From the inbox comes an email with a great question:
I’ve read your books and your blogs and have found them very helpful. I am also a member of your Dating a Widower Facebook group and enjoy the sisterhood there and knowing I’m not alone in my issues with a widower. As a result of your writings and the group, I’ve learned how to better communicate with my widowers and set boundaries.
One good thing that has come from all this is that I feel more confident in who I am as a woman. I no longer feel threatened by my widower’s deceased spouse and no longer worry about something I might have done or said if my widower withdraws emotionally or says or does something stupid. I realize that he has his own issues to deal with and that though I can be there to help, he’s the one who has to ultimately work through them. I can’t thank you and my other sisters on the board for helping me see this.
Despite the improved communication and boundary setting, the one big negative is that the widower himself hasn't changed that much or even made progress. Pictures of them still dot the house. He goes of on stories about things they did. I could go on but you get the idea. In short, I can't see a future with him until he can give his heart to me. At this point I want to know what else I can do to help the relationship move forward or is it time to cut my losses and move on?
I commend you for making great progress when it comes to learning how to communicate and setting boundaries. These are skills that will help you quite about not only in future relationships but with co-workers, friends, and family.
The reality is that communication skills and boundary setting are necessary ingredients for any healthy relationship they only go so far. In the end it takes both parties to put the other person first and make a connection with them. And for some reason your widower doesn't want to do any of heavy lifting. There could be a hundred reasons why he's chosen that path but the reason isn't important right now. Instead, you need to do what's best for you.
It sounds like you've fought the good fight and done everything in your power to make the relationship work but now it's time to move on. You're a better, stronger person now. You deserve better. Cut the ties and be free.