Widower Wednesday: 5 Questions

You have until the end of the month to submit a story to my final widower relationship book. You can see the kind of stories I’m looking for here.


I've received a lot of requests for a Widower Wednesday column about blending families and getting step children to accept each other. Since Marathon Girl and I didn't have any (living) children when we were married I don’t feel I can adequately address the topic. However, I know a lot of readers have done this. So if you think you have a story and some thoughts to share with GOWs and WOWs who are struggling with or looking to blend families, send me an email. I’ll post the stories in a future column.


Occasionally I’ll get some unique questions that can be answered relatively quickly and usually aren't worth devoting an entire column to. Today you’ll find 5 of those questions below. I hope you can find some of them useful.

Q: Does a picture of the late wife in the wallet mean more than a picture of her on the wall of their home?

A: No. A photo is a photo. It doesn't matter if it’s on the wall, in someone’s wallet, or on a desk at their work. If you’re in a serious or committed relationship with a widower the question you should be asking is why isn't there a photo of you on the wall, in the wallet, or on his desk.

Q: What are some questions can you ask a widower to know if he’s ready to move on?

A: It really doesn't matter what you ask him because a widower who’s looking to use you for emotional support, sex, or as a fill-in for the late wife will say whatever you want to hear. Widowers show through their actions that they’re ready to make you number one. Widowers who are putting on an act will eventually show their true colors. Pay more attention to how a widower treats you—not what he says.

Q: Do you recommend getting back with a widower who was physically, emotionally, or verbally abusive in the past but now promises it won’t happen again?

A: No! No! No! No! No! Going back to an abusive relationship is putting yourself (and kids, if you have any) in danger. Don’t do it because odds are the abuse is going to start again at some point. Start a new life without that person in it.

Q: My widower is having a hard time moving on. I think some professional help would help him take the next step. Do you think seeing someone would help him take the next step?

A: One thing to remember about seeing a grief counselor, shrink, or some other kind of professional is that they can only help people who want to change their life or move it forward. If the widower’s open to getting help, then it might be a good idea to see someone. If he’s insists he doesn't need help or doesn't think it would do any good than you’re both wasting each other’s time and money. Also keep in mind that philosophies and techniques on how to help the bereaved can vary widely from professional to professional. You should both do your homework and find someone you both feel will be of the most help.

Q: Would you recommend a long distance relationship with a widower?

A: As a rule, no. Long distance relationships can and do work but they’re much harder to maintain because most of the communication is over the phone or computer instead of face-to-face, one-on-one time. Big breaks between personal contact means it takes longer to really get to know the other person and decide if the relationship has long term potential. Marriage and committed relationships are about spending time and making two lives one. It’s difficult to do that when you live 1,000 miles apart. If you get involved in a long distance relationship one of you is eventually going to have to pack up and move for it to work out. If one or both of you can see yourself doing than, then maybe there’s some hope that it will work. Otherwise it may not be worth the time and effort.