There’s a photo on Facebook that’s becoming famous. It depicts a beautiful Mom and a handsome Dad and a cute little boy. They sit close together, grinning from ear to ear, the boy proudly wedged between them. The photo of Victoria Baldwin, Adam Dyson and their son Bruce looks just like a million other family portraits. But, actually, there’s something very unique about this picture. What the image of the smiling family doesn’t show is that Baldwin and Dyson have been divorced for years.
The couple made headlines this week for their most unconventional family photo. Despite parting ways, the couple comes together for regular portraits with their son. They aren’t pretending to be married. Four-year old Bruce knows they’ve split, but the images they create as a family provide the child with a real sense of stability. Even though they live hundreds of miles apart, they love their child enough to set aside their differences and create lasting memories for him.
“We are not in love, we don’t always agree, we’re not best friends, sometimes we don’t even like one another,” Baldwin wrote in a Facebook post that went viral and has been reposted all over the world, including on media outlets such as cnn.com. “But you know what we are? We are forever connected because of our beautiful, smart, kind, compassionate, funny son.”
A New Normal
The story flies in the face of the stereotype of acrimonious divorcees. But Baldwin and Dyson may be part of a growing movement among couples who opt for a more harmonious relationship post-divorce. According to a 2013 article in USA Today, “a growing group of divorced couples are trying to get along without warfare.” Like the now-Facebook famous family, most of these couples are motivated to put aside differences out of their shared love and concern for their children.
“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,” Victoria says. “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.”
Now, that’s a healthy divorce!