Most couples don’t get married expecting to get divorced. But when a marriage is dissolved, can ritual help the couple move on?
As a Life-Cycle Celebrant, I believe rituals can help the couple navigate one of the most stressful events in a person’s life: divorce.
You won’t find any legal advice here. Nor will you find professional counseling. Instead, you’ll find two rituals:
- Rocky Road — This is a marriage maintenance ritual. I created it to help couples avoid the inevitable potholes that, unless repaired, can create a chasm, destroy the bridge, and lead to divorce. I’ll also tell you how one woman used the ritual to help her through a painful divorce.
- Untying the Knot — When the rocky road goes off the cliff and the couple decides to go their separate ways, this ritual is designed to help them discover the gifts in their relationship, no matter how brief or long the marriage lasted.
As a Life-Cycle Celebrant, I’ve officiated more than 150 weddings. There’s a moment in every ceremony, even the smallest of elopements, when the couple stands in front of me, hold hands, and listen as I ask the question. You know the one. It includes the words: “…to honor and to respect, to love and to cherish, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, as long as you both shall live?”
As my couples listen to those words, I imagine how hopeful they feel about the future. Sometimes, they get choked up. Sometimes, they giggle. Sometimes, a lip quivers or a tear falls. Sometimes, they eagerly say, “I do!” before I’ve completed the question. So, it’s sad when the marriage is dissolved. It means the dream died.
Or does it?
As heretical as this might sound, I don’t believe that all marriages are meant to last.