Annie Lane: Pictures of fiancée’s dead wife bothering new love

Published 6:30 am Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Dear Annie: I’m very much in love with a man three years younger than me, and we are getting married in February. We are both in our 60s. He is an incredible man. His wife of 32 years died four years ago, and I’ve been widowed for 10 years.

My issue is that he still has pictures of his wife with him on vacation, on cruises and sports events, and a huge portrait of them that hangs in the den.

Am I being crazy? This bothers me a little, but I don’t know how to approach him about it. He placed a picture of the two of us right next to a picture of him with his late wife. I own my own house, and he owns his house, and the plan is for me to move into his house. Should I let this go? It is absolutely the only thing that gets to me about our relationship. Help!

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— A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

Dear Picture: His wife of 32 years is a part of what made him special — the person you love. At the same time, it is not fair to you to be reminded all the time about his late wife. I would let him know your feelings. Perhaps, as you move in, you could agree to have one photo of you and your late husband and one photo of him and his late wife, along with photos of the two of you.

The other photos can be saved in boxes and albums, so you will both have them to see whenever you want, but neither of you will be forced to focus on the past. You did not mention children. If there are photos of his late wife with their children or of your late husband with your children, then you might agree on a compromise for displaying them — or giving them to the children.

He sounds like a very reasonable man, and if you have this conversation before you are married, my guess is that he will understand. Congrats on finding true love.

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