Wedding Woes

Dana's discomfort is deeper than the pics, but she is his partner now.

Dear Prudence,

Five years ago, my family lost my daughter-in-law and their baby in a car accident. It was a blow that we never thought we would recover from, but time marches on and you have to move with it. Our son is dating “Dana” and they are expecting! This should be a wonderful time for us, but Dana made a bizarre request that my daughter and I remove all the family pictures that have my former DIL and their baby in it. She hates coming over to my home and seeing my son’s first wedding photo on the wall. I have a collection going up the stairs that includes our entire family. I knew my former DIL from the time she was in diapers.

I tried to explain to Dana what the photos meant and that I had been in the same position. I married a widower and adopted his daughter. His first wife is included on the wall. Love just adds more room to your heart. Dana now will not come over and says neither will the baby. My son is desperate to make this work and my daughter has called Dana an insecure brat. I feel so helpless here. Can you help us?

—Old Photos

Re: Dana's discomfort is deeper than the pics, but she is his partner now.

  • Options
    Well insulting Dana while she’s pregnant with your grandchild isn’t going to help. If your son is on her side abide by their wishes. It might not be “right” but if you want to see them take them down, for now. Maybe they’ll change their minds in the future. 

    If it were me- that’s a tragic thing to have happened and pregnancy hormones and anxiety are nuts. It could be freaking her out in an irrational way that the same thing could happen to her. Logical, maybe not, but it could be a reminder of what happened and that it could happen again. 
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    ei34ei34 member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    I think the wedding photo could come down but the special group photos should absolutely stay. 
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    I think compromise is key here.  I'd let Dana know that you absolutely want to honor her as well and do not try to flaunt who may have been present before you grew to love her too.

    Where are the photos of her for your wall?  

    IMO, Dana has a hell of a lot of nerve.    I don't care who you are, you don't tell other people how to decorate their homes.   Pregnancy hormones are real but she does not have a right to tell you how to furnish your home.  Use the request as a talking point to people but do not be a doormat. 
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    mrsconn23mrsconn23 member
    First Anniversary First Answer 5 Love Its First Comment
    edited April 11
    Honestly, I first read the letter and bristled at Dana's ultimatum request.  But, I also wonder how much baggage being at LW's brings beyond the pics.  LW states in the letter that she knew her former DIL since she was diapers.  

    I can only begin to imagine trying to get past the tragedy of losing your entire family, but LW's son is trying to do so and is building a new family with Dana.  I don't think Dana should dictate everything, but LW should examine how welcome they are making Dana feel in all aspects. 

    Before I judge Dana too harshly, I would like more info on the tone and tenor in which the request was made.  But I think if LW wants to have a relationship with their son, new grandchild, and Dana, some concessions would be helpful.  
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    I'll be damned if someone is going to tell me what photos I can have in my house. 

    I have a lot of sympathy for the son here, but Dana needs to work through her own jealousy without trying to force LW to erase the DIL. Maybe more conversation is warranted, but Dana is out of line. Using the baby as a bargaining chip doesn't endear her much to me. This is a hill I would die on. 
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    Dana is about to fulfill her own prophecy of never being liked as much as the first wife. Demanding people change photos in their own home is too far. She isn’t just demanding an ex-wife be removed (which would be bad enough). She’s asking for a wife and a child to be erased. She may be insecure but she needs to either reel in the pregnancy hormones or go to counseling. You cannot tell your SO that you want to erase their past spouse and child from photos. That is insanity. 

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