A recent article on Huffington Post asked the question, “Do we need a ritual for divorce?” In the article, contributor Lara Lillibridge shared her thoughts on what a divorce ritual — if it did exist — would look like:
“From now forward we shall live as single adults, and promise not to interfere with each other’s lives,” she writes, mimicking marriage vows in reverse. “I take responsibility for my share of blame in the relationship, and I am sorry for the pain I have caused. I will do my best not to malign you in front of the children or mutual acquaintances.”
It’s a nice thought for those who’ve decided to file for divorce, but it’s entirely unnecessary, because a divorce ritual already exists. It doesn’t take the same shape or form as wedding vows, and it shouldn’t.
When you’re entering in to life after the divorce papers, you’re doing it alone. You don’t need your ex’s help because they no longer have a say in your life — or at least they shouldn’t.
Deleting The Past
When I was divorced, I very much went through a ritual of sorts that got me from distraught and heartbroken to accepting and ready to move on. While pain would resurface from time to time, I was so glad that I took the step that I did. In my case, it was just me, sitting down at the computer and deleting any trace of our wedding day. I also rounded up all the old photographs where she was there or we were there together, and I trashed them.
It stung hitting that delete key and walking the box of photos out to the big green giant beside my apartment, but there was something so liberating about following through. I honestly felt like a new person had been born. One that was more hopeful and ready for the future.
One Final Thing To Remember
Your experience is your experience, so your ritual should be the same. We don’t need a divorce ritual, especially one that involves the ex, because we already have one, and it’s something different for all of us who’ve “been there and done that.” How successful it ends up being ultimately depends on your willingness to go through with it.
Finalizing your divorce forms is not the end. Finding that sweet, symbolic divorce ritual, is.