Family Picture

I recently talked with a gentleman that commented that he was having a family picture taken soon with his wife and 2 sons. He commented on how much of a sham eh thought the picture would be in light of the struggles he had been having with his wife. In truth, he was struggling with his wife but it was nothing I would consider extreme or relationship-threatening. The issues were important but resolvable.

Anyway, I got to thinking about his comment about the picture being a sham….the ideal picture of the happy family and everyone smiling….and him knowing the reality…namely that recently, she and he had had some big fights.

After considerable thought, I realized some things:

  1. With all (family) pictures, there is the reality of the picture and what is behind the picture. There is the wonderful closeness, for example, of a couple or family all together and happy (when we are at our best) and the un-photographed moments of the angry looks, accusations, actions (when we are at our worst). This is life.


  1. With that having been said, there is the factor of degree to be considered. The more extreme the ugliness that occurs between the people in the photo, the more unreal or fake the happiness is presented in the picture. And, likewise, the less extreme the ugliness is, the more genuine the happiness is in the smiles of those in the picture.


  1. Be aware, if the ugliness behind the picture is extreme and the couple stay together, then, yes, the picture is a sham of what it represents….that of a happy family.


  1. Further, if the people are really not happy together (if the picture is a sham), then it, the picture, can be an unhappy motivator for one or both people of the couple to do something to change things in the relationship; either get into therapy or divorce, etc.


  1. Finally, our society looks upon a family picture as an iconic or status symbol in achieving happiness and success in personal maturity, marriage and living life in general. This can have a detrimental effect if there is extreme struggle present in the relationship and/or the couple needing therapeutic assistance. Simply, because the couple looks so good in the picture, they don’t want to acknowledge the reality that they are in fact unhappy together and need help.


Things to ponder.

More later….