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Dating a widower & want to end this relationship.

(43 Posts)
Blessed81 Tue 21-Nov-17 13:55:32


I have been dating a widower for four months now. The most amazing dates we had were when the kids were away for two weeks at grandma's in Spain. I can remember how happy and excited he was. When kids were younger, they had au pairs live with them to help out so dad could have some free time. So when we met, he was confident things were going to be the same again this year. Unfortunately, with the kids older and au pairs preferring to work with younger kids, the search for an au pair yielded a negative result. He started to realise that things weren't going to be easy but remained optimistic that we would find a solution. We talked about him getting a babysitter but in the process, I realised he didn't feel comfortable leaving kids with strangers (for example, ringing an agency and booking someone just like that). After looking, he got one (a student) but she wasn't sure of travelling in the night incase he was out late. In the end, that fell through. He began to get frustrated , stressed and sad. To be honest, feels like when things weren't working out as he had expected, instead of finding solutions, he just gave up and resorted to drinking. Not sleeping and drinking aren't two great combinations.

During half term, he tried organising sleepovers for the kids so we could have some quality time together, but the boy's friend was going away so that didn't work. Instead we had about two hours when the kids were out with friends. Then last week was late wife's birthday and next month will be three years since she passed away. He hasn't been in touch since last week Tuesday, in fact, communication started getting bad when he couldn't get help with the kids, he has no family around to help. The son doesn't mind him dating again but the girl said NO and wasn't happy. The kids said NO to an au pair and getting a babysitter. I told him we can just end things if it was too much of a hassle, but refused that suggestion. That I make him happy, but I feel like he doesn't want me anymore and I don't think I can go on with this relationship any longer. Without communication, it's hard for me to carry on, however much I understand what he's going through. Worst mistake was to fall for this guy too soon and it hurts to be left in the dark. So am thinking of messaging him and ending things.

Am I being unreasonable, please advise!!

scottishdiem Tue 21-Nov-17 14:10:54

If you want to bouce out of the relationship as quickly as you fell in then you should probably aim for a quick ending.

If you do like him, can see a potential and dont mind waiting then slow things down. He has issues and that will be hard sometimes to help him with.

If you have a particular schedule to keep, then perhaps you might not have the opened ended time that this relationship will need.

HazelBite Tue 21-Nov-17 14:16:57

A lot depends on the age of the children, as they get older they will be more out of his hair and more interested in their own relationships than their fathers.

TammySwansonTwo Tue 21-Nov-17 14:32:17

Honestly, he and his kids are still grieving his wife - they only lost their mum three years ago, I'm not surprised they're struggling with this, especially if he's trying to get someone else to take care of them.

This is going to be a really complex situation, definitely walk away if it's too much for you

Blessed81 Tue 21-Nov-17 14:33:20

Scottishdiem, I really like him and can see potential. I don't mind waiting but the silence is getting to me.

Branleuse Tue 21-Nov-17 14:37:29

i think its not the right time for him. Youre going to get hurt here x

Blessed81 Tue 21-Nov-17 14:38:47


The parents were separated but I do know that they still had a close relationship and I can imagine it's hard for them. I didn't mind waiting and being there for him but not hearing from him is proving hard for me to handle.

swingofthings Tue 21-Nov-17 14:47:33

I really feel for the guy. Raising children on your own, having no help from family and having to pick up being their only emotional support, whilst raising them properly and getting on with every day duties is very hard work.

OP, this man needs your understanding and support, not you giving him yet more headache because he is not giving you enough attention.

You have two choices, accept that building a relationship with this man is going to be an assault course that will take a lot of effort, steps back, leaving you wondering whether it was all worth it, but with the wonderful reward at the end to be able to share your life with a wonderful man and hopefully children.

Or if you are not prepared to take on any grief and are looking for a stress free relationship with a man who can put you first and treat you like a princess, then walk away and hope to find your soulmate elsewhere.

Blessed81 Tue 21-Nov-17 15:08:23


Thanks for your advise. I can take the grief and I offered him my support. I wasn't saying I need all the attention, just want him to drop me a like or two, not sure how to handle going for weeks without a word from him.

Iceiceice Tue 21-Nov-17 15:21:31

I wouldn't hope for more than casual get togethers at this point. That is a Lot to deal with and while plenty of adults move on to new healthy relationships within this time frame, the children have lost their mum. He needs to be focusing on them.

Yes it sucks but if he's really worth it then sitting back and understanding patiently will have him see you as his respite and comfort instead of being something he has to constantly juggle and work just to arrange never mind maintain.

I have a complicated relationship myself. The man I am seeing has three children with his abusive ex. Her finding out about us has led to some awful exchanges and I've had to involve the police over threats against my own children. He has similar issues to me due to mental abuse.

As much as I like him. And as much as he likes me. There is no way it would be healthy for either of us right now. At the moment we enjoy what time we do get alone and try not to let the whole situation complicate things.

I genuinely believe good things come to those who wait. I met him because I looked after his children for their mother and they started telling me things.

I don't feel like it would ever be fair of me to expect anything from him other than in the moment enjoyment. It's too much emotion and too many people involved. I met him because I was concerned for his kids and until that situation is resolved and the children are well Well on the road to recovery anything we might fancy comes second.

Yes it sucks. But they're your options. Give up and cut your losses or accept it has to be like this for now . Forcing it will only cause resentment towards you.

Blessed81 Tue 21-Nov-17 15:36:45


Thanks for your advise. It sucks and I think it will get a little better in the new year since the anniversary of her passing is coming up before Christmas. More understanding and patience is going to be needed. Going to try to learn how to handle the silence for a while and see how that goes.

swingofthings Tue 21-Nov-17 15:39:16

not sure how to handle going for weeks without a word from him.
Do you contact him yourself?

* I told him we can just end things if it was too much of a hassle, but refused that suggestion*
Maybe he got it in his head that you're going to dump him so is trying to protect himself?

Myheartbelongsto Tue 21-Nov-17 15:42:51

Don't give up on him op.

Blessed81 Tue 21-Nov-17 16:03:50


I gave him some space as LW's birthday was last week, sent him a message two days ago but hasn't replied.

In regards to protecting himself, maybe but I don't think so. He said to me he was struggling and wasn't sleeping and was drinking. I know he doesn't drink that much, so he must be overwhelmed, wants to have a proper relationship but doesn't quite know how to go forward.

Kr1st1na Tue 21-Nov-17 16:15:23

If he can’t even reply to a text then I think it’s coming to an end anyway. I think that most people could manage to send a message three years after a bereavement, especially as they were no longer together when she died. So the marriage had ended even longer ago.

As others have said, it’s obviously not the right time for him.

It’s fraught with problems anyway. He has a drink problem and difficult children who dislike you and your rarely get time alone together.

It’s probably end it too. But not by text.

Blessed81 Tue 21-Nov-17 16:32:41


He doesn't necessarily have a drink problem but he's drinking more than he normally would. Kids don't know about me yet, we had wanted to get to know each other more before including the kids, but he thought he would test the waters by asking how they felt abt him dating again. Time alone is hard, we tried to do lunch instead which was nice but very limited time, an hour goes by so fast.

Kr1st1na Tue 21-Nov-17 17:42:28

It’s just you said that he “ gave up and resorted to drinking “ and was “ not sleeping and drinking “. Which kind of sounds like a drink problem to me.

It’s not just about quantities. It’s about his relationship with and dependence on alcohol. Which seems to be getting in the way of his relationship with you.

I think you are being very kind and understanding . But you are excusing a lot of not very great behaviour because he was bereaved. And I’m wondering if he’s using his children and his bereavement as a get out clause for being a reliable partner.

And yes, I have been bereaved. Not a former partner but a child. And yes, I think most people manage to reply to texts three years down the line.

Birthdays and other anniversaries can be very hard. But most of us get through it best as we can and try to get on with our lives. For our children, if we can’t do it for ourselves.

I’m sorry if this sounds hard. But I fear that your kindness might be being exploited here. I think you need to walk away and let him work on his issues on his own time.

Olivetappas Tue 21-Nov-17 17:50:04

I agree with Kristina

niceupthedance Tue 21-Nov-17 17:58:08

How old are the children, is there any light at the end of the childcare tunnel?

Blessed81 Tue 21-Nov-17 18:09:46


Thanks again for your advise. I thought the same, and I don't want to give excuses for anything that's happening. I was happy with waiting but that's when we communicated well. Now I think "what's the point if he can't even communicate?" Last week was LW's birthday, I understood how hard it must be for them and gave him some space but I didn't expect him to go for a week without a word - as hard as it may be. Even when I decided to message him, he hasn't read my message nor replied but I can see he has been active on WhatsApp. I guess I should start pulling myself together.

Blessed81 Tue 21-Nov-17 18:19:47


They are 12 year old twins. The kids aren't keen on any sort of childcare cos they feel they don't need it, dad works until 4 instead of 5 and rushes home. Also i think dad is worried abt upsetting them. Their late mum's birthday was last week and the anniversary of her death is coming up next month just before Christmas. Personally, I like this guy and want to push on but it's looking impossible if we fail to have that continuity in communication.

ChopsticksandChilliCrab Tue 21-Nov-17 19:21:59

He isn't being fair to you at all. He has a lot on his plate, yes. However he doesn't want to end things but can't even send you a text in two days. You are just going to be more and more hurt if you stay with him.

Dozer Tue 21-Nov-17 20:30:42

Don't understand what you're saying about the drink/sleep thing and why/how it's affecting your relationship.

If he wanted to make time for you, he would. He would organise childcare, contact you, arrange to see you.

If you want a bf to do nice things with often (you mention enjoying "dates" while the DC were away) he's not a good choice, given his parenting responsibilities and how he behaves.

HelenaDove Tue 21-Nov-17 22:59:36

I also agree with Kristina.

butterfly56 Wed 22-Nov-17 00:17:27

He has far too much going on in his life to cope with and if he's resorting to drink rather face or sort his problems, it does give you a good idea where he is at with all of this.

You are going to be doing a lot of compromising with this man no matter how much you like him.
It is emotionally draining when one of the people in the relationship is unable to engage or make time for the other.
Lack of communication is a deal breaker and you need to find someone who is on your wavelength.

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