Are Divorce Celebrations a Good Thing?

Should divorce be celebrated? Some people think that it should. Los Angeles entrepreneur Christine Gallagher has established a business, “The Divorce Party Planner”, and written a book of the same name, to meet the growing demand for post-divorce celebrations.
This cannot be a good thing.
Yesterday, CNN.com ran a story by Elizabeth Bougerol which covered this growing trend. In my opinion, the trend is also troubling; not because of the celebrations per se, but because of what is being celebrated.
Gallagher is quoted in the article as saying:

[Divorce is] part of life, and yet it’s the only major event for which we have no ritual. A celebration communicates that divorce is OK — life affirming, even.

Divorce should not be a part of life. It should be avoided at all cost. That begins with the beginning. Saying “I do” should be a life-time commitment, which means that one should not stand “before God and these witnesses” with just anyone. The reason this “major event” has no celebration ritual is because it has never before been viewed as a celebratory occasion. The dissolution of what was supposed to be a life-long relationship should be mourned, not exalted like the wedding itself. The above quote reveals this age’s mood regarding divorce: “it is OK — life affirming, even.”
Actually it is neither.
What does a divorce celebration look like. According to the CNN.com article, one size doesn’t fit all. Bougerol writes the following:

“Burning is big,” says Gallagher, who’s seen everything from wedding dresses to a husband’s trophy deer head go up in flames at divorce celebrations organized by her event-planning outfit. The parties — two or three per month –serve up signature cocktails with names like the So Long and the Sucker, split themed soundtracks (“Hit the Road, Jack” and “I Will Survive” are popular) and dartboards adorned with the ex’s face.

Sounds very cathartic, but not very helpful.
Not all the celebrations are “bash the ex” carnivals, and the article refers to a “wellness counselor” who stresses the need for “emotional recovery after divorce: forgiveness, of oneself and one’s ex.”
Forgiveness is good, but why wait until after the divorce? Can there not be forgiveness and reconciliation during the marriage? There should be.
This is not a post against people who are divorced. It is a post against the cultural mindset that views divorce as just another bump along the road of life; as just another event that should be celebrated. “Hey, thanks for coming to our wedding. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll be sure to invite you to the divorce soiree.”
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2 Responses to Are Divorce Celebrations a Good Thing?

  1. pinkladybugs says:

    I think that divorce celebrations could be a good thing. My friends are trying to talk me into having one. I wanted to reconcile, but my husband didn’t, and he wants a divorce. Celebrating the divorce might be a good way for me to reaffirm that I am a whole person and that I am capable of going on with my life. I could use the reassurance right now. When we first separated, I was suicidal.

  2. annmariefww says:

    I definitely understand where you are coming from with this blog but I have to say that I have a slightly different mindset, which is very interesting for a person whom was brought up Roman Catholic in catholic school being taught that divorce is unacceptable. If I have learned anything in my life so far it is that there are very few absolutes if any in terms of people and their relationships with one another. I understand that when you get married you promise to be with one another for the rest of your lives but people change and things happen and I am a firm believer in you can’t help how you feel. I would rather two people divorce and move on with their lives then spend the rest of them miserable. We only get one shot at life why waste even a minute of it, because you will never get that minute back. I work for http://www.firstwivesworld.com, it is an online community of support and help for women navigating through the various stages of divorce and life thereafter and I love what I do and I have seen a whole new world of women whom feel like they are getting a whole new shot at life once they get divorced. The celebration is more about getting yourself out there and healing. A divorce is a very turbulent time in a person’s life and why do it alone? Celebrate your life and the idea that you were able to get yourself out of something that wasn’t so ideal and begin again. Check out our website and see all of the amazing women whom have given themselves new starts and how fantastic their take on life is now.

    http://www.firstwivesworld.com

    Just my two cents

    Ann Marie

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