Still Grieving But Wants to Move On
Q: My wife passed away at 36 years old about 2 years ago. We had no children. Needless to say, it was horrible and I still haven't fully recovered. I recently started dating someone and I seem to like how it's going. However, on occasion, I still get that overwhelming feeling at grief at the least opportune times. I try to fight it but it just comes over me. My new girlfriend thinks I'm a downer although she says she understands what I've been through. What can I do to hold onto this new relationship and not have it sabotaged by the sudden moments of grief I experience? — Grady, 40
Dr. Susan: I wonder if you've ever met with a widowers' group or seen a therapist or anyone you could express the depth of your grief with? It seems to me that this transitional time, when you're trying to open up to a new woman in your life, would naturally bring up all kinds of issues related to the death of your wife. Grieving deeply, yet intermittently, seems about right for this length of time, after such a profound loss. Your new girlfriend doesn't quite get it, but I don't think repressing your genuine feelings for her sake is the right thing to do. They need to come out somehow, and if not in front of her, then with a professional counselor or friend or other young widower, perhaps. There may be some good online resources, such as http://www.nationalwidowers.org/. Good luck.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.