Widower Wednesday: Feeling Like a Mistress?

A quick update on those who submitted stories for the Dating a Widower book: I’ve gone through and made the initial selection for the stories. If you’re stories been selected, you should get a formal email next week letting you know. There were lots of good stories and I’m still debating whether or not to include a section of stories at the end.

In the meantime, I realized that I forgot to ask if anyone has stories to share about online memorials to the LW. It’s a new chapter I created and yesterday I didn’t get any stories about that because—like an idiot—I forgot to ask for them. So if anyone wants to share a story about the problems caused by online memorials and how you overcame those problems, please email them to me. Stories must be submitted by Wednesday June 1. Thanks!

Also, if you have a minute, check out a great Miss Manners column on a family adjusting to a widower’s new wife. I thought Miss Manners’ advice was spot on. Hat Tip: Lindesy, who posted it over at the Dating a Widower Facebook group.


Sometimes I’ll get emails from women who are dating a widower but feel like a mistress because the widower keeps their relationship a secret. When it’s just the two of them, he treats her like a queen. However, if there’s a party, vacation, dinner, or other activity where friends, family, or others who knew the LW might be present, the widower goes alone. Just a few of the excuses a widower gives for his behavior include:

  • His family/friends think it’s too soon for him to start dating again
  • His family/friends are still grieving
  • If his family/friends knew he was in a relationship it would cause problems and he’d rather keep the peace
  • It’s none of their business who he’s dating
  • His family/friends are boring and doesn’t want to trouble them

Part of me can understand that a widower might not want others knowing that he’s dating again—especially if it’s soon after the late wife’s death. Often those who are closest to a widower have the hardest time seeing him with someone else. When I started dating again, I kept my activities from just about everyone.  However, there’s a difference between not telling someone about a date and hiding a serious relationship. Once a widower becomes serious with someone, the widower needs to let others know. It doesn’t have to be a big, formal announcement but he needs to let others know that there’s someone else in his life. The tone and the way the widower does this can go a long way to getting friends and family to open up to the new woman and the relationship.

What I don’t understand is why women put up with this type of behavior. And don’t tell me it’s because you think he’s a great guy. Great guys don’t treat their girlfriends like mistresses or call girls. Great guys aren’t ashamed of the women they’re dating. Usually they’re more than happy to introduce them to friends and family, take them out in public places, and pretty much want to show you off to the world.

So if you’re feeling like a mistress, it’s probably because you’re being treated like one. Unless you enjoy being someone’s secret lover, stand up for yourself. Life’s too short to waste it on men who aren’t willing to let the world know what a great catch they’ve found.  You deserve to be treated like a queen. Last time I looked, queens aren’t hidden from the world.