Change the locks and pop some bubbly!
For my former client Katie (name changed to protect her identity), it was the final straw. After a series of affairs and more fights than she could count, her husband was now grinning at her as he revealed he'd brought a package full of marijuana to sell on their family vacation. Katie yelled at her spouse, "Are you crazy? If we'd been caught, we both would have gone to jail. The state would have taken our children away, you stupid freak!"
With that, she filed for divorce. As the countdown to the final divorce decree began, Katie's friends gathered round to support her. But it wasn't quite the right kind of support. While her friends acted like she should be in mourning, Katie felt she'd finally made a wonderful, life-affirming choice in getting a toxic man out of her home and out of her life. She decided that the end of her marriage did not deserve a funeral. It deserved a party.
Traditionally, divorce has been seen as a loss. In fact, this view has become so prevalent that people who do not grieve are often accused of being in denial. But what about someone like Katie who is genuinely not sad? If you are one of these women — or men — you might want to consider marking your divorce by throwing yourself a divorce party. Follow these essential Divorce Party tips:
- Set The Right Mood: Tell the friends you invite upfront that this is going to be a celebration of the beginning of your life as a single person. Explain firmly that it is not going to be a pity party or a chance to rehash everything that went wrong in the marriage.
- Avoid Inviting Close Mutual Friends: In most marriages, some people are closer to the wife, others are closer to the husband, and still others are close friends with both. People in the latter category may feel awkward and embarrassed about celebrating your divorce with you, especially if your spouse does not see the divorce as cause for celebration. Keep the guest list for the divorce party restricted to your close and personal friends.
- Don't Taunt Your Spouse With The Party: Just because you feel the end of the marriage is cause for celebration doesn't mean your spouse feels the same way. If your spouse is grieving the divorce, there's no reason to kick him or her in the teeth with your newfound happiness. Remember that your life is taking a positive turn — you can afford to be discreet and gracious.
- Look To The Future: The divorce party provides a great opportunity to talk with your friends about your life plans. Where do you want to be in five years? Have everyone write down five changes they would like to make in their lives and promise to meet again next year to see if everyone is on track. If your group enjoys a touch of the supernatural, why not hire a psychic to do readings or buy a tarot deck and take turns doing readings for each other?
The end of a marriage doesn't have to be tragic. If you see it as a positive event, don't be shy about throwing yourself a divorce party to celebrate the new direction your life is taking.