Would it shock you to hear I still have a relationship with my husband? He was a part of my life and still is, and I’m choosing to feel close to him. And believe it or not, you can do the same with your person, too.
Sometimes, we think relationships end after death, but I want to offer an alternative. If you think about the people you feel close to, physical proximity often doesn’t play a part, and so today I want to give you a new perspective on relationships and show you why your relationship with your late husband isn’t over.
Welcome to The Widowed Mom Podcast, episode 34, Your Relationship with Your Husband.
Welcome to The Widowed Mom Podcast, the only podcast that offers a proven process to help you work through your grief to grow, evolve, and create a future you can actually look forward to. Here’s your host, certified life coach, grief expert, widow, and mom, Krista St-Germain.
Hey there, welcome to another episode of the podcast. So first of all, I am getting over a fantastic cold. Thank goodness for antibiotics and steroids and rest. That’s all I have to say. I’m still a little bit gravelly and I’m glad to be on the other side of this cold. I’m glad to be starting to feel like myself again because there for a while it was a little rough.
So alright, your relationship with your husband. This may not be something that you have considered, but I want you to. You may be thinking, “What, Krista, are you talking about? My husband died. I’m a widow. How do I have a relationship with my husband.” And if that’s what you’re thinking, that’s okay, I hear you. That’s why I want to talk about it.
Because I think sometimes we think that relationships end after death. And I want to offer that they don’t. I want to offer that relationships are really just the culmination of our thoughts about a person, whether they are alive or not.
Think about – have you ever had a person in your life where you felt really close to them and you didn’t see them very often? Like your interactions with them really weren’t very frequent, but you felt close. You felt understood, you felt like you could tell them anything, and in your mind, in your experience of them, even though they weren’t there with you in the room very often, you experienced a closeness with them. You had a relationship with them that really had nothing to do with the amount of time or conversation that you had with that person.
Compare that to a relationship where you’ve spent a lot of time with someone, see them all the time. Don’t enjoy it, don’t feel close. Sometimes we think that our relationship is somehow limited or defined by the amount of time that we get to spend with someone. That whether or not we are close to them is determined by physical proximity.
This could not be further from the truth. Our relationships with people really just are our thoughts about them. Think about someone that maybe you felt differently about them than they felt about you. Maybe – have you ever had somebody in your past that maybe had a crush on you and you just weren’t feeling it at all? But you could tell that in his mind, you were everything, but in your mind, you were wanting some space?
The same experiences are happening for the both of you. You’re having the same interactions, but his perception of those interaction is completely different than yours because his thoughts about you are completely different than your thoughts about him. His relationship in his mind was totally different than your relationship in your mind because relationships happen in our mind.
So what does this mean for you and your relationship with your late husband? Well, what it means is you’re still having it. It’s not over. As long as we have thoughts about a person, we’re still having a relationship with them. So what I want to offer to you is that if you’re going to have a relationship with him, which you are, then I want you to have it on purpose.
I want you to choose your thoughts, the way that you think about him, the way that you feel about him on purpose. And I don’t want you to limit yourself in any way. So I’ve probably told this story on the podcast before. I know I wrote an email about it, but I remember being in Colorado earlier last year and the Rocky Mountains are just my favorite place to be. They were my husband’s favorite place to be.
And I remember sitting in my parent’s cabin. I was with my daughter who was 15 at the time, and we were looking at the view from the cabin and I made a comment. It was right after the anniversary of his death. I made a comment about how I wished that Hugo could be there with us, and she just turned to me like, she didn’t even think about it, and she said, “Mama, he is with us.”
And it was one of those moments where I realized I was creating separation between him and me with my brain. Because I was thinking that he wasn’t there. I was thinking that I wished he was there, he were there. My daughter wasn’t feeling that separation. She was feeling closeness because she was choosing to believe that he was there.
That’s our option. You can think of him as far away, or you can think of him as right there with you. You can think of him as disconnected or you can think of him as part of you. I hear clients all the time too or in my Facebook group where people will say, “Oh, I’m so sad that he’s missing this, that he doesn’t get to see my daughter walk down the aisle, or that he doesn’t get to see my new grandbaby.”
Yes, we can choose to believe that he doesn’t see those things, or we can choose to think that he does. It’s our choice. We don’t need permission from anybody to think about him and his presence in our lives as we want to, in a way that serves us. Why not choose to believe that he’s close to you? Why not choose to believe that he’s with you? What’s the downside?
I don’t think there is one. And if there’s unfinished business, if you don’t like the way something ended, if you feel regret, if there was anger, if there was something that’s left undone, the pain that you’re experiencing about that now isn’t because of what happened. It isn’t because of what was actually left undone. It’s because of how you’re thinking about it now.
How you think about what happened in the past, how you think about your husband now, right now in this present moment is what determines how you feel about it now. We think that hurt comes from the past but it doesn’t. Hurt comes from the thoughts that we think now about things that have happened in the past.
You can’t go back and do things differently with him. You can’t say different words. Maybe the last words you said to him weren’t what you wished you would have said. Maybe there are things in your past that you would have liked to do differently if you could. You can’t go back and redo them, but you can choose to think about them differently.
And therefore, by doing that, you’ll feel differently about it. So if relationships are always a product of our thoughts about someone, then our emotional experience is also a product about our thoughts about someone because thoughts cause feelings. So if your relationship with your husband is alive and well, even though he’s not, what is it like?
Do you like the quality of this relationship that you have? Because if you don’t, you get to change it. It’s totally your option. And it’s okay if you think I’m a little crazy. It will not hurt my feelings. It won’t hurt my feelings at all.
I’m going to keep this episode a little bit short. I want you to think about this. What is the relationship that you have with him? I talk to Hugo all the time. I talk to him, I share stories with him. I don’t really care what anybody else thinks. He’s still a part of my life. He will always be a part of my life. Even if I remarry, he’s still going to be a part of my life because he was important to me.
He is important to me. I loved him and I love him, and I’m cool with that. And I really don’t care what anybody else thinks, and I want to encourage you to take that same approach. You decide. How do you want to think about him? How do you want to think about what he thinks about you?
Do you know that you can just decide? If you want to think that he’s proud of you, you can. If you want to think that he’s watching what you’re accomplishing, that he’s cheering you on, you can. You can feel the emotional benefits of that, of that choice that you’re making for yourself, and you don’t need anybody’s permission.
Alright, hey, another thing I want to do, if you have questions that you would like me to answer on the podcast, send me an email. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what questions you have. I would love to do a little bit of listener Q&A here on the podcast because I know there are things that you’re struggling with that I haven’t addressed, or maybe situations that are unique to your life and what you’re going through that maybe I could help you with.
So I want to invite you to do that, and of course, spots for the next Mom Goes On group are probably open, I assume. I’m recording this a little bit ahead of time, but I’m assuming that they are. And if not, we can catch you in the next one. But if you’re interested in that, just go to coachingwithkrista.com and click request a consultation.
You’ll fill out a quick little application and I’ll review it and if coaching seems like a good fit, then you and I will hop on the phone and we’ll get to know each other and see if it’s a good idea to work together. Alright, I love you. You’ve got this. I’ll see you guys next week. Take care. Bye-bye.
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