#divorceselfie: Is this a good thing?

As I drove home from work with my husband last week, the DJ briefly mentioned a new trending item going around—#divorceselfie. When I heard that, I think I internally rolled my eyes and thought, “Oh cripes. What is this world coming to?” I suspect that many folks who heard about it thought the same.

Despite my negativity towards the brief snippet of info I had just heard, I still went to Twitter to look it up. My search led me to a few online articles, which went into far more detail than what was mentioned on the radio. I smiled while I skimmed through the small handful of articles and tweets, and it made me think about Amway products.

“Amway products, Veronica? What?”

Yes, Amway products. Bear with me here.

Over two decades ago, I started using Amway products, and I always remember what the representative told me about the laundry soap, “One of the reasons we can’t sell them in stores is because we’d need someone standing by to explain the concentrated formula. If you saw this expensive product next to a regular competitor (that is only a fraction of the price), you’d never buy it.”

He was right. Most consumers wouldn’t know that SA8 laundry powder has an itty-bitty scoop versus the magnum-sized scoop of the popular brands; and that it’s actually better quality (and cheaper) than you might think.

Why do I compare #divorceselfie with a box of soap? Because… well… shame on you for judging a book by its cover.

So for all of the people with negative comments towards this seemingly unorthodox selfie, take a moment to understand what it actually represents. After internally rolling my eyes at what the DJ said, I could have easily tweeted a knee-jerk comment about it, based on how I was feeling… based on my lack of due diligence. Upon further research though, I discovered that it was actually a very bold and selfless statement by a couple who decided to move on in their lives separately… but together… Together for their children. They are epitomizing my view on “Positive Divorce.”

I took the liberty of creeping Shannon Neuman’s Facebook page, and read what she wrote first-hand; as I did not want to fall prey to someone’s amped up Urban Legend version.

Shannon (and Chris): Although your selfie-expression (Get it? Yeah… a total play on words there.) garnered you far more attention than you expected, you get it. You get how it should be. You get that you are the adults and that your children should not be victims of your life choices.

I have seen and heard—and lived—the full gamut of divorce scenarios and, unfortunately, the majority are not good. Twenty-plus years ago, I remember encouraging someone very close to me to rise above any negative feelings she had towards her child’s father, and “be the bigger person.” I begged her not to speak ill of him in that child’s presence. Did she listen? No, she did not. I then watched that precious child go through untold amounts of pain and suffering at the hands of both of her parents.

I have watched another similar situation with another family close to me. Their children are teenagers now, and had to bear witness to so much outlandishly negative (this is an understatement) behavior by one of their parents over the past decade, that they are shells of human beings now. They, in turn, barely have a relationship with the non-aggressor parent because of the manipulation by the other. It breaks my heart to see it, but what breaks my heart more is knowing that the chances of either of those teens being able to carry on a healthy and loving relationship is very slim.

So consider this my way of standing next to a #divorceselfie so that I can explain its true intention over the ever-so-popular generic fish-face selfie that we are all too familiar with. It’s not to say that it’s not going to become twisted over time, by today’s narcissistic society, but for now, take Shannon Neuman’s message and read it. Memorize it. Chant it. Believe in it.

And if you are divorced (or getting divorced) with children as a part of the equation, then I beg of you…

Live it.

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