Living in the home she used to own...

Beck - posted on 02/25/2009 ( 20 moms have responded )

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I'm not sure if I have brought this question up before but do you get used to the fact your husband had a family before you with a wife and kids etc? I know when i got into the relationship he was previously married and all that and had a child with her but I seem to now be having a few issues with it. It doesn't help that my step son and my bio daughter currently share a room and he has a picture of him and his mum and dad up in the room with my husbands arm around his ex wives waist. I mean is there a point to that picture they broke up and divorced long before he could ever remember. To make me feel worse the wedding photos are still on the bookshelf with our family photos. Should I be understanding in the fact this was a part of his life before me and obviously significant but I will always feel she still has a place in this house for as long as they are there.

Should I insist on getting them put away into a box and out in the shed where my stepson can have the choice to keep them one day? Is it fair to bring this back on him when he is older that his mum and dad were happily married and obviously something went wrong and now their lives are very different and will never be together. Is that opening things to be troubled for him later on or am i just being paranoid? I keep fearing he is gong to one day think that he should have his own mum and dad together and he will resent me for it. I think there I am being paranoid but I can't help it.

In short how much do you hide away and how do you deal with what's there? I really don't know if I can live in this house with all this stuff around to remind me of what used to be here. I don't know what's worse... living in a house feeling like there will always be anther womans mark or not having my husband around.

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Heather - posted on 03/07/2009

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I would take those photos, and make a nice album for your stepchild to keep. He should have them always, WITHOUT you having to look at them daily.



Talk to your hubby - be honest, and just talk about how it makes you feel. If he can't agree, or doesn't support you, dig out a photo of you and your ex and put it beside your bed - see how HE likes it! (LOLOLOL)



I had the same thing at my in-laws house - a great big family photo including the ex in the living room staring at me every time I went there. I got a new photo made, and gave it to them, explaining quite honestly that it made me uncomfortable. You know what? IT HAD NEVER OCCURRED TO THEM! They were completely unaware of how I felt, and apologized. The photo was put away, and the new one in place.



It sounds stupid, but people just don't think about it most of the time.....a simple thing that makes our lives easier

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Medusapain69 - posted on 03/04/2009

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This subject is so sensitve, and does get even more complicated when extra things like ex step daughters are thrown into the mix! My Partners ex gave him a picture of their son with her two new babies (who obviously have nothing to do with my partner) Which i thought was a bit weird, but it doesnt bother me. Its amazing how so many people hae the same sort of situation!

Danielle - posted on 03/04/2009

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I haven't read the rest of the replies, so this is directed at the original post.

When I moved in with my husband, he still had photographs of his son and his ex-step-daughter (bio mom's other child) all over the house. He also had pictures of him and his ex in the house for his son to see. My stepson was only 3 years old at the time. For the first few months, I left it how it was. However, after we were married and found out we were expecting a baby of our own, I approached my husband and rather firmly told him that I wanted the pictures down so we would have room to put up picture of OUR family - including his son. Since then, we have left 1-2 pictures in my stepson's room of he and his other sister. The photographs of my husband and his ex were put into an envelope and into a box with some of my stepson's baby things, for him to have when he is older.

My husband still has photos of my stepson and his other sister at his office, and that part bothers me. I feel like he should have pictures of us as a family there, not his "old" family. I'm planning to get pictures once the baby is born and giving them to him to replace the others. I know he has a special place in his heart for his ex-step-daughter, he was her step father from her being aged 4 to age 9 and of course he still cares for her. But I didn't want to explain to people coming into MY home that the photographs were of my husband's ex-wife's daughter. He was rather understanding about it, so long as I let a couple remain for my stepson when he is here. I'm also not objected to having a photograph of the bio-mom in my stepson's bedroom, so long as it is of her and my SS or her and his step-father, not my ex and her.

Laura - posted on 03/04/2009

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I was in a similar situation.  When I met my husban he had just gone through his divorce and has joint custody of his daughter.  He was the one who removed pictures from around the house if she was in them.   When I moved in and started to find these pictures all over the house in drawers and boxes I asked him if it was ok for me to make a photo album for his daughter with all these pictures and keep it in her room.  He liked the idea and now his daughter can go to the album whenever she wants to.  He  was also the one to explain to her when we were getting married that I was not going to take her mothers place and that he was not going to love her any less because of this.  I feel that my relationship with her is good now because she did not have to resent me for making her mom disappear from her life in our house.  In the beggining I also made many changes in the house to make it our home and included my husband and step-daughter in making decisions.  I painted the kitchen, bought new dishes, changed curtains, moved furniture around, and put up my pictures.  We have since completely rehabbed the house so now it really does NOT look like the old place.

Sherri - posted on 03/02/2009

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Beck - I complained once to a friend of mine about feeling like 'second choice' when I married my husband.  she just looked at me and said, he's not married to her anymore - he's married to you!  Doesn't take away all the wishing she didn't exist, but it is a reminder that your man is where he wants to be and that we're all guilty of those relationships in our past where we shake our heads and wonder what we were thinking!  You hubby sounds like he adores you and is in your court here - don't be hesitant to ask that the wedding photos go.  I believe that marriage is about the husband and wife - and there's no longer a husband and wife other than the 2 of you.  It's not about being fair - its about catering to how you feel!  It's okay, you give yourself to your husband, your children and your stepson - so take something for yourself if you need to.



PS I love the pic of you and your husband!  My hubby had a vasectomy when he was married and as a result we never had any kids together (I'm okay with it now) - so I look at your pic with a bit of envy and a lot of happiness for you.

Beck - posted on 03/02/2009

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Quoting Sherri:



I think it is completely  reasonable for you to have your step kids place their pictures of mom and dad in an album or special box - but they should not be out with your family pics or out where you have to look at them.  It is not only that it disrespects and hurts you - it allows the children to live in a fantasy land that no longer exists.






The wedding photos go in the garbage as far as I'm concerned - marriage is about 2 people - not the children at all!  The only marriage is yours now.  The family pictures with the kids are theirs to keep - because family is about the people in your life that you love and that love you.  But put them where you don't have to see them!  Your husband needs a swift kick!  Sorry, but I want to go through your house myself and get rid of the wedding photos!






As for the house - if it isn't reasonable to sell and move - redecorate!  My sister lives in her hubby's home that he shared with the ex and she just added her own things - it was way cheaper than selling and buying for them.  I personally couldn't live in the exe's home, but I'm not as brave as you are!





When I moved in I really had no choice but to live there, we could not and deffinately still cannot afford to buy a new house. We are though doing renovations and eventually almost doubling the size of the house with new bedrooms. I have not had the wedding photos of them out in public view they were all in albums on the book shelf and in the bottom of the wardrobe where my husband didn't need to see them. The ones in the wardrobe are long gone but we just put the others and some holiday photos in a box and are putting them away for my ss when he can decide if he wants them. I have no issue with my husband having the holiday photos I just don't really want them there where I could look at them. He has his shed where he can keep all that sort of stuff and so he doesn't have to lose those memories as there are some great things he did that holiday with her its just she is in the picture. I also believe the wedding photos shouldn't need to stay around but I am a bit spilt on whether thats fair. I hate them, I absolutely hate them, with a passion! I don't like her though I have no real reason to I just do not like her. She took my ss out fr tea the other night on the day we were supposed to pick him up from school as they got dates mixed up and I had a nice tea prepare for him as it was his coming home day and she ruined it by taking him for takeaway!!!! I was so upset my husband was really mad as she stole our time with him. Now she organised his birthday party on a Saturday so we have to cancel a trip to see my family because of that. 



I have a baby due in 11 weeks and I get so annoyed when she says how cute my one year old is. I don't want her to have anything to do with my kids yet I have so much to do with hers.



I have now been living in the house they bought together longer than she ever did but I still don't like it as she helped pick the house in the first place. thats what bothers me more i think. We still need to give some furniture back to her parents that is still here but we're getting there. I have told him I do not want to live here forever as its not the house we chose together and he is completely understanding of that so we will eventually get a new house together with the kids and it will be ours :)

Beck - posted on 03/02/2009

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Quoting Maxine:

This is a huge subject and i understand how you feel! My partner and i live with our daughter in the house he shared with his ex, and my daughter and his son with his ex also share a room. His son was also too young to remember his mom and dad being together. I think you should allow him to have his photo of his mom and dad together, it is sad for him that he knows his mom and dad will never be together, especially as he see's his sister does have her mom and dad together. However, perhaps you should look into getting the two kids their own rooms, its not healthy for boys and girls to share a room as they get older, and having their own space will be good, especially if the brother has a photo of their daddy holding another lady on his wall.



We are removing the photo from their room. My husband agrees he doesnt like it either so we have decided to get individual photos of him and his mum and him and his dad to have in his room. As for the fact they are sharing they have no where else to go. We have two bedrooms. They have to share for the time being but we are sorting ourselves out and he will have his own space soon. We have another due in 11 weeks so we are getting our stuff sorted and my SS will have his own room and the two babies will share til we can afford new rooms on the house which might be a while yet

Sherri - posted on 03/01/2009

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Quoting Abby:



The pictures would drive me crazy!! There are still images up in my inlaws house of my husband and his ex.  They have been apaert for 3 years and I can honostly tell you it turns my stomacj every time I see them, But in my house? NO WAY!  Not even in his room!  I'm am very glad your husband and you were able to get things worked out with the images ina way that works for both of you.






As far as livining in "her" house.  I'm there too.  They biult this house together and now it is mine.  At first it bugged me alot but the more I painted and moved things around the more it helped.  Every once in awhile (after almost 2 years) I still feel like it is hers, not for any good reason but still.  I have painted everyroom (except bathrooms) and moved the bed in the bed room so it looks different.  All I can say is move things.  Swap the furniture from one room to another, little things made a big difference for me.






Good luck! The joy of your children should make it all worth while!



 



My mother in law destroyed all the pics of her ex-daughter in law (left my hubby for the guy she was sleeping with) - thank goodness, because I couldn't even go over there!  Your MIL needs to show you more respect than that.





 

Sherri - posted on 03/01/2009

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Wedding photos?  Completely innapropriate.  When I moved in with my hubby, I cleaned up all the belongings (pictures, wedding video, etc.) and put them in a box.  That box went to his former mother in law to save for the children when they are older.  My SD has pics of her mom in her room, along with a pic of me and her at my wedding with her dad.  My SS doesn't have any pics.  Each kid has a photo album of their own with pictures of their parents and family pictures when they were together.  That album is in with the rest of the albums in the bookcase.  I sat down with my step kids and their dad and my son one afternoon and we went through all the pictures - they told me stories, I told them stories, etc. and then I trained myself to never look at their personal albums again - because it is a bit hurtful to see my husband with another woman, especially one who hates me like the plague.  The kids can look at their albums any time they want (they rarely do).  Then I started our own family album with pics of our wedding, holidays, trips to the park, etc.



I think it is completely  reasonable for you to have your step kids place their pictures of mom and dad in an album or special box - but they should not be out with your family pics or out where you have to look at them.  It is not only that it disrespects and hurts you - it allows the children to live in a fantasy land that no longer exists.



The wedding photos go in the garbage as far as I'm concerned - marriage is about 2 people - not the children at all!  The only marriage is yours now.  The family pictures with the kids are theirs to keep - because family is about the people in your life that you love and that love you.  But put them where you don't have to see them!  Your husband needs a swift kick!  Sorry, but I want to go through your house myself and get rid of the wedding photos!



As for the house - if it isn't reasonable to sell and move - redecorate!  My sister lives in her hubby's home that he shared with the ex and she just added her own things - it was way cheaper than selling and buying for them.  I personally couldn't live in the exe's home, but I'm not as brave as you are!

Medusapain69 - posted on 02/28/2009

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This is a huge subject and i understand how you feel! My partner and i live with our daughter in the house he shared with his ex, and my daughter and his son with his ex also share a room. His son was also too young to remember his mom and dad being together. I think you should allow him to have his photo of his mom and dad together, it is sad for him that he knows his mom and dad will never be together, especially as he see's his sister does have her mom and dad together. However, perhaps you should look into getting the two kids their own rooms, its not healthy for boys and girls to share a room as they get older, and having their own space will be good, especially if the brother has a photo of their daddy holding another lady on his wall.

Though the wedding photos have to go! Its no longer her house, and that marriage no longer exists! its your family home and your family now! Rearrange the funiture, redecorate, change thigns around to your tatse, and remove the old relationship photos! Keep them for your step son to have later. Make your house your home!

Beck - posted on 02/28/2009

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Hey guys thank you so much for all the advice. It really helps with getting my head in the right place. I spoke to my husband again and found out I have now lived here longer than she ever did. It's a strange thought actually this is more mine than hers but its still the feeling it was hers and they bought the house together. I don't mind too much now as we have started renovations on the lounge room and that will be completely different plus since its only 2 bedroom now we are putting new rooms on eventually (its gonna take a while) so that will completely change the look of the house. Its very exciting. 



As for the photos we will put them all away just for the moment even the family photo in my SS bedroom as it is a shared room between him and his sister and I would prefer she didnt see a photo of her Daddy's arm around another woman everyday when my SS is only there to see it on weekends. When we have the new rooms he can have the photo back. We don't see there becoming a problem from him thinking that should be what its like. I still think it should be just individual photos but if he would prefer that one I guess I'll have to live with that.



I really appriciate everyones commments and keep them coming fif you want :) I will keep this open for anyone else who needs help as I know I am not the only one :)



 

Michelle - posted on 02/26/2009

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hey i moved into the home that was my partners with his ex too. i agree with what tara said. it's important the kids are allowed to have photos of their parents and it should be encouraged, but wedding photos? nuh! we both have all our wedding photos put away for our respective kids, i think it is important for the kids to know that their parents did love each other once and because of that they are here.And yes it should be thier choice whether or not they want them, i actually still have my wedding and engagement rings put away, my daughter knows they are there and that they are hers now, she loves that.But put them away maybe include the kids in creating a memory box for them.Talk to him about it. It is natural for the kids to still want their parents to be together too no matter their age or how long it's been. My daughter wants us all to live in the same house! :-) i tell her i understand how she feels but you know that not the way things are.
i learnt to find a way to be ok with the fact that they will always love the other parent. It doesn't mean they love me any less. They can love us all.

oh the other thing we are slowly doing if you can afford it is to repaint the inside. It is the quickest and least expensive way to make it feel more like your home, and change things like curtains to as you can afford it. It really does make a difference to the look and the feel of the home, put out lots of your special and personal things too, your own photos, photos of you and the family etc. And we allowed the kid to choose their own colours(within reason) for their rooms so they feel part of the change and don't resent what you are doing to their home. hope this helps.
good luck

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Hello hon, Yeah I agree that the pictures in the room I would almost try to forget they are there but not take them away. Anywhere else I would save them for him when he gets older. The only thing I can suggest is if you are tierd of seeing things around the house that remind you of them while they were together. Well talk to the hubby and ask if you can have a yard sale. Ask him if he would mind saving the money from the sale and you two go shopping together for the new things in your lives. I went through that part in the begining and thats what we did. I either sold it in the sale or donated it and eventually replaced everything, Take the hubby to home depot and change the colors of your walls. It makes for a fun weekend too. I just had to realize one day that he was mine and not hers any longer and we would eventually be making memories of our own with things we got together. Weather that be the lime green paint you buy and paint your walls with and change your mind a month down the road because you know green was just not the right color for ANY wall. SOrry that is one memory hubby and I share that we still joke to each other about.



 



I commend the hubby for listening to your point of view on the pictures. KUDDOS hubby. I am sure if you talk to him about making your own memories then he will be happy.

[deleted account]

Hello hon, Yeah I agree that the pictures in the room I would almost try to forget they are there but not take them away. Anywhere else I would save them for him when he gets older. The only thing I can suggest is if you are tierd of seeing things around the house that remind you of them while they were together. Well talk to the hubby and ask if you can have a yard sale. Ask him if he would mind saving the money from the sale and you two go shopping together for the new things in your lives. I went through that part in the begining and thats what we did. I either sold it in the sale or donated it and eventually replaced everything, Take the hubby to home depot and change the colors of your walls. It makes for a fun weekend too. I just had to realize one day that he was mine and not hers any longer and we would eventually be making memories of our own with things we got together. Weather that be the lime green paint you buy and paint your walls with and change your mind a month down the road because you know green was just not the right color for ANY wall. SOrry that is one memory hubby and I share that we still joke to each other about.



 



I commend the hubby for listening to your point of view on the pictures. KUDDOS hubby. I am sure if you talk to him about making your own memories then he will be happy.

Casey - posted on 02/26/2009

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I would talk to your husband about it. When I made mention of the fact that it bothered me my husband agreed to put away the photos. He still has them for his kids but they are in a box in the basement. The kids have a small photo album that holds around 20 pictures and they keep it at our house. He took the pictures down before I moved in. I wouldn't ask him to dispose of anything but someday his son would probably like those pictures. At that time I'm sure he will be old enough to know that things just weren't ment to be. At some point in every child's life (with divorced parents), they wish they had their parents together but they get over it evenutally. My stepkids blamed me for over a year that their parents are divorced. Finally two years later they don't blame me. It's rough. We also moved out of the house that "they" owned a little over a year ago and it made things a lot easier!!

Tara Lee - posted on 02/26/2009

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I'm glad things worked out for you...I also think the other PP have good ideas about the house...



 

Abby - posted on 02/26/2009

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The pictures would drive me crazy!! There are still images up in my inlaws house of my husband and his ex.  They have been apaert for 3 years and I can honostly tell you it turns my stomacj every time I see them, But in my house? NO WAY!  Not even in his room!  I'm am very glad your husband and you were able to get things worked out with the images ina way that works for both of you.



As far as livining in "her" house.  I'm there too.  They biult this house together and now it is mine.  At first it bugged me alot but the more I painted and moved things around the more it helped.  Every once in awhile (after almost 2 years) I still feel like it is hers, not for any good reason but still.  I have painted everyroom (except bathrooms) and moved the bed in the bed room so it looks different.  All I can say is move things.  Swap the furniture from one room to another, little things made a big difference for me.



Good luck! The joy of your children should make it all worth while!

Kerri - posted on 02/26/2009

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Beck,  Maybe you could start a hope-chest for your stepson for  things like wedding photos, holiday photos, etc.  Later in life, he will most likely thank you for holding onto these photos for him.    It might be 30 years from now but he will be sooo thankful one day to have these photos!



I can understand where you are coming from on the house.  I have never personally had to deal with it but do have friends who have encountered this problem.  My only suggestion would be to do the best you can to make the house yours.  New furniture, new paint, new window treatments, even change rooms around if you can.  If money is an issue then start with the small stuff like paint, curtains, etc.  Slowly remove and replace the things that cause you anxiety or make you feel less ownership. 



I hope some of this is helpful to you!  Good luck!

Beck - posted on 02/26/2009

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Thanks Tara, luckily the photos aren't actually out they are in photos albums etc. I spoke to my husband when he got home today and we are putting the photos and stuff away in the shed for my ss when he is older. There are also holiday shots from when they were together of the theme parks and he wants to keep them so I asked if they could go in the shed too as that is his space where he keeps all those things and he was quite happy to do that too. Its good he was extremely understanding of it and said the only reason they are all still there is because he just doesnt want to deal with it as he is over it all. 

Tara Lee - posted on 02/25/2009

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Talk to your husband. Tell him how you feel. The picture in your SS room, I would just live with, but wedding pictures(or any other pic with her in it) around the house...NO WAY...This would be unexceptable. Your husband should not expect you to have to see these everyday(at all).  Ask him how he would feel if  you put out pictures of you and your ex. I would keep the pictures in a safe place for you SS, should he want them later(when he moves out, at like 19). They have to understand that it is your home now, not hers. If this is a real problem, and it is posible, talk to your husband about moving to a new home, for a fresh start for your family.



I just know, I would have a HUGE problem with this ... I hope everything works out for you ... Good Luck !!

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