Wants to Date After His Wife Died

Q: My wife of 25 years died recently after a long and heartbreaking illness. I could not have gotten through it without the support and friendship of a close friend of both me and my wife. She cooked and cleaned for us, helped us get to medical appointments, read to my wife during treatments. Over this time — and as my wife slipped further away from me — she and I grew quite close. It does not seem unnatural to me that there's the potential for romance, but I'm afraid of how my family will react. -- David, 52

Dr. Susan: We can assume your family will feel their loyalty to your wife is somehow threatened by any new relationship you enter. People like to think "enough" time has passed.... But it's your life, and I recommend seeing if there's romantic interest there before worrying about your family's response. You already know how crucial a tightly bonded primary relationship is to you. If you and this female friend get together, and things work out, you'll be there for one another for many years to come. I'd suggest that this possibility trumps any squawks from family members. Just be discreet at first.

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