Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hanging In There

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?!

Blessings...

~JDA

8 comments:

  1. I was so sorry to hear that news too. But when I described the situation to my W, he didn't hold out much hope for their relationship. I sure do hope that she eventually finds happiness. She's such a sweetheart. Sounds as though her W just wasn't ready to "let go" of the past just yet. But it's been less than a year for him.

    When I first met my W, almost six years had gone by and he THOUGHT that he had let go of the past, but he really had not. Your article about "going on" vs. "letting go" was very illuminating. It described him to a "T". He was VERY organized and thought he had everything together. When I came along, I could feel the guilt and the sadness wash over him. He wasn't expecting it, and neither was I. It was very hard on both of us the first few months. And once, I didn't think that I'd be strong enough to go through it. But this man has got so much heart...and is so caring and giving. Like you said, "they're worth waiting for." It makes every minute with them that much more precious. I appreciate him more every day.

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  2. I'm not sure if it's just a bad day, week, etc. but today I can't seem to keep it together. I think I'm the next to go :( I guess that's why I'm posting here...I've been so strong but today I'm falling apart and I don't show my weaknesses or failures so I don't want anyone to see my tears...but maybe I was wrong about my relationship...after reading this I just don't know

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  3. Hi-
    I'm dating a widower for a year and a half now. All the effort- now- seems to be in vain. I read that they would withdraw. It's been bad.

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  4. Anonymous,

    Please register for The Official WOW/GOW Message Board at my website, www.juliedonnerandersen.com. I'm sure you will benefit from those who post there, myself included!

    Blessings...

    ~JDA

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  5. I feel such sadness for GOW. Iam one. AT times I wonder why I (we) put ourselves through such pain and hurt. Relationship are supposed to be a two-way street, give and take right? Yet, it seems Widower's take so much more than they give. They excpet GFs to compromise so much wiht so little in return. Maybe it's not way always but seems so now anyway. I think most GOW have no idea what they were getting into when they started dating a widower.... I know if I had known then what I know now I would have never dated him. Truly. I would have run for thehills. I was looking for a reciprocal loving relationship,not to be someone's grief counsoler to feel like I am perpetually standing in line behidn his Late wife. Some of the insecruties are my own... I will admit and not necessarily what he is doing per se. Still it's difficult to overcome whether he imposes them or I do. Now we are in love and it's too hard to just go back and give up as it would have been at first. But moving forward has been so painful and actually about the hardest relationship I have ever faced except my divorce 12 years ago. Oftentimes I wonder if it would be better to be just be alone than in a relationship that makes me feel so happy and in love at times but then so darn insecure and miserable at others. Jury is still out whether i will stay or go in the end. Some days I feel like it's just not worth it and others I cannot imagine my life w/o him. We are only about 3 months in but it's seems a lifetime. I have never had to work so hard for relationship in such a short period of time. It boggles my mind. I was a happy, hopeful person before all this. Where did my self-esteem go?

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  6. Hi I also just recently married a widower of 3 years with two little kids. I myself a widow of 12 years with two teenage daughters. It always feels that woman have to do all the sacrificing all the time. I feel I get no respect from his children. He gets very sensitive if I scold the kids for being naughty. He is always having a day were memories of his late wife floats his mind. Never mind that I lost my husband too.

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  7. I am a GOW 6 mos in. He fell in love with me lst. All of a sudden, he had his ist relapse & rage. Said this I was a wonderful person, but this isn't going to work & broke up. I had to call for closure & he said he was in a black hole. We've talked only a few times (we don't live real close). In a single conversation, he can be both pos. & neg. He said it's not over & does love me, but I am left with, is this all grief? Or really doesn't love me or has found someone else, because of some of the answers he gives. I'm ready to have a nervous breakdown.

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  8. Anonymous,

    Please register for The Official WOW/GOW Message Board at my website, www.juliedonnerandersen.com. You are NOT alone!
    Blessings...

    ~JDA

    ReplyDelete