Family Portraits

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Family Portraits
12
Tue, 04-01-2014 - 3:44pm

  This is just a venting of sorts...not so much venting, but a sadness I have been feeling since seeing a commercial this morning for a photography studio.  It showed family portraits...even ones of parents with their entire family (children and grandchildren) and it made me sad. 

 With DD28's wedding looming ahead (October), it just made me think of how I always thought our family portrait would look like at my daughters' weddings.  Now, it will look nothing like that.  I was always into family portraits and over the course of our being a family for 25 years, we had a few.  I would always be the one to make the appointment, get the girls matching shirts, etc...Now, that's all over and dh's and my kids don't blend, so there will never be a full "family" picture ever again.  We had one done at our wedding reception which I don't even display because dh's sons look so bad in it.  Even dh said so.   Anyway, I know my ex's wife's kids will be there because THEY have the blended family.  She has a 23 year old daughter whom my girls have befriended and a 15 year old son who lives with them half time.  Anyway, I went to my ex MIL's one time and there on the wall was a big fancy portrait of the entire "Smith" family...including HER 2 kids...girls in dresses...all the men/boys in suits and ties...all dark colors...all matching.  Our family photo...dh had to BUY his sons decent collared shirts and pants as they had none. Anyway, seeing that portrait stabbed at my heart.  Needless to say dh's boys and my girls barely know each other and won't be at my daughter's wedding.  (None of them could afford it anyway, since it takes airfare to get there.  So, "the family" will be my ex's and dh and I will be mainly "guests".  :(  Dh doesn't even want to go, but is to support me and I know if we were to have just a picture taken of me, dh and my daughters and SIL, dh probably wouldn't want me to display it as it doesn't include HIS kids and HE'S not their father.  Plus, I could hear him saying HIS sons wouldn't like it...that THAT would be yet ANOTHER picture of MY kids.  SS21, when home at Christmas threw a hissy fit because there were so many pictures of me and my girls in the basement where he used to live. (He now lives in a halfway house.) Dh told him that was unnecessary, but DID take out an old picture of him. I admit, I HAVE more pictures to display.  I was a mother who loved having pictures of my kids around.  NOW, dh gets upset if I add another one.  DD28 and her fiance gave me a beautiful 8X12 engagement picture of them for Christmas which I put on the mantel.  Dh took it down and said it wasn't going there and put it where we have some other pictures.  UGH  I told him my LAST husband didn't mind me displaying pictures of my kids wherever I wanted! 

 DD28 is getting married 1000 miles away, so my family cannot attend (too expensive), but my ex's whole family will be there along with my future son-in-law's entire family.  The only family I will have there besides dh is my younger brother and his wife.  Anyway, I still think it's GOT to be easier to break up a family when the kids are younger, so if you DO remarry, then the kids are young enough TO blend and feel like family.  Dh's sons and my daughters will never blend and family portraits will never happen.  :(

Thanks for letting me just voice my feelings. 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Fri, 04-04-2014 - 5:01pm

Thanks, Serenity.  You always know just what to say.  I think your dh and me could commisserate as it sounds like we have similar problems with children. I'm sure I will always feel this way when it comes to family gatherings of which I hope are few and far in between.  It's hard when you were a "family" for as long as we were to not be now for these big "family" events.  I guess noone really can understand unless they, too, were married for a long time and were a family.  Anyway, I know we'll never be "blended", so I just focus on dh and me most of the time.  4 adullt children aren't around and 3 are, but we don't see much of them.  Well, except dh goes to see SS21 once a week and I go see DD22 once a month.  Other than that, it's just me, dh and our beloved kitty. 

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Fri, 04-04-2014 - 2:21pm

Hi SO, oh, you know how I can relate!  

I have fleeting thoughts of getting all the kids together for a portrait and it seems there is always one child my DH is upset with.  Then I think "Well, how about the 3 younger ones for a fathers day gift" until my older two come over and wonder why they aren't in it.  Right now he is not speaking to his oldest, so do I get the other 5 without the 6th?  What about grandkids?  I have one, but he has 4 with the one DD he is not speaking to and she has lost custody of hers.  

So yea, I totally get it.  Right, wrong, either side of it, it can be a silly, but sticky topic.  My DH is really funny about pictures, too.  I don't really get it, but just one of those quirks he has.  For what it is worth, it has gotten better over the years.  

I am sure the fact that your xH and his DW have blended relatively well makes it harder for you to accept that your situation is different.  I hope with time that these sad moments become less and farther inbetween.  

And really SO, these issues your DH's have with pictures aren't really about the pictures.  Deep down it is insecurities, which is really fear of not being good enough.  Kind of like your reaction to the portrait at your xMIL's house of her son and his second wife and their children.  Instead of seeing the picture for it is really is, you (or DH) sees what it isn't.  

I hope your DH goes with you to your DD's wedding.  

We have two coming up in our family and I asked my DH how he felt about his DD getting married and he said he was fine with her getting married, he was more concerned about the actual wedding.   Obviously we have a bit of a selfish bone (hey, we are human) and of course I want to look fabulous and he is worried about the xW's family, of who he does not get along with.  But hey, what about the bride and groom?  Isn't the day about them?  

Anywho, enough babling out of me.  :)  Love ya....

Serenity

Serenity
Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Fri, 04-04-2014 - 2:01pm

Hi Craig, 

Just remember that this is a support board, not a debate board.  Startingover has been on this Making a Second Marriage Work board for a long time, so maybe not knowing her background (along with the merging of Marriage and Second Marriage boards) skewed your perspective.  

She posted under "2nd Marriage Matters & More"  so yes, she her post is going to be from the perspective of someone who is divorced and trying to blend a family.  

We always look forward to replys, so I hope you stick around and offer your marital experience to the Making a Marriage Work board.

Serenity CL making a marriage work

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2002
Wed, 04-02-2014 - 4:49pm

Hi ML--

 Most people on IV are supportive of each other or, if they disagree, try to do it in at least a helpful way--

Ditto-- 

As for the going alone to the wedding thing......when I had been dating my SO for 8 months or so, he got a phone call from a woman he had dated a couple of years prior---they parted amicably, hadnt really kept in touch at all, but her son was getting married, and she contacted him just to ask if he would accompany her........I really think she was just looking for someone to escort her as you mentioned----he didnt go, but my point is I think it's perfectly acceptable socially to ask any type of manfriend/acquaintance to escort you---maybe even there might be a young man of the bride/groom's friend's circle who didnt have a date and would oblige!  

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Wed, 04-02-2014 - 3:47pm

I am glad I could bring some laughter to a sour bunch!

My parents have been married for 50+ years and my mother still looks at my father like a young girl in love.  Yes, I had been married for a few years, could not stand the loser, kicked him out.  Had affairs, serial monogamous relationships, long distance relationships (perfect when I am busy) etc.  The point is, I don't need a husband, just a lover to make me feel special.  Otherwise I am super busy with career, volunteer activiites, friends, and taking care of my parents - just bought an "aging in place" house for them.  (It is not that they cannot afford the house themselves, but it is something I want to do for them).

All in all, I don't think it has much to do with luck.  Most of the time I know what I want and am pretty happy about life in general.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 04-02-2014 - 2:38pm

Really Craig, I don't think your angry response to people you know nothing about was really necessary.  have you not thought of the possibility that there are people who never wanted to get divorced but their spouse wanted to?  Of course this is not the biggest problem for either of us.  Most people on IV are supportive of each other or, if they disagree, try to do it in at least a helpful way--I certainly don't see why you would attack for no reason.  As far as "do something productive," I have a full time professional job, one child in high school, an elderly mother and a lot of activities.  I'm not sitting around thinking about my divorce all the time--I was just responding to the post.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Wed, 04-02-2014 - 12:45pm

 I was just picturing me and my friends (who have all been married 25+ years) sitting around and me telling them what you said about wanting someone who will cherish every breath you take and us all bursting into laughter.  lol  I'm sorry, but how old are you and have you ever BEEN married?  I feel somewhat an expert on marriage having been married 25 years the first time and been with dh for 5 years now and much of it not easy (mostly due to adult children).  Of course, long term spouses love each other, but, noone's perfect and there ARE things you will have to "put up" with from your spouse or get divorced and take the easy way out. My dh certainly does with me and me with him.  He did say to me once that I was "the one" which was amazing to me since my ex never said that nor made me feel special in any way.  But, stick to your guns if you must.  Good luck.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Wed, 04-02-2014 - 11:53am

I have to share some wise words of my uncle (who's been married to my aunt for 45 years)...their daughter's STBX asked him for her hand in marriage also asked him if he had any advice how to make a marriage last.  My uncle said simply, "You have to put up with her EVERY day."

"Put up with" implies a rather negative attitude from the very beginning.  If being with a spouse entails "putting up" with, you might as well not get married in the first place.  I want someeone to cherish every breath I take, not just put up with me.  And I am willing and able to pay the price of being an idealist. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Wed, 04-02-2014 - 11:43am

Tell you what, Music.  You loan me your dancing skills for my DD's wedding and I'll loan you my dh for yours!  lol  But, you wouldn't want him.  Neither one of us can dance very well, so will probably just stick with slow dances.  I enjoy dancing, but never took a lesson and dh won't do it, so guess I'll just continue to watch those who DO know how to dance....like my parents.  That's something else that saddens me about my DD's wedding being so far away.  My ex's mother will be there (my XFIL passed away in 2012), but my parents won't.  Too far and too much money and how I would love to see my DD's dancing with my dad and be able to myself.  My parents are 81 and 79, so every day...every event they are there is precious.  And they DO know how to dance as they took dancing lessons when they were young.  To watch them "swing" was always a pleasure.

I know my DD's wedding will be beautiful and everyone will make it her best day ever, but, it's hard not to remember how I always thought it would be...and it won't be.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Wed, 04-02-2014 - 9:43am

  This was not a rant. I thought these boards were a place to come and be able to write down feelings.  My thought is that one should not judge unless they've walked a mile in the other person's shoes which it doesn't sound you have.  I am 54 and was raised Catholic and all that entailed (til death do us part and FAMILY FIRST).  This is why MY parents and my now dh's parents along with MANY others of their generation are still married after 50+ years.  I did not choose divorce and my dh's ex became mentally ill and could not care for their children, so he had to take custody.  We both still DO believe in marriage and acceptance and yes...we DO believe that today's society has morals and values that are screwed up.  Everything is disposable...tv's, cell phones, and yes...even marriage.  Boohoo-I'm unhappy, so have to break up the family and find it elsewhere.  NEVER would I tell someone to stay in an abusive situation, but I get sick and tired of young people just throwing a marriage aside (especiallly if there are children involved) just because they're "unhappy" or too lazy to work on it and think there is something better out there.  Noone believes in true committment anymore and it nauseates me.  My parents generation knew what it was...today's world doesn't have a clue. If this all makes me sound like an old dinasaur...so be it.  And that's MY rant for the day!

Oh...I have to share some wise words of my uncle (who's been married to my aunt for 45 years)...their daughter's STBX asked him for her hand in marriage also asked him if he had any advice how to make a marriage last.  My uncle said simply, "You have to put up with her EVERY day."  Obviously, he couldn't...so there goes another marriage down the tubes.

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