Today I was interviewed on television [see clip here] about a new type of divorce party. This is not a situation where a newly single person celebrates their freedom from an unhappy marriage, rather, this new type of divorce party has the divorcing couple celebrating the end of their marriage together.
It seems counterintuitive that parties who could not stay married would throw a party together to mark the end of their relationship. Yet, the premise behind this idea is a good one. That is that the couple is showing their children and friends, that while they no longer want to be married to each other, it does not mean that they are closing off or terminating all of their other relationships.
For the divorcing couple’s children, a divorce party gives them a glimpse into how future celebrations for holidays, graduations, weddings, etc. just might play out. It shows that the couple can still have fun together and join together with their family. This behavior can lessen the tension that children may otherwise face when considering how their lives may or may not change in the future.
Frequently, when couples divorce, their friends are alienated altogether or feel as if they must choose sides. When a couple jointly celebrates the end of their divorce, it demonstrates to friends that they are free to carry on their relationships with the couple without bad feelings. Although friends may not see the couple together at future events, there is no need to sneak around, they are free to be openly friendly to either party or both.
Given the animosity between couples that often leads to divorce and carries on through the process of divorce, it is unlikely that most couples will choose to celebrate the end of their marriage together. Nonetheless, the concepts behind this new type of divorce party, that is, showing enough maturity to put your children first and showing friends that relationships can still be maintained, should be considered paramount as the former married couple determines a new normal and learns how to coexist in a different way.