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Divorce parties -- "unbridled showers" -- grow in popularity

Media articles in recent years that have touched on the subject of divorce parties or celebrations have tended to focus on the tongue-in-cheek aspects of such events, treating them as decidedly aberrational and more than just a bit off center.

The sheer number of such parties, though, coupled with the industry that has sprung up to support them and the many authors who now write about them routinely, underlies any notion that they are simply whimsical events and passing fads.

In truth, they seem solidly entrenched and growing in popularity, with increasingly more family law counselors, psychologists and commentators voicing an opinion that what some planners call "unbridled showers" are often a healthy happening and a supportive bridge toward a new life.

A divorce zaps quite a bit of energy for many people, with materially weighty issues such as child custody, child support, property division and related matters often being emotional and taking a considerable amount of time and energy to resolve.

How about a party?

For real. Some people say that a fete is an announcement of new status and spells both reassurance and an invitation to loved ones and friends to celebrate new beginnings. For some party hosters, a party is a necessary ritual that confirms an event of magnitude and then frees one to move on from it.

For still others, bridal showers are both emotionally uplifting affairs and practical as well, helping them restock the home with necessary goods and utensils provided by guests as gifts.

The bottom line with therapists who generally support the idea -- noting that it might not be appropriate in every case -- is that if it feels uplifting and healthy, have at it.

After all, it's your party.

Source: New York Times, "The unbridled shower: celebrating divorce," Judith Newman, Sept. 14, 2012

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