A part of the DivorceHotel procedure is to end the process with a last positive and special moment. These special moments of action we decided to call 'divorce rituals.' Just before your life as a single person starts we will ask you to share something with your 'soon to be ex' for the last time. This may sounds a bit odd, but it is an important step in the process in order to be able to wish each other that positive new future you both so deserve.
By ending your marriage by sharing something you both had in common during your marriage, the formalization of the divorce procedure gets real. Yes, this is sometimes confrontational and emotional but it helps couples in the process and not to forget: it also generates very special moments. I can tell you, based on my experiences; the ex-spouses often remember these rituals as very special, positive and therefore valuable moments.
I hear you thinking: "What on earth is he talking about?" Yes, our approach is revolutionary, but let's remember the fast growing number of people I have successfully helped, and am still helping. They all started a new positive future without spending a lot of money on a process that can be filled with anger and negativity. Let me remind you also, that the trend of sharing something with each other just before your split-up, already started some years ago. Divorce parties, where both members of the separating couple celebrate the end of their marriage based on a ceremony, are an example of this trend. I have experienced a lot of divorce rituals and I would like to share a couple of remarkable examples with you.
'Sharing a last bottle of Champagne with music'
One of the most common rituals we often experience is when couples toast to their new future after signing their divorce papers with a bottle of champagne. But one of the most special toasts I experienced was with a senior-plus couple. Completely as a surprise, also for me, the ex-husband took a bundle of papers out of his pocket and started a CD with their favorite music. He held a very emotional speech which was a beautiful chronological description of their ups and downs during all the years they were together. At the end of his speech he finalized his ceremony by wishing his now ex-wife all the best. The ex-husband also said that he was going to be looking forward to seeing each other next weekend, at the birthday of one of their grandchildren.
'Sharing your favorite dish together'
Another example is that of a couple that ended their marriage during a private dinner session in one of our hotels. They preferred to share their favorite food together for the last time during an exclusive 5-dish dinner. The women told me afterwards it was important for her to have a last dinner together because it was the best way to end their marriage, because food was always their joint passion. She told me: "When we usually had an extensive dinner he would always eat my leftovers from my plate. This time he didn't, it felt different, and it was a clear moment to realize for us that it was indeed over, yet there were no hard feelings or angry faces, just us wishing each other well."
'Sharing the bed together for the last time'
When we just started DivorceHotel a lot of journalists asked me if it had happened that people slept in the same room. I always told them this never had happened, until I received from several couples, the same, yet 'unusual' question: "Dear Mr. Halfens, it maybe sounds a bit awkward but we started our marriage together and we really want to end it together. We prefer to sleep in one room, if that is possible?" So yes, evidently sleeping a last night together is for some couples also a way to end their marriage and a good preparation for their start as a single person.
I think that it is a very positive development that more and more couples would like to end their marriage the same way it started: in a positive way. Of course my examples are exceptional and perhaps a bit rare, but ending a marriage with a ceremony does make the situation more positive. Isn't it sad how so many couples are always fighting during and after their divorce procedures? We strive to encourage them to try and end their marriage in a positive way, which is more healthy. Of course having a dinner with your soon-to-be ex is daring, but there are much more simple possibilities. Just having a toast to a new bright future will do just as well.
I would like to say to those who are in a difficult period of their divorce now, find the courage and determination to end your relation in a way that is uplifting. You were able to start your marriage with a lot of positive energy, now it's time to show to yourself and to your soon to be ex that you are able to end it in a proper and respectful way too. It really is worth the try, and trust me, you will both remember this forever as well.