I am often asked: Why have a divorce or separation ceremony? And I think there are several reasons why a ceremony marking the end of a relationship can be helpful. There are differences between a divorce ceremony and a separation ceremony. Please scroll down to read about separation ceremonies.
Ending a relationship is often difficult and painful; there may be unresolved feelings such as failure, resentment, anger. Either partner might feel that they have not had the opportunity to fully express their sadness at the end of the relationship or their relief that it is over. Creating a ceremony to end the relationship gives a safe space for each partner to have time to think about feelings and regrets and to find the words to express these in a thoughtful way.
A ceremony provides a good opportunity to acknowledge what each person has gained from the relationship, where they feel they have grown and what they feel they will be taking away as gifts from the years together. Doing this enables a relationship to end on a positive note and for each person to walk away with a sense of completeness.
This process is even more important if there are children involved. They can contribute to the ceremony if it feels right to them and their parents. If they do not want to be involved or the parents feel it is inappropriate, they will still benefit greatly because the ceremony will enable the parents to work out and establish the nature of their future relationship in a way that enables consideration and good communication.
The ceremony can be very simple with just the couple present. Some people like to have members of their family or friends present as witnesses to the ending of a relationship that they will have been involved with over the years and this can also provide the opportunity for them to state their support for each of the partners for the future.
A separation ceremony is helpful when, as a couple, you are not sure whether you are ready to divorce but you know that you need some space from each other. A ceremony can be used to give closure to what has gone before and help to create a workable structure for how the life of each of you and your family, if there are children, is going to be formed going forward. An experienced celebrant can help you to discuss practicalities and share what you feel about each other and about the future, providing a safe space for clear and compassionate communication at a time when you will probably be feeling stressed, uncertain and uncomfortable around each other.
The ceremony establishes a clear and definite break in the relationship whilst allowing for either a complete end in the future or for reconciliation and getting back together.
If you would like my help in creating a divorce ceremony or a separation ceremony, please call me to get in contact.