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This room is for those who have lost a spouse and need support or who can provide support to those who have.

Saint Paula is the patron saint of widows and Saint Stephen is the patron saint of deacons
Learn More: Saint Stephen and Saint Paula

05/01/2012 new

Men, please don't make light of this subject!!! It borders on ridicule; this is not the topic or time to hijack this thread. I'm furious that you guys posted what you did!!!! it's no laughing matter.

05/01/2012 new

(Quote) Linda-756196 said: Am I the only one that feels like the pariah?
(Quote) Linda-756196 said: Am I the only one that feels like the pariah?
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I probably feel more like an outsider than a pariah. But then I have always been different. To pick an example from today, I am both an artist and an engineer, an unusual combination.

I was married for more than half of my life, and almost all of my adult life, so I am having to learn/relearn dating, the singles game, etc.

I am very active, to the point that I think that it puts off some people.

Based on some of the feedback that I have received, many people seem to see my profile as both attractive and intimidating. Attractive because of all the things that I have gotten to do, all the opportunities that I have, and because I retired early. But intimidating because of some of the things that I do, like skiing experts only slopes and white water canoeing; most people don't think that they can keep up with me. Like you, I do not expect people to keep up with me. The only people who I hang out with for whom I am normal are the Over the Hill Gang ski group; many of them are older than I and skiing hard, and most of them are well educated, retired and very well traveled. Unfortunately I have not found a suitable lady in the Over the Hill group, hence I am here.

You are not the only one who sees themselves as different, or who other people see as very different. I would say that I am in a very similar situation to your situation.

Richard

05/02/2012 new
(Quote) Richard-831657 said: I probably feel more like an outsider than a pariah. But then I have always been differen...
(Quote) Richard-831657 said:

I probably feel more like an outsider than a pariah. But then I have always been different. To pick an example from today, I am both an artist and an engineer, an unusual combination.

I was married for more than half of my life, and almost all of my adult life, so I am having to learn/relearn dating, the singles game, etc.

I am very active, to the point that I think that it puts off some people.

Based on some of the feedback that I have received, many people seem to see my profile as both attractive and intimidating. Attractive because of all the things that I have gotten to do, all the opportunities that I have, and because I retired early. But intimidating because of some of the things that I do, like skiing experts only slopes and white water canoeing; most people don't think that they can keep up with me. Like you, I do not expect people to keep up with me. The only people who I hang out with for whom I am normal are the Over the Hill Gang ski group; many of them are older than I and skiing hard, and most of them are well educated, retired and very well traveled. Unfortunately I have not found a suitable lady in the Over the Hill group, hence I am here.

You are not the only one who sees themselves as different, or who other people see as very different. I would say that I am in a very similar situation to your situation.

Richard

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Richard, you live in a beautiful city and I would be surprised if you weren't active there. I lived in Colorado Springs for ten year. I would still be there, but there were too many memories with that city. I sure miss my CO, though. I appreciated your note. I do not dislike myself, I embrace the inner Sasha Fierce, but it is very difficult relearning and trusting myself in being single. I am so much warier, you know?
05/02/2012 new

(Quote) Linda-756196 said: I do not dislike myself, I embrace the inner Sasha Fierce, but it is very difficult relearning and trus...
(Quote) Linda-756196 said: I do not dislike myself, I embrace the inner Sasha Fierce, but it is very difficult relearning and trusting myself in being single. I am so much warier, you know?
--hide--

Linda, I did not mean to imply that we dislike ourselves, more that it is sometimes awkward and inconvenient to be very different. I don't ever remember not being different. One advantage of being an artist is that people expect you to be different. ;-)

You are right of course, people in Boulder Colorado are very active. Supposedly Colorado is the thinnest state in the nation, and Boulder is the thinnest city in Colorado. People in Boulder get out and do things. My friend three doors down is in his mid-50s, he does adventure racing, and he and his spouse have done a rim to rim to rim run across the Grand Canyon. The retired couple across the street ride their bikes constantly. The family next door take multi-day mountain biking trips in Utah. Actually, I fit right into Boulder, except politically. Like many or even most Boulder residents, I am outdoor oriented, reasonably fit, enjoy international travel, and am educated. But I am pretty sure that you are in better shape than I am. ;-)

If you get to the Denver area sometime, I will buy you a cup of coffee. We have a lot in common, except that I have no military background. As I am sure you know, Colorado springs is politically conservative, religiously conservative, and military oriented. Boulder is very politically liberal, generally religiously liberal, and of course a university town. Kind of polar opposites, 100 miles away. The standard joke about Boulder that it is 20 square miles surrounded by reality. My version of that joke is that Boulder is a nice place to live, but it is best not to confuse it with the real world. When I retired we could have moved anywhere, even considered moving to Mexico, but why move when you live in a nice town?

I remembered one more thing that you and I have in common. Just like you were older than your husband, my wife was older than I, and yes, occasionally someone would think that I was her son....... Another thing, just like you, I teach English as a Second Language, in my case in a homeless shelter.

I don't feel terribly wary, although really I should be wary. I have a big disadvantage in the dating universe, in that I am not good at reading people. I kind of make up for it by being cautious, trust but verify. Just in the last month or so I found out that a lady I met was not who she appeared to be; luckily she was honest and told me. So I should be more wary, to make up for my lack of skills in reading people. My spouse was good at reading people; It may seem strange to think this way, but I could really use her good judgement right now, to help me pick an appropriate lady. Maybe I should not reveal my lack of people reading skills, someone might think that they could take advantage........

Of course, we lost our spouses in different circumstances, one without warning in a war zone, one over a period of years due to cancer. Some of your wariness may be tied to your sudden loss, while we had years to adjust to the situation. But I am sure that you and I are both tough enough and smart enough to land on our feet. It just may take a while to adjust to our new situation and find the right person........

Hang in there, keep the faith, you are not alone.

Richard

05/02/2012 new
(Quote) Linda-756196 said: I was married for 23 years. Phil was almost six years younger than I am, but he had such a baby face that people ...
(Quote) Linda-756196 said: I was married for 23 years. Phil was almost six years younger than I am, but he had such a baby face that people still apologize for the loss of my son. Why is it that having five kids aged me and not him-sadness? Any way, I am 50 and I feel like a freak of nature. I know what it is like to be loved well for a long time. I have five grown children. Many people my age are bitter or just want options. Many think they are going to have to compete with a man who died a hero. Many people my age are not as active as I am (small; understatement). Although I do not expect people to keep up with me, it does set me further apart.

It is strange to be making decisions and choices for myself after spending my whole adult life married. It is strange to be trying to figure out the singles game again. I wasn't good at it the first time.

Am I the only one that feels like the pariah?
--hide--
You know the old saying you are only as old as you feel. I am determined I am not all that old....so just know God will heal your heart & make you young again. Sending prayers for your healing of memories.... angel And know God will send you someone special when you least expect it....I never will forget how happy Andrew was that I had started dating again when he was . Always a independent spirit he worried that I would be lonely when he graduated college & moved off..... angel scratchchin
05/03/2012 new

My life shattered in a really big way in April. The shattering came from people who I trusted really hurting me and betraying my trust in a hard month. In another month, or another time, I probably would have had a few bad days and then I would have found laughter and hope, yet I have never felt more alone and afraid. I wept today. Many of you know that I detest the way I feel after I break like this and I feel out of control when the tears fall. Today, I lost control and I fell yet again to my knees. I ran to my chaplain where I found a safe harbor from the raging storms that are buffeting my life. I found foothold and something to think about.

I have studied the book of Job in April. I have clung to the promise of life restored and blessed, yet my chaplain caused me to take pause. Yes, Job's life was blessed, but how does one replace people--children and spouses? One cannot. While I believe that the fairy tale is possible again, right now I feel like all people see is a broken version of me. They do not see my strength, resilience, faith, or loyalty. I wonder the desolate desert looking for an oasis, but I find none. I see a promise from God made last June, and I truly believe that promise, but God's timetable is not mine. In Job 42:5, Job says, "I had only heard about you before, but now I see you with my own eyes." I am waiting. The time is not now. Maybe not for a long time.

I am looking for something to go right in my life. I am looking for a soft place to fall. I am groaning from the depths of my heart. I know that God hears me and is carrying me. If more is asked, I pray that I am worthy to stand in his presence. I fall to my knees and I am looking for the threads of hope wafting through the darkness. I rarely weep, and this April was harder than last April, but in the darkness there is but one choice--to fall into my faith. I fall into my faith, but I reach with my hand. I cannot do it alone. I sometimes need the life perserver. I have my hand raised. I am reaching. Even if tomorrow does not bring hope or peace, I know that it will oneday come. Hope will sneak up on me and I will see the blessings in work, relationships, my life, and my destiny. I wait in the darkness. I wait with expectation. Help will come.

05/03/2012 new

Linda, my heart goes out to you for all your suffering and the strong, painful emotions surrounding you. I offer you my prayers for peace and healing. So many widows told me: "It doesn't get any better". That scared me and made it worse--if i was going to be in such pain for years and years--I knew that I couldn't face it/handle it. So many people offered prayers for me and I prayed and prayed that God would grant me peace and acceptance. God, how I prayed and couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel.


But, God did hear all those prayers and supplications on my behalf! It'll be 3 years on May 9th; actually the evening before Mother's Day and these last 6 weeks have been a miracle for me. I am at peace and have accepted that Tom's gone; I'm not angry anymore and I've accepted my new life--actually embraced it. It is a miracle. I'm smiling again and thank God that He blest me.


God hasn't forgotten you. Keep reminding yourself of that--He hasn't and won't forget you. I used to say that these months and years better count as time off in purgatory--the suffering was so keen, so sharp. One day, we don't know when, but one day God will grant you peace and so many graces. You must hang in there and hold onto that hope. Don't give up.


I saw my psychiatrist for medication refills in March and at that time, when he asked how I was doing, I replied: I'm managing. I could be better; I could be worse. And shortly after that all changed. Please, Linda, if you're not on medication, please see someone. It might be short term, or longer, but, you might need some extra help to get you through these times. You've gone through such horror; we can't begin to know it. Turn for help to those that have the expertise. Obviously, your principal doesn't. Turn to the support groups and go there--talk or listen--but go!


PLEASE write and let me know how you're doing. I care about you.

05/03/2012 new

Make no mistake, I am not giving up. I seek help and I run. I won't be taking medication because prior to April, I was doing okay. I know I will again be okay. My Lent resolution was forgiveness. I truly felt that this was tested by every one close to me in my life. I have a network of people walking with me--not in person, but we have a military widows support group. We get together--me less than the others because of where I lived. I thought about a compassionate reassignment, but when I prayed, the answer was to wait. I believed and I still do that God brought me here. I will not drown. I may break and bend, but even then god is faithful. I believe. For me, medication is not the key. I have a major medical issue and I do not need any other meds. I am usually okay--maybe because of all the running?


Having an off month or off week does not mean that I do not have a survivor instinct. I could never harm myself for two reasons--faith and my children. I couldn't do that to them.

06/24/2012 new

(Quote) Linda-756196 said: The people near my age are married, thus, it can be very lonely.
(Quote) Linda-756196 said:

The people near my age are married, thus, it can be very lonely.

--hide--


I am realizing that everything I ever read about widows and widowers losing their social connections is true. My wife was the extrovert, and the house was always filled with people.

But as a widower, married women can't really have any kind of friendly relationship with me for fear of causing scandal. And married men don't want to hang around with a widower because they see him as a threat to their marriage.

I'm still trying to figure out how to create a new social circle at my age...it's not easy. I'm trying to attend more charity events, on the theory that it is a waste of time to worry about trying to date. I just need to be out and about in the community, and have people see me around and be thinking, "I know someone he might like to meet."

And because I have a bit more free time, I'm starting to return to some activities that were more difficult to pursue when I had more spousal and family obligations (my last child is headed off to college in August).



06/24/2012 new
(Quote) Andrew-865848 said: I am realizing that everything I ever read about widows and widowers losing their social connectio...
(Quote) Andrew-865848 said:


I am realizing that everything I ever read about widows and widowers losing their social connections is true. My wife was the extrovert, and the house was always filled with people.

But as a widower, married women can't really have any kind of friendly relationship with me for fear of causing scandal. And married men don't want to hang around with a widower because they see him as a threat to their marriage.

I'm still trying to figure out how to create a new social circle at my age...it's not easy. I'm trying to attend more charity events, on the theory that it is a waste of time to worry about trying to date. I just need to be out and about in the community, and have people see me around and be thinking, "I know someone he might like to meet."

And because I have a bit more free time, I'm starting to return to some activities that were more difficult to pursue when I had more spousal and family obligations (my last child is headed off to college in August).



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MY whole social network has shifted and it is uncomfortable. I spent my whole adult life as a military spouse. I was really good at the separations because I knew how to keep the home fires going. I was good at the multiple moves--I was the positive spin master which is probably why four of five of my chilren are military. I thrived in that role, but my last child and Phil were gone very close to the same time. To say that I have felt adrift and thrust into a midlife crisis that I never would have had is a small understatement. I run a lot--13-16 marathons a year, but running has been God's gift to me for 35 years. I wrote my first book which is something I always wanted to do, but at the end of the day, the weekends and summers are terrible. I choose to keep moving and I choose happiness. I do not know when or how, but I believe that I will find ways to feel the holes in my life. I suppose the issue is that I am pretty predictable: I am a great mom, but my kids are out of the house and all over the world. I work and coach, but I don't want that to be what defines me. I run, but again, running is solitary. I write, but the blogging book is done. Hmm. Maybe I need to take up ...????Suggestions? It won't be being a Suzie Homemaker--no sewing or gourmet meals for this girl. Skydiving? Scuba? Canoing? Camping? Suggestions? TV and ball sports are no goes!
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