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A few days back, it was my ex wife’s and my ‘ex anniversary’. Our 9 year old daughter, Mimi knows the date, and so she wished us. I was at a shoot, and she called and said ‘Happy ex-anniversary Baba!’
To say that my eyes welled up, would be to put it mildly. How could a little girl be so emotionally loaded, so aware of situations, and so accepting of situations? Clearly, in the way both my ex wife and me have brought her up, and the way we’ve been honest with her about everything, something seems to have stuck.Because as co-parents, we’ve never shied away from the truth, or tried to shield her from what is. We’ve spoken about relationships openly, about how sometimes, partnerships don’t really work out. Which doesn’t mean that one throws the baby out with bathwater. It is possible for two estranged people to cherish what once was, be grateful for the opportunity spent in each other’s presence, rather than live a life filled with resentment.
I’m often asked why I put out these intensely personal things on social media. If you’re reading this, let me tell you why. It’s because I think this situation isn’t unique – of two people divorcing after they have children. And I know it’s very, very difficult to navigate. And the reason I put my stories out there, is because if you’re in a situation similar to ours, these stories may guide you, if nothing else.
Talk. Talk to your partner, or ex partner. Talk to your child. Be honest, and be real. Children can see through pretence. Spread love, not hate, as the saying goes. Talk about acceptance, talk about families and family structures and how it takes all kinds of relationships to make up this world.
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