Marriages are one of life’s great milestones, so it’s no surprise they generally come with a party, often a highly extravagant one. But if the beginning of a marriage deserves such fanfare, why doesn’t the end of one do the same? Obviously, some people are highly distraught after a divorce, and certainly no one should ever feel obligated to make a big deal of it. But sometimes a divorce party is just what is called for by another of life’s milestones.
Reclaiming One’s Life
Divorces are sometimes the result of a very dark, abusive environment. Maybe the abuse was physical, or maybe it was emotional, which can be just as crippling. Often, the abuser convinces the victim they can accomplish nothing on their own and won’t be able to function without them.
In these cases, a celebration marks an escape from a bad situation. More importantly, it focuses on where the host goes from here. They did make it this far, and with the support of friends, they’ll continue to successfully live their own life beyond the reach of their toxic ex.
Saving a Friendship
Not every divorced couple end up hating each other. Some just figure out they make better friends than spouses. These are the best divorces, if such a thing exists. It’s about two people committed to remaining friends, and that’s something worth celebrating. Such a party needs both exes to be present. Otherwise it’s kind of a mixed message.
This co-hosted divorce party is also great for letting people know there should be no hard feelings. People often take sides in relation to divorces, and this is where the ex-couple can make it clear they’re still friends and don’t have an ill wishes for each other.
Divorce parties tend to be irreverent affairs, looking far more like bachelor or bachelorhood parties than weddings. They tend to mock elements of traditional marital celebrations. Gag gifts abound. Cakes are silly, featuring everything from a broken ball and chain to a husband in a tux or a wife in a wedding dress being pushed off the top of a tiered cake.
It can be a little awkward attending a divorce party. Are you supposed to gossip? Are you not supposed to gossip? How irrelevant is too irrelevant?
A good rule of thumb is to keep things upbeat unless the host does otherwise. A lot of people going through divorce need emotional support. You might think they want to hear you trash their ex, but they might not want to talk about the ex at all. They’re moving on, and gossiping simply holds them in the past.
On the other hand, if your host does decide to roast the ex, you’re certainly welcome to play along.
Most divorces are messy affairs, the culmination of months or years of unhappiness. Some people emerge from them shattered. Others are charged up to move on with their lives. A divorce party is not for everyone, and the tone of them must be dictated by the divorced individual. However, for some, a divorce party isn’t merely entertaining, but is also therapeutic.
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