How soon is too soon for a new relationship?

41 posts in this topic

Posted

My friend's wife died last year very suddenly and unexpectedly. They have been together for 25 years. He is now alone with their teenage daughter, teenage son and 12 year old daughter. He told me that apart from being sad and devastated about his wife's death he is really scared about being alone.

 

Only a few months after his wife's death he found a new girlfriend. I was part shocked, because it was so soon, and part relieved to know he wasn't alone anymore. He now wants to move to another town with his new girlfriend, but his children are very upset. They don't want to come with him and want to run away from home.

 

He has been my friend since Kindergarten and I really care about him, so I wonder if his decision is good for him and his family. Is it really possible to start a new relationship so soon after a long-term partner's death?

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Posted

Thanks PCDonkey. I was hoping to hear this answer for him, but as you say it is a whole different story for his kids.

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Posted

I'm always concerned about people moving away and leaving their support systems of family and friends. Is it the friend or the girlfriend who wants to move to another city?

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Posted

I think it is both of them and part of it is for financial reasons, as his wife provided a large part of the family income.

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Posted

My wife and I had this conversation just the other day. We have two friends who are currently in comas, one of whom is a woman with 2 young children. My first reaction to the news that she was in a coma was, "oh poor <insert first name of her husband here>".

 

Women seem to do much better without men than men can do without women. The thoughts that flashed through my mind were of me trying to work while taking care of 2 children (our oldest doesn't live with us anymore). Obviously my next thought was about the lack of sex for a while. Not to reduce the role of women to that of mother/sex object, but those are, in fact, two very big roles, of many, that they fill.

 

I don't see it as an insult to the mother at all. I see it as the need for love, support and companionship that only a woman can provide.

 

I think having your partner in an endless coma is even worse than having him/her die. You still have those needs for love and companionship, but can't get closure or move on. You live a life waiting for him/her to either come back to you or to die... That would suck.

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Posted

I don't think it's too soon, and the kids will adjust to the move.

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Posted

I will just add that, 10 years down the road, his kids may feel the same way.

 

I know personally cases of fathers remarrying years after losing their wives and even adult children not accepting the "new mom" (how they see it) for years if ever. Especially here where the kids see the interloper getting part of their inheritance.

 

In this case, it does seem a little soon but I don't know these people. I have to ask how much quality time the dad is getting with his kids now that they need him so desperately. Raising kids is a full time job then comes his work and courting this new lady.

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Posted

This sort of thing is personal to everyone so I don't think there is an answer to the question.

 

It's the sort of thing that requires hindsight to know and even then, should the relationship not suceed it does not mean "cos it was too soon"

 

As far as kids go - like a bad marriage it can come to a point where staying together for the sake of the kids only harms the kids. In this situation you have to ask which would be more harmful to the kids, a depressed, possibily resentful father or the new relationship.

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Posted

I have a friend who is the step-mom in a similar situation. Kid was 12 when his mom died of cancer, and his dad met my friend I think 6 months later or so. They didn't get married for a year I think, and much of the relationship was long distance. It had been the mother's hometown, and the extended family were there, so even though the father & my friend didn't have other ties to the town, they made the conscious decision to stay living there because it was the *kid's* home.

 

They figured he'd had enough crap to deal with. They are all doing really well right now, and since my friend does honour his mother, talks to him about her, etc., and doesn't try to replace her, the kid is pretty happy. It is more difficult for both parents staying in this town, but she says it is definitely worth it. Now if they couldn't make enough money, that would be a bit different. But what about the new girlfriend's income - if they live together, wouldn't she be contributing to expenses?

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Posted

Yup, all of us motherless children have our different stories. It takes a rare breed of woman to be a good stepmother that can take the place of the real mom, much like a substitute teacher will suffer at the hands of another teacher's students it takes a real love of the new children in her life and not just the man she is going to marry. A widower can be an easy mark for a golddigger.

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