Widows and Widowers: Dating and Remarriage After the Death of Your Spouse
Views about how a recently widowed man or woman should ‘behave' have been altered immeasurably over the years. Long gone are the set periods of time for mourning a spouse, and the biblical notion that a widow is obliged to marry her deceased husband's brother has all faded from today's modern society.
But once the searing pain of loss subsides, bereaved men and women, widows and widowers, are often uncertain about what their future holds. Friends and family may urge them to look for another partner (or encourage them to never find another mate), or your own needs may eventually have encouraged you to dip your toe into the dating pool again. And then once a possible partner has been found the anxieties arise again. You begin to wonder about other people's views and expectations. So are you planning a remarriage?
It is surprising how old worries may surface. Even fears of being considered unfaithful to a loved husband or wife. And yet, if you began to date again when you felt ready, and had the fortune of finding yourself in a loving relationship again, why should you not take the opportunity of a second chance at happiness?
Of course, this time around things will be different. Anyone who has been married already comes with memories of a previous relationship. These may be loving and happy ones, or in some cases they may be painful or bitter. So it is important to know that you have given yourself time to grieve over your loss, and that you are not simply filling a void left there by the death of a life-partner.
Love, this time around, may feel differently to the heady falling-in-love of a younger man or woman, and yet maturity will have taught you that there are many different ways of loving. Love can come at any age. Who said only the very young can fall in love? And you may have been surprised when you felt once more a surge of sexual feelings which you thought had gone for ever.
If you have kids, then you will, I am sure, have taken the time to help them get to know your new partner. Don't take their acceptance for granted! Depending on their ages they will have different reactions, and don't be surprised if there is some embarrassment about mother or father falling in love and planning a wedding! Children, of almost any age, find it hard to think of a parent as having a sexual urge.
The important thing is to talk to your intended about everything: money, children, where you will live, different habits and routines you like. And be prepared for change. Be flexible enough to know that you will need to make some compromises too. Planning a wedding after the death of a spouse may bring up some bittersweet memories - perhaps for you both. Be kind to each other, talk to each other about the past, and recognize sensitive issues. Don't begin to fret that your partner is into comparisons, and don't get caught in that trap yourself.
And the wedding? This site will help you to find the answers which nag away at any bride or bride-groom-to-be. ‘What size wedding?' And, a very important question, ‘Who will give the bride away?' Well, no one is really "given away" anymore but rather escorted down the aisle. You may find many choices with children, and perhaps grandchildren wanting the honor.
What to wear? Well, I am sure you have every confidence in your choice of what suits you, so make sure you please yourself and look your loveliest. After all you are the bride or groom, so look to the future and celebrate your love for each other on this special day.
© Jill Curtis
If you have been widowed or are a family member of a widow or widower, and you have any questions about remarriage after the death of a spouse that hasn't been addressed on this page, then please ask the experts.
If you have a family member who is in some way incapacitated by age or disability in NY of PA visit Pennsylvania Guardians for assistance.