A guest post from Dr. Karen Finn…
We do a lot of celebrating to commemorate important milestones in life. We celebrate births with birthdays. We celebrate completion of educational milestones with graduations. We celebrate marriages with weddings and showers and engagement parties. We even celebrate a person’s life after their gone with funerals and memorial services. We have these celebrations to acknowledge the completion of one thing and the beginning of another. Everyone knows how to help the person who has achieved the milestone to move on to the next phase of their life because of our societal training.
But what about divorce? Divorce is an important milestone for almost half of married couples and we don’t know how to deal with it as a society. This lack of societal acknowledgement of divorce and a knowledge of how to help the person who has reached this milestone makes the transition from divorced to married all the more difficult for many people.
If we take our cues from TV and the movies, when people get divorced they need to hate each other for the rest of their lives and that the legal part of divorce will be extremely contentious and have to be heard by a jury. In reality, this is rarely the case. Sure divorce hurts – it hurts a lot, but it doesn’t have to ruin the rest of your life by having to expend all that energy and time hating your ex.
Divorce is a relatively short phase of life for most people. It’s a transition point just like a birthday, completing high school, having children and getting married. After the transition, your life is different – usually better. Because divorce is a transition just like so many others in life, why not have a divorce party?
A divorce party can be a happy or a somber occasion. Heck, it can be anything you’d like.
I know some people who commemorate their divorce with a divorce party much like a wedding shower. Their friends get together and bring gifts that will help them set up a new household for themselves.
Other people mark their divorce with a great big celebration.
You might choose to celebrate your divorce with something more low key. Getting together with some friends and talk about the good times that were and the better times that are coming.
Or maybe holding a funeral for the marriage will help you with the grief that is a natural part of divorce.
You might even choose to flush a toilet for your divorce like some people in Japan do. (I’m not kidding! – here’s a link to the article that claims people in Japan have a toilet for divorce)
There are all kinds of different ways you can welcome in the new phase of your life – being re-singled. It might be with a celebration or with a more somber acknowledgement. It might even be with a series of events for each milestone you achieve during your divorce process. Whether you choose one event or many doesn’t matter as much as what each event represents to you – which I hope is a new beginning.
Your Functional Divorce Assignment:
What phase of your transition from married to re-singled are you needing to commemorate? There are all kinds of things, big and little, that can be acknowledged during divorce – filing the initial paperwork, moving out, your first weekend without the kids, your first date. What’s going on for you that you need to mark as a new beginning?
Which of the article’s suggestions for celebrating the next phase of your life sound best to you? Choosing one of the suggestions is only the starting point. You can change things up to be exactly what you need.
Schedule your event and send out the invitations. An event isn’t really an event if you’re having it all by yourself. Invite the people who will help you move forward to the next phase of your life.
Guest post from one of our favorite divorce coaches- Karen Finn, Ph.D.
Karen Finn, Ph.D. is a divorce coach and the owner of The Functional Divorce (www.functionaldivorce.com) in Keller, Texas. She specializes in working with divorcing or recently divorced individuals who want to successfully navigate the confusion and uncertainty that usually comes with divorce. Karen helps her clients manage and work through the five facets of divorce to reduce their stress, find happiness again and rediscover the best of themselves.