It’s your party, and I’ll cry if I want to

Moving on after a divorce is tough—no doubt about it.  But do we really need a special ritual or gathering to mark the end of a relationship?  An article in yesterday’s New York Times—“Untying the Knot, and Bonds, of Marriage”—featured several couples who created a divorce ritual to put closure on their relationship.  Some couples enacted it privately.  Others put on an event: an officiated ceremony with friends, family—and their kids—in attendance.  But what’s good for the goose and gander may not great for the goslings.  The end of a marriage threatens children’s inner security—and, sometimes, their financial security as well.  The idea of resolution is abstract—and beyond the comprehension of children under the age of about 12.  Including them in a divorce ceremony may be like inviting them to an earthquake.  It’s a lot of pressure to keep your cool during a seismic event—and that’s exactly what divorce is for kids.  So, asking them to participate in a ritual designed for and by adults may be unfair.  In divorce, as in marriage, the needs of the kids should come first.

More posts about divorce:
Divorce and Parenting (February 7, 2013)
Breaking up with Jeremy Lin (August 8, 2012)
Does Couples Therapy Work? (March 21, 2012)
What makes a marriage viable—or not? In a word: trust. (February 6, 2012)