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How Do I Compete With His Dead Wife?

It is normal to experience an ‘inferiority complex’ when dating someone who was in a serious relationship before.

We always strive to be better than our partner’s ex was—by treating our partners better, doing more for them, dressing better than their ex ever did, and offering them more moral support.

We feel inclined to do these things because we don’t want to lose our partner if their ex decides to come back.

It becomes sort of a competition, and we are determined to ace it. And so we keep comparing notes to where we find loopholes and do our best to fill them.

 We ladies mostly experience this problem mainly because we want to be the ‘whole package deal’ to the man we are involved with.

While competing with an ex is expected, some women feel they need to compete with a deceased partner.

But is it worth it?

Let’s investigate…

Why You Might Feel the Need to Compete

Imagine a scenario involving three people, James, Jane, and Jackie. After years of Jane and James dating, they suddenly break up.

Not long after, James meets Jackie, and they hit it off.

The only time James will mention Jane is when mentioning her faults and weaknesses, intended to make Jackie feel good about herself.

Many are times when James won’t mention Jane by name or even talk about her at all.

That’s a norm in our society.

Now let’s assume Jane suddenly died after being married to James for some time.

Unlike in the case of a breakup, when Jackie enters James’ life after he has suffered a significant loss, it is normal for their conversations to revolve around a majority of Jane’s good qualities, such as her great personality and sense of humor.

Though at first Jackie may try to be understanding, over time, she will learn of all these good qualities Jane possessed that she doesn’t have.

She is likely to feel the need to compete with Jane.

What if you were Jackie? What would you do? Do you start competing with your boyfriend’s (or husband’s) late wife?

Allow me to put it as it is; she is dead. So, there is no competition worth involving yourself in.

Regardless of whether your partner worships his dead wife, there’s nothing anyone can do to bring her back to life.

All he can do is talk about his deceased partner, look at pictures of them together, comment on posts of her on social media, and wish her back in his life.

Therefore, it is not advisable to compete with her. Why? Because it is easy to get caught up in the competition and hurt your partner and yourself.

For instance, how do you think he will feel when you dress up like his late wife did? Instead of making him happy, you will only trigger painful memories for him, which will make it harder for him to move on.

Why not just try to be what he needs? Give him a reason to love you more, and he will stop talking about his late wife.

Remember that while he seems fond of his late wife, he chose to start a relationship with you.

He pursued you because he saw something beautiful in you and wants that to be a part of his new life. Maybe he even married you and intends to spend the rest of his life by your side.

Be Understanding and Patient

Instead of competing, try to be more understanding. A spouse is called a ‘better half’ for a reason. They are a part of you.

Would you forget about the other half? And even if advancements in science aided in creating the part you lost and merging it to your body, would you quickly adjust to using your newly formed body and forget the half you lost?

Imagine losing half of your body (and you still managed to stay alive, of course). Would you forget about the other half?

Even if advancements in science aided in recreating the part you lost and merging it with your body, would you quickly adjust to using your newly formed body and forget the half you lost?

It would take countless hours of physiotherapy and months of getting used to using the new parts.

 Even so, you will never be the same person you were before.

 Eventually, you will stop wishing to go back to your old self, but still, the new body parts will never function as the ones you lost.

It is the same with your husband. He will never be the same, but he will appreciate the person you are, and in the end, he will forget his past life.


Until then, showing genuine love and care, offering him support, and demonstrating understanding and patience will help him move on and fully accept you.

Also Read: When a Widower Talks About His Late Wife: Here’s How to Respond Compassionately

What of Jealousy?

Jealousy can serve as a powerful motivator to compete with a rival lover.

If you find yourself married to a widower and still experiencing feelings of jealousy towards his deceased wife, you may wonder why such emotions persist.

Having fallen deeply in love with this remarkable soul, the thought of his late wife’s presence can ignite jealousy, as you might feel that if she were still alive, he would have remained with her instead.

Despite reassurances that your relationship is more beautiful and fulfilling, the fact remains that he shared a significant portion of his life with her.

It is natural to feel envious, uncertain of whether he mentions negative aspects of their marriage to make you feel better or if his praises of you are genuine.

However, it is crucial to recognize that he is with you now because he loves you.

Over time, as you create new memories together, these feelings of jealousy are likely to fade away.

Patience is key, and the reward of your understanding and support will undoubtedly be worth the wait.

Remember, your love and dedication will help strengthen the bond between you both, and as you build a future together, the past will gradually lose its hold on your emotions.

Embrace the present and cherish the moments you share, for they will form the foundation of a beautiful and lasting relationship.

Wrap Up

Your husband’s late wife is dead, so there is no point in competing. All you need to do is show understanding of his loss.

Otherwise, competing will only create a rift between the both of you.

As Michael Bolton says, nothing heals a broken heart like Time, Love, and Tenderness.

Empathy will help you be patient with your husband, and eventually, you will be the only one in his mind.

His past relationship will be a distant memory that will not affect your marriage.

Until then, fight thoughts and emotions that could harm your relationship, or at least keep them at bay.

Chrisa Sayi

Dr. Chrisa Sayi is a distinguished clinical psychologist, renowned author, and gobally recognized relationship expert. With a decade of experience, she has guided numerous couples toward healthier, more fulfilling connections. Dr. Sayi has shared his invaluable insights at over 30 conferences and penned over 100 professional articles and books. Her expertise has been featured in many reputable publications, including Glamour, Medium, Daily Nation, Awakening Africa, Reader's Digest, Bustle, UpJourney, Fatherly, The Zoe Report, Cosmopolitan, and many more. For further engagement, you can connect with Dr. Chrisa Sayi on Twitter via @DrChrisaSayi1.

Chrisa Sayihttp://kenyalogue.com
Dr. Chrisa Sayi is a distinguished clinical psychologist, renowned author, and gobally recognized relationship expert. With a decade of experience, she has guided numerous couples toward healthier, more fulfilling connections. Dr. Sayi has shared his invaluable insights at over 30 conferences and penned over 100 professional articles and books. Her expertise has been featured in many reputable publications, including Glamour, Medium, Daily Nation, Awakening Africa, Reader's Digest, Bustle, UpJourney, Fatherly, The Zoe Report, Cosmopolitan, and many more. For further engagement, you can connect with Dr. Chrisa Sayi on Twitter via @DrChrisaSayi1.
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