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Old 09-25-2011, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Southwest Desert
4,166 posts, read 5,385,393 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wwanderer View Post
I'm sorry, I'm sure you'll make some new friends. You should also make the effort to see if your old friends can accept you in your new circumstances.

I think it's better, in the long run, to have some friends who aren't couples. We have a fair number of single friends, as well as couples where we're better friends with one part of the couple. Haven't ever done a lot of "couples" stuff. So we go out of our way to cultivate our single friends--increasingly that's going to be widows and widowers I suspect.
Thanks for your post. Good that you and your husband have "single" friends. (And "couple friends" too!)...I think it's important to have a social network. My married friends are wonderful people! But they lead busy lives.They have grandkids or their grown kids (and their families) living with them now...Or they care for aging parents or spend time with family members who live closeby etc...Or they work and don't have very much free time.
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Old 09-25-2011, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
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DH and I retired to the country when he was crippled. Now he laughs every time someone says "but you're RETIRED!" He still has his skills; engine repair, woodworking, metalworking, and fiberglas, all of which are very much in demand here. People come by and drop stuff off for him to fix, even when we are not home! They understand that it takes a lot longer for him now, and are patient, waiting sometimes weeks.

I work part-time at the local rural high school across the street. I have met not only the kids but their parents, and we have made friends there as well. We are also members of the American Legion due to DH's service, so we have friends thru that and the Ladies' Auxiliary. We sell our chickens' eggs, too. We are raising cattle for our own use and are learning about that.

We are basically loners, and always have been. People are drawn to us for our practicality, common sense, and helpfulness. We enjoy their company but do not require it. We have our own things that we like to do; being around and working with our animals, training a cattle dog pup, shooting and hunting in our hills around the tiny rural town. I like to quilt and do ceramics (I have my own kilns and molds from the shop I used to own) and garden, can, dehydrate and preserve.

When we packed up and moved from our previously busy social and business lives, everyone said, "You'll be back! You can't live without this involvement, the excitement, the ongoing successes and failures, the whole bustling scene that you have been a part of and helped create!" Um, no we won't and yes we can. We are not church people, so we don't go there.

Avoiding involvement is one of our biggest challenges! We came here to not be involved, but we can't help it; what we have done and are able to do is in demand here, even if it is on a much smaller scale. Fortunately we don't have the endless phone calls we had to endure and the all-night meetings that we had to attend any more... and here, meeting 'at the bar' is no cause for comment and is just common sense, since it is centrally located and open at night. Nothing else is!
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:34 AM
 
2,742 posts, read 725,854 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CArizona View Post
Thanks for your post. Good that you and your husband have "single" friends. (And "couple friends" too!)...I think it's important to have a social network. My married friends are wonderful people! But they lead busy lives.They have grandkids or their grown kids (and their families) living with them now...Or they care for aging parents or spend time with family members who live closeby etc...Or they work and don't have very much free time.
CArizona, I am so sorry for your loss. I still have my husband, but fully realize (even on days when he's not entirely in my good graces!) how lucky I am to have a life partner. Would grief counseling help? I have a friend who lost his wife unexpectedly four months ago. He did some grief counseling, but then stopped (it was at a church and he didn't like that aspect since he is not religious/Christian), but I do think he got something out of it.

Please don't write us married couples off as friends! My husband and I have no reservations about hanging out with a single person, be they divorced, widowed, or never married. After 34 years, we welcome other people's company---and never feel that a single friend is a third wheel.

What you said about married people being busy can apply to singles as well, couldn't it? A divorced or widowed person (or even a never-married) can have kids or grandkids who they are wrapped up with. Ditto for aging parents. And also with working.

I fully understand what you mean about people not having the time or energy to socialize, but think this applies to singles as well as married couples. The only drawback to married couples is that the two people may not be equally social, so one may pull the other down into a more reclusive, hunker down at home mode (I know a number of people like this!). And it can be difficult to find a couple where you like both equally.
But if a married person offers you friendship, please don't write them off just because they have a spouse. Remember that married people can be lonely too (albeit in a somewhat different way than someone recently widowed).
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Old 09-25-2011, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Southwest Desert
4,166 posts, read 5,385,393 times
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jazzcat22...Thanks for taking the time to write such a long and caring post to me! To be really honest my longtime and closest friends don't live near me anymore...My husband and I had some "couple friends" and "single" friends when we first relocated to AZ but everyone moved away. (To get out of the extreme heat...To be near their family in other states etc.)...In the end we just started living in our own little "cave" most of the time. (Except for spending time with my grown son who moved out here.)...We made a few new friends here and there but we didn't have a lot in common with them. So the friends I have in the area today were mostly just casual "once-in-awhile" friends or acquaintances before my husband passed away....They are great people! But it's not quite the same as having longtime or close-close friends nearby if this makes sense!...Sorry to go on and on! I should check to see if there are some groups for widows or widowers in my area. I'd be better off with friends who have a little more free time.
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Old 09-25-2011, 12:45 PM
 
Location: East Coast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CArizona View Post
This happened to me! I lost my husband to cancer last year. Now I'm the only widow in my circle of friends...It's such a strange feeling and I feel like such an "oddball" now. Everyone has been caring but I don't think they can really relate to what my life is like today...I don't want to be a pest or burden on anyone. So I don't call my married friends very often. I haven't met any other widows or widowers or single people yet..Good thing that I enjoy spending time alone. I know how to amuse myself and have lots of interests. But I do get lonely at times and miss having more companionship and more social activities in my life...Our senior center is pretty "dead." I'm not a church-goer. And I'm not really much of a "group" person. My husband and I used to live in our own little "cave" a lot. Good thing that my grown son lives closeby. We get along great!...And posting on forums helps too. But I'm going to have to reinvent myself and my life soon so I don't "shrivel up!"
I was widowed at the age of 37, and even though it was over 20 years ago, I think I can lend some perspective to your situation.

You mention that you don't call your married friends very often. If you still care about them, call them...otherwise, they will gradually fade from your life. Invite them to your house for dinner (or coffee and cake, if that's easier). If you tire of always feeling like the third wheel (a very common feeling), make your plans to simply include the wife. If you leave it totally up to them to do the calling/inviting, you could eventually lose them as friends.

You may need to rethink this business of not being a "group" person. After my husband died, I was very fortunate to find some grief support groups that really helped me to deal with my loss. In addition, we were encouraged to make new friends within the group...believe it or not, I still socialize with some of the women I met more than 20 years ago!

It's nice that your adult son lives nearby, but young people live very busy lives these days. Try not to depend on your son too much to fill your time...that will get old (for him) after a while.

I'm so sorry for what has happened to you, but most widowed people do learn to adjust. It just takes time...LOTS of time, so don't hurry the process. Just remember that it's up to you to create a new life for yourself. Just decide what kind of life that is going to be, and good luck!
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Old 09-26-2011, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Southwest Desert
4,166 posts, read 5,385,393 times
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LibraGirl123...I'm sorry that you lost your husband so early in life. Good that you made so many good friends in the support group...My situation with my son is a little different. He had a 2nd brain tumor a few months back and nearly died. Thank goodness he was transported to a university/hospital where doctors knew how to operate on risky areas of the brain. We've helped each other get through a lot of "rough patches." My son lost his "real" Dad and Step-Dad to cancer. My older son passed away a few years ago...It's been a "long haul!" It's a miracle that we're both "still standing" despite it all!
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Old 09-26-2011, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Toronto, Ottawa Valley & Dunedin FL
1,409 posts, read 2,355,691 times
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I suspect grief counselling would be a very good idea. We have a friend who lost his wife suddenly in June, and I think he's completely "out to lunch", to put it mildly. Luckily he decided to work until December (after deciding on the spot to retire immediately), and he's immersed in his step-grandchildren. But I can see that he's pining, and very much missing the close companionship of the "love of his life".

We keep trying to get him out, it's tough, we took him to hear a New Orleans jazz band back in July, hope to get him to come out of his shell, but boy, sometimes I think it's even harder for men.

CArizona, good luck. I know what you mean about married friends being immersed in their lives--even in the case of our friends above, it was tough booking time with them because they had very active relationships with their children and grandkids. We have no grandkids, and probably never will.
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Southwest Desert
4,166 posts, read 5,385,393 times
Reputation: 3533
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wwanderer View Post
I suspect grief counselling would be a very good idea. We have a friend who lost his wife suddenly in June, and I think he's completely "out to lunch", to put it mildly. Luckily he decided to work until December (after deciding on the spot to retire immediately), and he's immersed in his step-grandchildren. But I can see that he's pining, and very much missing the close companionship of the "love of his life".

We keep trying to get him out, it's tough, we took him to hear a New Orleans jazz band back in July, hope to get him to come out of his shell, but boy, sometimes I think it's even harder for men.

CArizona, good luck. I know what you mean about married friends being immersed in their lives--even in the case of our friends above, it was tough booking time with them because they had very active relationships with their children and grandkids. We have no grandkids, and probably never will.
Thanks for writing. I don't think I am quite as shut-down as your male friend. I'm always open to getting out and having fun! I try to stay balanced! I know my husband wouldn't want me to become nothing more than a "couch potato!" I just need some new friends who have free time!
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Florida Gulf Coast
4,406 posts, read 5,928,354 times
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Did any of you ever take the Myers Briggs Personality Test? We did it a work as part of a team-building exercise. One of the things it evaluates is whether you're an Extrovert (E) or Introvert (I), but we didn't know that at the time we took the (very long) test. When we met for the team-building day, we were separated into different groups, and asked what we would do if we won a million dollars or some such thing. My group excitedly wanted to throw a party and invite tons of friends. The group across the room wanted to go to an island by themselves and read a book. Turned out our two groups, based on the test results, were on the extreme ends of the Extroversion and Introversion scale. I found that so interesting, and hadn't realized I was such an extrovert. (For those who know the test, I'm an ESTJ.) Here's how it described E's and I's, which I find substantiated by the comments on this thread:

Extraverts often prefer more frequent interaction, while introverts prefer more substantial interaction.
Extraverts recharge and get their energy from spending time with people, while introverts recharge and get their energy from spending time alone.

As for me, I'm 61, retired, divorced since my 20's and have no grandchildren. I'm an only child and I guess as a result of having no siblings, I have tons of friends (former co-workers, neighbors, classmates, etc.). Only a few are really close friends that I share confidences with. I have physical issues that are really limiting (can't walk far, can't stand long) but I have a love of line-dancing, going back to growing up in Philly as a teenager. (Motown, R&B, not country line-dancing) Lucky for me, there's still quite a lot of line-dancing going on here -- both the "oldies" crowd and the black community, which has "soul line-dancing" for all ages and abilities. I'm not the dancer I used to be (no fancy footwork anymore), but dancing is great exercise for me. It's a mental challenge to learn and memorize the new steps, it's aerobic but I can rest and sit down between dances, and no partner is needed. So that's pretty much the center of my social life. Loveboating, it's ashame you can't find dancing in your area (or maybe you can?) because you sound like really fun people! I'm a big NFL fan as well...would love to watch a game with you guys.
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