Breaking up may be hard to do, but getting past the emotional residue of a divorce and moving forward with your life can be even harder. Fortunately, millions of people from across the globe have been through the divorce process too and have discovered more than just a few things that are helpful in this regard and many more that are not.
As highlighted in a recent Huffington Post article, divorce-related rituals are found on the helpful side of that ledger in many different cultures. Some you might find interesting or even want to consider doing yourself include:
- Divorce ceremonies (like a marriage ceremony, but different) can be simple or elaborate and often close with some symbolic gesture of parting, such as tossing both wedding rings into a river.
- Japan’s Mantokuji Temple has historically served as a refuge for women who wanted to escape bad marriages. The essence of the temple’s ritual today is simply to write down your wishes for life after divorce on a piece of paper and then flush them down a toilet.
- Another Japanese ritual involves treating guests to a buffet-style dinner and then, at the end of the ceremony, smashing the former bride and groom’s wedding rings with a gavel.
- German bishop Margot Kaessmann has promoted a “Mass of Lament” ritual in which family members and friends of divorced spouses gather at church (just like many probably did for the wedding) and listen to the couple explain why they chose to end their marriage.
- The Unitarian Universalist’s answer to the “Mass of Lament” is the “Ceremony of Hope.” Here, the divorced spouses meet in a church and apologize to one another for the pain they have caused and seek forgiveness — and do likewise with friends and family members in attendance.
- One last “parting” party is another ritual that seems to work and that has become especially popular in the United States. Invite all your friends and family members. Order a divorce cake. Hire a divorce band to play breakup songs. Anything goes, just have fun with it.
Source: Huffington Post, “Divorce Custom: 7 Post-Split Rituals From Around The World,” July 21, 2012