AIBU to think this is nice but....odd?

(44 Posts)
WeekendFriend Tue 04-Oct-16 21:13:09

I am a regular but name changed as worried combination of this and other posts would out me.

I have a female older friend who was sadly widowed almost five years ago. Her DH went from diagnosis to deceased in under six months and it was understandably, a terrible time for her. She grieved very openly. We have supported her through this, and she cried and talked about her DH constantly for the first three years. Fair enough. He was a wonderful man. I understand that grief is an awful thing, and can do funny things to a person, so when she would find any excuse to bring her DH into the conversation I listened, and I listened and was patient when this need of hers would mean she would go as far to invent stories (for example she would tell people that he and I would share a kitchen and cook wonderful meals together, this never happened, I never stood in a kitchen with him). Anyway, she posted constantly on Facebook about him and continues to but lesser now that she has met another man.

When she told us she was seeing someone else around 12 months ago, I was thrilled. Genuinely chuffed to bits for her. He had met her DH and knew him professionally but they were not friends. When she introduced us, she constantly referred to her deceased DH but said things like "He is not xxxx but I think xxxx would approve don't you think?"

Well he seemed very comfortable with all this open comparison to her DH so whilst I thought it would be a tough nut to chew for me personally, I was happy for her that she had found someone so accommodating of her and her still obvious grief.

Sorry for the novel, I am getting to the point now. So today is deceased DHs birthday. Cue lots of FB posts about him and how sadly missed he is by her, and others. The thing I think is nice but odd is that her new boyfriend is liking and sharing all these posts. He is commenting on how the world lost a great man and he was taken too soon and all that sort of stuff.

I guess AIBU in thinking this, although lovely and is an obvious show of support for my my friend, it is a bit odd. I mean, it must be unpleasant at times being compared to a deceased previous partner or DH, surely?

acasualobserver Tue 04-Oct-16 21:16:58

It's odd I agree but you're not him are you?

DeathStare Tue 04-Oct-16 21:17:33

I don't think it's odd. I think it's very sweet of him and clearly what she needs from him. And he knew her DH too.

It doesn't sound like she is comparing them now, maybe at the beginning she did though from what you say. It is perfectly possible for her to love her DP and be committed to him and still grieve for her DH and love him too.

fastdaytears Tue 04-Oct-16 21:21:08

I would feel a bit strange about it but I know a married couple in similar circumstances where the wife does similar FB posts and they seem very happy.

YouMakeMyDreams Tue 04-Oct-16 21:22:40

Not that odd really. I have a friend that was widowed very young. When she moved in with her now dh he hung wedding photos of her first husband in their home. Helped her mark his birthday etc. He was secure in their relationship. Knew that she loved him but that she had loved her first husband too and that had he still been alive they'd have still been together. But despite that she loved him too and he was ok with that.

WeekendFriend Tue 04-Oct-16 21:24:07

I agree that she could love her DH and be committed to him, of course. The open comparisons do still occur - for example she points out that deceased DH would plan things for them and he doesn't and he better start planning as she was used to being taken out. He takes all this in great spirit, and that is the part that I marvel at.

ageingrunner Tue 04-Oct-16 21:25:14

I think it would be more odd if they pretended the dh had never existed. It is possible to wish that one person hadn't died and acknowledge that the current relationship would never have happened if he hadn't died, while still being happy with the new man. Life's like that sometimes.

ConvincingLiar Tue 04-Oct-16 21:26:01

MIL does it, talks lots about DH's deceased father in front of her new partner. We find it uncomfortable.

WeekendFriend Tue 04-Oct-16 21:27:42

Sorry if not clear in OP, he is sharing other people's posts, not just my friends ones. So ones that talk about what a dear friend/relative he was, new partner is sharing.

ShiftyLookingBadger Tue 04-Oct-16 21:29:48

Fairly odd, maybe he's a bit of a doormat, or maybe he's just a really nice guy. Either way, hopefully they are both happy.

pictish Tue 04-Oct-16 21:30:12

Yes it seems odd to me...but there's nothing you can do or say about it so no point in worrying.

yeOldeTrout Tue 04-Oct-16 21:32:41

I don't think it's odd.

chipsandpeas Tue 04-Oct-16 21:44:27

i dont think its odd either

NoCapes Tue 04-Oct-16 21:47:30

I think he sounds lovely

VioletBam Tue 04-Oct-16 21:48:41

Not weird.

Squeegle Tue 04-Oct-16 21:49:58

If they were friends then it's understandable really.

Witchend Tue 04-Oct-16 21:50:34

I think it sounds sweet not odd.

BestZebbie Tue 04-Oct-16 21:50:56

I think the etiquette here is a bit different if the previous partner died than if they split up - the feelings are different because there wasn't ever a point where somebody chose to end the relationship....and to be blunt, no matter how highly she speaks of her late husband, he isn't going to come back on the scene and be a threat to the new partner, is he? :-/

WeekendFriend Tue 04-Oct-16 21:51:33

I guess IABU then blush

APlaceOnTheCouch Tue 04-Oct-16 21:51:44

I think it sounds very kind and caring. He's not in competition with the husband. Maybe he appreciates that the husband brought love and happiness to the woman he now loves.

RazWaz Tue 04-Oct-16 21:52:39

It's not strange to me. You can love more than one person and anyone my OH cares about is someone I care about because I love him and want him to be happy.

My grandmother was widowed very young with a newborn and remarried to my grandfather and had 6 more children with him. Everyone in our (very large) family knew she loved both her husbands and she would share stories of them both. She was widowed again 10 years ago and when she died earlier this year her ashes were split in two and were laid to rest with both husbands, just like she wanted.

Kahlua4me Tue 04-Oct-16 21:53:39

I don't think it is too odd. My mum and her new partner frequently used to talk about their deceased partners with each other.

Also I often used to talk with my stepfather about my dad, who had died, and he was happy to chat. It didn't mean I loved stepfather any less.

As long as both are comfortable with it, I can't see it being a problem.

WeekendFriend Tue 04-Oct-16 21:56:23

The new partner and DH were not friends, they met professionally - never socialised or anything. They didn't know each other outside of the brief work related encounters they had.

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 04-Oct-16 21:59:58

I don't think it's odd - though I suppose there could be a vibe there that you're picking up on, and that we're not able to see from your account.

I find it quite unhealthy when people pretend they've never had significant relationships before, and it seems natural to me that someone who was widowed very suddenly, would want to incorporate her feelings into her continuing life. And especially since this new man knew her late husband. Isn't he just being respectful by sharing and liking posts?

I think it is a very British thing, that we never talk about the dead, and never admit they might be a positive memory.

The other issue, that you think she makes up memories - well, maybe, but isn't it possible she's just sugar-coating it, and what you remember as you standing around like a lemon while he cooked, is her memory of the two of you happy together?

Judydreamsofhorses Tue 04-Oct-16 22:10:45

My mum re-married after being widowed quite young (50) and it's like my dad never existed - every memory of him's been removed from the "family home" where she lives with her now husband. I find that weird, to be honest, and a bit upsetting, but I realise everyone's different.

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