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There's no conventional response to divorce. Congratulations! Aw I'm sorry. That sucks! People don't know how to react or what to do to support you through the process. The best response I received was from an older woman, after having learned the length of my marriage/relationship: Well good lord honey! You've only been in one aisle in the grocery store and that's Twinkies! It's time for you to move up to fresh produce!

Folks don't know how to react because there's no one-size-fits-all category for divorce. Some people are glad the on-life-support relationship is finally over, others like me were completely blindsided by the marital demise. No matter how it happens, for most of us divorce brings about major change and with that change comes a range of emotions. I was not the yay let's throw a party type of gal. Even though I ultimately made the final decision to walk away, I was devastated. Sixteen years of marriage down the drain, over twenty years invested in the relationship I could not possibly see how life could get better. Forget better, I couldn't even imagine life ever being normal again.

A friend gave me a gift, an inspirational bracelet, not specifically for the circumstance but as a Mother's day gift. That gift meant a lot to me, the message resonated and I was determined to heal. I visited divorce websites, connected with others in pain and learned about a seemingly mythical place - the other side of divorce - where folks healed and thrived. How in the hell did you get there?

Embrace the pain! So I did, albeit seemingly counterintuitive at the time. Along the journey I came up with an idea for a gift box for those going through divorce, a tangible divorce specific gift to help others along their journey from broken to whole. Someone asked me recently "Are you celebrating divorce?" My initial reaction was a simple no but the more I think about it there is a celebratory component. Divorce is a major life event and most major life events are ceremonious. Some say divorce is similar to death but I like to think of it as comparable to a birth. When someone has a baby, we don't say: Congratulations on your vajay jay stretching enough or you handled that episiotomy like a champ! No! We don't celebrate the private, painful event but we do acknowledge the process is necessary for the celebrated outcome.

Well divorce is the painful process we've conditioned ourselves to keep mum about but I think that anyone going through or having gone through the process should get a gift! Friends should give their friends divorce gifts, divorce attorneys should give their clients gifts, we should give ourselves a gift! The inner strength and resolve it takes to make it to the other side of divorce should be supported to promote healing and the new life one creates marked with celebration.

So what do you think? Should there be gifts for divorce? What kind of support or reaction have you received from family, friends and your community?
 

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Im on the celebration train with this and would give a special gift.

I see divorce as a new beginning after a bad period in ones life. After divorce it is like you are reborn, so give that person a birthday present and encourage them happily and positively!


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Divorce gifts seem like the tackiest of the tacky to me but then again I'm not a gifts sort of person. It is putting a consumerist spin on what should be a growth and healing experience.

My circle supported me emotionally and with wine just as I do with my friends/family that go through divorce.

Sorry, divorce gifts, cringe worthy idea IMHO.
 

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I was ecstatic and at the same time depressed when I was getting divorced. My girlfriend bought me a seahorse necklace, not as a let's celebrate kind of thing but just because she was thinking about me. It meant a lot to me and I wear almost every day.
 

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xMadame Agree with the idea of being "reborn"! Personally, life feels very new to me and I am learning a lot about myself and others. Welcome to the gift train :)
 

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if you left a marriage because of infidelity,abuse,addiction,

then celebration is in order. But if you just decided to leave because you weren't happy for frivolous reason like they just don't make me happy any more. then its just an excuse for them or validation for them so they didn't have to work at their marriage. because nobody can make you happy except yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Divorce gifts seem like the tackiest of the tacky to me but then again I'm not a gifts sort of person. It is putting a consumerist spin on what should be a growth and healing experience.

My circle supported me emotionally and with wine just as I do with my friends/family that go through divorce.

Sorry, divorce gifts, cringe worthy idea IMHO.
MrsHolland, Thanks for sharing your thoughts - I respect your opinion. I think it's about the way in which it done. A support system is crucial to growth and healing. Not everyone knows how to respond to divorce. Personally I know I underestimated the devastation of divorce until experiencing it firsthand. To me a divorce support gift is no different that that bottle of wine, just more specific.
 

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I was ecstatic and at the same time depressed when I was getting divorced. My girlfriend bought me a seahorse necklace, not as a let's celebrate kind of thing but just because she was thinking about me. It meant a lot to me and I wear almost every day.
MusicLover, Yes! My girlfriend gave me a bracelet that I too wear almost everyday for similar reasons, to me it said she was thinking of me, she cared and she wanted to see me heal/thrive. Gifts can be uplifting, especially the unexpected ones :)
 

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Divorce is a bittersweet pill rarely to be celebrated.
itsontherocks, That's why my initial response to the question 'are you celebrating divorce?' was a simple 'no'. Divorce is horrible. Even the most ideal, non-adversarial uncoupling represents the loss of love, promise and future goals/dreams. It would be great if it never happened but unfortunately it does. I don't think it's so much about celebrating the divorce, though some folks do, as it is celebrating the survival and promise of life after divorce.
 

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If there were a such thing as "gifts for divorce," my RSXW would have had a codicil placed within the embodiment of her prenup that unconditionally entitled her to all of those proceeds!

Look in Webster's under the word, "greedy-rich," and you'll find her smiling picture!!
 

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I would gift 6 meditation classes... the least amount I feel for someone to know whether or not they are ready for it to make a difference.

Or a good book on how to fix your picker. ;)

Something to help them spiritually, whatever spirit they follow... not stuff though, there is enough of that already.

Time as a supporting friend is often the best gift...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
if you left a marriage because of infidelity,abuse,addiction,

then celebration is in order. But if you just decided to leave because you weren't happy for frivolous reason like they just don't make me happy any more. then its just an excuse for them or validation for them so they didn't have to work at their marriage. because nobody can make you happy except yourself.
chillymorn69, Interesting. After experiencing marital demise and making the very hard decision to divorce, I don't think I have it in me to decide if another's decision is valid or not. I'm sure some folks may take a nonchalant approach to relationships and marriage but I would think, or like to think, it's not the majority. Whatever the reason, divorce is typically painful. I do agree that it's up to the individual to own their happiness.
 

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If there were a such thing as "gifts for divorce," my RSXW would have had a codicil placed within the embodiment of her prenup that unconditionally entitled her to all of those proceeds!

Look in Webster's under the word, "greedy-rich," and you'll find her smiling picture!!
arbitrator, Love the sense of humor. There is such a thing as "gifts for divorce", perhaps she'll add them in her next go-round :)
 

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I would gift 6 meditation classes... the least amount I feel for someone to know whether or not they are ready for it to make a difference.

Or a good book on how to fix your picker. ;)

Something to help them spiritually, whatever spirit they follow... not stuff though, there is enough of that already.

Time as a supporting friend is often the best gift...
Emerging Buddhist, Now we're talking! You hit the nail on the head. That is exactly what I was referring to, ideas that promote healing and tools for a successful journey. A supportive friend is priceless.
 

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The folks in my area generally have divorce parties. The guests usually bring gifts of food and/or bottles of liquor to the party.
 

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arbitrator, Love the sense of humor. There is such a thing as "gifts for divorce", perhaps she'll add them in her next go-round :)
Naturally!

And for what it's worth, there's already a poor, unfortunate, pot-gutted sucker with a wedding band on his finger already sleeping over on my former side of the bed, who's got to worry about that now!
 

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itsontherocks, That's why my initial response to the question 'are you celebrating divorce?' was a simple 'no'. Divorce is horrible. Even the most ideal, non-adversarial uncoupling represents the loss of love, promise and future goals/dreams. It would be great if it never happened but unfortunately it does. I don't think it's so much about celebrating the divorce, though some folks do, as it is celebrating the survival and promise of life after divorce.
When I initially saw the title of your post, I thought, "really? Why the hell would someone want to celebrate THIS?!" But, after reading, this post above is what I took out of this. The loss of love and a promising future with shared goals and dreams is horrible. But, celebrating survival of the process, and a happy life after divorce is something that I can get on board with! As to divorce gifting, I don't know how I feel about that because when I look at the gift, it would probably remind me of why it was given to me. But, my Mom took a photo of a billboard the other day, and texted me the photo:

"Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations"

That's a photo I'll hang onto, and look at during the trying times. Hell, I might even embroider that onto something. I'd get a tattoo, but am scared sh*tless of needles.
 

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if you left a marriage because of infidelity,abuse,addiction,

then celebration is in order. But if you just decided to leave because you weren't happy for frivolous reason like they just don't make me happy any more. then its just an excuse for them or validation for them so they didn't have to work at their marriage. because nobody can make you happy except yourself.
Who decides what is "frivolous" when it comes to this?? That is judgemental to the nth degree. If someone is unhappy enough to divorce, then there is nothing "frivolous" about it.
 

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"Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations"

That's a photo I'll hang onto, and look at during the trying times. Hell, I might even embroider that onto something. I'd get a tattoo, but am scared sh*tless of needles.
I love this, very fitting! :smile2:
 
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