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Too Soon After Wife Passed Away?

(366 Posts)
DontBlameMe79 Fri 30-Oct-20 04:55:35

First time poster, need to share and don't have anyone else. Short story is there is a senior bloke at work that I've worked closely with for the last 3 years (not my boss). He seemed to be one of those too good to be true types, everyone likes him, natural leader without being overbearing, supportive of his team, amazing dry sense of humour had me in stitches, and he did all this without seeming to try that hard (is a workaholic tho). Long-time marriage and 2 DCs in early 20s (I think he's mid-50s). I'm 41 and divorced 5 years ago, one DC is 12. Separation reasonably amicable, just didn't work in the end and we rub along now. I've dated on and off but it's depressing. I admit I had a massive crush on this guy when we started working together but circumstances meant nothing happened obviously and he was always just professional, but I fell pretty hard. Managed to shake it in the end, but it's never completely gone away.

Then his wife passed away in March, right before COVID. Short illness and no treatment apparently. I didn't see that much of him right after because of lockdown but from what I heard from others he was devastated. Then for the last couple of months I've seen him again at work and he's subdued but doing the stiff upper lip thing but I sometimes see him staring out of the window looking sad and my heart melts. Then we had lunch at work a few weeks ago that was supposed to be a quick sandwich on business but we ended up over 2 hours. He talked about his wife and some of how he felt, but he's still pretty guarded. I just listened for the most part. He seems fatalistic about what's happened but obviously massive impact. Anyway that two hours triggered the feelings I had 3 years ago in a way I've never experienced before, to the point of not sleeping, losing appetite, like I'm 15 again blah blah. He's never given any indication of being interested in me as anything other than a friend and work colleague, but before his loss we had so much chemistry when we were talking and the occasional little flirt from both of us. I always found him physically very attractive and he has a weird physical issue (it's a bit identifying so I won't say more) that everyone can see that he acts as if is not even there. The way he just gets on with things despite this is another part of the attraction, I suppose it's the confidence. I know I'm gushing but I don't have anyone else to say this to.

Now I don't know what to do. I want to respect what happened to his wife, but truth is he's the first potential partner since my divorce I can even imagine being with. Here's the thing though, I know there are others who think the same and fact is he's also loaded financially from career success. I'm fortunate myself so that's not a factor, but that plus his other attributes mean I can't get out of my head that he's going to be targeted and I'll suddenly find out he's with someone else. The thought of that happening is making me feel physically sick. Literally. I've even been hoping for tighter lockdown in the hope it will stop anything else happening. So looking for some views on whether it's too soon to try to nudge things along ever so subtly, and even how to do it. I don't want to look like a vulture but my thoughts are driving me nuts. Which is why I'm posting this in the middle of the night sad sorry for the rambling. I just needed to share really.

OP’s posts: |
joystir59 Fri 30-Oct-20 05:02:56

Go for it. My sister's husband was with someone new within 6 months of her dying.

EmmaGrundyForPM Fri 30-Oct-20 05:07:50

In my opinion it's far too soon. His wife only died 7 months ago.

Tbh, you sound infatuated. The best you can do is put aside thoughts of a relationship and just be a good friend to him. In time that might develop into something more, but equally it might not.

surlycurly Fri 30-Oct-20 05:17:01

I know a couple who got together 6 maths after his wife died. His children (adult) never forgave him for it and now they don't speak at all. They're happily married, and have been for ten years, but have lost contact will all of their respective children because of how it was done. Sad to watch. You may need to consider the happiness of others before deciding to pursue this

lilmishap Fri 30-Oct-20 05:22:11

If you die he'll have moved on in 6/7 months. If you're okay with that....
But regardless
He is the FIRST person you see as a potential, So what?

He's never given any indication of being interested in me as anything other than a friend and work colleague So it's not mutual.

but before his loss we had so much chemistry when we were talking and the occasional little flirt from both of us
So little to no chemistry.

but I sometimes see him staring out of the window looking sad and my heart melts
You are attracted to his grieving for his wife?

I'll suddenly find out he's with someone else
You are terrified of him meeting someone he actually wants without even being with him?

I can't get out of my head that he's going to be targeted by someone less selfish than you who he actually wants?

Please leave him alone. This is all in your head

lilmishap Fri 30-Oct-20 05:24:20

I admit I had a massive crush on this guy when we started working together but circumstances meant nothing happened obviously and he was always just professional, but I fell pretty hard. Managed to shake it in the end, but it's never completely gone away

Nothing has changed except you've gotten ruthless. Forget his wife, think about him. If he wanted you he would let you know

Trixie18 Fri 30-Oct-20 05:29:56

Personally I think it's too soon, he's obviously not over her and you face being a rebound fling which would make things difficult at work. Having said that I have 2 friends (one male and one female) who were both happily engaged (not to each other) within a year of their spouses passing (we're all early 40s) and both new marriages seem successful so what do I know!

Coffeecak3 Fri 30-Oct-20 05:30:53

I agree with pp. Go for it.
You only live once.

Palavah Fri 30-Oct-20 05:35:44

That's for him to decide.

I'm sometimes surpriswd by how quickly men seem to move on. It's not obvious he's interested and working xlosely could make it awkward but it also means it's very low riak to suggest going out for lunch.

Willowwood45 Fri 30-Oct-20 05:38:56

Be his friend and see. Grief is complex. Grief in a pandemic is like a cruel joke. It complicates grief massively for those unlucky enough to have lost someone, covid or non covid, this year. Even if something happens, it will not be all lovely and exciting. It may be initially but chances are there is a very emotionally complex situation here. Be his friend and just wait. Maybe that friendship might lead to something and then the waiting and being a good friend could lead to a stronger foundation for a relationship. But he is grieving. His child is grieving and they have had to do it in the most horrific of circumstances. Tread very gently.

Bluetrews25 Fri 30-Oct-20 05:39:37

He's still grieving.
Leave the poor man alone and let him process things.
Yes, you chatted for 2 hours. That was you counselling him, don't you see? He needs to talk, what he does not need right now is a relationship.
He is not yours, you cannot stop him being with anyone else who might get there first. He does have a choice, you know! This is making you sound like a thirteen year old - you can't go out with Ricky, he's MINE! I saw him first!
This is not healthy for you. Can you move jobs, because you are risking looking like a complete nutter if you can't keep a lid on it.

ShinyGreenElephant Fri 30-Oct-20 05:45:48

Way too soon. If you go after him and get together with him now it will be a rebound which he will probably hugely regret and hate you and himself for, and his kids will despise you. If he's genuinely over it enough to have a new relationship and give it his all (definitely doesn't sound that way) then he must be emotionally stunted and therefore not a great partner anyway

KatherineJaneway Fri 30-Oct-20 05:48:55

Way too soon. Leave him grieve in peace.

Mummyoflittledragon Fri 30-Oct-20 05:54:13

Lots of relationships are built on one party supporting the other over past loss. Men generally seem to move on more quickly than women. And it is not inappropriate. I’ve read a happier man will move on faster than one, who was not.

As for whether this will go anywhere, you will have to see. Perhaps you will be a friend to lean on and then he will meet someone new. So don’t get wrapped up in the idea that this is going places unless he gives you the right signals.

NeonGenesis Fri 30-Oct-20 05:58:56

I don't think there is a set amount of time at which it becomes appropriate to ask out a widow/widower, as everyone deals with these things differently. Some would be ready after a few months, others wouldn't be ready for 10 years or more. It really depends on the situation.

I think you need to let him lead this. Keep spending time with him, flirt a bit if it feels right, but I wouldn't actually make a move or ask him on a date unless you're getting clear signals from him. If he isn't ready yet it would come across very badly.

sofato5miles Fri 30-Oct-20 05:59:08

My best friend's husband died September (MND 18 months diagnosis till his death).

She met her boyfriend in a bar before a baseball game less than 2 months later. The judgement has been AWFUL but she is happy and that is all i care about. And they have now been together for almost a year. He understands her grief supports her but also is so generally fabulous that she has completely fallen in love.

One life. And if someone close to you dies that becomes even more pertinent

jessstan1 Fri 30-Oct-20 06:00:33

You have something going there, op, but it is far too soon. If he did anything now he would feel terrible about his wife and about you, because of being on the rebound.

Just carry on being a good friend which is what he needs right now and see how it develops but don't shut off other options if you get my meaning. You are vulnerable too so protect yourself.

You sound very nice btw.

CatteStreet Fri 30-Oct-20 06:02:19

You've still got that massive crush you say you had at the beginning, it's just that now you think you can legitimately act on it. You've got a bit of an odd instrumental-type view of the whole thing and of him - now he's #free' he may be 'targeted' and snapped up. It's as if he's not quite a real person - which he isn't, to you. As a PP said, almost all of this has played out in your head.

7 months is really, really early in the scheme of grief. I was still at the 'utter denial' stage 7 months after losing a dear friend, and that was 'only' a friend, not a spouse of years and years. Back off (especially mentally), be a supportive presence if he seems to want that, and if anything grows eventually, it will.

SpeckledyHen Fri 30-Oct-20 06:03:33

Far too soon . Carry on being a friend and see what happens.

Willowwood45 Fri 30-Oct-20 06:04:18

Can't stop thinking about this one. I said before be his friend but I'm not even sure that is right. If you make yourself that person who will listen to him and provide him with that emotional support, then there is a very real chance something may happen. People, on the whole, are rubbish with grief. Especially with men. Especially in a pandemic as a lot of people who may otherwise have been a good support are understandably wrapped up in how hard their own years may have been. This may be a bit of a generalisation but I think there is certainly a lot of truth to it. I think you may end up as the one who is more hurt if you make yourself too much of an emotional support to him. Vulnerable, hurting people missing physical contact can often step into a new relationship because it makes them feel something, feel intimacy again. I doubt it would mean as much to him as it does to you. If it fails, it might not register that highly with him. He has just lost his wife. An ended fling will not register highly on his emotional richtor scale for a long time. But it could be heart breaking for you.

Also, I can't help thinking of his children. Even if their marriage was poor, he will be trying to support his two girls who have just probably been through one of hardest things that will ever happen to them. Unless he is a truly shocking father, that is going to be taking a real toll on him and I would be amazed if they would happy with him being in a new relationship so soon after losing their mum.

As I said before, I don't think this would be as romantic as you imagine. All relationships have a sparky exciting period but what would be left once that was over could be a very very emotionally complex situation with a lot of grief, maybe some guilt and potentially a very strained relationship with his children.

By all means, be there if he asks. But don't force yourself on him as a support. Or, if you do, do it without an agenda. Dont expect anything and don't go in hoping for anything more than friendship.

TashieWoo Fri 30-Oct-20 06:04:34

I would definitely leave it, like others have said he will let you know if he wants anything to happen. If it’s meant to be, it will be. Try and chill out a bit and just see him as a friend for the time being but respect boundaries... only spend more time together if he suggests it, only talk about deeper topics if he brings them up. He is going to lose trust in you if you make a move now.

Remember you are at work with him as well, so it could end badly for you if it didn’t work out.

Margotshypotheticaldog Fri 30-Oct-20 06:10:11

Men move on quickly. Huge generalisation, but they don't seem to do well alone. You may as well go for it, if you don't, someone else almost certainly will.

greenspacesoverthere Fri 30-Oct-20 06:12:14

I wonder - if you go for it and he reciprocates and you start dating and it's all wonderful and the kids are happy for you both - will you always wonder about his capacity for loyalty and his capacity to love?

If you go for it and he says no, too soon , will you always wonder if he just doesn't like you enough?

I think I'd 'allow' him to date others when he's ready and you date others and wait and see. I think that's safest

Acappella Fri 30-Oct-20 06:17:01

Only someone in the throes of a giant teenage-style crush would hope that listening to a recently-widowed man talk about his dead wife for two hours in the middle of a working day might be the beginning of a relationship. You’ve got a classic case of Alpha Male Brought Low And Vulnerable, OP.

(And I’m not sure how else someone with a physical disability or visible disfigurement would behave, other than ‘getting on with it’? I think this is just part of your giant crush.)

secretrugbyfan Fri 30-Oct-20 06:24:16

For all the posters on here that are saying 'it's far too soon', please can you suggest (in your view) an acceptable period of time to help the OP.

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