Over the past century, and even the past decade, divorce practices and traditions have evolved. Some new aspects may not seem so great, but many changes have been for the better.
Along with advanced mediation, "conscious uncoupling" and co-parenting agreements, the mostly amicable divorce has added a new element to the process: the divorce party. This is not a concept that will appeal to all divorcing couples - far from it, in fact. But for those who enjoy them, divorce parties can be a perfect way to mark an important transition in their lives.
A divorced couple who had their divorce party together recently appeared on an ABC morning news show. They explained that it was not so much a celebration as it was merely throwing a party for their friends, something they'd done frequently throughout their married life. Speaking of friends, that's how this former couple sees themselves post-divorce.
In an article for the Huffington Post published last year, therapist Christine Gallagher says, "Divorce parties are part of our culture now." She suggests these parties are usually appropriate and there really are no specific rules when it comes to having one. However, you should exercise good judgment with regard to invitees, timing and theme.
Asking people to throw you a party seems a bit much, and focusing on your ex's negatives might not be as festive as focusing on your own future. You don't want to make your guests feel uncomfortable, and you don't want to suffer regrets later on. But in the end, it's still your party and you can customize it however you want to.
You can choose to have your ex-spouse attend or not. In some cases, it would be awkward to have your ex there. Then again, it might be appropriate to have a party together as did the former couple who recently appeared on ABC. You might want to have the party at a restaurant, your new home or in an exotic location. It can be a simple brunch or an over-the-top weekend. Make it fun and make it uniquely yours.
Divorce is a difficult endeavor, and you should mark the occasion in whatever way feels most appropriate. And if you want to have a divorce party, please understand that you can and should customize it to fit your unique style and situation.