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How are you handling family photos?

learningtofeel posted 10/16/2020 10:44 AM

Because I wanted it done right, I agreed to take on the job of duplicating the framed photos of our kids so that we can each have a copy. So far so good.

But here's my question: how have you chosen to handle family portraits that the X is in? I am trying to decide if I want a copy or not. On the one hand, they are photos that are part of my kids' history and are sometimes really lovely portraits - one was professionally done for my mother-in-law as a gift. On the other hand, I look at them now and just want to draw on his forehead the number of affairs he had had by the time this or that photo was taken. I could just give all those to him - he would never know whether or not I had made myself a copy.

Also my bridal portrait - it's a beautiful photo and it's one of the photos I really like of myself. I do not want to display it but just keeping it in a box seems dumb too. I'm trying to do a better job of not just keeping a bunch of stuff in boxes that someone else will have to deal with years from now. What to do?

I am curious what you all have decided or any suggestions you have.

hcsv posted 10/16/2020 11:19 AM

I have kept them, however not displaying anything with him in it. He didnt take or request any pictures when he left, not even any of the kids. He literally walked away from the last 40 years of memories.

We started dating in High school. One of my very favorite collages I made was our senior portraits and the senior portraits of each of the kids. The whole family at age 17. I LOVE it, but am no longer displaying it and that pisses me off.

99problems posted 10/16/2020 12:15 PM

I will not wake up in MY house to see a picture of stbxw's vapid face staring at me.
I have removed any photo with her in it. They will reside in a box for my daughter to look at some day if she wants to.
My space cannot and will not be defiled by her.
That's just me, of course, but I will not be held hostage by a broken husk of a marriage any longer.
This is my life and I can, and will, live it the way I need to.
Just my 2 pence.

EllieKMAS posted 10/16/2020 12:18 PM

I would just save any photos of him for your kids if they want them, as he is part of their history. Likewise with your wedding photos. It's okay for you not to display any of his photos anymore.

Maybe try a digital photo frame and upload all the photos into it you want to keep?

learningtofeel posted 10/16/2020 13:32 PM

Thank you everyone! I like the idea of storing photos for the kids to choose about later. That seems like a worthwhile reason to store. I'm definitely not going to have a photo displayed that includes X or even my wedding portrait.

Westway posted 10/16/2020 13:53 PM

I downloaded all the pics off my computers and put them on flash drives and gave them to my STBXWW. I also gave her the old framed photos of us from the 1990s.

I kept only the pics of me and my daughters and flushed the rest.

Phoenix1 posted 10/16/2020 15:30 PM

I am in the very slow process of digitizing all print photos (have hundreds of varying sizes). I will be sharing full set with kids (they're adults) and they can do whatever they want with their copy. My copy will be stored away.

I already had duplicates of most print photos (from back in the day when printing was the norm). I threw them in a box, all mixed up (daughter eagerly assisted), along with a thumb drive of all digital pics in random order with no sensible names. The digital pics included scanned copies of portraits as I wasn't about to waste my printer ink or photo paper on his copies. I would bet money he hasn't touched that box after I gave it to him, and I wasn't about to waste my time putting them in any sensible order. That's his problem.

My print copies, OTOH, are in nice neat chronological order, waiting to be scanned. Once I finish digitizing them, I will ask kids if they want any. Otherwise, I am going to burn them all. The pics I cherish are already framed and hanging up. Besides, I still always have the digital version, if I need it. I'm tired of hanging onto heavy, storage hog photo albums that no one ever looks at. This has been on my purge list for a while now, just low in priority.

crazyblindsided posted 10/16/2020 17:38 PM

I will not wake up in MY house to see a picture of stbxw's vapid face staring at me.

Same I want no reminders of him anywhere in my peace palace.

LadyG posted 10/16/2020 19:35 PM

I moved out so I took them all. There was no time for sorting.

I removed all from the walls downstairs except our very large framed wedding portraits and a family portrait which hangs outside our old bedroom. I want him to remove the wedding portraits as he ended our marriage. He hates walking past these in the hall but keeps them up anyway.

Justsomeguy posted 10/17/2020 10:29 AM

I kept one small framed wedding photo. It is in a drawer. The rest, they are with my STBXWW. I'm planning on going through my phone and putting photos in a folder for my kids. Many of them are from the time she was in the A, so the memory is tainted for me. Funny, I can't look back on any of the pre A years with fondness. It's like the A has retroactively stained those, all 25 of them.

Even the language I use is intended to increase distance between us. I never use her name. She is always the EX or your mother, when speaking to the girls. Even mom is too intimate and endearing to use. I doubt that will ever change as the after effects of her A will continue to resonate for the rest of my life. Maybe it's just my way of being indifferent. Who knows.

99problems posted 10/17/2020 15:27 PM

Yep, I call her "your mom" (To my kid)or "the alleged person"(to others) when referring to her.
A light speed-capable spaceship wouldn't be able to put enough space between us for me.

barcher144 posted 10/20/2020 07:59 AM

how have you chosen to handle family portraits that the X is in?

This is intended to be funny. It may or may not be. You have been warned.

At Christmas, I noticed that my mother, who hates my STBXWW, still had a photo of my entire family up in her den.

Upon closer inspection, however, she had removed the photo, cut STBXW's face out of the photo, and put the picture back into the frame.

That's bitter, my friends.

Gottagetthrough posted 10/20/2020 08:52 AM

Not for me, but my sister who also had a husband who cheated. My parents kept the pictures they had and sister kept her album. We are thankful because there are many pics of family in there whoís passed away. I have a photo in my home of one of those with loved ones who arenít here any longer.

I donít expect my sister to ever display pics like that, however, he wasnít my husband and I didnít feel that pain, so the pic (heís not in it, itís only my family) doesnít bring up bad memory like it might for her. She lives across the country so isnít likely to pop into my house where sheíd see it

learningtofeel posted 10/20/2020 09:29 AM

This thread has been really helpful. I appreciate reading all the different approaches. I have decided to give XWH whatever he's in that is just our family or includes his extended family. For the ones he's in that include my extended family I am going to box them up for later. Same with my bridal portrait and our wedding album. If the kids want any of them later on (they are young adults but not in a position to store anything) then they can make that decision then.

This week I took his Christmas stocking (the one my mom knitted for him with his name at the top like she has done for everyone in our family) to the Goodwill. I felt sadder for my mom than anyone, but hopefully some young person with that name will be delighted to have a handmade stocking.

katmandude54 posted 11/20/2020 19:53 PM

I went through ALL our photos, split them up, dividing the duplicates and just giving her ones that were just here and kids. Spent several weekends doing that but glad it's done.

learningtofeel posted 11/20/2020 20:52 PM

It seems meaningful that this post came back up today. I finally did the job of sorting the photos this week. I had tried once or twice in the past month, but just couldn't. Too much pain and anger. Too hard to look at the photos from over the years and at the same time note which AP was current at that time.

But one of my kids moved back home a few weeks ago and wanted to see their baby pics. So I braced myself and dove in.

I did as 99problems suggested and put all photos that had both of us in them in a box for the kids to decide on later, all taped up, clearly labeled, and now stored in the garage.

I put all photos of the kids with X in a bag and sent them over to his house.

Now, I still have to remove the remaining ones from their frames and have them duplicated. We will each get one copy and split the frames. I haven't quite done that yet, but I'm hoping to do it this weekend.

I decided to lean into the pain and anger and let it flow. The best way out is through.

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