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Rebound or love???

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Hello all....I am merely the son in law. My wife's mother passed away at the end of may after a 3 year cancer bout. She was able to go at home surrounded by her husband of 52 years, her daughters and a hospice nurse. Right around October we started getting emails and texts about our "approval" for his involvement with said hospice nurse. basically he is now in love and instead of coming to his daughters politely he just plows forward asking, nay demanding, that they be happy for him. 

My daughter is beside herself. Her 17 year old mind cannot deal with the sudden replacement. My wife cannot deal with the sudden replacement, nor can the other sisters. His communication skills are usually excellent. He is a retired judge after all. But he didnt approach this in a good way at all. Thanksgiving was the test and he failed. Every other sentence was started with "Well molly and I...."....you could have heard a pin drop.

I know there is no said formula for grief. God knows it is part of life and we all deal in our own way. Today though my wife sent him a letter. We live across town but the mere thought of trying to do this face to face made my wife crazy. She laid it all out there in a very succinct letter that spoke for all 3 daughters and our daughter. I approved the text and asked her "is this how you feel? Then send it."

It didnt go well. He is playing the passive aggressive bullshit game. "Why cant you all be happy for my happiness?"....um...gee....I dont know dude....maybe because we havent even had one full holiday season with your wife gone and now you want us to accept molly as part of the family? Are you insane? What did you think would happen?

anyway....I am grasping at straws here. I realize widowers move on faster percentage wise. BUT the whole thing of saying how in love he is, with the woman who washed his dead wife's body, is creepy. At least to his immediate family. I have no idea anymore what to tell the girls, let alone him. I could very easily lay it down hard and mean but that would accomplish nothing as he doesnt like me anyway....even after 25 years....

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Hi, I'm sorry for all you and your family are going through in the loss of your wife's mother and everything that has transpired since.

My MIL was my best friend, I took care of her the last three years of her life when she was bedridden with cancer.  Her husband stayed with her at night but was unable to cope, so I took care of everything.  Her and my FIL were married 40 years, yet one month after she passed away, he announce that he was in love.  He sounded like a sick puppy and it was hard to take.  We all felt it was dishonoring to mom's memory.  She was barely cold in her grave!

Different people handle grief differently, and men especially seem to have a hard time being alone.  They often try to rebuild their lives by taking up with someone else.  When you're grieving, your mind isn't clear and functioning so he's not able to see what you guys do.  He will have to learn for himself, and whatever mistakes he makes will be his to live with.  I do hope you understand that it has nothing to do with his not loving your MIL.  Quite the contrary, it's because of how much he misses her that he's trying so desperately to reestablish a relationship...he may be trying to avoid his grief too, which can be extremely painful.  When you're grieving, you're often self-centered, it's part of our survival mechanism, and you don't always see what others are going through because your situation looms so big.  

I hope you can comprehend that this is not an offense against your MIL, quite the contrary...it's because he had such a good marriage with her that he's seeking so hard to replace it.  I know someone who had a horrid marriage and when her husband died, she felt relieved and in no way wants to remarry.  Of course, not everyone who loses a wonderful spouse seeks to remarry...everyone responds to their grief differently and our journeys are unique.

I hope you can try to withhold judgment, yet still voice how you feel to him and try to get him to see from your perspective.  He may not be able to right now.

He is being very defensive as he feels under attack for his choices right now.  You can't likely change him, so it's either accept his choices or fight with him about it.  I'd go with whatever serves to build your relationship with him rather than cutting it off.  We had to accept my FIL's choice, and we had to adjust to it.  It was really tough at first, but we tried understanding how he was feeling.  In the end, the lady friend (she wouldn't marry because of a previous bad experience) seemed as a grandma to the kids, and a companion (they lived separately) to my FIL, and they had a relationship that lasted until he died, about 26 years.  I hope you don't hold it against his lady friend and can try to give her a chance.  Perhaps it's too soon, you can explain that to your FIL, and tell him you just need more time and it'd help if he tried not to push it and let you all go at your own pace.

Good luck with it!

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