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emotional entanglement

Posts: 167
Joined: Apr 2009

My deceased wife has a sister, they are so very much alike, sound identical on the phone, walk the same, voice inflections are identical, similar values. She used to come here to the house and be with her sister, they were very close. Frankly, while I always enjoyed her company, I was not in any way, shape or form attracted to her, she was my sister in-law!

Well, after my wifes death, the two people most affected were me, and my sister in-law. I now feel a degree of emotional attachment. I feel guilty in some ways, and yet, I want to be there for my sister inlaw! (She is not married but in an unhealthy relationship). This appears to be working both ways, although I am setting boundaries, with myself.

I am not a philanderer! But, I am, I think, projecting my wife onto my sister inlaw for comfort.  I hope I'm making sense. I am trying to look at the differences between them, not the similarities and remember that they are two distinctly different people.

I am finally seeing a grief therapist tomorrow-it's time.

Thanks for letting me share this rather embarassing situation that I'm wrestling with.

Grieving stinks.

Posts: 1862
Joined: Aug 2010

Loneliness takes many forms.

amburroni's picture
Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2017

I can understand where that would come from and I think its actually quite normal in your situation. There isnt anything normal about losing a spouse to cancer, but there are things that occur that are in the realm of normal for an abnormal situation. 

I really apperciate you sharing this story because I have a lot of thoughts and things that I feel after my husband passed away and I think that if I were in your situation, I would have the same thoughts and feelings. I share my thoughts with some close friends who I know wouldn't judge me, but I havent been able to publicly share it yet. Humans are social creatures and when our partner is lost, I think its in our nature to seek out emotional support even if it means from someone who might be considered socially unacceptable. Does that make sense? I dont want what I'm saying to come off the wrong way. I'm just so glad you shared this because of some things I have felt since Kyle passed in October. 

Maybe I'll get the courage to write about it in my blog some time. I only just started it. I guess I should share the link incase it is something someone here would find comfort in reading.


Much love to you my friend!

Posts: 167
Joined: Apr 2009

I can't tell you enough how much your reply relieved me of guilt-I was concerned that I was pushing the envelope a bit here.  I liken it to a survival instinct-like jumping off the Titanic and landing in a lifeboat and wanting to hug the first person you are with. Just because its a feeling, as long as it remains a feeling and I don't act out on it, it stays that way. I hope that makes sense-lol.

JerzyGrrl's picture
Posts: 760
Joined: Jun 2016

Glad to see you're getting a grip on the situation with your s-i-l, setting boundaries, etc., David. Also -- seeing the grief therapist sounds like great self-care.  Now is the season to be especially kind to you (Well, unless there's a boundary looming that requires you to give yourself a kick in the pants, but otherwise, yes).

Funny how at one point in our grief we can't remember if we've eaten or got clean clothes in the closet or watered plants... Then a little while down the road, we're (almost) able to hold ourselves out at arm's length and do a little self-evaluating... Which is not to say we don't at some point come across a severely neglected house plant in the future (or what looks to be a half-petrified uneaten sandwich on a paper plate by the TV), but still.....

Keep us posted --  

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