How soon is too soon?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
How soon is too soon?
Sun, 04-20-2003 - 3:40pm
My FIL passed away last May. He was a great guy and although he didnt speak any English and my German wasnt great when we met he accepted me with open arms as a member of the family. We had a lot of fun going to amusement parks and riding the rollercoasters since my DH is a bit chicken :). And when MIL who is terrified of flying won a daytrip to Monacco and Nice i went ín her place with him and we had a blast.

Well MIL started dating again in October. Actually since he passed away she has been a party animal. Its not like they didnt go out and do things together but i only knew the man for 4 years and I am grieving still yet she is searching for a new man.

I admit they could have had problems that DH and I dont know about and I also admit that everyone grieves differently but I feel ... i dont know a bit betrayed that she is moving on so quickly. DH feels as long as she isnt clinging to us what is the problem. Also i never had a relationship with my own dad who was a total jerk so i guess that is part of the reason i miss FIL so much. Anyway do i ask her to slow down? I have a hard time being around her now she is a social butterfly and dating.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2003
Sun, 04-20-2003 - 5:16pm
Everyone grieves differently. She may be trying to "party" the sad out of her. You don't know.

I understand that you may feel as if this is disrespectful, but as long as her behaviour is not dangerous to her or anyone else, there is nothing for you to do. Just as you feel sad, she feels her way.

Sorry for your loss.

Ejkdmom Come visit my store:
Avatar for leslie2353
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sun, 04-20-2003 - 11:13pm
You and your FIL had that special bond, that she and him didn't. That's how I am with my late grandma-in-law. She and I were closer towards the end (even though we didn't start out that way in the beginning) than with her and her son's wife or children. So, of course, I was the one who felt like I was the only ONE grieving when she was gone. I couldn't get closer to them, and I was depressed, because they took her money and went and bought things they couldn't afford when she was alive. Had their home remodeled, and paid off debts. But, they didn't SHARE ANY OF THAT, because I'm not that close w/them. It didn't matter to me, I know that grandma and I loved each other. If that made them feel better that's fine, but they missed out 'togetherness' when she was around w/me. That is something I will always treasure. The memories we spent together. Even now, I felt that she's watching over me and my family. She was closed to my kids when they were little. I felt love just thinking about her!

You keep your memories w/your FIL and let her enjoy life the way she knows how.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 04-21-2003 - 10:30am
Sorry about your loss. Your right people do grieve in different ways so don't be mad at your MIL. Your probably feeling like she is betraying your FIL because you haven't excepted the fact that he is gone.It is hard watching family members move on and start dating or marrying another after they loose there spouse it's just hard to get used to and you may never like the idea of her being with another man but have to realize she's still hear is it fair for her to be alone the rest of her life.I think her getting out and about doing things is probably helping her more then anything, if she's meeting new people and having fun she's less likely to be lonely and depressed and will have an easier time moving on.

I don't think you should ask her to slow down or make her feel like she's betraying her dh. She probably already feels like that or has up to a certain point.I'm sure she will always hold a special place for him in her heart that nobody will be able to replace, but she has to eventually move on with her life in a way that she's comfortable with.

Avatar for lucy4980
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 04-21-2003 - 3:53pm
Sometimes people start dating soon after the death of a spouse BECAUSE their relationship with their spouse was so good. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but the fact that they had such a great marriage is what motivates many people to try and find a new spouse or significant other. They want to find another person to love and share their lives with. So although it may look to other family members like your MIL is not being respectful to her late husband, the opposite may be true.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Mon, 04-21-2003 - 4:27pm
Well... without asking, you don't know ~why she's become a social butterfly now. Maybe she doesn't like watching TV alone. Maybe her friends are encouraging her to stay active and get out more. Maybe she had time to prepare for his death before it happened. Maybe she ~does want to find someone she can share the rest of her life with.

Unless there are signs to the contrary, assume that she was happy with her husband while he lived, and that she does not intend to disrespect or betray him. And in his absence, a full social calendar seems to make her happier than a life of quiet contemplation or an extended mourning period; she still has the right to be happy.

(Personally, it helps me to think that the deceased would ~want their surviving spouse to be happy, and that the survivor is following their wishes. Not always the safest assumption, maybe, but probably the kindest to them both.)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 04-22-2003 - 3:52am
Well FIL passed away while on vacation in a small town on - i think in English its Lake Constance, in German its the Bodensee- which is between the German/Swiss border. Very unexpected since he was 53 years old. The doctor there said he thought it was a heart attack.

She was very upset and greiving until she found out he had 2 other bank account that were full of money. Now she is out redecorating the apartment, bought a new car, etc. Its not that they never had money because of his saving and he was never stingy. They just didnt need that much money- basic necessitities especially clothes are less expensive here than in the US and their rent (very few people own homes)since they lived in one place for over 25 years was about 200USD a month for a very large very nice apartment.

I guess what up set me the most is how she went from greiving for the three weeks, she was on vacation and had to get his remains home then the ashes were lost in the mail (long story about German laws that i wont get into) and the funeral but soon as DH told her about the other accounts which his father told him about how she was sunny and happy.

MIL only works part time and so yes i know she was concerned about money and getting another job but she acts like she won the lottery not like her husband passed away.

Id love to ask her why sometimes and maybe she could explain but i am afraid ill use the wrong words which is hard to avoid in English sometimes but very certain in German and offend her. I guess Ill just have to deal with it. And I suppose the fact my Uncle who was about the same age passed away 2 months before my FIL and my Aunt is still very upset even though my Uncles death was expected made me see the contrast in their grieving behavior much strongly.

Anyway thanks to everyone for listening.


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
Sun, 04-27-2003 - 11:46pm
Personally, I think it is too soon for MIL to be out partying,but everyone is different. As long as she isn't harming anyone or doing anything to hurt herself, she needs to be left to do what she feels comfortable doing. It is her life and she is the one who has to live with the consequences of her actions.