Marrying a Widower Available from iTunes

Good news! Marrying a Widower is now available through iTunes and the Apple bookstore. Thanks for those readers who patiently waited while I navigated the iTunes approval process to get it in. There were a couple of formatting issues that kept cropping up with the manuscript, thus delaying the approval process. But it's up there now and will be so long as Apple runs an eBook store.

And for those who want to read Dating a Widower on their iPad or other Apple device, you can find it on iTunes here.

Books FINALLY Arrive

My copies of Marrying a Widower finally arrived.

So if you pre-ordered a copy, contributed a story or were a beta reader, then your copy will be mailed first thing tomorrow.

All I can say is that it's finally nice to hold them.

Now Available: Marrying a Widower

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:

  • How to make sure your marriage is new, exciting, and fresh instead of a rehash of the widower’s previous relationship.
  • Suggestions and tips for making sure both of you can talk about the late wife, his grief, and any other widower-related issues.
  • What role, if any, the late wife’s family should play in your relationship.
  • How to make the home feel like yours instead of theirs.
  • Ten real-life stories from women who are engaged or married to a widower.

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.

Read Chapter 1

Paperback | Kindle | Nook | SmashwordsPersonalized Copy

Widower Wednesday: Marrying a Widower Chapter 1

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.

Chapter 1: The End Game

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.

Marrying a Widower: Done

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.

Pre-order Marrying a Widower

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.

Vote for Your Favorite Marrying a Widower Cover

Based on feedback received on the initial cover last week, I've had my graphic designer come up with two other designs. What I'd like you to do is review the three covers (the initial one and the two new ones) below and leave a comment below to let me know your favorite. On Thursday I'll announce what the final cover the book will look like.

Thanks for voting!

Update: Don't worry about the different subtitles. "What You Need to Know Before Tying the Knot" is the official subtitle for the book. It's the rings I'm looking for you to vote for.

Cover #1

Cover #2

Cover #3

MAW Book Update

Last week I finished the first draft of Marrying a Widower. It’s definitely first draft quality so no one will be getting a glimpse of it until it’s gone at least two more revisions. Right now I’m half way through the second draft. One thing I’m noticing about this book compared to Dating a Widower is that I’m focusing a lot more on helping the woman decide if tying the knot with a widower is right for her. Even if the widower moves on and makes you the center of his universe there are things about his late wife and their marriage that always seem to crop up. As of now about half the book is helping you decide if the widower is ready to take the plunge again while the other half asks women to do decide if they are. When I started writing, I didn’t expect the book to take this turn but hopefully readers will find it helpful.

Also, please keep sending in your stories for the book. Read the complete guidelines if you’re interested in having your story included in the book.

Now back to writing . . .

Widower Wednesday: Call For Marrying a Widower Stories

Three days ago I started writing Marrying a Widower, the follow-up book to my Dating a Widower book. I hope to have the book available no later than May 2012.

As with Dating a Widower, I’m looking for one or two real life stories to add at the end of every chapter. The stories you submit can be positive ones, “learning” experiences, or something in between. The purpose of these stories is to help readers know if the widower they're dating is ready to tie the knot and if marrying a widower is right for them. If you’re interested in sharing your story, you must be engaged to, previously engaged to, married to, divorced from, or in a co mmitted lifelong relationship with a widower.

I’m particularly looking for stories that can address the following situations:

  • How did you know the widower was (or wasn’t) ready for marriage?
  • How did you learn to communicate with your widower?
  • What are some ways you made the late wife’s home feel like your home?
  • How did you handle the late wife’s family being part of your new life?
  • How did you successfully blend families or deal with the widower’s adult and minor children?
  • What are some new traditions that you and the widower started that helped make your relationship seem new instead of a rehash of his previous marriage?
  • How did you deal with burial arrangements, wills, and other end of life issues?
  • What are some things the widower does to make you feel like number one? What are some things you do to make him feel like number one?
  • How did you set expectations so the widower realized you were a different person than the late wife?
  • If your widower does his best to make you feel like number one, how did you overcome any insecurities that still made you feel like second best?

To submit your story for consideration, send me an email. Please keep submissions between 250-750 words. You can submit more than one story but please send them in different emails. (This way I can organize them for quick reference.) All submissions must be received by February 15, 2012. I’ll be letting people know if their essay will appear in the book by the end of February.

If your story is selected, you’ll receive a free copy of the Marrying a Widower book as soon as it’s published. To protect your privacy, you can publish your story under a pen name if you wish.

Questions? Email me.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Ideas for Marrying a Widower Book

As most of you know, I'm working on a sequel to Dating a Widower. Titled Marrying a Widower the book will focus on how you can know whether or not the widower is ready for marriage or some other lifelong relationship. (Dating a Widower is more about knowing if he's even ready to date and start a relationship.) What I'd like to know from all of you is what topics you'd like to see addressed in this book. For those who are married to, engaged to, or divorced from a widower or are just working toward marriage with a widower, what issues have you experienced that others might be dealing with? What do you wish someone had told you before you married a widower? I have a rough outline of topics I'm going to write about but want to be sure I haven't overlooked anything before I start . Put your ideas in the comments below or send me an email if you'd rather keep it private. Any and all ideas are appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Update: Thanks to all those who have asked about submitting essays for the MAW book. I'll have a full list of topics that I'll post in early January that will let you know the topics I'll need essays on. Hold off on sending any until then.

My Next Book

I want to thank everyone for the support they’ve given my latest book, Dating a Widower. Sales have surpassed expectations and the reviews and feedback have been very positive. As a result of its success, I’m thrilled to announce that a follow-up book, Marrying a Widower, is in the works and will be released the first half of next year. Look for more details in January. Like its predecessor, I’ll be asking for readers to contribute their stories. So if you’re engaged to, married to, or divorced from a widower, start thinking about a story you might want to share. A full list of topics will be posted in January.

And no, I haven’t stopped writing fiction. I expect to release a novel next year as well. Look for more details on that in early 2012.