Husbands, the new and the old

So, today’s post is a slight step away from the course of my story, but after last weekend’s late (and quick) post, which you can read here, it bought up many questions about my new husband, so I thought i’d talk a little about him today in Husbands, the new and the old.

Many people have started reading along half way through this, and have missed that I have actually remarried since Nick’s passing.

I wrote a post about a widow’s view on remarriage, which you can read here, if you’ve missed it. (Albeit, it was only my 4th post and still not something I was thinking of sharing publicly at that time)

So, here goes….

I remarried on January 11, 2014 to a wonderful man named John. He has never been married before or had children of his own.

Husbands, the new and the old
Photo courtesy of Kane Jarrod Photography

He is so supportive of both this blog and me talking about Nick, sometimes a lot!

He understands the situation and has never once told me to ‘get over him’ or to ‘stop talking about Nick’ or to ‘take down all his photo’s’, in fact, our walls are still adorned with photos of Nick, now with just a few of us interspersed between them.

Also importantly, he adores Claudia and treats her as his own, while still mentioning her Dad and taking her on trips to the cemetery to visit him.

John has never tried to replace Nick, nor would I want him too. They are polar opposites of each other and that’s what I love about him because I could never replace Nick, he was one of a kind.

I honestly believe Nick had a hand in John and I being together, because we actually dated as teens back in 1997, and then lost touch for over 13 years, before finding each other again. Weird, right ?

Husbands, the new and the old
Us in 1997

John and I first dated when we were just 16, we were inseparable for over 2 years til we broke up in 1999, wanting some time a part, but staying good friends.

I was introduced to Nick in around 2001, he was smitten with me instantly and being so persistent, before long we were dating.

In September 2003, Nick proposed, I called John to tell him my news. He was gutted because he always thought we’d get back together again one day.

Clearly, those dreams were dashed! He told me then, that it was best if we didn’t speak anymore out of respect to Nick and our future together.

I guess I agreed and from then on, we lost touch. Though I always wondered what he was doing and how life played out for him.

He was after all my first love.

Nick always knew about John. I’d speak about him from time to time, wondering what he was up to. Though they never actually met, expect for a brief hello at the front of a kebab van one night, true story!

One time we drove 4 hours to meet Nick’s ex, because he thought we would be great friends, that didn’t quite work out as he planned!! But the point of this story is, we never shied away from talking about our pasts, because they form apart of who you are and Nick was never a jealous guy.

Over the years John heard i’d had a baby and later that Nick had cancer and had passed away. In his words, he said, ‘he was so sorry for me but didn’t know what to do’, it had been so long since we’d spoken.

In the same year that Nick passed, I heard that John’s Dad had died, also from cancer, my heart broke for his family and for his mum, who like me, was now a widow. But, like John, I did nothing, still in my own world of grief.

Sometime the next year, I decided to write a condolence card to John’s mum. That card stayed in my car for the following 3 months, til one night out with my girlfriend Cathryn, she asked about it and said ‘that’s it, we’re mailing that card tonight!’ and we did.

The next morning John’s mum called me, thrilled to hear from me, saying John has never forgotten you, you have to see each other again.

I wasn’t looking for a new relationship, I definitely didn’t think this would turn into a marriage.

The rest as they say is history, or as some have said, ‘meant to be’.

I like to say I was lazy and just recycled my last boyfriend! (just kidding!)

  • I have never regretted John and I splitting up when we were younger, because I never would have met Nick and been on the most amazing journey with him.
  • Nick and I were meant to be together for that time, to learn and grow and for me to be with him through his illness. For Nick to teach me about life and love and to shape me into the person I am today. I am eternally gratefully to Nick for everything.
  • Being remarried does not mean I have forgotten my past, in fact I sometimes feel like I have two husbands

I also have to add, as easy an addition as John is to our world, it hasn’t all been a positive experience for him.

I have had friends say, while they are happy to still be friends with me, they don’t want to get to know my new husband.

To this I say, if you can’t acknowledge my future, then you don’t have a place in my life.

For friends to say ‘out of respect to Nick’ they don’t want to know John, then it’s their loss, because Nick wouldn’t want that either.

While I understand it may be ‘weird’ for some to see me with someone new, I have managed to be in a place where i’m very comfortable with it, so please don’t project your own insecurities on me.

On the plus side, our little blended family all get along so well. My two mother in laws send each other food, I can have everyone over my place at the same time and John gets along so well with Nick’s parents and extended family, I couldn’t have hoped for a better situation.

In particular John and Nick’s Dad have hit it off. I like to think it’s because one has lost their son and the other their Dad and they somehow make up for it when they’re together. They laugh and joke like they’ve known each other forever, it’s beautiful to see.

I’ve also been so lucky to have John’s family take Claudia and I into their world and be so wonderful and accommodating. I’m excited to have new cousins and family and a mother in law, that is also one of my closest friends.

So, to those people that don’t want to know John or who have a problem with me moving forward, I say, if all my family can be so accepting of me marrying again, what’s your excuse ?

I truly believe Nick is content with the situation, he always wanted me to be happy, and I am. I couldn’t have wished for a more loving, understanding and patient new husband, than I have in John.

Also, it needs to be mentioned, that although everyone thinks it’s been difficult for me having a new partner, and at times it was, not much credit is given to John for walking into our world.

For accepting that Nick is still apart of our lives and that I still love him dearly. John has taken on the responsibility of being an instant Father with a wife who still talks about her previous husband.

There aren’t too many men I know, who would be man enough to take all this on, but he does it without a word of complaint and if that’s not true love, I don’t know what is!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post!

Thanks again to everyone who’s commenting and sharing on social media. 

Still so touched that people are reading along, thank you!!

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Til next week, Michela xx

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35 thoughts on “Husbands, the new and the old

  1. Hi Michela,
    Ive been reading you’re blog for the past several hours from the beginning I havent been able to put my phone down..
    Im sorry I hadn’t come across it sooner.I am so grateful that you have shared you’re story.

    Im so happy that you have found peace & happiness again, that you have grown stronger as a person, more independent & really taken you’re experience and journey with yr beloved Nick and touched the loves of so many..
    Im not so good with putting my thoughts into words but in this crazy busy world we live in we forget how fragile we truly are.
    We constantly take things for granted & we forget that we have no control over how long we are on this earth for & what time we have with the people we love the most.
    Im a strong believer of like attracts like & you have spoken of how amazing and incredible a person Nick was and how he made an impact on people he met well it sounds to me that you are just as incredible & amazing a person.
    You have turned you’re grief & loss into something that to me has given hope & faith into what life is all about. Live each day to the fullest, embrace every situation (even the shitty ones) try to look at the positive in everything and love with all your heart!!
    Thank you for telling you’re story. Xxxx

    1. Hi Angela, Im so sorry its taken me so long to reply to your message, but thank you for taking the time to write me and for your understanding and kind words. Thank you for also reading along, it means the world to me, that anyone cares about what I have to write.
      Michela xx

  2. Another great post 🙂
    Its great hearing about nick, esp for us whom never got the chance to meet him, but I do love this post.

    Although, I find it so sad and hard to believe that people don’t want accept your new relationship, you’re so young, hot and sexy you deserve to be loved and find happiness again. And you still have your whole life ahead of you, any true friend would not want you to go it alone. But lucky you, you did find john, its so beautiful and im sooo happy for you both.

    You definitely are lucky to have found another wonderful husband, and we don’t wanna give you a big head John :-p but you really seem perfect for chel and Claudia. And so great to hear that he gets along with everyone. Such a great guy to be so understanding and accepting of everything.
    I love watching him with the kids, how he treats them all as if they are his own. U definitely found another great catch, man where do you find em 🙂 I have a few single friends :-p

    AND I love that wedding pic, hot hot hot (you too john 😉 u scrubbed up pretty hot too) and you gotta love those OLD photos. U guys definitely have aged gracefully.

    I wish you both nothing but the best in life, you guys deserve it.
    Love me xoxoxo

    1. Yes, super lucky to have found another great guy who loves and respects us as much as Nick does/did. He really does treat Claudia as his own, which is all I ever wanted, for her to know how loved she was and not feel any difference having John around vs. us two alone. I have to believe that Nick had a hand in us getting together, no other explanation. Thank you for the beautiful compliments, think John looked pretty hot too, but he knows it! Picking up my professional album soon, cant wait to see it!
      Don’t know about ageing well, I was 16 in that photo, wow!!

  3. Hi Michela,

    It is truly beautiful that you have found another man to call and have as your husband. The people that don’t believe in your sacred union or won’t accept it, don’t deserve to have you or your family in their lives. You are very lucky to have found love again and very strong to have accepted it in your heart, particularly after losing the one love you thought would last forever. Well done!!! I love that John and Nick’s dad get along. It’s actually fantastic that you have the love and support from both your family and Nick’s family. After all, family is what counts at the end of the day. I look forward to reading more and congratulations on your recent wedding!

    1. Hi Michelle,
      Thank you for your beautiful message and for taking the time to write to me. Yes, I have been very lucky in love and have an amazingly supportive blended family, anyone who doesn’t agree with my choices, I have no time in my life for.
      My world is complete without those people judging a situation they have never been in themselves.
      Thank you for your support.
      Michela xx

  4. Mickles, I had no idea that some friends were not accepting of the idea about John! That’s a little bit slack on their behalf – and you’re exactly right. If the ones CLOSEST to Nick can accept J then what is seriously their excuse?! That is wonderful to hear about John and Nicks Dad! That actually made me a little teary!

    Love BOTH photos – esepcially the teenage one – its pretty hilarious and how lucky that you still have it!

    Cant wait for our catch up, It seriously needs to be soon! Less talk, more action. Ha!

    Love this post – just like all the others!!

    – KK xx

    1. Hey Kara!
      Yes, I could have written another 3 posts about the crap John has had to deal with, but I thought one would get the message across, I have no time in my life for anyone who doesn’t approve of my future, like they have a say anyway!
      And we are so lucky to have such a beautiful and blended family, who all support us. John and Nick’s dad together is just beautiful, they even call each other, makes me teary too!
      I have plenty more photos of us from our youth, but didn’t want to embarrass John too much, harps back to a time when he had hair, poor guy, he miss it so much! Lol!
      Yes, miss you heaps, can’t wait to speak to you in the flesh!!
      Michela xxx

  5. What a wonderful ‘story’ Michela….and yep, I totally think that Nick’s had a hand in you and John, glad you said that!…I also believe my Mum sent me my amazing man – 6 months after she died! You so deserve to be happy, esp after everything and that’s exactly what Nick would have wanted I’m sure. Also – who cares what the narrow-minded bigots think? It’s only a reflection of their own fears, insecurities and limited mindsets…and would you want them in your and your family’s life anyway? Pah!…oh and by the way – you look AMAZING in your wedding pic. Wowsers!! xxx

    1. Hi Angela,
      Thank you, it’s one of my favourite wedding photos, our photographer did a brilliant job, i’m not so photogenic normally.
      So happy you agree that our passed loved ones have a hand in who we are with, I love that you think the same of your mum and so happy to hear you have an amazing guy in your life too.
      And yes, I have no time in my life for anyone who disapproves of my marriage, like it has anything to do with them anyway!
      Michela xx

  6. Hi, Michela!

    First, let me say that that photo is just to DIE FOR!! I just keep scrolling back to it! lol Thanks to your photographer for the inspiration and to you and John for a love that not only transcends…it leaps out from the page. 🙂

    Please continue to stay true to yourself and your family; it matters not what naysayers think or speak, for what matters is what lies between you and your husbands (yes, both of them!) and your daughter…

    Thanks for sharing persepctive on this topic of life after widowhood.

    Yours in healing,

    1. Hi AE,
      Thank you, it is one of my favourite wedding pics, I think our photographer captured the moment and day beautifully.
      And yes, I agree, I only care about my little world and not about what those small minded people think about my situation, like it has anything to do with them anyway.
      Thank you for taking the time to write to me.
      Michela xx

  7. This was so important for me to read. I’ve been in a new relationship for awhile now and yes there are some people around me who simply refuse to have anything to do with him “out of respect for Mike”. For crying out loud I’M Mike’s widow NOT THEM. I miss him every single day and I always will. But to deny me a future? To insist I remain alone forever because Mike was so special? He wouldn’t want that, it’s simply ridiculous. He is gone and never coming back, and if I found companionship I have a right to pursue it…doesn’t mean it’s easy though. Especially in a small town, to feel the eyes on my back, judging…it’s hard. So, thank you again Michela for sharing this important part of our lives as widows. It means so much. I’ll be writing about all of this soon myself. Just have to work up to it.

    1. Hi Stephanie, firstly I have to say well done on dating again, I think all those judgemental people, don’t give us widows any credit, we are hard enough on ourselves meeting someone new, without their looks and comments. It was so difficult for me in the beginning to even feel anything, because I had what I called ‘relationship guilt’.
      And yes, we have a right to have a future and a companion who will never take the place of our husbands, who are still in our thoughts and heart everyday. I hate the ‘out of respect’ line, like we must be doing something wrong by our dead husbands!!
      It must be even harder living in a small town too, can’t help the situation, though they will I imagine, get used to it over time.
      I look forward to your post on the same issue.
      Michela xx

  8. What a great read!
    Yes you are right, not many men would be so understanding and respectful of your situation. It’s so nice to read that all the families get along so well.
    To those that don’t agree, how about you move with the times. You are not a 80 year old woman, you are young with your whole life ahead of you. It’s so nice to hear how happy you are. I don’t know you or nick but I’m pretty sure he would be smiling down on you all. X

    1. Hi Kathy,
      So lovely to hear from you again, thank you for taking the time to write me.
      Yes, it has been a lovely time after such loss and heart ache, i’m so happy with the way my life has turned out and how lucky we are to have such supportive families, who can still acknowledge Nick and John at the same time. And I agree, we aren’t in the stone ages, I was 30 when Nick died and still had much life to live, all Nick wanted was for me to be happy.
      Michela xx

  9. I loved this story! I think it’s amazing how all the pieces fit together and people just aligned and into place where and how they were obviously meant to! Your entire family sounds to be kind, loving, mature people who care more about you and your daughter than they do about any pre-conceived notions of right/wrong, good/bad. Fabulous!

    1. Hi Melissa,
      Yes, it’s actually a bit of a feel good story, coming off a crap time. I definitely think everything happens for a reason and the stars align at the right time. I’m lucky to have such a supportive family, who knew love when they saw it and never questioned my relationship with John.
      Hope you and you’re family are holding up well, I look forward to every update you post.
      Michela xxx

  10. After reading parts of your blog I find myself reflecting on the story I have read throughout the day, being inspired by your stories. (“Inspired”, a word often overused and not deserving. But the only word to best describe how I feel in this instance.)

    I get inspired by the strength you show every day, your outlook on life and the intense positivity you project; inspired by Nick’s bravery, strength and selflessness; and also by John…. A remarkable person who can love and accept others like no other. Someone so secure in themselves and the loved ones around him, it’s incredible! Reading about John makes me want to be a better person (as corny as that sounds).

    Thank you for sharing xx

    1. Hi Renae,
      How lovely to hear from you, thank you for taking the time to write me!
      I’m so humbled to hear i’ve inspired you through my writing, i’m always so surprised that anyone reads along at all actually! You have touched me with your comment.
      John will be thrilled to hear that he has made you want to be a better person through his selfless love and understanding, he is honestly so wonderful, especially to encourage this blog and talking about Nick, not many would be so supportive.
      Michela xxx

  11. John sounds like are very understanding person and your right if your family can except him then y can’t some friends! At the end of the day if u are happy and john treats you right and aswell as being a father figure to claudia then that’s the main thing and if people can’t understand that then you are better off without them! Your happiness would mean everything to nick and I’m sure he is watching down and his amazing wife and daughter and smiling xx

    1. Hi Janelle,

      Yes, I agree with you, my happiness was always so important to Nick and I know he is looking down so pleased with how things have panned out. I couldn’t have asked for a better fill in father to Claudia and life partner to me, and to those that look down on me re-marrying, I have no time for. My life is complete without them.
      Michela xx

  12. What a wonderful story that illustrates the power of love—yours and John’s and both of your families for accepting and supporting you as a couple. The back story of how you got together reminds me a little of my older brothers. He was widowed five years ago and met his new lady at a high school class reunion and they’ve been inseparable every since….old friends renewing their friendship decades later.

    John certainly understands the unlimited nature of love, that you can love Nick and him both and he is not threatened by that. Like you said, he’s a true man for being able to walk into your instant family and thrive doing it. You must be doing a lot of things right, too, to make him feel loved in this situation. Keep making new memories with your new family and keep recording your old memories of your old family. One day you daughter will know her real dad through your written words and know her stand-in dad through the bonds you’re all creating.

    And the friends who can’t accept John? They have their loyalty to Nick misplaced. People aren’t meant to be alone in life and if they really had known Nick, they’d understand he’d want you to be happy. Hopefully, in time they’ll come around but if not it’s their choice to live small.

    1. Hi Jean,
      Love your message, there is such truth in it. John is a wonderful man who isn’t threatened by me still loving Nick, in fact he encourages this blog and talking about him. We look forward to our new life together, incorporating the new with the past.
      As for the friends, to be honest, I have no time trying to get them to ‘come around’ my life is so complete without them. And as you say, their loyalty is very much misplaced!
      Thank you for taking the time to write me,
      Michela xx

  13. Once again Michela you amaze me
    Beautiful words beautifully written and yes you are so very lucky to have had an amazing man in Nick and now John
    I hope your future will be blessed, you deserve it xx

    1. Thank you Lynn for your well wishes, yes, I have been very lucky in love in my life, I have much to be grateful for.
      Thank you for continuing to read along and write me, it always encourages me to keep going!
      Michela xx

  14. John sounds wonderful, Michela and you both will do a splendid job of raising Claudia together. I was most touched by your comment about John and Nick’s dad … and their relationship. What an amazing full circle of love, trust and vulnerability! Cheers to you both!

    1. Hi Naomi,
      Yes, John is wonderful and is the best fill in Dad for Claudia I could have asked for. I also love how close he is with Nick’s dad, it’s so beautiful to see and reinforces that we are all still family, no matter the changes in life we encounter. xx

  15. It was great to meet John the other week. When my mum started dating my birth father her late husband’s family dropped her like a stone even though it had been many years. Some people will never understand and it is indeed their loss. I love that John is secure in himself that he knows there’s no comparing to Nick, two different people and he is just as much a part of the story as was Nick. You all deserve all the happiness in the world 🙂

    1. Thank you Rose, yes John is a very secure guy who isn’t intimidated by Nick.
      I’m sorry your mum had such an awful experience with her in-laws, people like to judge even though they have never walked in your shoes. They feel like you’re being disrespectful for trying to build a life with someone else. Thank you for your well wishes!!
      Michela xx

  16. Hi Michela

    I just loved reading this and I’m so happy at you finding John. What a shame certain friends have found him so hard to accept as if it has anything to do with them! Your true friends will be the ones who are totally accepting and just feel happy that you are. Like you say these things aren’t planned. I have a good friend who lost her wonderful husband to cancer four years ago they had a unique relationship and an adopted child together who was young at the time. She met her new partner 6 months after get husband died and like you had many friends casting a critical eye! They are still together and very much in love. My friend speaks like you so often about her husband and the house has many pictures of him. Her new partner is more than understanding of her past! Together they are very happy and my friend had even took in the role of looking after her partners young son who lived with him. This is my eyes shows love in the most selfless way.

    Anyway here’s to your wonderful life with John what a lucky man he is!

    Kate xx

    1. Hi Kate,
      Thank you, I agree people seem to think it effects them who we decide to be with and it’s none of their business. Thank you for sharing your friend’s story, goes to show i’m not alone and that there is no time limit for when you are lucky enough to find love again. People will judge no matter how much time has passed. Thank you again, I love having your support!
      Michela xx

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