Occasionally when someone sends me an email with a question about dating a widower it turns out they didn’t include their email address or added one that isn’t valid. When that happens, I’ll post the email and my answer here. (Note that the letter has been edited for the writer’s privacy and clarity.)
I am recently separated after a 14 year very unhappy marriage. I'm 44 years old. I was ready to start dating right away because my ex and I became friends with no romantic attachment at all when low and behold, on match.com, I meet my current boyfriend of 4 months, a widower with 3 daughters.
I adore him. He's a wonderful man that makes me feel like I'm the only women alive. His wife is now past over a year but the widower still hasn't told his in-laws about me. They know about me through his daughters and his sister-in-laws but he still has not been able to sit down with them and tell them face to face. Keeping in mind, he has been talking about love and marrying me since we were together a month, calling our meeting, serendipitous. How long do I wait? How long until it becomes downright disrespectful to me that he won't tell them? I do understand there will always be a relationship there between them and his children, but when is enough enough? I do as you say and treat him like a man, but I would do anything for him and I feel like he's still holding back to be "ready" for a new relationship. PLEASE HELP !!!
If the in-laws already know about you, it's not doing anyone any good to not have the talk with them. The sooner he can tell them the better for everyone. The widower is probably worried about how they’ll react or that it might hurt the relationship he has with them. Feeling that way is natural. However, not letting them know about you is simply going to increase the risk of hurt feelings or a negative reaction. Who knows, maybe they’ll be happy at the news.
But even if there’s much weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth at the official word that he’s dating you, he has to man up and bite the bullet, so to speak. “Secret” relationships build distrust. If the in-laws are going to remain part of his life, not talking about you isn’t going to make his relationship with them any stronger.