General Question

Jude's avatar

For those of you who have lost a parent (and your parents were together/married), when the one parent who's living first started dating again, how long was it before you were able to "deal with it"?

Asked by Jude (31980 points ) June 14th, 2009

Deal with it well…

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

8 Answers

chyna's avatar

My mom was 45 when my dad died. She is now 79 and never dated. I was very sorry for her that she didn’t go on to find love again, but she said my dad was the love of her life and she could never find that again.

juwhite1's avatar

I’m married to a man who lost his wife. He has two children from that marriage. I know it is very difficult to try to understand as the child of a parent who has moved on when you aren’t quite ready for that. Something that might be helpful is that there is research in this area that indicates that people who were happily married and loved their spouses a great deal are much more likely to get into a new relationship, and to do so sooner, than those who were in an unhappy marriage. Knowing how wonderful their relationship was, and how fulfilling that was for them, causes them to want to have a new relationship… it is almost out of respect for the one they lost, as strange as that sounds to people on the outside of this. This is especially true for widowed men… unlike women, who will tend to talk about their innermost feelings with several friends and relatives, men tend to only talk about that kind of stuff with their wives, and they need to have that one person in their life who they can talk about their emotions with. I know you want your remaining parent to be happy, but it is also full of conflict for you, as it may appear that this is somehow disrespectful to the memory of the parent you lost. From my perspective, my relationship with my husband is very close, open, and honest, in large part, because of how much he loved and continues to love his late wife. I had a very rocky start with his children, because they were not ready to have a new woman in their dad’s life, but that does get better over time, and now, we are able to have conversations like normal friends would. I’m not trying, and don’t want to be their replacement mother… they had a wonderful mother and they don’t need a new one. Maybe just trying to get to know the new person for who they are, but not feel like you have to welcome them in as a new family member will help. Your parents chose each other… people’s taste in others doesn’t tend to change much. If the parent you lost was a good person, it is very likely that the new person your remaining parent chose is also a good person, even if that is very difficult for you to see at this time. There is no timeline on these things… you’ll get there when you are ready, but be careful not to set up walls to try to completely avoid this either… you still need to maintain a relationship with your remaining parent, and be open about your feelings without attacking the fact that a new relationship exists.

casheroo's avatar

My husbands father did not die, but his parents have been divorced for I believe 8 years, and his mother still hasn’t dated. We want to set her up with some Christian Dating, but it might piss her off more than anything.

knitfroggy's avatar

My husbands dad remarried about 3 years after my mother in law died. When my FIL was dating the new MIL my husband had major denial issues about the whole situation. He refused to acknowledge that they were sleeping together or anything other than friends. It took him about a year to accept his dad’s new wife. She has been a fantastic grandmother to our children and has never been anything but good to my husband and myself. My husbands mother hated my guts, so it’s been really nice to have a good relationship with the new MIL. My husband loves her now too, so it makes it all good.

Kayak8's avatar

My dad died when I was 18 and my mother (who was only 39 when my dad died) married again when I was about 24. All of us kids loved my stepfather. He was just a great guy.

His two kids lost their mother about the same time we lost our dad so we had each lost a parent to cancer (both had been sick for about 2 years before they died) so our experiences were very similar. Both parents had lost a spouse to similar circumstances and I think that made it easier for all of us to welcome the new blended family that was created as a result.

SuperMouse's avatar

My dad starting dating within a year or so of my mother dying. I was pretty young and wasn’t all that fond of the old man bringing someone in to take Mom’s place. He dated many women over the years, had two very serious relationships, and finally remarried after 20 years. I guess you could say I am ok with it, I never have and never will refer to this woman as my step-mother, but she is nice enough. I take a lot of comfort in knowing that my mom was the love of my father’s life and everyone he’s dated since then pales in comparison.

CaptainHarley's avatar

My father died of acute mylocytic leukemia quite a number of years ago. My step-mother waited about a year before informing us she was going to marry some guy from her church. I didn’t have much of a problem with it, perhaps since she was my STEP-mother, and also because I wanted her to be happy.

GracieT's avatar

My mother died in 1992. I was in a coma for one and a half months after her death, and so even though I was told soon after I started to come out of the coma I didn’t really know until several months after it. I actually told dad that it was ok with me (before he did!) if he dated again, because once I’d recovered enough to move away from home he’d be alone. I told him that it was a compliment to mom for him to want to meet someone as quickly as he did. When he introduced us to her 8 and ½ months after mom’s death and then married her 1 and ½ years after mom had died I wasn’t as quick to accept her. I still go through phases of not liking her every once and a while because she is NOT my mom, but overall though I think that I am ok with her because she makes dad happy and not be alone. My mom would have wanted that because of how much she loved him.

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