"Oh, you'll find somebody else..."

Hey, Friends, a bit of a grumbly post.

One of the things that has galled me most since my husband passed, is people insisting that I will or must or should find another man. This came in the first WEEK after losing him. I actually felt physically sick.

I realise that people may be well-intentioned when they say such things - they don’t want you to be lonely - but I feel like smacking them sometimes. It…what word am I looking for… belittles the love I have for Ken, as though it’s less legitimate just because he died. I still consider Ken to be my husband, I don’t give a damn what the law says, I can’t see myself ever removing my wedding ring, and I am not interested in another relationship. He is my forever love, and I want to be with him when it’s my turn to go. I don’t at all judge any widowed person who has found another relationship, I just don’t want that for myself. I’m busy learning what a relationship with a husband in spirit will look like. I find it particularly irritating when people ARGUE the point with me - for example, they raise the subject of me finding somebody else, I tell them firmly that I am not interested, and they say “Oh, but you’ll change your mind.”

I have not ruled out that I may have a friend in future - just a friend - for drives etc. If I ever do, it will be about companionship, and will be nothing like what I had with Ken. Ken will always be my husband, and I have no intention of “moving on” from that. It annoys me incredibly that finding another partner is seen as the only “healthy” way to move forward. And I’m not sure that “find somebody else” is necessarily always well-intentioned either - the loudest voices have come from Ken’s family, and I’m pretty sure that this is about wishing to be rid of me (whole other story). I get very cranky when this advice comes from women who still have their husbands to go home to.

I left a Facebook page about a year ago, because a friend of mine had posted about still feeling married to her late husband, and was attacked for it. The people running that page suggested that she was looking for support to “keep grieving” (how condescending) and that saying you don’t want another partner because you had the best is like refusing to eat a steak just because you had a good one in the past - yes, they really did compare the loss of a partner to steak eating, and no, I’m not joking. I was absolutely furious and told them so.

I think there’s an image of widows who don’t “move on”, “get back out there” etc as sad old relics living in the past. But fortunately, I’ve now come to know plenty of widows who do not feel that another relationship is for them, and who still live full lives.

I’m learning to be alone but not lonely. I think Ken’s very much alive spirit abides with me. I wish that, when it comes to the topic of finding somebody else, people would let the widowed person lead. Even if they think he or she will eventually change their mind, it’s not relevant right now - it doesn’t matter what somebody may choose to do in future. How about meeting people where they’re at right now? I believe the choice not to have another relationship is perfectly valid and okay.

It doesn’t make sense to me when people say “You’ll find love again.” I already HAVE love, even if it is no longer physical. Ken loved me for the rest of his life, and I’ll love him for the rest of mine.

Would love anybody’s thoughts. How do YOU deal with “get back out there”, “Put yourself on Tinder” etc.?

Louise xo

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Also, while I acknowledge that the loneliness can be bloody awful at times, it’s KEN I feel lonely for, not men in general :slight_smile:

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Hi my best friend said “you might meet someone else in a few years” twice she said that I was too upset to respond people do day the wrong things everyone is different I don’t want to meet anyone else James was and will always be my partner try not to let people get to you.
Christine x

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Hi Louise
I agree with you totally. I was talking to my friend and her husband the day after Carl’s funeral. They came to stay close to me in Cornwall for a few days and I was telling them how quiet it it is here and how I was thinking of taking a rental back to the midlands to be close to friends and family. Her husband said yes Linda, a really good idea. You’ll have a much better chance of finding another man in the city. I just couldn’t believe it. I told him I don’t want another man. This is the same person who greeted me at the Crematorium, hugged me and then said remember we all have to die!! I think someone should write a book of all the stupid things not to say to a widow or widower.

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Oh God, Linda, that’s another story to add to my growing list of stupid things people have said to widows. We all have to die? Well D’UH! Not. Effing. Relevant. Belongs in the same category as the constant reminders of what you need to be grateful for. I know one lady whose sister-in-law gave her a bikini BEFORE her terminally ill husband passed, so that she could “look hot” afterwards. I reckon I’d have strangled her with it.

The relationship with a spouse is the only one people are expected to erase - nobody wuld ever suggest that somebody needs to find a new mum. We did not break up with our partners. We were still very much in love with them - and in many cases, we still are, which I think is what drives me crazy - people see ongoing love for a dead partner as a problem that requires a solution, and it isn’t and doesn’t. xo

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…It’s sad, but I now find it necessary to be careful with whom I have conversations about still loving Ken passionately. It’s completely off the table with certain family members, who ALWAYS counter with “Oh, yes yes dear I know you love him but there will be other men.” I know that’s the response I’ll get, so I avoid it - a bit like walking around a pothole you’ve fallen into too many times.

We could talk about this all day couldn’t we, which to me, confirms how upsetting it is for us. The bikini comment is outrageous. It’s like you say, people don’t say to get a new parent but think it’s ok for a spouse. The other issue is saying we should clear out the house of our husband’s things. I’ve been told that. “You don’t want Carl’s things around. You don’t want all his clothes everywhere. Get rid of them.” No, I don’t want to thank you and I’m not doing anything at the moment. I will decide what to do and when to to do it. One of my friends has a big birthday in November and a discussion about what to do for her was taking place. Someone said to me”that can be your project, give you something to do!!!”
Like grieving for my husband, being emotional and trying to get through one day at a time isn’t enough to keep me busy!!!? I didn’t say that but thought it!! And yet others are fabulous. My sister is brilliant. My one friend rings me and texts me several times a day and another what’s apps every day. They don’t push, they genuinely want to just be there for me. Those are the ones for life aren’t they.
Well, that’s my rant for now. It’s raining and dark and the weekend!! I’m going out in a while to just be with people. I used to love every day with Carl. It didn’t matter about the weather. We just had each other.
Xxx

Yes, Linda, I most love the friends who don’t try to fix me, but listen. I totally agree with you re sorting his things out - that will be in YOUR time, and you will do just what suits you. How the hell does anybody else know what things of Carl’s you need or want around?

Somebody who insists that you need something to do has no idea how grief taxes any reserve of energy you might have. For me, the last two years has been the most incredible weariness, with occasional bursts of energy that very quickly dwindle. xxoo

Well this is a conversation I can’t resist. Where do I start? How dare anyone suggest us finding another man / woman - HOW DARE THEY! Right now I can’t think of anything more repulsive. As you say Louise, we married for life. Some of the things you’ve all said are simply outrageous. A very dear friend said to me only a couple of days after my David had passed “will you stay in this house?” Where the hell did she think I would go? Its not just a house. It’s my home, it’s mine and David’s home, we built it together. Why would I want to leave? David is everywhere in this house. I look at things and say to myself ‘David built that or David put that there’ so he must be here, how can he not be? Unbelievable! Another thing is I hate the word ‘widow’ - as far as I’m concerned, I’m a married woman and always will be. He died, we didn’t divorce. I’M MARRIED! I’M MARRIED! This is the one conversation that can get me fired up and even angry. I don’t really get angry. I’ve never felt angry over David’s death just sad, so very very sad. I’ll calm down now and go and potter in the garden. My darling man will of course come with me. Love to you all xxxx

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Hello Mrs Plummer…I’ve just read your comments and well, I couldn’t resist replying. My partner only passed away 9 weeks ago, and to date, two close friends thought it a great idea that I clear out my partner’s clothes. “Make a fresh start”. Get rid of her “bits and pieces”. You couldn’t make it up. Of course, these people are under the misguided impression that they are being ‘helpful’! The exact opposite, actually. Yes, it’s difficult bring surrounded by photographs of her etc, but, in a strange way it is sort of comforting. And yes, two weeks after I lost my partner, someone opined that I should seriously think about moving house. Why would I want to do that? It’s enough to make you want to scream. I just ignore these so-called helpful comments. As for finding another partner, at this moment, that is about as likely as finding gold at the end of a rainbow. To be fair though, there has been a few other friends whose words have given me hope that one day the sun will shine brightly once again. RayJay.

I think to “find” someone else you would have to be actually looking. It’s only 8 weeks since my wife died and I can’t imagine ever looking for someone else. However I don’t rule out the possibility that I could develop new relationships with women or men. They might even be close relationships but no way could they ever resemble the relationship I had. Obviously, that particular relationship will become modified over time but it will always be there.

Like all of you I find the idea of anyone other than my Peter quite offensive. I have reluctantly allowed my brother and sister in law to persuade me to go abroad with them for 12days. It is only 10 weeks since I lost Peter and as the departure date gets closer (Tuesday) I feel sick with nerves and guilt about going. If I had the courage I would just not go but I feel it will upset my brother and my grown up children.I feel so lethargic all the time that I am struggling to pack etc. I hate hate hate this life. A holiday means nothing to me

We live in a throwaway world where everything is seen to be replaceable…unless someone has stood where we now stand they do not have an inkling of how we feel. People are thoughtless and don’t like to be reminded that some things are actually outside their control so they make facile comments. One day they too will understand. Take care everyone x

Like all of you I find the idea of anyone other than my Peter quite offensive. I have reluctantly allowed my brother and sister in law to persuade me to go abroad with them for 12days. It is only 10 weeks since I lost Peter and as the departure date gets closer (Tuesday) I feel sick with nerves and guilt about going. If I had the courage I would just not go but I feel it will upset my brother and my grown up children.I feel so lethargic all the time that I am struggling to pack etc. I hate hate hate this life. A holiday means nothing to me

I have booked 3 nights away by myself in Edinburgh. I’m not really sure why I did that. I think I wanted to challenge myself or just be somewhere different. I used to go away for short breaks by myself in my campervan but this feels completely different. I thought it would be a distraction but it could easily just be a constant reminder of the good times we spent there. The days will be very long but they are anyway. I’m getting quite nervous at the thought of it.

You’re a brave man, Yorkshirelad. I’m nowhere near ready to go to the places Ken and I went - the mere thought capsizes me. I hope you’ll find it a good time away, even if there are lots of tears…

You are not alone, Toria - a suggestion people make when they’re trying to be helpful is “Why don’t you get away for awhile?” I don’t want to, just yet. When you go away with your family, I hope you’ll have space for the very raw pain you’re still in xo

I don’t expect to have a good time just a different time. When I go it will be exactly 12 weeks since my wife died. I don’t expect to actually enjoy anything I do. I’m not even interested in anything much. When my father died I used to think it odd that my mother couldn’t just sit at home. She was always out… somewhere, anywhere. I’m beginning to understand now.

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It sounds like your expectations are completely realistic, Yorkshirelad.

My husband and I had been given 2 separate hotel breaks as Christmas gifts but unfortunately he passed before we got to use them. I managed to get extension dates and I eventually went alone. I had several offers for company but I didn’t want to share the gifts with anyone else. Both breaks turned out to be actually quite ok. It felt good and a relief to get away from everything and everybody, to be somewhere where nobody knew me or anything about me. I didn’t have to pretend. I was glad I went and I would certainly go again. I too was very nervous about going alone but I did it. Xx

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