The best advice I’ve been given to date about being a widow and being in a relationship AS a widow, came from another widow who’s now 14.5 years out.
Wait at least 4 – 5 years before getting into another relationship.
That seems like a long time to me. I’m gonna be 42 by then. 42 and a half, even.
But…. It kinda makes sense.
Year 1… I was numb. Couldn’t think. Couldn’t feel.
Year 2… I was not numb. Couldn’t stop hurting, let it override everything.
Year 3… I am in. And I’m becoming more clear as to who I am and what I want and where I want to go.
Her advice kinda works for me. My plans for the next 2 1/2 years has changed, somewhat. I’ll be busy with school, getting my kids through high school, buying a house (I will own a freaking house before I’m 45, dammit!), and generally just learning who I am and what I want.
The other part of her advice?
Find a FWB. Just keep the emotions out of it.
I’m pretty sure I’d be ok with that – but I’ve used FWB as a way of escaping the pain and loss and emotions before and now… I want… no I NEED to feel them. I NEED to go through them. I can’t let go of any of it without FEELING it.
And until now – the feeling part has been missing.
My relationship with my 2nd Chapter came to a complete close yesterday. As in, we’re both done done. No going back. And I won’t go back. He doesn’t want to be my 2nd chapter – he wants to be Chapte 1 of OUR story… which is fair… except he’s got a chapter 1 already… he just doesn’t see it.
I hurt. All the emotions of being a widow, of losing my husband, of being alone… all came back. Only multiplied because now I hurt because I’ve lost my relationship, too.
I want to NOT hurt for a while. Pretty please? Just for a while, feel joy and freedom.
It’ll come. I caught glimpses of it when my son and his lady and my grandbaby were visiting in August. The joy of the new generation. The freedom of a life unmarked by pain and suffering and sadness. A blank slate upon which a new story will be written…
And I get to do that for myself now. I get to write the story of the rest of my life, make plans for my children and me and focus on OUR happiness.
For the past year, the focus has been on someone else’s happiness… but now… it’s my turn.
Now… I get to change paths. I am still a widow, and I don’t know that that will every stop being central to my life, but my future looks different. My future looks bright and open and full of possibiliities. For the first time in 3 years.