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He keeps a picture of his dead wife and we are in a relationship.

Tagged as: Age differences, Dating, Family, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (31 March 2009) 17 Answers - (Newest, 20 April 2013)
A female United States age 26-29, *pringluv2 writes:

My boyfriend is 52 and I am 20. We have a newborn together but our relationship is unstable. Partly because I want us to live together, he lives on his own with his 2 sons one 26 and other 21. He said he told them that they had to leave when I was pregnant, I think he lied because they didn't leave and it's been 7 months. When I come to his house he keeps a picture of their deceased mom on his tv in his room. He doesn't have any pictures of me. He says he loves me but how can he, waking up looking at his deceased wife. I have told him about this but he hasn't removed it.

Should I end the relationship because I think he still talks about her, loves her and misses her from 30 years sgo or throw the picture away and explain why I did it?

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A female reader, Second Banana United States +, writes (20 April 2013):

Young age, or not, I know exactly how you feel!

And all of you who are giving her grief about this, have no idea how she feels! I lost my first husband, and have 1 little 5x7 wedding photo of us on a bookcase, in a cubby hole that's been sitting in the same spot for 22 years or more!

My now husband two weeks before we got married decided to pull out, and dust off 4 framed wedding photos with his deceased first wife and hang these very large photo's over the bay window in his living room!

It's been 3 years since we've been married, and you could not find 1 wedding photo of us in his home, but I have 3 of us hung up, in my living room, and one in a beautiful silver frame in the foyer.

The reason why we still have two households is because he's been dragging his feet about finishing work that's needed in order for us to move into his home!

But when his grandson was born last October, he had worked like a mad man on that house, so that his son and with his wife and baby could have a place to stay for the winter school Not to mention, his kids and his friends disrespect me and he does nothing about it!

The end of the story goes, I'm off to divorce court as I'm done with this!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (15 September 2010):

I am a widower that remarried way too soon (withthe benefit of hindsight), and likewise there is a child involved.

My wife was initially very patient with me, and after a while it grated and hurt her that I had this shrine in the garage with her ashes, that I rarely visited.

Likewise I grew resentful that she pushed hard for me to move on when I was not quite ready.

I rushed into marriage, and the rest of related responsibilities and when my wife told me she loved me, I felt guilty I did not feel the same way and hampered with grief, and felt pressured to respond alike.

Eventually I replied in anger to her saying she loved me, by saying I don't love you and I dont think I ever will. I don't think I meant the latter, but I was that angry, I dont recall saying it.

My advice is if he needs space, grant this to him, and perhaps get counselling to gather counselling resources to assist him through his grief. Encourage him to seek help. My first wife died after 8 years together, there would be a lot more baggage with 30 years of marriage.

Not to say age differences can make a lot of difference, but if my second wife was younger than the duration of my first marriage, it would be harder be pushed to move on from my first wife by the second wife.

My second wife initially was a lending ear and eventually did not want to be in that role. Until he has grieved, the relationship he has with you is only looking to go downhill.

Hope this is offers some better insight.

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A female reader, spankyzgurl United States +, writes (8 September 2010):

I am so glad that i read your question!! I am in a very similar situation myself right now. We have been together for more than 2 years and I have wondered how long it might take for him to put the pictures of her into albums instead of all over the coffee tables and mantles? I dont want to be disrespectful or insensitive but i feel alot of times like my thoughts and feelings do not matter to him at all. i have young children at home and he has a son with his deceased EXwife. I would love for us all to be a family and have a good life together now. But he doesnt want to discuss marriage or commitment to me, says that its disrespectful for him to think or want or consider having that with sumbody else after she died. i know that he loves her and i also know that he loves me too, so i like you do not know what the answer to this situation is. I do know that it is my job to give my children a normal family life and that if he doesnt want to participate in that with us and help provide some stability for his own son a well, then perhaps itd be better for us all iff i move on and leave him to continue his commitmment to her by himself. or with sumbody who can handle this better than i can???

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A male reader, mikefromms United States +, writes (12 May 2009):

Wow, that's a big difference in age. But love knows no age differences, I suppose. I do think maturity is an issue here. I lost my wife not long ago. It is the most devastating experience I've ever had, especially the first month. In the long run, divorce may be worse in all fairness, but it's tough.

I think the best think you could do for this man, if you really love him and want him to move on in a solid relationship with you is, first, encourage him to talk about her. Give him time to talk about her and be as interested as you can be. The more he talks about her the quicker he will heal. You do want him to heal and move on with you, right? If he feels he can't talk about her at all, he will hold on to her longer. Secondly, make it clear that you cannot replace her but you will and him will make your own life together and it can be wonderful. Believe me, this understanding will go a long ways. Thirdly, if you two get married, you should not live in the same house as he and his "deceased" not "ex" wife lived in and made all those memories together, and if his kids are grown, they need to hit the road jack. (In fact, I'm getting out of this house as soon as it is fesiable).

I think all of this is fair. If he can't come to do these things, he should pay child support or whatever you need to rear the child and move on with your life. But....discuss it at the right moment and give him a chance. You gave it a chance enough to have a child, and I believe a child is healthier emotionally and all around with a sound solid nuclear intact family.

Good luck young lady. You're having to grow up fast.

I wish you both much happiness.

Mikefromms--widower

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (22 April 2009):

I have been told i am a shadow wife my husband was married for 33 years and lost his wife in an accident. There are many pictures of his first wife here in there home when i see them i get jelious pretty silly isnt it. I then think to myself i am acting like a baby my husband loved his wife very much and still does. the second wife such as myself things run through our minds we cant help it it just does. I think the reason i get jelious is because he talks about her alot and says things like she use to do this and i cant tell you how many times i have to hear him tell people about him loosing his wife in my mind im thinking how many times do i have to hear this its suppost to be our time now. I dont like thinking like this and i get my feelings hurt alot i have gone and put flowers on her grave many times and helped my husband go through there family photos to put albums together for his adult kids this really hurt i had to leave a couple of times to go cry because here i am looking at this family that shared a good love why couldnt i have had that all these years.My husband is very good to his kids he does everything for them and i mean everything. I have tryed very hard to be nice to them even kissing there but because im new to this family. i was told by his son in law that i should get my own job making my own money i was also told they feeling i am reaping the rewards of her death. and was told i owe alot to her. when i met my husband i was working 3 jobs im not lazy . but he wants me to stay home so i do. i dont just sit around i do alot here.

unless youre in someones shoes its hard to say what to do. i know i feel hurt alot of times but i remind myself im his wife and he does miss her but before its all over with i hope that he will love me just as much as he did her

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A female reader, springluv2 United States +, writes (6 April 2009):

springluv2 is verified as being by the original poster of the question

I thank e veryone for their responses. I went over his house and he removed the pictures. He said he did it for me and I felt comfy. He said he was tired of me asking can he remove them.

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A female reader, westbahnhof Austria +, writes (3 April 2009):

WOW WOW WOW!! hold your horses girl wait!!! you are 20 he is 50 fir god's sake!! and for god's sake act mature girl!! you are not with a 20 year old guy like you!! this man has lived with that woman more than 26years, and you want him to remove all this history and the fruit of their love for some 2 to 5 year dating?!

if you wanna go out with this guy and make it work better start acting mature here... what pictures are you talking here? what house?!there are more important issues here than photos of you put in the house,,

number one, keep in mind you will never take the place of his ex wife

number two try to have some respect for him and his past, if you need respect back

three ask for marriage for god's sake! you have no idea how marriage can support you! in your future life!

all the best.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (1 April 2009):

i have a scenerio for you. what is your newborn dies and you have only had it a few months. i'm sure you love it more than anything else in this world. and your boyfriend is the babies father. and you have pics of it everywhere because you can't get over it not being here with you. and your boyfriend comes in one day and says i can't take the pain that i go through each day looking at the pics of our dead child. He wants you to put them away. WHAT WOULD YOU DO? would you put them away because he can't bear the pain to look at them, or would you say no that's our baby and she is gone forever. i can almost promise you that you would not put them away you love that baby to much and it would be very hard for you not to see her. now you think this guy was with his wife could have been his first wife for many years. he loved her very much they had a family together and a life together. seeing those pics of her is probably what keeps him going everyday. i no that looking at my dead mothers pic and my kids are the only thing that keeps me sane. no matter how much he loves you that is not going to keep him from thinking of her sometimes. and if you expect him to not think of her then you should probably move on with your life and your baby. don't put this guy in the ground because you don't accept his dead wifes pic. he will turn away from you alot faster if you start bashing this pic in his face everyday. YOU KNOW IT IS POSSIBLE FOR HIM TO LOVE YOU TO DEATH AND STILL THINK OF HER. SHE CAN'T HURT YOUR RELATIONSHIP.

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A female reader, eyeswideopen United States +, writes (31 March 2009):

eyeswideopen agony auntHe truly loved his wife and there's not a damn thing you can do about that. You have two choices as far as I can tell, either you ACCEPT the fact that he had a wonderful relationship with his wife and he morns her death and move on with your relationship knowing that you may or may not ever be able to totally replace his first wife in his heart OR you walk. But before you make your decision remember you decided to bring a child into this equation.

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A male reader, the_phoenic United Kingdom +, writes (31 March 2009):

it should cherish you that he keeps pictures of his decaesed wife,

becaused it simply shows devotion,and it doesnt mean that doesnt love you??

but it is realy hard and devistating for a decent man to loose a good wife, he well never forget her and he would glorify you if you spoke good about her infront of him

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (31 March 2009):

I would love ,if my husband would keep my picture on the wall,after I die. How sad is that? That you want to hurt his dead wife's dignity? Also. You are, soooo young, it is so wrong..But what ever.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (31 March 2009):

Well you're just a prime example of why everyone says large age-gap relationships don't work. Your comments are childish, totally immature. Buck the trend, prove everybody wrong - grow up and act like a mature, thoughtful adult instead of a spoilt, unfeeling little brat.

Good luck.

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A female reader, springluv2 United States +, writes (31 March 2009):

springluv2 is verified as being by the original poster of the question

I thank you all for responding and I am trying to accept the picture of his deceased wife. Its hard because I have strong feelings for him and he has strong feelings for her. I asked him why does he love me and he will never answer me. I've also choose not to go to his home because I feel offended.

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A male reader, Johndoe254 United States +, writes (31 March 2009):

He was probably with her awhile and it's almost like when I'm trying to have a good way to put it like when you have good memories with someone you cherish he's probably not over her death that's all don't make him get rid of it just like don't worry

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A reader, anonymous, writes (31 March 2009):

i completely understand how you feel. I kinda understand why that pic is still there. My mom died when i was 9 and my dad alway kept her pic up in the home. He began dating a woman moved in and distroyed my moms pic the first day she was there. i have hard feelins because of that with her. I would never throw that pic away. I think i would talk with him about it and let him know how you feel. It may be that he can give it to one of his older kids to keep. he really loved her and it is hard to let her go even after all this time. I haven't let my mom go and it has been this year will make 18 years. Please try to understand that this lady is gone and not going to return. My ex husband is 50 and i am 27 so i know how you feel in your heart. and we had two kids together. he had kids that were close to my age when we got married. you are very lucky if you can get him to forget his other family. my husband took his oldest daughter who is a wild child's side over mine, because i wanted to live decent. we are divorced now. I would think really hard about what you want to do. I am raising our 5 and 6 year old own my own, he don't help me at all. although when we got married we did without a lot of things so his older kids and mom could have. please make sure you are ready for a drastic move. everyone is not the same, but i have reason to believe they are similar. i still love him and he treats me like dirt in front of his teenage friends. good luck lady, take care of your baby. if you need me i am here.

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A female reader, bobbles32 Canada +, writes (31 March 2009):

bobbles32 agony auntWhoa Whoa Whoa, If you throw away a picture of his deceased wife then you might as well as consider that picture your relationship. You can't just go throwing someone's memories out .If it bothers you that much then ask him to move it. It's a peice of his life that he's never going to get back and because he wants to remember that time in his life doesn't mean he's any less comitted to you.

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A male reader, andrew loves hali United States +, writes (31 March 2009):

andrew loves hali agony auntdont freak out it must be hard for him i mean she died. dont end it cause of a picture and even if he still loves her its not like her can leave you for her.

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