SENSITIVE: You can be the catalyst for change in your new berk’s life

Q Dear Auntie Pearl, I am in my 40s and I’ve been seeing a guy who is in his 50s.

The age is not a problem at all, we get along kwaai.

The thing is, we have both been married before. And while this is also not a problem, the issue I have is that his house is still full of stuff that belongs to his late wife (my ex is still alive, but my new guy is a widower).

We hang out at his place most of the time because I have children who still live with me.

Auntie, am I nuts to think it’s weird that he has not really changed anything in his house since his wife died almost 10 years ago?

I can understand that he wants to keep some of the good memories he has of his wife, maar dinge is ’n bietjie erg! There are even still some of her clothes in the drawers.

This relationship is serious for me, but it feels like I am just a skelmpie invading another woman’s turf.

From Felicia

A Auntie can understand how this is a morsige situation for you. 

You are trying to build a new life, but he seems to be holding onto the past a little bit too tightly. Obviously, this makes you doubt whether he is ready to fully commit to your relationship. And Auntie can understand that. 

Now have you ever talked to him about how you feel about all his wife goetes still in his house? 

Maybe you need to be the one to nudge him into moving on with his life.

He has definitely been through hell with the loss of his wife, and it was probably only a few years after her death that you came to bring some light into his life again. 

He has spent long days, weeks, months missing his wife, and doing it alone. He is struggling to let go! Even now that you two are bymekaar, he just doesn’t know how to let it go.

Perhaps in some way, he thinks he’s being disloyal to his wife if he changes things, even after all these years.

So when you have a serious chat about all this, make it clear to him that you do not want him to forget his late wife and make as if their time together never existed.

Tell him you can help him to sort out the stuff in his house, to clear the items of his wife which are no longer being used. 

Tell him things like clothes and so on can be donated to a charity or a needy old age home where some ladies will appreciate the items. 

But remember Felicia, also leave some mementoes, like maybe a nice framed picture of her, or something like that. 

You cannot erase his first wife, and you have to show him you understand and respect her presence in his life. All the best!