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Photos/ Answers and Questions and Boundaries

NoBigDeal's picture

My DH and I went to premarital counseling.  We also went after marriage.  I read a post on here about  (First family photos).  This topic came up in one of our sessions. 

Ex sent DH a gift , products she sold.   While we were engaged.  He brought those gifts into "my house"  in the box of mail she had sent him.   

I told him that was inappropriate and she knew it. I told him I didn't like it.  Of coarse he said it was no big deal.  I said you need to set boundaries.  He said "I'll send it back".  I waited it sat in my counter a few days.  He had no intention of sending it back.  So I sent it back.!!!!!  She responded to him how she was soooooo hurt when she got the things back, that he had "THANKED HER FOR".  That seeing my hand writing made her physically sick to her stomach.   He questioned me about  it, said "you mailed " her gift back?  I said yes, you said you were going to do it what's the problem?  

Then he had his vow renewal photo on his phone,  and another photo of the first family.  I said how bout we download that to a cd or computer and you remove it from your phone.  Oh he didn't like that.   But I said ties got to be cut with her or me.  

In counseling it was discussed that the photos he had he would give the ones if him and ex to his kids.  Only keep the ones of  whole family.   And wouldn't accept anymore from them.  He would put away out of my site. Boxed up.  Away.   

So for those questioning is it wrong to ask this "No".  If it bothers YOU,  YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE THAT MATTERS NOW!!!

COUPLES photos go to the kids. If the kids live at your home then with boundaries that they are not displayed in their room wall or framed for step mom to see. But in an album out if public sight.  Or save them for their home not yours.

What bothers one in a partnership should  bother both,  if one partner says it's no big deal to them, show them you're going  to make it a big deal until your feelings are respected.  

Divorce means.....END.....OVER......NO MORE......

No one should have to apologize for how they feel!!!!

Don't accept bs people.  Your worth is valuable. 

Our mental health matters. 



ESMOD's picture

I don't think it's a deal breaker for the kids to have a picture that includes their other parent in their room.... especially if it may be a memory that was special like a trip to disney.  Now.. 42 pictures of happy family displayed on the wall? no.. but a pic or two that includes their mother... in their room.. should not be that big of a deal.

And.. while divorce means the end of their romantic relationship.. it doesn't mean the end of all contact and interaction if they had children.  I don't know what the nature of these gift products were.. but we have gotten sweet corn from my husband's EX that her farmer BF grew.. I ate it.. tasted good.. it had no special signifigance that she was trying to woo him back with

Many spouses try to remain on decent terms after a divorce if they share children... My husband's aunt used to VACATION with her EX and his new wife.. now THAT would be a boundaryfor me.. but just because you divorce someone.. doesn't necessarily mean you HATE your ex.  

I would have paid close attention to the kind of relationship he had with his EX before I got serious with him.. if they are both fine with being friendly (I don't mean romantic..just nice). then the new partners need to understand what that is going to mean and look like.  

Clearly he didn't attach any serious significance to these products.. he likely didn't want to cause a riff by rejecting them (which you did on his behalf).. now if she is sending him gifts constantly for holidays.. birthdays.. anniversary dates.. THAT is a problem.. but her giving him some product (that she was maybe hoping he would then buy some I'm not sure that was a huge offense.

The pictures on his phone... I don't think my DH had any when we met.. he and his ex had been apart for a few years.  I have occasionally come across hard copies in things that were packed away... usually he tosses them or gives them to the girls if they are of them and their mom.  I would be curious as to why he would want to keep those pictures period.  Why not have them printed out and given to the kids (or put away for them)..? THAT is what I would have an issue with.

But, bottom line.. if we are in step life.. our partners had a past.. we can't ignore it happened.

Mominit's picture

I think she made a fair distinction when she noted that couples photos and romantic photos (wedding, vow renewal) were not welcome in her house, but of course the kids could have family photos (pictures that they are in too).  They're welcome to keep them in an album, but not display them.

I think a big part is the relationship between the ex's.  If OP's note made BM "sick" just by seeing her handwriting, she can't possibly expect OP to happily display photos, and accept gifts.  BM doesn't want even OP's handwriting in her house - so I don't think the relationship is exactly on best of terms.

BM was being in appropriate and she knows it.  Or she was inserting herself and her former claim without acknowledging boundaries.  I think OP's boundaries seem resonable in light of the relationship between the players. 

As a note - everybody always comments on keeping the photos "in case" the kids want them some day.  I did that.  And the kids threw them all out within days of receiving them.  Maybe it's the younger generation.  But photo albums of Mom and Dad's wedding are just dust collectors.  (or so I found out!)


ldvilen's picture

I think she made a fair distinction too, and she never said anything about hating the ex- or that bio-dad and bio-mom should hate each other.  The OP also said nothing about parenting or co-parenting.

It's funny. . .  as soon as I read this well-worded, topic about appropriate boundary setting, I said to myself, "I can just see some one posting here in about 5 minutes trying to argue with the OP line by line."  I was sure right on that one.  And, over photos nonetheless.  Couples always determimne the photos in their own home.  Once in a while, one may want this photo or that photo, and then the other "gives in," so to speak and it winds up in a lower shelf of a corner cabinet in the den or such.

But, again, as soon as you throw the term SM in there, the rules change, and SM is expected to contend with photos of a life she did not live all over the place, in her own home.  But, hey, even tho. SM and DH are married, it is stil whatever BM wants, BM gets, right!?  Like the BM said above, seeing SM's writing made her want to puke.  That's nice.  Apparently, tho., it is perfectly OK for BM to send her ex- husband product that may make the wife or future wife of her ex- want to puke.

Appropriate boundaries were set here, and the OP did it early on too.  More power to her for doing so.

NoBigDeal's picture

If they were able to act civilized, no enmeshedment,  no codependency,  and the ex didn't try to break up  the new relationship maybe.  If there are small children  then no ITS OVER THE END Move  ON. Only business contact. Anything  more confuses the children. No family get togethers, no chit chatting.   Counseling said all kids want their parents back together its normal.   Setting boundaries is crucial for kids.


ldvilen's picture

For every couple in America, this is the case too: “What bothers one in a partnership should bother both.”  However, bio-mom and bio-dad gets divorced, and then suddenly it becomes, if BM and bio-dad “are both fine with being friendly (I don't mean romantic; just nice), then the new partners need to understand what that is going to mean and look like.”  Oh, really!?  What does that look like?  Does it look like the kids having an initial family picture or two in their bedrooms?  Or, does it look like SM, who has been married to bio-dad for years, being seated in the back of the church at SD’s wedding while BM and bio-dad walk down the aisle together arm in arm, without any permissions sought from either SM or her husband?

You see, there is no consensus whatsoever on “what that is going to mean and look like.”  And that is why the couple, the couple living together, bio-dad and SM get to decide, and that is why boundaries need to be set, AND set early on.

ESMOD's picture

The BP also gets to have their input on boundaries.. and the SM will need to decide whether they can live with them.. it's a two way street.. SM doesn't get to dictate and neither does the BP.

When I mean.. you need to see what that will loook like it's because it looks different in all situations.. because we all have variations and different circumstances and types of people.


If the kids have a picture of their mom on their dresser in their room at dad's house.. that isn't overly intrusive.. in fact.. SM doesn't even have to go IN their room.. daddy can clean up after his kids if someone needs to go in there.

It sounds like OP has had history with her husband's EX... that was not part of the initial narrative... again.. circumstances can impact how someone may deal with something.

OP is well within her rights.. and probably right to make HER boundaries known.. now.. if her husband doesn't like them.. he can have that discussion with her and decide whether they are boundaries he agrees with.. if they don't agree????? well.. they need to figure out what to do about it.  If he doesn't agree with her boundaries.. and she can't live like that.. it's over.

Ideally.. these kinds of non-negotiable boundaries are things we know going into a permanent relationship.

And.. her boundaries might not be what I think are necessary.. I mean.. I had a picture of my husband on my wall taken in a tux on the day he married his EX wife.  He looked great in that picture.. I wanted to display it.  I dislike his EX very much.. but I can still have  apicture that reminds me he was married to her on my wall.. without causing myself heartburn.  MY skids could mention their mother.. or have a pic of her in their rooms whithout being irate.. we accepted a gift of corn from her.. without being upset.  That was fine for us..because I am absolutely with out any doubt certain that my husband has no feelings for his EX (other than and I do not feel that in any way she ever wanted him back maybe that's the difference.. if you don't feel your partner's EX has moved on and is angling to be back in his life or that he is too friendly with her.. and might stray?.. maybe boundaries need to be different.

tog redux's picture

Exactly. One part of a couple doesn't get to say, "Welp, this bothers me, so no matter what you think, this is what we are doing," which is what I'm reading here.

ldvilen's picture

But the role here between SM and her husband (DH), isn't as bioparents.  The role between the two is as husband and wife or SOs.  This is THEIR home.  It is not BMs, nor even the SKs.

But, I agree there is a complete lack of recognition of SM’s true role, and that is as dad’s wife or SO.  You’d think it would be obvious, wouldn’t you?  Dad and SM are married, for instance.  They are husband and wife, and thus, like every other husband and wife, have the expectation that they will be treated that way when they make decisions for their home, when they attend events, have people over, etc.  But, NO.  Most people tend to think of SM instead, as either sloppy seconds, dad’s ho, concubine, or mistress. 

Instead, BM is seen as the clear and always #1 wife, and thus still in control of her ex-.  In this situation, the BM certainly feels so.  She can send her ex- whatever she wants, “just to be nice,” but if his fiancé returns something to her with a note. . .well, BM has the right to say, “It made her puke.”  Manipulative, controlling BM and weaker, enabling DH = step hell.  The weaker, enabling DH has no say in this matter, other than to continue to kowtow to his ex-?  DH’s wife, or SO, knows better.  She knows the game being played.

SM knows, and BM certainly knows, that the general thought is that whenever BM is around her ex-, no matter how long her DH has been with someone else, BM gets to dictate who sits with whom, who gets to come, who gets to send what, etc.  Again, most societies, as a whole, expect bio-dad to lick BM’s boots and for SM to ever-be-cowering, out of fear of BM.  Any SM who challenges this, well. . . she’ll be put in her place, that’s for !#$!@#$ sure. 

All of these nasty battles come down to BM and SM, don’t they?  DH doesn’t even exist.  Society as a whole anticipates that SM will never get to have the affect on her own husband that his ex-, the mother of his children does.  BM gets to have an effect on him for life.  She owns him.  Yeah.  If someone wants to believe that and act like that is the status quo, fine.  But, I’m so glad that there appears to be counselors out there now who seem to know better.  The OP has alluded to several counselors agreeing with her, for example.

ESMOD's picture

I actually think that the SM & BD home "is" the SK's home.. to the extent that any home is a child's home when they are a minor.  It may not be their primary home.. but it is their home during visitation.  

I will say that a lot of the time these problems are a clear result of the spouse of the step parent oversharing things that are only going to upset their spouse.  Why did he feel necessary to even share that with his wife?  did it have any productive goal.  What he should have said to his EX was.  I know you may have been trying to be nice, but I don't want to accept gifts from you.  It isn't appropriate as I am your Ex.  leave his spouse out of it.. totally.. .

Sandybeaches's picture

"  Why did he feel necessary to even share that with his wife? "

So your encouraging her DH to keep secrets?  That is hardly the answer to this. The BM is Inappropriate, the DH SHOULD let his wife or fiance know that she sent the gift and put the blame where it belongs!!!!!!!!!!!   ON BM FOR BEING IN APPROPRIATE. Not the SM for calling her on it and being upset about it.  

Never good to lie in marriage and most feel a lie of omission IS STILL A LIE.   While you have the second part right he should have stood up to BM!!

Sandybeaches's picture

" She responded to him how she was soooooo hurt when she got the things back, that he had "THANKED HER FOR".  That seeing my hand writing made her physically sick to her stomach."

Clearly the Ex in OP's situation has not moved on. Seeing OP's handwriting would not make her sick if she had.  She would also not be sending her DH gifts either.  

Clearly ESMOD you don't understand what it is like to have this type of EX in your life.  You also do not understand that if the intention of the EX was MATURE and moving on and hopeful of keeping the peace, then she would evaluate her actions before she did things that seemed intrusive or like she was still a part of her ex's life.

I get along wonderfully with my ex-husband and his family.  I get invited to parties and was still considered part of the family.  HOWEVER, did I go or stay part of their lives??  No and why? We were divorced and my ex and his family belonged to his new wife and she did not need me around and I didn't need to be there either!!!  Divorce ends all of that!! 

This woman in OP's life knows exactly what she is doing.  And I can tell you from personal experience it is sad that we have to even tell these men what is appropriate and what is not!!  When the man chooses to move on it is not his decision alone anymore!!  Acting this way with the ex, ANOTHER WOMAN is no different than accepting a gift from some woman he met last Saturday at the Mall or another parent at a school or birthday party.  Just because they were once together and share a child does not mean that they carry on ANY type of relationship besides a pickup / drop off or questions relating strictly to the children.  If they want more they should have stayed married and not brought other people into their life.  Period end of story!!  Anything more IS NOT APPROPRIATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2Tired4Drama's picture

I can't imagine sending my ex husband any kind of gift after we divorced, especially once I knew he was involved with someone else.  Who does that?!!

DH and OP need to gray rock the ex - completely.  And if DH can't do that (like by eliminating photos including ex) then he hasn't moved on either. 

Rags's picture

The alter to the failed family has no place in a new family or marriage.  

Neither do I believe that pictures or other evidence of that failed marriage and family necessarily should be destroyed or disposed of.

Many years ago my DW was in the process of collecting pics and any other evidence of the existence of the SpermIdiot and her relationship with him with the intent of throwing it away.  I interjected and advised that she boxed it up and save it for SS in the event he might want it at some point and should have the opportunity to review where he came from at some point.    As it turned out, he threw it away during one of his own moves as an adult.  When he opened it to check what it was and saw pics, letters, etc... he had no use for it or need for it and threw it away.

A failed family should not be worshipped but it is an experience that contributes to who a person is and the quality of partner they may be in a new marriage to a partner they are capable of making a successful marriage and family with.

All IMHO of course.

NoBigDeal's picture

I agree.  Boxed up put away. Or given to the kids.  One blogger said their SKID put up the photos as a hurtful statement to the NEW STEP MOM whom the step kid hated.  In that case I believe an album is better.  

The photos cant become weapons of hurtful darts at new step  parents .  Our counselor said when you pick up the kids  you dont go inside anymore, you dont go on vacations anymore, you confuse kids.  Kids need to see committed relationships that are successful,  not failures like the last one.

Rags's picture

You actually found a counselor that has at least half a brain.  Keep that one.  They are rare and worth their weight in gold.

How is DH doing following the advice of the counselor?

Well I hope.


strugglingSM's picture

I think keeping couple photos and photos of the "happy family" is weird. I think that if a child wants to have a photo of their other parent, that's fine, but having a photo of the parents together only encourages the fantasy of the parents getting back together.

tog redux's picture

I don't have an issue with pictures on the walls and believe it or not, BM once or twice sent SS over with cookies for us, which I happily ate (while sort of worrying about poison, lol).  DH has lots of pictures of his marriage to BM in an album somewhere, couldn't care less - it was part of his life.

But I do think that if BM is trying to intrude into your lives in one way or the other, that's the real issue. Frankly, if your SO didn't care, you should have just dumped the stuff BM gave him. Sending it back was just giving her the reaction she was looking for, that it upset you.  Ignoring her attempts to get to you is a much better way to handle it.

And I don't think it's fair to say that your feelings about photographs of his past are the "only thing that matters". HIS feelings matter too.  If he wants to hang on to them, he should be able to.


Mominit's picture

OP didn't ask her DH to get rid of the photos.  She said "they are not displayed in their room wall or framed for step mom to see. But in an album out if public sight.  Or save them for their home not yours.".  And the photo on his phone she asked that he download to a computer file  Perhaps they are a couple that freely accesses each other's phone and she doesn't want to come across it as she scrolls through.

I don't think she's wrong to ask him to put them out of public sight.  She didn't demand he burn them.  Just that he respects that it's his past, and it bothers her to have the ex wife come up in his phone and in displays.  Ex-spouses (in my opinon) don't belong in new relationships.  Sure keep a few pictures, in an album, out of sight preferably.


tog redux's picture

"the photos he had he would give the ones if him and ex to his kids" is her deciding which pictures he can keep and not keep in the home.

Honestly, I don't get the big to-do about pictures of an ex. If the relationship is truly over, you know it, picture or no pictures.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

I think maybe you've identified the problem. *If the relationship is truly over.* I think there are a lot of divorced people out there who still have their own needs met by their relationship with their ex, beyond just caring for their mutual kids. Whether it's positive needs (enmeshment and feeling "needed"), or negative needs (attention via constant fighting.) some people are just control freaks, but i think in a lot of cases, something smells off. It puts you on the defensive. But maybe i'm projecting. 

tog redux's picture

Right - to me, this seems like it's not really about "pictures". If I felt DH was still enmeshed with BM, he could display all the dang pictures he wanted, because I'd be gone.

ldvilen's picture

If that is how you feel, then I'd suggest you get the photos out that you, like the OP, have put away or are on your DH's computer, and frame them and place them throughout your household.  Sounds like that will make everyone happy, and that is your choice ro make.  Just as the OP and her DH get to make their choice together.  If the DH complained in the beginning then went along with it, that was both of them making that choice.  It is rare for any couple to be on the exact same page with everything.  There is always one giving in a little more on this deal, while the other one gives in a little more on another deal.  

Again, don't know why those rules have to change as soon as the word SM enters the picture, and suddenly, SM is an evil be.atch controlling DH's every move regarding his past.  How dare she!

tog redux's picture

That's not what I'm saying - I'm saying that it doesn't bother me that he has those pictures in his computer or in an album. May I ask why it bothers you that it doesn't bother me?  Why am I not allowed to NOT be bothered by pictures just because other people are? I'm an SM, too.

I'm not saying to put them on the wall or even in an album in the living room. I'm saying that I don't see why they have be destroyed or given away and not boxed up in a basement somewhere if that's what he wants? I don't know if he agreed, she presents it as she told him that's what he's doing and that's that.

NoBigDeal's picture

What I said is the photos he has he can box up store away somewhere.   Or give the couples ones to the kids.  As for photos of them as a couple sitting around the family room in an easily accessible album is ( sorry a hell no).  If he desires to go backwards down memory lane I can help him get there up front close and personal. This ex trys to come between us.  Curses me worse than a sailor.  Wants him back.  Nope I WILL NOT BE REMINDED OF HER IN MY OWN HOME!!!    If THAT LIFE WAS SO GOOD THEN GO BACK AND GET YOU SOME. 

My DH was enmeshed and codependent,  getting that stuff boxed up was part of his "letting go of the past".   

Like Rags said "we dont worship at first family alter".  Those BAGS stay outside. 

As for letting her get to me is wrong line if thought.  I sent her a message.  You see she thought she was dealing with someone who wouldn't confront her.  No one in her entire world ever stood up to her.  She emailed me and DH death threats, I filed a police report within 5 minutes of receiving it.  She got  a visit from police.   Sending back the items a message,  (we aren't playing this "let's be friends bullcrap").  Shes a narcissist.  We went ABSOLUTELY NO CONTACT WITH HER!  Guess what........IT WORKED.

Kids are 23 and 29....parenting over....No need for anything bio ever in my ears again.   Shes poison.

tog redux's picture

 Does your DH get any say in what happens in his world or do you just tell him what he will be doing in regard to these issues? Mailing something back isn't going no contact, it's playing her game with her.

I'm not suggesting you put them on the walls or in an album in the living room. Your prior post sounded like you demanded they all be gotten rid of, now you are saying something different.


Sandybeaches's picture

" HIS feelings matter too.  If he wants to hang on to them, he should be able to."

You think that he or any man or woman should be able to hang pictures of themselves with their former spouse in their new home with their new spouse? 

Also sending the package back was not playing a game with her, it was letting her know that it was unwanted and that she was causing an issue.  If BM had an ounce of maturity and her original intention had been pure than, she would realize she was causing a problem for her ex with his wife.  Where does BM get off sending a gift and not expecting to get it handed back to her?  

If OP had thrown it away or ignored it then BM would have gotten the message that it was ok.  Sending it back sent BM the message it is clearly not ok and not  a necessary part of being a parent only with your ex-spouse!!!!!!

still learning's picture

Best solution would have been to sell whatever it was on Ebay or Facebook marketplace and tag BM in it Lol Yep, keep sending us more free inventory!  

Sandybeaches's picture

another option that would have sent the right mesage and made for entertainment as well!!

Rumplestiltskin's picture

I think it depends on the situation, whether or not it's a problem. If my SO and his ex had clear boundaries and clearly separate lives, i doubt i would have the issues i have with her, seeing as they were enmeshed and i have had to fight constantly for my place in his life. At this point, anything involving her gives me a visceral reaction. I would honestly prefer she didn't exist, as she does nothing positive as far as i can see. Sucks up resources, constantly seeks attention, and will not keep a schedule or reliably even care for her kids. 

I have dated a guy in the past who was divorced with children, and i didn't have anything resembling the problem i have with this one. That BM, however, was an actual parent to her children, reliably kept them on her designated time (50/50) and they had clearly separated their lives. I didn't feel the need to "defend" against her.

I get what the OP is saying, in that her feelings matter. If she feels a need to defend her marriage against this woman, maybe there is a good reason. Maybe there isn't and she's just crazy, but i think even "crazy" behavior can be situational and even provoked. 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Also to add, sending the package back was likely giving BM the attention she craved. Tossing it is what i would have done. 

NoBigDeal's picture

Yes shes toxic trouble MAKER.   I wont accept her poison in my life.  When the family home was sold she called (Pre-block)  and cussed my DH said..."I need some help moving.  This house is full of shi......t...You need to help me.....smh....divorced at that time 3 years, he had moved out his stuff 4 years prior.   She expected him to move her....blocked her after that.  Plus the text....your my only friend.....I love you.....I miss you.....Pick up your damn phone when I call you......Your new wife won't work.....You bank with that cun....t....


Rumplestiltskin's picture

You mentioned the kids are 23 and 29. I'm assuming they don't live with you. I agree that she should not be a presence that disrupts your life regularly. Your husband is the one with the power to make this happen. He has to want to. I am divorced with kids and nobody had to tell me to set limits with my ex, and we have one child who is still a minor. Even when i wasn't dating anyone. If he tries to insert himself unnecessarily, i gray rock him. But i want to fully separate and even when i was single, i didn't meet any of my emotional needs by talking to him or dealing with him.

My current SO, well, he was enmeshed with his ex in a very dysfunctional relationship that involved her and his entire family. Much drama and everyone was calling everyone every day with some kind of drama. It's been a long hard road to get my SO separated from her. I still wonder sometimes if i let up, and let go, what will happen? I'm slowly realizing that i can't control this situation. My SO has to want it too. I'm trying like hell to sit back and trust that he knows my boundaries and knows how i feel. I believe that letting go is the only way to really see what he will do, what he wants to do. If that isn't congruent with the relationship i want, i will know what to do.

I feel for you. It's hell. Good luck and remember to take care of yourself.

MurphysLaw's picture

I'm curious as to why you fight for a "man" that clearly does NOT care or love you?

NoBigDeal's picture

I'm not fighting for a man.

I'm pushing out a toxic woman ex.

Helping the MAN who does love me recover from being abused by a toxic woman.  He has grown leaps and bounds and is developing boundaries slowly. 

To bad two imperfect people fell in love right.  We could  fall into the 60% divorce rate or be in the 40% success  rate.  I choose 40%.

Rags's picture

I am surprising myself with this comment  but... the feelings of the adult partners must be recognized and cared about by both partners.. and the kids feelings should be considered and discussed as well.  Though no behaviors detrimental to the adult relationship or the new family should be tolerated from anyone in the mix.


NoBigDeal's picture

You nailed it.  

The ex behavior is toxic to everyone not just us.  

My DH understands about the photos now.  Or at least respects my feelings enough to have put them away.  That's growth.  

I don't do things I know bother him and I'm only asking for that same respect.   Mutual respect. I didn't ask him to throw photos out, only store away. 

shamds's picture

her pics have no place in her home. My husband doesn’t have any pics of exwife and was done with her in the divorce.. he thought the ex had destroyed them all because she claimed that. Reality was she kept them and had eldest ss23 at the time bombard hubby with sp-called happy pics whilst still married to exwife (there were no happy pics and hubby looked miserable being married to the ex).

skid can keep pics of bio mum in bio mum’s home. There needs to be respect of boundaries here and bio mum should not have a place in exhusbands home just as stepmum or bio dad would in bio mums home

lets face it, majority of divorces have ex couples not on amicable terms. Faking it for the sake of kids is bs!!

Harry's picture

BM and BF were lovers,  They can not be friends.  They have to discuss thing about the kids.  But that it.  That marriage and friendship ended.  Expecially when a new partner, lover, is involved. No gifts, no making the ex happy. No happy family things.

Its hard enough for the new partner to deal with the old baggage as it is,  there is no need to create new baggage.

i really think, except for the few crazy here! That the divorce couples would love to play happy family every now and again.  Sunday family dinner,  vacation together, long talks.  But the new partner alswsy gets its for the kids line, that we know is just bull. It seams like they wanted one life with the ex  but a different life with you. 


MissTexas's picture

they've all been horrible people.

The fact remains that is HIS PAST, I AM HIS FUTURE. They are only pictures on sheets of paper. I have the man in the flesh, day in and day out. I know at times we want to wish it all away and forget they have a past, but they do, and so do we. I have photo albums of my ex, with kids and all the places we have lived, pets, kids at Halloween and Christmas etc. Those were fun times. Do I long to go back and relive them? Do I look at them daily pining for my ex? NO! I am living in the here and now. They are merely a timeline of a life once lived, as are DH's photos.

Sometimes when I have been to funerals or visitations and the deceased was remarried, I have seen only photos of the deceased with THEIR CURRENT spouse/kids etc. Sometimes the photos, or snapshots of thier lives begin at birth, go through school age, college, marriage, kids, remarriage etc. It is up to the person to decide what to keep or toss. It is not up to US to make that decision.

If we are truly standing in a place of respect and comfortable in our own skin, then it is not one spouse's  decision to decide for for the other what to get rid of/store away etc. . Do I want them displayed in my house? No. But most photos that are in albums came before the digital age and are not replacable. Out of respect for DH I don't make him get rid of the photos, or demand they get sent back to BM. I embrace his past because (even though they have been horrible to me, they are  imprinted in his mind and heart, so if I forced them to go away, he can still mentally picture them, and even though he is an enmeshed divorce guilted daddy) all of those events were contibutors to make him the person I fell in love with. If those had not existed, and he  had not divorced BM, then he would never have become MY husband. We have made a lifetime of  new and fun memories together, and yes, many of those are memorialized in photos. The photos are personal property and I get to decide what to do with MY personal property, just as DH also gets that choice.

still learning's picture

All of DH's first family pics are in a bin in a musty room in the basement and at the bottom of a closet collecting dust.  It's never been an issue to us because he's never tried to hang them up or shove them in my face. First family would go each year and get a HUGE famiy portrait, 20x30 inches or something like that.  BM left them all behind for DH and didn't take them. She also left the plastic part and ribbons of her wedding bouquet and a few other personal items in a display case in the living room that were caked in dust by the time I moved in. I like a clean organized space so the bouquet and her other items were discussed. I told DH that they can't be displayed out here and asked what he wanted to do with them.  He said he'd call her and ask if she wanted them back. I reminded DH that it's been 10 years and if she'd really missed her stuff she would have retreived it. Besides, she's moved on and probably didn't want an old dusty piece of plastic reminding her of her first mistake. DH grabbed all the items and tossed them in the trash.  

I really wish DH would make digital copies of all the huge photos and drop all the hard copies in frames at her door.  But it's not my place to tell him how to arrange items from his past.  As long as they stay dust covered in a dark place it's good for now. 

strugglingSM's picture

A couple of years ago, at pick-up for visitation, BM gave DH a box of items that included all of their family photo frames, with pictures of just SSs or SSs with BM removed (so basically, the only pictures left in the multi-picture frames were DH, BM, and kids). She also gave DH their wedding video. He threw them all in the trash. He has photos from family photo shoots that are just him and SSs or just SSs and some of those are displayed in our home. MIL had a large framed photo from DH and BM's engagement. DH told me that if MIL ever tried to bring it over to the house he would burn it. Despite the obvious, it was also a terrible photo of them. DH weighed a couple hundred pounds more than he does now and BM weighed at least a hundred pounds more. 

NoBigDeal's picture

Yes indeed there are a few crazies commenting.

First off I didn't throw out anything.  Second my skids are adults one homeless the other living with BM, jobless.   Tge photos on his s phone were seen when buying nea phones about  4 months in and discussed in counseling.  He removed  them.   He visited his kids  7 months in without  me and brought back a family photo album that BM had JUST CREATED that were 90%  of her and DH sucking face.  That's the photos I want put away.   

Its not that he already had them, it's that she hand selected them for him as a STAB IN THE BACK TO ME.   

I have 2 dead spouse's that I was HAPPILY MARRIED TO until I I burried them.  I gave those stored away.  There gone, that was then.  SAME THING FOR DIVORCE. 

Its over,  done, those bags stay outside.  Some suggest there are underlying issues.   Hell yes there are, bm text me cursing me, threatened to kill us both on record with the police,  called and texted nonstop until she was blocked. 

I WILL NOT VIEW  THAT FACE IN MY HOME even if it is just an image on paper.  I dont want that IMAGE reminding me 6if the HELL SHE CAUSED ME.  

And yes DH followed the counseling advice.  All behind us now.  I posted about  photos because it was a problem  on many other people's blogs. So I weighed in on my story.

If the topic ever comes up again  like hes sent old memorabilia from storage etc, etc, that's when THE COUNSELOR SAID KEEP THE KIDS, AND COUPLES PHOTOS GO PACKAGED TO TO THE KIDS.  Dont bring into the new marriage home any new memorabilia.  If you don't already have it you dont need to deal with it.

Let it go.  

ESMOD's picture

When the facts are laid out that these kids are adults..and not living in your home.. there is zero reason for those pictures to be in your home.  I presumed that when you were talking about the Kid's room.. you were talking about minor children.. 

Of course, I would have also just culled through the pics.. (or my DH would have) to pick out special ones of his kids and then just shipped the rest off to his kids if they wanted them. if not.. tossed.

My perspective was that if you have a minor child who has visitation in your home.. that having a picture of their other parent displayed when they are there IN THEIR ROOM.. shouldn't be a huge issue.  Clearly when the kids have grown up and moved out.. there isn't going to be any pics of their other parent in the home.. that would be weird.  When they are a minor.. their dad could be putting the pic away when they are gone.. and dealing with cleaning the room while they are there if the kids aren't doing it.. no reason for SM to be faced with the pic.