After Bereavement

For anyone who is bereaved or no longer providing care.
Hi,

I'm sorry if ppl take offence at this post. That's not my intention.

I've just turned 37. My partner died 26 days b4 her 50th birthday. I am male and my partner was female.

I'm having trouble with the sex thing. Since I'm still young(ish) I don't know when is appropriate for me to start looking for members of the opposite sex. I also have trouble coming to terms with the fact that my partner (whom I had sex with, obviously) is now deceased. In my times of loneliness at night I have problems with other things. I'm not sure how explicit I'm allowed to be or how explicit ppl would want me to be but I'm sure u get the idea.

I'm not sure I've worded this very well or expressed all I want to say but I hope other ppl can give me some suggestions.

weemart
I think Nature will 'take its course'.

But it may well be emotionally complicated.

Being widowed, (I am as well) there is the emotional implication that taking another partner, even if a fleeting one, can be a 'betrayal' of one's deceased spouse, that it can almost amount to 'adultery'.

I think this will fade, and I would say, speaking personally, that providing one continues to honour the memory of the person we loved and has died, and honour the love we had for them, and still have, in the sense that we never stop loving them but they are simply not here in this world for us to express our physical love for them any more, but if we keep that 'respect' in our heads and hearts for them, that finding happiness with someone else is not to dishonour the person we loved and lost.

In practical terms, I think it depends critically on how old we are perhaps. I am so very, very grateful that I lost my husband in late middle age, and to me, therefore, I have no 'physical need' of choosing another partner. But if I were your age, then I would hate to think I would have to spend the rest of a long life alone....however much I loved, and still love, my husband. (This is not to say, of course, that other people my age, or older, cannot find 'second love' - or perhaps 'second emotional involvement and companionship and physical closeness', second time around.)

Perhaps it is similiar to having children. No one would say we can only love one child, and that if we have a second, we must stop loving the first one. So, too, it must be possible to have loved someone, lost them to tragic premature death, and then find another to love.

As for any relationship 'less than love' well, I would say the same 'emotional rules' apply as to all relationships, whether or not widowing is involved - ie, that we treat all partners, whether fleeting or not, with respect and regard, honesty and kindness. It may well be that the 'first new partner' you have is not one that you will form a long-term relationship with, and that you choose them for comfort, and for healing, and even, yes, perhaps for release, but so long as you are upfront about your situation, show that you love, and still love, and always will in some form love your lost partner, and treat her with kindess and respect, as well as passion and desire, then even if that relationship does not last, it will not have insulted or exploited her.

I wish you well after such sorrows as you have experienced and endured.
Although I haven't lost my partner, I do have a few things that might be of help to you.

Firstly, I feel that you will know when the time is right to find a new partner. This varies from one person to another - some people can be ready in a matter of months, while others take years. How long it takes isn't the important issue, what is important is that you don't rush the process and move on only when you are ready to.

Even if you are not yet ready to find love again, there's nothing wrong with finding friends who just happen to be female, then in time you might decide to take things a little further. We all need social interactions to be healthy.
Statistically, widowers find new partners faster than do widows. ie, they stay solo for less time. Sometimes only a matter of months.

Sometiems this is the right thing, and sometiems it is for the wrong reason, that it's a sort of desperate kneejerk reaction to being alone, so you grab the first suitable female to 'staunch' your wound, and give you companionship (and physical release too). But even in those circumstnaces, where it might be 'too soon', those swift relationships can solidify, and providing, I would say, you still set aside time for mourning (we HAVE to mourn at some point, though not everyone mourns straight away, sometimes it is deferred for reasons of self-preservation, and we mourn only when we can truly cope with it without cracking up completely), then a speedy second relatoinship is not always inadvisable.

Statistically, of course, there are far more widows than widowers in this world, as women tend to live longer - but this is at the 'old' end of the spectrum, and will not really be relevant to yourself.

May I recommend that you take a look at WAY? It is an organisation - Widowed And Young - specifically set up for those widowed (and anyone losing their life's partner is a widow/er!) below the age of 40. I joined it's big brother organisation, WAY UP, for those widowed over40, and found the forum (which is very like this one!) immensely helpful and supportive.

It's a place where one can scream one's head off, vent all our pain and anger and grief, jsut as here, we can vent all our frustration and anger (like yours at the NHS!!!!), and know that you will be understood, and that others are going through the same.

http://www.wayfoundation.org.uk/Screen/Home.aspx

PS - be wary of lots of other online groups, that have 'widow' in them - a lot are, well, to put it politely, 'dating agencies' (some probably are genuine dating agencies mind you, and some not exactly interested in minds and personalities!!!)
I could have the wrong end of the stick weemart but I think what you are describing is missing being intimate with some one. Not just the sex thing but little things, touches, smiles having some one who 'knows' you. Only you will know if its the right time for another relationship. Just keep yourself safe. I'm nearly 18 mths on from my hubby dying and at 46 would hate to think that I'm going to be on my own for ever.
I had a very happy loving marriage for 34 years, widowed at 54, with no warning. We always said that if anything happened to one of us, we would like the other to find someone else so they weren't lonely - we were pretty well joined at the hip, happily. So I know if I found someone else special it would be with my husband's blessing. But the practicalities of being a carer for two people and having a life of my own have been too challenging. In order to have a good second relationship, you need to mourn the first - don't think that a new person in your life is going to help in this respect. I know someone who started dating a friend of her husband within a month. They went too fast, too quickly. It's caused endless problems. So take it steady.
You may find that it is impossible to 'bond' to someone who has not been through life's grinder, as you have. In a way, the ideal partner for a widower is a widow - as both of you know exactly what it's like to have loved and lost.

Not saying it has to be like this, but it makes emotional sense.