Widow’s Friends Disown Her After She Finds New Love

Anne writes: I lost my dad and husband within a week of each other three years ago, and life has been a battle. My dearest friends (a couple that my husband and I used to do everything with) won’t accept the fact I am seeing another man and have been for nearly two years. The husband told me the other day never to come back and see them. I have given them space and continue to love and support them, Please help. I am just so sad about it. I have tried talking to them but they won’t respond to me. I am also their daughter’s godmother and she is heart-broken her parents are doing this. Help me.

Abel Keogh, author of Room For Two, responds: I’m sorry for the loss of your father and husband, but I’m glad to hear you’ve found love again.

Getting through life requires navigating the changes life constantly throws at us. Some people steer around these obstacles – such as the death of a spouse or close friend – better than others.

I don’t know why you’re friends are having a hard time supporting your new relationship. Maybe they’re still grieving over your husband death. Maybe they’re having a hard time seeing you with someone else. Whatever the reason for their actions, you’re doing the right thing by giving them space. Don’t ever be angry at them when they act this way toward you and your new love. Continue to offer them your love and support and let them know you’re always ready to renew your friendship with them again when they’re ready to accept your decision to move on with life.

I wish there was some magical button you could push so that your friends could be happy for you and understand that your new relationship doesn’t mean you’re rejecting the love and feelings you have for your late husband. But since no such button exists, don’t let their words and actions stop you from loving and living again. Instead, enjoy the time with your new love and be grateful for such a wonderful blessing in your life.

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  • karen fulbright anderson says:

    Dear Anne,

    I’m so sorry that your friends could not see beyond their own feelings to be happy for your finding someone with whom you have found some happiness after the excruciatiing pain that you experienced when you lost your dad and husband. I lost my dad in April 2007 and my two dogs (who were for all intents and purposes my children as I have none) and that was heartbreaking for me. I cannot imagine how it would have been if I had also lost my husband. I suspect that your involvement with the man you are seeing reminds your friends that your husband is gone for good and not coming back and they are having difficulty coping with that. I say this because my mother remarried this past august to an old family friend whom we’ve know since the 50s and I know that happened for me and I suspect for others in my family. One of my brothers (who does not deal with emotions very well) had a really difficult time with this but he’s working it through. I can only hope that as your friends see that your involvement continues to help you with your grieving and allows you to find some happiness in this life that they will soften. I hope that you are able to continue to see your Godchild or communicate with her; perhaps through her they will come to understand that we all benefit from loving relationships and that moving into a new one does not negate or erase your relationship with your husband, but is instead a testament to the fact that you had such a good realtionship with your husband that you were able to be open to having another relationship. What you have is a blessing and I am so happy that you found two people in this lifetime that you could love. That is so rare and wonderful. Please take care of yourself.

  • Danny says:

    I have just starting searching for answers to the same questions you are asking. Much to my surprise there are a lot of us out there in the same situation. I lost my wife of 10 years last year to cancer and found love again with a girl I was in love with 15 years ago. Several of my friends are having a hard time with it and I am at the point I can’t try to understand where they are coming from anymore. The key to life is happiness and forgive me for finding it. You hold your head up hi and continue to be happy and you will be fine.