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Just keep in mind that dating a widower can require a bit of extra patience, understanding and a willingness to allow him space to express his feelings. Even if your new love interest has had ample time to grieve the loss of his spouse, his children may still be dealing with the loss of their parent -- and he may be trying to help them deal with their pain.
Trying to involve yourself in their lives too quickly or too aggressively may have the adverse reaction of pushing your date away as he tries to cope with his feelings and help his children cope with theirs.
We had been talking about a number of recently aired tributes to Frank Sinatra when we blocked on the name of another singer of that era. She was relieved.“My son and daughter-in-law have made me very self-conscious about my memory,” Elinor told me.
A professor of human development and family sciences at the University of Texas, Fingerman is also the director of a three-generational study that focuses on middle-aged children and how they care for the generations above and below them.
“The research shows that they have a pretty good idea of what their parents’ needs really are,” she says.
“So if you tell your dad not to go out and shovel snow, you assume that he’ll listen. But his response will be to go out and shovel away …
It’s a way of holding on to a life that seems to be slipping back.” Whether that means he’s independent or intransigent depends on who’s making the call.
“Older parents might do better to try to understand and address the child’s concerns.