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The "halo" syndrome for widows/widowers

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#1 User is offline   toadota

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I just saw a movie called Chances Are, starring Cybil Shepard and Robert Downey Jr. It is from 1989, I think. Cybil's husband died 23 years before, and she was unable to allow herself to fall in love again because she couldn't stop loving her dead husband. Her shrink called it the "halo" syndrome. I have never heard of this, but I think I have it! My wife died 7 years ago, and I keep looking for that same love, and of course I can't find it. It gets in the way of every romance I get into. Does anyone know about this problem that happens to widows and widowers. I want to learn about it and how to get better.

#2 User is offline   misskate

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You will never be able to find the same relationship or person again. Allow yourself to be open to differences. There's a whole new world out there. Have you moved the furniture around? Cleared out all the memory nik-naks, closets, display pictures? To open yourself up you must have room in your heart and home. It sounds like your wife was a lovely woman - were you all that to her? or was she just super forgiving? Getting in touch with yourself within the relationship with your late wife may also help you in establishing a new relationship. And remember, it's a NEW relationship where the woman wants YOU to focus on HER. After all, She's focused on YOU - isn't she?

#3 User is offline   the_admin

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Only our experts are to reply to the posts please.
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#4 User is offline   misskate

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woops sorry! perhaps that ability should be blocked to prevent people from responding to one another

#5 User is offline   the_admin

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Then users would not be able to respond to our experts, if they needed to.

We do post this information on the sign up page and there is a box that you must check to agree to this rule.
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#6 User is offline   Yvonne Kelly

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You need to ask yourself and be honest about a couple of things. First of all, do you think you've given yourself the chance to really grieve the passing of your wife. I know it's been 7 years, and you might think that this has happened, but sometimes we let a lot of things get in the way of our grieving and accepting that someone is really gone can be the hardest part. It can also make it really difficult to move on with your life. You could consider getting a professional opionion where grief counselling is concerned, even if it just to understand where you are at and if you have more work to do.

The other piece, once you have accepted that your partner is gone, is to begin to look forward to a new life that will not be necessarily any less, or any more than your life with her, but different. Accepting that there are new things ahead of you that you haven't even allowed yourself to consider or anticipate can be freeing and exciting. Moving on is also not an indicator that you are forgetting the past. But it does mean that you are not letting the past, as good as it was, control and impede you from moving on and having a new life.

No one will ever be the same person that your first wife was, and to measure everyone against her or that love, will certainly destroy your chances for love with someone else. It is difficult for you to live with these comparisions, and even more difficult for anyone who wishes to partner with you. It's okay to be with someone new, even someone very different than she was and to learn a whole new way of being with someone else and loving them. This is the next journey of your life and you should embrace it with anticipation and a spirit of adventure, when you are truly ready.
Yvonne Kelly, MSW, RSW, Certified Stepfamily Counsellor and Coach, Co-Founder and Director of the Step and Blended Family Institute

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