"Stories" from the Collective (YOU)

Widowed, Befriended, "Seduced", Then Dumped!

by Diane

10 months after being widowed I met another widower, a man, and we quickly connected via our mutual loss. We soon became lovers. But just as he was about to introduce me to his folks... Dumped! And now I'm feeling hurt, and lost...

QUESTION: Should I Seek Closure With This Man, Or Just Move On?...

MORE FROM Diane...

I'm a 44-year-old woman that was widowed a year and 1/2 ago. I was devastated, of course.

About 10 months after my loss a male acquaintance (same age) made contact with me as he has 4 years prior lost his spouse and he was "reaching out". We spent a month communicating very deeply, mostly via email and phone calls. I then agreed to go for a walk with him and we did that numerous times per week for another month.

We talked a lot on our walks, being very vulnerable with one another. Whereas I didn't initially have a strong attraction to him, that changed and we became very passionate lovers in our third month.

We were officially dating and agreed we were exclusive. He told me he took down a profile he'd had up on a dating site. Our time together became nothing short of magical. I do think I was beginning to fall in love with him. He gave me feedback which indicated his feelings were strong for me, as well.

We did not discuss the "L" word with one another - for my part, it was because I felt it was too soon and I even asked if we could "slow things down" because my emotions were getting ahead of me. He managed to talk me out of that saying all the words that convinced me I was just reacting to my own fears.

We continued into our 5th month which is when he made plans to introduce me to his parents. The week prior to this planned "event" his communication with me withered - not as many phone calls and he even canceled getting together one evening. I certainly felt uneasy about this, however, I quietly backed away to give him "space".

The day of the "event" he phoned me and broke up with me.

He said he wasn't sure what his feelings were for me and that because he didn't "miss" me during our few days apart that week, he came to the conclusion that I wasn't "the ONE".

I was shocked and hurt. I have not heard from him since that phone call and I did see that he put his dating profile back up just days after the call. Wow - that hurt!

It has been over a month since we've spoken and I am feeling very sad that this has happened. I do miss him greatly, yet realize that he did not treat me respectfully in the "end".

I can't find perspective on this that will allow me to eat and sleep again. I trusted him to be gentle with my healing heart and he wasn't. I am hurting over this. Would it be worthwhile for me to ask him for an explanation better than what he has already offered? Or do I close the chapter and move on?

Thanks for any advice you may have to offer. I'm feeling lost.




"It's so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone."
-- John Steinbeck

You have seen the great and the not so great in this man that befriended you at a time when you were extremely vulnerable.

But no matter what experiences we share with someone, how closely it helps us connect with them, there is no escaping, sometimes, from deep-seated fears within us unless they are faced.

Now I have no idea why this man went so cold, so suddenly. Was it to do with the feeling of falling in love again and not wanting to experience (in his mind) the possible loss again (i.e. he could not face being widowed twice)? Or was it some habitual fear of intimacy showing itself once more? I do not know, and maybe he doesn't either.

What we all know, though - including him - is that he has acted 'less' than he could have done, in the way he has ended this relationship with you, especially as he is fully aware of your vulnerability.

So should you ask for closure? Well, only if the act of doing so helps you irrespective of whether he even answers you.

It will give him an opportunity to reveal the great man that you first met, that's for sure, but it may also allow him to reveal the lesser version of himself too. (Can you take that, again?)

I wish you well, Diane, whatever you choose to do, and thank you for sharing your painful relationship experience with us all at Self Help Collective.

Take care of your heart; I hope you can keep it open to love, despite how it hurts now, because love really is worth it...

What do others think?



Comments for Widowed, Befriended, "Seduced", Then Dumped!

I may have been the ‘rebound’
by: Stella

I met someone online shortly after his wife had passed from a 4 year battle with cancer. We were just friends at first.. but things changed over a couple months. We are thousands of miles apart but spoke every day. I was upfront in the beginning that I felt he needed to take at least a year to greive, go through the seasons.. he assured me he had processed his grief while she was dying and that he WAS ready for a relationship. We saw each other every few months and had an amazing connection.

Fast forward 20 months later of talking every day, making plans for the future, full investement in each other. A significant anniversary with his late wife happened, he began to withdraw. I gave him space but he told me he didn’t want to lose me. We talked about his late wife and how he was dealing with it, he said it was hitting him hard this year and I noticed he had started calling her ‘my wife’ which he hadn’t in the past.

Out of the blue, he ended things with me. Just called and said he loves me but doesn’t feel love for me anymore. He said he wanted me in his life, but just completely dropped contact and became cold. I was crushed.. I don’t know how to turn off what I feel for him, although it seems like he has done that with me.

I read that this could be latent grief? I feel like I was just a rebound (a long one at that) just someone he used as a distraction to not greive and process. I still love who he was before he went cold and withdrawn, can’t help but feel he’s still there but bogged down with feelings and emotions he doesn’t know how to process. Makes it hard to move on since I know he needs to work through these things and I do really care about him.

Has any one ever experienced this with a widower?

Is it possible he’ll process and come back or is it best to jusg walk away and chalk it up to being someone he used as a bandaid?

Thanks in advance.

To Diane
by: Anonymous

I had a very similar experience although the man and I were both separated and not resuming a relationship with our spouses.

I did request a sit down and talk for closure after few days after I got over the initial shock. I was devastated still but wanted to look him in the eyes and ask some questions and really wanted him to know that I thought the way he handled the whole situation was so immature.

In fact, I can understand someone changing their mind but it was the cold shoulder and run after extensive plans were made by him and not me. My guy also went right back out and diverted himself with other women.

The sit down was short and he was defensive, had on sunglasses and was totally a different person than I had ever known and the same person who blew me off with a phone call.

I know it was all about him and his inability to deal with the situation in a mature manner but it still hurts. I did tell him what I thought of him but I know he wasn't listening and he was closed off.

I hope you have healed and moved on. Cindy

Thank You Steve & Mercy
by: Diane

It made me feel good to read what you each had written. Steve - you made a very worthy point about what I might encounter if I were to contact him and request a better explanation - who would I encounter? The "good man" - that I admit I needed so much (not good, I know) or the fallible one who's actions hurt me? I've decided I am too vulnerable to go there.

What have I learned? What perspective will enable me to close this chapter? I've become clear on the fact that I have spent the past few weeks feeling quite sad over the loss of this brief relationship - but I do actually think I was using it as a "cover" to continue the unfinished work of grieving my husband. I need a lot more time with that process. It was quite wonderful to enjoy a brief distraction from that pain while it existed, but I see now that I could have been the one running from something big soon enough myself.

It did feel great to escape the pain for awhile. I'll close the chapter with that simple thought.

Thank you both again. - Diane

You are a precious Jewel Yes you are.
by: Mercy

Well Diane
Firstly I commend you sharing your story (hurt). My advice to you is that you don't feel like you did something wrong to deserve the treatment you received. You may never know the main reason and may not even be anything to do with you. When we are going through challenging times like you just went through, every ounce of energy, physically, spiritually, emotionally is important and we need to conserve it and that is what i encourage you to do.

Go easy on youself, you have a strength that lies within you more than you can imagine. Maybe he did you a favor by exiting out of your life soonner than much later after you had committed yourself much deepper then the hurt would have been way too deep too. I believe it is for the best soonner than later. You are beautiful, energize yourself, believe from within yourself that someone special, who will value you will come your way.

I believe you are more than worth it and you deserve to be treated better.
However do not have resentment towards him. release him form your heart and GOD will help you through this.

Remneber you are a precious jewel and when the right one finds you he will benefit. Take care of yourself and do not give anyone or anything too much power over you but GOD.

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