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Guy's GF won't move in unless he takes down family photo; he refuses. UPDATED

Guy's GF won't move in unless he takes down family photo; he refuses. UPDATED


"AITA for not removing a photo my girlfriend told me before she moved in with me?"

I (26m) think this is completely ridiculous but maybe I’m actually wrong, so here goes. I’ve been with my girlfriend (26f) for 5 years but we’ve known each other since we were 15. I’m fortunate to have my own place and we've discussed for a while her moving in with me as she has been staying in the house more often.

This wasn’t a problem until she was about to move in. I have a few photos in the house of me with members of my family, the problem is with a specific photo of me with my brother and father.

She told me to remove the photo before she moved in to accommodate her. I asked her why, she answered that it's 'weird', but to me, there’s nothing weird about the photo, she's the one making it weird.

Maybe the only thing weird about the photos is that all of them are when I was a child, but none of them are inappropriate or have something you can take the wrong way. She had no other argument and, in the end, I refused and she said she wouldn't move in and I was ok with that.

This has been a topic of discussion for the past few days. Some of our friends and even my father said that I should remove the photo to make her feel welcome but I just find that, again, ridiculous.

Edit: I won’t post the photo because I don’t feel comfortable but I will describe it as much as possible. The photo was taken when my brother was 6 and I 7.

In the middle is my father with a grin from ear to ear, his eyes closed and his arms extended to the sides; to his left is my brother: buzz cut, standing straight with his arms at the side like a soldier and a serious face; to my father's right is me: long hair, standing like a boxer from 1910 with my chin up and a mean mug; all wearing a suit because it was taken at my uncle's wedding.

The photo was taken outside the place where the event took place (there is nothing exceptional related to the place). The only things aside from us is the sun, the blue sky and a bunch of trees.

She has met my family; she has always been respectful/friendly with them and vice versa. There hasn't been incidents or problems with any of them, I have asked her and she has denied it.

Her problem is with the photo I described above. I have other photos with my father and brother individually. I do the same pose in various photos; I have one doing the same pose with my paternal grandfather where we both wear boxing gloves (he taught me the pose).

She has stayed in the house multiple days, even weeks, she has things here. She never brought up the issue. I’m all for compromising but I need a proper explanation other than 'it’s weird'.

I still have long hair, even longer than before. She is very fond of it and not a problem. None of the photos stands out, they're put on a small part of the wall in the living room with the others, including the ones I'm with her. They're not big or I'd basically be upholstering the entire wall.

She had issues with her family but they solved it. But I don't rule out that something happened that she hasn't told me. She knows that I'm the kind to fall for that kind of things. We have a precedent when she asked me to not study abroad but I did it anyway. I'm reasonable when there is a proper explanation, not her 'just because'.

Here's what people had to say:

Crazy_Lengthiness209 says:

She had s$# with your brother. That's why the photo makes her uncomfortable. There is no other explanation.

poorburgundy says:

Maybe she doesn't want to move in, and this is just the excuse.

warpus says

Maybe she’s just… weird.

Perdendosi says:

There is absolutely something weird here. I can think of two scenarios:

1. Something's wrong with that photo -- it triggers a past memory (either with the people in it, or of people who look like it, or of a traumatic situation) or it's 'weird' in some other inappropriate way that you're not telling us, OR

2. It's an attempt by her to see how far she can control the living space-- a test to see if you'll be willing to either (a) compromise and be amenable to each other's peccadilloes when cohabitating (that's the generous read) or (b) if you can be controlled.

Update from OP:

My gf had problems with her family when she was 15. All of them (including all of her extended family) are involved in the medical field and they expect everyone do the same. They were very supportive of her until she decided to follow a different path. They let her study what she wanted but there was friction. They spent her high school years in therapy fixing their relationship and they did, according to her.

Now, her nephew (her brother’s son) also wants to pursue a different career. He has been facing the same problems my gf faced. He called her because he knows that she does something completely different and because the relationship with his father and even with my gf's parents change drastically. The call happened days before she was about to move in with me and what caused her behavior.

She mentioned the photo brought bad feelings having to do with a fight with her dad about pursuing a different career (her family are all doctors). She just selected the goofiest photo. She doesn’t have a problem with the photos (she likes them) or with my family, it’s the contrast (I hope this make sense).

My family has always supported us no matter what and the photos shows that; while with her family, it seems, their support is still conditional. She thought her family knew better at this point after what happened with her.

She apologized for her behavior. She explained that she felt overwhelmed and she broke down when the thought that I might be breaking up with her popped in her head (I never implied), which prompt her to book an emergency session with her therapist (she had the session before our talk). She accepts and knows that everything could have been avoided if she had told me what was happening.

Despite what this situation implies, she has never made these types of demands and knows that I don’t tolerate them (she completely regrets it). Our communication has always been good; we have always been open with our needs, problems and what we want in the future, not for nothing we are moving together (we already had a long trial thanks to the quarantine).

I understand her a little because things have been going really well between us and with her family. The situation with her nephew came out of nowhere and shook her up a lot.

She knows that I’m still a bit upset that it took her this long to come to her senses and she keeps apologizing, but she’s taking the right steps to move forward, so we're cool. We also talked (still do) more in depth about us and we are in the same page.

I’m not going anywhere and she's been more than explicit that she isn’t either. She suggested couples therapy and although I’m not against it, if we communicate like before and now, I think we'll be fine, but I don’t rule it out.

We are going to keep things as they are for now until the situation with her family is resolved whatever the outcome, which made her rush to message her parents to set a meeting with them next week lol. We are taking it easy and dealing with one problem at the time. The photos are staying and she will bring hers once she moves in to put them with them like we agreed before.

Here's what people said after the update:

Fast_Information_810 writes:

This is a good relationship. Every relationship has friction; the good ones find ways to resolve it.

Gain-Outrageous writes:

Thanks for the update. That was a perplexing one. Hope all works out with you now it's all out in the open.

eggarino writes:

Wow there was no way to figure out what her reasoning were, I’m just glad that you’re able to work together to hopefully move forward! Couples therapy may help, even if it’s just a couple of sessions to figure out how best to be together, if that makes sense. Wishing you two a happy life!

Sources: Reddit,Reddit
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