Q: I am preparing for life with a new man. We plan to marry in a few months. We bought a new home after his marital home was sold. His daughter still wants all the pictures of the “family” to be rehung. She is preparing for marriage herself and will be gone in nine months. Do I just let them go up and keep my mouth closed even though it really bothers me, or do I ask that I am to be respected and only allow them in her room? I am terribly upset, but I am at odds as to what to do.

A: You are absolutely on the right track — good ex-etiquette suggests that pictures of past unions need not be openly displayed in a common family area. But it is completely acceptable and understandable if the children of the former union wish to display family pictures in their own rooms. As a matter of fact, we often suggest just that to children who have trouble adjusting to back-and-forth life. Pictures of Dad in their room at Mom’s and pictures of Mom in their room at Dad’s often make the transition from house to house easier.

It’s not uncommon for this type of thing to become problematic when a new partner moves into the former marital home after the breakup. Then the removing of pictures is obvious to the children who still reside in the home and it often sets them back. But your situation takes this one step further. Your fiance has sold the marital home and his adult child wishes for you to display pictures of his former marriage in a home that her father and you have purchased together. In that case, it is inappropriate to ask that the pictures of Mom and Dad be rehung.

When decorating your new home, do your best to blend past and present by including pictures of your current life together. Remember to include pictures of all the children — and if they live nearby, get them into the act by soliciting their help where to display the pictures. The more you can “normalize” the new environment, the better. Finally, if your fiance’s daughter is adamant about displaying pictures of her divorced parents, it is completely fitting for her to display them in her own home once she moves out.

Jann Blackstone-Ford and her husband’s ex-wife, Sharyl Jupe, authors of “Ex-Etiquette for Parents,” are the founders of Bonus Families (www.bonusfamilies.com). Reach them at:

eebonusfamilies.com

— McClatchy-Tribune