And it really boggles my mind that these variables are ignored by the people around me. It hurts deeply. I shouldn't have to worry about making them happy, they should be concerned with my happiness, afterall I have lost the most out of this situation.
  • I too remarried only 4 months after my husband died from cancer; to make matters worse, he is my deceased husband's cousin. I was desperate to replace what the children had lost, and not thinking clearly at the time. We are still married, but I moved out of state with him and my kids so he could be near his child with another woman. Now, my kids are always 2nd to his child. He told me that because he is not their biological father, he will always love his son more. Someone please help me. Should I just leave this situation and go back to where I was? What do I tell my children. Please please help me. Scared and afraid of hurting my kids even more.
  • I think it depends on the people and if they have a faith baised on God that will hold them together. I chose to remarry in six months after being married twice before, twenty five year each. I am 73 years young and enjoy life to its fullest and married a woman, widowed 6 mo, that is 10 years my jr. No I"m broke.....
  • I am a 49 year old male who lost his 47 year old wife to a 10 year battle of brain cancer. We were married for almost 27 years and had a wonderful marriage that produced 5 precious children. The last 2 1/2 years was a series of never ending trials and treatment methods until we said enough was enough and stopped all treatment. The next 4 months was a precious time with "relative" health and activities right up to the last weekend. The first 4-5 months was total and complete grief until I chose to realize life and love have to continue. I started talking with another woman after 6 months and had my first date after 7 months. It's now 9 months out and my adult children are having the most difficult time with me dating and their girlfriends that came to love my wife are having an even harder time. "How long is long enough" has been a big question with me especially with children. I can only say everyone will grieve differently and their time frame to recover will be different. When you as the widow or widower understand that life and love must continue and you can have a healthy relationship with another without the "spirit" of your deceased spouse hanging over the new relationship go for it. Life is too short. Dealing with adult children and gaining acceptance is a very big challenge. How to get them to catch up to where you are while moving forward with life takes much wisdom.
  • I think that its an individual choice. As a widow who has recently remarried, I waited almost 3 years. I have two daughters and they were thrilled that I was moving on with my life. I think too, that my late husband would have wanted me to get on with life, he always said "Live for the Living".
  • I started dating within three months after my first wife died and I think that was too soon. I married again after just nine months and the marriage was a disaster ended in annulment within four months. I think I was just too grief stricken and was looking to fill a void in my heart and just messed up.
  • I dont know, what ever you do , go slow. If there is someone you might like to date, take it slow. If it doesn't feel right, back off. Love usually comes when you're not expecting it. Just try not to confuse loneliness and needing a human touch with love. If you had gotten divorced, you would be careful about your children's feelings, so this is no exception. Don't beat yourself up about mistakes, just learn from them. And as you know life is short, so don't worry about what other people think, although there is nothing wrong with listening to a good friend or loved one's advice. good luck

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