When your widowed parent starts a new relationship - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 11-25-2011, 09:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How did your widowed parent tell you of their new relationship? What was your reaction? Did you meet- or even know of- the person before the relationship got serious? How did you handle it with your kids?

 

My mom died in January and my father announced via a brief e-mail and letter to my siblings and myself the day before Thanksgiving that he has a girlfriend. We didn't even know he was interested in dating and now he suddenly announces he has been seeing this person and she is his girlfriend. It was pretty surprising and not what I wanted to hear the day before a holiday where I was thinking about and missing my mom already.  I'm not sure what his expectation is for the future. I don't know how long they have been dating or if he wants us to meet her.

I guess it is good that my dad can find someone he is happy being with but I am still upset. I wish he would have said "I'm lonely without your mom. I'm going to try dating." instead of always saying he was fine and only talking about other things. He has been clearing out and storing my mom's things lately and I suppose this new relationship plays a role in spurring him to do that even though before he always said there was no rush.

 

ETA- My Dad is 77. This woman is not someone we have known.

I don't begrudge him having a relationship and being happy but do feel shut out of his life when I've asked if he was lonely and he said he was not lonely. He told me about work, going out with my uncle, meeting old high school friends for lunch, what he bought at the store, cleaning the house, his problems with his car or neighbor but couldn't bring up the important stuff. I feel like we are even farther away from each other.


Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#2 of 8 Old 11-25-2011, 09:57 AM
 
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Sorry for you loss mama.  I imagine no matter what, our parents don't want us to worry about them.  He's probably very lonely.  And he probably didn't know how to tell you guys about her.  He might feel guilty.  However we all need  people in our lives.  Maybe it's more companionship he needs.  It's lonely during the holidays.  This might be the best way for him to help fill the emptiness no matter how hard it is for you all.  Again, sorry mama it's hard to go through the holidays when you're missing someone. 

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#3 of 8 Old 11-26-2011, 08:31 AM
 
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I am sorry that your mom passed.  When my dad died at 42, my mom went into a deep depression.  My sibs thought it would pass, but she didnt need to date.  So when my mom did start dating and then marry, my sibs were cold.  I was exstatic that my mom was happy again, AND it was a friend of my parents from way back.  I don't think there is any right or wrong way.  The most important is the parent when the kids are grown.  Good luck with everything!!!


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#4 of 8 Old 11-27-2011, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sahmof2girls View Post

I am sorry that your mom passed.  When my dad died at 42, my mom went into a deep depression.  My sibs thought it would pass, but she didnt need to date.  So when my mom did start dating and then marry, my sibs were cold.  I was exstatic that my mom was happy again, AND it was a friend of my parents from way back.  I don't think there is any right or wrong way.  The most important is the parent when the kids are grown.  Good luck with everything!!!



Did your siblings get over it?

Did you have children at the time? If so how did you tell them?

 


Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#5 of 8 Old 12-04-2011, 08:17 AM
 
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I had one child at the time, and my sibs did not.  They now love our sd with all their heart.  It was a rough road.  Now my sibs have children, and our sd is a FANTASTIC gampy!!!  He actually takes the kids more than mom...lol.  Our children know all about gammpy Chiefy (our dad), but they all love gammpy bob.  I think it all works out in the end.  (((HUGS)))


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#6 of 8 Old 12-05-2011, 08:01 AM
 
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I have friends whose mothers passed away and every one of the dads started dating rather quickly (in the kid's opinions.)  One said that men can't be alone. 

 

Not really the same situation but after my parents seperated, my dad immediately started dating.  In was weird.  None of the ladies worked out so I didn't need deal with it too much.


Mom to DS, born fall 05 after ,,, wife/best friend to DH We have
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#7 of 8 Old 12-21-2011, 01:35 PM
 
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I'm sorry your mom is no longer here with you. Your dad is in a tricky spot and perhaps didn't know how to tell you about this lady without it hurting you. How can he say how he feels about her without you thinking about your mom and the relationship she had with him? The fact that he emailed you says something too doesn't it? Please don't think that he has forgotten your mom or wants to rub out their life together. The thing is that no-one can live in the past and loneliness is terrible for anyone.

 

My dad died suddenly in April 2005 and my mum had a new partner by November of the same year. She was so shocked by my dad's death that she sort of stopped for a while and couldn't see how to move forward. I can totally understand that being alone after more than 25 years with a husband must be a huge change and that she needed someone to be with her, so as not to be alone.

 

The man she started a relationship with is someone who was a work colleague  of my dad's and he is also a widower. As I said, I can understand why she wants to be in a relationship but I cannot take to this man even now all this time later. There are lots of reasons why I don't think this is a good relationship for her and I think she is seeing that too, more and more. In the beginning I was happy to see her happy again and with some zing and desire to do things again but now I feel some sadness in her and that makes me sad too.

 

A friend whose mother had a similar relationship after her dad died told me that she thinks that when you are left alone you need someone to take charge and give you direction again and someone who can do this as well as be a caring partner is a very welcome change. In her opinion, this phase passes and then the 'taking charge' is no longer so necessary or desirable but the person is now embedded in this new life and difficult to extract. Her mother is now alone again but stronger and finding ways to please herself and enjoy her life as she wishes.

 

Perhaps some widowers find that perfect partner quickly but others need a 'transition guy or gal' just like any person experimenting with new relationships? I've come to realise that older folks like our parents are still 20 in their heads in many ways and they don't know any more about anything than we do! All we can do is watch and wait and be supportive where we can, just as we do with our teenage children and their exploration of the world.

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#8 of 8 Old 12-28-2011, 04:01 PM
 
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I am so very sorry.  My parent also passed away this year and the remaining parent is currently single but I have worry it won't always be that way.  I feel bad but I can't imagine my parent with anyone else.  That is really hard.  The timing of your dad's announcement really doesn't help either and how he seems so distant.  


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