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I recently began dating again for the first time since DH died. Had sex with new man a few days ago and can't stop feeling guilty.

(18 Posts)
widowguilt Thu 28-Apr-16 18:20:07

My DH died in 2011 at age 45, I was 43 at the time. I am 48 now. For a very long time after it happened I couldn't imagine myself being in a relationship again or even going on a date with another man. Four years after DH died, I realised that I didn't want to spend the rest of my life without ever having sex again. I was not looking for someone to replace DH, I just missed sex. After another 6 months of toing and froing and changing my mind, I decided to give online dating a try. I eventually met someone on it and we've since been on three dates. He's 46, divorced and has 2 kids. The third date was last week and we ended up in bed together. I was the one who initiated things. The sex was fine (to say the least), but I can't stop feeling that I've betrayed DH. Have I? I feel guilty not just about the fact that I've been with another man, but also that I enjoyed it as much as I did. I've searched MN but couldn't find many posts about experiences of relationships and sex with a new man/woman after a spouse or partner's death.

Blue2014 Thu 28-Apr-16 18:23:56

Oh love, there is nothing to feel guilty about. You've done nothing wrong at all. You are human, it's ok to want and like good sex

There used to be a young widows internet support board (not mumsnet) have you tried googling it. It can be a huge help to have others in fhe same boat.

Quityabitchen Thu 28-Apr-16 18:24:04

You haven't betrayed your husband.

If you had died, would you have expected your husband to lead a sexless, loveless existence, mourning you forever? Of course you wouldn't.

Be kind to yourself and enjoy your new relationship (and the sex!!) flowers

KittyandTeal Thu 28-Apr-16 18:24:57

I have no experience but I wanted to say you have not betrayed your DH.

It seems guilt and grief are quite often intertwined emotions so, while I'd say you shouldn't feel guilty at all I'm not surprised you do, simply because it seems to be a natural feeling. Not because you should

I really hope I've expressed myself properly there!

Diddlydokey Thu 28-Apr-16 18:24:58

I don't have any experience. I think that you have no need to feel guilty but understand why you do. It must have been a very long time since you had sex with someone else.

If the roles were reversed I would want my widow to move forward. Would you have said the same?

There really are no rules. You were widowed at a young age and there is no requirement for you to be alone for the rest of your days

ordinaryman Thu 28-Apr-16 18:26:00

I agree - nothing to feel guilty about whatsoever.

Diamogs Thu 28-Apr-16 18:35:25

Please don't feel guilty, you have no reason to. As another poster has said, your DH would not have expected you to never be with anyone else again.

flowers flowers flowers

FuckoffJournoScum Thu 28-Apr-16 18:37:37

There is no guilt because you did nothing wrong. I'm sure you wouldn't want him to feel guilty if it was reversed.

Branleuse Thu 28-Apr-16 18:37:47

you havent betrayed him. He wouldnt have wanted you to be lonely forever. No amount of sex or good times now or in the future takes away anything from what you had with your husband. Im so sorry youre still hurting, but you havent done anything wrong xx

LadyAshley Thu 28-Apr-16 18:42:45

No reason to feel guilty at all. A friend's partner died suddenly three years ago. She is now happily living with new dp, and looks on it as another chance of happiness after such a shit thing happened.

I agree with her view tart these things make you realise life is too short, seize the day.

LadyAshley Thu 28-Apr-16 18:43:09

That, that, not tart!

needanewjob Thu 28-Apr-16 18:46:18

Please don't feel bad for trying to make a positive decision that will bring you some happiness after going through such sadness

jayho Thu 28-Apr-16 19:05:55

It's because he didn't leave you he died and that left you alone. You didn't have any choice in the matter. You would have preferred to still be with him, but you aren't and you can't.

So you haven't actively chosen to have a relationship with anyone else, you've been forced to by the bugger dying.

So your brain flip flops, you want to be in a relationship with him, common sense says it's not possible common sense says you can have relationships with others, emotional woo makes you feel guilty.

Does it make sense?

FWIW my first boyfriend was killed when we were 17, I struggled massively to move forward as couldn't work out how to put any context round it. It took me a long time to work out why I felt like I did, which is like you btw

DailyMailAreArses Thu 28-Apr-16 22:55:01

The same thing happened to a friend of mine who was dating a widower - he felt so guilty after sleeping with her and told her. Only natural, I think

Cabrinha Thu 28-Apr-16 23:06:24

My fiancé was widowed 4 years ago.
I do know from him that the first woman (about 3 years after) that he had sex with, it was emotionally disastrous for him. Couldn't get out of there fast enough. Felt all wrong, and guilt too. He had moved too fast with her, but he thought it was also bound to be an emotional minefield first time.

He feels no guilt with me. I know that's an anecdote of one - but it is possible. It's not because I'm the more suitable partner I think. I think it's simply that it was inevitable that he was going to go through those emotions.

My fiancé still loves his wife. Having sex with me and then falling in love with me hasn't altered that. He hasn't betrayed her in any way, because he still loves her, still holds everything about their life dear to him.

flowers I'm sorry for your loss and for your turmoil now.

cariadisnaehappy Thu 28-Apr-16 23:24:53

I could have written your post. I was widowed at 37.
I met a guy through online dating and totally panicked after we slept together. Felt dreadful, like I'd betrayed my DH and cut contact completely with the new guy. Calmed down a couple of months later and tentatively got back in touch with new guy. We've now been married 6 months.
It's ok to panic, to doubt yourself. No one, even those who've been widowed, can tell you what's right for you. If you think it's too fast slow it down. If you feel comfortable, carry on. In my experience no one judges you harsher than yourself. And you're not betraying your husband. He loved you and wanted you to be happy.

Somerville Thu 28-Apr-16 23:39:28

Hi Widowguilt

Actually, I don't want to call you that. Can I call you fellow wid? Because I really don't think you have anything to feel guilty about, though I know at the same time how overwhelming the guilt feels, and how hard it is to quash.

My DH only died 18 months ago. And I've already got a new BF shock . I feel guilty quite a bit. But most of the time it's at manageable levels. When it gets worse I march around my garden talking to DH like a mad woman. And at the so-overwhelming-I-can't-think-about-anything-else stage I tend to write myself a letter from DH. He agrees with every single one of my decisions (which is a lot more than he used to!) and tells me how strong I am and how well I'm doing. And then I laugh, and enjoy memories of loving him, and the guilt somehow subsides a bit again.

So I wonder if there are any things you've developed that have helped you when you've felt guilty before? That you could try again now?

I also want to remind you of something that you'll have heard before:

They died. We didn't

I keep thinking that I've absorbed that statement, but invariably then a new issue arises that triggers another crash of guilt. And then I remind myself of it all over again.

Your wonderful DH dying doesn't mean that any part of you has to die too. And sex and romance and dating - whatever part of those things that you're after - are a really big part of life. Staying closed off from all of that would be allowing a part of yourself to die. Hasn't death already stolen too much from you? It has from me - I want every part of myself to be alive!

Finally, I really admire you for noticing that something was lacking in your life and so bravely going out there and finding it. And then enjoying it! How wonderful!

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Fri 29-Apr-16 08:50:04

flowers for you.

If I were to go under a bus, I would hope that one day I'd be looking down (or up smile ) at DW being made happy by a nice chap, and that if we all met up again I'd give him my heartfelt thanks.
Love isn't an exchange, or exclusion, it's an ocean in which we swim.

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