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Photo up or photo down?

(11 Posts)
StableButDeluded Mon 20-Jun-11 01:44:08

I just thought I'd ask this as reading the other thread about the separated guy still having a photo of his ex up made me think of it.

Last year my husband, son and I went to have a studio portrait session & one of the photos we had was a lovely one of the three of us with our arms round each other looking really happy. We had this as a large black & white photo and put it up in pride of place in the living room. I absolutely loved it and used to think that if my house was on fire and I could only save one thing (apart from the cat & family, obviously!) that would be it.

So on to April this year and my husband announces he wants to separate. I was devastated. He moved out a month later, taking all the photos with him and our son in- and leaving any with me in behind. I left the large photo up because although it made me a bit sad, I was kind of used to it being there and I thought my 5-year-old would ask where it has gone.

Anyway, this week husband has told me he is seeing someone else already, he met her only a week moving out. This has absolutely devastated me all over again, I don't quite know why because I knew he wasn't going to come back. But suddenly I absolutely hate that photo and can't bear to look at it, I feel like I can't even have it in the house. I did actually take it down and put it outside, but something made me bring it back in, thought I had to hide it in the spare room. I've put a different picture up where it used to be.

Am I being really weird feeling like this over a photo? And should I ignore my feelings and leave it up for the sake of DS? Will a 5-year-old even notice something like that?

DS has not been home since I took it down as he's been staying with his dad.

Awomancalledhorse Mon 20-Jun-11 01:52:12

Would your DS like to have it in his room?
You could ask him to 'look after it' for a while, because it's important & he's such a grown up boy!

I don't think you're acting weirdly over it. I couldn't bear to look at photos of a certain ex of mine once we split up.

shelscrape Mon 20-Jun-11 01:52:13

i can understand your actions in taking the photo down with it being in such a priminent position. However, I would caution against removing all pictures of your ex from the house as your DS is so young. No matter how your ex has behaved towards you, he is still the father of your DS. What about putting the picture up in your DS's room and getting a picture of you and DS in the sitting room?

garlicnutter Mon 20-Jun-11 11:05:36

Put it in the back of a cupboard. DS might like to have it when he grows up and gets his own place.

I understand your indecision - it's not irrational! I've still got a few photos of me with Xs - I chucked & deleted most of them, but kept the ones I'm fondest of. They are part of my history, after all, the woman in the pictures is me smile

Just don't want to look at them on a regular basis!

Anniegetyourgun Mon 20-Jun-11 11:12:42

He wanted to separate out of the blue and then is seeing someone else he met a week after moving out... oh come on, pull the other one. If she wasn't the reason he wanted to move out in the first place I'll eat my much-misused hat. He may or may not be telling a sort of truth depending on his definition of "met".

StableButDeluded Tue 21-Jun-11 01:40:49

Ok, I decided to put the picture up in our small second living room. It's a room I don't spend much time in, but DS likes playing in there and spends time on the Wii in there-so it's still there for him to see and I can cope with it being in there as it's not so prominant.

For Annie, when he told me about OW last week I did immediately wonder if he'd started seeing her before we separated, but I honestly don't think so. I didn't make it clear in my OP that relationship wasn't perfect as I have suffered with depression and anxiety attacks for several years (since i had PND when DS was born).
H has always tried to be supportive but found it increasingly hard to cope with me being very clingy & irrational sometimes. We had a very bad Xmas because of an exceptionally bad & prolonged anxiety attack and I think it was the last straw for him. He said as much when he told me he wanted to part.

I suppose I was devastated because although i knew things weren't ideal, we've been together for 20 years and I never really thought it would come to this. In that sense it isn't really out of the blue-it's just we've always got through things before.

He swears to me that he only met her through an informal work thing the week after he left, and they've only been for a couple of drinks in the last couple of weeks. I'm pretty sure there's no way he was seeing her before he left because there was absolutely no deviation from his usual routine-no extra nights out, no 'working late', no extra-long work lunches. If he was out it was always with who he said he would be with. I just kind of know he's telling the truth.

I do think it was just really bad timing that he met someone he liked so soon, and very bad judgement on his part to think I needed to know about her right now. He says he just felt he had to be honest with me, and although i felt like screaming at him 'Are you mad?!' it is kind of what I would expect of him when I think about it. It's very 'him' IYSWIM.

Anyway, hard though it is (I've spent most of last week depressed & in bed) I think it's been a wake up call. It's forced me to acknowledge he really won't be coming back so maybe it's best to happen now, rather than later. Today I made an appointment with Relate to get some counselling to help me deal with the separation.So that's one positive thing I've managed to do. Apart from putting the picture back up, of course smile

Renaissance227 Wed 22-Jun-11 15:58:25

I'm sorry but he met her through a work thing?! So they work together? and you still think it was just bad timing and he met her one week after moving out?
I know you are in a bad place right now but please don't start believing lies.
What were his reasons for moving out in the first place?

StableButDeluded Wed 22-Jun-11 18:10:21

They don't technically work together as in sharing the same room and seeing each other all day every day, but they are in the same building. There's about four hundred staff. On another floor to him. He's in IT, his job involves going to different teams & departments throughout the day, so he gets to see a lot of people, but he doesn't really know them all, IYSWIM. He doesn't even know the names of most of them.

When I asked him had he met her before he left, he said obviously he's seen her around the office but he didn't know her. Then there was this social club do which had been arranged ages in advance, he went with a mate from work & got chatting to her there, and they got on really well.

His reasons for wanting to leave is that he can't cope any more with my anxiety problems & the knock-on problems & stress it causes with work when he has to leave earlier than normal at the or stay home to take care of DS. He hates the unpredictability of never knowing if I'm gonna ring up and ask him to come home, or stop him on the way to work to say stay and take our son to school,cos I'm too anxious to face going out.
And the arguments and bad feeling that follow because he gets so stressed with me that I feel like I'm being blamed for having an illness and I go on the defensive & get nasty with him.

He says I make him feel sad, stressed and unhappy.

I know this has been a problem since DS was born 5 years ago, we went to Relate last year and things did improve for a while but we gradually stopped acting on the (very good) advice Relate gave us, we slipped back into the old negative pattern, and since the rubbish Christmas we have argued more about it. I just didn't know he had got to the point that he wanted to go.

timehealsall Thu 23-Jun-11 00:26:52

Hey stable

Your post has really struck a chord with me, big hugs, must be horrendous time for you.

So random thoughts:

1. Think it's very admirable that you acknowledge your illness and it's part in what's happening. Learning and understanding your responsibility in a realtionship split is a really constructive way of turning a bad thing into a good thing for the future I think and sometimes quite easy to run from.

2. Good work on the photo, those momentos of better times can be painful, so think keeping it somewhere your DS can see it still is admirable too

3. Don't beat yourself up too much about "driving your DH away". People do suffer from mental illnesses, it's very real and it's very horrible. Quite often people who don't suffer don't seem to understand how debilitating it really can be. In a way that's not their fault because it must be difficult to understand. Maybe your DH is one of those people - sounds a bit like he may have been if he's talking about the stress it causes him, I mean who tells someone with an easy to understand physical illness that they're causing them stress? Imagine someone asked to collect their DS from school by a partner with a broken leg telling them it's making their working life difficult!? If that is the case, painful as it is, maybe you're better off without that added pressure to "get better".

4. I hope you can find whatever way suits you to move forward with your illness.

5. What others have said about "new interest" from work. He may work on a different floor and a big office and he may not have "known" her before you split. But how do you define "known". I'd bet a lot of money that there would have been a bit of flirting and familiarity between them when he was doing IT things near her desk before you split and probably even more before he moved out - quite possibly nothing too damning, but maybe enough for him to feel he might have options and act a a catalyst. I really hope that's not too upsetting, but I never buy people splitting up with long term partners and then moving on to start seeing work colleagues shortly afterwards as being purely co-incidental. It's lovely that you don't want to think a bit worse of him but it could be waste of that loveliness ifyswim.

Anyway good luck and look after yourself.

SoloIsAHotCougar Thu 23-Jun-11 00:36:04

It's a natural feeling that you are experiencing IMO/E. I took all Dd's father's photo's down too, but I fully intend to put one up of the three of us at some point. I have a very small one up of Ds, me and his father, so that Ds has that as a 'thing' to look at if he wants to.
Perhaps you should put that photo in your Ds's room as his parents are the people he loves most and he is with them in it? It's hard though and I totally understand what you are feeling.

Wisedupwoman Thu 23-Jun-11 07:30:51

We had one of those portraits hanging in the main room. My DD took it down herself just after she discovered her D had continued to lie to her about where he's living (with the OW). She's much older than your DS though, but I asked her beforehand whether she wanted to put it in her room.

Our portrait is no longer in the house. The only thing that stops me binning it is that two of the tryptics are either of DD or DD and us all together.

Difficult one. Ask your DS what he wants, a 5 year old can tell you that.

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