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Photos - to delete or not to delete?

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HurtsButImOK posted 4/6/2013 08:13 AM

Has anyone deleted/destroyed all photos of their X or STBX? Did you end up regretting it at a later stage?

I understand for those who have children this wouldn’t be a consideration, but those who don’t have kids is it something you did?

Unfortunately its not something I am in a place to be able to act on at the moment. Only a couple of weeks ago, when looking for a picture of one of my animals that was taken in 2005, I stumbled across his secret semi naked photos taken for the current OW in 2009 . The ass-hat had hidden them in the 2005 folder. That was a very unexpected punch to the gut.

Would be interested to hear peoples thoughts and experiences.

Griefstricken25 posted 4/6/2013 08:46 AM

I do have kids so any photo of WXH with any of them, I've kept, even though they make me ill. Any of just him or him and me, I destroy. I have one album of wedding photos that I'll keep if my kids ever want to see them.

macakipa posted 4/6/2013 08:52 AM

I do have kids so any photo of WXH with any of them, I've kept, even though they make me ill. Any of just him or him and me, I destroy.


I went through ALL of our albums and loose photos about a month ago. I threw away all photos of me and XH from the past 31 years except for one wedding photo that I saved for my children. I sorted the rest, saved ones of his family in a box for him and the ones of him and the children were divided appropriately.

It was difficult to do but also cathartic.

ETA: spelling

[This message edited by macakipa at 8:52 AM, April 6th (Saturday)]

wontdefineme posted 4/6/2013 08:53 AM

I keep the ones with the kids, destroy any I find of us, the ones of him during that time went immediately. Wedding photos went too, not that we spent any money on those.

nutmegkitty posted 4/6/2013 08:56 AM

I destroyed all of the wedding portraits. That was cathartic.

Most of my photos are on line. I have deleted all of the ones of him and me. Ones with kids, well, I just don't look at.

osxgirl posted 4/6/2013 09:08 AM

No kids here -

After I had decided I was done and we would D, my family came out to visit in order to help me clean up my place and pack up his stuff (since I had NO intention of letting him in the house again).

During that time, my mom, my sis, and my SIL (brother's wife) went through the condo picking out stuff they either knew wasn't mine or figured I probably didn't want. They checked with me on all of it, but if it either was his or it was something I didn't want (often including trash my X had left lying around the house if I recall correctly), into a bag it went. And all the bags went to him.

And one of the things we came across while doing that was all of the pictures (we really hadn't moved on-line yet for them). We just chucked all of those into the bags as well.

It's hard to remember now - a lot of the time during the S and D is a little hazy now. But if I recall correctly they gave me about 10 or 15 minutes to quickly scan through the pictures and pick out any that didn't have him that I wanted to keep.

I don't really regret it. I have a few pictures of myself, my family, and the pets from during the M. I actually have a couple of photos that have him in them around the house - but only because they were pictures I'd bought from my sister's wedding, and I wanted to keep them.

I don't regret it. I feel like most of our life together was a lie. He pretended to be someone he wasn't while we were dating and through about the first year or two of our M. Then he couldn't hold the charade together anymore, and I found I was married to a person I didn't really know at all. The person I fell in love with and married never really existed.

So I was glad to have as many reminders gone as possible. At the time, because it both hurt and made me angry to see them. But eventually, it didn't matter if I stumbled across the stuff - but I was glad I got rid of them because they really didn't mean anything to me anymore.

Thorston posted 4/6/2013 09:18 AM

In a rage, I tore up all our wedding pics and threw them at her. But with that being said, we do have the digital copies.

As far as other pictures, we are both photographers and have literally about 300,000 pictures on hard drives. One day I may go through them and delete some. But I think it is something that is better done when it is not as fresh and I am in a better place emotionally. I don't want to delete something and wish I hadn't years later.

reclaimingmyself posted 4/6/2013 09:27 AM

I do have kids so any photo of WXH with any of them, I've kept, even though they make me ill. Any of just him or him and me, I destroy. I have one album of wedding photos that I'll keep if my kids ever want to see them.
I did the same with printed pictures. I cropped him out of any of the digital pictures I could and deleted the rest. ETA: I did the editing quite soon after DDay and the printed pictures were about a year later. It's been almost 4 years since DDay 1 and I haven't regretted any of it.

I would have hated to have come across the pictures you found of OW - that must have been a huge shock.

[This message edited by reclaimingmyself at 9:28 AM, April 6th (Saturday)]

stillstrong posted 4/6/2013 11:13 AM

Funny, I just posted about this in a completely unrelated thread. I left all the photos of us together at the house when I moved out. I did it to show ex how little it all meant to me.
When I unpacked in my new place and found more photos I set them aside to burn in a ceremony. I think they're still under the liner in my sock drawer. I don't really care anymore, so one day (probably not until I move again) I may throw them back in my picture box.
After his 1st A, I deleted all digital images from the years covering the affair, and now I'm sorry I did. So I kept all the digital images this time.
I did remove all pics of him from Facebook

KeepOnMovin posted 4/6/2013 14:09 PM

I had several pictures of us together that i kept on my desk at work, and a few of just her. I took them out of the frames and into the shredder.

I took a video of the ceremony on my phone. i am debating sending it to her, but so far i haven't. don't want to show her that it's getting to me, i guess.

She used to give me framed pictures of her with the boys for father's day and stuff. i kept those and will return them to her. i'm not sure what to do with all of the family portraits around the house. I so want to take them down, but i don't want to hurt my kids.

abigailadams posted 4/6/2013 15:28 PM

While we do have a daughter, I did throw away all the photos of a trip we took to Germany before we got married. It felt good.

nowiknow23 posted 4/6/2013 15:37 PM

I so want to take them down, but i don't want to hurt my kids.
I took down our wedding picture and replaced it with a sketch of my grandfather. A few days later, I replaced a couple of framed pictures of all four of us on the mantle with pictures of just the kids.

Slowly but surely, the pictures on the wall got swapped out with new ones of the kids. Same frames - just new shots.

Thought that idea might be helpful to you.

KeepOnMovin posted 4/6/2013 16:17 PM

Thanks NIK! i will start doing that. they are constant reminders of what was, and it's tough to see them

I had taken down a picture of the two of us, but DS11 noticed it was down and insisted i put it back up. instead, i put it up in his room. not sure if that's the best idea, but it seemed best at the time.

[This message edited by KeepOnMovin at 4:19 PM, April 6th (Saturday)]

nowiknow23 posted 4/6/2013 16:24 PM

Good luck, KeepOnMovin. One other thought for you. If there's a room or hallway that has A LOT of the pictures on the wall, you might want to consider repainting that room. When you repaint, you HAVE to take everything down. And then it takes a while for the paint to fully cure.

And then when it's all fresh and new, you may want to take your time before pounding holes in it again...

sodamnlost posted 4/6/2013 19:49 PM

Yeah - have I mentioned that's what I do for a living?

He is stepdad to my kids, no clue if there would be any visitation after or not. Either way, my job as a photographer is a storyteller through images. Good or bad, he is part of my story.

How do you just erase 9 years of your life?

nowiknow23 posted 4/6/2013 19:56 PM

How do you just erase 9 years of your life?

I don't think you do, honey.

I spent more than HALF of my life with wasband - 25 flipping years. I didn't and can't delete him from my life, as tempting as that is some days.

I didn't throw out or delete ANY pictures, but I DID put lots of them away. I have an external hard drive that I copied all the digital photos onto (they're all backed up online as well), and I only left select photos on my actual computer. I put printed photos and scrap books away in deep storage.

I don't have to look at them, but I still have them. They are part of my life story, and part of the kids' stories, too.

dmari posted 4/6/2013 20:19 PM

First of all, I am so sorry you had to come across those pictures of ass-hat and OW. If you think there might be more "surprises", I would ask a good friend or family member to screen the photos for you. If not, store everything for now and sort much later.

When stbx left, I packed all the pictures with him in them. The weird thing was that I didn't notice before is that most of the pics around the house were of him. Him by himself, him with friends, him with other friends, him when he was young, etc. We had pics of our children but his pictures outnumbered them by far!!

So he got all the pictures of himself, he has never asked for pictures of the kids (old or recent), and all the photo albums (that was what we used in our day ... not any digital fangle bedandles) are packed away.

I'm still debating about our wedding album. No wait. I think I threw away most and save a couple for the kids.

Any adult children of divorced parents out there??? May be they could share if they have/wanted a picture of their parents wedding day.

disillusioned12 posted 4/6/2013 21:16 PM

This is something I've been contemplating as well. Our DS is only 4 months old and his father has been away the last 3 months of his life. I want to get rid of all photos with STBX and me, but I am still debating.

STBX is "sentimental" and will probably keep photos of us. He still has photos from his first XW. I recently found those. Creepy right?

Maybe I will just put them in a box and bury it in storage like others have suggested.

HurtsButImOK posted 4/6/2013 23:06 PM

thanks so very much everyone for your replies.

I will delete him, I dont see the point of hanging onto a lie. Will keep all travel/pet/important stuff photos and crop him out where I need to. Once I can face up to looking through the photos again.

dmari- I am an adult child of divorce and now that you raise it I never remember seeing photos of my father. I know mum kept wedding day photos but nothing else. It didnt seem to impact me. He is just someone who breezes into and out of my life, still to this day.

Thanks again everyone for posting about your experiences.

peridot posted 4/6/2013 23:33 PM

I'm an adult of divorced parents. Neither of my parents raised me though.

I don't have any pictures of my parents. Any they were in, I cropped them out.

My kids dad and that side of their family are no longer in the kids lives. The kids have told me they don't want any pictures of them.

I am in the process of cropping those pictures but I am saving the original on a flash drive in case the kids decide they want those pictures when they are adults. This way the kids don't have to see the pics until they want to.

I'm only saving the ones that involve the kids though.

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