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Hello all.

Some of you are a bit familiar with my story.

I lost my fiancee Kathy just over a year ago to an accident. I hate being alone. I've attempted several relationships this past year, most recently (and most successfully) with a wonderful woman named Melanie.

I thought I'd share some challenges that have come up recently. We seem to be working it out. Maybe others can learn from this or have experience to share.

Two main things we've figured out recently.

1.) I'm often very sensitive to changes. Of course losing Kathy in an instant was a traumatic change that I had no control over. In the months following I had to move out of the house we'd shared, give up the future I'd envisioned, etc. I bought a house on my own and got the basics "handled" (I thought anyway) while I was still in shock. Now I'm starting to notice that even small changes stress me out. I've come to believe that it's that when I lost control of situations, even small, it feels like all of the recent-past changes "domino" on me. Sound familiar to anyone else?

2.) In basic terms, Melanie is in love with me and enthusiastic about creating a life together, complete with a whole new world of experiences and memories. I, on the other hand, as much as I love her and want to develop this new bond, have a huge set of memories from my lost relationship. I'm still letting go of these, and it may take a long, long time to get to where I really have the space to fully appreciate some of the new stuff with Melanie. Even though she's a trained Nurse Practitioner, and understanding of my feelings, it's difficult for her sometimes that we're in such different places emotionally.

We're doing our best to make it through these challenges. I hope we can come out the other side together. so far we're able to stay open and communicate our way through the minefield, as hard as it is at times.


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I can relate to your situation. My Jack's first wife, a good friend of mine, died of cancer. After a while we ended up together and I was in the same situation your Melanie is. The only difference is that I was friends with Jack's first wife. It takes time, but you can help Melanie a lot by being kind, understanding and loving, just as she is with you. I encouraged Jack to talk about his previous life and accepted everything he had to say. We grew together in our new life, making our own memories and it was the most wonderful life I'd ever known. It simply is just treating the other person like you'd want to be treated. I never ever wanted Jack to let go of any of his memories and by encouraging him to express how he felt just brought me closer to him.

I lost Jack in an instant, too. This is over two years later, now, but I still stress out on some things, especially if I haven't had enough sleep. Believe me, this, too shall pass - as they say.

Hang in there, you'll do just fine.

Your friend, Karen :wub:;)

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Stress is stress -- whether it's bad stress (from, say, losing a mate, or a job, your health, etc) or good stress (a new love, a new job, etc). I understand that some people can't stand to be alone, and that is, I'm sure, what motivated you to get into a relationship so quickly. I understand and respect that. But I'm suggesting that your new relationship has added another stressor to your life (and for purposes of coping, remember, it doesn't really matter as much as you'd think whether it's good or bad stress) Some part of your psyche is trying to resist any more change and the stress that comes with it. You have clearly reached your limit.

So my guess is, your aversion to change will decrease in time. How much time would no doubt be a very individual thing.

It would be a good thing to minimize changes as much as you can. If you weren't in a relationship that'd be much easier. That's where I'm at and its exactly why I am not looking for a relationship anytime soon. My benchmark is, if I can go 90 days without falling apart at the seams, if I can have an occasional day when I don't think sad thoughts about her death, then I *might* be ready to *think* about some kind of big change, be it a relationship or what have you. The way I figure it, life will in the meantime try to force all the changes on me that I'd be willing and able to handle.


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You took alot of steps in the grieving process, relocating, suffered loss of a prospective future of what may have been. basically your whole life was painted black from white and inflicted extensive stressors upon you, my experience not with the dating, I gave that up months ago, but I found I Changed spiritually, emotionally, mentally and you are realizing your new self, with Melanie walking the walk with you, you both are discovering YOU post grief. I personally believe your outlook with your new partner is good, she knows and understands your loss, accepts it, and nurtures you in her own special way. She is a rational woman with a strong mind obviously in the work of medicine. despite the timing of your relationship, it just more complex, not necessarily prone to failure.

Blessings always,


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Maury: Bob is correct. I lost 2 husbands, both parents, a set of inlaws and a dog all in the span of 4 years. Since my second husband knew he wasn't well when we met, he wanted me to keep the house I've been living in for 27 years, and he sold his. He consciously didn't want to disrupt my life with more changes than necessary. We both understood what change could do . Any change can throw you. If the computer wasn't up to par or something broke it used to throw me. I heard my nextdoor neighbor was going to move and I hoped that wouldn't happen because it meant new people and their lifestyles to get used to. The one thing we all need after a massive change in our lives is some feeling of security, stability. Something familiar.

This is normal and to be expected since your world turned upside down and you're adjusting to a million new things eveyday.

You open the refrigerator as usual, but the reason and things inside have changed; you answer the phone but the callers and the reasons for the calls have changed; the supermarket is still the same but the shopping can be heartbreaking 'cause the purchases have changed. You are continually adjusting to hundreds of little tiny changes all the time.

Give yourself a break. Go easy on yourself. Death is a huge thing that probably was never experienced before.

Eventually your past relationships become intergrated into yourself. You never lose the love. But they are placed comfortably inside where they fill you up with comfort, and give proof that there are more wonderful things that can come, just as they did.

Take care


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I can relate...when I lost George I felt like my power had been stripped from me, after all, no one asked me if I wanted this huge change in my life, it came unbidden, unsolicted. I think no matter how the death occurs, the result is the same, we feel like we've lost control of our lives. For some people this is going to be very hard, and I was one of them. I would say, control what you can. Whether it is health or where you live or what you do, control what you can. It will make you feel you've reclaimed some of your power. I was lucky to have fallen in love with someone who also knew and loved George, and he was great at helping me through everything, especially with the complicated grief I had from having learned George was on drugs...John helped me so much in my learning to accept George as he was, to hang on to the love, and release the rest. He also helped me to know and understand George in a more complete way...he had a different perception of him and knew him differently than I did, as guys interact differently with each other than they do with their gal. This all takes it's toll on the new person, however, and we must also help them be secure in their position with us. John was sensitive to my needs...I considered moving to Portland to be with him when I lost my job, but he was afraid I would be unhappy there and encouraged me to stick it out in my own home...I have lived here for 30 years, it's where George's ashes are scattered, my pets are buried, my kids were raised. It is where my heart is, among the mountains and trees and the rushing creek, the deer (and yes, Derek, where the antelope play! :P ) John is not someone to do something on a whim, he is thoughful and a planner, and he looks at the long picture...he envisioned us eventually retiring here...not in the big city. We've had some complications with jobs and needing money so it's put off our being able to be together on a daily basis, but we still have plans and are working toward them.

I can so totally relate to the changes you have a hard time with...I feel my life as of late has been about rolling with the punches and adapting, and it's hard sometimes. I not only lost my husband but my dream job as well...that is a lot to deal with in such a short time. If I added moving to the mix it might very well do me in.

I am glad you have such an understanding woman, I hope she can slow her pace down to match yours because it's going to be hard for you to speed yours up, you are still grieving. I have grieved right alongside John, and I know that at times it's been hard for him, but over all, he has done remarkably well with it. He hasn't ever asked me to take pictures down or anything like that, he's accepted me setting my own pace for everything...and he's had to live with a ghost to some extent, but little by little it's changing and he's now my life, even though George will always be a very special part of my life to me. It doesn't happen overnight, it takes time and everyone's pace is different. Be as considerate as you can with Melanie, and continue to let her know your feelings and let her be a part of you and your life. It will all work out.

Take care dear friend,


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