What’s it like for a man to lose the person at the very center of his life — his wife? Maybe you know firsthand, because you’ve lost a spouse yourself. Or maybe you know a friend or family member who’s a widower, and have wondered what he’s going through and how to help him. Or maybe you’re just curious about what this journey is like, should you, heaven forbid, become a widower one day yourself.

No matter which group you fall into, we could all benefit from understanding more about the journey widower’s take through loss, grief, and the effort to establish a new life.

Here today to walk us through this process is Herb Knoll, who lost his wife himself and has dedicated his life to helping his fellow widowers. Herb is the founder of the Widower’s Support Network which provides free advice and resources to men who’ve lost their spouses, and the author of the book The Widower’s Journey. Today on the show, we discuss Herb’s own experience of becoming a widower, how and why he found that there were few resources available specifically focused on helping men deal with the loss of their wives, and how that catalyzed him into creating such resources himself. We then get into the different issues widowers face, including loneliness, isolation, depression, a decline in their own physical health, and poor decision making, and how and why these issues can manifest themselves differently in men than women. Herb also shares tips on what family and friends can do to support a widower in the months after his spouse dies. We then discuss what dating and marriage is like for a widower, including when the time is right to start dating again and how to handle a second marriage with kids, both financially and psychologically.

Show Highlights

  • Herb’s experience becoming a widower
  • Why there seem to be more resources for widows than widowers 
  • What the death of a wife can do to a man’s health (both physically and emotionally/socially) 
  • Do men grieve differently than women?
  • What sort of support groups are out there for widowers?
  • How can friends and family help widowers? What should you say or not say?
  • The dating process after becoming a widower 
  • Does time really heal?
  • Does age make a difference in the widower experience? 
  • Why younger widowers often have a harder time dating/marrying again
  • Are there practical considerations involved when re-marrying
  • The importance of having your legal affairs in order 
  • How widowers can help their children grieve 

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

Connect With Herb

Widowers Support Network

WSN on Twitter

WSN on Facebook

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The post Podcast #466: What It’s Like to Become a Widower appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

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