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Love after loss: Deciding to date after the death of a spouse

What made you decide to get back into a relationship after loss?
What made you decide to get back into a relationship after loss?

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Actor and comedian Patton Oswalt is getting remarried and it’s led to a backlash on social media.

That’s because Oswalt is also a widower, whose wife, Michelle McNamara, died in April of 2016 due to an unfortunate mix of prescription medication and a heart condition. As reported by the Huffington Post, after a Oswalt’s Twitter announcement of his engagement to actress Meredith Salenger, there was a smattering of criticism from the public, arguing that it was too soon for him to move on. He and Salenger had been dating for three months before they made the decision to tie the knot.

Blogger Erica Roman, also a widow, stood up for Oswalt in a post that went viral. Roman shot back at the negative social media posts against Oswalt, writing that it’s intrusive of the public to pass judgement on whether someone moves on after a spouse dies. She also said it takes courage it takes to have another relationship after that kind of tragedy. So AirTalk wants to hear from listeners who’ve lost a spouse and found love again.

What made you decide to get back into a relationship? If you have children, how did you approach them about your decision? What advice do you have for others who are on the fence about dating again?


Mary Andres, Psy.D. professor of clinical psychology and co-director of USC’s marriage and family therapy training program; her focus includes couples therapy