Anna Faris understands that divorce isn't the end of a family, it's just the evolution of one.
Faris shares her 6-year-old son Jack with ex-husband Chris Pratt, who took to Instagram Monday to announce his engagement to Katherine Schwarzenegger.
When Pratt posted the good news Faris was quick to show up in the comments section with kind words. "I'm so happy for you both!! Congratulations!" she wrote on Monday.
Still family after divorce
Faris and Pratt announced they were separating in back in August 2017.
In a joint statement made at the time the two actors stressed that it wasn't an easy decision to come by, and that while they were no longer a couple, they would always be a team for Jack.
"Our son has two parents who love him very much and for his sake we want to keep the situation as private as possible moving forward. We still love each other and will always cherish our time together."
Not long after they separated, Faris was publicly linked to her new boyfriend, cinematographer Michael Barrett, and in December 2017, Pratt filed for divorce. It was finalized 10 months later in October 2018, making Faris and Pratt both legally single.
Pratt and Schwarzenegger have reportedly been dating since the summer of 2018, although neither acknowledged a relationship publicly until December, when Pratt posted a romantic birthday message for Schwarzenegger on his Instagram.
People reports the two couples spent Halloween together, taking Jack trick-or-treating, and on a recent episode of her podcast, Anna Faris is Unqualified, Faris shared that she and her ex-husband have been very mindful of how their post-divorce relationship can impact Jack.
"Chris and I work really hard 'cause we have Jack, that is sort of the long game idea and making sure Jack is really happy, which makes us really happy," Faris said. "We have sort of the luxury of circumstance. You know, we are both in other loving relationships."
The long game
For Faris, Pratt and so many other parents who are no longer coupled, Jack's current and future wellbeing is so much more important than their past relationship problems.
Research suggests joint physical custody (which Faris and Pratt have) is linked to better outcomes for kids than divorce arrangements that don't support shared parenting and that divorced couples who have "ongoing personal and emotional involvement with their former spouse" (so, are friends, basically) are more likely to rate their coparenting relationship positively.
Simply put: Shared parenting is good for kids, and getting along after a divorce is good for shared parenting.
An evolution, not an end
As clinical hypnotherapist Susan Allison wrote in her book, Conscious Divorce: Ending a Marriage with Integrity "It's time to replace terms like 'broken' or 'split' family for terms like 'bi-nuclear' or 'blended' family, showing that the unit is not lost but restructured, that the bonds of kinship continue long after a divorce."
They really do. A couple can uncouple, but they will always be co-parents. It's a different kind of bond, but it is still beautiful.
Writing for Motherly, Tara Rigg, whose parents divorced when she was 10, explains how she is now so thankful for the way her parents made co-parenting a priority and a consistent practice after their divorce.
"From the very beginning, special days were spent together. My dad would come over to my mom's house for our birthday dinners. He was always with us on Christmas morning when Mom would make a big brunch and we'd open presents together. We walked out together, one parent on each arm, at halftime in the Homecoming football game when I was a member of the court. Everyone was present and sitting together at my graduations," Rigg wrote.
Now a mother herself, Rigg refers to her parents divorce as beautiful, but admits, "This isn't to say there was never tension, or that everything was perfect. Even so, I knew deep down that my parents really did care for our best interests and were trying hard for us kids. I knew because of the way they treated each other in front of us."
Like Rigg, Faris isn't pretending that her divorce from Pratt didn't hurt, and that they haven't had tough moments since deciding to split. On her podcast, Faris made sure to acknowledge "that there is bitterness and pain with all breakups." There is pain and hurt, but there's also love—for Jack, and for each other.
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