Dating A Widower: Reclaiming Love After Loss With Abel Keogh

WRT 33 | Dating A Widower

  Losing your spouse can be devastating, but is it okay to date again? When is dating too soon? Is there a timeline we should follow? Join us in this episode as Abel Keogh, the author of Dating a Widower, shares his personal journey as a remarried widower, shedding light on the motivations and emotions behind widowers’ decisions to date again after losing their partners. Gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics of relationships with widows and widowers, and explore the challenges of transitioning into remarriage. Tune in for an illuminating conversation on the widower’s perspective on remarriage with Abel Keogh.   Thank you for viewing this post. I am not a licensed therapist or professional life coach. I am sharing my experience of loving the same man for 32 years, a mother to two adult children, a retired military officer, a breast cancer survivor, and my connections with others.  Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts should reach out to a suicide hotline or local emergency number in their country https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/suicide/suicide-prevention-hotlines-resources-worldwide — Watch the episode here   Listen to the podcast here   Dating A Widower: Reclaiming Love After Loss With Abel Keogh Our guest in this episode, Abel, is a widower, an author, a life coach, and a dating coach. He has some good information to share. I connected with him. I saw his information on YouTube and said, “The widowhood could appreciate having a conversation with Abel.” His books are listed on our website under Resources, and I think you’re going to enjoy this conversation. Let’s get into it now.     Our guest in this episode is Abel. He has a lot to share with us, and I’m going to let him introduce himself and we’ll get right into the discussion. Thanks, Tina. As Tina said, my name is Abel Keogh and I am a remarried widower. I was widowed many years ago. My late wife took her own life. Now, I work as a relationship coach primarily with widowers and the women who are dating them. I’ve written some books. I’ve written a couple of memoirs about my experience, one with my now wife, my living wife, and some other books on relationship guides with dating, especially with dating a widower. My specialty, you could say, is creating that chapter two after a loss. There was a lot in that short introduction there. I want to go back and unpack some of that if we can. I know you’re very open about the idea that your first wife took her own life. I am sorry for that. I’m sure everyone who’s part of this conversation is sorry you had to have that experience but glad for your willingness to be able to talk about that, to share, and to help other people. In that same vein, would you mind sharing a little bit about your marriage with your first wife and how it led up to that? I was married to my late wife a month shy of three years. There wasn’t any romantic interest until we both got to college, but we grew up together. I knew her from the time we were 7 or 8 years old on up. We dated for 3 or 4 years before we got married. We were married for almost three years when she took her own life. For the most part, our marriage was a good marriage, as good as marriage as can be. I didn’t have anything to compare it to, but things started to change when she got pregnant. Her mental health deteriorated. She ended up taking her own life when she was seven months pregnant. Around the circumstances of that, they were able to save the baby. I had to take the baby off life support nine days later, unfortunately. In some ways, it was even harder than losing a spouse, but I had to take the baby off life support. That kicked me out into the whole widowhood thing. As far as the marriage went, until those mental health issues hit, it was a good marriage and we were young. I was 26 when I was widowed. I was young, and that put me in an odd spot as well in the sense that I had friends who were not even married, and here’s a 26-year-old widower. I don’t think anyone knew how to handle me. My friends, family, and everybody were all obviously sad and sorry for my loss. There was support in that area, but I’m thinking about dating again or how to handle somebody who is 26 and widowed. No one quite knew what to do with me. It was the first time in my life that I truly felt alone. It was not that there wasn’t some support there, but the sense that there weren’t any other people in their twenties I could go talk to and say, “How did you get through the death of your spouse?” That doesn’t happen in your twenties. I felt alone and a lot of the issues that I was going through with grief, dating again, and trying to mix those emotions or trying to figure out how to handle all this stuff. I was truly alone. This was the early days of the internet. This was in 2001. I talked about all these resources that I have. Tina, you’re providing resources and there are other resources out there, but back then, there was nothing, especially for young people. There were no resources out there. Part of the reason I ended up doing what I was doing is that, more than anything, I wanted somebody to talk to and someone to explain. “Here are some ideas on how other people have handled it. This is how I got through it. Here are some things that you might want to think about.” In some ways, I guess they’re still not a lot of resources out there. I do a lot of relationship coaching, and I get …

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