When Connie and Jeff Johnson’s 25th would-be wedding anniversary rolled around this year, Jeff decided to celebrate.
He posted this photo on Facebook with a message:
"Happy 25th anniversary to my partner in the greatest people-making co-parenting partnership in the history of the universe. At least we got that right!"
"They hadn’t acknowledged their anniversary ever for the past 12 years since the divorce, then seeing his post on Facebook was so heart-warming," their daughter, Rachael, said.
Despite their divorce, Jeff wanted to recognize the positive aspects of their partnership, 25 years in.
"We weren’t right for each other to be married, but that doesn’t mean we still don’t cooperate. We still did a great job raising our kids and I wanted to celebrate getting that right," he said.
His post received 50+ Likes on Facebook from friends and family saying things like "very proud of you!" among others.
Because Connie and Jeff’s romantic relationship didn’t work out, they made sure that raising their children did.
"They took care of my brother and myself while being able to keep it all together. They were able to help us regardless if they weren’t helping themselves," Rachael said.
Both of them agreed that because they share the two people the love most, their children, Rachael and David, they had to cooperate.
"Once you care about somebody, you don’t stop caring once your relationship changes. I wish more divorced couples could do that, if not that then for the sake of their kids," Connie said.
Although the American Psychological Association states that 40-50% of marriages result in divorce, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that divorce rates in the United States have dropped 25% between 2014 and 2000.
Many relationships have the potential to end up like Connie and Jeff’s, which is why their story is so hopeful.
What lies beneath this Facebook post isn’t merely a celebration of a co-parenting partnership. It’s a statement about continuing to care for the people you love regardless of the circumstances.
"When my parents know that they need to come together and be a team for us, they do it. When we need to come together, we do," Rachael said.