Widower Wednesday: Translating Widower Behavior

In the comment section of my last column a few of you asked for insight on dating a widower with minor children at home. A few months ago, I published a column on the subject. However, I don’t know if it was very helpful. Though I feel confident about addressing most widower issues, I have a hard time with the minor children one. I’m not sure why I feel this way about the subject. Maybe it’s because I I’d have no clue what I’d do if Marathon Girl were to die (heaven forbid) and I found myself a widowed father of four young kids. Maybe it’s because every kid is his or her own person and parenting needs to be tailored to the unique personality and needs of a child. Whatever the reason, this is the one widower-related area I don’t feel confident about dishing out advice.

So, I have an idea. Those who have ideas or experience in what works or doesn’t work with dating a widower with minor children and/or blending families with minor children, send me an email with your thoughts on the subject and I’ll post them in a future column. I’ll post your insight under your first name, pen name, or anonymously. Just write up something between 100 and 300 words on the subject and I’ll combine them into one column or two—depending on how many publishable responses I receive.

Sound like a good idea? Great. Now on to today’s Widower Wednesday column.


I’ve receive a lot of emails asking me to interpret the odd or strange behavior of widowers exhibit in relationship situations. As a result, I’ve come up with a guide that cuts through the BS of the most common situation s and lets you know what the widower’s really saying.

Odd Widower Behavior: After fawning all over a woman and telling her how much he loves her, the widower withdraws from the relationship and tells the women he a) wants to date other women b) needs more time to grieve or c) isn’t sure how he feels about the relationship. In all three cases he usually asks the woman to wait around while he figures things out.

What the Widower Means to Say: I jumped in to the relationship too fast and now realize it’s not right for me. However, I’m not man enough to be honest with you about this. Also, it’s a lonely world we live in. In case I can’t find someone else I want you waiting in the wings so I have someone to come back with.

Odd Widower Behavior: Despite being in a committed/exclusive relationship and telling the woman how much he loves her, the widower cries nearly every day over his late wife and/or visits her grave or special place at least once a week and/or continually steers the conversation to likes, tastes, and thoughts of the late wife.

What the Widower Means to Say: I’ve got some serious grief issues. I’m probably not even ready for a committed relationship. As long as you put up with this behavior, I’ll keep grieving. P.S. Please keep tolerating my grief because I sure as hell can’t deal with reality on my own.

Odd Widower Behavior:  After sleeping with a widower for the first time, the widower breaks off the relationship the next day saying he isn’t ready for a relationship.

What the Widower Means to Say: I was just using you for sex. Now I’m off to my next conquest!

Odd Widower Behavior: The widower tells a woman how much he loves her and wants to spend the rest of his life with her. Yet he always hides or lies about the relationship to friends/family/loved ones. He may even ask the woman to hide in the basement when friends unexpectedly drop by.

What the Widower Means to Say: I value the feelings of my friends/family/loved ones more than I value my relationship with you. I’m spineless and dishonest. Thanks for staying with me.

Odd Widower Behavior: Despite patiently waiting for a widower to get over his grief the widower still won’t make any long-term relationship commitments or discuss the future of the relationship. The widower also refuses do things that will make the woman feel like number one. As a result the woman constantly feels like number two or a third wheel.

What the Widower Means to Say: I don’t know how I feel about you. However, I didn’t realize how long I could string out a relationship using the grief excuse. Why didn’t I think of this excuse years ago? I love that no one questions or confronts my bad relationship behavior because I’m a widower. I’m going to keep this up as long as possible.