The Rise of Divorce Parties: You Should Celebrate Your Split

Last week, The New York Times discussed the idea of the “divorce party” — Divorce, in Style by Geraldine Fabrikant. The couple in question, Charles and Bonnie Bronfman, have decided to divorce amicably after a three-year marriage. They decided to frame the divorce not as an ending, but as a beginning of a new phase in their relationship.

Mr. Bronfman notes their strong friendship continues, but their differences — she an intellectual, he a lover of sports; she likes New York, he likes Florida — ultimately did not make for the best romantic match. (The couple fell in love “at first sight” and were married six months after they met, which clearly accounts for their inability to discover the true impact of their differences until after they were married.)

And so, after a few years of trying to make things work, they decided to divorce and co-host an elegant cocktail party for 100 friends and family members who might be affected by or concerned about the split. Fabrikant quotes Bronfman: “Our differences were in everything we do. We thought those differences could mesh, but we found out the opposite. So we thought, why not tell our friends and thank them for helping us out?” They wrote on their co-signed invitations: “As we change the parameters of our relationship, our mutual admiration and caring is constant.”

I have to say I find this story incredibly mature and refreshing. Too often after a relationship ends, it can be tempting to throw out the baby with the bath water and conveniently forget there were wonderful qualities that brought you two together in the first place.

Of course, you’re under no obligation to throw a party or even remain close friends with the person you used to be in love with, and differing circumstances are relevant. But, in general, banishing hostilities, accepting the reality the relationship didn’t work and you’re both best apart is better for everyone — including all of the people who love both of you and often feel torn when things don’t work out.

Do you think divorce is ever cause for celebration? Can you really walk away from a relationship this amicably?