Abby, is there a rule of thumb about how long the widow or widower should wait after the death of the spouse to begin pursuing another relationship? DEAR LONELY: There was a time when it was considered scandalous for a widow or widower to date before a year of mourning had passed.However, today the grieving spouse may begin to date whenever he or she feels ready to do so.The letter you remember was signed "'Mac' in Oregon," and it bears repeating.Read on: DEAR ABBY: Thank you for supporting the widow who started dating three months after her husband died.He wanted his surviving widow to pursue happiness after his death with some man who would be kind to her.The letter was mainly addressed to those who might stand in judgment if she began dating soon after he was gone.The love of each one does not nullify the love of the other.
I would be a "good girl" again, finding someone I loved and who loved me back, getting into a proper relationship, and having sex only after an appropriate amount of time. (I still do.) But, I realized that whatever I did couldn't affect him. I owed it to myself and to him to be healthy and careful, but my private life was up to me. I was still seeing a few other guys, too, but I had started to feel different: I wanted to feel strongly about the person I was with.
I'd been my husband George's caregiver as he'd succumbed to cancer. If you'd asked me then, I would have said that I'm fifty, I have 32 years of memories, I'm not interested in sex. I thought I might get a cat, once I was ready to take care of anything again.
What I got instead was an unlikely best friend who'd helped me look after George.
When I told one of my girlfriends about my new sex life, she said, "Good for you for getting back on the horse!
"Another friend said something I took to heart: that as women, we can claim our pleasure without shame, that our sexuality is a gift to be proud of.