Benedetta and Emanuele: the story of two separated parents

Being a parent is in itself one of the most difficult roles, much more so when you are separated.

Two different educations that take place in two different environments. Managing this and much more becomes heavy especially when two separated parents are not in agreement.

For this reason, this month I have chosen to tell the story of Benedetta and Emanuele, a couple who knew how to build a different family for their daughter Chloe despite being separated parents.

I met Benedetta through her Instagram profile Unexpected Family . She looked like a profile like many others but she was a gift and still is today for all those couples who are afraid of separating and see no way out other than to remain united, albeit unhappy.

Through their profile, they tell their story to help many parents understand how important it was, when separated, to find a meeting point.

I positively envy Emanuele and Benedetta for their courage and their desire to look to a greater good than themselves: their daughter Chloe.

When we separate we are so caught up in the quarrel, in being right, in understanding who is more to blame than … that we lose sight of the most important part such as helping to process parental separation for our children.

It is an important piece often underestimated.

Time is wasted pulling children from one side to the other, using them as trophies or doing everything possible to give more materially, forgetting the emotional part.

How sad all of this is, it is even more so when we understand that anger, sadness and all the emotions that appear in that moment are managing us.

A parent is faced with the emptiness of love , the fear that he will no longer be loved as before if he lives elsewhere or is struggling with the anguish that a future partner of the other may take their own place.

You have to learn to be mature people to overcome these pieces of life in your own history of separated parents.

Emanuele and Benedetta were, and still are, two parents with a capital G because at a certain point in the relationship they questioned themselves, presented their fragility to the other, stripped themselves of their individual identity to give space to well-being of your daughter.

Above all, they put judgment aside to entrust themselves to a professional, such as a family mediator, who would help them in this “enterprise”. Their goal was to establish balance and serenity for Cloe as well as themselves.

Happy and peaceful parents mean happy and peaceful children.

They relied and trusted in family mediation thanks to which a beautiful family lives today . Unexpected I would say, as they call it.

Different from the traditional family but still family. Because to be a family you don’t have to look at who is with whom but at how understood as a quality of the relationship.

Benedetta and Emanuele now enjoy and live fully, albeit separated, their being a family.

May their story be an example to all those couples who are about to separate or have separated so that the light and beacon of every decision is always to safeguard their child. Court wars do no one any good, they destroy everyone’s heart.

Who are Benedetta and Emanuele?


I am a woman and mother. I am a person who has changed and is still revolutionizing his life in every area: work and personal.

I discovered, also thanks to Emanuele, that I could be and live differently than before.

The birth of my daughter gave me greater awareness and actually also separation because it forced me to understand myself deeply and go and recover those energies and abilities that I did not imagine I had, to be reborn.


I am a single father who in every moment of his life seeks continuous stimuli to improve himself by always doing what he loves. I didn’t know, before I had Chloe, that love could go that far. I like “beauty” in all its forms, as long as it is authentic and “risky” in the least dangerous sense of the term, that is: continuous research without fear of change.

When you decided to separate what thoughts, emotions did you feel inside?


The choice was very complex to make. When I spoke to Emanuele about the fact that there were too many things wrong, it seemed to me a less heavy solution to tell him that perhaps we needed to take a break. Actually then that break only lasted two weeks in which I realized it was too late to try to recover the relationship as a couple.

I was very scared.

I found myself alone with a 1 year old girl in a huge house (rent just 2 weeks before) and without a car because I had sold it before moving to Corfu. Not least as an object of anxiety that, having just returned from Greece where we lived for a couple of years, I also had to rebuild my professional side and place Chloe in a nursery.

I felt desperate.

I think this is the right word. It didn’t seem possible that that decision could, over time, still bring me joy and serenity in my life. I saw everything black.



It was a failure that made me relive what I suffered in my past, coming from a family with separated parents. I felt I couldn’t give up on that horrendous fate that has always accompanied me, marked by suffering and by improvising to live. I was heartbroken because within me I have always nourished a desire for a “united family” and I saw the dream shatter into oblivion.

Achieving a balance between parents is important for the sake of the children. How did you manage to put aside your reasons for meeting the other? 


After the first devastating months, where the pieces of our idea of ​​life had been trampled and destroyed by ourselves, I felt suffocated. You couldn’t talk about anything except in heated and threatening tones, she accuses. You couldn’t see the beauty in each other anymore, not even as a parent, sometimes. It all seemed complex and impossible.

One day we really came to a head and I felt like I was at an impasse. So, unknowingly, I lowered my weapons. I cried in front of him telling him I didn’t understand how we could get this far. That we weren’t us anymore. But we should have found a way. We had a daughter and there was no getting away from that. 

Hearing those words, he in turn lowered his walls of defense and since that day, one small step at a time, we have built what is now a relationship of total trust in each other. Mutual respect and parental sharing.

I immediately went to a psychologist who then suggested that we be followed by a family mediator.

With mediation we have achieved goals that I never imagined. 


I relied heavily on Benedetta’s ability to “keep myself to herself” in the most beautiful way possible (and which I would suggest copying to many separate women) without ulterior motives.

She taught me to understand the state of mind of others by putting aside the ego.

In these three years I have learned even more profoundly how important it is to listen to the other for the sake of loving. 

Another very important help that was given to us to be able to better organize the life of separated people was that offered by the figure of the mediator.

How do you live your story of separated parents?


We live it as a normal evolution of our relationship. If you think about it, no relationship always remains the same, and so even what passes from couple to parental couple does the same thing: it evolves.
We are two people who talk to each other, confront each other, argue. Just like everyone.


I too believe in an evolution of the relationship and of a well-being perhaps more distant but better than couples who strain tendons and spirits to stay together “because of the children”. Generally, they do massive damage. 

Better away but happy. 


You have opened an Instagram profile, Unexpected family . The family name is beautiful to say that you continue to be one even though you are no longer a couple. What’s the secret?


The secret, if you can call it that, starts from a reality that is immutable: that of having a daughter together. Whether you like it or not, you have no choice about this . Children always belong to both parents. So I guess the question is: how do I want to live between now and the end of my life: fighting against something I can’t change or finding a way to make it better?

We have chosen to make it as good as we can.


I experienced very badly never being able to have a Christmas, a birthday or any anniversary, without having my mother and father close by. My sense of family probably transcends tradition: friends, companions and family members who love being with us “unexpected”, they are family. 

The close circle for Chloe will always be made up of mom and dad regardless of where they are. First of all it was unexpected for us I think, and now it has become a wonderful opportunity for improvement using the comparison with the outside world. 

How do you organize yourself during the week and during the holidays especially Christmas?


It took us a long time to find the right way to organize the weeks. We have never used a lawyer. And along the way we’ve been patching things up and trying to make it better for Chloe.

Now we have alternating weekends. The week in which I have her on the weekend, Ema has her from Wednesday to Friday, while the weeks in which she spends the weekend with her dad, during the weekdays she stays with me.

We always celebrated his birthday together, while Christmas the first years we split on the 24th and 25th. 

The last two years we managed to do them together.


We have alternating weekends and weekdays likewise made. I also try to experience Chloe’s daily life by participating in all the weekly activities, also enjoying two weekends a month with her.

We try to celebrate the holidays all together. Chloe is delighted to share those moments with all of us.

I’d like you to tell why wars are useless, how exhausting it is for children to have a parent who speaks ill of the other .


I think it’s the most important thing to understand and realize: our children don’t have to carry on our grudges, our shattered expectations or support us.

At the beginning it is very difficult to leave them out of these dynamics. Emotions prevail over the sense of reality and rationality.

But after all, hating each other is of no use to anyone. Surely we don’t need children to listen and assimilate our thoughts about it, but the turning point I think is in understanding that there could be a better way to live this situation. A way that helps us feel good too and not just our children.


Accept the situation as it is. Accept that things didn’t go as we hoped. Put a stop and move on. If you are unable to do it yourself, then get help. I would never stay in such a heavy situation for too long. I want to be serene not to fight every day against someone I can’t “get rid of” .


I actually see it as an insult to oneself since, excluding the serious cases that may exist between separated families, if one parent spoke ill of the other to the child, it would only create a boomerang of negative emotions on the child himself.

The prodigious reasoning of “he’s small he doesn’t understand” does not exist. 

They feel and perceive everything and so I think it’s really a gesture comparable to the famous sledgehammer on the foot.

What advice do you Benedetta give to separated women or who are about to separate? 

I think the thing I most wanted to hear is: you are not a failure because you failed to keep your family together despite having a daughter.

And I’ve had a few people say words to me that really helped me.
So the advice I feel like giving from the heart is: surround yourself with people who do you good, who help you get through this moment and not with people who take your side to spit judgments on the other. It won’t do you any good, it will only nourish emotions and thoughts for their own sake and which, once alone at home, will make you feel worse than before.

Try to find something that makes you lighter and nourishes your well-being. And if no friendship or acquaintance can do it, go to a professional. She will surely be able to help you.

Don’t wait to get to the limit. Seek the right help as soon as possible, you’ll avoid really dramatic moments where you won’t think it’s possible to change things, while the way is. Always.

What advice do you Emmanuel give to men who are about to separate or have separated?

Difficult to give advice because each situation stands on its own but, if I really had to suggest something, it would be not to be afraid of anything. 

If you are honest with yourself and love your child, you will certainly make many mistakes but love makes everything right. 

I always try to think like this and I’m learning day by day that trusting in life can be a very strong weapon in order not to be overwhelmed by it despite being separated parents, suffering or in moments of extreme confusion. 


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