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  • Iris Arenson-Fuller

Is Three A Crowd?

(Photo by Laura Fuhrman, Unsplash)

Mary writes in: How can you best handle photos/mementos of your late husband when you remarry or live with a new partner?


Coach Iris responds: I guess my first question might be, "How do you want to handle these?"

Are these photos and momentos things you like having around and enjoy on a regular basis? Do they bring you pleasure, or is it upsetting for you to have them visible all the time? ,My next questions would be, "Does you new spouse or partner seem upset about the presence of these things? Has this actually been verbalized to you, or are you making assumptions?

I think the first order of business would be to sit down and have an open "heart to heart" talk about this. A new spouse or partner might feel upset or intimidated by lots of photos of and with your late husband. On the other hand, it has to be understood and acknowledged that you had a life before and that your spouse may have died, but that doesn't mean you want the memories to die too. This fact doesn't mean you care less or don't care about the new person in your life.

Can a compromise be reached that makes each of you feel more at ease? Personally, I wouldn't keep photos of a late spouse, or wedding photos in the bedroom, or even displayed in the living room, but I think it's up to the two of you. I would put them in a den or hallway, not to hide them away, but to make them a little less prominent. Or maybe take some of them down and put them in a special album.

You will never forget your deceased spouse. It just might be time to begin putting up pictures of and with your new love, to celebrate the life you are creating together. If your spouse or partner still objects to your having any photos from your past, it is probably time for some professional help.


All questions or discussion topics have been submitted to Coach Iris for publication on this blog, or have been shared with Iris in the past and permission has been provided to use the situations disclosed here when the contributors are identified. When contributors don't wish to be identified, initials or pseudonyms are used, and circumstances may be camouflaged to protect their privacy.

Naturally, any answers or input provided here are just opinions and without knowing the person and situation better, may or may not be a good fit for the contributor, or for every reader. The intent here is to cover topics that are typical and that come up often in the widows' community. Nothing here is meant to take the place of more in-depth work or help that some may wish to consider. Responses should not be construed as psychological, medical or legal advice.

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