I think this video sums up my relationship with Marthon Girl and running perfectly. Thanks to Trevor for the tip.
2 comments April 30th, 2012
I think this video sums up my relationship with Marthon Girl and running perfectly. Thanks to Trevor for the tip.
2 comments April 30th, 2012
Here is a more obvious photo of the big event coming up in the next 30 days.
No, it’s not a messy playroom. It’s the first of the many boxes we’re packing up because we’re moving. (Congrats to Trina and Sue for guessing correctly on the first photo.)
We put our home on the market last month and sold it in seven days to a nice family from California. Now we’re on the countdown to pack up and get out.
The one hitch to this move is that we don’t officially have a new place to live—yet. Back in February we made an offer on a short sale and that’s still making its way through the bank. We hope to have good news in the next two weeks from the bank, but even if everything works out with the short sale it won’t close until 2-4 weeks after our house closes.
For now the plan is to move in temporarily with Marathon Girl’s parents and cross our fingers that the short sale closes soon after. If something happens with the short sale then . . . well, I don’t want to go there.
One way or another everything will work out. Things are just going to be crazy for the next month or two.
Add comment April 27th, 2012
Marrying a Widower is now available in paperback and all major ebook formats. You can read the first chapter here. Thanks to all those who contributed stories, served as beta readers, or otherwise helped make the book a great guide to tying the knot with a widower. I hope all those who read it find it helpful.
Now that Marrying a Widower is done, I’m finalizing the rest of my writing plans for the year. After taking a break from book-related writing for the next 30 days or so to deal with a big event, I’ll be finishing off a novel this summer then working on another non-fiction book that I’d like to have done by Thanksgiving. The non-fiction project wasn’t widower or relationship related and thought it would be a nice change of pace from my last two books. However, since I announced that Marrying a Widower was available, I received at least a dozen emails from GOWs, WOWs, and widowers asking when I’m going to writing a book about dating and moving on for widowers.
I’ve received requests like this from time-to-time but haven’t thought seriously about writing a book about it because it seems like there are lots of books on the subject already. If you search on Amazon you’ll see at least a dozen advice-type books written for widowers who are looking to date and start a new life. Besides, men are less likely to read these books or, at the very least, express an interest in reading them. I really don’t want to put the time and effort into this kind of book if there’s no real interest from widowers or anyone else reading it.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the existing books on this topic aren’t very good. Perhaps there are lots of widowers out there who want something but are just keeping quiet about it. That’s why I’m writing this: I want to hear from GOWs, WOWs, and—most importantly—widowers about writing this kind of book. I’m more than willing to put off my current non-fiction idea and write a book specifically for widowers (a man-to-man type of book) about dating and moving on providing that I get enough feedback and interest in writing one.
What I’d like to know is:
Leave any thoughts you have in the comment section below or feel free to shoot me an email if you don’t want them public. I’ll take feedback for the next two weeks on this topic and let you know then whether or not I’ll make this book my next non-fiction project.
16 comments April 25th, 2012
Are you in a serious relationship with a widower? Are you considering tying the knot? Any lasting relationship takes a lot of work, but a successful marriage to a widower requires the ability for both of you to work through unique issues that most couples don’t face. Are you up to the challenge?
Drawing on a decade of experience as a remarried widower, Abel Keogh gives you unique insight into what it takes to make any long-term relationship with a widower successful, including:
Marrying a Widower will help you decide whether or not the widower you’re dating is prepared to make the ultimate commitment. More importantly, the book will walk you through many of the challenging circumstances that come with tying the knot and help you decide if taking this step is right for you.
1 comment April 23rd, 2012
Below is the first chapter of Marrying a Widower: What You Need to Know Before Tying the Knot. The book will be available later this month in paperback and all major ebook formats. You can pre-order a personalized copy here.
Widowers become involved in serious relationships for different reasons. Some miss the late wife and want someone to “be there” to help alleviate the empty feeling in their lives. Others want someone who will be on call for an occasional roll in the hay, to cook their meals, or to babysit their kids. And, believe it or not, there are even widowers who are looking for someone they can spend the rest of their lives with. Whatever his reason for wanting a relationship, it’s important that you both have the same end game in mind. For example, if you want to get married, but he prefers living together, or he’d be happy with a nebulous, open-ended friendship, you’re going to waste months or years of your life with someone who’s never going to give you the love and happiness you deserve.
While it’s important to be on the same page in any relationship, it’s doubly important to make sure a widower has the same relationship goals. Many men will settle for a relationship with a woman they don’t love simply because they’re lonely. Almost every widower I’ve talked to has, at some point, started a serious relationship because they wanted companionship. These widowers keep the relationship going until they tire of it or until someone better comes along. They leave behind lots of broken hearts and women who feel used.
Sadly, I’ve made this very mistake. Less than a year after my wife, Krista, took her own life, I became serious with a good friend named Jennifer. I promised her the world and implied a life of happiness together. I started that relationship because my heart ached for companionship, and having someone in my life who wasn’t a perfect fit was still a hundred times better than being alone.
When things started to get serious with Jennifer, I thought I loved her—or at least, I had strong feelings that I thought would turn into love. It was nice to have someone to talk to and a warm body to hold, even if I couldn’t see myself spending the rest of my life with her. As time went on and my feelings for her only become more ambivalent, I tried to convince myself that I loved her. I rationalized my lack of love toward her as a sign that I was still grieving. All I needed, I thought, was more time to grieve, and things would eventually work out. It wasn’t until Julianna came along that I realized I never really loved Jennifer in the first place.
If you want to avoid being the woman who gets used by a lonely widower, you need to make absolutely sure you and he both want to get married—to each other. The sooner you can do that, the better off you’ll both be.
There are several ways to know how the widower really feels about you. The best and most obvious way is through his actions—not his words. If he always treats you like a queen, it’s a good sign that he wants to spend the rest of his life with you. But more often than not, a widower will send mixed signals. For example, he may call you every day, but still have photographs of the late wife all over the house. Or he may wine and dine you every night, but won’t stop talking about the late wife and the fantastic life they shared together. This makes it hard for a woman to know where she stands.
Find time when the two of you can have a serious conversation about where you see the relationship going. This can be a scary step, because there’s always a chance the widower may not give you the answer you want. But knowing the truth, even if you don’t like it, is better than wasting part of your life with someone who is with you because he doesn’t want to be alone.
Keep in mind that one talk probably won’t do it, either. Julianna and I had several big talks at different points in our relationship. We had our first conversation about six weeks after becoming exclusive, another when Julianna realized I was still wearing a necklace with Krista’s ring on it, a third when I accidently called Julianna by Krista’s name, and a fourth during a six-hour drive home from a marathon she ran. There were probably lots of smaller talks in between, too. Sometimes I found them uncomfortable, because Julianna was worried about whether I was really ready to commit. However, because we were able to openly discuss what we wanted from the relationship, our discussions helped us move toward our goal of marriage. Knowing that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with me made it easier for me to make room in my heart for her. It also helped me focus on starting a new life with her and served as a gut check to ensure it was something I really wanted to do. The more we talked about marriage, the more excited we became about taking a walk down the aisle together. So when I finally did ask Julianna to marry me, the proposal itself wasn’t a total surprise. We’d talked enough that she knew I’d eventually ask her to marry me, and that when I did, she would say “Yes!”
How Soon Should You Have the Talk?
Over the years, I’ve had people ask me how long they should wait before having this talk with the widower. The truth is, there’s no set timeframe. As a rule of thumb, if you’ve been seriously dating for several months and you can see yourself marrying him, there’s nothing wrong with bringing up the subject—and it doesn’t matter how long the late wife has been dead, either. Julianna and I had our first “Where is this relationship going?” talk about a month after we started dating seriously, about nine months after I became a widower.
Don’t worry about having the talk too soon and scaring him away. You’re both adults, and you should be able to have adult conversations. Talking about the future isn’t a proposal. It doesn’t mean you have to get married the next day. It’s better to know sooner, rather than later, if you both want to get married, so you can work toward that goal or move on with your lives.
Know What You Want Before You Talk
Before you talk about your future together, it’s vital that you know where you see the relationship going. Do you want to get married, or do you want something more casual? If you can’t clearly define what you want from the relationship, don’t bring up the subject until you can. It’s unfair to the widower to expect him to talk about a possible future together if you don’t know what you want.
Beware of the Grief Card
Widowers willing to settle for companionship with women they don’t love will often play the grief card when talks about the future arise. They’ll say things like they’re still grieving, or that they need more time before they can figure out what they want. If a single or divorced man said something similar, most women would hesitate to take the relationship any further. Widowers, however, tend to be given more leniency when it comes to opening their hearts, and a woman will move forward despite the widower’s inability to articulate how he really feels about her and the relationship.
The truth is, widowers know how they feel about the woman they’re with. Those who know they want to get married again don’t have a hard time saying it—even if they’re still mourning the late wife. I dated Julianna less than a year after Krista’s death. My heart was still tender, and I was still grieving. There were times before or after a date with Julianna when I’d cry my eyes out. Despite being an emotional wreck at times, I knew I didn’t want to spend my life with anyone but Julianna. I also knew that the only thing keeping us from getting married was my own sorrow and sadness, so I worked as hard as I could to forgive Krista and move on with my life. I did it because I knew that the reward of taking Julianna by the hand and exchanging vows would be well worth it. Widowers who feel the same way about you will do the same. A widower unable to make room in his heart for the woman he’s dating has no business being involved in a serious relationship.
Widowers Act How They Really Feel
Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between widowers looking for companionship and those who want to get married. The best way to know how he really feels about you is to pay attention to his actions, not his words. Any widower can proclaim his love, or say he wants to spend the rest of his life with you. Only a widower who really loves you will treat you like the only woman he’s ever loved. Widowers who talk a good talk, but don’t really have your best interests in mind, will eventually betray themselves through their own actions.
When I was dating Jennifer, I said lots of wonderful things I didn’t mean. For a while, I was able to back up my sweet nothings with actions: I called her every night, flew down to see her on a regular basis (we lived several hundred miles apart), and sent her emails throughout the day. But eventually, I couldn’t put the physical effort into the story I’d weaved. I stopped calling her as often, made excuses why I couldn’t fly down, and sent fewer and fewer emails. Despite this, I continued to tell her that we had a future together, and she continued to believe it.
If you have any doubt about how the widower really feels about you, pay close attention to how he treats you. Those who are sincere about tying the knot will align their actions with their words. They’ll do everything in their power to make you feel like the only woman they’ve ever loved. Widowers who are in relationships for their own selfish reasons will be able to put on an act for only so long. With these men, sooner or later, you feel like you’re competing with a ghost.
Have the Courage to Walk Away
If you believe he doesn’t have the same relationship goals as you do, don’t be afraid to walk away. Some women hold on to a relationship that’s not going anywhere because they think the widower will change his mind or eventually grow to love them. Don’t fall into this trap. Love doesn’t work that way. If he can’t fall in love with you after several months or so of serious dating, he never will.
Never settle for a relationship with anyone who can’t give you top billing in his heart and mind. If you settle for second place, you’ll never be truly happy. Life is too short to waste on someone who can’t treat you like you deserve to be treated. If you wait for the widower to come to his senses, the relationship will eventually end, and you’ll have nothing to show for it. Have the courage to walk away. You’re a queen and deserve to be treated as such.
38 comments April 18th, 2012
The writing and editing part of Marrying a Widower is done. The final manuscript has been sent to the designer for typesetting. I formatted it for the various eBook formats last night. Depending on how fast the typesetting goes the book could be available as early as next week.
I’ll post Chapter 1 on Wednesday. Until then I’m going to catch up on sleep and spend some time with Marathon Girl and the kiddies.
May 1 I start another writing project and the process starts all over again.
Add comment April 16th, 2012
I’ll be at the Write Here in Ephraim Writing Conference at Snow College this weekend teaching courses on memoir writing as well as book marketing and publicity. If you’re in the area, admission to the conference is free so you’re welcome to learn what you can from all the writers that will be there. You can find the full schedule for the conference, registration information, and other details here. A full list of authors that will be attending can be found here. Hope to see some of you there!
Add comment April 13th, 2012
Marrying a Widower Update: The manuscript was sent off to the second proofreader last night. It is scheduled to be back in my inbox sometime this weekend. After I do a final review I’ll send it to the designer for typesetting and start working on converting it to various ebook formats. Right now it’s looking like two weeks before I’ll have copies in my hands. You can pre-order Marrying a Widower here if you’d like to get a personalized copy as soon as they arrive.
With Marrying a Widower just a few weeks from being released, I’ve received lots of inquiries from GOWs and WOWs about whether or not it would be beneficial to give that book or some of my other books to their widower to read. Giving widowers books about, grief, dating again, or moving on is a hit or miss proposition. Based on feedback I’ve seen on discussion boards or in my inbox, widower are either really open to the idea of reading these kind of books or get upset that his girlfriend thinks he needs to read one. (I say this as someone who probably would have been a little offended if Marathon Girl had tried to give me a book about dating when we were seeing each other.)
Obviously, you’d like a book to help or enhance your relationship instead of destroying it. So if you’re thinking about giving your widower one of my books or a some other book about dating or moving on, here general guidelines to consider before taking that step.
Read the book first. Please, please, please, read any book about grief, dating, or remarrying before you give it to your widower. Don’t just give him or buy him a book without knowing what’s in it. Every book is written to a specific audience and a unique perspective. You want to give him a book has a point of view that you more or less agree with. For example, if the widower has photos of his late wife all over the home that are making you feel like second best, the last thing you want to do is give him a book that says having photos of the deceased spouse up is wonderful and will strengthen your relationship. Besides, a widower will be more likely to read the book if you say you’ve read it first.
Present it to him in the right way. There’s a time and a place for everything. Even though you may be anxious for him to read a book, sometimes waiting a couple days or even a week or two for the right moment to talk about it can increase his receptiveness to reading it. For example if the widower is stressed about work or family related issues, it may not hurt to wait until some of that dies down before you add something else to his plate.
Not everyone is a reader. I intentionally make my relationship books short because I know lots of people don’t like to read. I figure if the book is on the short side the more likely they are to read it. If there is just a chapter or two that you think the widower needs to read, suggest he read those chapters instead of having him read the entire thing. As the old saying goes, it’s a lot easier to eat an elephant one bite at a time instead of all at once. For some people a bite or two might be all they need.
The book should be able to start a discussion, not solve problems. All the books in the world aren’t going to solve relationship problems. A good book about dating a widower, for example, should help GOWs and WOWs evaluate your relationship with your widower and, if you choose to share it with him, start a discussion. If there are issues that need to be addressed it’s up to both of you to figure out the best way to solve them. Just because a widower reads the book you give him, doesn’t mean a light is going to go on in his head or that he’s going to agree with it. Relationships that last take a lot of work. Hopefully any grief/dating/moving on book you both read will help of you address certain issues, communicate better, and motivate you to take the next step in your relationship.
In the end it’s up to the widower to pick up the book and read it. But you can make that option more enticing for him. Hopefully he’ll be open enough to at least read a book or a couple chapters so the two of you can talk about it.
If you have any success or horror stories or horror stories about giving a widower a book about dating again or moving on, please feel free to share them in the comments below. A lot of good insight has been shared in the comment section of other Widower Wednesday posts.
4 comments April 11th, 2012
For those who would like personalized copies of Marrying a Widower you can now pre-order them at my store. Please note that I don’t have an exact shipping date yet but it’s looking like late April before the book will be available. For those in the US and Canada, shipping is a flat rate of $3.50 no matter how many books or which one of my books you order.
For those who don’t want to pre-order, the book will also be available in paperback to purchase from Amazon as well as all major ebook platforms in late April.
If you have any questions about pre-orders, send me an email.
Add comment April 10th, 2012
From the International Business Times:
Cities are expected to expand the combined size of Texas, California and Montana in the next 20 years, adding environmental and cultural strains from population growth and shifts away from rural living, experts said Tuesday at a conference in London called “Planet Under Pressure.”
By 2030, humanity’s total urban footprint will expand by an additional 1.5 million square kilometers (579,000 square miles), according to the conference.
The American model of urban sprawl won’t work, raising the question of how to design cities that can sustainably cope with population increases, said Karen Seto, a professor of urban environment at Yale University.
“The North American suburb has gone global, and car-dependent urban developments are more and more the norm,” Seto said in a statement. “The way cities have grown since World War II is neither socially [nor] environmentally sustainable.”
Reversing the trend toward ever-larger homes will be a big part of designing efficient cities, the researchers at the conference said.
In some countries, urban planners are starting from scratch; the United Arab Emirates and China are both building “zero carbon cities” that aim to run completely on renewable energy.
The UAE’s Masdar City began construction in 2008, and aims to house between 45,000 and 50,000 people. Cars will be banned in Masdar City and plans call for power to come from renewable sources such as solar, wind, geothermal and hydrogen energy.
Read the rest at the International Business Times.
Usually I’d pull a quote from The Third here but those who have read the book will get the fact that most of the story takes place in one of the efficient/zero carbon cities described in the article. But you’ll have to read the book in order to decide if living in such a city is right for you.
Add comment April 5th, 2012
Marrying a Widower Update: I finished the second round of edits to Marrying a Widower on Monday. The book is now in the hands of a grammar guru/proofreader. Once the proofreading is complete it will be typeset and formatted for eReaders. If things go as scheduled, it should be released in approximately two weeks. The book will be available in paperback and all major eReaders (Kindle, Nook, etc.). Personalized copies will also be available for purchase at my store for those who want them.
Every so often I get an email from a friend or family member of a GOW who’s worried about their friend/sister/daughter’s relationship with a widower. They claim to know the widower isn’t ready to move on and is just using their friend or family member for his own selfish purposes. They’ve tried talking and reasoning with their loved one but no matter what they say to the GOW, she refuses to heed their advice and seems oblivious to the red flags that everyone else sees. They want to know what the best way is for them to get this person to listen to them and out of the relationship before she gets her heart broken.
For the sake of this discussion, let’s assume that the concerned party is correct and the GOW is in a relationship with a widower who doesn’t really love her. How do you get someone like that to see the light?
Even though there is no one-size-fits-all solution to how to talk to someone, it’s been my experience that approaching these situations is with love, kindness, and understanding that the person is free to make their own decisions goes a lot farther than a direct confrontation. We’re all different and respond to criticism and suggestions differently. Some people may respond to direct criticism well, but most don’t.
For example, I think most of you know that my late wife, Krista, killed herself. Though no one knows the exact reason she did it, the best answer I have was is that it was from an undiagnosed mental illness. About a month before Krista died, her brother realized that something was seriously wrong with her. At least once a day I’d get a call from him updating me on Krista’s latest antics and trying to tell me she needed help. Even though he was right about Krista’s behavior, he was usually condescending when talking to me and treated me like an idiot for not seeing the same thing he did. As a result, I hated talking to him and refused to take his input as seriously as I should have. In my mind he was over analyzing things. Krista was pregnant after all, why couldn’t he see that this was just a hormonal change instead of a mental issue? If her brother would have approached the situation differently, I might have taken his concerns more seriously.
It’s impossible to say whether or not Krista’s death could have been prevented or even postponed had I headed his words. However, I do know that if her brother had simply calmed down and approach the situation differently, I might have listened to what he was saying. Instead, he was so sure that he was right, it was easy for me to tune him out and dismiss his concerns.
I’ve learned over the years of responding to emails from GOWs and WOWs that they tend to listen to what I have to say if I guide them to the answer about their situation instead of just telling them that he’s not ready to move on. One thing that Marathon Girl does extremely well knowing how to talk about things with me about important issues in our marriage. She’s very good at making me think through the problem instead of telling me what she thinks I should do or what she wants me to do. As a result, 95% of the time we arrive at the same conclusion without any hurt feelings or fights.
So consider how you’re approaching the situation with the GOW. Are you doing it in such a way that they’ll listen or tune you out? Are you constantly giving them unsolicited advice or beating them over the head with it so they don’t want to talk to you anymore or tune you out like I tuned out Krista’s brother?
Even if you approach the situation the right way and with nothing but love and kindness in your heart when you talk to them, the GOW may not listen. Ultimately you have to accept fact that people are free to make their own decisions—even if that eventually bring them unhappiness and misery. For some people, making bad choices and learning the hard way via personal experience is the only way they’re going to learn. As a parent I’ve seen that many times with my own kids who lose privileges and because they refuse to do their chores or homework and lose privileges. My own parents could probably tell countless stories about dumb decisions I made both as a kid, a teen, and an adult despite their best attempts to warn me about the path I was walking.
If someone refuses to listen, don’t give up. Just realize that at some point you have to drop it and let the relationship work itself out for better or worse. But if it does end badly and everything you told them would happen comes to pass, don’t tell them “I told you so!” when they come crying to you for support. Give them a hug and let them know you still love them and will always be there for them. That way if another tricky situation comes up they’ll listen to what you have to say or even go out of their way to seek your advice.
9 comments April 4th, 2012
The status of Earth Hour as one of the premier feel-good (but utterly pointless) environmental events really took a hit this year. Usually there’s so much coverage in the media and on social media sites the week before it happens that I plan on being home that night in order to make sure every light in the house is on during Earth Hour. This year there was such a dearth of pre-publicity that I didn’t realize Earth Hour occurred until today—one day after the event was celebrated.
Browsing through the news coverage of the event, however, I had to shake my head at the contradiction of so many people turning off lights for an hour in order to increase awareness of global warming but then lighting candles instead. As environmental scientists Bjorn Lomborg explains:
[Candles seem] natural and environmentally friendly, but unfortunately candles are almost 100 times less efficient than incandescent light bulbs, and more than 300 times less efficient than fluorescent lights. Using one candle for each extinguished bulb cancels the CO2 reduction; two candles emit more CO2.
My favorite series of photos of Earth Hour photographs was found on the UK’s World Wildlife Fund’s website where just about every photo shows someone holding a lighted candle. According to news reports reports, one German Earth Hour display contained around 5,000 lighted candles in the shape of Earth.
I wonder how long it will take for the irony to kill them.
3 comments April 1st, 2012
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