Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I lost my dear husband this past year. We had many married friends
we would go out with regularly as couples. I would also go out during
the day with the ladies, shopping, lunches, sometimes a concert. Since
my husband has passed away, my couple friends do not call and ask
me to join them for dinner. I still see the wives but less often. I would
pay for myself if I joined them at a play or show, and do not expect to
be asked if they have plans with other people, or to be asked all of the
time. But once in a while would be nice. It seems like this has
happened to other widows. Why? I don’t have a disease. It could
happen to any of these other women too. So why have I been:

Dear Dropped:
The story is that this happens to almost every woman who loses her
husband. Sadly the opposite is almost always true for widowers.
Here’s why. Couples tend to be threatened by single women. More so
in the case of divorce than widowhood, but nonetheless there’s a
subliminal message: this woman is loose, is used to being with a man,
and yours might become interested in helping make her life easier, or
in offering her solace that might threaten your relationship. That’s in
no way to suggest such a thought would ever cross your mind, or that
you’d give off any signals that would legitimately evoke such a
response. But women are possessive around single females, even
aging widows, in ways that would shame a mother protecting her
cubs. They can be not only protective but unthinkingly hurtful.


You can make a point of inviting the wives to lunch and talking
candidly with the ones you’re closer to. That might net you a few party
invites. But realistically you’re better off investing your time and
energy making plans with the other widows or single women you
already know, or new friends you’re still young enough to make, male
or female. Go to classes at the synagogue, or the local community
center. Volunteer for committees at a non-profit. Go on an Elderhostel                             trip. Begin to build a new life for yourself. When they see you happier
they’ll exhale and remember why they liked you.