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Sunday Confessional: They Won't Let Go of My Failed Marriage

Sunday Confessional: They Won't Let Go of My Failed Marriage

I got married too young, and unfortunately now find myself going through a divorce at 25. We both realized that we had more changing to do than we realized, and we grew apart. Obviously it's a tender situation, but it's fairly amicable. We still talk to each other, but it's on a very formal level. In fact, I'm getting back into dating — very casually.

In the time that my ex and I were dating and then married, he grew very close to my family, especially my parents. I was always very grateful for that, and I know that they've spoken to him since our separation to help him out with some financial questions. In fact, my parents have been extremely supportive and non-judgmental. The problem is, my mom still keeps up all of our wedding pictures. They line the halls and are in the living room and entryway of their house — I can't escape them.

At first I thought it was just because it was too soon, but now it's been nearly six months and she still won't remove them. I can't imagine ever bringing a new guy over to their house and have him face all of them. When I told my mom that she became completely upset and told me that I shouldn't even be thinking about new men. I'm beyond angry with her and I'm tempted to go in and take them down myself. I demanded that she remove them, but she wouldn't and now things are very awkward between us. Should I forgive her for this and let it go?


Join The Conversation
HayleyStark HayleyStark 9 years
Sorry, but it's your mother's house. She has the right to have them up, and you have the right to date other people. You've told her how you feel, but it still gives her the right to do what she wants in her house. Think about it- she probably wants you to stay together, those are her feelings but you shouldn't stay together just because that is what she wants. And she shouldn't take the pics down just because it is what you want. If she tries decorating YOUR place with those pics, that's a different story.
CallaLily CallaLily 9 years
Absolutely not; sure the divorce would be tough on your mom, but you're the one getting divorced, not her, and she's being completely selfish. She should be putting you first and be happy that you're doing well and moving on. You shouldn't even go over there until she takes that stuff down.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
"it's probably more of a case of her being proud of the wedding as opposed to the marriage, anyway." Um...isn't the point of a wedding a marriage? Or is it really just a big party now? I said "not forgive," but I really just mean "it's okay to be a little annoyed," this is a strange question for a forgive/not forgive post. Hopefully with time, the photos will come down, don't forget that your parents really DID consider him family, and the divorce is their loss too. I agree that you may have been more emotionally prepared for the divorce, and you also had a choice about it, you were in control of what happened and your parents weren't, which is probably frustrating for them. I see nothing wrong with you dating 6 months after the divorce, but as long as your parents feel this way, it will probably be pointless to take a new guy over anyway. Since I'm sure you're not planning on getting remarried anytime soon, this shouldn't a be a big deal. Let them know gently that you HAVE moved on, and then drop it for a while. And hey, if a year from now you are dating someone seriously, and they still haven't moved on and have those photos up it will probably be time to really ask them to take them down, or risk missing out because you won't bring the bf over.
vmruby vmruby 9 years
Nothing to forgive mom for and nothing for you to be upset with just yet..... Don't sweat the small stuff and wait until you are actually dating someone seriously before you make it an issue.Who knows? Maybe she'll end up liking your new guy so much that it will inspire her to take them down without being asked to.
geebers geebers 9 years
I read and re-read your post. It doesnt sound like you are really dating seriously- just casually. So until it gets serious, are you really going to bring a guy home to your parents?? And if and when it gets serious, don't you think it will take several months before you do bring him home? He will already be way into you and could care less about the pictures- especially since you would warn him right? By the time you are ready to bring the said guy home, it should be over a year since your divorce and by then you can bring up the picture issue casually. Your mother surely needs time- 6 months is NOT a long time. YOU had several months to get over this- you probably hit your parents with this recently and you should give them more time to come to terms with your divorce. I wonder if this situation is frustrating for you because perhaps it brings up memories or makes you feel like you "failed" at your marriage (or what not)and the pictures are an attack in your mind? If that is somewhat true, you will need respect your mother's wishes and recognize that is something that is your issue not hers.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
Forgive. I agree -- it's your parents home. They could put up whatever pics they want. It's their residence, not yours. I presume that the pics trigger some sensitive issues in you. Try to associate some positive feelings with those photos. Make peace with the pics, so when you see them, they won't upset you. Perhaps you can consider those photos like any pics of you in the past like high school pictures, prom pictures, etc. They simply document some previous chapter in your past -- a chapter that is closed, and you're currently in a new chapter. Just a thought.
Twinkle1 Twinkle1 9 years
My family went through a similar situation with my sister when she divorced after 3 years of marriage. He was a great guy and perfect for her, much better than any guy she has brought home or married and divorced since. Now that it is too late and husband #1 has moved on, she admits that she made a big mistake leaving him. Your mother is probably hoping that you will change your mind. Bringing up dating is crushing that dream for her. Give her some time to adjust and let her keep the pictures up in her house. It will probably be a while before they are ready to meet a new guy anyway.
Janine22 Janine22 9 years
It doesn't sound your parents have let go of this marriage yet, they were obviously very attached to your ex. Does your mom think that you guys should get back together? Is it possible that your ex has told her that he wants you back and she is holding out hope for this? In any case, if it were me, I would just say: My ex and I are not going to get back together, and it is a very painful thing that I am going through. Seeing pictures of our wedding every time I come to your house reminds me how hurt I am when I am trying so hard to get over it. You refusing to remove them hurts me because I feel like you don't understand what a difficult thing I am going through, and are not supporting me and my feelings. If you do not take the pictures down, then I will not be coming to your house anymore. I also will not be bringing any future bfs to your house either. I would hope she gets the picture if you say that to her. Good luck!
pink_magnetism pink_magnetism 9 years
I would just leave it for now. It's her house, so she can have the photos up if she wants. If, in the future, you start dating a guy and want to bring him over to your parents house to meet them, you can ask her again to take them down. But if she still wants them up, then you'll probably have to deal with it. It mgiht not be pleasant seeing all the wedding photos, but any guy who you bring over to meet your parents should know that you were married anyway.
maze1 maze1 9 years
You mentioned that you are going through a divorce. Has it been finalised legally? Like the old saying goes, you don't just marry your spouse, you marry the family. Your parents still see you together until you show them that it is all done on paper. If the ex is still speaking to your parents then they are not ready to let go of him either just yet, also explains why they don't accept you dating after 6 months. I would be investigating whether the ex is dating again or if he still holds a candle for you. I would forgive mum, she has to adjust to not having a son-in-law that she has bonded with. You invest alot of time and emotion into a relationship, and we forget that our parents do that as well when they welcome someone to the family.
Poster-of-a-Girl Poster-of-a-Girl 9 years
I can empathize with the OP, I'm a purger, I got rid of a lot of things after my relationship ended. Not EVERYTHING, obviously, since he was in family pictures and graduation pictures and all that, but I would be totally uncomfortable with like a wall dedicated to a dead relationship :P And besides.. when someone comes over to your mom's house and sees the pics and asks "Oh, your daughter is married?" what is she gonna say "She was, but they're divorced now..." I don't know, to me, that whole scenario is a little weird. I also don't think there is anything wrong with casually dating 6 months later. And I would forgive mom and try to work out a compromise.
petite42 petite42 9 years
I think it's important to keep in mind that you've likely had more time to adjust to the failing of the marriage than your mom. So do be patient with her. In the meantime, perhaps you can take some new pics of your ex, alone and even a few together with you (since you two are amicable), and offer them to your mom as replacements for the wedding photos? Let her know that it's okay with you, if she cares about him enough to see his mug on her wall. Obviously, she feels very fondly towards your ex. This gesture might let her put things into perspective: he's still part of the family, he's simply not married to you anymore. You two are still friendly enough to pose together in a new photo (sans wedding attire) - you're just not lovers anymore. It's either that, or enlist your ex to bring over his new girlfriend to meet your mom. Or (better) his new boyfriend! Your mom will get the message fast. ;-)
atablackbelt atablackbelt 9 years
I am divorced and for many of the same issues, the divorce was also amicable, my Ex and I are not best of friends, but we do speak. My parents are very traditional and it took them a very long time to get over my divorce, it was as if it was a slight to them...and they acted as if I was a horrible person and how dare I start dating six months after it...blah blah blah. But it was my life and I stuck to my guns, but to this day my parents still have wedding pics up in their home. Guess what? It doesn't bother me...Asia84 is right it was a happy time in my life and they loved him. He still comes to many family events and I have brought BF's to them as is part of being a grown up and realizing that it is their home and they can do as they choose. IMHO she should not harangue you about the breakup of your marriage, and if she isn't doing that...what do u care if she has a few pics up of your wedding in her house?
Le-Luxe Le-Luxe 9 years
She should respect your wishes. Enough said.
Advah Advah 9 years
This doesn't really sound like a "forgive" post to me, but more like a normal "help" post. Whether your mother agrees with your divorce or not, I feel it's not really her place to say anything now that you guys decided to get a divorce, in the same way that she shouldn't tell you you can't start dating already (or at least she can say it, but not yell at you for doing it). From my experience you can't judge a relationship unless you're in it. But I also understand she might have a hard time accepting the fact you're not with your ex anymore (esp if your parents really liked him), and she might simply be worried for you and expressing it the wrong way. You could have a talk with your parents and explain that, while you appreciate they're worried about you or are sad about your divorce, it's a difficult situation for you, and it would be easier if you for instance didn't have reminders like pictures on their walls. And if they don't agree, well maybe give them some time too, maybe don't discuss your dating life with your mum, stay a bit neutral and see how things go. I can't help thinking that, as a parent, it must be really difficult not to get involved and hurt in your child's divorce. And since you said they were very supportive at the beginning, it sounds to me like they're trying to help you but are still really sad about the whole situation, and don't always know how to deal with it.
girlfriday girlfriday 9 years
This isn't about pictures at all is it? I'm going to take a guess that your mom wants you and your ex to get back together. More than that, I am going to guess that you were the one who wanted out of the marriage and your mother is taking your ex's side. You're angry because she seems to be taking his side instead of supporting you when you need support. Did I get it right? Even if I didn't I know this isn't about photographs. You should sit down with her and have a heart to heart and suss all this out. Also to add to the fray above, I think it's fine for you to start dating. There are no time limits on when someone is ready to date again.
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
what if her mom is one of those people who have like a million and one pics all over the d*mn house??? i have an aunt like that. she has pics of old sl*ts my dad use to hook up with all over her walls. no one asked her to take them down. my mom has pics of me and old boyfriends all over the place, and she goes OUT OF HER WAY to show people. when she met Dan, she was showing him like it was no big deal . . .and he didn't care. it's not like there were pictures in MY place of old bf/fiances/etc. i dunno. i don't get upset over that stuff. and if the divorce was so say amicable, then why does these pics bring pain?? they were from a hapy period in the relationship. i dunno, some people are drama queens . . .going around telling folks what to do in THEIR house.
mlen mlen 9 years
well there is a difference between one picture and a ton i'm sure. i mean one pic of you on your wedding day is totally forgivable- i mean that was a happy occurance in her life, her daughter getting married. but an over excessive amount when you are in the middle of a divorce might be overkill. i'm going to go with the benefit of the doubt that you and your husband thought long and hard about the divorce and tried to work it out. that said, i believe you are with in your rights to ask for your mother to take some of them down. you might want to change your tactics though. as someone said above- just tell your mother it is a painful reminder to turn around and see wedding pictures in every room of your parents house. maybe ask that she keep them confined to her bedroom and maybe just place one or two in the open like one of you and your parents or something. that being said- any guy you date will know you are divorced so a pic or two shouldn't hurt. and if they are important enough to you to bring to your parents then just explain to the guy your mom isn't completely over your failed marriage. anyways- i vote fogive but address the situation again.
chicaparati17 chicaparati17 9 years
Ditto, nevaeh1978
kurniakasih kurniakasih 9 years
The bottom line: That's her house, if she wants them on the wall, on the mantel, etc, it's really her rights to do so. And it's your life, so it's up to you to DATE other man after you get a divorce and bring him home to meet your family AFTER you're sure. A friend of mine still kept a pic of her daughter's wedding day although her daughter has divorced that guy YEARS ago. And yes, she placed them in places visitors can see easily. And nope, the daughter isn't mad at mom for doing that. She still brings men she dates home to meet her mom and dad too. I think it's forgivable, eventually.
duck-duck-goose duck-duck-goose 9 years
Forgive your dear mother, absolutely. (You could even let her know that you've missed her during this period of awkwardness following the argument.) She wants what is best for you, but your life is your own and options are yours to choose (for better or worse). At twenty-five years you are no longer a young child. Gently explain to Mom (be sincere and considerate) how the images make you feel. Tell her you're uncomfortable, sad, and feel defeated when you look at them -- whatever, as long as it is the truth. Remind her of how much you love her and appreciate her good counsel, but inform her that you need to work things out for yourself, in your own way, including recovery from your divorce and future dating. If the photos bother you in a significant way, let Mom know that you may not be visiting the house very often for a while, until you've overcome all these unsavory feelings and bad associations with those photos -- but be *certain* to let her know that you don't want to put distance between the two of you. Tell her she's welcome at your place anytime, and make a date for a Mom & Daughter dinner within the following few weeks, so she has no reason to doubt you. Then, it is up to her to remove them according to her own wishes or keep them for as long as she pleases. It isn't your place to adjust things in Mom's house. Good luck!
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 9 years
Take them down yourself. Should this woman stop living her life just because others disagree with where it's going and what they think she should be doing with it? The marriage is no longer in tact, keeping relics of it wont bring it back. It will however show little respect for her and any prospect of new relationships. Letting it go might be tough, but holding onto it wont get you anywhere.
sarah_bellum sarah_bellum 9 years
No offense, but you sound a little self-involved. Where do you get off telling your mom what photos she can and can't hang in her own home? It's probably more of a case of her being proud of the wedding as opposed to the marriage, anyway. You said that your ex grew close to your parents, so hearing you talk about dating other men is probably a sore spot for your mother, since she obviously wanted things to work out between you two. That's hardly a reason to get angry with her. Sit down and tell your mother that it hurts to be reminded of your failed marriage every time you come over, but don't go "demanding" anything like some spoiled brat. Just try and make her see your side of the issue, and listen to hers.
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
That is HER house. she can do as she pleases with some silly-a*s photos. first off, who is THAT important that you're going to bring home to your parents THAT soon??? second, i'm not sure about how the whole marriage went down in the first place, and forgive my assumption but; if you went through this whole song and dance about why you two should get married sooo young, and you two love each other sooo much, blah blah blah (not every parent loves to hear that their young kid is getting married, regardless if the guy is nice). so they (your parents) made these adjustments and supported you choice . . . they love homeboy and just smiled and moved along. now you are gettting divorced and YOU want them to take down photos of a you and him getting married because you might bring home a Splackavelli ??? look, i understand you're feelings, but GET OVER IT! if you were to bring a guy over your parents house, wouldn't he know that you're a divorcee??? of course he's going to run across pics of you and the ex in the house. what about pics of you him and your parents on vacation in Maui? you want them to take that down too??? and since your parents are close to your ex-hubby, what's gonna happen for 4th of July and they have him over manning the barbecue pit??? are you going to ask them to NOT invite them because your new lover is coming???
michelle-c42934 michelle-c42934 9 years
Forgive. I'm confused, is this just about the photos? You seem quite angry, maybe this is something you both need to sit down and talk about together. But you should forgive her, maybe shes just really traditional and would prefer for your divorce to be finalised before you bring new men to meet her. Plus you probably look absolutely stunning in your wedding photos and she wants to show you off to her friends.
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