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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.
Julie Donner Andersen
Newsletter Dated: 6/2/2004 10:26:11 PM
Subject: ONE MORE TIME! (WOW/GOW NEWSLETTER)
I apologize if you have already received this month's newsletter, but many did not receive it at all, so I am attching it herewith. Several that I sent last week came back as "undeliverable". After contacting my provider (AuthorsDen.com), I learned that the newsletter was either too big, or was sent at a busy time of day. So, here I am at 1:30 a.m., hoping it will go through this time!
Again, I apologize for hogging your disk space for the second time if you have already received this month's newsletter.
Please send in your "Questions Of The Month" responses!!!
I’m always in awe of the amazing talents of my fellow newsletter members, as well as those who I meet along this journey of authordom!…
…Recently, I have had the distinct pleasure of corresponding with a fellow writer whose focus and specialty is grief. Sherry Russell, author of the book “Conquering the Mysteries and Lies of Grief” has been kind enough to submit a wonderful article to this month’s newsletter (printed below) that addresses those of you who were widowed yourselves before meeting/dating/marrying your widowers. Even those of you who haven’t been widowed will find much wisdom and truth in Sherry’s writings. Please feel free to send me your feedback, comments, etc. about Sherry’s article, as well as ideas for future articles that you would like to see in the newsletter. Thank you, Sherry, for your generosity in sharing your experiences with our GOW/WOW family! J…
…As an added bonus, Stephanie, a wonderful WOW and newsletter member, sent me a fabulous article that I wanted to share with you. It is a great reminder that we should be grateful for the blessing of a husband’s love, and I hope it encourages all of us to stop comparing his great love to that of his late wife’s. Enjoy!…
…Another wonderful newsletter member, a GOW named Carrie, shared with me her gut-wrenching poem, and generously offered her permission to reprint it here in the newsletter. I KNOW you will all relate to the “new GOW relationship” emotions that Carrie’s poem elicits. Feedback is most welcomed, as I like to encourage our contributing members as much as possible!
…On that note: if any of you would care to share a personal insight, story, article, or poem for a future newsletter, by all means, do send it in to me! I would be happy to include it in the newsletter for you, and thank you profusely for sharing your soul in the written word with your fellow members.
This month, I am introducing a new segment of the newsletter called “News Women Can Use”. Thanks, Wilda, for sending the first installment of this worthy article for the new column. Ladies, take notes! It just might save your life some day!
As always, I’m only an e-mail away!
(~~Julie Donner Andersen is the author of “PAST: Perfect! PRESENT: Tense! Insights From One Woman’s Journey As The Wife of a Widower,” available at Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com. Her personal website is http://www.authorsden.com/juliedonnerandersen Julie can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com)
(Disclaimer: The opinions, feelings, and emotions displayed in the articles, stories, news articles, and poems in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the same as the newsletter owner, Julie Donner Andersen, and should not be construed as her personal advice/opinion, nor be considered her personal endoresement. Thank you....JDA)
Remarriage and Grief
By Sherry Russell
Jumping off a 15-foot ladder into frigid waters of unknown depth is how many men feel about the concept of being vulnerable. When a man loses a wife, his fear that grief will render him emotionally naked is a ten on the grand scale of disturbing. Many men will do whatever possible to avert the oncoming avalanche of emotions, including self-protecting silence that can undermine existing and new relationships. In my conversations with hundreds of men regarding the loss of their wives, I found what men look for is to be accepted and understood with honest compassion.
Studies have shown that the majority of widowers either consider marriage or get remarried within the first year after the death of their spouse. New wives seem to be the catalysts for the necessary emotional support, especially when the man continues to be preoccupied with his deceased wife. A new wife will show blossoming patience extending out and opening up to the acceptance, understanding, and compassion the man needs. The new relationship usually becomes bonded over long talks about the deceased wife and/or partners. Since the loss of a wife generally means loss of his best friend and confidant, a woman who will listen and engage him in conversation about his loss is invaluable.
It is a general consensus that says men tend to visit gravesites more often. The gravesite may act as a linking object to their grief. Men link an action, place, or thing to their verbal expressions. It is not uncommon for a man to carry a pendant, ring, or some small object that connects them to their loved one.
I counselled with a couple that met at a cemetery. I shall refer to them as Jane and Ken. Jane’s husband died of a heart attack a year earlier than Ken’s wife, who had died from cancer. Jane faithfully went to the cemetery every Sunday toting fresh flowers, whispering notables from the week’s happenings to her husband.
When Ken’s wife died, she was placed a few plots over from Jane’s husband. Every Sunday, Jane would see Ken sadly pruning his wife’s site. It started with a simple nod to each other and then one day Jane brought two lawn chairs. She asked Ken if he wanted to sit and talk, and this lead to supportive phone calls, dinners, and drives to the cemetery together. They grew closer, and Ken became more dependent upon Jane as an emotional balance beam.
Jane, being widowed a year earlier than Ken, had ventured through a magnitude of grief work. Also, being a woman, she had connection to many which she shared her most intimate feelings about her loss. She allowed herself to be supported by a network of family, friends, and church. She felt like she had crossed over the bridge to the other side where her old reality and her new reality were starting to weave together.
Ken, on the other hand, was only connecting to Jane in regards to his most intimate feelings about his loss. To most, it looked as if Ken had risen above his grief to go on with his life. He seemed full of sparkle when he was around Jane and talked hopefully about the future and then would suddenly plunge into a darkness of spirit when the date would be about to end.
Jane and Ken married. At first, Jane thought it was endearing what a loving husband Ken had been when he would continue to talk about “his wife,” as he still called his late wife. He would also fondle a locket his wife had worn for years while sharing a multitude of memories. After a while, Jane started to feel jealous of the other wife. This was a shock to Jane and she became anxious and distraught. How could she allow herself to feel jealousy over Ken’s lost love – a situation in which he had no control over? Jane also concluded that she had actually grown not only to like this wife but also to respect her.
At one point out of frustration, Jane set an extra dinner plate out on the table. When Ken came in for dinner he asked who was the guest. Jane said she invited the wife since she was always around anyway. Then Jane broke down into tears. Ken, seeing how upset Jane was, couldn’t understand it nor was he aware of what he had been doing. He was at the crossroads of confusion.
I asked Ken one day if he had a choice to either hurt or not hurt Jane, what would he choose. Looking at me in total bewilderment, he answered that of course he would never choose to hurt Jane. At that point the door opened for me to ask more questions in regards to his deceased wife and to find out how he defined the difference between his deceased wife and his living wife. I wanted him to explain where one relationship ended and the other began…or did he have a blurred line? I wanted him to examine his boundaries on these relationships and his grief.
Ken thought for a while before he told me that he didn’t know how to separate from his first wife. It wasn’t like they were divorced, and it wasn’t like he had ever fallen out of love with her. He felt guilty that he couldn’t protect her from, nor fix, the cancer. He felt helpless and responsible. He was also afraid that if he let go of his first wife, everything that had meant anything during those years might also disappear. She had been the mighty link for the communication between family members and the one who created the nurturing nest that had produced two incredible children who were now successful adults.
Now, I must say that getting a man to not only listen but to hear and digest what you have to say is definitely a priceless moment!
During a following meeting with both Ken and Jane, we decided it would be helpful for each one to talk about the three most appreciated qualities they cherished from their past spouses and the three most disliked aspects of the relationship. It was astonishing to both of them how they had put their past relationships up on pedestals. Jane was the most open and said it hurt to look past the veil of what she chose to remember.
We then focused on the differences of who they had been and who they were now, and how the loss of their partners had changed them. We then took a look at their relationship and focused in on the uniqueness of their love connection.
Through the discussions and open communication in which each one heard the other, the grief wound was opened and cleansed again and again until it was noted by each that the wound would never completely go away but would not hold them hostage to a new life, either. Ken had felt all along like he had betrayed his late wife, and Jane had felt that she had never been truly loved by Ken for who she was. She needed to know he had not blurred the two women together and that she was loved and acknowledged for her own precious self.
Moving toward an awareness and acceptance of each other’s grief and each other’s needs in the “now” requires taking the responsibility to understanding that grief is absolutely unique to each person. It helps to try and establish the elements in the grief that you have in common. Giving permission for your partner to express the grief in his/her way is essential. It may also help to establish a “family meeting” where the two can express and share their feelings about their losses and how they are coping without judgment. Boundaries should be set for times when talking about the deceased is off limits. This helps keep focus on the intimacy and closeness in the new relationship.
The intensity that grief has on each of us depends on many factors. The intensity that grief can have on a new relationship depends on the commitment to survive, thrive, and live a shared life filled with chosen memories of the past while making radiant memories for the future.
~~Sherry Russell was a Grief Management Specialist for over 20 years. She originated a series of grief workshops and is on the board of advisors for The Bright Side - Wings of Support website where she hosts the Coping with Loss section and writes a monthly column. Sherry is a member of the American Academy of Experts and the Florida Association for Death Education Council. She is the author of Conquering the Mysteries and Lies of Grief (September 2002). She presently has a book for children in the publishing process, and is writing a book for teens to overcome anger/fear in relation to loss.
For more information: www.authorsden.com/sherryrussell www.funeralassociates.com/books.htm
The following little story appeared in the most recent Positive Thinking Leaflet published by Guideposts magazine. It's too good not to share! (Thanks, Stephanie!!)
by Marilyn Strube
Recently, while visiting a nearby cemetery, I was surprised to see my brother and sister-in-law placing beautiful flowers on three graves. I didn't recognize the names and asked if they had been friends. Deb explained that the widow they'd bought their house from had moved back to Croatia and had called to ask, if she sent money, could Paul and Deb buy flowers for the graves of her husband, and his first and second wives. Though surprised by the request, they agreed. The woman sent the money and they bought the flowers, placed them, and then took pictures of each grave to send to her. Deb and the widow soon became friends.
Deb explained that she was also a second wife and asked the widow why she was so kind to the wives that had preceded her husband in death. "He once said that he loved me the same as he loved his other wives, with all his heart. I knew it was true. His love was genuine. I wanted to love him as fully and the best way was to love those he'd loved, too." Her simple words touched Debby's heart.
Every year, the widow sends money and Paul and Deb buy flowers. What started out as a favor to the widow ended up being a lesson in love.
Holding Her Heart
By “Carrie”, an engaged GOW and newsletter member.
When she left, you were holding her hand.
When I leave, you will be holding my heart.
Did anyone tell you?? Did you forget??
Time only heals if you let it.
You work so hard to please a memory, but
Somewhere in all this, you lost me.
You took her flowers.
I needed them, too.
You get down on your knees to speak to her.
I needed your voice to soothe me.
You put her on a pedestal so high,
I felt inferior...too inferior to even try.
Now that I am almost gone,
Will my pedestal be as hard to climb?
Look around your empty house.
Look at all you have lost.
Did her dying mean
She would always be first
No matter the cost?
When she left, you were holding her hand.
When I leave, you will still be holding my heart.
You are supposed to let her go.
You are supposed to pull ME close.
If only you had made us equal,
But she is perfect:
A perfect memory...
QUESTIONS OF THE MONTH – JUNE (and your responses)
1.) If you have been married before, do your ex and your widower get along? Does your widower feel threatened by your ex and/or your relationship with him? Do you see any similarities between your issues regarding the late wife and your widower’s issues with your ex-husband? Explain. Have you ever compared your ex to your widower, either consciously (not aloud) or verbally (aloud)? How did the comparison make you – and he – feel?
~~My ex passed away about 4 years after the divorce so the relationship between my ex and my widower is not an issue. To my knowledge, my widower does not feel threatened at all, either by my memories (good & bad) of my ex, or by any previous relationships I had before he came into my life. I don't think that the man has a jealous bone in his body. There are absolutely no similarities between my issues with the LW and any issues he may have with my ex. Their marriage was perfect and mine was lousy so I guess my widower probably feels pretty secure that there is no competition for my heart. He doesn’t know (and I will never tell him) that I DO compare my ex to my widower quite frequently, because in some ways my ex could be a lot more compassionate and caring when he was around (and wanted to be).
~~I have been married before. It drives my widower crazy! He likes to compare the two situations sometimes when I am feeling insecure. I try to explain I CHOSE to leave him and ended it because I DID NOT LOVE HIM. That, to me, is a big difference. I do not miss my ex. I do not "idolize" him. I DID NOT PUT A BIG HEADSTONE in the front yard of MY home in remembrance of him! I do not cry on his birthday! I don’t get depressed on our anniversary! It is so different!!! But, I DO understand his insecurities. I did have a history and two children with the man. It makes me very angry because my widower says he does not want to see my ex under any circumstance. I have a graduation...weddings...and grandchildren to be born someday…AND I go to his family functions and have people stare at me like I am from mars. I have been through some real hurtful things, and I have weathered them for him because I love him. I feel he should do the same. He can compare himself to my ex...and I do not have that luxury. When you pass away, you become a saint! I am not perfect like everyone makes her out to be. My ex is still alive and well and screwing up on a weekly basis. I have dated a divorced man before meeting my fiancé. It was a piece of cake compared to this, but my widower does not see it that way and probably never will.
2.) Has your previously widowed BF/Hubs ever come right out and told you that he loves you more than he loved his LW? How do you feel about that? OR…Has he ever told you the opposite (that he’ll always love her more)? How do you feel about that? If he’s never said a word either way, what do YOU assume his answer to the question “Who do you love more?” would be, and why?
~~My husband would never ever tell me that he loves me more, because he doesn't. She will always be #1, but he is too kind to say so, thank goodness. In fact, he doesn’t say much of anything about her, leaving me to assume a lot. I would be just about the happiest woman in the world if he ever would say that he loves me more. I wish with all my heart that someone would tell me that he is so much happier now - a much different person than the sad person I imagine he was before I came into his life - but so far, no one has.
~~My widower/fiancé and I went through a really rough time last summer in July, which is the month he married the LW, and is also her birth month. He was away visiting her parents for a while, and then my fiancé’s mother insisted we all go out to dinner at the LW's favorite restaurant on her birthday. I had a really hard time. This and a few other moments caused me to contemplate a break up, because I felt that July would ALWAYS be miserable and I don't know if I could take that. But I love my fiancee so much. I knew his LW too. She was a close, dear friend. So I prayed a lot and kept faith in our love. On the day of the LW's birthday, we went to dinner with my fiancé’s parents, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. After, we went to a park nearby that I've always loved, and is a special place to my fiancé. It was special to the LW too. He told me how very much he loved me, how special I am, and what a miracle our love is. The evening ended up being a very romantic, loving one for us -proof positive to me that what we have can weather anything, and is a gift. I know my friend, his LW, would be so happy knowing her beloved husband and dear friend are taking good care of each other. She told him to "marry again for love" the day she died, and we will do just that later this year. Keep the faith in your loves, my fellow GOWS and WOWS!
~~Very soon after I started dating my BF, we talked about the situation, and I told him that I knew part of him would always love his late wife. He quickly interrupted and corrected me, saying that ALL of him would always love her. That caught me off guard, and I asked him if all of him could ever love someone else. He paused a second and told me that he would never ask someone to marry him unless he did love her with all his heart, too. He told me that loving her does not take away at all from loving someone else and compared it to a mother having two children, both of whom she loves completely and equally. He told me a few weeks later that there were three little words that he was wanting to tell me, but was dealing with one situation in his heart - that he was afraid of loving me more than he loved his late wife, which he worked through and told me those words the next week. The only situation I'm working through now is that we're looking at getting engaged in a few weeks. He told me that he doesn't feel right getting me a bigger ring than his late wife's, nor a smaller one. He apologized that he wouldn't be getting me a big ring, as she had a smaller one since she had tiny hands, but he assured me that we would add to it later. I don't care about the size of the ring, but it makes me wonder if there's any other limits in his life that we can't go past because he doesn't want to be "unfair" or do more/love me more than her. I know it sounds silly, but I'm thinking of asking him for a smaller ring than his late wife's, just because I don't want the same ring as hers, and I want it to be a ring that he and I chose, not one that she set the limits on. (I wrote this a few days ago, and we have talked since. He realized that it was unfair for his LW to have the freedom to choose what she wanted, and not me. He decided to buy whatever reminded him of me without comparing it to his LW.)
~~I am glad to have the chance to answer this one...My BF has not said that (nor do I think he will ever say that) I am better/more/best or anything remotely close. To do so would indicate that she (LW) was less, and he won't do anything to "tarnish" the LW's saintly memory. I hate it because I put myself out there and told him that he was the best man/BF I ever had (and it was true, he's awesome), but I feel foolish because I will never know if he feels the same, or if she was better...but I'm "ok" and will do in her absence.
~~I have never asked him outright whom he loves more. I did make the mistake a few weeks ago of asking the insane question I have avoided like the plague: “Whom would you pick if she came back tomorrow?". It was a mistake! He didn’t answer at all, but I saw the answer in his eyes. I got upset and cried. He tried to explain by asking me to put myself in his shoes – “what would I do if I had a good relationship for twenty years and for the kids’ sakes and blah...blah...blah"!!! It just feels hurtful that no matter what I do, SHE will still come first. And yes, I know it is a "never can happen" question, but it lingers in the back of my head and heavily on my heart. In February, he had to write a memorial tribute for the local paper (it was her birthday). He kept putting it off, and when I asked why, he said, "I cannot write loving words to her any more. I love you so much". It may seem selfish, but I liked hearing that! I helped him write it and I even took it down to the paper for him. He told me not long ago that he loves us both just as much...just in different ways...sometimes when I am doing his and his children’s dishes...and laundry...and errands...I think, “This sucks!! I am doing all the work and she is getting just as much love!” But, I do understand him and I know he loves me very much. He knows I feel “second" and does extra special things to try and make me feel first. I know that eventually, I just might feel “first”.
~~The other night, coming home from the bar with my boyfriend and some friends, my boyfriend made the comment that he never wants to fall in love or get married again. I didn't say anything to him at the time because he had a little too much to drink. It really hurt my feelings. The next day I thought about it, and it made me wonder what in the world I was doing with him and if I was wasting my time. Thinking about it now, though, I think those are his walls of defense and he just doesn't want to get hurt again. I talked to his brother about this (they're very close) and he said that he believes my BF will fall in love again and one day remarry. I hope so. Other people I talk to feel the same way. I know for a fact that he loves his wife more. He cares for me a lot, but he doesn't love me.
~~I think this is an unfair question. You cannot compare a love you have for two different people. This is like a child asking a parent which child they love the most. The husband will always love his late wife and no new relationship will ever change that. You can be jealous of the love, but you’re going to have to get over it. If any widower has told his girlfriend or new wife that he loves his late wife more, then (in my opinion) he is not ready for the current relationship.
3.) Have you ever felt like breaking up (or have you ever broken up) with your previously widowed BF/Hubs because you felt/feel that you may never be #1 in his heart? Explain. Has he ever broken up with you for the same reason? How did/does this make you feel?
~~My husband and I dated for about 2 years before we got married. I came very close to breaking it up once because of the "#1" thing. At the time, I was feeling so hurt and left out and thought “I can't do this anymore!” His wife was a much beloved saint and I'm not and don't want to be. I am feeling better now than I was then and hoping that it is just a matter of time before I will be able to resolve the #1 issue in my mind.
~~I am on the verge of this very thing. May is "the month" that the LW died and I am waiting to see how this month goes. But it's been two years since she died and her voice still answers the answering machine! (Houston, I think we have a problem!) I don't want to break up, but I need to know my value and my place with him. If it is second, I just need to know that and decide if that is good enough. If it isn't, I need to know that now before any wedding takes place.
~~I have contemplated breaking up with my fiancé with the thought “This relationship is just too complicated!” I feel I may never get over these feelings or frustration. But then I think to myself, “What relationship comes without problems?” I have to stop and think about all the wonderful things we share and how we are getting ready for a wedding all our own. We are going to live in the same house he bought with his first wife. But hey, we’ve done great so far. We don’t fight. He opens doors for me and loves the food I cook for him. I’m willing to visit his in-laws (first wife’s parents) at Christmas and share “their car” if I have the chance to spend the rest of my life with someone as wonderful as him. I believe you have to sit down and really weigh your pros and cons before closing someone out of your life. Life is crappy and sometimes cruel when it takes the biggest and best person away.
~~I have left twice now because I couldn’t take the pressure. I was overwhelmed and feeling like this will never be my home. But, I can’t imagine life without him and with help from a special angel (you know who you are…Julie...lol), I am coping and learning every day. I am going to try very hard not to leave again. He has had one woman he loves leave and never come back. The times I have left have devastated him. May 23rd is her first death anniversary and I am afraid it will be too much for me, watching the man I love miss and want another woman. I have decided to help him in any way I can. I was going to take off that weekend and go back to my old town. I felt he needed to grieve alone, but he says he needs me. In my mind, I know that if I leave again it will be for good! I can’t put him through this and it is too hard on me. So, for now, I will stay and work VERY hard on a relationship I know is worth it!!
~~I have often thought of breaking up with my BF. It's hard being second place with someone I care so much for. In most relationships, the most enjoyable part is knowing that someone feels the same way you feel about them. I know that this is something neither one of us have experienced before (thank God), and we can work through these feelings. I understand completely the love he has for his wife, but at the same time, I wonder if he will or even could love me like that. As stated in my response to question #1, my BF admitted that he never wants to fall in love or get married again. That only reinforces that feeling of not ever being #1.
4.) Has the loss of his late wife affected your widower’s spirituality and/or belief system, either in a positive or negative way? Explain. How does this make you feel?
~~It definitely strengthened his faith in God as he looked to God for peace. My BF's father went into the hospital a few weeks ago and almost died, and
he made the comment that he knew if his dad passed away, his dad would be in heaven, and though it would be sad, it would be ok. I think his late wife's
death has actually helped my BF deal with death and reality. It has also encouraged him to pray a lot more for people who don't know God, especially his father-in-law, since he realizes time is short.
~He told me that at the time of her death and for a while after, he questioned his faith a lot because she didn't deserve to die the way she did. He questioned why God would allow such an awful thing to happen to such a devout and good person. Now, I think he has resolved that in his mind and has come to a level of acceptance. I would like to think I had something to do with that, not because I have a strong Christian faith - I don't - but because now he knows he can love again.
~~I don’t believe he has lost faith nor has he renewed his faith. He told me his church really let him down when he went to them for help. But he’s been let down before in life and has never let it stand between him and God.
~~I do believe it has changed him. He doesn’t talk much about that subject, but other people tell me he has changed. He never went to church with her much (he was home, farming). Now he tells me he wants us to start going on Sundays (to THEIR church, where they just planted a tree in the front and dedicated it to her!). I won’t go, and that’s a whole different issue I am dealing with!! I think he likes to believe she is with God, and the more he believes in God, the more it is possible...if that makes any sense!!
~~Hubs and his LW were staunch Baptists - this was her religion which he basically joined for her. He became a deacon and both were very active in their church. Upon her death, his faith was shaken to the core. He couldn't understand why God would let her die, why God would let it happen when they had lived such good and faithful lives. It was a terrible time for him, and when we met (1+ year after her death) he was spiritually very confused. He met with a former minister (also widowed) who told him that he was asking the questions for which there would be no answers until the afterlife. He could either trust God that there would be answers, or not. He could trust God and continue to live out his faith, or not. That got my widower to thinking. He has become involved in my church (Catholic) and although I have NEVER pushed him and have NEVER asked him to join, he is asking faith questions and I see inklings that his belief and his faith in the goodness of God are being rekindled. I consider this to be a true blessing. When we first met and he was so spiritually lost, I asked if he would rather date someone whose faith level matched his own. His answer was an emphatic NO, which told me that the seeds of faith and hope were still alive in his hurt heart and soul. I see his coming alive again as a true gift from God, and something that, although slow growth, IS growth, and is bringing us closer together. Thank God for working in all our hearts!
~~Spirituality, my BF has probably strengthened tremendously. He has leaned on it a lot to raise his kids and keep his sanity. His (our) faith is very important to he and I and sometimes it all we have to keep us together.
QUESTIONS OF THE MONTH - JULY
OK, gals, send ‘em in! Pick one or answer all three…but DO share with us! Don’t make me bombard your e-mail with nag notes! LOL! Results posted in July Newsletter, due out June 26th….JDA
1.) Has your BF/Hubs/anyone else ever called you by the late wife’s name? If so, how did that make you feel, and/or how did you resolve the problem?
2.) Would you want your BF/Hubs to remarry should you (God forbid!) pass away? Why or why not?
3.) What would you say was your most important “breakthrough” moment in solving one of your GOW/WOW issues? Explain how you accomplished your victory.
~~Send in your responses via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not use Julie’s messaging system through her website at AuthorsDen. Thank you!
I have been married to a widower for 5 years. My husband has always been wonderful about remembering important dates, but this past year, he’s blown it a few times. For instance, he forgot the date of our wedding anniversary. He also recently confused my birthday with his late wife’s and gave me a present on HER birthday instead of mine (the dates aren’t even close – about 6 months apart, for heaven’s sake!). But what hurts is that he never forgets to take flowers to her grave on his LW’s death anniversary, and he doesn’t forget to take flowers to her on their wedding anniversary!!!
What should I make of this? I am so hurt, but I don’t know how to discuss the subject with him as he is loathe to talk about my WOW issues or anything to do with his late wife.
“Here, But Forgotten”
First of all, my sympathies. You have a RIGHT to be hurt…and to be heard!
I’d love to be able to say that your husband’s faux pas is a “guy thing”, since men are not as adept at remembering “fluffy dates” (calendar days that have sentimentality attached to them and great meaning to you) as women are. My ex-husband used to forget our fluffy dates often, but he was never a widower (although I often dreamed hiring a hit man to make myself a widow! heh heh heh).
However, in your husband’s case, I think his forgetfulness about your fluffy dates says a lot about his state of mind during a stage of grief. What may seem odd to you is that he forgot THIS year and not last year, or the year before that, or the year before that, etc., right?
It never ceases to amaze me that WOWs and their husbands – and GOWs and their BFs, for that matter – can discuss such important issues as their respective needs, wants, desires, disappointments, successes, hopes, fears, and dreams – but simply cannot bring themselves to discuss grief and WOW issues! Every good marriage is built on good communication. It is the foundation of every successful relationship. To fear discussion because one party is afraid to hurt the other will only breed resentment in both parties, which is evident in your case. For a man to shut out his wife when she is upset may appear to shows a lack of sensitivity on his part. However, we’re talking about a widower here – and although they are men (and men are prone to seek out solutions to their problems from within instead of from outsiders), they are also men who deal with a certain extra emotion that most other men do not – grief.
In my book, I discuss the “fits and starts” of dating a widower: those times when a widower will pull back or completely withdraw from a new relationship because of grief triggers, such as betrayal issues or a fear of intimacy with a new partner. However, this often happens with REMARRIED widowers as well – especially those who loathe discussing their grief, as you described your husband.
When a partner of any kind (married, single, divorced, widowed) withdraws into his own private “shell of hell” for whatever the reasons, negative emotions - like resentment, anger, and grief - are bound to breed. The “shell of hell” is fertile soil for producing confusion, too. Confusion messes with the mind, pushing aside rational thought and replacing it with a mixed bag of insecurity, fear, and self-doubt. During this period of hurt and confusion, the important calendar dates – especially the fluffy dates - become just another day of the week.
Sometimes, a widower jumps into a relationship with both feet before he has given himself a chance to walk through ALL the stages of grief. He sets aside grief, ignores it, and/or pretends that it is something he can handle by himself. However, grief is an impatient emotion – it will not wait for long. Perhaps your husband was one of these widowers, and his grief has just now snuck up on him, causing him much pain and confusion, and thus forgetfulness.
The best way to solve your problem of your widower’s forgetfulness is to bring your man out of his “shell of hell” with frank communication. But be forewarned: when a widower is so far deep into his kaleidoscope of negative feelings, he tends to plant his feet firmly in his cesspool of anger and withdraw from the world. It takes a LOT of patience, compassion, understanding, and selflessness to expose his darkness to the light. But most of all, it takes bravery.
You must be strong enough to put your own resentful feelings aside to lead him gently out of the quagmire. You cannot allow fear of what he will say to stand in your way. Otherwise, he will sink deeper into his quicksand of negativity. WOWs play an important role in their widowers’ lives: that of being the catalyst for change/growth through honest discussion of grief emotions.
As with all WOW-to-widower discussions, you may not like what you hear from him, but you must be strong enough to remember that airing his grief feelings is to his advantage…and will bring healing to your marriage.
~~Do you agree? Disagree? Have some advice to help this reader? Got a question for me? Let me hear it! email@example.com
SHAMELESS PLUGS AND OTHER ANNOYING AUTHOR STUFF…
~~~Gals, I need your help! My publicist is setting up book signings in the USA and Canada (yes, this WOW is going on tour!), and I’d LOOOOVE to come to your town! Would you please send me the name, address, and phone number (and, if possible, the manager’s name) of the bookstore(s) in your area that host(s) author book signings? Thanks, Gals...I will let you know in a future newsletter if your town is scheduled for a visit from Yours Truly, because I’d LOOOVE to see you there and hug you to pieces!!
~~~Ladies, I’d LOVE to see your reviews of my book show up at Amazon.com, Amazon.ca (Canada), and/or BarnesAndNoble.com. If you have a moment today, would you please visit my book at these online bookstores and leave your comments? Promoting my book on these online store websites is by far the best way to reach other WOWs and GOWs, letting them know that REAL people are being comforted by it. Thanks a bunch, my gals!
~~~Calling all libraries! Yes, PLEASE call your library, and ask them to stock my book for their patrons. Most will be happy to accommodate. Or drop them a note in their suggestion box (most libraries have one) with the publisher’s name (iUniverse.com).
JUST FOR FUN…
(There is not a woman alive today that won't crack up over this one!…)
I was due later in the week for an appointment with the gynecologist. Early
that morning, I received a call from the doctor's office to tell me that I had been rescheduled for 9:30am. I had only just packed everyone off to work and school and it was already around 8:45am. The trip to his office took about 35 minutes, so I didn't have any time to spare.
As most women do, I like to take a little extra effort over hygiene when making such visits, but this time I wasn't going to be able to make the full effort. So I rushed upstairs, threw off my pajamas, wet the wash cloth that was sitting next to the sink, and gave myself a quick wash in "that area" to make sure I was at least presentable. I threw the washcloth in the clothes hamper, donned some clothes, hopped in the car and raced to my appointment. I was in the waiting room for only a few minutes when I was called in. Knowing the procedure, as I'm sure you do, I hopped up on the
table, looked over at the other side of the room and pretended that I was in
Paris or some other place a million miles away.
I was a little surprised when the doctor said, "My, we have made an extra effort this morning, haven't we?"
I didn't respond...
After the appointment, I heaved a sigh of relief and went home. The rest of the day was normal... some shopping, cleaning, cooking, etc.
After school, when my six year old daughter was playing, she called out from the bathroom, "Mommy, where's my washcloth?" I told her to get another one from the cupboard.
She replied, "No, I need the one that was here by the sink! It had all my glitter and sparkles in it!"
WOMEN have strengths that amaze men. They carry children, they carry hardships, they carry burdens, but they hold happiness, love and joy. They smile when they want to scream. They sing when they want to cry. They cry when they are happy and laugh when they are nervous.
WOMEN have special qualities about them. They wait by the phone for a "safe at home call" from a friend or relative after a snowy drive home. They volunteer for good causes. They are pink ladies in hospitals and bring food to shut-ins. They are childcare workers, executives, attorneys, stay-at-home, moms, biker babes, and your neighbors. They wear suits, jeans, and they wear uniforms. They fight for what they believe in. They stand up for injustice. They are in the front row at PTA meetings. They vote for the person that will do the best job for family issues.
WOMEN walk and talk the extra mile to get their children in the right schools and to get their family the right health care. They write to the editor, their congressmen and to the "powers that be" for things that make for a better life. They don't take "no" for an answer when they believe there is a better solution.
WOMEN stick a love note in their husband's lunch box. They do without new shoes so their children can have them. They go to the doctor with a frightened friend. They love unconditionally.
WOMEN are honest, loyal, and forgiving. They are smart, knowing that knowledge is power; but they still know how to use their softer side to make a point.
WOMEN want to be the best for their family, their friends, and themselves. They cry when their children excel and cheer when their friends get awards. They are happy (or cry) when they hear about a birth or a new marriage. Their hearts break when a friend dies. They have sorrow at the loss of a family member, yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left
WOMEN do more than just give birth. They bring joy and hope. They give compassion and ideals. They give moral support to their family and friends. And all they want back is a hug, a smile and for you to do the same to people you come in contact with.
WOMEN have a lot to say and a lot to give.
- Author Unknown
NEWS WOMEN CAN USE
Safe Women Stay Alive!!
1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do: The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do!
2. Learned this from a tourist guide to New Orleans. If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you....chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!
3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car: Kick out the back taillights and stick your arm out t he hole and start waving like crazy. The driver won't see you but everybody else will. This has saved lives.
4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc.) DON'T DO THIS! The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR, LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE.
5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot or parking garage:
A.) Be aware: look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor, and in the back seat.
B.) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.
C.) Look at the car parked on the driver's side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car,
you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY (and better paranoid than dead).
6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. (Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot).
7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; and even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN!
8. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP IT! It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well-educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of an unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked "for help" into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.
9. Another Safety Point: Someone’s friend heard a crying baby on her porch the night before last, and she called the police because it was late and she thought it was weird. The police told her "Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door." The lady then said that it sounded like the baby had crawled near a window, and she was worried that it would crawl to the street and get run over. The policeman said, "We already have a unit on the way, whatever you do, DO NOT open the door." He told her that they think a serial killer has a baby's cry recorded and uses it to coax women out of their homes thinking that someone dropped off a baby. He said they have not verified it, but have had several calls by women saying that they hear baby's cries outside their doors when they're home alone at night.
~~NOTE FROM JULIE: Please pass this on…DO NOT open the door for a crying baby. This should taken seriously because the Crying Baby theory was mentioned on America's Most Wanted this past Saturday when they profiled a serial killer in Louisiana. Thanks, Wilda, for this enlightening article!
WIDOWER INFO IN THE NEWS
(Ladies, take notes! This financial info is important for YOU, too!…JDA)
Careful choices can help brighten the future after the sudden loss of a spouse
By Jay MacDonald • Bankrate.com
The sudden loss of a spouse is one of life's most devastating experiences. But the struggle to survive it, especially financially, can be almost as severe a test.
Because most of us prefer to avoid the subject altogether, it is hardly surprising that we are typically unprepared to suddenly go on alone.
"You want to curl up in a ball and have somebody else make all the decisions for you," says Kerry Hannon, author of Suddenly Single: Money Skills for Divorcees and Widows. "But this is the worst time to do that. You need to force yourself to make your own decisions."
Memories and money
Statistics show that the plight of the surviving spouse is largely a woman's ordeal. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, of the 56 million Americans aged 55 and older, 32 percent of women and only 9 percent of men were widowed in 2000.
Women are at a financial disadvantage on several fronts when their spouses die. Statistically, they earn 73 cents on the dollar compared to men and the gap widens with age, according to the Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER). The time women spend out of the work force to raise children or care for aging parents often results in smaller Social Security payouts, and also costs them in pension accumulation and lost promotion chances.
Hannon also says most women save too little of their income (about half of the 3 percent men save) and invest too conservatively and too late.
"Women don't start investing until they are in their late 30s or early 40s, while men tend to start in their 20s," she says. "In their 20s, women tend to spend on clothes or a nice apartment. They lose on compounded interest by starting so late."
Considering that today women are likely to live into their mid-80s on average, the combination of meager retirement reserves, declining earning power and lack of investing experience could mean their resources will give out before they do.
But with a little guidance, the suddenly widowed can gather the pieces of their lives and learn to fly solo.
In most cases, widows will face three transition periods:
• Attending to immediate practical concerns -- will take one to two weeks;
• Handling financial and legal concerns -- can take from one week to several months;
• Settling tax concerns -- which can take one to two years to resolve.
Addressing immediate needs might better be termed "initial recovery." This is no time for hasty decisions, according to Alexandra Armstrong, a financial adviser with Armstrong, Welch & MacIntyre and author of On Your Own: A Widow's Passage to Emotional and Financial Well-Being.
"In the first few months, even if you think you're thinking rationally, and even if you know a lot about finance, you're not going to have your head totally on," she says.
During this period, a widow should try to focus on gathering, organizing and making an inventory of all assets and liabilities.
She will need to quickly get control of the household bills if she was not paying them previously. She will also need to collect and organize her husband's financial and personal effects, including:
· All bank accounts
· Mutual fund and brokerage holdings
· Safe deposit box
· Vehicle titles
· Home mortgage
· Medical insurance
· Life insurance
· Social Security benefits
· Retirement and annuity benefits
· Credit cards and travelers checks
· Unpaid salary
· IRAs, 401(k), pension and profit-sharing
· Workman's compensation benefits
"What is really frightening is that people don't know where everything is," says Hannon. "Many women don't have a clue where a lot of the investments are or even who their life insurance agent is. They may have paid all the household bills and wrote the checks each month, but they didn't deal with the big-picture stuff. That's very traditional."
Once a thorough search of files, home, autos and the workplace is completed, it's time to assess the widow's complete financial picture. If the couple had a certified financial planner, accountant or lawyer, this is a good time to compare notes with them. Are there assets -- or liabilities -- that may have been overlooked?
Common sources of death benefits include the Social Security Administration, the Veterans Administration, employment coverage and personal life insurance.
A more thorough search for death benefits can be time well spent. In addition to a life insurance policy, there may be accidental or sudden death benefits attached to credit cards, bank accounts, loans, memberships in unions or organizations, current or previous employers, or even home, auto or health insurance policies.
Once a widow has a grasp on her financial situation, it's time to notify all concerned parties of her husband's passing (include a copy of the death certificate as needed) and transfer such things as credit cards, licenses, titles, bank and retirement accounts into her own name wherever possible. This is also a good time to update her own will and life insurance beneficiaries.
The issue of moving often comes up once the financial picture is clear. For most widows, expenses will still run 80 percent of what they were before their husbands died, according to WISER. For any number of reasons, including financial, a widow may decide to move or downsize.
Armstrong advises widows to hold on to their house, at least initially, even if it means a sudden change of lifestyle, such as taking in a roommate to make ends meet. The emotional security, especially for her children, may mean far more than any financial advantage.
"The biggest mistake I see people making is wanting to pay off their mortgage," she says.
"Often, a widow of any age wants to pay cash for the house because at least they won't have that bill. But with interest rates still at decent levels, it's better to have some liquidity rather than tie it all up in the house. If they're buying a new one, don't buy off the mortgage because it's going to be harder to pull that money out later."
At some point in the first 12 to 18 months, a widow may receive one or several large payments, often from a life insurance or pension fund disbursement. This can be the financial updraft they need to fly -- or the invitation to a crash landing.
"When the women I talked to would get a big life insurance payout, for example, they would just flip out. What do I do with this?" says Hannon. "The advice is don't do anything for six months. Just chill out. Take some time to learn about investing, maybe take a class at a community college, find a good financial adviser you can trust, either through a friend or by interviewing them yourself. Most people recommend not making any fast moves with that kind of money."
A widow's best choice may be to park the windfall in a series of rolling CDs or a money market account until they feel comfortable with the mechanics of investing it. The same holds true for the profits from the sale of a house, which may be held for up to 18 months without penalty before reinvesting. That way, her nest egg will be FDIC insured, earn a moderate return and be available until she figures out how to build a portfolio around it.
If she's the sole beneficiary on her husband's 401(k) plan, she may be able to roll that money into her own plan or have it transferred into her name as a surviving spouse's IRA.
But Armstrong says to handle life insurance carefully.
"Don't run and put it in an annuity," warns Armstrong. "That's something widows often do; they like the idea of having a steady income stream for the rest of their life. But if you move it to an annuity and start getting monthly payments, it seems like a lot now, but 10 years from now it's not going to be enough and they're not going to be able to do anything about it because it has gone to the insurance company."
Nor is this any time to spend lavishly.
"I've had young widows who say they spend at the same rate as when their husband was alive even though they couldn't afford it because that way they could pretend he was still alive," Armstrong says. "There's a lot going on there. The big thing is, try to hold on to that money."
Hannon agrees: "Don't make any big investments. Have lunch with a friend one day a week, but don't buy a Mercedes."
Says Armstrong, "The sooner they can get some grip on their finances, the easier it will be on them."
If a widow is 60 or older, she may collect survivor's benefits from the Social Security Administration ranging from 71-1/2 percent of her deceased husband's benefit amount beginning at age 60 to 100 percent beginning at age 65. A disabled widow can collect 71-1/2 percent beginning at age 50. Widows with children may be eligible for widow's benefits at any age when caring for a child age 16 and under or who is disabled.
If both husband and wife were receiving Social Security benefits before he died, she is entitled to the greater of the two benefits. Even ex-husbands or ex-wives and their children may be eligible for survivor's benefits.
For an estimate of how much you might expect as a surviving spouse, fill out a statement request online, call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or visit a local office to obtain Form SSA-7004 (Request for Personal Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statement).
Widowers-Beware When Dating
© 2004 by Tom Blake
Orange County Register; May 10, 2004
You meet a widower who's interested in dating you. Should you be cautious?
Judy Anderson, Hacienda Heights, a widow, thinks so. "Dating will not heal wounds; time will. A widower needs family and friends if he is still in that place of hurt and depression.”
"I've met some wonderful men online but the healing factor kept me from getting involved. They weren't mentally available, therefore unable to put the energy into a relationship. ‘Alone time’ is healthy too," said Judy.
Phyl Brumfield, Anaheim Hills wrote, "Before saying 'hello' to someone new, you have to say 'goodbye' to that person who has been your best friend, companion and lover for many years."
Phyl's right. Any person who has suffered a loss from a death or a break up needs time to heal and should avoid dating too soon.
From St. Paul, Mn., C.J. Turenne, e-mailed, "I've been on the dating scene for three years and have found most men haven't healed from the loss of their partner, aren't ready for dating, and are trying to find the same lady as their partner."
And this from Liz: "I've been dating a widower for six years. We're both 62. His wife died 13 years ago. He still has his children at home. One son is 28 and the other is 24. The older one is getting married soon and his new bride will be living in the same house.”
"He's never taken the pictures off the refrigerator that his wife put there. Everything is the same as it was 13 years ago. He never got over his loss. I'll never date a widower again."
Linda Davidson wrote, "I'm dating a man whose wife passed away last September. They had a good marriage and were very much in love. He assures me he wants to move on and be in a relationship. We're both 51. My problem: I'm afraid of being in the shadow of this woman if I decide to spend my life with him."
From Sharon, Ma., Ellen Abelson wrote, "Dating before you're ready isn't fair to you or the person you date. I've been seeing a widower who is still madly in love with his wife. She died two years ago and he can't let me in. I have to start looking for another close friend."
A widow of four years, Shell, 47, Dover, Oh., e-mailed: "I've been dating a 52-year-old widower of only one year. In the bedroom there is a giant picture of he and his wife on their wedding day. Plus, on her side of the bed, the night stand is like this little shrine that has been set up."
Shell enjoys the widower but is concerned because he wants her to move in. She says she's not jealous but adds: "I don't want to live with a ghost."
(note from Tom: Shell sent this e-mail two weeks later:
"He had told me that he would never remarry...he had all of his wife's pictures and things still around the house...well when I told him that I just couldn't be a live-in for the rest of my life and about the pictures and things like that...he told me goodbye....so yes, some people need more time to deal with being alone...finding themselves. I am sure that it is not that way for everyone...but one does have to really step back and take a look...see the signs. Thanks for your help."
Dating a widower for two years, Lauren Pallini, Rosyln, N.Y. shared, "He wanted everything in the beginning, was moving very fast, and then it all fell apart as he went back to grieving her. I shall stay away from a widower if it has been under four years since the passing of his loved one."
These women aren't being critical of widowers as people. They are simply stating that attempting to date one too soon after his loss isn't wise.
Modesto Widower Still Grieving
Some widowers begin dating within months after losing their spouses, but not Rick Michel, 67, Modesto. Rick was married 32 years. He believes the quality of the marriage determines the depth of the hurt. "My wife and I were best friends and did everything together. We had a plan and now my life has taken a 180-degree turn.”
"People grieve in their own time and way. After ten months, I still spend Saturdays on a bench at the cemetery and can't stop crying. I'll never get over this, just maybe through it. A couple of women have called and asked me out. I wouldn't feel uncomfortable," said Rick.
Women should proceed with caution when becoming involved with a widower. If he hasn't healed, there likely will be trouble down the road.
(Julie responds: Widowers will never completely heal. They will always grieve to some extent; therefore, there will always be some kind of trouble – some “grief hurdle” - down the road. But it is NOT an impossible dream, as the writer of this article has hinted. Gimme a break, fella – this article is too slanted in one agenda’s direction! Why not try interviewing HAPPY and SUCCESSFUL GOWs, WOWs, and re-coupled widowers for a more balanced story, eh?!
(All information has been gathered through Amazon.com website)
Conquering the Mysteries And Lies of Grief
By Sherry Russell
List Price: $16.95
Paperback: 110 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.30 x 8.74 x 5.64
Publisher: Publish America, Inc.; (September 23, 2002)
Conquering the Mysteries and Lies of Grief presents an innovative investigation into loss. Being based on hundreds of interviews along with personal experience, the book clarifies how and why grief catapults us into a crisis, threatening our mental, physical, and spiritual health. Through the revealing frank conversations, you discover fresh information on how to take an active role in your grief, while adjusting to new realities. You learn how to handle the "snootful of shoulds" while finding out the variables that make your grief so unique. Grief takes you on a bizarre maze like journey allowing you to explore and plow through your pain to get to a life filled with goals and not despair. Conquering the Mysteries and Lies of Grief does not tiptoe around the powerful reality of grief. Grief is miserable, unpredictable, and intimidating work, however, by understanding the domino effect of loss you can go on to live a life of graciousness and radiance.
Thanks for this special book., January 12, 2003
Reviewer: dan stoll from Cincinnati, Ohio
I have read many books on this subject. This one was given to me by a doctor friend who wanted my honest opinion since he was recommending it to several of his patients. I read the book in two sittings. It kept my interest which is hard to do and it reminded me that I had not dealt with several issues in my own life. One reason I would recommend this book is the writing style. Ms. Russell writes with emotion. It really feels like she is talking directly with you. Her sense of humor and love of life comes through her writing. I found this to be rather inspirational and direct. Another reason I'd recommend her book is the reasoning power of it all. Ms. Russell clearly defines why no one should ever expect their grief to be the same as anyone else's grief. Great book and I will recommend it.
~~An Exceptionally Powerful Book, September 22, 2002
Reviewer: A reader from Vero Beach
By Cher King Islamarada, Florida...
Thank you for your exceptionally powerful book, Conquering the Mysteries and Lies of Grief. Your outstanding offering is just what I personally needed to read, and it stands apart from other books I have read on the subject--especially in its immediate applicability to my own life and to understanding the needs of others.
You have delivered an immensely comprehensible, easily readable discussion, including an unusually well-chosen selection of relevant research and personal experiences. It is much more difficult to write concisely, with simplicity and in a refreshing conversational manner. You have managed to accomplish this, while packing in significant research, related theories, actual experiences of your own and so many others.
Hope and healing reside on every page. I feel I can pinpoint and address areas within me and my life that have been made much more accessible to me through "Conquering the Mysteries and Lies of Grief."
Sherry, thank you for the obviously extensive education, experience, dedication, and life-well-lived that have gone into this superior work on an issue we will all face in our lives.
Making Your Second Marriage a First-Class Success
by Doug Moseley (Author), Naomi Moseley (Author), Doug Moseley
Paperback: 224 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.52 x 8.48 x 5.54
Publisher: Prima Lifestyles; (September 9, 1998)
Happily Ever After—The Second Time Around!
Are the scars from an unsuccessful first marriage keeping you from marrying a second time? Are you afraid of committing again—even if you think you've found the right person? Then this book is meant for you.
Husband-and-wife therapists Doug and Naomi Moseley show you how to get past the disappointment of a broken marriage and take positive control of your romantic life. You'll learn to identify what went wrong the first time, overcome any lingering doubts or insecurities, and embrace the joys and rewards that only a successful marriage can offer.
The second time around also brings with it the complications of past histories. Here, you'll learn the best ways to deal with: ex-spouses and in-laws, stepchildren, finances, prenuptial agreements, and much more!
With the help of this book, you can let go of the past and enter into your marriage of a lifetime!
"This book offers anyone seeking a healthy relationship words of hope and wisdom. It is a wonderful guide to learning how to be a good partner and how to recognize who might be appropriate for you."
~~Excellent book for second marriages, or even for firsts, March 31, 2000
Reviewer: A reader from Trumansburg, NY USA
This is really an excellent book on how to grow in a loving, committed relationship. The authors are married to each other, both for the second time, and they draw from both their own experiences and that of their couples therapy clients. But this isn't just a bunch of case histories strung together-- there's a lot of good advice and insight in between the examples. I especially got a lot out of the chapter on finances. I've read a lot of books on love & relationships, but never anything that mentioned how we all have deep-seated feelings about money that we don't feel comfortable talking about! Yet I've known quite a few couples who had deep divisions over money. It makes a lot of sense that couples (many of them older, and with substantial assets) would want to talk about how they intend to handle money before they get married, but how many people do? The Moseleys explain why this is such a scary thing. And with that understanding, it makes it easier to talk about money issues with your partner. In summary, I found this a very hopeful and helpful book.
~~Extraordinarily sound advice, July 25, 2001
Reviewer: from San Jose, CA United States
I generally don't review a book when I'm only halfway through reading it. However, for "Making Your Second Marriage a First-Class Success," I'm more than willing to make an exception. The Moseleys draw on their own experiences, and examples witnessed in their counseling practice, to lay out some seemingly simple but actually profound advice in matters of communication. I have read some bits of this book aloud to my fiancé, and he has asked to read the entire book when I am finished. I am confident that this book will help us in our marriage (a second for each of us) ... and I intend to share the book with friends.
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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.