Comparing yourself to anyone is bad but comparing yourself to someone’s deceased spouse is a really bad idea.
Reason 1: the deceased person almost immediately gets placed on a pedestal (no matter what) and to a degree glorified.
At the time I met Matt he had been widowed for over a year and I was at the 6 month mark. Memories of your beloved are still fresh and when you are trying to move on and date you cannot help but compare what you had. And who will compare to what you had when you loved what you had!
A little inside info….When you open a profile on a dating site one of the first questions they ask you is: what type of body frame are you looking for in a future partner? Uhhhh, I didn’t really know what I was looking for so I requested: someone very strong and fit. Sounded good, right? Then, I requested someone about 5’9 or taller, about my age but older, into boxing or kickboxing, someone who enjoys watching movies, eating out, going to the beach, and so on.
Guess what? I just requested my deceased spouse. Ha!
Matt and I met through an online grieving group so there was no check sheet to fill out and we were not matched by qualities we wanted or hoped for. We fell in love with what we discovered about one another and couldn’t wait to get married, even being so incredibly different from one another.
It wasn’t till after we were married a little while when I started questioning myself as “the right one” for Matt. I was learning more about his first wife, getting to know his children better and seeing how they were raised previously, learning how they lived before me, the foods they enjoyed before me, and quickly finding out how very different we all were. Why did he choose me? I am nothing like Amy.
Was this the right choice? Should he have found a wife that was more like his first wife? And Matt is so different from Cameron, should I have found someone more like Cam?!
This is a dangerous way of thinking. Period. I can tell you personally that you will spin your mind into a mess of doubt questioning yourself like this and it’s awful.
I would sit and think “Does Matt wish I was thinner like Amy was?” or “Does Matt wish I would bake bread like She did?”
And that got me thinking some more…
Did Matt sit around and wonder if I wished he was like Cameron?! I hated even thinking that! We were all completely different people and we needed to love our differences. But I was still questioning, why me?
I will never be small like Amy was, I’m not interested in homeschooling like she was, I am not passionate about cooking or gardening like she was either. But that’s what made her wonderful and Matt loved that! I am a totally different person with different passions, a different body type, and different interests and Matt loves that too.
I also love that Matt is completely opposite of Cameron and it makes getting to know him and grow with him better each year.
On my honeymoon with Matt I asked him if it felt weird holding my hand instead of Amy’s. He told me that Amy had thinner fingers and had a more petite hand than my hand. I was so glad he was honest about how different we both were because I was feeling the same way. Cameron’s hands were much wider and he had a different grip.
Holding my new husbands hand and getting adjusted to all of his new qualities has been the biggest, best blessing in my life. He chose me for a reason and I have to accept that. I will never be like his first but I sure am glad to be chosen as his second!!
Here are pictures of our “first” families.
And here is our “second” family!
3 Replies to “Being the Next Spouse…”
Love you crazy lady!
Thank you for being transparent. I’m glad I found your blog page it helps me deal with my current situation of dating a widow with children right now. We plan on getting married but I needed more information on how to interact with a widow with children.
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It can be hard when the person you are falling in love with is (and will always) be in love with someone else, not just you.
You will never be the ONE and the ONLY.
That can be hurtful to some people.
If you can find ways to show love to the children’s deceased parent and be loving about your fiancés deceased spouse you will win them over and make an easier transition.
The unsuccessful relationship stories I’ve heard about are when the new spouse tries to erase the old one.