I want to start this blog with a statement to alert any friends, family, or strict conservatives to warn them of what I am about to share, but it kind of defeats the purpose of what I feel I have to share. Not for the people I just listed, but for the people for which I started this blog: my widdas.
I had sex. I had a little too much of it after Kevin died, and a little too quickly. Kevin and I were unable to have sex once he became ill, and when he passed away, it had been six months since we had done so. I was mourning his loss, numb to the extreme, and aching for comfort. I was also a human, a woman, with a need. I did not have any really close guy friends in which I could propose an offer of “Friends with Benefits”, a term of which I would never have used before this time. A term that made me a bit sick to my stomach, but one that I finally understood. It was something I FELT I needed (capitalized for purpose).
I sought out a FWB (friends with bennies) online. I had a steady guy for a few months, one who could let me be a widow, let me be a woman, let me feel something other than pain for just a few moments. I was numb, I wasn’t dumb. But when that fell through, I still felt the need. This is where the problem began.
I will not share with you specific details, but I went from numb to dumb very quickly. I sought out more physical relationships, instead of focusing my attention where I should have, on healing, and it is only this that I regret.
Many widows have posed the question, of seeking out friends with benefits, on forums and support groups. I did the same on a very popular forum, and for this, I was “flamed”. By “flamed” for those who don’t know the lingo, some other widow(er)s chose to curse at me, call me stupid, immoral, that I was a sinner, and some even through in the occasional bible verse. I grew up Mennonite, I know what the bible says. My decision to choose the route I did, sexually, was strictly based on my needs at the time. I have since tried my best never to judge a widow for what she or he feels her/his needs are. I am not in their spot, feeling what they are. What I felt at that time in my life, was that I NEEDED that type of a relationship.
My first FWB relationship was helpful, and healing for me. It allowed me to cross a line I had never crossed, it allowed me to reconnect with my body again. It allowed me to breathe and let loose, if only a little. I have no regrets for the first relationship. The others, however, were detrimental. I had crossed the line too much. It was no longer about healing, but about denying myself feeling PAIN. I didn’t want to feel it. There is a very subtle line between seeking out a companion to help you through a difficult time, and becoming obsessed or out of control. Before you enter any type of relationship of this kind, you need to figure out your whys:
-What draws you to this type of relationship?
-Is this an escape, or are you entering this to enrich yourself and your needs?
-What do you hope this will help you achieve?
-Are you hoping this relationship may lead to a dating relationship or one of significance?
-How do you plan to keep yourself safe in this type of relationship?
-Do you have moral objections to this type of relationship, or did you in the past? What made you change your mind?
Observe your answers in detail, share them with your best friends, and other widows in a private manner if possible. Confide only in those who you believe can give you an un-biased opinion of your situation. This should not be an escape, it should be about needs or desires for release, not escape. If you are hoping this will lead to a more fruitful relationship down the road, you need to re-evaluate if you are emotionally ready for that potential relationship, let alone the phsyical one. Evaluate your moral commitments to yourself now. Make rules for yourself and stick to them!
I write this today, and am exposing a very difficult part of my life, a part of my life that until today, has only been shared with my most intimate of friends. I am scared to share this, but I feel I have to, for my widows.
At some point, you may consider this route. At some point, you will wonder, and I do not want you to experience the hurtful words that were written to me. I want you to know that whatever you decide, it has to be OK for you and your situation, but you need to do it safely. Use protection, choose wisely, do not go overboard. We all come to widowhood through unique situations, and mine may not be a reason for you to choose the route that I did.
I hope you will feel free to post here, but if not, please email me directly at BrendaBoitson at gmail dot com. I rarely give out my email address, but I want widows who do not feel comfortable discussing this publicly, to know that they can confide in me. I want you to have an outlet to discuss this, without judgment, which was not an option for me at the time.
Wow – I’m not alone. I am so glad to hear of others experiencing the same thing as me – especially both male and female. I cannot belive my heightened sex drive after the death of my wife just 4 months ago. I thought it a strange reaction and it unfortunately seems to be a topic that no one wants to talk about. I have avoided mentioning it to even my closest male friends, thinking they may consider me a cold hearted s.o.b. for even thinking about it. I think therer may be a few factors at play here in my case.
1) It is hard for my body to just turn off after may years of frequent (and
2) In my early 50’s (and many years away from dating) I have a great fear of
not attracting women and becoming a monk
3) I am so delighted to learn the term “skin hunger” to describe that
physical need and drive that makes us human
This is also probably the one time in life when people can easily separate sex and love. The posters in this blog have discussed how they had sex to fill a need – not to replace the relationship they had with their spouse. I also realize this is something that no one who hasn’t lost a spouse can understand. They can’t possibly comprehend the pain that we go through in grieving our loss so how could they have any sympathy towards our desire for physical contact. Thanks for all the thoughts on this.
Thanks for sharing!
I’ve never heard the term “skin hunger” before but it’s so true. I feel really bad because I only lost my husband 2 months ago, but we had such a good physical relationship that I miss so much.
Last week was my birthday. I went out for dinner with 3 friends. One of them is a guy who has always liked me, and me him (he was a mutual friend of me and my husband). I love my husband though and was never unfaithful. If I could have him back I would, but I can’t.
Anyway needless to say the inevitable happened with me and my friend. He’s not very communicative and I’m not able to figure out how he feels – have spoken to a girlfriend about it who says he probably feels guilt, the same as me. We live in different parts of the country so don’t see each other. Also he has a girlfriend.
Bad news I think. I can’t stop thinking about him. I think my brain is trying to substitute my husband for him. He’s not being very responsive so now I feel a complete whore and like a desperate widow. Thinking of ditching the friend and his phone number 🙁 I would appreciate your views on the matter.
It’s so difficult to remove yourself from physical/emotional connections, especially so soon after their death. I struggled with that too, which is why, at first, I kept my distance and only sought one thing instead of the other. I hope you can move forward from all of this and find a more comfortable situation for everyone. Take care and feel free to drop me an email anytime – Brendaboitson at gmail dot com.
Since I lost my wife to cancer six months ago,I often feel the guilt of trying to find ways to cap my sexual urges even when my wife departed just recently.
I have two children in their teens.I have never dated (am 52 now) and never ever had sex outside marriage.The urge is strong and imagination runs riot.An acquaintance broached on the topic of remarriage soon after my wife died and he met me.
Apparently she lost her husband long ago.
I have not yet met her but should one date to find a good fit or does one consider the overwhelming need for both to bring back sex into their respective lives ?
I cant even think of having sex to find if “our fit” is good before we commit ourselves into a marriage.
Though there is quite a chasm between our cultures (am from India and consider myself on the conservative side) but since you have gone through a parallel phase in your life,would consider your “feel” of the situation to be important.
Moral and religious beliefs must play an important role in these decisions. If you never had sex outside of your marriage before, why would you consider it now? Sex is a strong urge, there is no doubt, but you must establish a boundary that you feel is appropriate for both your needs, and your beliefs. Would you be ashamed or feel guilty afterwards if you had sex outside of marriage? If you are wondering if you should marry her just to be in a committed relationship to have sex, I say the answer to that is no. Find a good fit – this is a second chapter in life, and am important one. Sex is important, but it is not the end all/be all. Best wishes on getting to know her!
I lost my husband 4 months and recently had sex with a man 10 yrs younger than me. My husband and I were unable to have sex due to illness for about 5 yrs prior to his death. A few months before his death I shared a kiss with the younger guy but regretted it instantly. I’m obviously very lonely and I would not have had sex with anyone it just so happened with this guy I’m under no illusion that there could b a relationship from this guy as he is somewhat a ‘player’ and Im not looking for that either just to feel wanted for a short time every now and then. I should also point out my husband was 20 yrs older than me, I’m 33. Am I wrong??
Wrong is not for me or anyone else to judge here on earth. Whatever happened before his death is not worth reliving at this point. Moving forward, as painful as I’m sure that sounds to you right now, right or wrong is a test of what you feel is best for your life now, without your husband, and recreating your life moving forward. Be careful, be smart. Hugs and love my friend.
Thank you Brenda your insight into my situation has been so helpful xxxx