Widower Wednesday: I Want to Do the Right Thing

Widower Wednesday

Book Update: I verified all 82 footnotes in my upcoming book and sent it off for a second edit Sunday night. I also have cover in the works. Hope to have the cover and the next round of edits back in 7-10 days. If all stays on track, the book should be available sometime this month


The following question was left on a recent blog post:

Question. My “partner” and I met 6 months ago (3 months after his wife died). I have already moved in with him and we plan to live the rest of our lives together. It was a coincidence we met and fell in love immediately. He has 4 grown children Ages 27-32. I have met 3 of them. The oldest daughter and mother has not met me. My DP and I have made a few mistakes pushing the children to accept us, which hindsight was idiotic. He thought he knew his kids as well, but we understand that the kids are going through their own personal mourning as well. And they probably wonder if their dad really loved their mom after 33 years? who knows. My question is this – we made a decision to leave the house the same until after the anniversary date of her passing. I personally feel that giving the family one year without their mom for xmas, easter, mother’s day etc is only being fair. And since the kids visit once in a while the house, some of her photos are up until after that year. What are your thoughts on this? My other question is – there are photos of his kids with their mom and him – should he eventually remove those as well? At a loss here and want to do the right thing.

As long as you and your partner are both okay with this arrangement, I don't see a problem with leaving the house the way it is for a year. My question to you is living in a house that's unchanged something you can live with until the year is up? I understand keeping things up for the kids, but if they're all adults and living on their own, they don't live there—you do. If you can wake up every morning and feel comfortable in this place, then that's great. If not, then you need to ask yourself why you're putting yourself through this. There's nothing noble about torturing yourself. The same goes for the photos of her and the kids. What can you live with? What can the widower live with? Talk about it now and hopefully you can arrive at a compromise that you both feel comfortable with.

There's no right answer here other than you both need to put each other first. His kids are adults and have lives and homes of their own. They shouldn't be dictating the house décor or what photos stay up or are taken down. Talk to your partner. Listen to him. Be honest with him about your wants and needs. Hopefully he can do the same for you. Hopefully the two of you can reach a decision that you can both be happy about.

Keep in mind that whatever decision is reached, his adult children may not be happy with it. In the end it's up to your partner to have to explain to his kids why things are changing. Cross your fingers he can man up and do that and not let them control his home or your relationship.