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about DH 40th birthday photo album in which I don't appear...?

(159 Posts)
Mothproof Tue 26-Feb-13 10:32:29

Regular, but have namechanged for my first AIBU, in case the Mn judgement is that I am being unbelievably petty. This is long, as I'm still a bit stunned, but to sum up, AIBU to be hurt and baffled by a 40th birthday photo album of my DH's life, in which I am almost entirely absent?

My DH turned 40 recently, and when his parents came to visit, his mother produced a big photo album she had had professionally made up (engraved leather cover, glossy paper etc) of montages of photos from my DH's life. (They've done similar for significant birthdays of all of the family.)

My MiL showed it to me first before giving it to DH, as he was at work - I thought it was a lovely idea, and said so. So there we were sitting on the sofa, leafing through the album, and I'm cooing over his baby photos and his cub scout award photos etc and as we got towards the student years - which is when DH and I got together, now over 20 years ago - I made a joky remark about being apprehensive about what I was going to look like when I started appearing in the photos, as I had this mad head of henna'ed hair as a student and some horrifying paisley shirts.

So I was mildly relieved not to see myself in the first few pages of student photos, but then thought it was odd I wasn't in any of the graduation photos, as we had been together two years by then, graduated in the same ceremony, and his family knew me well. It went out of my head fairly quickly, though, until I gradually realised I wasn't in any of the photos - not in our MA conferring (again, was in the same graduating ceremony), not at his 21st birthday, not at his PhD conferring, not at family weddings, PiLs wedding anniversary party, not in snaps from two holidays we took with PiL, not in ones from a ski holiday we took with friends, where the only photos are of him solo or with the other two.

It got totally surreal - I was honestly wondering whether I only imagined I had been there on all these occasions! I featured in five group shots - student class photos, a survivors' ball photo etc, and the third last page of the album consisted of three photos of us as a couple, all - oddly - from about eighteen or nineteen years ago.

But, as we had a baby last spring, our first, I thought I would surely feature there - no. There is a lovely photo of DH snuggling our newborn DS in hosiptal, four photos of DH and DS, and a couple of DS solo. End of album.

At this point, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, and said something light-hearted like 'Oh, it looks as if DH had a baby by himself', but MiL clearly didn't get what I meant.

AIBU to be so hurt at appearing in 8 photos out of 400 plus, especially not in any of the baby photos? I thought I had a reasonably good relationship with MiL, assuming it was she who collected the photos (it's not my gentle, passive, FiL's kind of thing), and I have been her DS's partner, latterly wife, for 20 years, and am the mother of her youngest grandchild. Now I can't stop wondering whether this is malicious (I've always worked to maintain a cordial relationship, but we're very different people, and she has vocally disapproved of our decision to not have a big wedding and baptise our baby) or whether it simply didn't occur to her that I was an important figure in her DS's life, because I hadn't done what her other DiLs do, which is marry young and have a large family in their twenties.

I keep imagining her going through the hundreds of photos of family occasions and choosing the ones I'm not in. Again, how do you overlook a newborn baby's mother, even if the baby is the child of your adored youngest DS?

I'll never bring it up, but AIBU or being stupidly over-sensitive? Or can you think of any other explanation?

memphis83 Wed 13-Mar-13 11:38:33

My exmil had a wall of family photos, bil had split with his wife after she cheated on him but she kept the wedding picture, was very awkward when he visited with his new gf but mil informed us that until he was remarried and she could replace picture with a new wedding picture it would stay on the wall.
I have been split with him for 12 years and am soon to be remarried but I have heard that my face is still on that wall eventhough they hate me!

Frootloopz Wed 13-Mar-13 11:28:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Frootloopz Wed 13-Mar-13 11:26:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tanith Wed 13-Mar-13 07:10:40

For spectacularly missing the point, Flatbread, I think you really win hands down!

What a silly assumption to make, too! FYI, even though I don't have many photos, I have 3 displayed of my MIL in my house.

quietlysuggests Fri 01-Mar-13 15:43:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

eccentrica Wed 27-Feb-13 23:03:21

Not too long ago, we arrived at my in-laws to see that MIL had put up a photo of herself, her mother (DP's gran who died a couple of years ago) and DP's ex-wife in pride of place on the kitchen dresser.

Just a crappy blurred snapshot, not even a nice pic.she was shocked that we were upset. Apparently she hadn't even realised, she just liked the pic of her mum... Uh huh. I'm sure in 90+ years that was the only decent shot.

God knows why they do it. I think mine has,never got over the fact that DP has ended up with a woman (me) who is even tougher and more hard headed than her! Ex wife was very young (as was DP ) and vulnerable and willing to go along with whatever MIL wanted.

flatbread Wed 27-Feb-13 22:11:24

To all of you complaining about your mil not having your photos in their house.

Well, how many photos of your mil do you have in your house? None...? grin

So why are you complaining?

Tanith Wed 27-Feb-13 20:50:26

My MIL is like this. She has photos all over the walls, of all her family, obscure cousins I've never met, even complete strangers because she likes those particular photos.
She loves the trophy ones, school photos, graduations, family parties, weddings.
I do not appear in a single photo. I am not even in the photo of our wedding: she chose the one with her immediate family and DH.
There are loads of photos of our son. There are barely any of our daughter.

I pointed it out once and once only to DH, then left it. Up to her if she wants to show herself as mean-spirited to every visitor who walks through her door.

exoticfruits Wed 27-Feb-13 19:01:44

Probably the best option-keep the high ground by not commenting or appearing to notice and put it in the back of a cupboard.

Terranova Wed 27-Feb-13 17:41:17

I would stash it away somewhere dark and forget about it.

I've a mil on the same wave length, she will never get over the fact that her darling son didn't marry his 1st fiancée, he instead dumped her and married me.

The children & I wernt even invited to her 'suprise' 60th on new years eve, the invitation came to just my husband. He Ofcourse was unable to attend as we had already accepted an invitation spend the night with friends. (if it had been any other night, I think he would of gone!)

It makes me realy sad, as she is the root of every argument.

exoticfruits Wed 27-Feb-13 16:42:20

In that case -DH could give it back and say 'this is so nice, I would like you to keep it as a record of my life but we are going to use the idea to create on of our life as a couple and a family.'
I think it is up to DH to tackle it-however he wants-but he should be the one to do it.

FryOneFatManic Wed 27-Feb-13 09:36:40

bound pages, obviously.....

FryOneFatManic Wed 27-Feb-13 09:36:18

I would leave it to DH. Get a second album and spread the photos out and he can intersperse with ones that should have been there. All he then needs to say was 'thanks for the album, it was a lovely thought-it was a shame that you were short of a lot of photos that I really love and so I have added to it'. There isn't anything she can say to that.

I read a post saying the album is more of a glossy book with the photos printed on boud pages, so you'd not be able to add extra photos.

Imaginethat Wed 27-Feb-13 09:01:15

Very hurtful. Why o why?!

If it helps at all my own mother has photos of my siblings but none of me. None. I sent her one once and she replied saying the scenery looked nice.

HollyBerryBush Wed 27-Feb-13 07:46:29

Dhs godfather did a book for Dhs 40th. We'd been married 10 years and had three children. None of us got a mention. There was a passing reference to DHs exwife. hmm

Book was funny as fuck though, all in prose. But it was about DHs and Godfathers times together at many many sporting events.

ajandjjmum Wed 27-Feb-13 00:18:09

Or what about a lovely family photograph with your family, including your DP, and you can refer to your much treasured family portrait.
Then MIL can see how it feels to be left out.
But of course, that would be terribly childish, and I would never condone that! grin
And maybe a Christmas card saying 'To dear FIL and his wife'.
Clearly time I went to bed!!!

exoticfruits Tue 26-Feb-13 22:34:34

It is much the best idea hermione - if DH tells her in a friendly, 'what a shame you missed these' there is nothing she can say without admitting it was deliberate.

hermioneweasley Tue 26-Feb-13 21:52:12

I like the idea of taking it apart and redoing it with the pictures that should be there.

MarthasHarbour Tue 26-Feb-13 21:47:25

Also I-could go on forever here DH and I got a card from FIL and StepMIL one christmas which said on the front 'To our darling son - and his wife'

hmm grin

<smile and wave boys - smile and wave>

MarthasHarbour Tue 26-Feb-13 21:45:25

My DM was a single mother shock when she met my (Step) Dad. I was 2. Her MIL to be was a bit cats bum mouth about it (it was 1975) but they rubbed along ok. Now i come to think about it there were no photos of my DM in the house, but loads of the rest of the family.

I remember my nan once saying to me 'yes when your dad came home and introduced me to this divorced woman with a child i was horrified - but then i saw you looking cute and thought it would be ok.'

Oh right thanks nan hmm my DM still gets twitchy about that one! grin

oh and by the way OP = YANBU = you are in fact very dignified smile more-than i would be

Squeakygate Tue 26-Feb-13 21:07:24

This is something my bitch of a mil would do. asks me to take family pictures of her, my dh and dc. Never photographs me or has photos up of me.
I repay the gesture in exactly the same way. petty but makes me feel better blush

WhereYouLeftIt Tue 26-Feb-13 20:52:12

My MIL has three photographs of DH on display - I am in all of them.

EuphemiaLennox Tue 26-Feb-13 20:47:37

Yes these MILs who put up photos of their own children rather than their DILs are quite clearly bonkers.

quietlysuggests Tue 26-Feb-13 20:27:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WhereYouLeftIt Tue 26-Feb-13 20:21:31

shock Anna1976.

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