Love + Dating

Would You Throw a Divorce Party?

February 1, 2017

By design, divorce is altogether a negative thing. When a couple comes together in marriage and then splits at a later date, it’s usually a painful and difficult process. Have experienced it first-hand I can say that reneging on promises that enable you to be bound by law (and god, if that floats your boat) is not a great feeling.

Was I distraught when I got divorced? No, not really. By then I’d been separated for two years, my ex-husband had been living with his girlfriend for a long while and it just felt like a formality, a final box to tick. The only reason I remember the date of my divorce – 13th February 2015 – is because of the irony that it was the day before Valentine’s day.

I acknowledged my divorce with lunch at Pizza Pilgrims on Carnaby Street, and a small glass of midday prosecco. I happily chatted to a work colleague about our lives and relationships over olives and pizza: it felt fitting.

I can’t imagine having had any kind of other ‘celebration’ around the event of my divorce, which is why I’ve been interested to read about the current trend for Divorce Parties. One woman, it was reported in The Times, held a ceilidh as an echo of the one she had at her wedding, along with a cake, speeches and singing.

Another celebrated with a hot tub party at home, inviting her friends to a restaurant afterwards for a special divorce-themed menu.

Divorce party

My wedding shoes were great, though ;)

As ever, in America the Divorce party phenomenon is bigger.

In fact, It’s so well-established there’s even a guide, The Divorce Party Handbook, for participants to follow when they celebrate the end of their marriage with a big bash. The book advises not inviting your ex (natch), only asking guests who would feel comfortable attending and trying not to echo the wedding too closely.

Sounds pretty common sensical to me, but still… cringe.

The idea of a Divorce party is not one I’m particularly fond of. To me it seems a bit crass – a bit awkward. Making a bit of a mockery of the process of divorce, because, you know, it’s not tiresome enough as it is, right?

My divorce felt like something I would rather not have gone through, so why would I want to celebrate it?

I wonder if my feelings on this are exacerbated because there are two children that were a product of my marriage. As negatively as the relationship may have ended (and it doesn’t get much more negative than divorce), if I hadn’t had that 8 year relationship then my children wouldn’t exist.

And I’d never want to celebrate the end of the union that led to the most marvellous people I’ve ever met.

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8 Comments

  • Reply Keri-Anne February 1, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    This baffles me as to why people throw such parties. I wouldn’t personally because it wouldn’t be a happy occasion for me, even if we did end up splitting up because of something he did, i still wouldn’t want to celebrate the fact that our marriage has come to an end! x

  • Reply Alison Perry February 1, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    That’s such a good point about your marriage leading to your two marvellous children. The end of that union is nothing to throw a party over. But your post has made me want to go to a ceilidh! ;)

  • Reply Fritha February 1, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    I agree it’s a bit odd isn’t it! I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with the fact you had kids together, even though your relationship didn’t last it created two amazing children! X

  • Reply Elle February 1, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    I’m thinking of having a party…to celebrate surviving the long drawn out and expensive process of getting divorced. Drawing a line under the relationship and thanking my friends for their collective support…it won’t be a big hullabaloo but it will be marked!

    • Reply Louise February 2, 2017 at 12:36 pm

      I’m currently in the process of divorcing; it’s been an uncomplicated process so far, myself and my soon-to-ex have tried to stay amicable throughout and though we’ve had our moments, it hasn’t been too bad. I probably wouldn’t go so far as having a party but I feel that I should mark the date of when I get my decree absolute in some way. Divorce wasn’t an easy decision, I went into marriage with the idea that it would last forever, and I feel that throughout the whole process I’ve been the bravest I’ve been in a long while – so in a way, I’d like to acknowledge that and like Elle, thank those who have supported me throughout the process. The whole ‘ain’t no wifey’ thing isn’t my cup of tea at all – it seems like it’s making light of marriage and divorce but I feel like I want to mark the occasion with ‘something’ – and for me, that will probably be, like you did Alice, a meal, a glass of wine but with a bit of a ‘cheers’ to me for getting through this.

  • Reply V February 2, 2017 at 11:14 am

    My friend told me only last week that she and her long term ex had thrown a divorce party! Albeit they weren’t married… But they were together for 7 years. I actually thought the concept was quite refreshing? The break up was amicable, and both remained friends afterwards, they each shared the same set of friends too so was an opportunity for everyone to get together with no hard feelings.
    However, I agree with you, I don’t think I could do it personally. Each to their own.
    Also, another American concept appropriate here – 13th February is now apparently Galentine’s Day!

  • Reply Mel February 3, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    Isn’t a divorce party just all about laughing in the face of your ex partner that you’re so glad to see the back of them?

    I agree with you, the whole idea of one feels quite crass and not very ‘British either, I think we all tend to enjoy suffering in silence and with dignity instead.

    Mel ★ http://www.meleaglestone.co.uk

  • Reply Pen February 3, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    Happy marriages do not end in divorce, so I absolutely would have a divorce party. I celebrate the anniversary of my separation ( we were only engaged rather than actually married). I will also remember the date of my separation – 15 February 2015 – the day after Valentine’s Day. Enjoy the party this year! Last year I went for champagne afternoon tea at sketch. It was fantastic- I’d definitely recommend. I haven’t figured out what I’m doing this year. It will probably involve e champagne though. Xxx

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