Etiquette for widowers to start dating
In her bestselling book, Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss, author Hope Edelman argues that a surviving father’s behavior in the wake of his wife’s death “matters [to a daughter] even more than we think,” in how it can influence a daughter’s long-term adaptation to the loss of her mother.Of the women interviewed for her book, 59% of the surviving fathers had remarried and 31% of the women who reported “poor relationships” with their fathers had experienced the remarriage of their father within one year from the time of the mother’s death.
I am 36, so part of me feels like I shouldn't be so childish about this--however--they are an extremely insensitive twosome.I don't know what my question is, or how you can help, but I am just so angry! My response: I'm so sorry to learn of the difficulties you're having with your dad, and I can only imagine how difficult this must be for you.The feelings you’re having toward your dad in the aftermath of your mother’s death are understandable.I understand the topic is awkward and her parents and I have had a strained relationship.But she and I are planning to move in together and will be getting engaged, so it’s only a matter of time before they find out.Write down your own precious memories, each time they occur to you.
Gather photographs and place them in a special album.
I don’t know how long your parents were married, how close they were to each other, or anything else about their relationship, but I do know that however your father reacts to your mother’s death depends on many, many different factors.
See, for example, some of the links listed on this page on my Grief Healing website: Death That Brings Relief.
While Edelman strongly recommends that surviving fathers wait a minimum of one calendar year before moving towards remarriage, obviously not all fathers heed her advice ~ and clearly your father has already made his choice.
Under the circumstances, then, it may help to keep in mind that there simply are no hard and fast rules for deciding when the time is right (or wrong) for a widowed person to begin dating or falling in love with someone new.
It may be helpful for you to keep in mind that you and your father are grieving very different losses, and the relationships you had with the person who died are very different too.