That’s an old column you’re referencing, and since you say you’re going through something similar, my guess is that you’ve been doing some Google research looking for other “brides #2” who don’t like that their fiancés still have photos from their first weddings. But your reading comprehension has failed you in this particular case because nowhere in my response do I imply that it’s “mind-boggling” that a “woman who is about to be married to a man would be annoyed to live with his old wedding pictures.” What I find mind-boggling is that said woman would deface the photos behind her fiancé’s back in a drunken fit of rage as her girlfriends egged her on.
You do see that there’s a pretty big difference between feeling a “hint of frustration” over something and actively destroying that which you are frustrated over, right? And since YOU are probably feeling a hint of frustration, let me take this opportunity to urge you not to cross the line into behaving like a lunatic. Be a grownup and discuss with your fiancé what’s bothering you, and offer a few solutions that would ease some of your frustration.
As for the idea that I have to be a second bride to understand what being a second bride must feel like, that’s a pretty narrow viewpoint. I would hope that compassionate people have the capacity to imagine the circumstances, challenges, and journeys of other people’s lives. It would be a sad, isolating world if the only way we had to understand each other is by walking the very same paths. Even people who traverse the same roads aren’t necessarily sharing the same means of transportation or moving in the same pace or direction. While sharing similar life circumstances can certainly help us be empathetic, it isn’t the only way to gain a wider understanding of another person’s feelings, nor is it even the best way. The best way I’ve learned to appreciate where someone is coming from is to ask open-ended questions, be a good listener, and use my imagination.
Doing that, I am better able to understand both sides of an argument. I can see how a second wife might feel insecure about her husband holding on to mementos of his first marriage, and I can imagine why the husband might feel hesitant about erasing any physical reminder of where he once was and how far he’s come. I hope, for your own sake, you can release some of your insecurity and instead tap into compassion for the man you’re about to marry. Accept that he had a life before you entered the picture and he may, on occasion, want to remember parts of that life, if for no other reason than to make him feel thankful for everything he has now.
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