Published July 10, 2007
The unimaginable has happened; you are a widow or widower. Mourning your loss has been the focus of your life for the past year or two. Finally, as you begin to surface from your profound grief, with a deep breath and a lot or a little trepidation, you find yourself falling in love again. Is this new relationship fraught with landmines? You bet! Here are important stepping-stones to help you to stay afloat along the way. Discover some dos and don’ts for widows/widowers beginning a new, loving relationship.
Perhaps you joined a bereavement support group, progressed through the stages of loss and are doing pretty well. And then, surprise … you find yourself attracted to someone of the opposite sex. Not just someone to hear your grief, but someone who makes your heart quicken. What do you do? What feels right? You are still grieving, but you’re attracted and you want to date. You’re also lonely and crave company. And yet, you feel guilty, disloyal to your late spouse.
How do you let your grown kids know that you want to date? How can you help them to react in a positive way? You don’t want to hurt them while they grieve their mother or father, but you also want to go on with your own life. How do you talk to them about your needs while being respectful of theirs? You know that they grieve on a different timetable.
You meet someone you can see having a future with. She/he has furniture; you have furniture. How do you blend that? What do you do with family pictures?
How do you financially protect your new partner and yourself? Do you do a prenuptial agreement? What is fair? You want to leave money for your children and you also want to protect her/him. How do you do that? It may feel distasteful to seek the counsel of an attorney, but you feel you should do that. You have a townhouse; she has a townhouse. Which townhouse will you live in? What do you do with your extra “stuff”? How much do you give away?