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Dating soon after loss of wife
This is especially so if at the time of the spouse's death, both partners shared a profound love. The role of imagery and counterfactual thinking is central in widows.
It is true that profound love is less likely to perish, but it can perish nevertheless. But that doesn't mean that it's not love." The important lesson to be drawn from Janine's moving description is that love can be different; looking for the same love with another partner can be devastating, as no two people are identical.
Hence, there is no reason to assume that one's heart is not big enough to include several genuine loves in one's life. It is not wrong that your new love is different from the previous one.
She has to cope not merely with the new situation of loving two men at the same time, but also with the shift in the way she has loved her deceased husband: a shirt from a relationship with a physical companion who provides active support and love to one who is no longer alive and cannot be active in her life (see here).
In the romantic ideology, profound love should last forever.
Although the late spouse is physically absent, the widow's love for him can remain — and even grow. In a recent study by Bar-Nadav and Rubin comparing the issues facing bereaved and non-bereaved women when they enter new relationships after a long-term one has ended, the bereaved experienced themselves as having changed more, but it was the non-bereaved who reported greater meaning in life and saw their life change as more positive.
Dating soon after loss of wife
New widows (and widowers) face a range of circumstances in which their decisions are likely to be different. The growth experienced by the non-bereaved at this stage of life is likely to be less conflicted and more positive, and while the growth of the bereaved remains present and distinct, it lags behind that of their peers...Here I will discuss three such central circumstances: (a) adapting to a new love while still loving the late spouse; (b) tending to avoid a new marriage or relationship, as it doesn't seem worth the effort; and (b) falling in love with another man almost immediately. Bar-Nadav and Rubin argue that the experience of loss and its aftermath are reflected in the fact that widows feel greater hesitancy than their peers do about engaging in intimacy with new partners.(Most of the claims presented here apply to widowers as well.) Adapting to a new lover The case of a widow's love for a new person is different to that which pertains when a regular love affair occurs after a previous one has ended. These concerns about intimacy arise from the anxiety that they might lose someone again, their fear of opening up to new relationships, and their concerns about not maintaining fidelity to the deceased spouse; all these issues enhance their tendency to avoid intimacy.In most cases of widowhood, if there was a positive attitude toward the spouse during his lifetime, this is enhanced. In a sense, the new lover brings the widow back to life.This is due both to the tendency to idealize the past and to our sense of propriety in not speaking ill of the dead. As Annabel, a widow, said to her friend who ignited in her the desire to make love: "Thank you for bringing me back to life." The widow faces the challenge of entering into a new and meaningful spousal relationship without letting the former relationship be forgotten or denied.The lover is perceived to be "the sunshine of my life," and for many, without such sunshine, decay and death are all around.Even in one of the darkest periods of history, the Holocaust, people fell in love, despite the risks of expressing it.There's an odd 'divide.' I love both of them, one here and one gone." It seems that we are blessed with a heart that is very flexible and can accommodate various people at the same time. I knew things would be different, because he was not Jim. And so as we became more serious and had deeper feelings for one another, I started to worry. I wasn't feeling that I was falling more in love each day. And [then after talking to another widow] I began to realize that the way I was loving this second time was ‘normal.' And that I had to let go of my expectations. Which position is worse: the widow who knows that her lover cannot come back, or the woman who knows that her ex could come back, but might not wish to do so?Consider the following sincere description (which appears on the site Widow's Voice) by Janine, a widow, about her feelings toward her new lover. I wasn't feeling that my heart would burst from how much love I had for him. How could this love feel the same as my first love? The pain and sadness is greater on the widow's side, not merely because of the terminal nature of the loss, but also because of the greater romantic intensity.We speak about "dead marriages" (there is even an internet site entitled "Married but not dead"), "cold husbands," and "frigid wives." Since love is perceived to be the essence of life, the end of love can cause some people to wish to end life as well: to sacrifice their life, or to kill others for love.The book explores how men kill their wives and commit suicide when their wives intend to leave them.