Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Break or Break-Up? Let's Be Friends..or Not?

Many times, a W will jump into a relationship with a GOW before he is ready; before he has completed bereavement recovery. Naturally, an innocent, loving GOW who has no clue what grief recovery entails will have no idea what she is in for, which is usually the W’s inevitable latent bombshell of, “I’m sorry, but I ‘m not ready for all this yet…can we just be friends until I work this out?” Suddenly awestruck as to the timing of such a request, a GOW wonders, “Is this a break…or a break-up? Do we keep seeing each other…or not? And what about contact: do we, or don’t we?”


So what is a GOW to do when she is asked by her W to be patiently single while he limps off on his own to nurse his grief? In a utopian world, a W and his GOW will have already laid a good foundation of communication wherein they can feel comfortable enough to define the parameters of their separation. This is a time for fortitude in asking the tough questions about how long the separation may last, who contacts whom, and whether or not meeting for dates or even coffees is a good idea. Bottom line: it is best to find out NOW if this will be a complete breakup or just a temporary setback.


Sadly, this is NOT a utopian world. A W who suddenly seeks a break or a breakup will be ill-equipped, thanks to his overwhelming need for “alone time” in which to process his grief without distraction, to adequately formulate a plan that includes the GOW’s feelings. A grieving W is not forward-thinking; thus, a plan that requires thoughts of a future beyond today is usually not something he is ready to deliver. As much as he may claim to love his GOW – and he usually does! – he is temporarily rendered insensitive when, in reality, grief is to blame for his inability to be compassionate about her stake in all of this.


If you are a GOW who has just landed in this predicament, the good news is that it is never too late to go back to your W after the initial devastation of his request for separation wears off, and ask him to cooperate with you about how to define the break/breakup. You may have to swallow your pride before confronting him on a fact-finding mission, however, especially if your last date where he delivered the bad news was emotionally explosive, and hurting words were delivered as parting shots you now regret taking.


But think about it: do you really think you would be capable of maintaining a friendship-only relationship with a man you once loved, and still do? Would it not be best for both of you to completely separate until such time as W feels recovered enough to pick up where you left off? And is that fair to you?


Grief is a lone journey, each survivor making it in their own time and in their own way. Seeking professional counseling is always a good idea for a survivor, but you yourself playing grief counselor to a W who is not comfortable in a love relationship any longer can backfire on both of you. It would be like the blind leading the blind. I never recommend it. Thus, you have to ask yourself, “Am I willing to just be a good friend who merely nods and listens as he mourns for another woman in my presence?”


You and only you must decide whether being his friend is going to be helpful to both of you. Are you mentally, emotionally, and intellectually prepared to play the role of grief counsellor? Are you prepared to endure the heartache of wanting him, yet knowing you must keep him at arm's length? Are you willing and able to put in the time, energy, and resources into a friendship that may never result in more? Do you believe you can truly be selfless enough to hold back your personal agenda so he can have what he needs to recover? Grief is a solitary journey, one he must work alone, at his own pace and in his own time...and without distractions. Are you sure that at some point, you will not be tempted to push your agenda, thus delaying his recovery?


Some GOWs answer this question by replying, “Well, I’d be willing to put I the hard work as long as the payoff is that we are together in the log run.” However, therein lies the rub. There is no way to predict whether your efforts to maintain a friendship with W will end up the way you hope it will: as a loving, more-than-friends relationship. In fact, the statistics show it will not happen. But you just may beat the odds. There is always hope. It IS possible he is just asking for time to heal, and will be back after he has properly grieved, but there are no guarantees ad no way to predict the outcome.


Remaining "friends only" with someone you once loved and were intimate with is a very difficult task. Thus, it is up to each individual GOW to decide whether or not she has the fortitude for the job. Since W is in the driver’s seat of grief, it is up to him to lead the way and set the pace. But that is not to say you have to be his passenger. Moving on without him, even as he resides in your heart, is what I feel is best. Do not contact him until such time as he contacts you. Make your life as happy as possible without him in it. If a future with a W is meant to be, it WILL be....as long as grief no longer stands in your way.

28 comments:

  1. This article comes at perfect timing for me, I am literally on the heels of this exact situation as of 2 days ago...before Christmas! I am a confused mess. My W is my Mr.Right, he treats me so good. After two divorces,both really bad, & 41yrs old now, the feeling of finally meeting the man of my dreams is amazing. Yet he is now going thru the first real Christmas without LW. She passed Dec 13 of last year. I think for Christmas last year he was still in shock, but now this year is really taking it's toll on him & our relationship. I literally do not know if we broke up on Thursday or not. I try not to text him, it's hard. I feel I have to tell him Good Morning every day bc that is what I have always done. I know that he is needing his space at the moment but I am a mess. This is the hardest thing I have ever done. I just want my man back

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  2. Hi Anaonymous,

    You are certainly not alone! This seems to be the time of year for that kind of thing! I hope you will join my 600 "sisters" and me at the Official WOW/GOW Message Board (free registration via my website at http://www.juliedonnerandersen.com) for support, encouragement, and guidance.

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  3. My boyfriend did the exact same thing. His LW went into a coma that lasted 5 weeks before she passed. The first anniversary of her passing is in two weeks. He "needs some space" so I have not spoke to him for three weeks. We have exchanged a few texts, one where he reassured me he hasn't forgot about me. Another thanking me for the gift I dropped off on his door step with his and his sons Christmas gifts I had already got before he asked for "space." (I figured I would try to do something to make him smile, he said we were not broke up after all.) I gave him pictures of us together, since there are none of us in the home together. The current pictures are all of him and LW. Not even the 2nd child has a single picture in the home, it's like a time warp, it's exactly as she has left it so I've realized... (She died as a heart complication exacerbated by the pregnancy and never came home after she delivered the baby.) I recently had a conversation about how it may be appropriate for him to add some pictures of us, and his son. I told him it bothers me that there are pictures of her in the bedroom and ask he consider taking them down. (I think this was also a trigger, but it needed to be said.) He said thank you for the pictures yesterday, on Christmas. And I saw him do a drive by my house late last night. My dog went crazy for 2 minutes before he even showed up, like he does when my W comes over, and then I saw his car stop, waited a couple minutes, then drove off. I think my W is coming out of his cacoon soon!

    Your articles have helped me decide to wait for him. Thank you for your honesty, this is not an easy road. But my man is worth it, and this blog is giving me the courage to be stronger.

    Thank you Julie. :) You have helped me so much!

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    Replies
    1. Did he ever come back?

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  4. Wow, it's like there is just this exact pattern that they go thru. My W still has a picture of him & LW on his cell as his wallpaper-I cringe every time he flips it open. I have never been to his home, & do NOT want to, the idea terrifies me. I feel like I don't want to be on LW's "turf". I know how my W feel's about me, but it doesn't make it any easier to maintain my sanity when he is so distant. For the first half of the month until two days after LW's DOD we didn't see each other at all.He said it was out of respect for her. We did talk on the phone & text every single day though as if he was just out of town working...but now 2 days before Christmas it's worse. Not one phone conversation, maybe 3 texts just to give me a little update on where he was. That's it. This is killing me bc it is so opposite of what our relationship was prior to the beginning of December. I am not a very patient person, I am a very compassionate person but I am the type who just needs to know where I stand and right now I have no clue. I am scared to ask him if we are broke up bc it may push him, but I am sitting here literally numb. Wondering around with so much uncertainty, just totally lost.

    Thanks for letting me vent,
    Kellie

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  5. After an 8 mos relationship, my W went into a "black hole" as he called it 2








    My W told me he loved me & would marry me when he was healed. We had an 8 mo relationship. 2 mo before he went into a "black hole" as he called it. When he came out he said he realized he was in shock the whole time. He said he now needs to date to make sure I was the right one. He told me to also date as it would only be fair. No matter what fate may bring, a part of him will always love me. If he only hadn't said those words,"I love you". Talk about a double wammy. I'm a shell of a person now. One consolation I have is that he is ADD/ADHD & unless he gets help he will do to others as he did to me.

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  6. oh, my god I am in the same position as all of you and am glad I found this blog. I have been seeing my W for 5 months. at that point he was 2.5 years post death of wife of 15 years who died after a 5 year battle with cancer. other than a brief sexual fling in the past year, i am his first relationship. he is also my first ongoing relationship after a very traumatic breakup with a long term live in boyfriend 3 years ago. the first 3 months were absolutely wonderful for us both.very happy together.one eve he announced that I was cracking his walls and he was afraid of having it all and losing it again. He still has photos of wife all over the house and as backdrop on cell phone. we speak of her often and easily,and he tells me I am the only one he feels comfortable sharing his feelings with. we had to work intensely together over a 3 week period to cleanout my house that sold and we both felt like we had stopped dating and were married under the gun to sell our house,and realized it way too soon to feel this way. then he balks,does a 180 and has been doing the close /distant cycle for the past 2 months as well as backing off on having sex as he thought we got into that too soon but we have continued to kiss,hug and touch intimately. we have been trying to get to know each other better without the pressure of making decisions about the relationships . his close/withdrawal cycles have been crazy making as I never know what I am going to get-causes anxiety and confusion for us both. we had lovely holidays and now he has withdrawn again. the 3rd anniversay of wifes death is next week and we decided the other day to take a break/maybe for good. I have suggested to him he may be in an emotional stalemate-unable to go backwards, but not forward either as is apparent he is still grieving,and have suggested he meet with a grief counselor to help him process along his bereavement. I have never datd a widower before and it is a wild ride. I am not angry with him at all but am some upset that he did not examined himself and figure out whether he was ready to be in a new relationship 5 months ago before jumping in and pursing me. I fell hard for him, and now am hurt and confused.I will let him contact me if and when he chooses. have no interest in dating others even there was someone I might go out with which there is not. I have no way to know whether there is any hope for us,so do not know what else to do but leave him alone and let him go......

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  7. Ladies, as you can tell from the responses here, you are certainly not alone! This seems to be the time of year for that kind of thing! I hope you will join my 600 "sisters" and me at the Official WOW/GOW Message Board (free registration via my website at http://www.juliedonnerandersen.com) for support, encouragement, and guidance.

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  8. This blog is very helpful. I very doe-eyed started a relationshp with a guy in Oct. His wife passed in a car accident last spring. We just talking for a little bit, but it really took off were great till about a week before Christmas. There was such intense physical attraction as well as closeness...friendship...texting all day and phone calls, etc. I fell hard. Within a short time he became my focal point, even tho I have children of my own, I wanted to incorporate him into my life with them. Then all of a sudden, I was at his house while his kids were at school. I went there to help wrap Christmas gifts for his children and once he brought out the materials from last year his wife packed away, I felt the cold set in immediately. I cried cause I realized she planned to be here this year and imagined what he felt. We hugged and it was never the same. He did kept telling me how the relationship so much too fast. I didn't think of it as bad. We muddled through the holidays with very decreased communication, and he apologized for the distance but said there were uneasy thoughts, but he was working through them. A week into Jan he said he did not mean to breakup, things need to slow down and he is not ready for relationship...needs more time. He needs to grieve. He said he could not have happy stuff going on with so much grief. It was a rollercoaster. I can't see beyond feeling if he cared for me he would not want to lose me. I love him and I am devastated. I am crying as I type this. After a divorcing a man I was with 20 yrs who was an indiot, he was what I wanted in a man. He made me feel like a queen the two months things were good. I must be immature, but can my love for him help him with this? Please someone please give me some insight and advice to feel better about what happened.

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  9. You are NOT immature nor are your feelings wrong nor odd....you are normal for a GOW!! Besides this blog, I also run a message board for GOWs and WOWs...I hope you will join my 700+ "sisters" and me at the Official WOW/GOW Message Board (free registration via my website at http://www.juliedonnerandersen.com) for support, encouragement, and guidance.

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  10. Hi and glad I found this blog! I am still recovering and trying to move on after falling in love with a widower, who happened to be my first love almost 40 years ago.Lots of history between us! The relationship fell apart after 8 months because it was too soon and my heart was broken all over again. I gradually forgave him and we remained in touch as friends. I was waiting patiently for him to be ready to move on (with me) but he then moved on to another woman!. He has had the sharp end of my tongue on many occasions and I have been through so many emotions and still finding it difficult to move on. He has apologized many times (not to my face) and said it would never have worked between us, so how can he think it will work with someone else???

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  11. If he has not completed the 5 stages of grief as well as bereavement recovery classes or counselling, the chances of his next relationship failing are pretty good. When a W asks his GOW for a teporary break so he can work out his grief feelings, that is repcisely what he should nbbe doing, NOT looking for another distraction fro the hard work grief is. You are NOT alone - so pleasae join the over 800 members of my message board, found via my website (juliedonnerandersen.com).

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  12. I dated a widower whose wife had only died 7 months earlier. I was cautious, but still I fell. We had some wonderful, close times together (including some fabulous physical intimacy) but I could tell he wasn't ready and tried to break it off with him. He said he still wanted to see me, but it had moved too fast and he wanted to start over as friends- with the implication that we would end up "together" . I relented and suffered through another month of him "not having time for me", but promising that we would spend time together soon. The limbo finally came to a head when I found he'd posted a new profile on a dating site, lying about his age and marital status. When I finally got angry and confronted him, he said altho I was perfect for him in many ways, it wasn't "happening" for him and he didn't know how to tell me. I believe it won't 'happen' with any woman until he works through his grief. I also believe that he had the fantasy that I would fill the void and that illusion ended when I turned out to be a real person. I feel lucky to have found out the truth without wasting another day of my own precious life. I know he's a mess and I feel sorry for the next woman he tries to fill the hole with.

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  13. Hello,
    I'm one of these widowers who is currently in the 'black-hole'. I do truly love my new GF, but my grief is back in a way that has consumed my entire emotional spectrum. I'll admit that we moved too fast, and ended up shacking up before I was ready because of circumstance. I feel like I'm doing both of us such a disservice right now.

    I don't think it's fair to ask her to hang on until I'm ready, because I don't know when or what that is. I just know whatever is going on right now isn't healthy. I know my devastation affects her profoundly, and I hate the idea that I'm spreading grief.

    I love dating her, taking her out, talking, being companions. But playing house, and trying to pretend I'm OK ISN'T OK for me.

    Please let me know what I should do. I appreciate her so much that it would kill me to think of being inconsiderate to her, while at the same time trying to do what's right.

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  14. Dear Anonymous Widower,

    I hope you will take the time to read the poster above you. I believe it's always best to be honest and transparent in ANY relationship, and the sooner the better in your case, lest resentment set in. Being honest with your GOW about your feelings needn't be brutal, as you id say that there is much about her that you love and enjoy. STart by stating your grief feelings, then soften the edges by telling her what you have stated here about the good things about your relationship. Naturally, she will be shiocked, hurt and upset, but if you clearly define the parameters of your break-up and ask for her cooperation in getting through this, I believe you can work out an amicable solution. For you, I suggest bereavement recovery counselling, weitehr with a BR group or a qualified grief therapist. Please know that your latent grief is quite common. You obviously allowed your relaitonship to be a distraction foromt he early grief work, so please agree to seek help and let your GOW know that you plan to do so. That way, she wil know that it's grief, not her, that is to blame. Best of luck to you.

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  15. Hi, do Widowers ever go back after they go through the grieve period? My widower ended our relationship. He said he still has his wife in his heart. He was married for 20 years and lost his wife to suicide. It's around this time 5 years ago that this happened and it seems like he's never fully done the grieving process. Infact he told me that he even lied to his other family members so that they don't bug him. He sometimes tells people who ask him that he's still married, so he won't have to do any explanations. He said he's got guilt feelings which are keeping him from giving and are not allowing him to be happy. He said that he had/has feelings for me, but now he knows that he has to fix things and now it is the time to face the situation. Will he ever get back to me?
    Please help. I don't know what I can do to help him out? And I don't know what I can do to help us out?
    Thanks

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  16. Dear Anonymous of June 16th,

    To answer your question simply, yes...manyy Ws DO go back to their GOWs after taking a much-needed break in order to process grief. In your case, I would highly recommend this. Your W seems to be struggling with many aspects of grief, esp. considering the way his LW passed. Survivors of suicide victims often deal with a great deal more guilt than is normal to every grieving process. Sadly, there is nothing you can do to "help" him grief. Grief is a lone journey. I do hope your W seeks professional help, be it with a qualified grief therapist or bereavement recovery classes. For more, please join me and the over 3,000 members of The Official WOW/GOW Message Board, found on my website at http://www.juliedonnerandersen.com.

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  17. Dear Julie, 'my' W and I have not been in touch for the last two weeks. Been speaking to a mutual friend of ours who has told me that he's going to seek professional help. 'My' widower works abroad and he's not English and when we spoke last I did ask him to seek help, so I know he's going to do that. I miss him every day and wish I could talk to him in some way but our mutual friend told me that at the moment he needs to be on his own, cause he's scared of relationships because he's been hurt a lot in the past. I'm ready to wait, it took me 6.5 years to trust someone ('my' widower) after a very divorce. Thank you for being there.

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  18. Dear Anonymous of June 27,

    You should be glad t hat your W is taking the difficult but nbecessary steps to learn how to better cope with his loss and manage his grief. This can only serve to benefit YOU when all is said and done. Indeed, patience is the #1 virtue required of all GOWs. My best to you. If you need more help/info, please join me and the over 3,000 members of The Official WOW/GOW Message Board, found on my website at http://www.juliedonnerandersen.com.

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  19. All was well for 4.5 months getting to know each other, and then out of the blue he needs a break from everything...ok I understand, and then the next thing I hear is that he magically has found another lady and she is just the perfect one..so understanding, full of fun and laughing...sure she is...I was the one that heard all the pain stuff and garbage stuff and she gets him when he happy happy....Sorry just hurting!
    When we met he told me he was 1.6 yrs out and was moving forward and come to find out his LW only died in a horrific accident the beginning of December 2012...hardly 6 months let alone 1.6 yrs...I told him now that I knew if I would have known that I would have said too soon, another time and bye...he is wondering where the other angel from heaven has fallen from for him and how ready he is, said in one sentence and in the other he says how much emotions and guilt he has at this time...it is now technically 6 and half months since the loss of his wife...
    REady? I don't think hes ready for her either anymore than he was ready for me. He still will not refer to his LW as LW and continues to call her "his wife" and gets very angry when someone misspells her name or pronounces it incorrectly and makes it quite clear that he doesn't like it any more than she did when she was alive... I think he likes how she (new gal) makes him feel and he is confusing that with real growth and moving forward in life.
    I wish they would leave everyone out of it until they truly had it figured out....
    I love him and without any thought, fine one minute and gone the next...when they are done and figure it out that they didn't have it figured out, do they ever want to come back? Is it better to stop all communication as he wants to stay in touch and is very concerned that I don't hate him or resent him at this time due to his actions. Can't make heads or tails out of it all.. Thanks for letting me vent...

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  20. Hi, I'm Anonymous of the 27th June and 16th June. Each day goes by really really slowly... Sometimes I keep thinking what if he doesn't come back to me.. I really get scared because I so don't want that to happen. I miss him so much. He's told our mutual friend that he thinks I'm too good for him and he'll spoil my life. I don't know why he's saying this because he's a really good person but doesn't realize it. He doesn't see the good and the happiness he brings to other people. Our friend also said that my widower had 2 telephone/skype sessions with a psychologist and will be going in person in the next few days as well when he returns to his country. I love him and will wait for him. I wish it is possible for me to tell him so... not being in touch with him is very painful. I miss him more and more each day.
    Thanks, Missing Him

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  21. Twice - twice - so similar situations with 2 Ws - both married over 30 years. The first, 5yrs post loss of LW, was a completely unexpected and irretrievable holiday turnaround, naive that I was, never saw it coming. He is still apparently using alcohol to avoid what should be inevitable. The 2nd fellow, <1yr post loss of LW, I interviewed him 're his readiness 'til he begged for mercy - and he continued to claim he was oh-so-ever-ready. Until step-daughter surprised him by asking for some of mother's families' belongings. He is NOT done moving on. So we are now in that phase of are we taking a break or breaking up? And I feel a bit manic-depressive as some contacts are positive and loving like they used to be followed by dark days of one word answers via text or silence. Too bad and makes me sad because this fellow was pretty much (if we can ever be sure) someone who I felt had the intellect, qualities and lifestyle for us to get into happy harmonious step. Been dating for 12 years and wrongly thought Ws would come with less baggage than the beat-up divorced fellows. As they say que sera sera. Best of luck to all who read and post here. Sandy in New Hampshire

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  22. Hi, all, just got told on my one year anniversary of dating my W that he doesn't think he loves me or could ever love me. I never pressured the relationship, we have been dating only, but we have known each other 6 years, I knew his LW. Have been intimate and have had great times with him. this has come out of the blue and I am truly broken hearted. He sort of scooted out of date plans for our anniversary, then we did something else that was great, had a wonderful day, and then we broke up. and he has the nerve to think that it is my fault because I choose to end the relationship after he said that he couldn't love me. I told him then he should not be with me, because he will never meet the person he loves if he stays with me. I am hurt, angry and have been totally blindsided. We had a great relationship, never fought, and I thought we were fine.

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  23. I have been dating a W for seven months. We are both 62. His wife died after an eight year bout with caner, and he was the care taker. He had just gotten over cancer twice just before she got sick. He is a kind and good man, and I fell madly in love with him. I knew something was not right about him several weeks ago. He had backed off a bit in his affection. Once I noted anger in him which he projected onto me basically saying that he liked his family just like they were. He did not want my daughter or son-in-law in his family. He said he was not going to marry me or anyone else. He had the love of his life for 42 years. This hurt, and he acted like it never happened once he got it out. Last week I did nicely text that it hurt my feelings what he said about my daughter. He replied that he said he did not want me in his family. Then he texted that he had to have some space, that he felt like he was living a lie. Yet, he would go with me to Destin, FL as planned, and that would be the last weekend. I ended up going to visit the next day as usual on a weekend. He was the kindest he has ever been to me, and he cried numerous times. I know some of them were for me because I know he loves me. Sometimes I think he feels guilty loving me. He decided I was to come down to go fishing soon and for my birthday in the second week of September. We left things as he would read the book I gave him On Death and Dying and still text and see each other soon. I received a text later with him telling me that he loved me as a friend not a spouse. He said that he would get through his loss and grief but he would do it his way and in his time. I had suggested a therapist. He said for the time being all I can offer you is my friendship. Things have been great for us for seven months. I realize that in his heart he still feels his deceased wife is still his wife. Until he gently and lovingly lets her go he cannot ever marry again. I am heart broken but still have some hope. This blog makes me feel like I am probably spinning my wheels. I told him I would wait for a while, and he replied thank you for your patience. I need help and advice so badly. Please help!!

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  24. Same here. I dated my W only 7 months after his wife's death. They were together for 19 yrs. He was perfect and loving until the beginning of August. He said this was the time LW suffered so much to cancer and lost her on Aug 31st. He said he was sorry he didn't realize any sooner that he's still grieving. Whenever he's back home (he mostly travels out.of.state each week), he gets so depressed, doesn't wanna talk and asks for space. A day later, he calls and says hr misses me and flies to my place. He visits me once a week for the last 4 weeks that he tried to ask for space. Whenever he's with me, he is happy and it's as if we picked up where we left off. Now, on the eve of her 1st death anniversary, he has withdrawn again and asks for space. He also mentioned he will Never get over the loss of his LW. I tried my best to be his friend, to understand, to be compassionate, to be patient because I truly treasure the good that we shared and thought I can disregard the hurtful comments. But it really HURTS. I miss him and I love him and I don't know if he will ever come back to me. In the meantime, I find comfort in prayer and this website. Thank you and I hope to also see some feedback (encouraging stories of those who gave that "space" and still ended up with her W.) Please send me a link, if possible. I will really appreciate it. -888-

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  25. My story is so similar, I met my w on a dating site, I have had my heart broken once too often and only was looking to date, although i kept telling him I didn't want any kind of commitment, he pushed for one, he was so loving, caring and kind, and promised me a wonderful future together, within a couple of months I was head over heels, my self confidence soared, I even started looking in the mirror again, tragically just before the first anniversary of his wife's death, he lost his dad, also to cancer. Things went downhill rapidly and I got the too soon, need space routine. We sat down and talked this week after weeks of silence. He told me that losing his dad had awoken things that he hadn't properly dealt with, he was still deeply in love with his wife and wasn't being fair to me. He couldn't give me a 100% and it was all or nothing for him, we are going to stay friends, but I am so in love with him. He did come to see me to finish things all together but he said he knew how well we got on and how much we had in common and he just didn't know what to do. I asked him if he had gone back on the site and he said of course not, but he has, I set up a fake account and found him. I am now devastated

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  26. My relationship with W started two years ago. At the time he was my neighbor and we would say hello to each other before going to work. I told him about my mother dying and he started to come over to talk. Needless to say once my mother died he came over to console me and he and I started to see each other on a regular basis. I scared him by telling him I loved him. I also told him that I say what is in my heart so if it scared him he should run away now. He told me he wasnt going anywhere. He has since become a long haul truck driver and I only saw him once a month. Still that was okay with me. He has been widower for twelve years now and suddenly I get this text.... Hey how have you been, I have been okay....I cant see u anymore, I don't feel like you do. I still love and miss my wife and besides I am gone all the time. I went numb. I always told him that he didnt have to say that he loved me back. He is a great guy but he says he doesn't love me....sorry but he hopes we could still be friends...Really? I wonder if he will ever be ready for a relationship. His wife died of a terminal illness. I miss him but I have to move on.

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  27. I am in the exact same situation. I have been dating him for 4 months and we fell in love so quickly and had so many amazing things line up. We became inseparable and merged our families right away and way too soon. The first anniversary of his wife's death is coming up and correlates with the holidays. We also had some conflicts with our young children who were unfortunately placed in a tough situation by us and we didn't manage it well. He now wants a break through the holidays and is really going through a massive bout of grieving understandably. He is blaming it on the conflict with our kids, and unfortunately blaming me specifically, but I know it is deeper than that and that he needs to go through the holidays alone. (I called him out on that). I am devastated though. It feels as if he does not have the bandwidth to consider my feelings in all of it. The fact that I am being dumped right before the holidays (and being told I am a bad parent) is less important than what he is going through. It seems as if my feelings are always less important, which doesn't provide a good foundation for a relationship. I am letting him go for now, with empathy, and with an understanding that he is a good person who I still love fully, but he is just not ready.

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