What is going on?
My husband died on August 21 of 2016 and I entered into a relationship with a man about 2 months after that. We fell in love and everything about us seemed perfect and even supernatural. He would understand my feelings and thoughts many times before I would even express them, sometimes using the same words even. Almost like he was in my mind. Our feelings for each other grew very quickly and nothing seemed rushed or forced or unnatural. We both were not looking for a relationship or to fall in love when it happened.
About 3 weeks after we first communicated we meet in person, the next day he left without a word. The next day he emailed me explaining why he did. We sent a couple emails back and forth and then for about 1 1/2 weeks I did not hear from him. After that he responded to my, at the time, last email to him and it was a question; "Do you miss me?" He emailed back "Yes I do miss you." and 2 days after that he left a longer letter. We emailed back and forth and I got him to understand why I was not ready to jump back into a relationship with him. At first he did not understand and wanted me to only talk to him and no other man while we try to work this out. I told him we have to establish a friendship first before a relationship is even possible. Anyways, it was much more drawn out then that but we agreed. While I do not doubt his feelings about me and his regret and remorse for what he did, I doubt mine. When we were in a relationship I felt like I was madly in love with him and obsessed even. He felt the same. After he left and came back into my life I became confused and the feelings I had for him is not nearly as strong. We decided to be friends but then we decided to be more then friends but not in a relationship. Somewhere in between. I thought I could do that considering our feelings for each other were more then platonic but the last two days I had more time to think and realized I do not want anything like that. All I want is a friendship and nothing romantic or sexual.
Tonight over the phone, I told him the news and added that I think I was projecting my feelings for my husband and what I wished for and what I wished was with my husband onto him. I also told him I do not want to just talk to him. He understood after we came back into each other lives I was already in communication with other men and did not want to stop. I told him I was trying to build friendships. He seemed to have accepted that. He was very hurt by all I said to him tonight and I could tell he started crying over the phone and told me he can't talk to me right now. I feel bad about this as it was never in my intentions to hurt him but I just do not understand why I felt so deeply for him then and no longer now. The thought of being in a relationship is kind of disgusting to me because the only man I want is my deceased husband.I know he is dead but I still feel like my heart belongs to him and I also know I was repressing my feelings for my husband to try to avoid or lesson the pain and fear of losing him. After my ex came back into my life I realize I can no longer try to escape my grief by using other men as a distraction. At the time I did not really know I was doing that. I am confused but am glad I realize this. Also, I feel like I am hardening my heart towards romance and am just not emotionally available. Even knowing his reaction to what I told him, I feel like I should be more sad about it. I know this only took place tonight and maybe a little later on I will feel the full force of what happened and that he is heart broken.
What is going on with me? Why did I feel like I was in love with this man and no longer feel this way? Am I hardening my heart towards romance?
As widows we get confused easy because we are off balance. We went from being part of a couple and having someone to share our feelings to being on our own. Sometimes we think that having another man in our lives will fix our feelings of confusion and loneliness. But it won't - we just can't replace our husbands. When some time has passed and we are more stable we understand that if we get into a relationship its not to replace what we have lost but because we have been lucky enough to find another love. First we have to be happy with ourselves and then we will be mentally healthy enough to take on another relationship. I don't think you "loved" this man. True love isn't so weak.
I believe that romance will come to you but first learn to live life on your own. Then a man will become part of your life and it will feel natural.
Your on the right track because you recognize that it wasn't love and that you need more time.
Take care, Mary Francis