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SW: Feature Report Channel
Reported December 21, 2012

Love After Loss

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- You vow to love until death do you part, but moving on when that day comes can be tough for a widow, and when they find a new love, it can cause friction in their family. 

Paul and Gail Wells just click.
 
“We’re actually very much alike. We think alike. We’re a lot alike,” the couple told Ivanhoe.
 
They both enjoy traveling and hitting the gym, and they share another common bond. 
 
“We both lost our spouses over three years ago,” Paul said.
 
The two got married nine months after they met. Paul says, at first, it was hard for his adult kids to see him happy while they were still mourning their mother. 
 
“The bottom line is it’s my choice. I’m not going to let them tell me what to do, but I want them to understand this is what I want to do. This is what makes me happy,” Paul said.
 
Psychotherapist Karen Ruskin says if family members are struggling with your moving on, use the “normalcy technique.” 
 
“Normalizing means that you say, ‘Your feelings make sense, and my feelings make sense,’” Ruskin explained.
 
As Gail became a part of Paul’s family, she made it clear to his kids that she wasn’t there to replace their mom. Dr. Ruskin tells us a new partner shouldn’t try to play parent but should become a significant adult figure. 
 
“It is not replacement. It’s all about adding, and if you’re adding value to, they can’t help but fall in love with you,” Dr. Ruskin said. 
 
As their new love grows stronger, Gail and Paul say it’s important to remember their past loves, too. 
 
“We mention and celebrate our spouses every day,” Gail said. 
 
Dr. Ruskin says don’t feel guilty about your affection for your deceased spouse. While you love your new partner…
 
“You can have both. This isn’t an either or life,” Dr. Ruskin said.
 
Gail and Paul married about one year after their first spouses died. A report from the U.S. Census Bureau finds the average length of time to remarriage after losing a first spouse is three years for men and more than four years for women.
 

 

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