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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

I friend posted this link on my FB wall. It's from the FB page of OneFitWidow. Her soon-to-be husband wrote this. I thought it was very good advice for those who find themselves in a relationship with a widow/widower.

Marrying a Widow - The Other Man

In two days I will be marrying my beautiful fiance, Michelle. She will become my wife, but I am not so sure I will be the only man she thinks about for the rest of her life. In fact, I am pretty sure she will also be thinking about, remembering, and honoring another guy - because she is a widow. When we first met three years ago I had no idea she was widowed. I just knew that Michelle was this beautiful, caring, brilliant, sexy person whom I had so much in common with. We talked about traveling, hiking; our kids, living healthy, being adventurous, and so much more, all of which made me fall in love with her from our first date on. I learned that she was a widow and had lost her husband in a small plane crash. I too had lost my best friend in a plane crash, which was yet another thing we had in common, albeit not a good thing. I had not spent much time around widows or for that matter ever dated a widow, but I was willing to try. I learned about the term chapter 2, which refers to a second chapter in the life of a widowed or divorced person. In a way, Michelle had become my chapter 2 as well because I am divorced which comes with its own set of baggage.

I really didnt understand how to act or what to say in the beginning of our relationship. I would hold my words or chose them carefully in hopes of not opening up a wound or seeming insensitive. Time and experience have allowed me to get better about speaking my heart but Im still learning and will continue to do so for the rest of our lives. Our relationship was very fragile in the beginning; we were experiencing all of these firsts that all couples go through, first date, first hike, first dinner, first kiss and so much more that were bittersweet. For us they were incredible exciting, but for her (I can only guess), they were those things as well but also sad and heart wrenching. She never thought she would be experiencing these firsts again, especially with someone other than her husband, the man she married years ago. Meeting her kids was exciting for me, but for her - I was not her husband or more importantly their father. I was not the one who was there at their birth or heard their first words. Something else I thought I would never say or even thought about doing was meeting my girlfriends in laws. That is not something that happens a lot. That had to be one of the toughest things I have done in this relationship. Without a doubt (I can only guess), one of the toughest and most awkward things Michelle has ever had to do as well. I was meeting these two wonderful people and basically standing in the place that their son would have stood in had he not have died so tragically. Becoming their daughter in-laws new man and being their grandkids new daddy were things I could never even imagine comprehending from their viewpoint. I would see pictures of the whole family and hear stories of fun times, which has, and will continue to be full of mixed emotions from me. I wasnt in those pictures, it was another man, I wasnt in those stories, it was another man. On one hand I wanted to be this strong confident guy who wouldnt let the baggage of widowhood bother me and on the other hand I felt out of place and just wanted to start fresh and create our own baggage. It was a complicated process that has taken some time to maneuver.

I have learned and grown a lot over these past few years being in a relationship as a chapter 2. I have learned widows do not move on, they move forward. I have learned widows grieve at different levels and move forward within there own time frames. If you are a chapter 2, dont hurry the relationship too fast; it will progress at its own speed. I have learned to not always try and fix things because a lot of the emotions are not directed towards or caused by me. A lot of times I have no control over how she is feeling, so I let her and the kids have their space and just hold them so they feel secure and safe. I have learned to be the best daddy on earth I can be and to understand there will always be a need for the kids and Michelle to talk about their dad, especially his characteristics, his funny stories, his memories. I have learned it is alright, and pretty amazing to have two sets of in-laws who are understanding to my position in their daughter/daughter in-laws life, and have accepted me by continuing to make me feel welcome. I have learned widows feel deeper emotions and live fuller lives everyday and for this I am very thankful and continue to embrace.

If you are a chapter 2 who is not quite sure about the relationship you are in - stick with it and be honest and understanding to them. You will enjoy life and love at a whole new level!

Keith
Jun 26th 2014 new
(quote) Kimberlie-1059215 said: I friend posted this link on my FB wall. It's from the FB page of OneFitWidow. Her soon-to-be husband wrote this. I thought it was very good advice for those who find themselves in a relationship with a widow/widower.

Marrying a Widow - The Other Man

In two days I will be marrying my beautiful fiance, Michelle. She will become my wife, but I am not so sure I will be the only man she thinks about for the rest of her life. In fact, I am pretty sure she will also be thinking about, remembering, and honoring another guy - because she is a widow. When we first met three years ago I had no idea she was widowed. I just knew that Michelle was this beautiful, caring, brilliant, sexy person whom I had so much in common with. We talked about traveling, hiking; our kids, living healthy, being adventurous, and so much more, all of which made me fall in love with her from our first date on. I learned that she was a widow and had lost her husband in a small plane crash. I too had lost my best friend in a plane crash, which was yet another thing we had in common, albeit not a good thing. I had not spent much time around widows or for that matter ever dated a widow, but I was willing to try. I learned about the term chapter 2, which refers to a second chapter in the life of a widowed or divorced person. In a way, Michelle had become my chapter 2 as well because I am divorced which comes with its own set of baggage.

I really didnt understand how to act or what to say in the beginning of our relationship. I would hold my words or chose them carefully in hopes of not opening up a wound or seeming insensitive. Time and experience have allowed me to get better about speaking my heart but Im still learning and will continue to do so for the rest of our lives. Our relationship was very fragile in the beginning; we were experiencing all of these firsts that all couples go through, first date, first hike, first dinner, first kiss and so much more that were bittersweet. For us they were incredible exciting, but for her (I can only guess), they were those things as well but also sad and heart wrenching. She never thought she would be experiencing these firsts again, especially with someone other than her husband, the man she married years ago. Meeting her kids was exciting for me, but for her - I was not her husband or more importantly their father. I was not the one who was there at their birth or heard their first words. Something else I thought I would never say or even thought about doing was meeting my girlfriends in laws. That is not something that happens a lot. That had to be one of the toughest things I have done in this relationship. Without a doubt (I can only guess), one of the toughest and most awkward things Michelle has ever had to do as well. I was meeting these two wonderful people and basically standing in the place that their son would have stood in had he not have died so tragically. Becoming their daughter in-laws new man and being their grandkids new daddy were things I could never even imagine comprehending from their viewpoint. I would see pictures of the whole family and hear stories of fun times, which has, and will continue to be full of mixed emotions from me. I wasnt in those pictures, it was another man, I wasnt in those stories, it was another man. On one hand I wanted to be this strong confident guy who wouldnt let the baggage of widowhood bother me and on the other hand I felt out of place and just wanted to start fresh and create our own baggage. It was a complicated process that has taken some time to maneuver.

I have learned and grown a lot over these past few years being in a relationship as a chapter 2. I have learned widows do not move on, they move forward. I have learned widows grieve at different levels and move forward within there own time frames. If you are a chapter 2, dont hurry the relationship too fast; it will progress at its own speed. I have learned to not always try and fix things because a lot of the emotions are not directed towards or caused by me. A lot of times I have no control over how she is feeling, so I let her and the kids have their space and just hold them so they feel secure and safe. I have learned to be the best daddy on earth I can be and to understand there will always be a need for the kids and Michelle to talk about their dad, especially his characteristics, his funny stories, his memories. I have learned it is alright, and pretty amazing to have two sets of in-laws who are understanding to my position in their daughter/daughter in-laws life, and have accepted me by continuing to make me feel welcome. I have learned widows feel deeper emotions and live fuller lives everyday and for this I am very thankful and continue to embrace.

If you are a chapter 2 who is not quite sure about the relationship you are in - stick with it and be honest and understanding to them. You will enjoy life and love at a whole new level!

Keith
Thank you Kimberlie, for posting this. I think this is great information for all people who have been married before, both widows and the annulled.
Jun 26th 2014 new
This was on my military widow web site. Every time I hear of a widow or widower finding a chapter two, I am given a spark of hope. You see, I do believe there will be a chapter two. I do not know when, but I know what God keeps telling me when I start doubting--Yes, I do believe in modern miracles. I am like a doubting Thomas, but each time there is something so strong, so surreal, and so miraculous that I know. I loved this blog below because this man got it!
Jun 29th 2014 new
Very beautiful.
thank you for sharing
Jun 29th 2014 new
Wow. They are going to get married but he doesn't know what she thinks and is categorizing her based on what she's been through instead of who she is.
I found much of what he says to be immature and presumptuous. I hope she's more mature than that.
Jun 29th 2014 new
Marge I think that is how he felt for awhile, but I think he has gotten to know much more in the years they have dated.
i think Keith sounds like a nice guy and is taking on a family that he apparently did not have-he didn't mention any children from his previous marriage. How wonderful for those children to have him to help them grow up. I wish them all the best.
Jul 4th 2014 new
clap thumbsup

Well written.I have never heard what the person coming in feels before.You just see signs from others that they have issues.eg an ex-boyfriend ,who got married ,said that he had his children it was only then you realised that this was an issue he never discussed.
How and when do you discuss or should you discuss issues that may affect the person coming into the family?
Jul 4th 2014 new
Thanks, Kimberly.

This brought up some things I never thought of. I know it will be awkward to tell my inlaws or even my stepchild that I am interested in someone. I never thought what that will be like for the man I'm interested in. I also like the idea of taking it slow. Let things progress naturally, because all those firsts come with memories of a loss. I think it takes someone special to be able to step into the leading role for chapter two!
Jul 17th 2014 new
This past year, I became a widow, for the second time. My most recent deceased husband was a widower whom I met at at widow and widower's club around a year after my other husband died. Losing someone one loves through death is exceptionally difficult and is made more so by those who seem to think they know best as they advise "get over it." I doubt I ever will get over it but have noticed time does help heal the worst pain and I know it is more productive to start over and move on than wallow in self-pity. That letter expressed the reasons it was so easy to love my most recent late husband who was a widower, His own experiences were apparent in the insights within that open letter.Respecting and sharing memories of loved ones helped us deal with the pain of losing spouses who had blessed us with children we loved. Among his many great qualities was he never expected nor even seemed to want me to bury memories with the husband I never stopped loving. That is why the message from the husband about the other man struck a cord with me. He was aware that his future wife's memories of her previous husband needed to be part of their life together. While each person is different and some took issue, I fully agree with that message, To me love is about caring about every aspect of a person, including memories. Mutual respect and understanding is the best place to provide the kind of foundation that will best support a rewarding new life together.
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