All relationships come with some sort of baggage, but what happens when you’re in a relationship with a widower, marry, and move into his house?
There are many pieces of advice for navigating the rocky waters of former relationships with divorces; however, this advice can be quite different from that given to widower’s partners.
Often times, people will want to rid their homes, social media, personal contact information, and so much more if a relationship ended in a divorce, amicable or otherwise.
When a man becomes a widower, he may want to hang on to his late wife’s memory.
There are other things to take into consideration when living in your husband’s house that he shared with his dead wife, too. Keep reading to find out answers to all of your questions about getting married to a widower and living in his crib.
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How to Feel at Home in His House
Being married to a widower and moving into the house that he shared with his late wife can be intimidating.
Often times furniture hasn’t changed, the decor hasn’t changed, and photos of life with his first wife are visible. The realization that she was there first can make it hard to move in and feel comfortable in your new home.
Different things should be taken into consideration when moving into the house that your husband shared with a deceased wife. Keep in mind that there are genuine, deep feelings about the things in the house and the memories that were made there.
Whatever you do, do not go in blazing and change everything. This will cause friction between the two of you and anyone else that may live in the home or visit the house.
Pictures, Decor, and Moving Things
It may feel like a daunting conversation to have, but make sure you talk to your husband about your feelings.
Do you want to rearrange furniture, update the way things look or move pictures? Your husband may have a specific object that he doesn’t wish to be moved, and others that he’ll gladly help you relocate.
Remember that this is now your home, and you are building a life together. There would be a strain on your relationship if you weren’t able to feel wanted in your own home.
Keep in mind this was her home, too. You’re not competing with your husband’s first wife, and it’s not possible to erase her from home completely.
If you married into a family with children in the home, they would most likely want to remember their mother. Keep her pictures around.
If your spouse died, would you remove every image and memory of your time together? Probably not. Be sensitive towards your new family, and show them, love by keeping essential things around.
Moving, or reorganizing furniture in the home may help you feel like you have the opportunity to turn your living space into a home that you love.
Add photos of you and your husband from the times you were dating, engaged, and getting married.
Adding your own personal touches without removing hers will show that you mesh well into your new home without others in the home feeling like you are erasing such a big part of their past.
Rearranging furniture is probably one of the simplest things that you can do to add your special touch to make it feel like home, without offending anyone.
Be sure that you are not removing or disposing of anything in the home that might have meaning behind it.
It could be hard to tell which items are of the most sentimental value, so having your husband around.
At the same time, you make changes rearrange, or purge would be wildly beneficial. It will also stop any chance that cherished items have been removed mistakenly.
Don’t Compete With His Late Wife
Whether the first wife passed in the recent past or his wife died years ago, some women feel like they have to compete with the memory of the wife who died. This is simply not the case.
Your husband would not have continued a relationship with you or married you if he thought that you needed to compete with the memory of his former wife.
By trying to compete with her memory, you are sure to cause your husband to feel grief about the times he had with her, and this is bound to make him uncomfortable.
The best thing to do is to talk to him about his previous marriage and get to know what it was like.
You are likely to learn that your relationship doesn’t really compare to his previous marriage.
When widowers remarry, they are not looking for a carbon copy of their dead spouse. They are looking to start a new life, and they can’t do that if someone else things they want the same spouse all over again. Don’t become jealous of her.
You are entirely different people who have entirely different relationships with the same man. In some cases, you will have relationships with other people that she knew, too.
If he has children from his former marriage, try to bond with the children by remembering their mom on the anniversary of her death, or her birthday.
Showing children that you are not there to replace their dead mother will go so far to show them you love them and their father, but are not there to erase the memory of their mother.
Put family pictures of them with their mom next to new photos with their dad and you. Create new memories with them and celebrate the ones of their mother that they hold dear.
Building a Relationship with the Children, Friends, and Family
One common theme that women say is difficult for them to do is to create a relationship with their husband’s children, friends, and family.
Many people in his life may not be ready for him to start dating, much less get remarried. The truth of the matter is that most men who take the step to widower dating are ready to move forward.
Children and other family members can be your harshest critic. Be open to answering those nosy questions that may be asked of you.
Take your time to get to know his family and do your best to convey that you have nothing but the best intentions for your husband.
Building a life together can take some time, especially if those closest to him are hesitant for him to start dating. They may see it as being protective, but it can sometimes come off harsh.
Remember that these are the people who have good intentions and love your husband.
As previously mentioned, one way to help build a relationship and keep a positive bond with the children is to do things that honor and remember their mom, your husband’s late wife. If your husband wants, allow him to participate, but take the lead until the children can.
In general, younger children are more comfortable to create bonds because older children may be more resistant to a new woman in their home.
Even if the mom died years ago, it might take the time to get used to you living in their house. Keep in mind that kids grieve differently than adults, too.
Helping Him Grieve
Just because a man remarries does not mean that his grieving will stop. Many men may become depressed on or around the anniversary of his late wife’s passing.
Other difficult times may be on their anniversary, her birthday, or other significant dates such as holidays.
Dates on the calendar aren’t the only thing that can make a man grieve his late wife. Songs, TV shows, movies, activities, and even places may tug at your man’s heartstrings, also if he’s moved on.
Take the time to get to know the things that remind your husband of his former life and do your best to help him work through the hard times.
Accept that he might want to spend the day to himself while mourning the late wife, or he may want to spend time with you for comfort and companionship.
Don’t be judgmental or critical if he shows sadness. Be thankful that he is letting you in and is relying on you to feel better about something that was undoubtedly a tough time in his life.
Do Widowers Remarry Quickly?
There is an old saying that roughly says, “women mourn while men replace.” This is not to say that your husband is looking for an identical match to his late wife, but it means that he needs having a relationship. Men are quicker to remarry faster than women.
Part of the reason for this is that men and women grieve differently. Women like to take their time and grieve on their own schedule – which is typically longer than men.
Men who are emotionally reliant on their deceased spouse are more likely to need another relationship to fill the social and emotional gaps that were left when the wife passed.
To people on the outside, a second marriage may come as a shock. Still, everyone grieves in their own way – including wanting another relationship after the death of a spouse.
There is no “rule” when it comes to widowers remarrying. Some men will take their time, some will leap into love as fast as they can, while others will stay single.
How Long Do Widowers Wait to Remarry?
There is no set timeline on how long widowers will wait before they remarry. These decisions are rights reserved for the husband and his new bride.
Various scientific studies suggest that widowed men will have a significant relationship within the first year of losing their spouse, including remarrying.
It is believed that men will remarry within a year’s time because they are craving that companionship that they lost. Depression rates are lower in men who get back into relationships, rather than grieve on their own, after losing a spouse.
If you are in a relationship with a widower, make sure to take your time. Don’t set your watch to that one year mark and rush your man. Take the time to love one another and really get to know each other.
When he’s ready, he will begin to introduce you to his friends, then family, then children (if he has them). Make sure that you don’t dwell on any negativity from them. We all know they can be critical of a new relationship, especially if they feel like it’s too soon.
Only your husband knows when the time is right to get into a new relationship and to remarry.
Trust him and the grieving process. If he wants to introduce you to people who were influential in her life, try to get to know them as best you can – these people may still be very important in his life, too.
Are You Still Related to Your In-Laws When Your Spouse Dies?
The short answer is no. Technically, and legally speaking, your family consists of your spouse, your children, your parents, and your siblings. These people are grouped together using the term “immediate family.”
In-laws are the only family to you because you married their child. If their child, your spouse dies, then you are not considered family. This does not stop some in-laws from continuing to be in the lives of their former son-in-law. They may have a great family connection that they don’t want to break.
When families come together through marriage, death may not break them apart. They have a loved one that they lost in common. They may want to mourn together, celebrate together, and keep up with each other’s lives. If your husband had an excellent relationship with his in-laws, he might want you to meet them.
While these people may not have a blood relation, they may continue to act as an extended family. They may also be grandparents to any children from that marriage.
In that case, they do not just stop being grandparents because their daughter died. Chances are they will want to continue to have a relationship with their grandchildren.
Can A Widower Marry His Sister In Law?
Just like with in-laws, if a husband’s wife passes away, her family isn’t technically his family. This means that a sister in law is not the same as to say, his own sister.
There is no blood relation between a widower and the former sister in law. This means that yes, a widower can marry his old sister in law.
There are some cultures and religions which recognize and promote the marriage of a man to his sister in law if his wife passes.
Some people, on the other hand, think that this practice is taboo because getting married to your own sister is unacceptable.
While dating or even marrying a former sister in law is perfectly fine, the other people close to the relationship may have a hard time accepting it, most notably the children and her parents.
The children may wonder why daddy is in a relationship with their aunt, and her parents may not fully understand or be comfortable with the relationship.