“The top two photos were taken when Adam and I were married. The bottom two, taken nearly one year and over two years after our divorce was finalized. We are not in love, we don’t always agree, we’re not best friends, sometimes we don’t even like one another. But you know what we are? We are forever connected because of our beautiful, smart, kind, compassionate, funny son. We RESPECT one another. We remember that neither of our roles as parents take precedence over the other – neither one of us are any more important to the life of our son. We BOTH need to be there, we BOTH deserve quality time and quality memories with him. Neither of us blame one another for the direction our relationship took. We do not place blame on one another, and we certainly don’t place blame in the presence of our son.
Adam and I are not perfect co-parents, but we made a deal when we got divorced, to put our son first and to value the richness that we each bring to his life, for different reasons. So yes, we still have a family portrait taken, and I still pay good money to have the images printed, framed, and placed in our son’s bedroom; he may not grow up with parents who live in the same house… but he will grow up to see respect, kindness, empathy, compassion, perseverance, flexibility, and even sacrifice being modeled by both of his parents and he will know it is possible to fall out of love but never fall apart.
As a result of publishing this story on Love What Matters, we have received messages from all over the world. This one stood out:
‘Hi there – wanted to reach out and say how inspiring it was to hear about your divorced family pictures.
My ex and I are also divorced and I’ve been using our last family picture taken 3 years ago for the kids ‘all about me’ school projects, and as I was working on one just last week and realized its outdated and can’t be used too much longer.
Then I saw your news article.
I cried but was too hesitant to suggest it to my Ex. A couple days later, he called me telling me about your news story and suggested we do the same.
We’re planning our own session; Not sure either of us will be able to keep it together, but I guess we can always Photoshop red puffy eyes!
I wanted to reach out and thank you personally for the inspiration.
It warmed our hearts to read that we positively impacted strangers and inspired them to re-evaluate their post-divorce relationship, and the thought of other families recreating their own photo traditions left me in tears.. and then today, 5 months later, Jen followed up — ‘We did it! Thanks for the inspiration! The kids both have pictures in their rooms and it was the picture they chose to bring for their classrooms. Redefining divorce!’
This is a gentle and welcomed reminder that what we do every day can make a positive impact and change lives for the better. Sometimes, to believe there is good in the world, you need to be the good in the world.”
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