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Dear Wendy

Do not know how to deal with widower feeling guilty dating me

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  • #1097510 Reply

    I have started an online relationship with a 33 year old widower who has 8 year old daughter. Things were progressing just fine until few days ago when he told me that he feels guilty that he is with me (because of his ex wife) but on the other hand he cannot let me go. He literally told me he does not know how to deal with that. I am a first woman in his life after she died two years ago and he told me when we met he was ready to move on. Now, I guess, it is normal that he is going through this phase. I do not know what to do. I am hurt and I know I have no reason to be. I would like to help him to go through this but I do not know how. Can someone please find some time to write a few words to me. The relationship is still not physical because we were taking our time. We both had some tough times in life so we were taking it slow.

    • This topic was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Dear Wendy.
    #1097512 Reply

    Tell him it sounds like he needs some time, you want to respect that, and you will be stepping away so that he can have the space for reflection. Please reach out if and when he’s ready to date. Take care!

    Then for gods sake really step away. Do not try to stay in contact and help him through his grief! That won’t end well for you. You’re not his therapist, you’re an available woman who’d like to date him. He doesn’t sound ready at all. I’d move on and keep meeting other men. If he gets back in touch down the road and is *actually ready,* great.

    #1097513 Reply

    And please be sure you know he’s really a widow and not a creeper! Find the obituary.

    #1097515 Reply

    Yeah. Kate’s advice is (as usual) correct.

    Two things that you’ll come to appreciate as you get older are (A) You can’t change people or make them work through things faster; (B) sometimes people can’t be together and it doesn’t mean that anyone is at fault.

    There is no level of support you can provide that will make your widower boyfriend ready to have a relationship faster. And you shouldn’t be with someone who isn’t ready to have a relationship (which he isn’t). You need to back out of the relationship and not wait on him. He may not be ready to date for a while and that’s not his fault or your fault. But it means that you shouldn’t be together.

    #1097523 Reply

    How long has he been a widower? If it’s within a year – then it’d make sense that he’d reach out for companionship but not be ready. If it’s more than 18 months- 2 years, then he has bigger issues. I’m not saying anyone should simply stop grieving in that time, but of all the widows and widowers I know (and I know a lot), most find the first year really challenging. They hate being alone but they also feel guilty for not wanting to be alone and finding room for someone else. That grief doesn’t go away, but it does become less intense.

    There are plenty of grief support groups and private therapy. He has to do the work. If he’s not going to do anything to deal with his issues, it’s selfish for him to ask you to wait around.

    #1097525 Reply

    Sounds like she passed away 2 years ago.

    But yeah, agree there may be bigger issues here. What’s the nature of your relationship? You say it’s online, have you met in person? Are you just chatting online / doing FaceTime? Anything sexual? It’s a time-waster red flag for me or worse, when someone is like, oh, this online-only casual relationship is too much for me. Sure, maybe it’s just a lot to process for him, but it may be he’s a mess or losing interest or not really a widower, or any number of other things. Anyway, the correct response is still the same.

    #1097539 Reply

    I agree with all you say. I need to let him go. He needs to sit down and sort his head out.

    I have met him when corona started. Lockdown…Working from home and wanted to have some social life so I started to play one of mobile games. I have met him there. Someone said he was married so as of a respect to his other half I have never wanted to speak to him alone. He fancied my personality and was drawn to me always. Vice versa of course but never said or did anything. During corona someone else broke my heart and I was very quiet in group chats and he messaged me. I have told him that I can’t talk to him or anyone else because I am dealing with a heart break and that’s when he told me that he has been going through tough time as well and not thinking of any women in life. And so on, and so on…Thst is when I heard about his wife passing and that he has daughter. So, we literally started to chat to keep each other company and to avoid thinking about our broken hearts. With time we moved to whatsapp and very slowly started to get close. Very very slowly. We were just about to start face timing. We live in different countries so seeing each other is a bit of a trouble. But, we spoke about future, we had plans…Everything seemed going really well…Until few days ago when I noticed things are not good. He is not difficult to talk to, he will never ignore me so he was honest and said his ex wife had birthday and he was at the cemetery, went to the forest to be alone and try to find the answers within himself and he couldn’t.

    I am, actually, not sure when exactly she passed away (all I know is two years). I think the issue is bigger than I think. When we last spoke he mentioned his daughter and that he doesn’t know what to do with her. In the past few months he did mention he doesn’t know how to tell her about me or how she is going to react. For some reason I think it is more about her then about him. I am not sure, I have no children so I know about these things only what other people tell me.

    All in all, as you said, it comes to the same. Need to step back. I know he will sooner or later get in touch…As I said we became very close even though we never stood in front of each other (photos, videos, audios were exchanged). I have learnt a lot of life skills with him. I just need to stay positive and strong.

    Thank you for your messages. They mean a lot. It is not easy for me to share a heart ache with someone.

    #1097541 Reply

    This kind of sounds like bullshit to me. There should be no need to drop someone you only text with, who lives in another country. And just before you were going to see him on video. Hmmmmmm. Be careful. Basically you two are just pen pals, and for him to be like “I can’t handle being with you” (he’s not!), “but I can’t let you go” (uh what?) is seriously weird.

    Sounds sus.

    #1097544 Reply

    And even more so if you aren’t friends on social media / you haven’t at least seen a FB account that would seem to corroborate that he is who he says he is.

    #1097556 Reply

    Where to begin.
    If you have never actually met this person in real life, you are not in a relationship. You have no idea if anything he told you is true. Telling someone about your heartbreak is not the same thing as intimacy or a relationship, especially someone you don’t even know. You were just about to start face-timing and suddenly he needs to go to the forest to be alone!?
    You are being played. Don’t “confront” him about this, because it’s not about him. It’s about you, your naïvete, your lack of boundaries. You need to get more clear about who you are so you don’t keep getting hurt by losers. At least google books about boundaries.

    #1097927 Reply

    You met on via mobile games? And you’ve never met or even facetimed? You’re not in a relationship. He’s married or, more likely, slowly feeding you a sob story in order to scam you. Sorry. 🙁

    #1097928 Reply

    Yeah, something about this doesn’t pass the sniff test. I don’t know that he’s a scammer necessarily (You *haven’t* sent him any money, right?) but some things here don’t add up. He seems awfully keen to keep you completely out of his life. There is a reason for that.

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