A good number of Google searches bringing readers to this blog lately have been searching for proof that their widower boyfriend loves them. Why they are searching the Internet for the answer to a question that only their widower can provide, I hesitate to guess though I bet I could.
How do you know if any man loves you?
Cher would tell you it’s in his kiss, but it’s in his actions. Does he act like he loves you?
With men (and women too really, the whole “Venus and Mars” thing is mostly based on stereotypical crap), words will only take a person so far if there is nothing concrete to back them up. Concrete as in action.
What’s the guy doing. Or not doing. That leads you to question his “I love you” in word or deed?
Or are you engaging in the centuries old female pastime of reading between a man’s lines like they were leaves at the bottom of a tea-cup? And if you are doing that – quit it. Now. Step away from the high school cafeteria table where you once giggled and obsessed about boys. It was okay then. You were learning about the whole relationship boy/girl exchange, but as an adult woman, the only thing you are ever going to get from it is a big fat bruised ego.
My advice, and it’s hardly revolutionary, is simply ask.
“Do you love me?”
“Are we an exclusive couple?”
“Where is this relationship going?”
And no, it’s not pushy or stalkerish or demanding to ask some very basic questions of the guy you are in all probability getting naked with on a regular basis*. If it’s not too soon to have regular “sleep over” dates than it is not too soon to ask questions when you feel that love is in the air and he, for reasons unclear, doesn’t seem to be feeling it too. You’re a grown woman and this is your life. Speak up.
But, his wife is dead. He’s grieving.
He’s also involved with you. Having sex with you. Insinuating himself into your life and your affections. Although I have been told – by widowed folk – that sex just happens because of the loneliness and pain of loss. It doesn’t. Sex never accidentally happens. Show me a “sex accident” and I will recant, but until I am offered proof, I will maintain my disbelief.
A widowed man who comes a courting, regardless of where he is in the mythical grief process, is perfectly able to deal with the fallout, the good, the bad and the ugly.
Cut no man (or woman) slack because they’ve been widowed. It’s no different from the divorced guy whose “wife screwed him over” or the never married guy who’s “afraid of commitment because of that girl who dumped him once … a while ago”. It’s bullshit excuses. The ones that people use because they know they’ll work. The stereotypical guy whose been too hurt to open his heart again routine has rewarded many a man with the cake sans having to bake it for himself.
A widower loves you when his actions say so. He will not retreat or play “now you see/hear from me and now you don’t” games. Pictures of his dead wife are not adorning his nightstand and his home does not resemble Miss Havisham‘s ballroom. He doesn’t cower under the weight of disapproval from children, in-laws or friends. And even if he has moments where the past intersects with the present, chances are quite good that he will never let you know it.
You will be his priority, his joy and future. He’ll have told you so in a thousand different ways consistently and happily. And he will have taken steps – in the words of Captain Picard – to “make it so”.
But if you are here because you are still not sure – and you don’t believe me – then ask him how he feels and what’s going on. You owe that to yourself.
*And if you are helping out with his children, practically or actually living with him – you are well past the point of having the right to know for sure.