To think my friends DH has moved on since her death a bit quickly?

(229 Posts)
goingupinfumes Fri 22-Mar-13 13:03:43

My very good friend died suddenly 5 months ago and has left behind two very young DD and her hubbie, he's already formed a new close relationship - I feel a bit like "it's none of my business" but at the same time I feel a bit hmm.

I would never ever say anything but I wondered if anyone who has been in this awful situation could help me to feel a bit more balanced and calm about what I feel is disrespectful to my lovely lost friend.

TheCatInTheHairnet Fri 22-Mar-13 13:21:34

It's completely normal to feel like that. My friend died very suddenly when her DC1 was a baby. It was horribly traumatic for everybody. When her DH met his now DP, I couldnt help feeling sad about it, as it seemed so disloyal.

In reality, he was just doing his best with a horrible situation. They're still together and she absolutely adores the DC and he adores her. They're a genuinely very happy family. But, even now, when they put up happy, loving photos on FB (for example), I still get a pang of sadness for my friend and think, that should have been her.

She was my friend and I loved her to bits, but it would be very wrong to judge her DH now. He went through enough.

wanderingcloud Fri 22-Mar-13 13:21:41

I know it's hard but YABU. It's easy to judge when you aren't the one who's life has been utterly destroyed by the loss of a life partner. My DF started seeing my DSM about 4months after my DM died. My brothers and I were 9,11 and 18 at the time so not tiny but still a young family. Many of my mum's so called friends judged my Dad, some have never spoken to him (or US by proxy) since. Yet my Nana (mums mum) has never judged. Perhaps because she was widowed young herself so could understand the loneliness. For you it might seem like a short time since your friend died but for her immediate family, dealing with her loss everyday, every time they walk in the house, it probably feels a bit longer. If he is ready to move on and children are happy then I ask you to please, be considerate and let them move onto their future. I'm still very angry (over 10 years on) at my Mum's "Friends" who put their feelings at losing a friend first over our feelings at losing a wife and mother.

Tortington Fri 22-Mar-13 13:21:57

lurcio - brilliant post

WilsonFrickett Fri 22-Mar-13 13:24:39

I do take your point Lurcio but if someone had split up with their DC's parent and was introducing a new 'partner' to their children 5 months down the line, I think some of the responses would be very different. I think if this is right for the father it's right for him - I have no problems with that. But I think introducing a new partner into the family unit after 5 months is way too soon, under practically any circumstances, but especially when children have lost a parent.

anothershittynickname Fri 22-Mar-13 13:24:41

Why can't some of tell the OP she's been U without being nasty?

This is part of her grief too!

I do often wonder if AIBU is a breeding ground for bitter and sad people!! A very rare few of you would speak to someone like that IRL!!

[/rant]

elliejjtiny Fri 22-Mar-13 13:25:17

My Grandad remarried about a year after my Nanny died. DH's Grandad remarried 2 years after DH's Nanna died. Very common but it must be upsetting for you.

anothershittynickname Fri 22-Mar-13 13:25:26

Some of you*

pamelat Fri 22-Mar-13 13:28:53

This is so sad. YANBU to feel the way you do. You are almost protecting your friend and I'm sorry for her loss.

I would feel the same

Reading the other replies has opened my eyes though and I gues it's good all round really, as long as the children are ok with it

It would be v unreasonable to say anything or interfere though

Sorry about your friend x

goingupinfumes Fri 22-Mar-13 13:31:03

Nickname - please don't worry I posted on AIBU at the end of the day, I wanted to hear it straight up, and some stories from people who have been through what he has been through.

I think the poster that said 5 months is his shoes would feel like a long time made me sit up and thing actually I've been busy with my life and the grief I get is occasional and I dip in and out of thinking about her as a friend, where as every single day of his life, his home, his children he has that reminder, so I guess that helps me understand why he would maybe move on so soon?

I've not had lots of experience of losing friends or family to be fair so I'm new to the normality of what is a "right time" so I guess again AIBU is a great way to get lots of different thoughts.

A friend of mine lost her much loved MiL. MiL's dh was quickly onto a new ralationship within weeks which has caused severe difficulties between him and his three adult children.

He was/is adamant it's his life and will do as he pleases although the children still feel he hasn't grieved properly for his lost DW and he's isolated himself away from them in favour of her.

LimboLil Fri 22-Mar-13 13:31:35

My dad died in December. I would be delighted if my mum found a new companion. She has lots of children and grandchildren but I feel she is missing a life of her own. He died of dementia so she lived in a kind of caring time warp for five years, we all did. Sounds a bit morbid this but when I watched my Dad's coffin at the funeral, I thought, we all end up where he is. Once you're gone you're gone. So you have to live for today. I do understand that it must be hard for you though OP.

Nancy66 Fri 22-Mar-13 13:31:58

As others have said - this is really common with men.

I don't blame you for raising an eyebrow but it can't be taken as a measure of how much or little he loved his dead wife.

goingupinfumes Fri 22-Mar-13 13:34:58

My friend knew he had played away from home, she told me a few years ago, but he didn't know she knew? make sense... But I've always been privy to this information and will have to keep it with me - I think to be fair a secret like that doesn't help me either - he is a good dad and cracking DH to her and she forgave his slip up. Oh blah I don't know it just feels so sad...

everlong Fri 22-Mar-13 13:37:22

I can understand why you feel upset. It's not that you don't want him to be happy I think you're just sad for your friend.

I get that.

ajandjjmum Fri 22-Mar-13 13:38:35

It does sometimes seem that it's men with strong marriages that move on quickly.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Fri 22-Mar-13 13:40:53

I would never ever say anything but I wondered if anyone who has been in this awful situation could help me to feel a bit more balanced and calm about what I feel is disrespectful to my lovely lost friend.

This is the part that jumped out at me anyway, how to deal with YOUR grief not how to approach the DH. I took your word for it when you said you wouldn't be doing that.

I can echo here that I have seen this in the fathers of friends whose mums have passed away. So many married in the year. YOur reaction is also very common too - most of my friends found it 'too soon.' It's not that everyone else is able to open their hearts and without any reservation welcome a newcomer this soon.

OP the best I think you can do is remind yourself as much as you need to that it's nothing personal to your friend. It really isn't.

AThingInYourLife Fri 22-Mar-13 13:41:15

"But I think introducing a new partner into the family unit after 5 months is way too soon, under practically any circumstances, but especially when children have lost a parent."

I agree.

I also think it's a bit grim how quickly some men move on and I think it must say something about the depth of their feelings for the wife they lost.

wanderingcloud Fri 22-Mar-13 14:05:56

athinginyourlife have you lost your life partner? How can you possibly know how someone else feels when they do? My DF moved on quickly (and to a women closer in age to myself than him but that's a different thread altogether) does that mean he never really loved my mother? Honestly? I lived with him everyday from the moment my mother died, I saw him sob uncontrollably and struggle with adjusting to being a single working parent after 25 years of being happily married. He was so lonely, most of his friends were really my Mum's Friends, they did couple things together. After a month or so most of them stopped asking my Dad to socialise, stopped checking if he was ok. They got on with their lives. Then they got on their high horses when he dared to do the same. I was so glad the day he told me he was going on a date because he smiled again that day. Should he have had to wallow in grief for a mourning period determined by someone else to "prove" his love for my mother?

LemonPeculiarJones Fri 22-Mar-13 14:17:25

OP, so sorry for the loss of your friend.

I think perhaps when people are grieving they are in an intensely emotional, open and almost metamorphic state which allows intimate bonding to occur more quickly than it usually would.

Their need must be unbearable, immense. To find solace in another partner must feel like the only solution sometimes. To be held, loved, comforted in that unique way.

I think what you are feeling is very understandable. You are grieving too, in your own way.

I knew someone who got together with a (then) recently bereaved man. His lost partner was very much a part of their relationship - he spoke of her, his new partner had to listen and accept his ongoing love for her, allow her memory to be a part of their lives together. Maybe your friend's widower is approaching things in this way. He won't have forgotten his beloved wife.

thanks

lainiekazan Fri 22-Mar-13 14:25:21

There are lots of stories here of happy marriages following bereavement. I must say I have encountered a few "rebound" marriages that were disastrous.

It's funny how many widows (of whatever age) there are and how few widowers.

Even fil was out on the town the same week that mil was put in a nursing home with dementia. It seemed as if he could compartmentalise and move on, whereas I don't think women do that as easily (sweeping generalisation!).

Fast Fri 22-Mar-13 14:34:17

I read an article about how quickly widowers appear to move-on after the death of their spouse. It said that men from happy successful marriages are more likely to have a new partner than men from unhappy marriages; in effect they are desperately trying to re-create their happiness.

motherinferior Fri 22-Mar-13 14:41:14

That was really interesting, Lurcio: I do wonder, though, what it's like to be the new wife and take the brunt of all that grieving and attempts to replicate the previous relationship.

Me, I do find it a bit distasteful, actually.

wanderingcloud Fri 22-Mar-13 14:41:29

lainiekazan I think it can be that for a large number of young families who lose a mother, she will have been the primary carer, even if not a SAHM.

So, it can be very difficult for a widower to adjust to becoming primary carer AND cope with the loss of partner. Whereas if you are already used to being primary carer you haven't got that extra layer of practical complications.

This is one reason I make sure my OH is as hands on with the upbringing of our DS as I am as I have a terrible fear of dying young and him being unable to cope with the day to day running of the household in the way my DF was. It was a practical thing, my DF had never had to cope on his own with the 3 of us and work full time.

I don't think moving on whilst your partner is still alive (as you FIL did) is quite the same thing as moving on when they have died either.

BegoniaBampot Fri 22-Mar-13 14:45:46

My friend was widowed suddenly when she was young. She went off the rails a bit and slept around, drunk too much and became very self destructive for a while (no children ) - she was in a bad place and also considered suicide. Don't like to judge people on this - at least this husband is moving on in a positive way hopefully.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 22-Mar-13 14:51:02

Try not to dwell on his past, only remember your friend and how she would want her DCs to be happy and loved, and if their DF is doing what he can to keep them feeling secure, perhaps respect his need to rebuild and move on. I am sure if situations were reversed and it was your friend who'd lost her H, your first thought would be to comfort her and encourage her, it wouldn't mean she'd forget or replace her spouse.

Sorry for your loss, I think it is such a horrible time for everyone, you feel loyal to her and must miss her.

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