The majority of widows and widowers loved being married. Many of them want to recapture a similar happiness and security by remarrying, but would lose a spouse's pension and sometimes--health insurance-- by doing so. I tell them not to remarry if they will lose those benefits.
Carolyn, a widow of three years, understands the importance of protecting her deceased husband's pension, and she plans to marry. She is being wise by waiting to marry until December, 2015, when she will not lose the pension.
That restriction also ensures she will take the new relationship at a slow pace, which she feels is wise.
Carolyn said, "I was widowed in March, 2010. My husband of 30 years died from ALS (Amyotrophic later Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease).
"Our marriage wasn't as good as it could have been; although we loved each other very much. After he died in 2010, I spent the first year adjusting and not seeking any new relationship.
"The death was quite a relief since the final struggle had been so enormous. I grieved like an hour glass, with a little bit of sand going through the neck of the bottle each day. When it was over, I was able to move on. Most of my crying was done beforehand."
Her husband was an enlightened man
Carolyn said, "After the first year, I started thinking about a new relationship. My husband was supportive of me seeking a new relationship and told our boys, 'Your Mother will some day be with someone else. I want her to find a new man. Please be supportive of her when she finds someone.'
"I am turning 55 in a few days. When I determined readiness for the dating scene in 2011, I tried the online dating scene. None of the start-up communications were satisfactory.
"After feeling discouraged about the online prospects, I looked around. There was a man at my church that I had been aware of for some time. He and I started attending a weekly church meal event. After six months we started dating.
"Several of the couples from this group helped us connect at these gatherings. I am in love with him. We have been dating for a year and a half. We have been on an international trip together, as well as two USA trips. He was dumped twice by previous gals for completely odd reasons.
"Although I loved my husband dearly, there were some aspects to the relationship that were very challenging and difficult. My new friend and I both have had difficult relationships that allow us to connect in a way that is healthy for both of us. We allow each other to bring up past difficulties with no judgment or comparison to our new relationship.
"I receive a government pension that does not allow me to remarry before age 57. It is a good thing that I am already almost 55, right? I only have two more years to go. We are maintaining separate households, I still have one child at home. He has a brother living with him. We have determined that we will either sell my house or rent it out in a couple of years. We will move into his house (he has the better home).
"I am delighted to have found my match! I would advise people to try the different avenues available for dating, but look around you to see who may be in your immediate path. Waiting has allowed us to take our time with family getting used to the idea. We plan to marry in December, 2015. For now, lots of happy dates while we wait."
Carolyn added, "The brother knows he will be moving out in December, 2015."