Married to a Widower: Valuable Advice From Stepmoms Who’ve Been There by Claudette Chenevert
Stepfamilies are not created equally. We know this from reading one another’s forum posts, seeking out blogs and listening to one another’s stories. The challenges we face are as complex as our families themselves.
One type of stepfamily dynamic we don’t seem to talk or hear enough about is being married to a former widower. According to The Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory, which is a ranking of events and their impact on our ability to readjust socially, the death of a spouse holds the No. 1 spot as a stressor in people’s lives.
Grieving the loss of a loved one is an individual process. For some, it’s brief and uneventful. For others, it’s long and arduous. Children grieve differently from their parents and that is influenced by the relationship they had with the parent who died. It’s understandable, then, that our stepchildren may react differently to us—as new parental figures—than we or our partners might expect them to.