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Dating after the death of a spouse?

The love of my life lost his wife due to alcoholism 6 months ago. They had a very bad marriage, but they have 3 beautiful kids, ages 15, 13, and 10. He and I have stayed in touch for 19 years, living 1200 miles apart. We both love each other very much and we want to be together and finally have a life together with all of our kids.
He had an agreement with his oldest (15) that he wouldn't date for 9 months and I agree with that and respect that choice. The kids need time to greive and deal with what has happened.
I visited him last weekend after not seeing him for 4 years. The love between us was definitely still there and he said that he wanted me in his life. I am eager to relocate closer to him. However, he now says that his kids may never be ready for him to move on and date again. Should they be allowed to dictate that pasrt of his life? If they tell him not to date again, ever, should he honor that request?

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Asked by KZmom2 at 12:10 PM on May. 21, 2009 in Relationships

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Answers (9)
  • No. This is something the kids need to come to terms with on their own - you can not force yourself on them and either can he. However, he has the right, as an adult, to live his life how he wishes.

    However, out of respect for the children, I would try to not flaunt your relationship in front of them or at family functions for the first year or two...allow them to become used to the fact that you are in their fathers life and let them accept it.

    Answer by CarolynBarnett at 12:13 PM on May. 21, 2009

  • This is a really difficult situation. I know for me personally if my husband was to die while deployed I wouldn't remarry until all of my children were out of the house, I know a lot of people feel that you need to move on with your life, and live, and that it is what the other spouse would have wanted. I would feel obligated to my children to preserve the memory of their mother, and help them cope without having that other parent. I am not saying that you should not have a relationship, but I would think hard on relocating for something that might be several years away. I really hope that perhaps he changes his mind so that you two can be happy together. Don't give up, love like that is worth waiting for, and will be much more fulfilling when he is ready to move on.

    Answer by 2-1CavWife at 12:16 PM on May. 21, 2009

  • The kids just lost there mother. They deserve some time before he moves on. I would say AT LEAST a year. He needs that time too, whether you think they had a bad marriage or not that was his wife and the mother of his children.

    Be a friend to him now. It is not the time to put pressure on about starting a relationship
    (especially if you want it to last). The kids may come around in time and they may not. They will always see the next person in a odd light. If you think that next person may be you, you could work to build a relationship with them now...while you are not dating.

    Answer by Niki_sd at 12:18 PM on May. 21, 2009

  • I can imagine how they feel. The death of a parent is tramatising especially since they were young and the cause of the death of their mother. They may be dealing with if she wouldn't have stuck to the bottle she might still be alive. They probably witnessed so many things that could have been avoided. Therefore, it might take them so much more longer to get over it. I think you should wait and respect their time to grieve especially since they are young. Try to encourage him to seek counseling so they can help cope with it. The stage that they are in is a very crucial point in their lives because they are in the process of trying to figure out who they are. I would for the meanwhile respect their wishes like I said because they might not even want to talk to their dad if you do not allow them to get over it on their own.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:19 PM on May. 21, 2009

  • that would be crazy for me..he would allways compare you to her or allways be talking about her to you. it will drive you up the wall,its like women talking about their child's father or ex.........

    Answer by TopNotchMaMa20 at 12:27 PM on May. 21, 2009

  • He might want to wait a year after the death of his wife to start dating again. But letting his kids dictate if he can or can not date or marry,,is stupid..He might want to wait to marry or live with another women tell after the kids are grown. But the kids have know right to decide when and if the father can date,,he is the father not them(the kids).  If you want to move closer to him so you two can see each other more,,that's fine,,but don't push him into a serious relationship..It might back fire


    Answer by louise2 at 12:29 PM on May. 21, 2009

  • The kids need to understand that you are not going to be there to try to take their moms place. That is what my sister is having trouble with. My stepmom passed away from cancer 7 months ago and my dad is dating agian. My step sister is pissed! Till my dad talked to her she just felt that he was just forgeting about her and that hes trying to find someone to replace her. He just needs to talk to his kids about it.

    Answer by Shelii at 12:36 PM on May. 21, 2009

  • My personal opinion is that he shouldn't let a relationship get serious until atleast a year. On that first and even second anniversary of losing a person (whether it be parent, child or spouse, you're nowhere near thru the roughest part of grief).
    I would not relocate if I were you. If he's letting the kids tell him how long he has to wait, then you know who's going to be running the relationship right?
    I think if he said, my kids and I have talked (and I wonder why the kids would even have had that talk with him to start with, unless he brought it up), and we need this time as a family to heal... then I'd say, we've been friends all of these years, let's keep being friends and see where it goes. Be a friend to his kids if they'll let you. I'd go for visits but wouldn't relocate for the relationship without seeing how your kids and his will get along, and how the two of you would get along being around each other often.

    Answer by lisa_ann_p at 12:49 PM on May. 21, 2009

  • That's really his decision to make. These are his children & he has to live with them & continue raising them as he sees fit. If that means holding off on personal relationships until they're all 18, then that's what it means. Doesn't means that's what he WILL choose to do... but it is his decision.

    I know someone who had 5 daughter, lost his wife suddenly, then remarried within a year. ALL their lives have been a living hell since. The relationship the couple was hoping for never materialized because the kids were so miserable. The peaceful happy home they invisioned never happened & the husband recently died... leaving his wife & his children fighting over the house (among other things).

    My advice -- keep your distance & let them grieve. You don't want to strain the relationship your love has with his kids or theirs with the only parent they have left. When the time is right, you'll know it.



    Answer by Laura1229 at 12:57 PM on May. 21, 2009

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