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Devoted to discussion pertaining to those issues which are specifically relevant to people 45+. Topics must have a specific perspective of people in this age group for it to be on topic.

The story of Abraham and Sarah is told in chapters 11-25 of the book of Genesis.
Learn More:Abraham & Sarah

When my wife Mary Rita died, I had no intention of dating or remarriage. 7 months later life seemed to have other plans. I found myself in a relationship that was rapidly becoming romantic. This was way too soon! I was flummoxed. While I had not sought this relationship, it found me, and I wasn't fighting it. My grown children (7 from ages 17 to 34) did however. They became increasingly distressed to the point of throwing an intervention on me. We worked through the pain and the confusion and I am grateful to say everything appears to be healed and restored. But as I sought to understand the depth and strength of their distress, I discovered how difficult it can be for many children, even adult ones with children of their own. What has been your experience, if this is your attempt at a second marriage, be it for divorce or widowhood?

Nov 29th 2013 new
I'm sorry that your children felt that way.Is it possible that they were still grieving?I haven't had that experience.I don't know if having only boys affected this.
Nov 29th 2013 new
Hi Sherrill-ann
I found that you were absolutely right-on. I knew they were hurting, but what I could not work out was how to proceed. Should I abandon the relationship out of respect for their need for more time?
Nov 29th 2013 new
Larry, I am really sad for your family to lose such a key person. I remember when my uncle died and my aunt remarried. We did not even live close to them, but the thought of this stranger becoming one of the family was a weird feeling to me as a young high-schooler. In my mind he was just a faceless person. It felt kind of like she left the family, even though she hadn't. If we had met him, and had known him well, it wouldn't have been as strange, but when we visited he just kind of sat there like a fixture and did not feel the need to interact with the out of state cousins. I don't know how my cousins felt about it. Kids are really possessive of their parents because we are their rock, and they don't want to feel like we are being taken away from them. I talked to my 2 kids about dating, and my son, 26, said "go for it" and my daughter said, "Yes, I want a daddy." (She is 29, and always called him Daddy!) Part of her motivation is that after her dad died, her husband's dad was also diagnosed with brain cancer. When it comes right down to it, I think who the person is makes the most difference. Hopefully, the kids will love her as much as you do. Maybe it was just too soon for them. How long has it been now? When I originally looked at your profile, the thought crossed my mind, "Wow, big family, they aren't going to like some woman coming in and inserting herself into their family!" My kids trust that I will choose someone that they will like. Your kids should too, but might need to be reassured of that. And whomever you choose should respect the sentimentality of objects around the house, and not try to come in and make it her mission to wipe out all vestiges of her predecessor and "make it her own." You have a beautiful family. God bless.
Nov 29th 2013 new

Larry,
My children were only 10 and 11 when their dad died. There was no way they could comprehend after three years the depth of lonliness I still felt from losing him. By then, we were just getting used to our new normal. So, when I talked to them about my intention of joining CM and the possibility of my dating, it was meant with mixed responses.

After careful consideration and a long discussion on internet safety, my son asked me, "So, if you can date a serial killer off the internet, can I get a Facebook account?" That was the first time I could ever remember them both being a united front!

Aside from safety concerns, my daughter really did not want someone new coming into our home, changing/affecting her life. She had enough to deal with. I have been respectful of that, and now, three years later, they both have told me that I need a husband. I spoke with someone for a long time through this site and I'm sure they saw how happy I was and how sad I was when it ended. It showed them that no matter what, they will be cared for and always important. I think it also speaks to their maturing and realization that in a few short years, I will be here alone.

I always figured that losing their dad and then their pet a month later, had shaken their sense of security. I have worked hard to help them regain that. Someone described a family as a mobile. We move in a rhythm and balance until one piece gets pulled off. Then it is scattered and unbalanced for a while until the rhythm returns. Adding a new link to that will have the same effect. it takes time to find that balance. The main thing is to see that everyone knows that they are loved.

Nov 29th 2013 new
Thanks for addressing the need for stability:
- for children who have lost a parent
- for the bereaved spouse.

Too often our desire/need for love gets in the way of our considering what is best for everyone emotionally.
Nov 29th 2013 new
I'm sorry that happened, but doggone it, 7 months is too darned soon to be thinking straight. My mom remarried 7 months after a 42-year marriage, and although my step-dad was a very nice man, I think she later regretted it.

OTOH, we are adults, with 20-30 more experience than our kids. If I found someone to love and be loved by, my kids' opinions wouldn't count for much...unless they could show me a criminal rap sheet or horrendous credit report.

Similarly, whom my kids marry isn't my business, except in so far as I might see danger areas.
Nov 29th 2013 new
Thank you Ginia,
Your experience was very similar...
"the thought of this stranger becoming one of the family was a weird feeling to me as a young high-schooler. In my mind he was just a faceless person. It felt kind of like she left the family, even though she hadn't."
The kids felt like I was breaking up the family. Their Mom dying made them feel like their world had shattered and they didn't know who "they" were anymore as a family. Even thinking about remarrying felt like I had abandoned them. The idea of a stranger just being thrust upon their wonderful and comfortable memory and idea of "our family" felt terrible. They felt that the church community would be scandalized, their Mom's memory would be dishonored, and that, somehow, it was just unthinkable. The most amazing part was that they were convinced that this was how the whole world thought as well.

When I went online to surviving adult children, there were many, many forums of grieving children outraged at their parent. So I realized that this is not unusual. But I was shocked and deeply concerned. We were so close that everyone referred to our family as a "clump". I was afraid they would drift away and make their worst fears come true.
Nov 29th 2013 new
(quote) Marge-938695 said: I'm sorry that happened, but doggone it, 7 months is too darned soon to be thinking straight. My mom remarried 7 months after a 42-year marriage, and although my step-dad was a very nice man, I think she later regretted it.

OTOH, we are adults, with 20-30 more experience than our kids. If I found someone to love and be loved by, my kids' opinions wouldn't count for much...unless they could show me a criminal rap sheet or horrendous credit report.

Similarly, whom my kids marry isn't my business, except in so far as I might see danger areas.
Great point Marge
I have always talked with my guys about everything. And 7 months WAS way too soon. What was I thinking? Well the truth was that it wasn't about thinking. A wonderful person had stepped in to care for me and was in need of my help as well,...so there you go! As my Spiritual Director is wont to say..."Life is messy!"

I couldn't broach what was going on in my life with my kids as they were still at a point where they didn't even want to speak about their grief or acknowledge it for themselves, yet. So I tried to keep it on the QT. But that was even more of a boo-boo. They saw how I was becoming happier and they became suspicious of my joy. It was definitely the most difficult time we had as a family.

"If I found someone to love and be loved by, my kids' opinions wouldn't count for much"
One of the most interesting aspects of this time was how my children suddenly felt entitled to reverse the family roles. They suddenly felt the right to become my parent and to treat me as their children. Very weird, to say the least. I was forced to reassert my own adulthood and boundaries with love and understanding. I wanted my kids to know that I valued their "opinions" but as one of them said;. "what does my opinion matter if you won't do what I say?"

That was four years ago, and time does most of the heavy lifting in these matters. So thank you Lord!


Nov 29th 2013 new
Beautifully said Kathy,
"There was no way they could comprehend after three years the depth of lonliness I still felt from losing him. By then, we were just getting used to our new normal. So, when I talked to them about my intention of joining CM and the possibility of my dating, it was meant with mixed responses."

I believe it was John Bradshaw who used the mobile analogy for the describing the balancing in the family system. So much of our children's sense of self and security are borrowed directly from us and the familiar dynamic of "our family". Even though they may graduate from college, get married and have children, they may still be clinging to their "borrowed" identity which depends on us not changing. Our lives being "bumped by God" move us into uncharted territory. It is our journey and if our children have not yet seen us to be "people" instead of "my Mom" or "my Dad" then as far as they are concerned, we have just gone off the rails. Time for the net, Dad is off his nut. The pain of the loss of a spouse is nothing I would ever wish they could understand. May God preserve them. So they lack of understanding and empathy is not a lack of love, but it can sure feel like it.

Like you, my kids love for me finally engaged their adult hearts. They no longer saw just themselves, but they saw "me". Maybe for the first time. They saw "Larry". And they wanted me to be as happy as they were with their partners. Growth all around and God scores.

But it does not always happen so quickly, (4 years) or at all sometimes. Ouch.
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