An Open Letter to the Future Man Dating My Wife:

datingmywife

The day I died was the most devastating day my wife has ever experienced. The pain of my loss took her on a journey that tore her apart and left her gasping for air. Like the mythical phoenix, she emerged a stronger version of herself. She is now more beautiful, compassionate, and resilient.

It is likely that you feel strong pangs of jealousy over me. You might feel like you are in competition with me in many ways, but you are not. You need to remember that just because her love for me will never dim doesn’t mean her capacity to love you is limited. She has an infinite capacity to love you with her whole heart and soul the way she loved me. I can promise you that to be loved by her in that way is heaven. However, you have to allow her to do that by allowing her to continue to love me.

You may wonder how it is possible for her to love me with her whole heart and soul and to still have room to love you with her whole heart and soul. Well, let me tell you how. Remember when you had your first child? You held that sweet baby in your arms. You breathed in his sweet scent as you kissed his soft little forehead. Your heart was filled to overflowing as you stared into his eyes, and you thought: how could I ever love another human being as much as I love this little boy? Fast forward three years later and your daughter is born. You hold that sweet little bundle in your arms. She wraps her tiny little fingers around your thumb and a tear trickles down your cheek. You notice your heart swells with even more love. You know that you do not love your son less now that your daughter has been born. Your heart has grown to love both equally and uniquely.

That is the magic of the capacity of the human heart. It has an infinite capacity to love. So, as you date my wife please remember that she will need to be true to her feelings for me even as she develops a relationship with you. We are not in competition. I was her yesterday. You are her today and tomorrow.

Here are some things that will help her honor me and love you even more.

  1. Allow her to keep some of my things in a special place. Allow her to take those things out on birthdays, anniversaries, and other special times to honor the place I held in her life.
  2. Don’t force her to get rid of things I bought for her. Let her decide what to do with the wedding ring, special jewelry, and other items of importance. Remember that just because she holds onto these items doesn’t diminish the importance of the gifts you give her. She will cherish those because of the unique and loving relationship you will have with her.
  3. Give her space to grieve. Grieving is a process. She may need to be completely alone on the day anniversary of the day I died or the day of my funeral. She may need to celebrate my birthday with the children we had together. Don’t try to erase the memories we shared or the significant role I played in her life. Give her the time to remember me.
  4. Remember that dating a widow is different than dating someone with an ex-. We had a loving relationship that neither of us decided to end. You are dating the woman of my dreams, the love of my life. We had our good times and we had our bad times too. You do not need to feel like you are competing with a ghost. I cannot come back.
  5. Always share how you are feeling. Allow her to share how she is feeling. Make sure you make time for each other. Your relationship with her will be different than the relationship I had with her. That is the way it should be.

 

I know that at times it will be extremely challenging to love my wife. It is hard for anyone who is dating or married to a widow or widower. It comes with its own unique challenges. However, you also get the benefits of a spouse who knows how to love someone, how to build a life together, and how to endure unimaginable pain and come through it a new and stronger human being.

So, please be careful with my wife’s heart. It has already been through so much. She truly is an amazing woman. Any man who has the opportunity to love her is a truly blessed man.

25 Comments

  1. Bawling. Lost my fiance 3 months ago. Don’t know if I’ll ever be ready to date but this made me hopeful.

    1. Lost My fiance Nov. 18, 2018. Miss and Love him so much. I am definitely not ready by far. I am so sorry for your loss.

  2. This is amazing. This is truly the best thing to give to anyone dating a widow or a widower. They might see and understand the difference of a widow. That is dating someone .
    Honestly I was. In tears I was thinking that I wish my husband wrote this

    1. Did your husband have pictures up of other women he was intimate with when you were married to him? How would that make you feel? Why is it “ok” to do that to someone simply because someone died? There is no difference. Marriage ended. If it isn’t appropriate in a divorced spouse situation then it isn’t appropriate for a deceased one.

      1. There IS a very large difference. In divorce there is a choice between one or both people to dissolve the relationship. In a widow/widower situation both wanted to still be in the relationship, but it was cut short because of death. Neither of them wanted to end the relationship nor had a choice in the end of their partnership. It’s not like they can contact them or rekindle anything because they are dead. You can call or text or communicate with a living ex. If you ever experience this type of loss (which I sincerely hope that you never do), you would definitely be better able to differentiate the feeling between the two ending. Coming from someone whose partner died, there definitely IS a difference. I have photos and things of my deceased partner around our place and my boyfriend has no issue with it.

  3. Thank you for this blog post. It’s beautiful and unique.

  4. This is obviously written by someone recently widowed. Please don’t date until you have processed your grief and given it quite a bit of time. I an actually a widow myself and would never have gotten into a relationship while still feeling this way. You see a relationship is about both people’s feelings, not just mine. Grief can make people forget this.

  5. A beautiful write up.

  6. So very beautiful and touching. I lost my husband unexpectedly 2 years ago and can’t imagine being able to love anyone like I loved him but your analogy of having children is so true. I remember that feeling of thinking I couldn’t live another child like I loved my first.
    Thank you for this, it truly touched my heart 😢❤️

  7. I love this! Living it!

  8. Wow her first husband seems very selfish not to understand that she should let go and be truly happy again. Oh wait, he’s dead so in reality he really doesn’t care what she does now, so maybe she should just focus on the new man that deserves the same loyalty her late husband had.

  9. This is very disturbing to me. I am dating a widower and this just makes me feel like I’m getting less than what I deserve. A person in a relationship should give 100% of themselves to their partner just as their late spouse had!! Totally unfair otherwise.

  10. This is exactly what I needed to read one year and month after I lost my husband if 20 yrs who didn’t wake up one morning at the age of 60 yrs old.

  11. Very touching on this one … Thank you for sharing.

  12. This is bad advice. No one wants to be a third wheel in any relationship. Marriages end when one spouse dies. Sure have a few private moments on certain days but then move forward. If it isn’t appropriate in a divorce situation then it is not appropriate in a deceased spouse situation. The dead spouse didn’t live in the shadow of a former relationship and the new person deserves the same respect.

  13. As a man, dating a widow, I agree with this article 100%. If you feel like you are in competition with someone who is no longer here, you should probably get some counseling for your own insecurity. It takes a very secure person to love someone who will never stop loving the lost. If you can’t do that, do everyone a favor and date someone else.

    If you don’t give your partner the freedom to continue the grief process, you are harming them – part of that is letting them express pain, sadness, and memories (both good and bad). Anything less and you are stifling his/her growth and healing.

    Instead, learn about the greatness of the bereaved and learn to love that person posthumously, yourself. Be grateful that the person you love, was loved so well in return.

    Learn to be the “bigger person” and remember that grieving is a lifetime ordeal, not a matter of months or years. The grieving will lessen in intesity, but it will always be there in some shape or form.

    I’m so thankful that I get to be with an incredible woman who has such a deep capacity to love me. Part of loving her, is accepting what made her the woman she is.

    Be grateful instead of jealous. Be supportive instead of frustrated. Try to understand. Just love, and you will be loved in return.

    1. This is so true. To not allow them to still hold onto the precious memories is like asking my boys to forget their Dad and the Amazing person he was, it would be coming home at holidays to not see any part of their life. Now they get that part and the new part. I am a widow and in a relationship, very much in Love and give 100%. Actually he gets a better deal, because now I don’t take a moment for granted. I make sure he knows how much I care ( maybe sometimes too much) none the less, you should never be asked to get over it. When people say that to me I get over them.. cause I will never NOT, honor the man that played such a big role in how I love and our 2 wonderful boys. When the man in my life accepts their Dad, they will accept him 100%. You Grieve forever it just gets easier with time. But never goes away. Everyone is different. With Great Love comes with Great grief. But Great Love again! Stay true, never let go. And Love like today is your last day!! Forget the negative people. A man is soooo very attractive when they are compassionate and unselfish to see where your journey has been and where it is going!!!

      1. Gabrielle, I couldn’t have said it better. I loved my late husband so much and I’m really looking forward to loving again. I have so much to offer. I won’t take it for granted!

    2. Couldn’t say it better, loss of a soulmate and husband is definitely not a picnic…to understand the horror of loss is like losing your arm or leg. Its not how you deal with the loss, it’s how you cope without out it. Finding yourself again, and learning to love again can be extremely challenging. Time allows the healing, but to have someone by your side who understands the hurt and allows you to grieve indefinitely…while still giving 100%…is the only way to love unconditionally and completely. I am who I am today because of my journey in my past…I cherish those moments of yesterday. Moving forward to cherish those around me who support my endeavors to survive and live in the moments of life today.

  14. Love the comments by the man Gabrile. It shows true compassion and love. The person one is now is molded by their past. The people in your past have affected who you are today. You are more likely to not take a second love for granted because of your pass loss.

  15. I loved this piece. I lost my husband just over a year ago and I can totally relate to this. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Author

      I am the author. You have my permission. Please include the link to the blog on your website and you can use it. My name is Miriam Robertson so please also include that as well. I’m pleased you like my article.

  16. This is perfectly written. To those that made comments that don’t agree, that aren’t widowed, you truly have no clue!!!

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