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.

aldiwhore Fri 22-Mar-13 14:55:08

It's very common, and totally understandable. BUT I also think that when dealing with your own grief you have to think of others too. So consideration is needed about how public and open you are about it... gently gently, people need time to get to get used to things.

I know my friend was utterly devastated when at 16, within months of her mother's death, her father was openly in a serious relationship... it wasn't the relationship that hurt, it was that no one else was quite ready to start that chapter yet. Her father is still with this woman 20+ years later, but the timing still stings the close family.

People can usually do what they want and what's right for them IF they go about things softly.

JustinBsMum Fri 22-Mar-13 15:03:48

But we don't normally meet and marry a partner in five months first time round, or if we do it isn't a done deal, we live with someone for a while then decide he/she's the one and marry. However after being widowed men seem to settle as soon as someone comes along - to put it bluntly I can't help thinking can't they wait a few months for a shag/ housekeeper?

Possibly if they have DCs they do feel that they need someone quickly to help with the children.

But finding a new 'mother' would surely be a situation they would treat with great caution. I'm shock that it can be so quick.

Perhaps it is as someone else said, that they are bereft and broken and desperately need to try to restore the happiness they have lost. They seem a bit pathetic imv that they can't take a little longer.

lainiekazan Fri 22-Mar-13 15:03:56

Agree, aldiwhore. In hurtling into a new relationship some people seem to completely forget their children. My aunt married a widower two months after his wife had died. The fact that this was not great for his ten-year-old son didn't seem to worry him.

My dad did this when my mum died. It hurts like hell. But it's helping him I guess.

"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."

I disagree. A lot.

I know my dad adored my mum and is heartbroken at her being gone. He's not with someone else because he didn't love mum, I think it's more likely he's with someone else as a way of running away from his grief. Can't say I blame him.

AThingInYourLife Fri 22-Mar-13 15:28:03

"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."

Ick.

How could anyone allow themselves to be used like that?

It's so men treating women as interchangeable domestic appliances.

JustinBsMum Fri 22-Mar-13 15:29:32

He's not with someone else because he didn't love mum, I think it's more likely he's with someone else as a way of running away from his grief

Yes, this is probably it. Thanks for posting that Murder, it will make me more sympathetic in future.

You read on MN about single posters being Aaaagh! about daring to go on dating websites after being single for a while, how nervous they are, yet men (and sometimes women) seem to throw themselves into new relationships after bereavement. The running away from grief could explain that.

Yes, I do think that the person who gets the really shitty end of the stick in this sort of situation is the new partner. If she knew the couple before the wife died, then some people will look sideways and wonder aloud if she was shagging the H before the bereavement, or if she was desperate to get her claws into him. Some people will suggest that she got in there too quickly. And the H will at least once call her by the dead woman's name in bed...

OP, sorry for your losss but it really isn't your business what the H does.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 22-Mar-13 15:41:35

It's so men treating women as interchangeable domestic appliances.

That's your opinion, it doesn't chime in with everyone's experience.

firesidechat Fri 22-Mar-13 15:49:47

YAB a bit U possibly.

A lovely friend of ours died about a year ago and her husband is, very discretely, dating someone. We are very happy for him because he is the sort of person who would want to be with someone. Sometimes it takes years to meet someone else, sometimes months. That's life I quess.

IslaValargeone Fri 22-Mar-13 15:50:45

I was the new partner after my now exh was widowed.
I got such a hard time, one or two people openly hostile, most of the rest just barely concealed their disdain.
I don't think it helped that I was 20 years younger either. Like solid said, it was intimated that we had been 'at it' while she was alive and yes I was called by her name more than once.
I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend, but if my experience was anything to go by, she certainly won't be forgotten by any stretch, so please don't feel that.

firesidechat Fri 22-Mar-13 15:54:35

I don't think most men do it because they want sex or a housekeeper. Much more likely it's because they are desperately lonely after many, many years of happy marriage. Don't think I could judge them for that.

jamakatab Fri 22-Mar-13 15:57:23

Sorry, but it's absolutely none of your business what the bloke does.
Having said that, you are grieving and need to give yourself space to come to terms with your own loss. flowers

KatyTheCleaningLady Fri 22-Mar-13 16:01:28

I've noticed that men who were happily married before being widowed settle down quickly.

Lemonylemon Fri 22-Mar-13 16:10:48

OP: Sorry for your loss.

I guess some people find it easier to reach out in their grief. I have to admit that I've been widowed for 5.5 years and have only tentatively thought about dating again, but, well, that's about as far as it gets.....

The thing I have a bit of trouble with is this: "I've noticed that men who were happily married before being widowed settle down quickly."

The poster has said something quite true, but why doesn't it seem to be the same for women?

This is not getting at widows or widowers, men or women - it's a genuine question from someone who's widowed.

AThingInYourLife Fri 22-Mar-13 16:13:30

"I've noticed that men who were happily married before being widowed settle down quickly."

When people say this I often wonder how happily married the poor dead quickly replaced wife was.

It must be part if the phenomenon whereby marriage is better for men than it is for women.

BegoniaBampot Fri 22-Mar-13 16:18:58

What I don't get is how widowed people seem to be judged for moving on faster than people think they should. They have done nothing wrong, haven't left a partner or broken up families but are seemed to be expected to behave in a certain way and are judged. I can understand it Might be hurtful though, especially for any children involved.

AThingInYourLife Fri 22-Mar-13 16:21:42

If there are children involved then it is wrong to move on quickly.

Expecting your recently bereaved to children to hang out with your new girlfriend is incredibly selfish.

MrsMacFarlane Fri 22-Mar-13 16:28:05

I understand how you must feel but it's not really your place to judge. A close friend of mine died almost 2 years ago after suffering 3 years with Motor Neurone Disease. Her DH has had 2 relationships since then, both quite short lived. It hasn't diminished the love he felt for his late wife but I think it's helped him through some very dark days and nights. He has 3 sons aged 5, 9 and 12 and doesn't get a lot of time to himself. Nobody has the right to say when is the correct time to move on or stop grieving. It's very personal.

motherinferior Fri 22-Mar-13 16:32:06

My friend has a new bloke, whose wife died seven years ago. I am very relieved for her (and it is my business only insofar as she is my old mate of forever and has seen me through thick and thin and I bloody care about her, dammit grin) that there has been that amount of distance. I don't want her filling the 'wife' slot in some bloke's life - I want her to be loved for the rather fabulous person she is.

(He seems to think she is quite fabulous so that is nice, anyway grin.)

Toasttoppers Fri 22-Mar-13 16:39:58

My friends Father had moved in with his new GF after his wife of over twenty years had been dead for only 12 weeks. It really upset my friend she was about 22 at the time.

I have no idea how I would react to being widowed, I think part of it means they can be distracted from their grief.

Pandemoniaa Fri 22-Mar-13 16:45:19

I know how you feel, OP because a similar thing happened months after the death of a very dear friend of mine. However, I am far happier seeing her husband happy in his new relationship than I would be to see him in the desolate state he was immediately after her death when he thought he, too, had little to live for.

As others have said, our experience these days is much more of relationship breakdown than it is of being widowed. I think people who were happily married until they were separated by death may well find it somewhat easier to settle down with a new partner earlier than those who experience unhappy marriages and acrimonious partings.

Funnily enough this happened with a friend of ours who lost his wife from leukaemia. His late wife was his 'soul mate' and the love of his life. Within 6 m he was with someone else. And when she dumped him because she wasn't prepared to be his unpaid au pair, he moved on and in with someone else (whom he has proceeded to leach the life out of and is about to lost 12 yrs down the line). I think a lot of men are simply not fitted to live alone.

Sorry about your friend. Her H's behaviour is no reflection on her worth x

Darkesteyes Fri 22-Mar-13 16:52:09

I dunno. My MIL was widowed 11 years ago. She is lonely, miserable, ill and unable to find any joy in her life. Perhaps it doesn't matter how long it takes to move on, just that you at some point do. Grief is with you always, regardless.

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