This month’s Ask Coach Kathy answers the question of how to deal with a mate’s grief over the loss of a former spouse.
I’ve been dating a woman for six months who lost her husband 2 years ago. I can imagine how hard it is to lose a spouse, however, each time we’re together she spends at least 1/2 hour talking about her late husband.
I feel like I’m competing with a memory. How do I handle this? I really like this woman, but hearing about her husband as much as I do is getting old.
Everyone has his or her own grief process and timeline. I’m don’t think the loss of a spouse is anything you ever turn off like a switch, for good. If you feel as though you know her well enough, have a kind conversation with her to tell her how you’re feeling.
I suggest you begin by validating her feelings around the loss of her spouse and then gently explain that you feel a bit diminished in the shadow of his memory. Understand that her talking about some of her memories with him may never go away, but if that’s not okay for you, you may have to re-evaluate the relationship.
Do you have sensitive issues in your relationships that you need help with? Ask Coach Kathy about it. Submit your question below.