Divorce is a kind of death. At least that’s how many of us see it. It is a time to mourn the loss of love, family and our hopes and dreams.
Psychiatrists Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe developed a system to calculate the effect of stress on our health, in 1966. The scale uses “life change units” to measure the impact of major life events. According to the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory Scale, divorce comes in at number two, with 73 units. The death of a spouse is 100 units. By the way, marriage rates a 50 on the list of stressful life events.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Glynda Rhodes prefers to see divorce as a new start in life. In fact, she sees it as a time to celebrate, and she is helping women do that with The Divorce Party Planner.
Some people may find celebrating divorce rather controversial. Society still views divorce as a failure on the part of one of both partners. We know that isn’t the case. It’s folly to stay in a relationship that is making you miserable. It can even be dangerous. Forget what Holmes and Rahe said, an abusive relationship is off the charts.
Getting together with your girlfriends and celebrating a start instead of an ending is what Glynda’s divorce parties are all about. Glynda hasn’t let her own divorce bring her down; she’s the life of the party! She is an effervescent woman with a taste for the good things, and that means enjoying your life to the fullest.
That isn’t to say that there won’t be a few tears shed at your divorce party. Emotions are mixed during a time like this. Burn the wedding dress, rant and rave, but appreciate the opportunity that is coming your way. Start a new career, find a new and true love (eventually) and lean on your friends for support. Glynda’s company serves the Los Vegas region, but there is no reason you can’t take a tip from Glynda and throw your own divorce party.
First Wives World had the pleasure of speaking with Glynda about recovering from the emotional trauma of divorce and celebrating a new you with your closest friends.
Image source: Thedivorcepartyplanner.com
Many of us are devastated by divorce, but looking at the process as a new start allows us to view the future with optimism and realize goals that we put on hold. You have an event planning business, Blackbook 702, but how did you come up with the divorce party idea?
Glynda: I had been approached several times about planning weddings, and during that time I was separated and planning a wedding was the last thing on my mind. I had to leave one of my friend’s wedding. I just couldn’t sit through it because of my situation. At first, it was a joke saying NO, but I will plan your divorce party. Then I thought, what a great idea! We celebrate everything else, why not celebrate the fact that you survived it? Have a celebration to start off The Next Chapter in your life with your friends and family and who ever else helped you get through it.
You’ve been through the process. Do you have any advice for women who are just starting on this journey?
Glynda: EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED! We all hope for the friendly ending, but in so many cases that just is not the way it ends up. There are so many things that come up that no way could you possibly be prepared for. Make sure, and I can’t even believe I am saying this.. you have a good lawyer or someone who is there to protect you. We are very vulnerable during this time, and it is so easy to just want to give in just to make it all go away. You can’t! This is the time you have to find your inner strength and look out for you and only you!
This kind of event is still considered controversial by some people. Society still sees divorce as a failure. Many people feel you should be mourning the loss in some way. The rest of us feel that you’re not a widow, so only dress in black if that means getting dressed up for a night on the town, or a party. Have you had any negative feedback in this regard, or are people accepting the concept?
Glynda: True, divorce is still looked at as a negative thing, Taboo in some places; there are some statistics that show: 41-50 % of most first marriages end, 60-67% of second marriages and 73-74% of third marriages end. It’s unfortunate, but it happens. No one going into a marriage thinks that they would ever end up in a divorce. One thing I experienced myself is, that it is like a death! You do mourn the ending. There is that day where you can’t wait to go to court and hear the Judge say it’s final. You go with a friend to celebrate after you walk out that courtroom, you’re so excited, then all of a sudden your emotions come crashing down. I didn’t want to go out. I just wanted to go home and be alone. It’s a very emotional rollercoaster. I always ask the person getting divorced to wait a bit. Don’t sign anything, or make any major decisions and just take at least a month to yourself.
There is something cathartic about burning the wedding dress, marriage certificate or other reminders of your marriage. Is this kind of ritual popular at your parties, or do women still want to hold onto the dress, or the engagement and wedding rings despite the bad memories?
Glynda: Every client is different. It really depends on their own situation and what makes them feel good on how to release what ever negative emotions they have about the break up. I have one client coming in town from Ohio and she wants to meet the cast of a show. She said this show helped her get through a lot of her divorce and her father passed away during this period as well. We hopefully will be able to arrange this for her. I would say they are planning their divorce parties with a lot of thought just as you do a wedding or any other celebration.
The emotional stress of divorce can cause many of us to stand still like a deer in the headlights and not know where to go from here. Although a divorce party is about fun and entertainment, have you found that it marks a passage in a woman’s life and can help her to move on to the next stage?
Glynda: A deer in a headlight is right! Blindsided! That is exactly what I said! WHAT NOW? Yes I do think it is a light at the end of the tunnel that not only you, but several have gone through. I have been told it’s very therapeutic and a release, in a sense. You would be surprised. At these parties we have seen other women who are entering a divorce; some just finalizing one; some divorced for years; some happy and some in tears. At some point throughout the celebration it gets everyone talking openly about their own situations. Everyone has had different experiences; what got them through it, what happened during, and how they proceeded after. It really makes you feel like you’re not alone. So many people are willing to share their own experiences to help you through it all.
Image source: Thedivorcepartyplanner.com
Can you tell us about some of the divorce parties you’ve organized? What happens at these events?
Glynda: The parties are never the same, as you may have read, burn the dress, let the wedding ring go with balloons. We have made foam board targets of the X to be shot up with paintball guns. We have taken the wedding song they walked down the aisle to and recorded it backwards as she walked down the stairs to greet her guests. We have one we are working on that needs to focus on her business, so we are creating a mixer/party at her place of business. We have had requests as simple as they just want to come to Vegas for the weekend and go to the nightclubs, male strippers, spa days, etc. We have a shooting range venue with its own VIP lounge where we make cartoon characters of the X. The ideas for the parties come when we actually talk to the client, get to know the situation, learn about them and create it towards their personality and what would make them excited to start the New Chapter in their life.
What region do you serve and would you ever consider expanding your divorce party service to other parts of the U.S.?
Glynda: Currently we are just planning parties in Las Vegas, Nevada, but I enjoy putting them together so much that I would fly just about anywhere to plan their party. I have to also mention that when everything is over and you have time to just focus on you, that there is hope of starting over and finding your new identity.
We are getting ready to launch, Kissed The Wrong Frog Divorce Party Shop website on August 18th. I was so tired of trying to find cute divorce party items and all I could find was Penis Piñatas and those type of items so I came up with my own line! Kissed The Wrong Frog!!! They are the cutest tee shirts, hats, lip gloss, condoms and more items on the way. I am so excited about it. We all have kissed a few wrong frogs, so I figured why not. Another thing we are launching is Divorced...The New Single. We plan to have professional mixers, parties and events, for all those who don’t want to go to the night clubs starting at 10pm, and get them out of the house! You can’t meet anyone sitting on the couch, I keep saying. We have also created a blog, “Divorced…The New Single” which will also be launched August 18th. This will be a place where everyone can share their experiences and advice beginning to end.
Thank you, Glynda! It’s been a pleasure.
Have you thrown a divorce party or are you considering celebrating the end of your marriage? Share your stories with us in the comment box below.