Just got out of a bad relationship? Don't worry - you're not alone. Sitting around moping and eating bonbons isn't going to help though. Instead, put on your big girl (or boy) pants and head over to The Riviera Hotel this Friday for Miami's first ever divorce party.
Debbie Martinez is known by her clients as the Divorce Whisperer. A certified life coach specializing in divorce, Supreme Court-certified family mediator, and divorce columnist for The Huffington Post and The Florida Villager, she's tired of the stigma associated with divorce, so she's changing things up, with a party to celebrate new beginnings.
Although it would seem that Martinez is an advocate of divorce, that's not the case.
"I'm an advocate of marriage," she says. "But if it's not beneficial to either party then you need to get out."
Instead, she says, she's an advocate of mindful divorce - of standing up for yourself and having the balls to say this isn't healthy for me, so I'm gonna get out.
"People should not just get divorce on a whim, but if it's going to happen then it should happen the best way possible."
Divorce parties aren't exactly a celebratory cause, Martinez admits. In fact, they're kind of negative in nature, so she wanted to host one that was positive. A victim of divorce herself, Martinez was married for 15 years and has two children. "I had an accountant and an attorney dream team to back me up legally and financially, but nobody to really get me through it," she says. "I didn't have a cheerleader or anyone to teach me how to get my self-esteem back together." It was then, in the process of becoming newly single and a life coach, that she realized she wanted to be a divorce coach.
"Many of my clients think life is over [after divorce], and my job is to make them realize that it's just beginning."
This party is exactly that - a way to celebrate new beginnings. And who knows, you might even meet someone in the process. All people, whether newly divorced, divorced for 10 years, or maybe not divorced yet but thinking about it are welcome.
Don't worry, there will be no inspirational speech or talk about the beautiful process of finding yourself again. This isn't a therapy session; it's a party. Live music and entertainment in a beautiful setting with passed hors d'oeuvres, a celebratory cake with a motivational message, frosted cupcakes, and "rum baby rum" cocktails will substitute for the tears and sob stories.
Martinez is also encouraging attendees to bring their wedding gown and donate it to a charity helping affianced women who can't afford the price of a new dress. Think spring cleaning while also getting rid of the past and moving on, all the while helping someone who's found love. The expression when one door closes a window opens is all too true in this case.
Besides, that wedding dress ain't worth nothing. In return you'll get a "moving on box" filled with 10 items, some witty and some serious. The box includes a journal to jot down thoughts and feelings, and compass to find your way to your new life. Then there's the donkey (jackass) shaped squeeze stress ball and nutcracker branded with the catch phrase "hmmm, I wonder who I can use this on." (We guess there's comfort in cliche when you're grieving the end of your marriage.)
Rose-colored glasses and a book - A Weekend to Change Your Life - is included as part of the moving on box. Martinez recommends the book to anyone undergoing any sort of important transition.
There will also be some funky takeaways, like a ring coffin and fake wedding band to put inside the coffin with a list of things that you want to bury from your past. Guests can do this at home and revisit it if ever they feel they need a reminder that they made the right decision and of how far they've come.
"Divorce is so prevalent, but [you] would be surprised how many of the people going though divorce feel they are the only ones," says Martinez. "Hopefully this party will bring everyone together and make them realize they have a friend in the process while having a darn good time."
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