Do widowers stop loving their first? - Talk About Marriage
Dealing with Grief and Loss The grieving process is difficult. When we lose someone close to us, we go through many different emotions.

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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-02-2013, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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Do widowers stop loving their first?

I mean after many years do you just stop loving them and forget about them?

Just curious, I think this topic is one of the saddest ever and that no one should have to experience this :\ very depressing. Even coming in here makes me over think and worry.

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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-03-2013, 06:22 AM
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Re: Do widowers stop loving their first?

I don't think so.....

We know an older couple (mid 70's I'm guessing) both were widowed and then they married each other.

In their home office thay have a wall that has pictures of her life before, complete with first husband, kids etc....on the other side of the same wall are pictures of his first wedding, first wife, kids and in the middle is a picture of them and current pictures of all their kids and grandkids.

They call it the Wall of good Memories. I think it's pretty cool too.
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-03-2013, 07:15 AM
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Re: Do widowers stop loving their first?

I have no personal experience (Thank God) but I can't imagine that I'd just quit loving my wife just because she happened to be dead. Her exit from the marriage wouldn't have been her choice or mine. Certainly, they could learn to love someone else, but the deceased spouse would always occupy a special place in their heart and that's how it should be.
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-03-2013, 07:47 PM
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Re: Do widowers stop loving their first?

I don't believe that our love for someone dies when they cease to live. Our love for them is part of our memory of them and is with us forever.

However, there are many different types of love, and I believe that if we lose a life partner it is certainly possible to love again without it in any way diminishing the love we had for the deceased...

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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-03-2013, 08:08 PM
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Re: Do widowers stop loving their first?

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I don't believe that our love for someone dies when they cease to live. Our love for them is part of our memory of them and is with us forever.

However, there are many different types of love, and I believe that if we lose a life partner it is certainly possible to love again without it in any way diminishing the love we had for the deceased..
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I agree with the above.

My MIL died one month before my in-laws 50th anniversary, sudden death, not expected. My FIL was remarried in exactly one year to a mutual friend of theirs whose husband died 1-2 years prior. They fell in a "new" love for each other and have been married for 10+ years now(ages 82 and 84 now), I was jealous of their teenage-like relationship, kissing, hugging, holding hands in public, etc. They have been the best thing ever for each other, and my FIL's new wife happens to be the exact opposite of my MIL. They have kept each other young at heart and still travel driving/flying themselves all over the country, they are in Alaska on a cruise right now. So happy for both of them.

Everyone handles it differently, you can dwell on it or look at is as a new lease on life depending on the situation and person, I guess.
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-03-2013, 08:12 PM
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Re: Do widowers stop loving their first?

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Originally Posted by SugarMonstaa View Post
I mean after many years do you just stop loving them and forget about them?

Just curious, I think this topic is one of the saddest ever and that no one should have to experience this :\ very depressing. Even coming in here makes me over think and worry.
I haven't experienced it myself and hope never to for a long time, but I don't think you stop loving them and you certainly don't forget them short of some brain injury or dementia. My grandmother was a widow for a long time. She always loved my grandfather even decades after his death.

I think it's possible for a widow or widower to fall in love again. That doesn't take away from the love they felt for their spouse who is deceased. It's not a competition. You can love your former spouse and still find love with a new person. It's hard for me to imagine doing that, but I know others who have moved on when their spouses passed away much too early.
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-03-2013, 08:20 PM
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Re: Do widowers stop loving their first?

I think that if they still loved the spouse at the time of death, the love never dies.

That does not mean that they cannot love someone else.

One thing I've seen is sometimes a person turns their deceased spouse into a saint. When this happens, no one else can then live up to that imaginary saint.

My mom did this with my dad after he passed away. It got to the point that I wanted to just shake her and reminder her of some of his very human flaws... like all his infidelities.

My exMIL married a widower. After she moved into his house, he would not let her change anything. His dead wifes clothing was still in the closet. The last cake she baked was still in the freeze. My exMIL had to live around the ghost of the now sainted deceased wife.

From what others said she was not a saint. The man and his wife used to fight like cats and dogs and he was always telling everyone that she drove him nuts. But upon death she was sainted.

My exMIL left him after about 8 months.

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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-06-2013, 01:14 PM
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Re: Do widowers stop loving their first?

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Originally Posted by EleGirl View Post
I think that if they still loved the spouse at the time of death, the love never dies.
That does not mean that they cannot love someone else.

One thing I've seen is sometimes a person turns their deceased spouse into a saint. When this happens, no one else can then live up to that imaginary saint.

My mom did this with my dad after he passed away. It got to the point that I wanted to just shake her and reminder her of some of his very human flaws... like all his infidelities.

My exMIL married a widower. After she moved into his house, he would not let her change anything. His dead wifes clothing was still in the closet. The last cake she baked was still in the freeze. My exMIL had to live around the ghost of the now sainted deceased wife.

From what others said she was not a saint. The man and his wife used to fight like cats and dogs and he was always telling everyone that she drove him nuts. But upon death she was sainted.

My exMIL left him after about 8 months.
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-06-2013, 01:40 PM
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Re: Do widowers stop loving their first?

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Originally Posted by SugarMonstaa View Post
I mean after many years do you just stop loving them and forget about them?

Just curious, I think this topic is one of the saddest ever and that no one should have to experience this :\ very depressing. Even coming in here makes me over think and worry.
I have never suffered this but I will answer based on sudden lose. A widow/widower who loved their spouse o the day they died often never got real closure. Let's say a man is married 20 years and adores his wife and one day she died in a car accident. He never got to say good bye and there is no closure.

As a soldier I've seen this to many times where a trusted friend, partner who has always had your back when things got ugly and they die suddenly. There is no real goodbye. I have not been so lost when there is some closure. IE: Death was slower in coming. I have held a friend as he died after carrying him from the battle field. I got to say goodbye, I attended his funeral and I got to close with his family. Another very close friend died suddenly and saying goodbye to the dead is not the same as looking them in the eyes and getting to tell them you will never be forgotten and you will always be my friend. It's just different.

/shrug maybe this didn't help and I could be wrong but it's my experience and my guess.
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 12:05 AM
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Re: Do widowers stop loving their first?

I have a good thread on this topic going that takes it a little further.

Widows or widowers that re-marry.

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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 12:35 AM
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Do widowers stop loving their first?

My grandparents married in the mid 1950's. my grandmother divorced her cheating husband. My grandfather was widowed in a tragic farm accident. They were married over 50 years. When he was in the hospital dying, he repeatedly called out for his first wife. No, I don't think the love dies.
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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 09:39 AM
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Re: Do widowers stop loving their first?

My wife's father died from a sudden heart attack about 12 years ago before her and I met, and so far her mother never re-married or considered dating anyone else.
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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-03-2013, 02:58 PM
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Re: Do widowers stop loving their first?

Hi all. Just had to chime in here, since I'm a widow. My LH died March 1 2013.
I'm dating again. Each man I've met has been completely different from my husband. So I've accepted, or not accepted, the men on their own terms.
I'm currently in two relationships - dating a divorcee, and friends with a widower via long-distance. Each are 'friendships' for now - they are both aware of each other and are fine with it. Neither are pushing for the relationships to go any farther than that yet. Both realize they are fulfilling different needs of mine (social/companionship - spiritual connection) as I am of theirs.
I still love my LH. Always will. But I don't 'sanctify' him into saint-hood. He had his flaws as do I. Our marriage was not always good, particularly near the end when his illness totally changed his personality and all the worst aspects came out.
There are men and women who are divorced but will always love their first husbands/wives.
There are men and women currently married who pine for that 'first true love'.
The key is to not idealize any relationships. And for the person who married a widow/widower -have patience. Let them talk about their late spouses. Accept they are part of their lives. Don't try to 'erase' their past nor feel like you're in competition. There's a reason they chose to be with you NOW. Accept that as a good thing.
I had a friend, divorced, who married a widower. When they moved in together, she did everything she could to 'clean out' everything that belonged to, or reminded of, the first wife. Like she was trying to erase her existence at all - I found that disrespectful and so sad, that she was jealous of a ghost. I vowed never to repeat that mistake. It set her up in conflict with his family, and the LW's family, and remains a sore point to this day.
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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-15-2014, 06:51 PM
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Re: Do widowers stop loving their first?

I think each situation is different for but in my experience No you never forget or stop loving your first. My experience is based on my mother, we lost my father at a young age, he had just turn 40 and died of heart failure. My mum took a while to get over it but after a while she moved on and had a long term partner (8 years) then split up and found a new love and remarried, he unfortunately also passed away. In all of my mum’s grief she always talks about her love for my dad she moved on but has never stopped loving him!

Then there is my Nan, she lost her husband at a young age and has never moved on, and still talks about him as the single most important thing in her life. Quite cute she still after 20 years still talks about him with such love.
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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-16-2014, 07:30 AM
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Re: Do widowers stop loving their first?

I don't see why anyone would "stop" loving their dead spouse.
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