Running into relationship problems with a widower?
Relationships can be challenging at the best of times, but dating a widower comes with some additional challenges and potential issues.
In this article, I’m going to run through some of the most common relationship problems that come with dating a widower and how you can overcome them:
10 Common Relationship Problems with A Widower
1. They’re Still Grieving
One of the main issues with dating a widower is that they’re grieving, which is understandable.
People grieve in different ways and take differing amounts of time to come to terms with the loss of a partner.
Some may be ready to date soon after their partner passes, while others may need years to reach that point.
The same applies to how a widower feels while they’re dating someone new as all kinds of emotions can be stirred up.
2. You’re A Rebound Relationship
Another common problem is that the widower may be using you as a rebound relationship.
They may not be ready to date but start seeing someone new as a way to forget about the pain of their loss.
This can lead to all sorts of problems down the road, so it’s important to be aware of this possibility from the outset.
3. They Might Struggle to Open up And Communicate
Widowers can often struggle to communicate openly and honestly about their feelings, which can lead to problems in the relationship.
This is understandable as they may feel like they’re betraying the memory of their late partner by moving on, but it can create tension and misunderstandings.
This is why it’s essential that you open up good lines of communication early on, and if you’re not ready to talk about or hear certain things, you need to question if you’re ready to be in a relationship with a widower.
4. You’ll Always Feel Like You’re Second Best
This is the most common complaint I hear from people dating widowers.
It’s only natural to feel like you’re second best when your partner lost their ex instead of breaking up with them.
No matter how much they love and care for you, it can be tough to shake the feeling that you’re just not good enough.
If you’re struggling with this, it’s important to have a heart-to-heart with your partner and express how you’re feeling.
5. There Might Be Constant Reminders of Their Deceased Partner
Some widowers will keep reminders of their ex around the house, such as photos or keepsakes.
While this can be hurtful and difficult to deal with, it’s important to remember that they lost someone special to them.
If it becomes too much for you, talk to your partner about it and see if there’s a way to compromise.
6. Their Friends and Family Might Compare You to Their Deceased Partner
Another problem you might face is being compared to the late partner by their friends and family.
This can be hurtful and make you feel like you’re not good enough or you are always being judged, but try to remember that they also cared for their loved one.
This is one of the many things that will lessen over time, as difficult as it is to deal with while it’s happening.
7. They Might Never Be Over Their Ex
Something you’ll have to accept is that a widower may never be over their ex.
In fact, I think most widowers will never fully be over their deceased partner, it’s just a matter of how much it’s affecting them.
This doesn’t mean they don’t love you, but it can make things difficult at times.
8. They May Feel Down or Guilty when They Have Fun with You
This is a part of the grieving process for most, but it’s also something that can linger long into a new relationship.
Your partner may feel guilty when they’re out having fun with you and enjoying themselves.
They might feel like they’re betraying their late partner’s memory by moving on and being happy.
This is something you’ll need to be understanding about, as it can be tough for them to deal with these emotions.
9. There Will Always Be Triggers
There will always be triggers that bring up sad memories for your partner.
It could be something as simple as a song on the radio or a commercial on TV, or the fact that they stay in touch with their late partner’s family.
It’s important to be understanding and patient when these things happen and try to see things from their point of view.
10. It May Never Feel Like You’re 100% Committed to Each Other
This is one of the most difficult things about being in a relationship with a widower.
You may always feel like you’re not fully committed to each other because they’re still grieving the loss of their late partner and didn’t get closure.
It’s important to communicate with your partner about how you’re feeling and see if there’s anything you can do to ease their pain.
But ultimately, you need to decide if you’re okay with being in a relationship where there are always reminders of their ex.
If you love them and they feel the same it shouldn’t be an issue, it’s just one of the things you’re going to encounter when dating a widower.
How Do You Know if A Widower Loves You?
This is a tough question to answer, but I can’t blame you for wanting to know the answer.
I think we all want to know our partners love us, but with the added insecurities that come with dating a widower, it’s normal for someone in your situation to ask.
The best way to know if a widower loves you is by either asking them or by observing how they treat you – or a combination of both of these things!
If you’re feeling insecure in your relationship, it’s always best to communicate with your partner and see how they react.
The Important Thing Is to Be Yourself!
I can’t stress enough how important it is that you be yourself when dating a widower.
It’s easy to try and be someone you’re not or try to be more like their ex, or to put on a persona that you think will make them happy.
But ultimately that’s only going to lead to problems down the road.
You need to be genuine and honest with your partner if you want the relationship to work out.
And if they can’t accept you for who you are, then maybe it’s just not meant to be.
Image credits – depositphotos.com/stock-photo-happy-senior-man-woman-couple
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.