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Is it normal for husband to keep photos of ex-wife?

By Anonymous July 14, 2010 - 9:29am
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My husband keeps photos of his ex-wife of 13 years in our bedroom inside a closet where he keeps his important papers. I also saw some pics lying around which he reluctantly removed after I pointed out. He keeps all her other pics in the store inside a box. She cheated on him but he doesnt seem to overcome her feelings for her. He says he keeps the pics for the kids when they grow up.In that case why does he keep it so open? It hurts me. When I tell him that he feels I am not broad-minded and I am over-reacting to it. He's like its going to be there even if I like it or not. There are times when he gets emotional but he says its because of the kids. He tries to be nice to me and says he's forgotten her. But how do I believe him? Am I really over-reacting ?

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EmpowHER Guest

Perhaps you ought to ask yourself why did she end up unfaithful to him, his ex wife. A frequent reason is because a woman doesn't feel appreciated, acknowledged or has his full commitment. Hence his signs of regretting and hanging on to the ideal of her even if the ex is fully detatched from him now. His little weakness, not fully giving himself to what he has got, untill it is gone. The kid excuse, his evasions and your discomfort are real warning signs. When a guy has some photo albums covering his life, the ex in her time slot and straight comments about her like other past events indicating he's done with her by a general view (right or wrong) of how she didn't work out with him, there isn't an issue re an ex's pics.
I suggest you see a relationship counsellor for guidance in dealing with this issue' and him, that is if my hypothesis seems potentially plausible for your situation. This contains at the bottom of it all the problematic issue of a man who can't value what he has and keeps himself from totally committing to any present woman.

November 5, 2010 - 7:27pm
HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon

Thanks for your question and welcome!

Let's look at this two different ways: I think it's perfectly normal (whatever 'normal' is! ) for your husband to keep some photos of his ex. She is the mother of his children and they spent many years together. All persons going into second marriages need to accept that there have been marriages and often children before them. There will never be a blank slate for them, so to speak, when it comes to marriage and kids. And this is the way it should be. I'm glad he is holding onto some photos for his kids. The marriage may have failed but they will always be connected via their kids and their duty and love towards their kids always remains.

Now let's look at it a different way: as to having them out publicly - now this I feel differently about. I'm glad he took them down (I surprised he put them up in the first place!) and is now storing them properly. But it seems like he is storing them carelessly and they are found scattered about. This means he is messy (and that's all) or that he is spending time looking at them and thinking about his past. This may not be healthy. Either way, you can ask him to place these pictures in proper storage (away from home), where you don't stumble across them and have to deal with it all. That is not fair to you. He is married to you now - you need to be stumbling over pics of yourself!

By the way, does he have lots of pictures of you, too?

With regard to telling you that you "need to broadminded" - this doesn't sit well with me. He needs to be sensitive. Either he needs to go back to his past or just leave it there. You are a part of his present and future.

When you say he keeps " all of her other pics" in a box at the store, how many pictures in total are we talking here? This may be a little obsessive. And also let me know how long you have been married. Was the divorce from her messy? Does he have a relationship with her still, on a personal level or just regarding their children?

Sorry for all my questions but to be fair-minded and helpful, we need to fill in some blanks a bit.

Update us as soon as you can,

July 14, 2010 - 12:10pm
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