Relationships | Widowed Young | Love

The Messy Start of My New Relationship, 5 Months After My Wife Died

Two widows; one widower; difficult and upsetting moments; and the end of some friendships

Alan (AJ) Autistic Widower
7 min readDec 3, 2022


Two small glass hearts: one blue, and one pink
Photo provided by the author

Some people have judged me harshly for starting a new relationship five months after losing my wife. Here is how it came about.

(In a previous story, I focused on the consequences of my new relationship.)

They were supposed to be friends, but Fiona had ulterior motives — she did not want any competition.

Summer without my wife

I lost my wife in June 2013 when I was 44 years old. At the time, I could never imagine being with someone new, despite her telling me not to be alone for the rest of my life.

My children were only seven and eight, and I tried to give them the best summer possible under the circumstances.

There were trips to the local park, cinema, and seaside, as well as bike rides and swimming.

I saw a bereavement counsellor regularly at the hospice where my wife had died, and she recommended a support group for people who were widowed young.

In the past, I would have avoided any kind of group. But after losing my wife, who was also my best friend, I felt incredibly lonely.

So I took a chance and joined the group.

The widowed group

The group was for support and friendship, rather than dating.

At the time, I had no idea I was autistic and had ADHD. But during group meals with several people I barely knew, I found it hard to get a word in, and it made me feel like I did not belong.

However, I did enjoy the times I went for a quiet coffee with one or two people.

I met up with the same two widows regularly, and we seemed to all get along well. They had both been widowed much longer than me.

Stephanie was 40 (about five years younger than me) and had children who were of similar age to mine. Fiona was…



Alan (AJ) Autistic Widower

Former electronics engineer & programmer in England, 50-something with a dry sense of humour. Sharing stories & opinions. Tip jar: