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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, this has been really weirding me out recently. I have a great relationship with my wife's mother, but she does this thing with pictures where she doesn't display pictures that have me in them.

To contextualize this, let me just say that she speaks only Spanish and I do not, so we do not usually have very complex conversations with one another, so lack of communication may be a part of this. She also has moderate anxiety and seems to be suffering from empty nest syndrome because she feels bad about how she parented my wife. She was a great mother, but I suppose her anxiety has caused her to look at what could have been more than she should. This has caused her to be unusually clingy to my wife in recent years. My wife and I actually eloped, but my relationship with her family has been great nonetheless and all seems to be forgiven.

Now regarding the photos: The first instance in which this issue caught my notice was during our first Christmas, when she and the rest of my wife's family essentially designated me as the cameraman for all of the Christmas pictures. In one sense I don't mind this, but I would also like to be included in some as I feel I am part of the family now. But nonetheless I end up getting into only one or two of the 10 or so variations taken.

Well this basically occurs every Christmas and vacation whenever there is an excuse to take pictures.

In all of these photo sessions, she usually will have one or two with the "original" family, one with her husband, but will have 4-5 photo variations of pictures taken with just her and my wife.

Last Christmas we additionally went to have professional photos taken. This is weird to me, but she had the professional photographer take one or two pics of the whole family and I together but then had me leave so they could take the rest of the pictures together. I did get one shot of my wife and I, but she once again had like four variations of pictures taken with just her and my wife.

Finally, she came to visit us this past weekend and we all visited the local University I attend. Once again i was designated cameraman and so was excluded from most of the pictures, but there were actually a few that were taken with me in them. However, she did not upload any of those photos to FaceBook or print any out for use at home.

In terms of the photos she displays at home, there is always a ton of pictures of her and my wife, with just a few of the original family and, if I'm lucky, one or two of me. She even excludes me from the photos she has displayed of our wedding!

I realize this is not the worst thing in the world; I certainly have a great relationship with her and much to be thankful for. But something about this just rubs me the wrong way. I feel excluded because of her behavior in these photo situations and additionally feel that she is overly clingy of my wife since she seems so interested in having countless photos of just her and my wife taken and displayed.

I theorize that this has much to do with her anxiety and empty nest syndrome, which causes her to be extra clingy. But excluding me from most photos and even my own wedding photos; what is going on here?

Any thoughts?
 

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My first thought... All is not forgiven. And possibly you're excluded because you're from a different culture? Just because she's "nice-nice" to your face doesn't mean much.

C
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What is your wife's opinion on this?
She thinks that, much of the time, it is just coincidental that I don't get my picture taken much. For instance, early on I wasoften the camera guy instead of her younger brother because he was kind of in a rebellious-teen stage for a year and refused to take the picture. So there are sometimes explanations like that, but this sole explanation hardly explains the entire 5-year span of this instance.

On the other hand, my wife does admit that the professional family photo situation was problematic, but she has no idea why her mom excluded me there; evidently even her father and brother thought it was unusual.

In terms of the constant photos of just her and her mom: my wife says that her mom acts very weird and oddly wants these photos frequently. One reason for some of them has been that my MIL doesn't like taking photos alone and sometimes her husband, even if he is around, doesn't feel like taking a picture. So my wife will often jump in instead. However, that has only been on occasion and my wife offers no explanation as to why it happens overall. She thinks this is strange, too, but doesn't know why it happens.

It is hard for even my wife to ask her mom about this though because her family does not talk about issues that come up ever. One small factoid: no one in her family has ever apologized to one another for anything that has ever happened. Yet they are all very close so there doesn't seem to be a ton of underlying angst or anything.

My first thought... All is not forgiven. And possibly you're excluded because you're from a different culture? Just because she's "nice-nice" to your face doesn't mean much.

C
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I suppose this could be the case, and in some ways I do think we could have worked through the fact that we eloped better. The truth is there never was a talk about it, everyone just acted if nothing happened. It has been five years now and not a single mention of it has come up. Yet there have been several Christmases with exchanged gifts, birthdays with cards and presents, and several family vacations where they seem to genuinely want to include me in the activities; just not necessarily the photos.

I don't think she has any problems with me being from a different culture. It is possible but unlikely, however, that in Mexican culture family photos without in-laws remain common even as people age. I say unlikely because I haven't seen this happen in any other Mexican household; not even in my wife's extended family.
 

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I think after 5 years she should be accepting you and your wife should be alittle offended.
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I think that you need to discuss this more with your wife and tell her that you need her help on this.

For example, when you are the photographer on a holiday your wife can take a turn as photographer.

Your wife can start to just suggest photo groups that include you.
 
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