Future mother in law has painting of GF's ex-husband

Reply Tue 31 Mar, 2015 05:23 am
I have a lovely girlfriend whom I am planning to propose to soon, and she had many paintings by her ex-husband in her apartment until I asked her to take the main large one down as I felt as though I was living in a shrine to her ex-husband. I too am a painter as well and suggested that she put one of mine up there. It took her a while as she appeared to have a considerable difficulty letting go of the past. She finally understood and took it down and didn't want to throw it away and gave it to her mother. Her mother said that she was going to put it up in her home. I asked her if she would not do it, and told her it would make me feel uncomfortable as her daughter and I would go over to her house almost every weekend. I also painted her a large picture of her daughter so that she would have something she could replace it with. Instead she put up the painting I did as well as the ex-husband's painting. I told her I was very uncomfortable with this especially since I went over to her house frequently and that her daughter's ex-husband did not treat the daughter very well. The mother has refused to take it down, tells her daughter that it's a red flag that I would tell her what she can do with her own property. I personally feel that placing the value of what she can do with her own property over the feelings of someone who cares about her daughter to be cold and emotionless and inconsiderate. Her daughter told her that she would be happier if the painting would come down. However, the mother still refuses to take the painting down even though her daughter has asked to have it come down. To me it boggles the mind how she could show such ingratitude to someone who has shown her friendliness to her and love to her daughter. Any ideas?
Reply Tue 31 Mar, 2015 05:33 am
I think you're being way too controlling about this.

Your future MIL has the right to do whatever she wants to with her own property.

Don't like it? Then take your MIL out to eat or have her at your place and minimize the times you're at your MIL's.

Repeat after me: I have no control over what people do with their stuff, even if it bothers me.
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Reply Tue 31 Mar, 2015 07:08 am
You haven't even discussed if the painting is GOOD or not.

Are you going to control ALL artwork in other people's homes? does the artist have to be "approved" by you?

Get a thicker skin. Good art is appropriate anywhere, no matter the artist.
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Reply Tue 31 Mar, 2015 07:14 am
Just adding my voice to the chorus.

Your MIL is right -- this is a red flag. A big red flag.

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Reply Tue 31 Mar, 2015 07:18 am
You have absolutely no say in what art hangs in your MI's home. Why make this a bone of contention? You're losing respect if you pursue this path. This is shaping up to be a political struggle for power. Is that what you want?

The fact that your g/f and her mom agreed to hang your art should please you. You MIL is not keeping her former son-in-law's art to vex or spite you. If you feel umcomfy going there and seeing it, you have a choice of either getting over it or visit there less but still visit with them elsewhere out of her home.

By making this fuss over the image, you've called attention to your smaller and quite fragile ego. If he was a **** to your g/f-fiancé, then it's up to your g/f to ask her mom not to hang the image. If it doesn't bother her, you should get over it yourself.

To her credit, she spent some time considering what she should do...and was considerate of your feelings in this matter. Respect her decision and do not make this a deal-breaker.

Furthermore, she has agreed to take down the large picture in her place. This was appropriate. Figure out a way to take this all in stride. Whether there's some level of competition and envy over artistic ego is be mixed in I can only speculate...but the main thing is ... somehow let this stuff die down.

If you love her and this time of your life, then show that love to your girlfriend and the harmony you two are creating. Then enjoy the harmony being engaged and don't let this get in the way of a future marriage.
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Reply Tue 31 Mar, 2015 07:22 am
I'm a painter. I have an early drawing by me of my ex husband and a couple of photos of him and us up (with many other photos and drawings) in my hallway. It's sort of a life wall. Many people have those. If you told me to take them down, you'd be gone. This is not your business.

Edit, was the large painting at her place, that she gave up and took down, of her? Do you understand that someone might still like having that painting of herself? What do you mean by large? I once painted a 4 x 5 foot painting of my now long time ex. I can get that would annoy a lover.
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Reply Tue 31 Mar, 2015 08:28 am
morganh1066 wrote:
Any ideas?

your girlfriend's mother is right.

Your girlfriend should take another look at you and consider if someone who wants to control her space AND her mother's space is someone she wants in her life.

You'd have received your marching orders from me the minute you wanted my ex's art out of my home. The art that is in my home is there because I like the art. Full stop.
Frank Apisa
Reply Tue 31 Mar, 2015 08:46 am

Well, Morgan…it doesn't seem you are going to get much love or sympathy from these guys!

And although, in my opinion, they are judging you a bit harshly, they are right in the essence of their observations and advice.

Just wanted to send a bit of positive feelings toward you, though, because…well, just because. We guys can sometimes be a bit fragile in areas like this.

Your wife-to-be did see your point…and took the picture down. That was a decent concession…and something you ought to appreciate. Her mother feels differently…and that is her right.

Don’t visit her house if it bothers you that much…but don’t be surprised if the “no visit” policy leads to trouble.

You might re-consider the proposal. This looks like a soon-to-be marriage headed for divorce lawyers. Maybe it is better to just save all the bucks it will cost...and all the emotions that will be wasted.
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Reply Tue 31 Mar, 2015 08:49 am
You're a control freak, you're just going to make other people miserable because they will never be able to live up to your exacting standards.
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Reply Tue 31 Mar, 2015 09:47 am
It is not a painting of the ex husband,
it is a painting by the ex husband

It is a painting of the woman you supposedly love and that is more important than who painted the painting.
As has been pointed out already - you are a control freak and you should learn to control yourself and not others.
Reply Tue 31 Mar, 2015 11:30 am
I agree with Saab.
Apparently the guy was not a good husband but a good painter.
But if you don't like the mom, you won't like the daughter LOL regardless of the fact you may be a control freak. So if it bothers you now better to find someone you walk all over.
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Reply Tue 31 Mar, 2015 06:39 pm
You've been given a lot of good advice, morganh1066. Your girlfriend was considerate by taking down the large painting by her ex-husband and she was very nice to ask her mother to take down her painting. The mother chose not to, so get over it.
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Reply Wed 1 Apr, 2015 12:56 am
I guess Id only feel bummed if the painting of her ex was BAAD and she hung it (and then her Mom hung it in her place). Id be more concerned about how you could value their opinions about your work .

If you dont like it, very gradually do a kind of a "Dorian Grey" on it.
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Reply Wed 1 Apr, 2015 02:48 pm
Well I suppose it's a good thing there are no children from the former marriage.
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Reply Wed 1 Apr, 2015 03:16 pm
It honestly sounds to me that it's the "main" large painting which peeves you off. You've allowed her to "keep" the rest of the paintings up on the wall. It sounds as if this "main" painting is quite good. If it wasn't, your future MIL wouldn't want it on her wall.

I do agree that you are being controlling, as your future MIL has the right to do what ever she wishes. But, more so, you are acting like a child. All artists must continue to create to be good at what they do, if you feel that his painting is better than yours that doesn't mean he was better than you right? After all you've stated he didn't treat her well.

Get that chip off your shoulder. She's with you, not him.

If you don't feel you are getting recognition for your paintings from her or her family consider this. Just because both you and her ex are painters doesn't mean that's why she got together with you, there are more important factors such as how you make each other feel in happiness.

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