Hello WOWs and GOWs!
Yesterday, I received bad news. One of my favourite GOWs from my message board announced that she is breaking up with her W (W = Widower). She said she could no longer "hang in there" through his early grief stages, feeling like she gives everything and receives nothing in return except disappointment, frustration, and sadness because her W can't seem to commit, even though he enjoys her company.
I totally support her decision. Some readers might think my support for her break-up is contrary to my life's purpose of helping women in their relationships with widowers. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sometimes, the best thing for a couple is to break up. I would never support a woman who felt she should stay in an abusive marriage "just for the children's sake". In this respect, neither would I advocate a GOW staying in a loveless relationship with a W simply out of respect for his grief.
Naturally, it is imperative that we GOWs and WOWs respect what our Ws have been through, and may still be going through, but a relationship is a give-and-take thing. When the woman is the one doing all the giving and the man all the taking, their relationship is one-sided. This imbalance can lead to feelings of frustration and resentment for the giver, and complacency and abuse of power for the taker. These negative qualities have no business in a loving relationship.
GOWs and WOWs tend to be VERY sympathetic, patient people with an extraordinary capacity for empathy. Because of this, they either put their own needs on the back burner to "wait upon" the W's grief needs, or they try to convince themselves that things will be better if only they hang in there and await some kind of payoff for their patience, thus enduring the W's shenanigans as any good martyr would. These are not healthy ways to have a relationship!
Sometimes the best thing a GOW can do is to take the "W" out of the equation. What I mean is simply that the GOW who receives nothing from her W should ask herself, "Would I still be with a man who WASN'T a widower if he treated me the way my W does?"
In most cases, the answer would be a resounding NO! So....why would anyone put up with bad behaviour from a W just because he's a W?!