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Pictures of ex

stepmom2bee's picture

Just a little curious. My fiance has a large plastic bin of pictures (wedding, vacation, family) of his ex wife and kids. He says he wants to keep them to show my dear stepkids that they were a healthy family at one point when they are older.  He has a really good relationship with his ex but nothing is going on there at all. Is this normal? Would a man really want to keep pictures for that reason?


ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

Some do. If you aren't sure how you feel about it. Maybe talk to him?

My DH rid everywhere and everything of any pictures of Psycho. He sees them as innaprpirate. But Psycho is also psychotic and causes daily issues... So there's a difference than if they have a good relationship. As long as he's not going through them and they're really for the skids?

ITB2012's picture

Some of it is good memories, I hope. And for the kids it was part of their lives.

So long as there aren't pictures of her up all over the house (a tastefully small one of her with the kids in the kids rooms would be acceptable), I say he is looking at this in a healthy way.

fourbrats's picture

as I worked as a studio photographer for years and have been a hobby photographer since high school. So I am the one with the bin of old photos lol. It has never bothered DH. My kids have taken some of them over the years (they are 20 and 23) and I have them separated from our family photos in bins for the kids. Honestly I would have to throw out a lot of their young childhood photos if I got rid of the ones that included my ex. The only ones on display are the ones of my kids together, individually or with me from that time period. The rest remain tucked away and I rarely even see them  unless I am looking for something specific. 

To ex and I were also high school sweethearts so by getting rid of those photos I would be also be throwing out my prom pictures, yearbooks, graduation photos (high school and college), and basically any indication that I even attended high school. That is a big deal to me. I wanted to be able to share those old goofy photos with my kids. 

hereiam's picture

Of course, his kids are going to want those photos and I don't think there is anything wrong with him keeping them for his children. If he was getting them out and reminiscing over them or longing for the past, that would be different.

Had my DH had a happy marriage, had any happy moments at all and had pictures of those moments, I wouldn't care.

People have pasts, getting rid of pictures doesn't erase it.

justmakingthebest's picture

I have my old wedding album, there are also pictures in a container sitting in the corner of my garage of when my ExH and I were together. We were together for 12 years. We met when I was still in high school. I don't take them out or talk about them, but if my kids ever ask, I want to be able to show them the pictures from happy times. 

I don't want to get back together with my ex. Not even a little!!! I love DH and they stay in the garage in the storage container our od respect for him. He also has pictures from his time when he and BM were married. They are in a container on a top shelf in a storage closet. They don't bother me. He has the same mind set as me... There was a time when he was happy with BM. They loved eachother (I think she loved him at one time at least- but who knows!). It can't hurt kids to know that they are on this earth because of that love and the want to have a family. 

stepmom2bee's picture

thanks for sharing. I just get insecure sometimes and wonder if that is a good reason to keep them. Like i said, they have a pretty good, healthy relationship.

futurobrillante99's picture

My XH2 kept pictures of the kids, but he also had pictures of just BM before kids. Granted, he could say he's keeping them for the kids and they were put away in a bin in the basement, but I felt pretty insecure because (I didn't know it at the time) he was triangulating me with talk of the BM to make me jealous and play on my insecurities. It worked. To hear him tell it, I was simply insecure and jealous. However, a man who truly loves a woman would do anything to reassure her of his love and devotion. He would do all he could to mitigate any uneasiness she may feel.

So my answer is two-fold. If the photos are only of his family with BM and no inappropriate personal photos, and they are kept stored, out of the way, please don't stress yourself.

However, ask yourself WHY you feel uneasy. Could it be that you don't feel entirely secure in your relationship because of things your partner has said or done? Does he dismiss your feelings or concerns? Look at some of his responses to you if you've expressed concern.

For instance, I did ask probing questions about the BM but XH2 would answer and ADD information that I didn't request. Information that pertained to their sex life or her naked and teenaged body.  I now realize why he did that - purposely. I tried to explain how the EXTRA information made me feel and he argued that I was overreacting (gaslighting). So, I stared off into the distance, reminiscing about my boyfriend when I was 19, and how he was a bricklayer and had the body of a Greek god with blonde hair - all over. (all true btw) Blonde hair glistening on his chest and I didn't care if he was sweaty or dirty when he came to my place from work. I would open the door and............

He couldn't take it anymore, stopped me and never uttered another word about BM's great, teenaged body.

F*cker. He knew what he was doing and he didn't like having the tables turned on him.

shamds's picture

he assumed exwife destroyed them but there were a few albums the daughters kept that they bombarded hubby with pics to remind him of the good times but it was so awkward because they were trying to remind him of happy times being married to their mum despite the fact she remarried days after divorce was finalised.

my husband has avoided exwife for the past decade so he doesn’t want any pics. We only have our engagement and wedding photo album at home. Everything else is digital but hubby only keeps a handful of pics of his 3 kids with ex when they were younger, maybe about 20..

classyNJ's picture

I have a box of pictures that not just include my exDH but past boyfriends over the years and is kept in the basement with my old wedding album.  From time to time I do pull them out and scan pictures to FB when those people pass away to share with other friends who do the same.

DH has a box with just the negatives from his wedding but nothing else.  There are big collage pictures frames of just him and his boys from birth to now displayed down one side of hallway.  On the other side of the hallway are pictures of us four, DH and just his kids and the kids and just me.  We add to this side as the years go by and we grow.  

The boys have pictures in their rooms of them and BM when there were really little but it's just one and I noticed Monday morning that SS20 put his in his drawer before he went back to school.

DH gave all pictures of himself, the boys and DBDB to DBDB to hold onto and give to the boys when they get their own place.

tog redux's picture

My DH has lots of old pictures of BM, etc. Yes, it's normal. It's the same as you having pictures of things in your past.


Monkeysee's picture

DH doesn’t have any pics of BM, I have no idea if she’s got their old pics or if she got rid of them. For a lot of people this is totally normal, but I’ve never kept pics of exes hanging around personally.

I’d understand if DH had pics of BM with SS’s in them, or them all as a family, but I wouldn’t be ok with wedding pics or anything like that in our home. I wouldn’t make him destroy them if he had them, but he could store them in a family members house - anywhere that’s not our home together. 

A lot of people think it’s normal, and they’re right, but personally I don’t want that energy in my home. I like the past to remain in the past. I also don’t understand wanting to show the kids how they used to be a happy family at one point. I’m not a mum yet so my thoughts might change on that if DH & I ever split, but to me I think it would bring up old pains from the divorce if it’s framed that way. I’d just say, these are pics of you guys when you were young, and leave it at that. Leave the ‘happy family’ stuff out of it. But that’s just me!

Merry's picture

I have a bin of old pictures too. And my wedding album. If my kids want that stuff, fine. If not they can toss it. DH knows I’d rather set my hair on fire (and I love my hair) than spend time with my ex. 

Maybe that’s the key. Do the pictures represent your insecurity for a reason? Does DH give you any indication that he still has feelings for his ex?  If not, I hope you’ll move past it in time and DH demonstrates how much he cherishes YOU. 

Wilhelm's picture

DH had pictures of himself with the children around the house and a couple with the ex. More a case of hadn’t got around to removing her image. They are gone now. His other photos I gave to the children. 

still learning's picture

DH has a bin of old first family photos, albums, and VHS tapes down in the basement in a spider infested room that is damp and has a sump pump. They used to get family photos done every year. There are HUGE 18x20 inch framed photos documenting a decade of familial bliss. Then they just kind of stopped, it's likely that's when they started having issues and DH excaped into his world and BM did her own thing.  Next there were mainly photos of the kids, proms, gradutations, etc but not the family.  

I look at it as DH's ancient history and as long as they stay in the bin in the basement I'm just fine with it.  I also have old family photos tucked neatly away in albums for the kids.  It's important to know where they come from and that yes their parents did love each other at one time.  The kids used to have a framed photo on their dresser of a group photo of them and their entire extended paternal family and one of them and their father. Now those pics have been relegated to their closet (by them) so they can throw things at each other.  

elkclan's picture

I still have my old wedding albums somewhere. It was a really pretty wedding! Prettiest I'd ever been to until my cousin's wedding a couple of years ago - and the bride's mother told me how they'd taken inspiration from mine. The bride was my flower girl at my wedding. But I haven't looked at them in years. I will however, look at them again soon as I plan my next wedding!! :-) 

However, even beyond the marriage, there were things about my wedding that I'd do differently. And this time around it's gonna be a squalid piss up in the rugby club. That's EXACTLY what I want. I'm gonna start classy with a harpist (friend of my SO's) and descend quickly... Just got make sure he has time to put the harp away - he makes his living with it and I wouldn't want anything to happen to it. 

Cbarton12's picture

I think it's normal. DH has a lot of photos in an album when he and EXW were dating as well as A DVD of their wedding photos. When I first found them, I was taken aback. But it makes sense. SD was only 18 months when they divorced. I am sure she will grow up to appreciate having some tangible memory of her parents together.