Widower Wednesday: Giving Books to Widowers

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.