Posing For Photos With Ex & Kids: A Definite No-No

Posted by Delaine - February 1, 2011 - Blended & Changing Families, Relationships - No Comments

A Q&A with blended family expert Shirley Cress Dudley.

A future blended mom asks:

Help!  My fiancé is still posing, each year, for Christmas family photos with his ex-wife and his kids. They also celebrate Christmas together, every year. He doesn’t see any harm in it, and says the kids like it. I don’t think this is right – what can I do?

Shirley Cress Dudley Responds:

You are right, your fiancé does not belong in family photos of family that no longer exists.  Some parents believe that by celebrating the holidays together (even though they are divorced) is best for the kids.  In reality, it’s cruel to the kids.  By continuing to celebrate Christmas together, and taking group/family photos, it gives the kids hope that mom and dad may be together again someday (every child’s hope and dream.)

If both parents have remarried, (or are engaged) and everyone can attend and will get along then it’s fine for everyone to be there, as long as it’s everyone.

It’s time for your fiancé to have his own Christmas celebrations. I don’t know how long this has been going on, but as soon as he separated from his ex, he should have begun celebrating the holidays separately.  The kids need to see the “new world” and that includes dad as a single person, and one who, as an adult, can celebrate birthdays and other holidays, in his own home. Now that you are engaged, it should be a celebration with you, your fiancé and all of your kids – if that’s possible. If not possible, then make sure once you are married you celebrate together as a blended family.

Kindest Regards,


shirley cress dudleyShirley Cress Dudley is a licensed professional counselor with a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Counseling, and a master’s degree in Education. She has a passion for helping blended families grow strong and be successful, and her book, Blended Family Advice, has been touted as the ultimate must-read for couples contemplating or undergoing such change.