Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Feeling Guilty ....

.... for falling in love again?
Ummmm ...... not so much.

I've heard and read a lot about this topic lately.
I've seen what others have written about it.
And I've seen quite a bit of guilt.

Why do we do that to ourselves?

I use the word "we", even though guilt is not an emotion that I am, or have, felt since I started dating again (after not dating for over 27 years!).
I know, with every fiber of my being, that Jim would want me to date.
I also know, with every fiber of my being, that he is very happy that I have found love again.
And I know that C's wife .... who died almost 9 years ago .... is up there with Jim, happy that C has also found love again (and probably thinking that it's about time!).

I would absolutely want that for Jim .... had he been the one left behind.

Would any of our spouses want to see us sitting home alone, not dating, not finding a new love?
And yet many of us beat ourselves up over this.

I consider myself very blessed.
I never, ever thought I would find someone who could love me as much as Jim loved me.
I was wrong.
And I am very glad about that.

But I never would have found someone to love me if I had stayed home, thinking that Jim was the only love of my life.
I never would have found love again if I had hung on to guilt over him not being here.
There is no guilt.
Neither of us chose this outcome.
And neither of us would want the other to be alone for the rest if his/her life .... however long/short that may be.

I also would never have found love if I'd listened to my teenagers, who would rather I sit home and pine away than love someone else.
I get that.
I know that they are grieving.
It's only been 2 1/2 years.
They've only seen me with one man ..... ever.
So this is hard.
But they will go on to live their lives.
And I must live mine.
In spite of their protestations.
In spite of their unhappiness over my happiness.
In spite of the guilt they try to load on me.

I refuse to feel guilty for something so wonderful.
For someone so wonderful.
For .... living.

I think two years of not living is long enough.
Two very long, very sad, very lonely years.
Jim would say .... "Enough."

So ..... I did, too.
Enough ..... is enough.

Feeling guilty over loving another man?
I think not.

Not guilty ..... just very blessed.


  1. I love your post, because this is a question I have been dealing with lately. When I am ready I will not feel guilty about it either, but only because before my husband died he actually made me promise that I would not stay alone, but go on to love someone else. It is good to hear to, that there is hope that I can find a love as beautiful as I had had with my deceased husband. Thanks for givng me this hope!

  2. Thank you SO MUCH for writing this entry. My husband died 2 1/2 years ago as well and I just recently found someone I'm interested in and who's interested in me as well (after thinking I'd never find anyone else to care about). Things have been going slow because it's scary to go from a "wife" to a "girlfriend". I think I really needed to read an entry like this and realize that yes, he would want me to be happy to to continue living.

  3. You can't do anything for anyone until you do it for yourself. If you have found happiness go with it, you have grieved long enough. No one can tell you how long to grieve. I married a year later after my wife was killed in a car accident and we have been married a wonderful 33 years.

  4. I think the guilt comes because we still love and know we are loved in return, so it's difficult to reconcile. But the guilt is unnecessary.

    I know that some people are happily single, but that would never have been me. After I sorted through the weird duality of it all, I found so much more joy in being married again that the guilt I felt was more about my late husband - why didn't I see, do and express myself this way before? My second husband has a much better wife than my first. Reminds me of Emily Webb in Our Town reliving her 12th birthday after her death and realizing that there was so much she didn't appreciate or offer of herself.

    Nice post.

  5. I seriously love this blog!! You ladies manage to write about the exact things that I'm going through. Oddly enough, I've been struggling the last 2 weeks with what you just wrote about in this blog!! Thanks for writing, it makes me feel like I'm not crazy!! :)

  6. Good for you!!! I have struggled with guilt for falling in love and this really hit home for me.
    I think Jim would be happy for you!!! God Bless

  7. I have decided to go on living. I have decided to take the chance of loving again, only knowing too well that it could end (again). And knowing that my deceased husband's family will not take my decision well. It has been 3 years, 2 months. His mother told me I could "live with" my current love, but her desire is for me to never re-marry. That breaks my heart.

  8. I am happy for you and your new found love. It is a blessing to find a second love. I did. What I find interesting and strangely comforting is that your teenagers are not supportive - I experienced the same thing. My teenagers/young adults were very upset when I started dating and fell in love with a new man. Especially my son. It was problematic and heart breaking for me but resolved with time and patience. Good luck and enjoy making new memories with someone special.

  9. I've felt guilty for other things in my five years of widowhood--mostly surrounding the life insurance money, not working, and other things around finances--but never about dating or wanting to get remarried. I started dating one of my husband's best friends about 18 months after I was widowed, and I never felt guilty for a minute. Disloyal at times, yes, as there were some things about the new relationship that I liked better than my relationship with my husband, but never guilty for loving or living again. The relationship only lasted 6 months although we're still good, good friends--my daughter is going to be his flower girl and I his photographer at his wedding in 2 months--but it was incredibly good for me.

    I applaud you for not giving in to the guilt, Janine. So many people want us to be the martyrs and torch bearers for our dead spouses, sometimes (I think) so they don't have to bear the burden themselves. But like it or not, they're dead and we're not, and it's not healthy for us to never choose to live again.

    Hugs, and best of luck to you and C!!! Looking forward to seeing you again at Camp next month!

  10. At almost a year, I'm getting to the point of wanting to consider dating. I'm more concerned about the possibility of never finding someone again though. So many questions and new anxieties involved with starting to date again after so many years! Why can't it be easier?

  11. My own aunt once told me that my late husband wouldn't like to see me with another man! But hell no, I was only 29 when my husband died, I am too young to be this miserable widow forever and ever. Nobody but myself can tell me when I am ready to move onto that stage of my life when I am ready to start dating again. I did date a guy after a year of my late husband's death. I never once felt guilty about it. I know he would have wanted me to enjoy life, to love, to be loved, and to move on as the brave girl he always admired!

  12.  am 29yo. After 7y marriaged we have twins 5yo boy. My husband died 2years ago, cancer.In my griefing time, i had several sex with many single friends, i think that was because i feel depressed and trying to entertain myself and not feel lonely.. my world is turning around. Im glad i dont feel lonely anymore or do sex mate no more.Now, my ex boyfriend before i marry my husband appeared, but he is married to a perfect woman, have 2kids.. He always there supports me since my husband was very sick. we both know we re not in love anymore, but sexual attraction started, i know its wrong, he is married!I feel guilty to start serious dating. In my age, man needs serious relationship for marriage and have children,while on my side, i dont need to have more kids, i feel guilty to my kids and my late husband if i have to commit myself again in a longterm serious relation.Somehow, continue my hideous relationship with my ex, would be good, we dont need to get married. But its wrong and not fair for his wife.. eventualy they almost divorced 3years ago after his wife cheated on him, but they survived for the kids sake.I always think, male my age wont bother to date me as i have 2small kids, my body is not perfect anymore, i am widowed, they can find better mate, perfect single no kid, firm busty boobs, and available to marry and make brand new family.. instead of getting rotten young mother like me.Something missing, particularly i am fine being alone, i have my twins, my job is great, but something missing. Suggestion please.(Dont judge me with bad words and curse, please..)

  13. I think you need to learn to love yourself, accept that you are a good person (who has made mistakes, who hasn't?). Accept your body or change it....slowly...but for certain...learn to love yourself. Then and only then will the right vibes be out there for someone new :)