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Old 02-09-2013, 05:52 PM   #1
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Death of a spouse and dating? How soon is too soon?

Okay, first, IMHO there is no concrete time period since it is such a personal decision.
But face it, it IS something almost every married person or their surviving spouse is going to face.

I post this because I have had two friends....both men....lose a spouse, one was actively dating 3 months later, and one 6 weeks later. Both seemed a little soon to me. Now, both had wives who had life threatening illness for 10-15 years prior to their deaths, however both has been considered in "remission" for many years and both had very sudden declines, literally days after a potential delapse was discovered.
It is something my wife and I have discussed, and we both are of the "one and done" mind set when it comes to spouses.
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:54 PM   #2
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Such a personal situation. Some people aren't ready in a couple years; other people in just a couple months. I wouldn't judge another person because I don't walk in their shoes.
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:55 PM   #3
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Six weeks? That's crazy soon.
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:57 PM   #4
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Have you beat...my dad started dating 3 weeks after...he had a slew of offers for coffee dates from women that came to the wake...it was surreal.
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:57 PM   #5
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I've been told that it's normal after a long illness for the survivor to remarry soon. My buddy did very soon. His wife (my friend) was very sick for years. He was left with 4 small children.He told me he grieved while she was still alive and declining. He asked the Priest about it and was told it's normal. He married a mutual friend of ours not long after and they have been married many years now.
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:58 PM   #6
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From what I've observed, men tend to remarry very quickly. Usually it's men who were very happily married. I think they miss the companionship. Off the top of my head I can think of about half a dozen guys who were in a new relationship within 90 days, and married again within the year.
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:59 PM   #7
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I think some men NEED to be married or they are lost. This usually describes men who have been married for a long time. When the spouse dies, the single women come out of the woodwork-almost literally. For some, the initial approach is made at the funeral. I don't know how a man who is lonely combats this enslaught. My sister and I always said that instead of going to our mother's funeral, we would clean out the house of family heirlooms because our dad would be bringing home a woman from the funeral. He never cheated but he needed a wife, care giver, companion. He died first; she never even entertained the idea of dating and she was beautiful, intelligent...that's probably why. (sorry, just had to get that joke in there!)
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Have you beat...my dad started dating 3 weeks after...he had a slew of offers for coffee dates from women that came to the wake...it was surreal.
I have seen that too. A wealthy buddy of mine's wife died after a long bout of severe diabetes. He is a good looking guy as well. The single ladies were lined up at the funeral. True story.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
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From what I've observed, men tend to remarry very quickly. Usually it's men who were very happily married. I think they miss the companionship. Off the top of my head I can think of about half a dozen guys who were in a new relationship within 90 days, and married again within the year.
I agree with this. About 15 years ago the 33 year old wife of a coworker died very suddenly of a brain aneurysm. They had 2 young boys and a 2 week old newborn girl. The husband was a mess after her death, just devastated. 9 months after his wife died, he was married to her best friend and a year later they had a baby. Raised a lot of eyebrows at work (a high school where the gossip amongst the students was crazy), but they're still married today, so something was right.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:16 PM   #10
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Have you beat...my dad started dating 3 weeks after...he had a slew of offers for coffee dates from women that came to the wake...it was surreal.
Same thing for my dad when my mom died. It made us uncomfortable.

I was talking to a counselor about it then (dealing with the death of my mother) and he said that in general the happier someone has been in their marriage, the sooner they will start dating. It makes them bullish on relationships. People who have been unhappy will tend to want to be alone for a while.

But I agree OP, you can't know til you've walked in their shoes. Handling grief is so different for everyone and there is no right way.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:23 PM   #11
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My dad started dating not long after my mom passed. She was only 36 at the time so he was still young (and had 4 kids at home). My mom passed in June and I think around September is when he met my step-mom, although he had dated a few women before her. They married that March. So that was what, about 6 months after they met and 9 after my mom died. She was 23 at the time. They've been married for almost 38 years now. I love her to death and never consider her my step-mom, only when people get confused should I mention her age.

Now some people will say that was way too soon for him to marry, and also to marry someone so young (my oldest sister was 19 at the time. ) But like others have mentioned, my mom had been sick a very very long time. Before she came home to die she had been in the hospital for over 250 days. So I think that plays a huge part in things. All I know is he was happy and to me that was all that mattered.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:31 PM   #12
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I think men are more apt to date and marry sooner than women.

In my FIL's case, he was dating within 60 days and married within 6 months. He said he wanted someone to take care of him. He never did any housework, laundry or anything cooking wise except for grilling so he didn't have a clue after my MIL passed.

I know my husband would be the same way - he'd be looking for a woman who would take care of him and the house. I do everything around here because he could care less about a clean house or clean clothes and saving money cooking at home and he'd be lost trying to figure it out for himself - he didn't even call a repairman when our fridge quit working while I was out of town for a week. That was fun to come home to.

Me - I'd be fine alone. I'd get a dog if I felt the need for companionship. I really want to get one now but my husband says No dogs again.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Have you beat...my dad started dating 3 weeks after...he had a slew of offers for coffee dates from women that came to the wake...it was surreal.
My granddaddy did just about the same thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acklander View Post
From what I've observed, men tend to remarry very quickly. Usually it's men who were very happily married. I think they miss the companionship. Off the top of my head I can think of about half a dozen guys who were in a new relationship within 90 days, and married again within the year.


Yep. I agree with this to a point. My granddaddy met and married a money hungry woman right after my grandmother passed away. This was her fourth marriage. All of her husbands had died before her and they were all wealthy. She took every penny from their families and ours. My granddaddy got married because he needed someone to take care of him. Unfortunately, she was only after his money.

My Papaw, who had a wonderful marriage to my other grandmother, never remarried. He dated a woman for years, but they never married and never lived together. I think he was much happier.

My mother waited 10 years before she dated anyone after my daddy passed away. She only dated a few, and later married my step dad. This marriage is nothing like the marriage she had with my dad. It's more of an arrangement. She said if she had to do it over again she would stay single.

I'm not sure what I would do if it ever happened to me. I hope I never have to make that choice.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:50 PM   #14
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Before the funeral is too soon.

I know people who have remarried within a year when the deceased spouse had a long term illness. The surviving spouses began mourning before the spouses passed away, which is understandable. I think it's a different situation if the spouse has died suddenly.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:56 PM   #15
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I lost my husband to cancer almost five years ago. I have not yet dated. My husband and I had been together since we were 15 years old and I buried him on our 34th wedding anniversary. I just can't picture myself with anyone else.

I agree with the others who say men seem to really need to be married and that when they are widowed they "bounce back" sooner. Not always, of course. My father was the exception to that rule. My mother died suddenly at age 66. They had been married 47 years. He was widowed eight years before he got involved with another woman. They were together (did not marry) until he died at age 89.
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