Woman says she was stuck in a widower mess. She found marrying a widower is risky.
By Tom P Blake - Finding Love after 50
Hopefully, today's story about dating a widower will prevent others from making a similar mistake. At least that is Sharon's hope. She wrote to say she is dating again after a "disastrous" widower dating relationship.
Sharon spoke of her widower, "He was married for 36 years; has 3 kids - very happy marriage. His wife had breast cancer that went to a brain tumor, causing her death. This will be five years in March.
"We knew each other from work in the 70's; bumped into each other four months after she died. He said he was ready - I had doubts. Although he is very emotional I believed he was ready to move on."
How can someone who was happily married for 36 years be ready for a relationship four months after losing one's spouse?
Sharon and the widower dated for a year and married--a year and a half after the widower's wife had died.
Sharon continued, "The first year was ok, but he started regressing. Anytime he thinks of her or talks about her (which is often) he cries-sobs. He started to move away from me and his adult daughter who looks just like her mom started to take her place as far as companionship goes."
Widowers need time to heal. Sharon was a fill-in person who provided companionship for the widower during the time that reality for him started to bubble to the surface.
Sharon said, "I tried to get him to go to counseling; he refused. The second time (six months later) I asked him again to go to counseling he strongly refused saying he wanted a separation. I moved out; he served me with divorce papers and he's still crying about the loss of his wife.
"He is on Match.com trying to find a replacement for his first wife. It is sad, because I do not think he will be happy until he deals with his issues. Tomorrow is our court date. I am not asking for anything, but he is afraid I want money. I will be happy to get this over with because for the last 1.5 years it was like being a renter; I paid rent, paid his medical; did the yard and house work.
"And, as a side note, I was nowhere on paper other than the marriage certificate. Hard lesson for me: make sure they are ready to move on."
Sharon says she's learned from her experience. "I also am now trying to pay more attention to those red flags that we usually dismiss during the first year of dating. If I had only listened, I might not be stuck in a widower mess. (Not to mention, if she hadn't been in such a big rush to marry the widower).
"I also have learned from many relationships that it pays to become friends first; get to know the person's good and bad traits. The men I was friends with first are life-time friends; the others are history."
Comment from Tom. Sharon rather blindly jumped into the marriage without protecting herself. She knew there was risk involved with marrying this widower. But, beyond that, she should have made provisions to protect herself financially in case the marriage (to anyone, widower or not) didn't work out. She must have wanted to be married so badly that she didn't negotiate a decent bail-out strategy.
Friends, don't make the same mistake. Remarrying at our age should include the protection of both parties in case it ends poorly.