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.

bassingtonffrench Fri 22-Mar-13 13:04:51

Your feelings are totally understandable but YABU I'm afraid

TheYamiOfYolk Fri 22-Mar-13 13:07:44

It's really common, and actually especially so with men who had very good marriages. A similar thing happened when a friend of mine died. Her husband found a new partner around 6 months later and they are now married with a new baby. It was hard to watch, but my friend hasn't been forgotten, and her kids are happy with how it's worked out.

Bridgetbidet Fri 22-Mar-13 13:08:29

YABU. It's none of your business. You don't know enough about the situation to judge it. Keep your nose out.

goingupinfumes Fri 22-Mar-13 13:09:00

Thanks Yam it just feels very very odd seeing pictures of my friends children with a new person?? I'm so sure she is lovely but it just feels so soon? and I really can't stop getting upset.

Lilymaid Fri 22-Mar-13 13:10:40

Men often do that, I'm afraid. Women tend to grieve for much longer but men so often need a new relationship (and someone to look after them/their DCs) very soon.

quoteunquote Fri 22-Mar-13 13:11:00

Good for him, how brilliant he is getting support.

Just out of interest what precisely is the correct amount of time?

I understand why you feel the way you do, but in my experience of people in these positions, it's never someone being replaced, but an extension of love.

cathpip Fri 22-Mar-13 13:11:39

You have every right to feel like this but... My mother died very suddenly aged 67, 6 months ago, my dad (although not looking for it) formed a close relationship with a lady and they are getting married in Oct (14 months after mum)We are all a little shock, but he is happy and in no way has he forgotten our mother, but life moves on. We are delighted for them both and it is sooo nice to see dad smile again after all the heartache.

Its not up to you to judge whether its too soon or not. Its absolutely none of your business at all, everyone grieves in different ways. If it upsets you delete him off fb.

Floralnomad Fri 22-Mar-13 13:12:59

Do you think your friends DCs would be happier wallowing in grief then ? As the answer to that is obviously no ,then that's what you need to keep in mind when you see them together.

WeAreEternal Fri 22-Mar-13 13:13:00

A close friend of mine dies very suddenly a couple of years ago. Her DDs were only 2 and 7 months at the time.
Her DH started dating very soon after her death and was in a new relationship after only a few months.

It didn't last long, and he later confessed that he was struggling to let go of his DW and he thought dating would help him come to terms with it all and move on.
And to be honest I think it did help him.

Let your friends DH know you are there for him, and offer him any support that he needs.

Wishiwasanheiress Fri 22-Mar-13 13:13:53

You are grieving for ur friend. She will not be replaced. She can't be. But u are bu to interfere. He's allowed friends and new loves. What time would be ok? A year? 2? It's so individual and he's the one left so truly only he can decide. Grieve for ur lost friendship but don't cross the line or u will end up with no relationship to the kids. I'm sure u wouldn't want that.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Fri 22-Mar-13 13:14:26

It's very common. It is grief and a desperate need for comfort.

5eggstremelychocaletymadeggs Fri 22-Mar-13 13:14:30

I can see why you feel.upset. But there is no set time for grief and despite the fact he now has a new relationship i would
imagine he still grieves for his wife everyday.

Life does go on and there is no rule that says after so many months/years its ok to date again etc.

Its actually important for the children that life does go on and that their father is happy as long as they grieve and take time to rsmember their mum as well.

Tailtwister Fri 22-Mar-13 13:14:53

YANBU to feel the way you do. She was your friend, you miss her and are obviously protective of the family she left behind.

I agree that men often enter into a new relationship quite quickly. I don't know why, but you know YWBU to comment. It's going to take some time for you to adjust and that's understandable.

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

YABU, sorry. Tend to your own grief but what he does is his own business and you need to either just be here for him or step away I think.

I am sorry you lost your friend thanks

DewDr0p Fri 22-Mar-13 13:18:02

OP I'm so sorry for your loss. I can totally understand why you are upset (I have been there myself) but yes this is common and normal and in no way diminishes his feelings or grief.

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Fri 22-Mar-13 13:18:20

Oh, and I know two women who did the same, similar timescales, it is actually very common.

shanks313 Fri 22-Mar-13 13:18:41

My mum died in August and my dad has already got a new close female friend and is already talking about her moving into his house.
I know he still grieves for my mum every day but he has a companion to talk to..would rather that than he was lonely.

Chandon Fri 22-Mar-13 13:18:46

Yanbu to feel that way, but really, it is not a bad thing, is it?

Would it be better if he was depressed and lonely for years on end ...?

Still, it somehow feels "wrong" I get that

goingupinfumes Fri 22-Mar-13 13:19:02

Thanks - I would never ever comment to him I just don't have anyone to talk too about my feelings, so I'm putting them out here. When he told me about his new relationship I said "that's amazing news, i'm so happy for you" and then sobbed.

ChairmanWow Fri 22-Mar-13 13:19:12

I think some of you are being a bit harsh towards the OP. She's grieving too don't forget, and I would imagine it's really feeling like she's been forgotten.

It does seem soon, but I guess that's his decision. It doesn't mean that he doesn't miss her too. All you can do is be there for him and their kids. In time it will seem more normal.

LurcioLovesFrankie Fri 22-Mar-13 13:19:39

I will always remember my mum talking to a friend of mine (let's call him Fred) whose mum had died, and whose father started a relationship with a family friend about a year later. Fred was v. upset, and my mum sat down and talked it all through with him.

She made the point that nowadays when being widowed is relatively rare, our model for the end of a relationship is relationship breakdown, rather than bereavement, and relationship breakdown leaves a completely different set of emotional scars (to do with loss of trust, loss of faith in one's own judgement) which can actually take longer to process than bereavement. She said that in her childhood, it was fairly normal for widows and widowers to remarry relatively early, and in fact, the happier the first marriage had been the sooner this tended to happen - because they had an entirely positive set of feelings about marriage and being with a life partner (Fred's mum was a lovely woman, and his mum and dad had obviously had a very happy marriage).

Since this conversation with Fred (about 25 years ago now), I've watched precisely this process in action several times, and in fact been to the weddings of two good friends who got together with their now wife/husband (different couples) under a year from losing their fiance(e). There is no fixed time scale. I hope you can get round to feeling happy for your friend. He means no disrespect to his dead partner; I'm sure he cherishes her memory, and I hope you can find it in you to wish him well with his new partner.

Tortington Fri 22-Mar-13 13:20:52

ooh<back rub> you grieve your way and he will grieve his. I might think the same thing in your shoes tbh, but at the same time understanding that he is dealing with things in his own way

Booyhoo Fri 22-Mar-13 13:21:08

the only person who gets to say whether it's too soon or not is teh person who has lost his wife. because no-one else is having his feelings or knows what he needs just at this moment in time.

it might be hard for you to see but he shouldn't have to make his life decisions based on what is hard for you to see TBH.

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.

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.

Booyhoo Fri 22-Mar-13 16:54:38

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

that is only your opinion. for others it is teh right thing for their children.

i know that if my mum had died whilst we were small my dad would have fallen apart. he would have struggled massively with the small stuff that mum sorted without him even noticing and for us, life would have been pretty miserable as we would have spent it walking on eggshells and avoided asking him for the little things like needing something from teh shop for homework or needing money for something as it would have caused a massive stress reaction from him. if he had remarried quickly and brought someone in who wasn't grieving who could just get on with that sort of stuff and let us be children while dad got through it then we would have been far happier children. i know my parents and i know how dad would cope, even now, if my mum wasn't here anymore and that would be to not cope.

myfriendflicka Fri 22-Mar-13 16:55:12

Too much judgement here. And the new relationship and the OP's grief for her friend are seperate issues.

I'm a widow at 5 years. Losing your partner is devastating.

People are very quick to make comments and tell bereaved people what they "should" be doing. There is a lot of that about and it really doesn't help.
Bereaved people struggle to get through the hours and days for a long time, criticism from people who don't understand compounds the pain they are feeling.

However, the OP is obviously grieving for her friend. This happened to someone else I know whose friend died of cancer, and her widower moved on within months to a new relationship. My friend found that very hard and had some counselling which helped her to grieve for her friend. Then she was able to accept the relationship and keep her friendship with her late friend's partner and his child, which she wanted to do.

Darkesteyes Fri 22-Mar-13 16:57:30

My DH has a heart condition. Pre heart condition though he hadnt wanted to sleep with me for 10 years (17 years now) to be quite frank if (God forbid) something happened to him and i met someone i liked why should i be made to feel guilty. I think it would be my decision to make and no one elses.
Apart from a 4 and a half year affair in the time mentioned which ended five years ago ive already gone without.
So i dont really see why i would have to go without even longer to please curtain twitchers and my mother.

INeverSaidThat Fri 22-Mar-13 16:58:26

YABU
it is none of your business.

Just because your friends DH he has a new relationship doesn't mean that he didn't love his wife or that he is not grieving for her. He is an adult and I don't think you should judge him.

My DBIL's wife died after a long illness and he said he was going to give himself a few years before he dated again. However, he met someone else and got remarried within a year and a half. We all supported him and even his first wives family were happy that he was happy. He really loved his first wife and he certainly wasn't replacing her, it's just that he met someone else after she died.

Owllady Fri 22-Mar-13 17:03:08

I understand how you feel too and I hope posting about it has helped. My sister died over a decade ago now and about 3 years ago her fiance got married and I felt upset about that, not because I didn't want him to get married because I think it is completely normal, but I felt sad that my sister wasn't here anymore and it wasn't her getting married. God I feel tearful about it now confused but it's normal to feel sad, even years later

nurseneedshelp Fri 22-Mar-13 17:03:54

My friend also died (during the birth of her 3rd DD) and her DH met someone within a few months. It was difficult to see another woman with my friends 3 girls but they've very settled and happy.

They have photos of their mum all over and talk about her alot.

HollyBerryBush Fri 22-Mar-13 17:05:53

My mother died after 43 years of marriage. My father took her ashes home after about 4 months, hooked up with an old friend, they married maybe 18 months later.

Can't see the problem myself, they were a very sweet couple - and neither had time on their side; she gave him 5 very happy years, where he was very ill and he supported her through breast cancer and a double mastectomy, until his death. She'll never marry again even though she is probably still young enough.

I'm eternally indebted to my step mother for loving my father unconditionally, nursing him and making him very happy.

HalfSpamHalfBrisket Fri 22-Mar-13 17:06:24

Well for a bit of gender equality my mum was in a new relationship whilst my dad was dying very soon after my dear dad died. Off on holiday together within a couple of months etc. I am of course pleased that she is in a happy relationship, but I just don't see her in the same way as I did before this happened. So my sympathy to you OP, I understand how you feel.

expatinscotland Fri 22-Mar-13 17:06:31

Men often do this. It's selfish and weak.

Booyhoo Fri 22-Mar-13 17:09:38

and are the women that do it 'selfish and weak' too expat?

Booyhoo Fri 22-Mar-13 17:10:29

and at what point is it not selfish and weak to begin a new relationship after your partner dies?

auntmargaret Fri 22-Mar-13 17:12:00

I've been the child in this scenario and I can tell you, it hurts like hell. My dad could get a new wife, but I could never get a new mum. It felt like he had abandoned us. I think adults in new relationships can be incredibly selfish and put their own needs first. OP, YANBU, but obviously you have to keep schtum. If I could ask you to do one thing, it would be to stay in touch for the sake of your friend's children. One day, they will want to know more about their mum. You will know stories no one else knows, you will have photos no one else has. The world moves on so quickly. Your link with their mum is invaluable to them.

motherinferior Fri 22-Mar-13 17:12:37

So you're saying your father should have married someone to do the childcare for him, Booyhoo?

(My grandfather did this. It was Not A Good Idea.)

expatinscotland Fri 22-Mar-13 17:12:47

'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. '

I agree. My children sustained a major bereavement, of their sister. Believe me, it takes time for them to work through it. DH and I have to set aside our own grief from time to time to do what is best for them. That's what you do when you're an adult and a good parent. You put aside your own feelings and need for a bedwarmer for a while whilst your kids adjust and get help for the feelings that go with such bereavement.

auntmargaret Fri 22-Mar-13 17:13:56

Well said, Expat.

expatinscotland Fri 22-Mar-13 17:14:58

'and at what point is it not selfish and weak to begin a new relationship after your partner dies?'

Women don't do it as often as men, Boo, but yes, it's a shitty, selfish thing to do when there are children in the home.

When your kids have at least had time to accept the death of their parent. Which I can promise you isn't in 5 months.

expatinscotland Fri 22-Mar-13 17:18:08

It won't be forever, they are getting bereavement counselling and play therapy. But it's been nearly 9 months since she died after long illness and they still have behavioural issues due to the loss.

It's immature of someone not to realise what a major thing loss of immediate family is to a child and rush in to a new relationship.

As plenty of people who have been the child in that situation has stated.

Sure, he's an adult and can do what he wants, but I'd think little of him, tbh, and start distancing myself.

Darkesteyes Fri 22-Mar-13 17:18:46

Women may not do it as often but they are slated for it far more than men are when they do.

Booyhoo Fri 22-Mar-13 17:19:22

no MI. i'm not saying he should have. I'm saying Dsis and i would most likely have been far happier if he had in that situation. i can honestly say that if my mum had died when we were small Dsis and i would probably have gone to live with other family. my dad just wouldn't have coped.

Darkesteyes Fri 22-Mar-13 17:20:23

expat i remember your posts and it sounds to me as if you are a wonderful strong loving family. thanks thanks

expatinscotland Fri 22-Mar-13 17:20:38

Yeah, but she didn't die. So it's a moot point. Probably never occurred.

Booyhoo Fri 22-Mar-13 17:22:38

hmm

i know she didn't die. do i not get an opinion then?

HollyBerryBush Fri 22-Mar-13 17:24:07

My mothers sister died (before I was born) leaving a 14mo and a 5yo. My mother had one, another aunt had the other, until the girls father remarried - back in the day (1962) they were farmed out to family until such times the father could suitably look after them. No welfare state to provide a cushion back then, no way he could have given up his job, the house was tied to it.

He remarried within 6 months to a work colleague who couldn't have children and was absolutely desperate for a family of her own. win-win on that score. I'm not sure using expats judgment, who was selfish, him for providing his girls with a stable home and a mother (neither remember their own mother) or her for wanting a family? They seem to have had a happy marriage until her untimely death.

Wife number 3 acquired when the girls were 18 and 22 was an absolute cow by all accounts.

expatinscotland Fri 22-Mar-13 17:24:20

Sure, but others can conclude it's a rather ridiculous one based on speculation of a past event that never occurred. hmm

motherinferior Fri 22-Mar-13 17:26:10

Well, even in this hypothetical situation I can't really see why some imaginary woman should have had to take on the parenting for him.

expatinscotland Fri 22-Mar-13 17:26:17

Nowadays, Holly, there's no reason to bring in a replacement in record time, we have better resources and are able to recognise how grief affects children.

As for 'giving them a mother', well, they already have one. Who is dead.

Booyhoo Fri 22-Mar-13 17:26:30

why is it ridiculous for me to use my knowledge of my own family to suggest that it isn't always wrong (as stated above by someone else) for someone to date again after 5 months?

HollyBerryBush Fri 22-Mar-13 17:27:35

expat that's a bit of a dis-service to both step mothers and adoptive mothers who provide an incredible range of maternal feelings, skills and love non-blood children as though they were their own.

motherinferior Fri 22-Mar-13 17:27:38

Hmm, well, my Indian grandmother killed herself when she had very small children and a baby; those children too were farmed out to relatives and then gained a new stepmother. It was not, shall we say, win-win.

Booyhoo Fri 22-Mar-13 17:28:44

no-one should MI. but people do all sorts of things for people they care about when they are going through an awful situation. people come to all different kinds of arrangements. it isn't like he would grab a woman off the street and tell her she was now a mother until hsi children were grown.

motherinferior Fri 22-Mar-13 17:28:59

Adoptive mothers choose to be mothers. Step parents - and I know some fabulous ones - take on the partner, and along with the partner the children, and that can go very well or it can go very badly and most likely it will be mixed. Importing a replacement parent is not quite the same.

auntmargaret Fri 22-Mar-13 17:29:06

Because a hypothetical death and reaction is very different from the real thing? Because unless you've been in the situation, with bereaved children, you don't actually know what that's like?

AThingInYourLife Fri 22-Mar-13 17:30:13

"I'm saying Dsis and i would most likely have been far happier if he had in that situation."

Only if the new model was nice to you.

Which is very far from a certainty in the kind of woman who is happy to be so obviously used.

expatinscotland Fri 22-Mar-13 17:30:18

Exactly, MI.

motherinferior Fri 22-Mar-13 17:30:47

HBB, you do know the welfare state was set up in 1945, don't you? I was born in 1963. Just saying.

HollyBerryBush Fri 22-Mar-13 17:32:33

mother it didn't have the depth it has now

Society would not have looked kindly on an able bodied man voluntarily giving up a service position - it simply didn't work like that in the 60's

motherinferior Fri 22-Mar-13 17:33:08

Look, I haven't been through a bereavement of that nature. I have seen a lovely friend of mine, who was widowed while she was pregnant go through hell and then marry again (actually to a relative of her DH) and I was very very happy for her. But I still think five months is cutting it bloody fine.

Booyhoo Fri 22-Mar-13 17:33:37

ok so no, experience, no opinion? that's what you're saying? jsut so we all know for future threads.

motherinferior Fri 22-Mar-13 17:34:46

I have to say as well that if a bloke asked me out and I realised his wife had only died five months before I would run like the wind.

Booyhoo Fri 22-Mar-13 17:35:27

and can we have a time period for which we wont be judged should we move on after bereavemnet please. 5 months too soon- 6 months ok?

Tailtwister Fri 22-Mar-13 17:36:02

I've often wondered about the new partners in these situations. My DF's next door neighbour lost his wife just months after his second child was born. She was diagnosed with cancer soon after the birth and it was a hugely traumatic time for the whole family. He hired a nanny after she died and ended up in a relationship with her for a while. They attended a few dinner parties together and Dad said the majority of women were openly hostile towards her. They ended up splitting and although he's had a series of relationships since, none have really stuck.

It's difficult to answer.

My mum died when my brother and I were teenagers. Her death was at the end of April (funeral on May 1) and by July, my dad had met and was half-living with another woman. By the time I had left to go to university he was living with her full time.

My step-mother was a very cold woman and disliked my brother and myself intensely. I barely saw my dad during that time.

He left five years ago now - in that time he's had two other relationships, both of which crossed over. He's never been single. Part of me pities him, another part feels frustrated and upset that I lost my dad when I had lost my mum as well.

My dad loved my mum, and he loves me, and yet it's love that in all honesty means very little, if it wasn't strong enough to speak up for a lonely teenage girl who desperately wanted a supportive parent then it's a pretty useless love. I do love my dad and pity him as I said, but I have to admit I do think it borders on lacking respect to the deceased party.

AThingInYourLife Fri 22-Mar-13 17:39:47

I know, me too, mother.

"Hello, my last wife just packed it in. I'm looking out for a new one. You are nearby and desperate. How would you like a couple of children? It's a bargain - they're pre-gestated."

I've known this situation to happen a couple of times. In no case was it because of a lack of love the dead women. I think a supportive, caring new partner is a positive thing to have in grieving children's lives tbh. That's not to say everybody gets it right and I do think that for some men it is weakness that leads them down this path but who among us can boast of unlimited strentth in the face of whatever horror life throws our way? Aren't we all weak in some way or other?
I don't think the grieving have to comply with an external timescale either. People who say 'too soon' need to learn to mind their own business.

motherinferior Fri 22-Mar-13 17:42:32

Is this the right time to say last night I dreamed I went to Manderley again? grin

Booyhoo Fri 22-Mar-13 17:46:41

i agree NL

Xmasbaby11 Fri 22-Mar-13 17:47:08

YANBU to feel that way. I imagine a person would need a couple of years to really be in a place where they are ready for a serious relationship. However, I haven't been in this situation and anecdotally, men do move on more quickly. It is a good thing if he (and DC) is happy, but difficult for others to accept. My uncle was widowed in his early forties and never met anyone else, which is very sad.

leniwhite Fri 22-Mar-13 17:49:35

My mum died when I was in the middle of university and my stepdad started throwing her clothes out a week later. He's very pragmatic and not one to stew about things, the opposite to me really.

He met a new lady about 6 months after her death and they are still together 8 years later. I felt as if nobody understood because although he was married to my mum for 13 years, I was her only child. Many of her close friends were so upset at her loss that they refused to see me because they found it too painful, and I ended up feeling like nobody was there for me at all. I was diagnosed with the same condition she was killed by 7 months after she died and I really wanted to lean on my memories and anything comforting, but it was all gone, including some things to her SC, which I'll admit made me very upset at the time.

Of course I understand his right to deal with his grief in his own way and his total right to be happy, but I don't think I was wrong to feel badly about it at the time because I just wasn't equipped/supported emotionally to deal with how she seemed so suddenly erased. It doesn't really matter if people think it's U or not - it's how you feel and as long as you accept that you'll be able to also deal with your grief eventually. You said you'd never comment about his moving on so it's not as if you're trying to make him feel bad, but it's absolutely ok to express your emotions away from him and even to cry when you get news like his relationship. I'm pretty sure he would have anticipated that it would be a shock for you. As Auntmargaret said her DC will look to you as a link to her - those memories will really matter - so make sure you keep your relationship with them. I have so many unanswered questions about my mum even now and you'll find a lot of comfort in talking to them about your friend in times to come.

I really wish you the best and so sorry for your loss ��

Xmasbaby11 Fri 22-Mar-13 17:49:52

I have seen this happen with friend's fathers, and it is actually very hurtful and difficult for their grown up children.

Xmasbaby11 Fri 22-Mar-13 17:50:04

Friends' fathers

Dozer Fri 22-Mar-13 17:51:53

Am in the "it's way too soon for the DC to meet their parent's new gf / bf" camp. A matter of months is not enough for bereaved DC, including teens, to have to deal with a parent's new gf/bf IMO.

Also think it'd be v hard to be a single parent, maybe working, and have time/energy for a new relationship and DC.

It's obviously important whether the new person is good to the DC, and this might be hard to work out while in the "honeymoon" phase of a new relationship, and without introducing them to the DC.

Have recently discussed this with DH, he has direct experience from the DCs' point of view from his teens. We (it's easy hypothetically!) felt it would be disrespectful to the deceased one and unfair to our bereaved DC for the one who was left to "move on" too soon, but whenever a relationship and introduction to the DC did happen, if the person wasn't good to the DC then the DC should come first. If am being honest though I think my DH would be more likely than me to find someone quickly.

My grandmother was widowed suddenly in the 1950s, she was young and had two DC aged 4 and 18 months, no compensation, life insurance, welfare etc, she felt her only real option was marry again quickly, unfortunately she married a horrible, physically and emotionally abusive (to her and the DC) person sad

This happened recently to a family I knew. The mother died when pregnant with her 4th child. The widower was left with 3 small kids, and it was very obvious that he could not cope with the practicalities of raising them. My friend (who had been a close friend of the deceased), tried to help him learn to cook, clean, laundry, school routines etc, but he was totally disinterested and lazy about it.

He went to the pub at the 2 month point, moved in the woman he met that night a month later, and was totally surprised and shocked when the first wives friends and family weren't too keen to attend their wedding six months after their daughters/friends funeral.

This bloke clearly just wanted sex and housework/child rearing, and was disrespectful to the living and the dead.

HollyBerryBush Fri 22-Mar-13 17:55:58

Well, without being dismissive of anyones opinion, this is just one of those subjects where people will have their own experiences or anecdotal stories. Far too many variables to state categorically its right or wrong.

I agree Holly but I also feel that as much as the man is suffering, it will come second to the children who have lost a mother. Their needs must be put first and five months is too soon, especially after the shock of a bereavement.

Dozer Fri 22-Mar-13 18:00:44

It may well be advisable to "mind your own business" in RL, but this is MN, don't we come on here especially to do the opposite? grin

INeverSaidThat Fri 22-Mar-13 18:02:07

We don't know the nature of the new relationship. It could be that it's just a very causal arrangement.

wannaBe Fri 22-Mar-13 18:18:57

I've recently witnessed a friend going through this (we became friends after his partner had died) and tbh I think it's very complex. He was seeing someone else seven months after his dp had died, and they were living together within months. But, while I think that in their way they are happy, I think that there are a lot of issues wrt his grief which he has not really dealt with, and that to a large extent his getting involved with someone else (who is also a friend) he has moved on in order to escape his grief.

In itself that isn't necessarily a bad thing (there are no children involved so it's only himself to think of), but in reality that grief has come out in different ways, e.g. he suddenly couldn't bear to live in the house any more so they moved - within weeks - even though the house isn't sold yet, into a rented flat halfway around the country, although on the positive that is nearer to his family. His dp on the other hand has had to move into the house of someone who, by virtue of the fact she is dead, has essentially been sainted. Even though she essentially was very controlling and kept my friend isolated from all his friends and family (none of them saw him for the six years they were together). But because she is dead this can never be pointed out, but the fact he is now seeing his friends and family has IMO shown him that it wasn't all fantastic and that too has been a difficult revellation.

I also think that not all women who end up with someone who is bereaved are doormats or being used - I think there are a lot of manipulative women who go after the bereaved, I saw this first hand in the number of women who went after my friend with the idea that they would be the one to "get him over his grief," hmm and there were also the ones who fancied the idea of his big house which he inherited (it was his dp's house). shock

I think that no relationship comes with a guarantee, and that ultimately we all have to do what makes us happy. I do also think there isn't a set time, as what works for one doesn't work for someone else and vice versa.

Also, why is it wrong to say, enter into a new relationship within a matter of months, but nobody would criticise someone for conceiving a baby months after losing a child? We wouldn't consider having another baby to be replacing a dead child, so why are we fit to judge someone who moves into a new relationship?

MrsCampbellBlack Fri 22-Mar-13 18:19:21

I agree with Expat and MotherInferior but also know that I'd never comment to the person concerned.

I guess I'd just think that it was a bit unfair on everyone concerned especially the children (assuming they're being introduced to the new partner) but also the new partner. I just can't imagine it would be terribly easy to have a relationship with such a newly bereaved person.

A friend's wife died when she was young leaving behind young children - he's now dating 3 years on but I know he felt the first couple of years he just had to prioritise his small children and dealing with their grief and he would take second place.

I know there's no right amount of time to meet someone new but I guess there is just a gut reaction when its a matter of a few months which does seem just too quick.

digerd Fri 22-Mar-13 18:19:27

My Grandad was widowed when Grandma died in childbirth and mum was 7. Her mum's sister looked after the baby and mum until 18 months later Grandad married again.

Gloria Hunniford was upset after her dd died of cancer and 3 months later he met another woman.
Also met a woman who met a widower only 3 months after his wife died, but his family were actually grateful as he was drinking himself to death in his grief and loneliness and she saved him. < no young children involved>

Mum's younger female cousin was widowed at 39 with 2 DC aged 7 and 10..
She did meet a man some time later but decided not to live with him until DC were adults and off to uni.
He died too some years later and then she married another, who died in his 80s a few years ago. She is in her 80s, but living alone now.

skaen Fri 22-Mar-13 18:24:10

I have a few friends who lost their mothers at a young age; in 2 cases the dad was in a committed relationship with someone else within 6 months and one of the SMs insisted the DC went to boarding school. In both cases it was pretty disastrous and my friends effectively lost both parents.

Another friend has quietly acquired a girlfriend in the 3 years since his wide died. They meet once a month or so, holiday together etc but don't live together. This is much easier for the DCs to deal with.

AmberLeaf Fri 22-Mar-13 18:27:33

On one hand, I think, if he is happy then that's great, life is too short and you should grab happiness with both hands.

On the other hand, when you are a parent you don't get to be that reckless, well you can, but it can be at a cost.

I would feel concerned about how the children feel, I would also not fancy being the new girlfriend in this scenario either.

MrsCampbellBlack Fri 22-Mar-13 18:29:35

I so agree Amber about not wishing to be the new girlfriend in that scenario.

archibaldmonkeyface Fri 22-Mar-13 18:51:58

It's completely natural for you to feel as you do but as so many previous posters have said it's no reflection on the depth of his feelings for his wife or his grief for her.

There really is no set time period - it is so different for everyone. I know a couple of men who have started new relationships relatively quickly after being bereaved, one leading to a new marriage and the other to a number of short term relationships.

On the other hand my DH lost his first wife when he was 40, threw himself into work for a couple of years after and then only really started dealing with his grief after that. I was his first (and only!) relationship after this and we got together 4 years after she died. He wasn't ready to move on before but as soon as he was he knew what it was like to lose someone you loved and didn't want to waste a totally unexpected second chance so we were married within 9 months and now have 2 DC.

It's actually very variable. Some people can't cope with being alone; sometimes the death of a partner ends a relationship that was not working out anyway, sometimes the widowed partner is targeted by someone predatory... and sometimes a widow or widower who was happily married happens to meet another nice person who becomes a longterm partner who gets on with the rest of the family too. The OP hasn't stated that her friend's H has moved his new partner into the family home, and he may not have done. He may not, yet, have introduced her to the DC, either. He might just be having some fun and some comfort with someone else, and there's not anything wrong with that. I don't think it's actually length of time post-bereavement that matters anything like so much as how the widowed partner handles it. If s/he goes carefully around the DC and doesn't actually move a new partner in without taking time to establish a relationship between new partner and DC then it can be good for all concerned. But I don't think a widow or widower is under any obligation to put the views of friends and neighbours above his/her own wellbeing and happiness.

exoticfruits Fri 22-Mar-13 19:19:44

Unless you have been in that position you can't judge. I don't think you can if you have- except that you would realise that everyone grieves in their own way.

hackmum Fri 22-Mar-13 19:21:03

YANBU. I know a few couples where this has happened, and it does make me feel sad, especially for the children, who see their mother replaced so quickly. It always makes me think of that line in Persuasion when Captain Benwick's fiance has died and he takes up with Louisa (I think) very quickly afterwards, and the fiance's brother says "Poor Fanny! she would not have forgotten him so soon!" Without wanting to judge anyone in that situation, a period of grieving would seem to me to be more decent.

exoticfruits Fri 22-Mar-13 19:23:39

You have no idea what someone is going through. These days you are not held to be grieving unless you publicly show you are grieving. hmm

There are some disgusting posts on here. Just because someone grieves in a different way to how you imagine you would, doesn't make it wrong.

Bereaved people are allowed to smile, to have fun, to laugh, to love. In fact they are often the ones who need it the most!

All this utter shite about "proper grieving periods"? So you think they've stopped grieving do you? You think anyone ever stops grieving the loss of a loved one? Of course they don't. But they do have to keep living.

They're not sodding performing monkeys for you, just because they aren't walking around in a black veil, sobbing and wailing doesn't mean they aren't grieving. Why do so many people assume that only what they personally see is the full picture? It's not.

They might be having dates, and smiling and laughing and enjoying the company of someone they find attractive. So fucking what? They've also lost someone important to them, you begrudge them that? Really?

I think if anything it says more about you and your desire to see others suffering.

Quite exotic

exoticfruits Fri 22-Mar-13 19:33:57

It makes me sad. After my father died lots of people said 'I think your mother is coping brilliantly' - and I thought 'if only you knew what she was really like' but I didn't because she worked so hard to put on the brave face. MurderofGoths is quite right- people are not 'performing monkeys'.

Thinking about it, this awful idea of there being an appropriate time of mourning is what almost cost me my relationship with dad after mum died.

He met someone else 6 months on, and because it's seen by so many that he was moving on too quick, he felt guilty and his way of assuaging that guilt (which he shouldn't have been feeling in the first place) was to go out of his way to get me and my brother's approval.

Problem was, his way of doing so was to try and make us like the new woman as much as he did. Forgetting we were grieving in our own ways. Much as we could accept her as part of his life, we weren't ready to accept her as part of ours.

If he hadn't felt so guilty, maybe he wouldn't have pushed so hard.

BegoniaBampot Fri 22-Mar-13 19:49:05

My friend got judged. As I said, she went into self destruct mode, was sleeping with different guys and drinking - what people didn't see were the nights she used to line up her pills and try and pluck up the courage to take them.

Would people judge a single parent the same way. If a woman's husband left her and she found someone else quite soon - would that be less terrible?

Fast Fri 22-Mar-13 20:04:46

It is only relatively recently that widowers could claim benefits to help with bringing up children alone. Someone up thread mentioned the welfare state being introduced in 1945 but it was "Widowed Mother's Allowance" for many years after that, men could not claim it. I think it changed in the late 90's.
So a man had to work and try and raise children if they were widowed, a woman could concentrate on child-rearing and live on the allowance.
Hence why so many men had no real choice but to either find a new partner, quickly, or put their children into care or give to a relative to bring up.

Owllady Fri 22-Mar-13 20:23:39

The OP isn't judging her late friend widow though really, she is just upset and concerned. It is quite normal to feel those emotions sad

goingupinfumes Fri 22-Mar-13 20:34:18

leniwhite what a lovely post I do hope you are feeling better too? WOW back from work glass of beer in hand and I've just logged on and read all of your stories and posts..Thank you.

The DD in this situation are 6 & 3 so little ones but someone mentioned that men who are struggling tend to look out for a new wife and this chap has been openly struggling, but he's been asking for help which is great, he has a great support network around family close by.

I feel bad for my friends parents as well, they have lost their daughter recently and now see their grandchildren with another mum?

I feel so different about life and death since she died I've learnt lots about myself and taken risks and pushed my own limites realsied that I take life, DH & my own DS for granted, I'm still so sad about the waste of her loveliness and I'm trying to get to grips with stuff like that - I guess the fact he was moving on so quickly was like a kick in the guts.. I can't explain why. But your posts have all have such different takes and angles it's great and really helped.

MammaMedusa Fri 22-Mar-13 20:35:07

We have a very dear friend whose husband died ten years ago. One year later, she met up with her high school sweetheart whose wife had died.

By chance, when each of their spouses died they planted a rose bush. When they moved in together, they transplanted both rose bushes side by side. The bushes have now grown and inter-twined.

For them it has really worked. You can only hope it is the same for your friend.

nooka Fri 22-Mar-13 20:55:21

My aunt died very unexpectedly and my uncle remarried within a year. My cousin was four at the time. My (step)aunt is a wonderful lovely person, and they were a very happy family for many years until my uncle unexpectedly died himself. She has been a wonderful mother to my cousin. My aunt has now remarried, again to a lovely man, who finds himself step father to five almost adults. It's very very nice to see her happy again.

I was very little when my aunt died, but I know that she was missed very much. Luckily my family were able to embrace my uncle's new wife, and her family embraced my cousin. We all gained.

auntmargaret Fri 22-Mar-13 21:02:28

Probably the bottom line is that if the new partner is lovely, and able to put the children first, then it can all work out. But in all the cases where that doesn't happen, I think the kids suffer most.

"The OP isn't judging her late friend widow though really, she is just upset and concerned. It is quite normal to feel those emotions "

The OP isn't. I totally understand the OP's reaction, it was my reaction too when dad met his new girlfriend.

It's a fair few others on the thread doing the judging.

"I'm still so sad about the waste of her loveliness and I'm trying to get to grips with stuff like that - I guess the fact he was moving on so quickly was like a kick in the guts.. I can't explain why."

Personally, for me, I think part of the pain it caused was because it reminded me that I'd been living too. It hurt to be reminded that life went on once mum was gone. I felt like the world should have stopped.

2rebecca Fri 22-Mar-13 21:05:36

Had she been ill for a long time? I think that can make a difference in that I think if someone dies suddenly it can take longer to move on than if their death lasts months or years and you have been expecting it for a long time and moved from being lover to carer. In that case having a lover again can be refreshing and life affirming, and usually the grieving was done long ago when the terminal diagnosis came and you moved into carer mode.

motherinferior Fri 22-Mar-13 21:07:21

Well, I'd still feel very wary if a newly widowed bloke asked me out. I'd feel he wasn't after me but after someone to fill that wife-shaped void his life. Particularly if he had been happily married.

2rebecca Fri 22-Mar-13 21:08:53

I agree.

b4bunnies Fri 22-Mar-13 21:09:33

nature makes you want sex or a relationship when someone dies, to reassure yourself that you are still alive.
and a man with children needs a wife. that's not being sexist. its just easier to sort out your life if there are two of you.

goingupinfumes Fri 22-Mar-13 21:23:50

2rebecca Just a bolt from the blue - I literally had a call from her DH saying "Friend died today" she was 35 it's just so sad sad

DewDr0p Fri 22-Mar-13 22:10:10

Well said Murder and SolidBrass

There are so many judgmental views on this thread. I find it so sad.

One of my closest friends died nearly 5 years ago and yes her dh did start dating pretty quickly. They were totally soul mates and he was clearly reeling. Yes he has made a few mistakes along the way but bloody hell, the poor guy has been to hell and back. And actually he is a brilliant dad who doesn't always get everything right. Can anyone really claim to do better than that?

DewDr0p Fri 22-Mar-13 22:10:51

I really am very sorry for your loss OP and I do understand that this is hard to watch.

Yes, OP, your feelings are not wrong in the least. Grief is not necessarily rational or reasonable. It would be unkind and unreasonable for you to rant and wail at the DH or his new partner about 'disrespect', but it doesn't sound like you're going to do that.

INeverSaidThat Fri 22-Mar-13 22:42:29

If someone's child dies and they quickly go on to have another baby do they get accused of trying to replace or not loving the deceased baby? Do people think they should see out a suitable 'grieving' period before they have another child?

I don't think so.

BookFairy Fri 22-Mar-13 23:04:42

How terribly sad for you goingupinfumes
Putting myself in your shoes, do you think that that some of your feelings stem from the sense that your allegience is with your friend? Even though she has sadly passed away, part of you is saying "how can this other woman come in and take her place?" I would feel utterly bereft if a close friend passed away suddenly. I'm always subconsciously planning for the future and have the expectation that my close friends to be there for all the big occasions over the coming years.

The best thing you can do is just cherish your memories with your lovely friend.

goingupinfumes Fri 22-Mar-13 23:13:48

Thanks bookfairy nail on the head.

BookFairy Fri 22-Mar-13 23:30:40

Lovey I really feel for you. My head would be saying "let him grieve and move on in his own way", but my heart would be saying "but she was so amazing how can you just replace her with someone else".

Terribly sad. Have a {{squeeze}} and a brew

exoticfruits Sat 23-Mar-13 06:43:13

The thing is that they are not 'replacing'- I think that is where you are getting it wrong. Your friend can't be replaced and I expect he would be horrified to think that you thought that was what he was doing.

HollyBerryBush Sat 23-Mar-13 07:05:27

I've sat and reread the thread in a little more depth.

I'm really at a loss with some attitudes.

Let me get this right. if your partner dies, and there are children, somehow you should be in full mourning for ever in case it upsets the public at large? The introduction of a 'replacement' partner is going to piss off the grandparents and damage the children? And no decent women would marry a widower?

Apply that logic to - generally, but not always, women - who trade partners with regularity AND keep introducing them to their children. Don't forget ladies - don't marry anyone with children because you may have to step parent at some point.

The logic on this forum is utterly baffling at times.

exoticfruits Sat 23-Mar-13 07:12:13

The logic on any forum is utterly baffling!
It is what makes MN strangely addictive.
It also makes it impossible in RL to get it 'right'.

MrsCampbellBlack Sat 23-Mar-13 07:13:47

I don't think most people think anyone should mourn forever but that when there are small children involved you need to be careful about how quickly you introduce a new partner to them.

exoticfruits Sat 23-Mar-13 07:18:01

The bereaved person often isn't in a position to make sensible, logical decisions.

Men and women often grieve differently.

I think its.normal for a man to want to find a new partner asap. From my observations that's what they do.

Also if you lose a childsad men tend to want to try for another child quicker than the mother does

Grumpyrocker Sat 23-Mar-13 07:58:44

I've read some nasty, vindictive, unloving rubbish in my time, but some of the stuff in this thread is unbelievable.

"Men often do this, they are selfish and weak" and the like. How men don't grieve for long How they can't possibly look after children for themselves and need someone else to help them. How they need to get someone on the rebound.

Perhaps I am lucky. Lucky that my late wife didn't have a single friend like some of you. Lucky that her friends were so full of love for her and her children (the twins who were born the day before she died) that they were delighted when I met someone else. Delighted that we are about to celebrate five years of happy marriage with our own gorgeous three year old along with our older twins. Lucky that my late wife's family also gave their blessing.

Lucky that people understood these things happen. That you can love again. Truly love. Not just get someone on the rebound. Not just cynically find someone to look after your children because men are pathetic weak creatures, so pathetic and weak we need a whole website section about what useless wretches we are.

Perhaps in some of the deepest dungeons of this world there is physical and emotional pain deeper, more savage and destructive than having your beloved torn from you the day after they make your dreams come true. I doubt it. I doubt there is any pain in this universe that I could feel that would ever be worse. I doubt I will ever be free of the echoes of that pain. It will be with me forever.

But for heaven's sake some of you. You selfish posters who would rather talk about how weak men are than appreciate the love within them.

Pardon me if I met someone when I wasn't even looking. Pardon me if we genuinely fell in love for the two people were were and not the storm of pain going on around me. Perhaps I should have ran away from that love when it came because the happiness of shallow, selfish, idiotic, no nothing, fake friends who think they are more important that the matters of one's own heart.

Pardon me if I fulfilled the promise my late wife made me swore, that if anything happened to her I shouldn't avoid falling in love again. That I should embrace love again if it found me.

Much of this thread is an insult. An insult to my late wife, to me, my wife and to the many of us who have suffered so greatly but found happiness again. I'm sorry we can't fulfil your wish to be miserable in our pain forever. How very thoughtless of us.

And thank you to many of you kind people in this thread, those who see that people can love again. They can form meaningful and happy relationships even under the strangest and hardest of circumstances. You give me hope for the human race.

motherinferior Sat 23-Mar-13 08:02:41

I never said no woman should marry a widower. I said if a bloke asked me out five months after his wife had died, I'd be worried that I was the casualty of someone else's grief and turmoil and loss.

And nobody said 'full mourning for life'.

Finally, wrt a new baby after your child has died: that is about creating new life. Not importing an already living person into your life. They are different things. (And again, fwiw, I have friends who have lost their only child recently and I hope like hell they can have another baby.)

My late DH had been a widower for fifteen months when we met. He still had pictures of his first wife in the house when i moved in but they gradually disapeared. he never forgot his first wife and we often spoke of her. His grown up children were very accepting of me and the situation.We married just under three years after his wife died and we had eight more years and two boys (Jack died aged two hours) together before he himself passed away. sad Since my husband died i have had a couple of short relationships but the men didnt want to in their words "take on" a child with SN, hmm so i kicked them to the kerb. Wilf and I come as a package. If you dont want Wilf then you dont get to go out with me!!!smile

digerd Sat 23-Mar-13 08:24:10

Mamamedusa,

What a lovely couple . Brought tears to my eyes.

exoticfruits Sat 23-Mar-13 08:31:07

Well said Grumpyrocker.

BegoniaBampot Sat 23-Mar-13 08:40:24

Grumpy rocker - I'm glad you found love and happiness again.

Grumpyrocker Sat 23-Mar-13 08:42:35

Thank you.

iamamug Sat 23-Mar-13 08:44:21

My oldest friend died 10 years ago after a long illness. She was married to a wonderful man and when she knew she was going to die she made him promise that he would remarry and have the family that she couldn't give him because of her illness.
He was with her to the end and was a perfect husband in every way.
He did remarry a couple of years after she died and they had a little boy and I cried and cried.
I was genuinely happy for him and always will be, but that should have been my friend's baby and happy life - that's why I cried.

everlong Sat 23-Mar-13 08:51:44

My father moved his new girlfriend in 6 weeks after my poor mother died, leaving me at 4 years old.

He had been having an affair with her for months previously while my mum was dying. Nice.

Thankfully I didn't have to put up with her as I was shipped off to live with my eldest sister, something that my mum had asked for. My father didn't contest.

digerd Sat 23-Mar-13 08:52:30

LottieJ

You've added some more gorgeous photos to your your profile - they all make me smile. There is so much love shining out of them.
You were very young when your DH died and I think Willf looks like him. Bumble still looks like a real sweetie not at all devilish, but know that is deceiving!! You are right, your <lovely>family comes as a package.
Wonder what Bumble will get up to in the snow today?

leniwhite Sat 23-Mar-13 08:55:38

OP yes, now with time I'm closer than ever with my SD and happy that he's happy and has someone he loves, who incidentally had also lost her husband, so they both came to their new relationship with an understanding of what it was to lose the love of their lives. I never begrudged his happiness despite feeling so strange about things - I think that's what I meant by saying it's ok to have those feelings, you accept that they're there and deal with them accordingly in a way. Grief is such an odd beast sometimes. Even when it felt like she was being forgotten I could see that she wasn't, in fact the complete opposite - he was just so devastated that having her things around hurt. We actually found a letter in her little box of memories she kept to my SD telling him not to mourn (in other words) should she not be around, as if she knew something would happen and wanted him to know he should carry on and be happy.

Thankyou digerd The snow is not settling here yet. I omitted to mention that Bdog is part of our family. He has been quite naughty lately, having put his paw through a glass window in half term which was petrifying last week he leapt into two water and crap filled ditches with his extending lead on............I had to pull him out. He then went through the coat pockets of a little girl i look after sometimes and pulled out and shredded empty sweet packets and his favourite tissues! hmm I think Wilf looks more like his lovely Dad too! smile

expatinscotland Sat 23-Mar-13 09:57:06

'Perhaps in some of the deepest dungeons of this world there is physical and emotional pain deeper, more savage and destructive than having your beloved torn from you the day after they make your dreams come true. I doubt it. I doubt there is any pain in this universe that I could feel that would ever be worse. I doubt I will ever be free of the echoes of that pain. It will be with me forever.'

Both my husband and I agree, we'd far rather have lost each other than watched out 8-year-old girl die slowly and painfully of cancer and expire in our arms. Her dreams will never come true. There's no 'finding new love' after her death.

But on you go. I agree with MI. Good for you, you 'fell in love' and blah blah blah, but when children are involved, children old enough to be aware of the loss, IMO, a parent owes it to them to put aside live-in relationships until that child at least gets some months of therapy to process it.

My opinion is that anything else is selfish on the part of the adult, male or female, but it does seem to be more often that men do this. And yes, I think it's weak and selfish of them if they have children who are still trying to even get used to the loss.

Flame away!

Grumpyrocker Sat 23-Mar-13 10:00:22

I have no interest in "flaming away".

Playing grief top-trumps is something that doesn't interest me in the least.

CandyCrushed Sat 23-Mar-13 10:06:42

What a moving and well written posts by Grumpyrocker

Actually, I don't think years of therapy are necessary for everyone. Not only are some therapists both costly and useless, but people can process and deal with grief by themselves, children and adults. This isn't to say that needing help after bereavement is wrong, or weak, or any such thing, just that people are different and their circumstances are different. SLightly OT but I remember being annoyed with a well-intentioned friend who tried to persuade me to see a therapist after my father died: I was sad that he was gone but at the same time, able to accept the sadness and the fact of his death as just a natural part of life (he was 78 so it was a case of being within the natural and expected order of things.)
Grumpyrocker's DC, as stated in his post lost their mother when they were *newborn babies*; his finding a new partner couldn't possibly have affected them in a negative way. Some people who lost a parent in childhood and whose other parent remained single for years will say they would have preferred the surviving parent to find a new partner rather than be lonely and miserable - and clilng to the children for emotional support.

Expat, you explain things so eloquently.

Totally agree with expat.

expatinscotland Sat 23-Mar-13 10:41:24

SGB, children do need time. Why? Because depending on their ages, some of them are not as capable of understanding the permanence of death. My 7-year-old has 'done well'. But if you dig deeper, you'll soon see she now has a huge problem with any sort of illness at all, especially in herself, to the point of fault, because she equates falling ill with death. The 4-year-old, well, he was 3 when it all went down and at that age could not understand the permanence of death, so he harboured all these ideas that his sister could come back. It's taken a few months for him to realise that dead people do not come back.

Grumpy, I've no interest in playing anything, either, but since you brought it up, I shared the experience of losing a young child and the damage it's done to her surviving siblings and family. Huge. I can't imagine the loss of a parent is any less and can't imagine visiting a new partner on my kids, who were not newborns but young children, so soon after such a loss.

My opinion is that that is very unhealthy for everyone.

Sorry but I find your question incredibly offensive. How dare you question someone's reaction and emotions after their spouse has died. What in gods name has it got to do with you. You were merely a friend, they may have spoken about how she wanted him to move on, get on with life, make life as normal as possible for the kids. Grieve in a silent, dignified way and remember their life together but not let it stop his and the children's lives in their formative years. This may have been a conversation they had between them, probably not one they would have with friends, they probably didn't think their friends would be so horrid but to question how and when they moved on.

Grief is a strange thing and you have no right to question how someone else handles them self in the face of it.

expatinscotland Sat 23-Mar-13 10:52:40

'Grief is a strange thing and you have no right to question how someone else handles them self in the face of it.'

She's venting about it on here. She hasn't expressed anything to him hmm.

everlong Sat 23-Mar-13 10:52:55

In my case ' the children ' were definitely not thought of.

My mother died, I was 4 and my brother was 14, I had a sister of 19 and one of 24. The eldest were newly married at the time mum died.

I went to live with my eldest sister ( who officially adopted me ) so in fact lost my mother and my father. Because my mothers dying wish was that I wasn't brought up by my fathers bit on the side.

My brother left home at 14 because he couldn't stand the grief of losing his mum, his sister and trying to come to terms with his new step mother. Thankfully a neighbour let him lodge with her family till he was in his twenties.

The new woman had 4 dc of her own that moved in shortly after. All my photo's had scratches down my face. I still have the photo's upstairs.

So not all cases of the new wife are happy ever after stories.

differentnameforthis Sat 23-Mar-13 11:47:02

There is no time limit on grief. And no one has any right to make anyone feel that there should be.

Everlong's experience is a perfect example of how not to do this. No reason at all why her father shouldn't have married again - but he'd betrayed his wife's trust and then his new wife failed to act in a caring way. That's the stuff of nightmares isn't it?

Contrast that with the situation others have found - where a new partner is found without a betrayal of the first spouse and children are cared for in a family unit as one family, no matter who gave birth to them.

5eggstremelychocaletymadeggs Sat 23-Mar-13 13:39:57

And that's just it isn't it, ever longs experience show show it can be awful. But for others it works, there is no one size fits all for grief and provided it us handled sensitively it can be fine.

Much love to those on this thread who have lost a loved one xxx

Its a horribly emotive subject and there are many differing experiences but we can't always extrapolate from our own experiences and say it us definitely wrong, each person and each family is very different.

everlong Sat 23-Mar-13 13:58:06

If I died whilst my dc were still young/at home I wouldn't expect DH to remain alone forever but I would expect him to put our dc's wishes above his own regarding a new partner moving in etc. Just the same as I would in the same situation.

exoticfruits Sat 23-Mar-13 14:14:19

You would have no control though everlong-he might not do as you expect.

everlong Sat 23-Mar-13 14:28:40

No he might not and I'd be none the wiser. I would hope that he'd make sure our children were happy though.

MrsCampbellBlack Sat 23-Mar-13 14:35:30

I have discussed with DH that if I were to die - I would totally want him to re-marry and for my children to have a woman in their lifes who could fulfil the 'mother' role.

But I would want it to be when it was best for the children and they'd had time to process their grief a bit.

But of course I wouldn't be here so wouldn't get to decide when.

"I would hope that he'd make sure our children were happy though."

The two things aren't necessarily in conflict though. It's just not that simple.

In my case (obviously approaching this as an adult not a child but I don't know how much difference it makes) while I was very upset that dad had met someone else and would rather not have anything to do with it, I would have also been upset if dad had remained deep in his grief. The new woman, even if I feel it's a bit soon, is helping him. I can't deny that.

So what is worse for a bereaved child (no matter their age)? A parent with a new partner? Or a parent deep in the depths of grief? As with pretty much all things it very much depends on the people involved and the rest of the situation. No one can say for certain which is the better situation.

All I can say is, before my dad met someone else, he kept talking about how he was looking forward to being with mum again. Hard as it is to see him with someone new, it was far harder to hear him talk like that. While my dad will never ever return to the man he used to be, at least now he's more like his old self. Maybe if he hadn't met the new woman he wouldn't be. And I'd have lost both mum and dad.

hopefloats Sat 23-Mar-13 15:22:05

The DM of one of my DS's schoolfriends died last November, and, by the January, her DH was already in a relationship with another school mum. The thing is, his DW was very ill for years and years and he was basically her carer, not a husband. I did feel a bit hmm when I was gossiped to, but it was none of my business. Sometimes, we just have to rein in our pointy noses.

goingupinfumes Sat 23-Mar-13 15:27:38

Madamecastafiore thank you for your input I think strong words, the truth is that conversation wouldn't of potentially of taken place given the speed and sudden death that happened.

Grumpyrocker I'm really pleased that you have found love again, and I do agree some of the posts on here are somewhat weighted towards how men deal with grief and moving on, but given my post was about my friends DH moving on I guess the thread was pushed towards that emphasis.

I'm with •MrsCampbellBlack* since my friends death I have said to my DH please find love let the DS grown and develop with a complete family.

everlong Sat 23-Mar-13 16:01:29

But in my case it was that simple.
My father didn't care about our happiness, on any level.
He just thought about self.

Well yes everlong but that doesn't mean that's always the way it works. And I'm sorry you went through that. I suspect that even if your dad hadn't moved on so quickly things wouldn't have been better for you sad

everlong Sat 23-Mar-13 16:35:24

No probably not. He was always selfish and gave my poor mum a dogs life by all accounts. I had a lucky escape by going to live with my sister, but in reality I should have been cared for by my father.

pink90 Sat 23-Mar-13 17:00:33

I was widowed with two small children in my early 30's.

I agree with others in saying that both of us would have rather it was us than either of our children.

However, the very person that would normally support you in your grief, your partner, is the one that has died.

Even though I had fantastic friends and family, you grieve alone often putting it aside as you have small children.

It was a horrible time ....a time that I feel I have lost in my children's life and my own - overwhelmed by loneliness even with others around.

I often fantasized really about having the love of someone else because I think you just really miss it, although I would not have been ready to move on.

Realisitically if someone had paid me attention I probably would have reciprocated, although for the wrong reasons.

I really don't think you can say until you have been there - the same as I cannot really appreciate what it would be like to lose a child.

exoticfruits Sat 23-Mar-13 17:48:15

I had the same experience pink90, and you do have to put it all aside for the children. Personally I wasn't ready for another relationship -I had to come to terms with it all first. But we are all different, which is why I don't think anyone should judge. What you can see on the surface is probably very different from what is underneath.

Loa Sat 23-Mar-13 21:08:59

My Uncle was in a new relationship less than 6 months after my Aunt died.

22 years later he still in the same relationship - and my Cousins seem to rely on Uncle DP and seem very close to her and her DC to this day.

My Cousins - late teens seemed to accept it as did Uncles’ and late wife’s closest friends.

It seemed to be GP, My Dad and slightly more distant friends who had big issues with it. In fact my late Aunt's family seemed much friendlier to the new person than my GP - Uncle's parents who had never really got on with late Aunt.

I'm sure for some people getting together with someone so soon could be disastrous but could also mean next 22 are full of fun and happiness.

I understand the hmm - who wants to think they or people they love can be 'replaced' so quickly but that isn't really what is happening more a life is short so grab what happiness you can thing I think.

2rebecca Sun 24-Mar-13 09:52:52

I also think that your mother or child or even best friend is much more "special" and irreplacable than your partner. Many of us have had different partners over our lives and relationships are rarely perfect.
I think it's a shame bereaved parents don'tconsider their kids more and keep their dating quiet for a while and not move to living together quickly where kids are concerned though, because whilst you may want a new lover few kids are in a rush for a parent replacement.

AThingInYourLife Sun 24-Mar-13 10:11:02

"I also think that your mother or child or even best friend is much more "special" and irreplacable than your partner."

Not to me.

And I hope I am not to him.

exoticfruits Sun 24-Mar-13 10:46:06

I think it is a shame that people see it as 'replacement' in the first place. A new partner is not 'a replacement'.

AThingInYourLife Sun 24-Mar-13 10:53:00

Sometimes, particularly when very little time has elapsed, a new partner is a replacement.

Loa Sun 24-Mar-13 11:38:41

I agree you exoticfruits - but it is how my family viewed the new woman in my Uncle life which I think was very unfair to Uncle, his DP and their DC. Hence thinking he should wait to find one hmm.

I don't think Uncle, his new DP or any of their DC saw it that way - I think they saw love and happiness.

Loa Sun 24-Mar-13 11:41:27

with you blush -

exoticfruits Sun 24-Mar-13 12:20:44

Sometimes, particularly when very little time has elapsed, a new partner is a replacement.

As a judgement by the bystander-I doubt if the widow/widower sees it that way. (does the bystander matter?)

AThingInYourLife Sun 24-Mar-13 12:39:35

It's a recognised phenomenon - the rebound relationship.

That the person rebounding can't see it doesn't mean it isn't happening.

Obviously people who are grieving can do what they choose.

But if they're moving a new woman into their wife's place within months, people are going to think what they think.

5eggstremelychocaletymadeggs Sun 24-Mar-13 12:45:24

So how much time do you have to wait for it not to be a rebound relationship? 6mths, 8mths a year, who gets to decide.

Personally I think its up to the bereaved Peterson to do what they feel comfortable with and not for others to judge.

5eggstremelychocaletymadeggs Sun 24-Mar-13 12:45:32

Person...

exoticfruits Sun 24-Mar-13 14:00:32

I would agree about the danger of rebound relationship but that is nothing to do with 'replacement'. Again it is for the person themselves to work out.

lainiekazan Sun 24-Mar-13 14:24:07

Of course widows and widowers can do what they like; who is saying otherwise?

What is hmm behaviour is when they clearly disregard the feelings or wellbeing of their offspring. Frankly I can think of so many examples that I think that the cliche of the weak father (eg Baron Hardup, Hansel & Gretel's father) is based on some truth. I'm not normally in the "Leave the bastard" crew but sadly I do think there is a sexual stereotype here in that a significant proportion of widowers put their own loneliness/gratification/desire to replicate happy marriage - call it what you will - above their children. Of course, if time has elapsed, or the children are older, then that's different. I'm talking about men who set up home with someone within a very short space of time when they have dependent children.

2rebecca Sun 24-Mar-13 19:01:15

OK maybe replacement was a bad choice of word, but if you are usually monogomous and choose a new lover when your previous lover dies there is an element of replacement in that you are replacing one person who you love and share life with and whose company you enjoy with another one. That isn't to say the 2 people were interchangeable or that the bereaved person no longer values the relationship they had with their previous spouse.
I am on my second husband, in many ways my current husband was a "replacement" in that I love him, view him as my best friend, share a house and finances with him. He is still a unique individual though.
I think the Tim Minchen song "If I didn't have you someone else would do" sums it up, we are none of us as irreplaceable as we like to think, except to our relatives.

Amberz Mon 25-Mar-13 07:05:23

Sorry for your lose same thing happened to a friend of mine his wife died of cancer 9 months ago, he has now met someone else they are engaged and very happy , I dont think time has anything to do with it hard as it is to see it happening , but my friend was happyily married and needs a woman in his life so i wish them all the best however quick it may have been , there is a NEED for them both who are we to judge?, abit of happiness is hard to find in this life I say grab it with both hands and dont let it go.

AThingInYourLife Mon 25-Mar-13 14:11:21

He "needs" a woman in his life? hmm

Like he needs a dishwasher.

Ick.

I fucking hope I'm more than that to my husband.

JustinBsMum Mon 25-Mar-13 15:16:04

But it's the speed. It can take forever to find the 'man/woman' of your dreams first time round, then, hey, second time they just seem to arrive on the doorstep within weeks/months!

Perhaps the 'replacement', though not exactly hovering in the wings was already aware of the attractions of the bereaved person.

Or perhaps the bereft partner now knows what they want in a partner so can recognise those traits in the new one, or even what traits they don't want in a new one.

I suppose there is no one answer but a mix of reasons but perhaps men don't realise how important they are in their DC's lives, or their grief masks this, and they take a new partner when the opportunity arises.

SatsukiKusukabe Mon 25-Mar-13 16:39:27

I think it's too soon for the children, but it's really up to the adult when they choose to get in to a new relationship

digerd Tue 26-Mar-13 21:25:00

We all know what a man's main need is - sex!
I did meet a man who had been widowed 4 years at 45, and he admitted to me it was the loneliness he couldn't bear.
Another man was in his 60s when his wife died. He never wanted another woman and lived on his own for 25 years until he died aged 89.

digerd Tue 26-Mar-13 21:26:29

ps
The latter was my DB's FIL.

lainiekazan Wed 27-Mar-13 09:36:33

Re people "hovering" there is a well-known practice in Florida of ladies turning up with casseroles for bereaved gentlemen - especially ones with cars!

Perhaps this is something particular to the older generation, though. Hopefully the under 70s do not need a man to drive the car or a woman to wash underpants and put a stew on the table.

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