3.5 years ago my husband was cruelly and unexpectedly taken from us. He was only 55. It affected our three children (who were lates teens/early 20’s at the time) and grandchildren deeply, and we all miss him tremendously. I’m not going to lie, our marriage of 30 years had it’s up and downs - he could be lazy, had quite a nasty streak and would never do anything he didn’t want to, even if it meant lots to someone else. But the last 5 years or so were our best days without a doubt we rediscovered our love and were immensely happy.
I never had any involvement with any other men for the first 3 years or so after his death. Not even a flirty smile. At first it never occurred to me. We have a huge family and for a good while I never felt alone - there was always someone round the house, I holidayed with my children and I have a good group of friends so never short of company. But as anyone who’s lost a partner will tell you - friends aren’t the same as having a real intimate partner , a true companion. The last year I’ve hankered to have someone in my life - the visitors filtered away, etc and I’ve also started to really miss sex and someone to wake up with.
4 months ago my son got married and at the evening do an old friend - a guest of my DIL’s family - turned up. I worked with him about 25 years ago, and haven’t seen him in 15 years. We were very close at work at the time, always got on famously and had children round about the same time. We were both married and whilst it was strictly platonic (I was very faithful to my DH) I definitely felt an attraction and I know he did. It was never more than that though, but he is very good looking so I couldn’t really help feeling an attraction. So when I saw him at the wedding it was lovely to catch up. He divorced his wife 10 years ago, and we hit it off right away. Long story short - we have been in a relationship for 4 months now. He is amazing. He’s so kind and generous, and smart and funny. We have the same interests - we go to the ballet, theatre and have taken ballroom dancing lessons together (all the things my DH would never do with me). I feel like I’m 21 again, we have said I love you (and I really do) and he wants to be with more pretty much for life now. Plus the sex is amazing!
To clarify, we are taking it slow. I never want to get married again. Not least because I want my children to inherit what I have when I die. And I won’t be moving in with him, probably ever - I look after my four grandchildren a lot, at least one is at my house around 4 days of the week and they sleep over regularly too. I have found that I enjoy my own space and rules, and would hate to check with anyone before I had my grandchildren over. BF knows this and is fine with living apart permanently.
We kept the relationship a secret for three months, but a near miss when my DD almost walked in on us DTD (she didn’t though, she let herself in to stay the night unexpectedly and I snuck him out without her noticing) I decided to bite the bullet.
I didn’t expect them to be overjoyed but I got a really negative reaction. My youngest, who is 23, cried! They don’t see why I want a relationship, and think it’s too quick after their dad. I told them that I have no expectations of them - they don’t have to meet him, or ask questions - I am simply telling them and they do have to get used to it. I explained that, whilst I love them and their children, it’s not enough to keep me going, I need something and someone for me. I have another 30 years probably left in me (I’m 55) - I don’t want to spend them alone.
That was a month ago and they’ve barely spoken about it to me. My son can hardly look at me. I see them often due to childcare and they just avoid the subject. I took the grandchild out yesterday to the zoo as a treat so saw them all and we chatted whilst the kids played in a park. They’d come to a joint agreement to tell me that I don’t need my BF, they’ll never let me be lonely, I can come on their holidays, they’ll keep me company etc. They think it’s too soon as ive “only known him 4 months”. When I explained actually I’ve known him 25 years they were horrified - said it was like cheating on dad! They just can’t come to terms with me being with someone else, and won’t accept him in my life. My lovely son-in-law and daughter-in-law openly disagreed with them and said they should be happy for me. My DIL has text me since to say I deserve happiness and she will always support me. She never met my DH, if that’s relevant, but my son was very close to him.
I’m heartbroken about what my kids have said. My children’s opinion means the world to me, but I love my BF and feel I wasn’t treated brilliantly in my marriage and deserve this love now. The children don’t know their dad was less than perfect because I never exposed that side of our marriage - they have rose tinted glasses about him. Which is annoying as if it has been me who’d died he’d have shacked up with a new woman within six months without a doubt!
I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to lead two lives. I don’t expect BF to meet anyone any time soon, and I don’t want to be held hostage to my children.
WIBU to stay in this relationship and tell my kids to suck it up - or is that the height of insensitivity? They say they’ll never let me be lonely - but I won’t be a burden on them. What if they wanted to move away one day? I don’t want them to resent saying that they’ll always keep me company (it’s not bloody realistic anyway)! And I couldn’t exactly say that I want intimacy not just someone to talk to, they’d probably melt at the thought of me having sex! What do I do?
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