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Widow - aibi

(13 Posts)
FedupofTurkey Fri 28-Feb-14 22:23:42

Hubby has photo of bereaved ex-wife in wallet , but not me, aibu to be peeved. He hasn 't a pic of me to put in anyway, but still .....

brdgrl Fri 28-Feb-14 22:50:23

Sorry, I want to be sure I have understood. Do you mean that your DH is a widower and has a photo of his First Wife in his wallet, but not of you?

How long have you been together, and why does he not have a photo of you?

I am married to a widower, too. x

brdgrl Fri 28-Feb-14 22:53:31

Ah, sorry - I have been away from MN lately, but I see you have posted before. I'll try to catch up on your backstory!

FedupofTurkey Sat 01-Mar-14 07:22:39

Thats right, he says he hasn't one of me which he hasn't. We've been together 4 years. Added complication is how do I say I know he has a pic and it hurts sad

daisychain01 Sat 01-Mar-14 08:05:17

Hi fedup I can see why you would feel upset if your DH doesnt have a photo of you but has one of his late wife in his wallet. But there is another side....being widowed and getting together with another partner is complex

I can only tell you my experience of this.

I lost my DH very suddenly some years ago. We were very close, married 3 years, and it was the toughest experience of my life. I am lucky enough to have met a lovely man to share my life with. He has been amazingly magnanimous and understanding about my late DH. He doesn't mind me mentioning him or having photos of him, but I am very careful because I don't want to risk him misreading the situation I want my partner to feel that I love him. He knows I will never forget my late DH but i want him to have confidence in our love. Maybe your DH hasnt thought about this, or maybe he is torn. Widowhood is full of conflicting emotions, trying to cope - and that can go on for life not just the immediate period of bereavement.

I know it must be difficult for you knowing he doesnt have a photo of you, but if you can understand it from your DHs POV it will make it less upsetting for you. His late DW is someone he has loved in his life, you have enabled him to rebuild his life, orobably after he may have thought he would never find love again. You are his present and his future. His late DW can only ever be his past. Thats how I feel about my DP, I am so lucky to have another chance for love and happiness with him, when my dreams had been ripped to shreds after losing my late DH. I count my blessings and I bet your DH does too!

There are things you can do to make the situation better. Why not get a nice photo of yourself or maybe of you both and ask him if he would to put it in his wallet. Also, can you talk openly to him and tell him how you feel. Be supportive about his late DWs photo, you aren't expecting him to remove all signs of her, but it would mean so much to you if he has a photo of you as well.

Think about this positively, what a lovely DH you have who is still true to the memory of the woman he loved and lost. Imagine if he had lost you instead and feel comfort in the fact he has capacity for love and loyalty. You can use that in such a positive way in your relationship with him. He has moved forward by marrying you, I think he sounds like he is a person with strong values. You are important to him even without the photo. Get the photo sorted and it will feel better!

I have made some assumptions on your situation, but I hope this helps.

brdgrl its lovely to see you back smile

FedupofTurkey Sat 01-Mar-14 08:08:39

Daisy - that is a lovely post. I was thinking the best way to approach it would be to sort a photo myself smile

daisychain01 Sat 01-Mar-14 08:35:39

Glad it helps. I am sure your DH will be very touched by your action.

lunar1 Sat 01-Mar-14 08:47:04

I have a picture if my first husband in my purse. Dh knows it is there, I don't have any out in the house and I don't have a picture of my dh in my purse. It doesn't say anything about my marriage.

What is says to me is that my first husband was a huge part if my life and helped make me the person I am today. I don't even have my childrens picture in there, I just see it as a small way to show my respect and keep the memories. Dh doesn't mind at all but I wouldn't change it if he did. He knew who I was when we married. It is hidden though, nobody can see it when I open my purse.

nocontactforevermore Sat 01-Mar-14 10:23:58

What a lovely post daisy

brdgrl Mon 03-Mar-14 14:15:24

Daisy, that's a lovely post, I think that is what I strive to understand about my DH/First Wife. (and thanks, I am glad to be back, got too overwhelmed by RL!)

OP, if you don't mind my asking...what is the rest of your life and relationship like, in this regard? I mean, do you feel like the wife and the 'lady of the house' in other respects?

I struggled with dating a widower at first, but I don't anymore. (Don't get me wrong, there are still issues around being a stepmum to kids who lost their mum, and lots of frustrations about decisions they made 'back then' which have had repercussions on us now - but that emotional turmoil has receded.) I think one thing is that I came to a decision pretty early on in our relationship that I wasn't going to 'make allowances' about the way my partner treated me.

That might sound harsh, but I'll try to explain what I mean. I decided that I deserved to be with someone who treated me like his #1, the Love of His Life, someone precious and not to be taken for granted. As I see it, that's what every one of us is entitled to in a relationship, and I wasn't going to settle for any less. So treating me shabbily because he was having a bad day, or because he was sad, or because it was complicated with his friends or family - that wasn't going to be OK with me. If he was moody, I left him to it, I didn't hang about to make myself miserable or try to be his counselor. If he tried to make me his therapist, I stopped him. I respected his past, and expected him to respect mine. I try to respect his feelings, but he has to have as much respect for mine. If he wasn't ready for a relationship of equals, then he wasn't ready for me.

On photos - He had a photo of First Wife as his phone wallpaper when we were first dating. That was fine - I didn't love it, obviously, but I figured I coudl deal with it. He was with her for a long time, and he loved her, and it took nothing away from me or our relationship. But by the time we were married, he'd moved that photo from his wallpaper, to (like lunar's photo in her purse) somewhere less prominent. In our home now, she is the kids' mother, and she is the woman he used to be married to - but I am his wife. There are photos of her in our home - but the only wedding photo on display (apart from in the kids' rooms) is our own.

LyndaCartersBigPants Mon 03-Mar-14 14:44:42

Not a widower, but my DP had photos of his ex around the house when we first met. It just hadn't occurred to him to take them down as they were family pics with him and the DCs in too and he just got used to having them around.

To me it seemed that he was clinging onto his ex, the family image he had of them all, whereas actually it was more of a DIY issue - it wasn't a big enough deal for him to take the pics down and leave empty spaces or have to dig out other photos to go in the frames.

Once he realised it was a problem for me he was of course very obliging, moving them into the DCs' rooms and putting others in the living room.

I have since found a wedding photo of me and ex that I missed when clearing away the admittedly very few photos of us from my house. He likes to jokingly point that out to me occasionally, but I don't think it really bothers him.

3 years on that photo is still on the shelf, not because I particularly like it, or have any attachment to XH, but because that's where it always was and I can't be arsed to find another photo for that frame!

With the added complication of still loving someone when a relationship hasn't broken down, I can imagine it being even harder to make the decision to remove someone's photo. It may be that it hasn't occurred to him, or it could be that he would feel disloyal removing the photo of his ex. I think it's a bit sad that after 4 years he still doesn't have one of you though hmm

I agree that you should give him a photo and say that it would mean a lot if he kept that with him as well, that you don't expect to replace her (although I'm ashamed to say, I would hope that he would blush ) and that you accept that he will always love her, but it's hard feeling like you haven't reached the same 'status' yet.

thesecowsaresmallthosearefaraw Thu 13-Mar-14 21:04:14

These words are important. "So treating me shabbily because he was having a bad day, or because he was sad, or because it was complicated with his friends or family - that wasn't going to be OK with me."

FedupofTurkey Sat 15-Mar-14 10:09:53

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