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Julie Donner Andersen, click here to update your pages on AuthorsDen.

Hello! My newsletter has been moved to www.juliedonnerandersen.com. Please go to my website and register as a new member. Doing so is free, and you will automatically be signed up for my monthly newsletter. While there, why not check out the Official WOW/GOW Message Board? I also have a blog at http://www.juliedonnerandersen.blogspot.com!





FYI...My book, "PAST: Perfect! PRESENT: Tense! Insights From One Woman's Journey As The Wife of a Widower" is available for purchase at Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com and via the publisher, iUniverse.com.







Blessings...







Julie Donner Andersen



http://www.juliedonnerandersen.com



http://www.authorsden.com/juliedonnerandersen
Newsletter Dated: 2/20/2004 10:50:39 PM

Subject: WOW/GOW NEWSLETTER - MARCH 2004

MARCH WOW/GOW Newsletter –
Julie Donner Andersen


Hi Gals!

I know from your e-mails that many of you GOWs and WOWs were/are divorced before you linked up with your widower. I, too, was a divorcee…and a Christian. Thankfully, my church supported me, but there have been others who were not treated with such grace and forgiveness by their churches, perhaps because of misunderstood philosophies that the church had sanctioned for centuries. Whatever the reason, many Christian divorced women are left feeling shunned, shamed, and otherwise outcast after their divorces. This should never, EVER (in my opinion) be the attitude of Christ’s church or His people!

Recently, I came upon a wonderful website that addresses such issues, releasing the Christian divorcee from the chains of shame. Articles that might appeal to you are about remarriage, guilt, and comparing widowhood to divorce. It’s called “Divorce Hope” (http://www.divorcehope.com/id52.html), and here is an interesting excerpt from a book being touted on the website:

“Being single after divorce is NOT a shameful thing! God sees your loss as being widowed, even though His church may not. In God's eyes, divorce and death are equal. “ (From the book “Divorced: God’s Will?” by Stephen Gola)


Bragging rights…

Recently, I entered Obadiah Press’s (a Christian publishing house) writing contest and won 6th place for my article “The Valley of the Shadow of Hope” (read article at http://www.authorsden.com/juliedonnerandersen)! Each of the top 50 entries will be published in an anthology volume entitled Hope Lives On, which is scheduled for release approximately one year from now.


Personal…

Some of you newcomers have written to me, asking for more info about WOWs/GOWs, and I am more than happy to oblige by directing you to my book. However, it has come to my attention (by an offended e-mailer) that this effort appears to be a ploy to increase my book sales. I want to assure you that nothing could be futher from the truth!

The reason I recommend my book is because 1.) there’s no other literature available in today’s market that addresses WOW/GOW issues, and I want you to have the most comprehensive information available, 2.) if you haven’t read my book first, you are then asking me to write pages and pages of e-mails that would explain precisely what my book does, and 3.) my book was written with information – not profit – at the forefront of my mind.

While I LOVE getting your e-mails asking my opinion or advice about issues that are NOT covered in my book or that are personal and unique to your situation, I don’t have the time I wish I had to answer questions that can be ascertained within the pages of “PAST: Perfect! PRESENT: Tense!” When I ask you to please read my book, it’s not to sell another book and make me rich beyond belief – cough cough! yeah, right! - it is my way of saying, “I care about your issues, and here’s something tangible that will help”. Believe me, authors don’t make much money after the publisher, agent, and publicist take their share, so it’s not a money grab that I’m after – it’s your peace of mind.

And how was YOUR month?

Blessings...Julie :)



PS...The following are just TOO GOOD not to highlight here on the front page of the newsletter. ALL women will relate to the following:

1. If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it will always be yours. If it doesn't come back, it was never yours to begin with. But, if it just sits in your living room, messes up your stuff, eats your food, uses your telephone, takes your money, and doesn't appear to realize that you had set it free....... You either married it or gave birth to it.

2. Reason to smile: Every 7 minutes of every day, someone in an aerobics class pulls a hamstring.

3. They keep telling us to get in touch with our bodies. Mine isn't all that communicative but I heard from it the other day after I said, "Body, how'd you like to go to the six o'clock class in vigorous toning?" Clear as a bell my body said, "Listen fatty....do it and die."

4. My mind not only wanders, it sometimes leaves completely.

5. The best way to forget all your troubles is to wear tight shoes.

6. The nice part about living in a small town: When you don't know what you're doing, someone else always does.

7. Just when I was getting used to yesterday, along came today.

8. Amazing! You hang something in your closet for a while and it shrinks two sizes!

9. Sometimes I think I understand everything, then I regain consciousness.

10. I read this article that said the typical symptoms of stress are eating too much, impulse buying, and driving too fast. Are they kidding? That's my idea of a perfect day!

**************************************

New Questions Of The Month for MARCH Newsletter

**************************************

OK, gals, send ‘em in! Pick one, answer all three…but DO share with us! Don’t make me bombard your e-mail with nag notes! LOL!…JDA


1. (Four part question) Did you move into your BF/HUBS residence that he shared with the LW? Were “her things” still in the house? Did you feel like “the intruder” or like the guest in another woman’s home? Did you share your fears with your widower before you moved in? If you’ve been together a while, how do you feel about the intruder issue now?

2. (Four part question) Has your widower (or does your widower) voluntarily discuss his late wife/past marriage with you without your having to ask? How does this make you feel? If your widower is loathe to discuss his late wife/past marriage with you, why do you suppose that is? Do you think it is grief related, or is it because he just doesn’t want to hurt you by discussing these things? Explain.

3. (Two part question) What is the #1 thing you want to know about the late wife and/or your widower’s marriage to her? Why do you think it’s important for you to know the answer? Explain.



*************************************

February Questions Of The Month (and your responses):

*************************************


1.) Do you sometimes feel that your hubs/BF is thinking of his late wife when he is quiet, staring off into space, or otherwise having a pensive moment? How does that make you feel?

~~When he gets quiet, stares off into space, etc. sometimes I say "A penny for your thoughts". He never gives me an answer or if he does, it's really off the wall. So I can only imagine what he is thinking about. I don't expect him to tell me every thought he has in his head. But once in a while (would be nice, because sometimes) I feel left out.

~~Oh, yes! My BF stares into space a lot. I literally tell him "Honey, you are in outer space. What are you thinking?" Of course, he responds with something like "Oh just thinking about what we should eat for dinner...or what my schedule is like at work
tomorrow." Please! I know who he's thinking about. It's insulting sometimes that he won't share his thoughts with me. Not sure if he thinks I'll be upset or get mad. I wish for once he'd be honest with me. I think to myself that we can share the same bed or the same fork but he can't share his thoughts with me!?! Maybe I should be careful what I wish for...I might get it.

~~Absolutely! I know what “their songs” were, and when he hears them, I see him get that faraway look and I know he is thinking of her. It makes me feel left out, but I understand the normalcy of his actions. I know it’s not my job to make him forget her, nor would I want to. As long as he thinks of me more often than her, I have no problem with his “widower dazes”. Lol!



2.) Do you believe that if the late wife were alive today (and you had never met her husband!), you and she would be friends? Why or why not?

~~I'm not sure his late wife and I would exactly be friends. Well maybe friends, but not close. We shared some similar interests, in particular music. She was a very sweet good person and I always admired her, but I always felt she was rather buttoned up, not one to let her hair down and I am definitely ready to relax and have a good time doing whatever. Part of the reason we have our girlfriends is because we need to let go and have some fun once in a while - right?

~~Probably not. From the bits and pieces I've gathered, she was probably an introverted, shy person. I'm the opposite.

~~I do not believe we would have been friends. We would have maybe "liked" each other as people in general...but not "friends". We have nothing in common. I grew up in big cities. She was a farm girl and the ideal farm wife. She drove a tractor and showed cows. I am terrified of chickens. From everything I see of her in my fiancee’s house, we are different: taste in books...movies...everything. What we do have in common from what I hear is: good sense of humor, talkative, compassionate, and respectful of other people, and above all else, we devoted ourselves to our children. And we both have the same taste in men, apparently.

~~That’s a hard one. I have tried to reconstruct what she was like from my husband and “her” friends. I have come to the conclusion that she was a shy person, but with a wild side (she liked hard rock music and motorcycling). She was loving and giving, but naïve, and not well educated (high school dropout). We were very opposite people. I am not shy, no wild side, and I have a master’s degree. Yet she probably had the character traits I look for in a friend. She was 11 years younger than me, though, and I’m sure that alone tips the scale over to the “No, we couldn’t be friends” side.



3.) Do you still play “the grief counsellor” to some degree in your relationship? Explain.

~~ I have only played the grief counsellor once early on in our relationship. I don't' know if this is a good thing or not. I think that man has some serious issues he is shoving down in his gut. He doesn't share much of anything with me - only superficial day-to-day stuff, but nothing that has to do with feelings of any kind. And on the dark days when I'm confronting Mr. Envy, I imagine that he shared everything in his heart with his dead wife.

~~Unfortunately, I do. I'm growing tired and weary of carrying this weight on my shoulders. It's not so much the "grief counselling" role that bothers me but the tip-toeing around emotions that bothers me. Fortunately, love keeps us grounded.

~~I think being a WOW means a lifetime of playing the grief counsellor to some degree. I don’t believe even the closest WOW/widower marriage is that great about communicating EVERYTHING. For example, I’d never admit to my husband that I hunger to know about their sex life. And he’d never tell me even if I asked! Playing “grief counsellor”, to me, means listening when he WANTS to talk, and keeping my mouth shut about how I feel about what he has to say. A REAL grief counsellor is sympathetic but keeps a personal, professional distance. A wife simply cannot do this. I think widowers should get that through their heads and stop expecting us to be so damned understanding ALLLL the time.


*************************************

DEAR JULIE

*************************************


Dear Julie,

My previously widowed fiancee and I will be married in March. I love him dearly, but there’s one thing that bothers me…He has asked for a pre-nuptual agreement. (He is by no means wealthy, but he is financially comfortable.) I believe his is just trying to protect his adult children’s inheritance, but I would never deprive them of what they deserve. I just can’t make HIM see that!

He also refuses to take care of me, financially, should he pass away while we’re married. Up until a few days ago, he wouldn’t even consider getting life insurance, but he begrudgingly said he would look into it after I cried about the unfairness of it (seems his late wife was the beneficiary on a policy he let expire when he was single/widowed).

Julie, I didn’t want to marry him for his money, but I think it’s only fair that a wife should be taken care of should her husband pass away. What are your thoughts?

Signed,

Fearing Homelessness Should He Die


Dear Fearing,

I agree!

He doesn’t need a pre-nup – a well written will can legally stipulate what his heirs will receive. Even if he leaves ALL of his assets to his kids, you, as his wife, will have the right to challenge the will, and the courts have historically leaned heavily in the spouse’s favour.

As for life insurance…Hard to believe he doesn’t already have a policy at his age. Are you sure the policy he had with his late wife as beneficiary has expired? I’d want to know why he allowed this to happen. I’d also want to know why he felt a policy was important with HER but not with YOU! If it were me, I’d be calling his insurance agent. If he’s never had a policy and he applies now, it might be difficult for him get coverage. Even if he does, his premiums might be astronomical.

Some men are hesitant about getting life insurance for the following reasons: 1.) Ego: They are afraid they will die the minute after they sign the policy’s dotted line 2.) Ego: They don’t want the “merry widow” to spend the payout on a big party or a new man! 3.) Ego: “Why should anyone benefit, financially or otherwise, from MY death?”

Are you sure he’s not “testing” you? Perhaps he thinks you are marrying him simply for his ability to provide a comfortable life or early, easy retirement...and he is using the pre-nup and life insurance as a ploy. As a former law student/clerk, I know of many men who were guilty of this trick to gauge their fiance’s commitment.

The only grief/widower related aspect of this problem seems to lie with the fact that he is scared. Perhaps he has heard too many grim (and totally false and unfounded!) statistics about widower remarriage failure rates, and is afraid that your marriage will not last. If this is the case, he may be thinking fatalistically: “Well, if it’s not going to last, then I’m gonna make sure she doesn’t take me to the cleaners for everything (my late wife and) I worked so hard to achieve!”

There are many, many red flags here, dear “Fearing”. These MUST be discussed and ironed out to YOUR satisfaction BEFORE the wedding! I urge you to have a gut-level conversation with Mr. Purse Strings – not only about a pre-nup and life insurance, but also about who will control the finances when you are married (my instincts tell me that your fiancée will be non-cooperative in this respect as well). Don’t be afraid to postpone the wedding if you must. Too bad if people don’t understand or complain – it’s YOUR life!

Blessings….Julie J


~~Do you agree? Disagree? Have some advice to help this reader? Let me hear it! juliedonnerandersen@mail.com


************************************

JUST FOR FUN….

************************************



(NOTE: These are meant to be humorous, so please don’t try these at home! Lol!…~J.D.A.) 1. If you are choking on an ice cube, don't panic. Simply pour a cup of boiling water down your throat and presto! The blockage will be almost instantly removed.

2. Clumsy? Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

3. Avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat by simply peeing in the sink.

4. High blood pressure sufferers: simply cut yourself and bleed for a while, thus reducing the pressure in your veins.

5. A mousetrap, placed on top of your alarm clock, will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep when you hit the snooze button.

6. If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives, then you will be afraid to cough.

7. Have a bad toothache? Hit your thumb with a hammer, then you will forget about the toothache.

******************************************

Sometimes we just need to remember what The Rules of Life really are.........

...You need only two tools: WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn't move and it should, use WD-40. If it moves and shouldn't, use the duct tape.

...The five most essential words for a healthy, vital relationship are "I apologize" and "You are right."

...Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

...Never pass up an opportunity to go potty.

...If you woke up breathing, Congratulations! You have another chance!

...And finally, be really good to your family and friends. You never know when you are going to need them to empty your bedpan!

*******************************************

A first grade teacher collected well-known proverbs. She gave each child in her class the first half of a proverb and asked them to come up with the remainder of the proverb. It's hard to believe these were actually done by first graders. Their insight may surprise you. While reading these keep in mind that these are first graders... "6" year-olds, because the last one is classic!


Better to be safe than................punch a 5th grader.

Strike while the .......................bug is close.

It's always darkest before.........Daylight Saving Time.

Never underestimate the power of..........termites.

You can lead a horse to water but........how?

Don't bite the hand that............looks dirty.

No news is................impossible.

A miss is as good as a............Mr.

You can't teach an old dog new...........math.

If you lie down with dogs, you'll..........stink in the morning.

Love all, trust...............me.

The pen is mightier than the..............pigs.

An idle mind is.................the best way to relax.

Where there's smoke there's............pollution.

Happy the bride who..................gets all the presents.

A penny saved is..................not much.

Two's company, three's..................the Musketeers.

Don't put off till tomorrow what...............you put on to go to bed.

Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and…....you have to blow your nose.

There are none so blind as................Stevie Wonder.

Children should be seen and not..................spanked or grounded.

If at first you don't succeed..................get new batteries.

You get out of something only what you..........see in the picture on the box.

When the blind leadeth the blind............get out of the way.

Better late than...............pregnant.

**************************************

The Innocence and Honesty of Kids!


1. "Give me a sentence about a public servant," said a teacher. The small boy wrote: "The fireman came down the ladder pregnant." The teacher took the lad aside to correct him. Do you know what pregnant means?" she asked "Sure," said the young boy confidently. "It means carrying a child."

2. One morning, a grandmother was surprised by her 7-year-old grandson. He had made her coffee. She drank what was the worst cup of coffee in her life. When she got to the bottom, there were three of those little green army men in the cup. She said, "Honey, what are the army men doing in my coffee?" Her grandson said, "Grandma, it says on TV- "The best part of waking up is soldiers in your cup!'"

3. Susie asked her Sunday school class to draw pictures of their favorite Bible stories. She was puzzled by Jimmy's picture, which showed four people on an airplane. So she asked him which story it was meant to represent. "The flight to Egypt," said Jimmy.
"I see...And that must be Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus," Ms. Susie said. "But who's the fourth person? " "Oh, that's Pontius-the-Pilot."

4. An exasperated mother, whose son was always getting into mischief, finally asked him, "How do you expect to get into heaven?" The boy thought it over and said, "Well, I'll just run in and out and in and out and keep slamming the door until St. Peter says, 'For heaven's sake, Jimmy come in, or stay out.'"

5. A nursery school teacher was delivering a station wagon full of kids home one day when a fire truck zoomed past. Sitting in the front seat of the fire truck was a Dalmatian dog. The children started discussing the dog's duties. "They use him to keep crowds back, "said one youngster. "No," said another, "he's just for good luck." A third child brought the argument to a close. "They use the dogs," she said firmly, "to find the fire hydrant."

6. Johnny watched, fascinated, as his mother smoothed cold cream on her face. "Why do you do that, mommy?" he asked. "To make myself beautiful," said his mother, who then began removing the cream with a tissue. "What's the matter?" asked Johnny. "You giving up?"

****************************************


Comparisons between the year that just passed and 100 years prior to that:

YEAR : 1903

Where were we a century ago?

YEAR OF 1903 .... what a difference a century makes.

Here are the U.S. statistics for 1903....


The average life expectancy in the US was forty-seven.

Only 14 Percent of the homes in the US had a bathtub.

Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone. A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars..

There were only 8,000 cars in the US and only 144 miles of paved roads. The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California. With a mere 1.4 million residents, California was only the 21st most populous state in the Union.

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.

The average wage in the US was 22 cents an hour. The average US worker made between $200 and $400 per year. A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

More than 95 percent of all births in the US took place at home.

Ninety percent of all US physicians had no college education. Instead, they attended medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by
the government as "substandard."

Sugar cost four cents a pound. Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen. Coffee cost fifteen cents a pound.

Most women only washed their hair once a month and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

Canada passed a law prohibiting poor people from entering the country for any reason.

The five leading causes of death in the US were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii and Alaska hadn't been admitted to the Union yet.

The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was 30.

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented.

There were no Mother's Day or Father's Day.

One in ten US adults couldn't read or write. Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.

Coca Cola contained cocaine.

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at corner drugstores. According to one pharmacist, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and the bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health."

Eighteen percent of households in the US had at least one full-time servant or domestic assistant.

There were only about 230 reported murders in the entire US.

Just think what it will be like in another 100 years. It boggles the mind...

(~Author Unknown. Article forwarded via e-mail.)

*********************************************

Ah! What wisdom!...


1. My husband and I divorced over religious differences. He thought he was God and I didn't.

2. I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.

3. I work hard because millions on welfare depend on me.

4. Some people are alive only because it's illegal to kill them.

5. I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

6. Don't take life too seriously; no one gets out alive.

7. You're just jealous because the voices only talk to me.

8. Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

9. Earth is the insane asylum for the universe.

10. Quoting one is plagiarism; quoting many is research.

11. I'm not a complete idiot -- some parts are missing.

12. Out of my mind. Back in five minutes.

13. NyQuil, the stuffy, sneezy, why-the-heck-is-the-room-spinning medicine.

14. God must love stupid people; he made so many.

15. The gene pool could use a little chlorine.

16. It IS as BAD as you think and they ARE out to get you.

17. Consciousness: that annoying time between naps.

18. Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?

19. MOP AND GLOW - Floor wax used by Three Mile Island cleanup crew.

20. Being "over the hill" is much better than being under it.

21. Wrinkled was not one of the things I wanted to be when I grew up.

22. Proscrastinate Now!

23. My dog can lick anyone!

24. I have a degree in liberal arts; do you want fries with that?

25. FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION. It comes bundled with the software.

26. A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

27. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance.

28. STUPIDITY IS NOT A HANDICAP. Park elsewhere!

29. They call it PMS because Mad Cow Disease was already taken.

30. He who dies with the most toys is nonetheless dead.

31. A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS, but it uses up three thousand times the memory on your computer.

32. HAM AND EGGS -- A day's work for a chicken, a lifetime commitment for a pig.

33. The trouble with life is there's no background music.


*****************************

ENCOURAGEMENT

******************************


Count Your Blessings - It Could Be Worse!


If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who won't survive the week.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 20 million people around the world.

If you attend a church meeting without fear of hassassment, arrest, torture, or death, you are more blessed than almost three billion people in the world.

If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of this world.

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealth.

If your parents are still married and alive, you are very rare, especially in the United States.

If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful, you are blessed because majority can, but most do not.

If you can hold someone's hand, hug them or even touch them on the shoulder, you are blessed because you can offer God's healing touch.

If you can read this message, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world that cannot read anything at all.

You are so blessed in ways you may never even know.


***********************************

NEWS OF THE WEIRD

***********************************


From Brandies University News Released on: December 19, 2003 (http://my.brandeis.edu/news/item?news_item_id=102331)
Contact: Contact: Cristin Carr (781) 736-4203

WILL YOU HAVE A SECURE FUTURE?
by Cristin Carr

Relationships, life transitions define how you plan, according to a Brandeis study by Cristin Carr

According to the study, when the respondent made decisions on his or her own, RPI (Retirement Planning Index) scores dropped by .2 points; when financial decisions were made solely by the spouse/partner, RPI decreased by .31. The study found that a stable marriage promoted more retirement planning: those still married to their first spouse saw RPI scores increase.

In addition the timing of divorce, widowhood and remarriage were found to affect retirement planning behavior. A recent divorce or being recently widowed was linked to the lowest RPI scores. A recent remarriage on the other hand was linked to more retirement planning.

The researchers also revealed that the majority of respondents didn't have relatives or friends who could help in a severe financial crisis. Almost three in five (57%) said that they do not have relatives or friends who would be willing and able to help them over a long period of time if they (and their spouse/partner) ran into financial problems.

"Contrary to what we expected, those without backup support weren't more active in preparing for retirement," said Mutschler. "The opposite appears true. Hence, these respondents will be even more vulnerable if such a crisis occurs."

Julie Responds – Yet another way we GOWs and WOWs help our widowers…We apparently help them to better plan for retirement by our support!! YAY, GOWs & WOWs!!!!!
Still, many widowers are verrrrry pokey about changing their life insurance policies to reflect their new wife as the new beneficiary. Don’t be afraid to speak up if your husband has not yet done this! Don’t be afraid that he will think you are merely after his fortune (lol!). You deserve to be taken care of in the event of his death.

**********************************************

Widower still trying to live in past
Published in Suburban Chicago Newspapers 01/17/04

Dear Abby:

I am dating a widower, "Charles," whom I really like except that he doesn't shut up about his "perfect" and "saintly" late, great wife. It grates on my nerves. I mean, what am I — chopped liver?! I tried matching him story-for-story about my late husband so he'd get the hint. It only made him rave about her more. My widowed friends say they've encountered the same problem.

If these guys think their wives were the best there is, why do they bother dating? Charles tells me other women he's dated bore him. I can't believe it's not the other way around. Maybe he has to keep dating to find a new audience. I don't understand why Charles keeps one foot in the grave with his wife while he's still alive. Is he depressed? Or just dumb? — Both Feet on the Ground


Dear Both Feet:

Perhaps he talks about his late wife because they shared so many years and events together that his major memories are bound up with her. Instead of being resentful, speak up! Tell him it's time to stop dwelling on the past and to focus on the present. Work on creating new, happy memories with him. Take pictures, take trips, host a party together. Get a theater subscription, tickets to sporting events, etc., so his memory bank will spill over with recent happy memories with you. I can't think of a better investment.

***************************************

From South Coast Today http://www.s-t.com/daily/08-96/08-08-96/c07ad117.htm

Dear Ann Landers:

I'm having a hard time understanding what kind of problem "Auburn, Calif." thinks she has. She's dating a widower. A "friend" in the powder room told her widowers can never really love again and the man would not have given her a second look if his wife hadn't died. Would she have felt better if the man had been interested in her while his wife was still alive?

My marriage wasn't a happy one. After eight years of misery with "Clark," who had plenty of second looks to go around, my self-esteem bottomed out. I decided it was easier to kick him out than kill myself. I was darned sure he wouldn't have any trouble learning to love again.

I hope the man "Auburn" is dating understands the meaning of commitment. Please tell her he will love again. It might not be the same love he had for his first wife, but if he was faithful to her, chances are good he will be faithful to "Auburn," too.

I hope she doesn't allow some witch in the powder room to cast doubts on what sounds like a lovely relationship. Please, Ann, give her reassurance.
-- Louisville Sympathizer

Dear Louisville: You did, and I thank you. I hope she reads this. (And a pox on that witch in the powder room.)

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From the “Ask The Expert” column at Beyond Indigo website: http://www.beyondindigo.com/articles/article.php/artID/150?PHPSESSID=58b8549e973cce259858549a159dfa3f

Dear Paul,

I would like to know if there is somewhere to go to find out about dating a widower?

My boyfriend (a widower for a year) and I fell in love, then he started distancing himself. It was awhile before I realized it was around anniversaries, birthdays and holidays. Then one day (a month before the second anniversary of her death) he said something was "missing," it was him and that we needed time apart.

He had been depressed and was showing classic grieving signs (I watched my dad go through the same thing after my mother died and even teach death and dying in a high school). He denied it was grieving and that she was gone and that was that. However, he will not let go of the relationship fully by having said he thinks he still loves me but cannot commit to me like he did to her and that "you just never know what will happen."

I love him and I know that he loves me, but that he is feeling either guilty, fearful, or scared about loving someone else.

Is there any information out there about dating a survivor? Even 5 months later he still says you just don't know what will happen. This has me in emotional limbo! I feel for him, but I also have to feel for myself.

Problem: I love the guy. We are 43, and I need help.
Hanging


Dear Hanging,

As one who is dating a widower with desires to make it a permanent relationship, you are finding yourself in a very difficult position and one that you may have very little control over. Without knowing any more of the details of your situation, I agree with you in thinking that your boyfriend is still grieving the death of his wife. Until he has successfully grieved her death, he will experience some difficulties getting into a subsequent permanent relationship. Your reference to his feeling "guilty, fearful, or scared" about a new relationship is right on and it probably is a combination of all three of those.

You are in a difficult position but, if it's any consolation to you, it could be worse. Your boyfriend could have married you very quickly after his first wife's death without having grieved her death and you could be in a marriage threatened by a now-deceased person.

As difficult as this may be, the only thing that you can really do is wait, and that is among the hardest of things to do. It would be great if the grief process your boyfriend is experiencing could be "fast-forwarded," but nobody has that kind of power. I would encourage your boyfriend to talk with a counselor in your community about his wife's death and get some help in working through it. The sooner he can bring that relationship to a closure, the sooner the two of you can make progress in developing a more permanent relationship.

Best wishes,
Paul

Paul V. Johnson, MA, is a consultant and trainer for business, industry, and educational institutions on issues related to loss and grief. He was formerly an Associate Professor of Sociology at Bethel College (MN) and Director of Aftercare Services for the Bradshaw Funeral Homes in the Twin Cities area. He has made presentations at the national conferences of major professional caregiving associations and is a member of the Association for Death Education and Counseling.

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From UgNet (A Ugandan message board) http://www.mail-archive.com/ugandanet@kym.net/msg10535.html

The Kind of Man Not Worth Dating
By Sarah Namatovu
Jan 16 - 22, 2004

When you start dating, you want the ideal man, the one who won't make you regret having met him. Dating the right man is interesting and any woman can achieve this by avoiding the wrong guy. Sarah Namatovu advises on men to avoid…

The Widower

Those who are still searching should also avoid the widower. Okay, he lost a wife or two and you should sympathise with him but that is where you should stop. If you go ahead and fall in love with him, you are bringing trouble unto yourself. What guarantee do you have that he is or will ever get over his dead wife/wives? If you reject my advice, prepare yourself for a lifetime of misery.

This guy will always talk about his late wife, how he misses her, how they used to have fun and how he wishes he could turn back the hands of time. Apart from that, his relatives might reject you especially if you don't measure up to the their expectations. If you still don't mind living with such a man, go ahead but don't say I didn't warn you.


Julie Responds: Is this girl stupid or what????

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From SignOnSanDiego.com March 6, 2003 http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/bell/20030306-9999_1m6bell.html

Creative Widower Uses Billboards to Pitch Woo
By Diane Bell


They're certainly traffic-stoppers, those two "WIFE WANTED" billboards on Miramar Road and Balboa Avenue.
Lamar Outdoor Advertising put them up Friday for a client who decided to take spouse recruitment to a new level.

"WIFE WANTED – White male, 43, nice looking, great sense of humor, financially secure, seeks fun, fit female with a great smile and a wonderful heart. Call 619 543-8900."

Callers are greeted by a man's recorded voice that asks for their name, phone number, a little information about themselves and promises a call right back, ending: "Thanks and have a great day."

The advertiser, a real estate businessman named Marc, who returned my call as promised, explained: "I have a creative, crazy mind, and I thought, 'Why not?' ... I don't go to bars. I don't like to meet people at the supermarket or hustle people off the street. I tried meeting people on the Internet, and I didn't like that. This was a crazy thing to do, but it doesn't matter how you meet someone. The important thing is that you meet."

Marc, who prefers to keep his last name private for business reasons, says he was recently widowed, has two grown children and is most interested in a person with inner beauty and a positive personality. "I've dated, but I'm looking for someone special – a soul mate. I want a serious relationship, hopefully leading to marriage."

When he decided to advertise on a billboard, Marc says he expected maybe four or five calls a day. Instead, he has been overwhelmed with 50 to 75. "I try to return every call and have a conversation," says Marc, who is spending four to five hours a day responding to callers. If the conversation goes well, the woman isn't too young or too old – early 30s to mid-40s is his ideal – and their personalities jibe, he sets up a date for coffee. If that goes OK, maybe a real date will follow.

It's certainly not an inexpensive way to meet someone. Brad Swisher from Lamar says a 30-day run on a billboard can range from $3,000 to $15,000, depending on location, with the average cost about $6,000 – not cheap by dating-service standards. "But if he's got the money, and this is what he wants to do, why not?," says Swisher. Marc chose to put one of his billboards on Balboa Avenue in Kearny Mesa, just east of Convoy Street. The other is on Miramar Road near the Camino Ruiz intersection.

Marc says his biggest surprise was a call from an L.A. production company wanting to discuss a "marriage by billboard" reality TV show. "I'd be crazy not to talk to them," he says, "but I don't want this to turn into a media circus. My real interest is in meeting a special woman."


Julie Responds - I think ANY woman he dates (GOW) or marries (WOW) will be "that special person" he's been searching for. :)


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BOOK REVIEW

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For HIM:

How To Go On Living When Someone You Love Dies
by Therese A. Rando (Author)

Paperback: 352 pages
Dimensions (in inches): 0.82 x 8.25 x 5.19
Publisher: Bantam ; Reprint edition (July 18, 1991)
ISBN: 0553352695

From the publisher, Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc.:

"Mourning the death of a loved one is a process all of us will go through at one time or another. But wherever the death is sudden or anticipated, few of us are prepared for it or for the grief it brings. There is no right or wrong way to grieve; each person's response to loss will be different.

Now, in this compassionate, comprehensive guide, Therese A. Rando, Ph.D., bereavement specialist and author of Loss And Anticipatory Grief, leads you gently through the painful but necessary process of grieving and helps you find the best way for yourself.
Whether the death was sudden of expected, from accident, illness, suicide, homicide, or natural causes, Dr. Rando will help you learn to:

~Understand and resolve your grief.
~Talk to children about death.
~Resolve unfinished business.
~Take care of yourself.
~Accept the help and support of others.
~Get through holidays and other difficult times of the year.
~Plan funerals and personal bereavement rituals.

How To Go On Living With Someone You Love Dies also includes a comprehensive resource listing and a chapter on finding professional help and support groups.

There is no way around the pain of loss, but there is a way through it. Dr. Rando offers the solace, comfort, and guidance to help you accept your loss and move into your new life without forgetting your treasured past.

"Dr. Rando's book should help anyone ho has survived the pain of this kind of loss and is trying to adjust to a new world without his loved one."--Art Linkletter



For YOU:


Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples
By Harville Hendrix (Author)
ISBN: 0805068953
Format: Paperback, 303pp
Pub. Date: August 2001
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company, Incorporated

From the publisher: Here is an extraordinary practical guide to resolving problems, using 16 exercises to enhance communication, stop self-defeating behavior, and achieve mutual emotional satisfaction. With Hendrix's advice, the all-too-common marital power struggle can be gradually transformed into a mutually beneficial process of spiritual and emotional growth.

Best selling author Dr. Harville Hendrix offers warm, intelligent advice for transforming an intimate relationship into a lasting source of love and companionship.

Dr. Hendrix, a marriage therapist and pastoral counsellor, has divided his helpful recommendations into 3 stages. First, he chronicles the fate of most relationships-attraction, romantic love and the power struggle — and suggests ways for you and your partner to identify the conflicts associated with each of them. Then, he explores methods for achieving a "Conscious Marriage," where the early phases of romance are rekindled and confrontation is slowly replaced by growth and support. Finally, Dr. Hendrix incorporates these ideas into a unique therapeutic course, offering a series of proven step-by-step exercises that lead to insight, resolution and revitalization.

If you're not getting the love you want from the person you're with, you need to do something about it. Dr. Hendrix tells you what that something is.

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Note from Julie: As always, please feel free to forward this newsletter to anyone you feel it may help, or share it with your widower.

I’m just an e-mail away…J.D.A.






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