Whether a relationship is average, as most relationships are, or very good or very bad, the ending of any personal relationship changes one's circumstances. As Annabel, a widow, said to her friend who ignited in her the desire to make love: "Thank you for bringing me back to life." The widow faces the challenge of entering into a new and meaningful spousal relationship without letting the former relationship be forgotten or denied.In most of cases of widowhood, if there was a positive attitude toward the spouse during his lifetime, this is enhanced. In a recent study, by Bar-Nadav and Rubin, comparing the issues facing bereaved and non-bereaved women when they enter new relationships after a long-term one has ended, the bereaved experienced themselves as having changed more, but it was the non-bereaved who reported greater meaning in life and saw their life change as the more positive.
Although a new love might physically replace the previous one, from a psychological viewpoint the widow will now love two people at the same time. I wasn't experiencing the feelings that I had 27 years ago. Like other people, a widow yearns for her lover to come back, but unlike others, she knows it is impossible.
Her love expresses the nonexclusive nature of love more than it does its replaceable nature. When C came along and we started dating, it was different. I wasn't feeling that ‘if I don't see him today I think I'll die' emotion. Which position is worse, the widow who knows that her lover cannot come back or the woman who knows that her ex could come back but might not wish to do so?
Contrary to this view, love can perish for various reasons that arise from changes in intrinsic or extrinsic circumstances; such changes do not necessarily indicate that initial love was superficial. It is not wrong that your new love is different from the previous one.
It is true that profound love is less likely to perish, but it can perish nevertheless. Realizing the difference in circumstance enables a widow not to feel that she is compromising or settling.
"Though I know I'll never lose affection For people and things that went before I know I'll often stop and think about them In my life, I'll love you more." The Beatles "I can't live if living is without you." Mariah Carey "A widow's refusal of a lover is seldom so explicit as to exclude hope." Samuel Richardson All of us have romantic predicaments; widows (and widowers) seem to have even more. And if they find another lover, while still loving their late spouse, how can these two lovers reside together in their hearts?
For widows, is loving again worth the effort of having to adjust to another person?
New widows (and widowers) face a range of circumstances in which their decisions are likely to be different. These concerns about intimacy arise from the anxiety that they might lose someone again, their fear of opening up to new relationships, and their concerns about not maintaining fidelity to the deceased spouse; all these issues enhance their tendency to avoid intimacy.
Here I will discuss three such central circumstances: (a) adapting to a new love while still loving the late spouse; (b) tending to avoid a new marriage or relationship, as it doesn't seem worth the effort; and (b) falling in love with another man almost immediately. The role of imagery and counterfactual thinking is central in widows.
Romantic love is a central expression of a good, meaningful, and flourishing life.
Without love and desire, many people feel that a large part of them is dead.
The lover is perceived to be "the sunshine of my life," and for many, without such sunshine, decay and death are all around.