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Noticed some of us here were widow/widowers.. Different from divorce?

stepsoftly's picture

I noticed on another blog post some of us SMs had 1st husbands who died for one or another reasons. Sunshine, JSmom & dabevans are some I see.

I also am a widow, and will be marrying FDH next year. I don't have any biokids.

What has been your guys experience with being with a partner with an ex and s-kids, when your previous marriage ended in a death? I know my FDH sometimes feels like he & I have been through the same thing, since he also "lost" a spouse through divorce. I am 100 % certain he and I have NOT been through the same thing. It's hard to explain to him though without sounding like "poor me." which is not my style Smile

I don't hold my late H's memory sacred, and I am not a walking shrine to him. But sometimes I feel like I wish I could honor his memory more than I can with FDH and SD8 such a living, active part of my life. I think they like to pretend he didn't exist... Sad

How do you guys handle these feelings? Is your late spouse a part of anyone in your family's life but yours?


Readytoscream's picture

My oldest looks exactly like my late husband, when I look at our 3 children I see him and miss him. My husband now still feels threatened by my late husband because my whole family loved him so much. We were childhood sweethearts and our families were and still are very close. Maybe I do hold my husband to certain standards that my late husband established. This is a subject that I haven't really thought much about before. I may need to speak to my minister about this.

stepsoftly's picture

In a way it's wonderful that you have your late husband's children to keep him a real part of your life. But I imagine it also must constantly refresh the tensions with your current husband, and constantly remind you of your loss. I sometimes wish I had had a child with my husband -- And sometimes I am glad we did not, it would be very complicated. But it sounds like you are living the hand you were dealt gracefully. It takes a man with patience to marry a widow with children and love them all with the inevitable comparisons. It is very hard not to compare the two men, and understandable that you hold previous standards. I know I do that too; for instance I do not like it when my fiance drinks any alcohol, even one drink, because that was the cause of my late H's death. But I try to remind myself this is a different man and he is allowed to live a different life.

Jsmom's picture

I was widowed 3 years before I met my DH. We dated for 5 years before marrying and I still feel guilty everyday for marrying again. It is what it is. I still talk about my husband and it does bother him. He says it and then I stop. But, my son is a reminder every day that his dad is gone. My late husband and I had some issues in our marriage, but nothing major and we would still be together, if he hadn't died. My husband knows this. I have mentioned to him many times, that I am actually grateful that I am widowed, because my late husband can't cause all the problems that his wife has. Sounds terrible, but being widowed I think is easier than dealing with someone else's parenting of your kid.

As for blending, I think this is hell no matter what. But, my DH doesn't have to deal with my late husband, he just has to be reminded daily that he would still be in my life had he not died. He however doesn't have to see him all the time, like I do with his Ex. I have relegated pictures of my late husband to one small bookshelf in the house. Her pictures are stuffed in the hall closet. That is the level respect that our previous spouses deserve right now. If I could get her pictures out of the house I would.

I don't think the guilt ever goes away, it just subsides. For me, there were several deaths for me in a short time and that has it's own issues. We used to joke that I had so much baggage. Now, my baggage looks so small compared to his.

stepsoftly's picture

Thanks for your thoughtful reply Jsmom. Maybe the time passed has something to do with it. I was married less than 5 years, he died in early 2008, FDH and I met shortly thereafter, moved in together (with SD8 50-50) within the year and have been engaged for a year now. It was very quick.

Jsmom's picture

You may want to go to a website for young widows. It helped me tremendously. There is a section for those of us that have moved on to our Chapter 2. Sounds like you didn't get to grieve very long. My first three years are such a blur after he died, I can't imagine I would have been much good to anyone, let alone a new husband. Give your self a break and talk to your new husband about how you are feeling. I was very up front with this husband early on and I think made it easier for me. I still feel guilty and my husband has been gone for 8.5 years. But, this husband does try to understand and I am grateful for that.

SteppedInIt's picture

I was with my late husband for 15 years (no kids). I have been with DBF for 3 years now. I don't have any pics of my late husband up in the house, and try not to talk about him very much out of respect to my DBF (DBF has no photos of BM anywhere either). It is hard, tho, when I am reminded daily about BM due to phone calls, texts, and the skids retelling stories about what they used to do "as a family"'s like I'm expected to erase my past, but they aren't.......I don't think DBF gets it. It's hard sometimes.

stepsoftly's picture

I don't have any photos of my late H up either. I do have a painting he painted for me and gave to me, up in the house. There are some photos up of BM in our house, but they are all in SD's room and that's Ok with me. I would totally agree with those who have said it is easier as far as not having that other parent in the picture at all. I guess that's also the problem in its own way; because he is not here, it is such a contrast to my fdh's ex-wife, who is so much in our lives and I am constantly dealing with her in a way they don't have to deal with him. It is as you said, SteppedInIt, I have to relive their past all the time and mine is supposed to be never mentioned. I guess I sound selfish when I put it that way. I have not said anything about this to FDH, it would cause him pain to think I have not moved on or something. I respect, adore, love and support him completely and feel like we have something far better than my late H and I ever did. It's more of a feeling that my past should be somehow negated by my current happiness and family... I don't like that.

Jsmom's picture

That is exactly why I won't take down all the pictures of my late husband. He is a part of my and my son's life. My DH may not like it, but tough. I have moved them to where he doesn't have to see them daily, but I am not taking them down completely. I loved my husband and by putting him in a box completely, diminishes that relationship and he didn't deserve that.

Stepsoftly and steppedinit - you should honor their memories in some way. Whether it is a discussion with your current husband or a picture up or a candle lit on the anniversary. Something that shows that you remember them. I can't imagine not acknowledging him and my late son in some way.

Every year on my late son's birthday, I do something with the kids. They don't know what for and I don't say anything, but I feel better.

As for your DH's hurt feelings - tough... He will get over it. Also, how could he not understand a wife having feelings for her late husband. If he died, would he not want you to mourn him in your own way in your own time????

SteppedInIt's picture

I think you're right that you need to do something to honor your late husband. I do things - but subtly.....I have one of those Starbucks photo mugs that I leave on my desk at work - it's fully of photos of my late husband, but no one really notices it so it doesn't 'creep out' my co-workers. On his birthday, I always wear a Hawaiian shirt - I just don't explain why I'm wearing it Wink . If I had a child with him, then, like you, Jsmom, I would make sure that my child knew what a great man their father was.