5 Reasons to Consider a Divorce Party
Once a sardonic joke made at the end of many an unhappy marriage, divorce parties are an increasingly common phenomenon.
A reverse wedding of sorts, a divorce party is a celebration thrown to mark the end of a marriage. The 21st century has seen the idea become increasingly popular. As the divorce rate increases and the social stigma around the subject slowly wanes, more and more soon-to-be divorcees are choosing to turn their discontentment into a reason for revelry.
With the US wedding industry alone worth over $50 billion in 2022, it is no surprise that the concept of the divorce party has been rapidly commercialized. Divorce cakes - often a wry parody of a wedding cake with the sponge split in two or the figurines spaced away from one another - have become another source of inspiration for cake decorators everywhere. Event planners are increasingly offering divorce party services. There is even the concept of a re-bachelor or bachelorette party.
The idea has sparked numerous books and how-to guides and even inspired a Hollywood romantic comedy, 'The Divorce Party' in 2019. There is no doubt about it - divorce parties are here to stay, and we ought to embrace them.
For some, the concept will always be too conflicting. Few, if any, divorces are undertaken in a light-hearted fashion, and the idea of a celebration of a broken promise might inherently rub many the wrong way.
But for those open to this somewhat new and fast-growing celebration niche, here are five reasons why a divorce party can prove both emotionally and socially beneficial.1. A Divorce Party Can Strengthen Ties Between the Separating Couple
When hosted jointly, a divorce party can in fact strengthen the ties between the separating couple at an often emotionally turbulent time.
When a couple is bound for divorce, ill-feeling and resentment are often rampant. Bitterness over division of assets and feelings of being ill-used or taken advantage of within the marriage can linger for months or years. This is especially true for dissolving marriages where children are involved. It is often an immense source of stress, anxiety, and guilt for children to see their parents' marriage fall apart - especially if the deterioration of the relationship has been going on for some time. A divorce party in which the children are involved in the celebrations can provide reassurance to them that the changes in their circumstances do not have to be negative.
Friends of both sides of a divorcing couple can often be concerned about how their relationships with them will be affected - often an overwhelming worry about 'choosing sides'. A divorce party where both sides of the decoupling pair are hosting and displaying an amicable attitude towards one another can go some way to reassuring their concerned mutual friends.2. It Can Be a Place to Remember the Good Times
If a marriage has fallen apart over time, it is common for negative feelings to have overtaken the entire relationship and for the whole divorce to become a battlefield. In the process of dissolution, it can often feel the whole marriage was a failure and a waste of valuable time - creating bad feeling on both sides.
However, there can be intrinsic value to acknowledging the times that were better. A 'divorce toast' can seem like a cruel parody of a wedding speech and may be, like a divorce registry, too blunt for many audiences. However, if both partners can use the party to reflect upon the better stories from their marriage, however, this can be a great way to bring gratitude and even humor to the divorce process.3. Divorce Parties Can Be a Much-needed Show of Support
Of course, not every divorce party is hosted jointly under a banner of mutual respect and agreement. If a marriage is ending because of infidelity or abuse by one party - or if one side of the couple ended the marriage unexpectedly - there is usually an immense amount of distress and heartbreak left to navigate. For the former spouse left on their own, a divorce party can be an indispensable source of comfort. A divorce party can gather an individual's friends, family, and well-wishers in a safe, supportive environment that reminds them that they are not alone and have a network of loved ones they can seek out for assistance in the future.4. A Divorce Party Can Counteract the Social Stigma of a Divorce
Society has historically held a critical and judgmental attitude towards divorce. Tenets of most major religions have forbidden the practice, and the near-universal fear of 'ending up alone' has led many to stay in marriages that brought little happiness.
A divorce party recognizes that the end of a marriage is not necessarily a failure. Rather, it can be an opportunity for both parties to seek out their optimal futures separately - with new partners or alone.
A divorce party can flip the social script - it can turn the idea of an 'ending' into a 'new beginning' and a 'failed marriage' into a 'fresh start'.
These parties can also send a message to any attendees who are struggling with their own relationships that divorce - should it present itself - does not have to be a source of shame and self-doubt.5. A Divorce Party Can Create an Excuse for a Celebration in an Increasingly Celebration-free World
For those who have already weathered a season or two of engagement parties and weddings, reasons to host a party can become few and far between - often reserved for milestone birthdays and anniversaries. For those coming off the back of an unsuccessful marriage, this can be even more disconcerting. And while it is undoubtedly true that nobody needs a reason for a soiree, events that center around a milestone life event are often given more precedent in their friends' social calendars.
So, if you are feeling low about your impending divorce, it could well be worth considering a divorce party - and in doing so, supporting a new event industry, dispensing with harmful ideas about failure, and finding a reason to crack open the champagne! If have questions concerning a New Jersey divorce, call the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen at (201) 845-7400 for a free consultation.