Heinous or Harmless – Interesting Quandary

DivorceSo I am cleaning up the house, getting rid of everything that I can, as we already have a furnished house in NY to move to, so the less we bring the better for everyone. Amazing how much clutter one can accumulate without even trying.

I came across the wedding pictures from my first wedding, to the father of my children. We are no longer married, we have each moved on and are married to other people.

Do I need to keep the albums? This is a serious question. I was told I should keep them for the kids, but I have boys, they are so not into looking at photos of people from decades ago. Even if it is their parents. If I do get rid of them, is that so heinous? I would rather not move them into my new marital home. I feel that would be disrespectful to the KoD.

What do you think? Is there anyone out there who has faced the same issues? Would it really be hurting my kids to safely dispose of them?

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19 Comments

  1. Yonit says:

    Wow, I totally have no experience to draw from, but MHO is to get a safety deposit box and keep them there in case your boys do decide they want to see them at some point. Or maybe your ex-ILs would want to keep them for the boys?

    If you think they are old enough to ask for their opinion, you could do that to, just keep in mind that how they feel now might not be how they feel in 10yrs or 20yrs.

    WTG for decluttering! :)

  2. Gave A Get says:

    Put it in a box with all of the other stuff that you are “keeping but don’t know why”. Wrap it in saran wrap. If there is anyone ever needs it, you can find it. Put them in the attic, in the roof so it’s quickly forgotten.

  3. That’s a hard one. My parents split when I was 3 mos old. There were NO pictures and NO record “it” had ever happened. Long story short, my mom remarried and since I was so young, well,I never knew about the “other” dad. And I was so curious once I DID find out. I know your situation is vastly different but in years to come, it may be something they’d like to see since you have a good relationship and they love you both. Ask K0D what he thinks. Maybe it’s best to store them.

  4. Mike Miller says:

    I don’t think that you need to hold on to painful memories just because of a perceived obligation to your children [although a neutral location might be less unpleasant], although, that said, I don’t think you should get rid of them, unless your husband objects.

    That said, for better or for worse, they represented an important milestone in both your life and that of your (biological) children, and to ignore it may not be the best response. Save the pictures… when your eldest starts dating [seriously], you’re probably going to need to have some serious honest conversations with him about your life, and a balanced approach will probably work better than a one sided presentation; happy memories can hopefully help temper later feelings.

    OTOH, maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about; my parents had an amiable divorce (inasmuch as that’s possible).

  5. Susan says:

    I kept mine. they are an important part of my history. I loved our wedding and do not want to forget it. Their presence does not bother my sweetie.

  6. Mark says:

    Don’t throw them out because there is no way to ever replace them in the future if, for some reason, they are wanted (by your kids, etc). On the other hand, don’t make them generally accessible to everyone. I suggest putting them deep in a box, and storing that box in a place that only gets looked at rarely. Then, in 10, 15, 20 years, decide what to do with them.

    Sometime in the future, one or more of those pictures might contain people that have passed on, and that few photographs exist of them.

    When my wife and I look at our wedding album (very rarely), we say “this person has died”, “that person has died”, etc. When my parents look at their wedding album, they say “this table has all died”, “that table has all died”, etc. It might sound a little “funny”, but many of those table pictures contain the only photo of certain people!

  7. shorty says:

    i’m a bit mixed. if you throw them out, they are gone forever. but why keep them? how does your husband feel about it? i think that is important too. If you keep them, would it make him wonder what you are holding on to?

  8. G6 says:

    I think that even if your children are not interested in them right now, there is the distinct possibility that they may be interested in them in the future. (Keep in mind also, that there are many more people in those photos that they may want to see besides the two of you.)
    I also think that even if KoD says he doesn’t mind, the optimal thing to do would be to put them elsewhere for safekeeping. Either give them to a friend, a grandparent etc., until the appropriate time.

  9. Z! says:

    Ask the boys. You know they will tell you the “right” answer.

  10. Mark says:

    I don’t think it is fair to ask the boys. After all, the main people in those pictures are still their mother and their father. They honor both mother and father, and there is no way they should be led to decide to throw it out.

  11. Gave A Get says:

    Z!, if the kids say throw it out, they deny a part of who they are. I don’t think they will say don’t since if Mom is asking, she wants to toss it. Better not put the kids in the middle not matter how mature they are.

  12. Gitty Levi says:

    I can keep them by me if you want. If and when the boys want to see them, you’ll know where they are.

  13. Z! says:

    I know the boys, I think! They will want to have them for later years.
    If only to see how beautiful their Imma looked on her first wedding day.
    It also serves as a reminder to them that their parents were happy- with each other- at least once.

  14. The boys may want those pics later, or their kids might.

    Once you get rid of them, they are gone.

    Wrap ‘em up and place in a box marked “For the kids.”

    Rabbi Riskin once made a comment during one of his shiurim that has stuck with me for years: “we should not be embarrassed about our pasts; our pasts have made us who we are today.” (or something like that)

  15. hadassahsabo says:

    it seems overwhalmingly that you all think i should keep them for the future. i am sure there will be boxes that will go straight to storage after the move. perhaps these should be buried in those boxes for now.

    thank you all for your input. doing the right thing isnt always so easy or obvious!

  16. My parents divorced when I was four, and my mom kept the wedding album tucked away in the closet. I’ve enjoyed getting to see the pictures and feel that they’re an important part of family history, but at the same time they’re not on display anywhere because they just don’t reflect reality anymore. So I guess I’m another vote for keeping them for the future, just in case.

  17. shoshi says:

    I think you can have a wedding without photos, but once you have the album, it would be a pity to throw it away…

    Perhaps you boys don’t want to see them now, but their wives or children might want to see it…

    And I think to throw it away out of respect for KoD would be all the wrong the reason.

  18. ita says:

    My mother put the album tucked away in a corner of the top of a closet.. I was able to take it down every once in awhile.. Keep it..it’s part of their past…

  19. Lady Lock and Load says:

    Pack them up carefully and I will hold on to them in my house. I agree with mark, everyone should live till 120 but you might want those pics of relatives that have passed away. Believe me, all my photos of my father are very precious to me right now, don’t get rid of a single one, someone may really appreciate those some day….

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