What is a divorce party and what does it have to do with The White Stripes?

The White Stripes’ front man Jack White and his wife of 6 years model Karen Elson, threw a party this weekend, to celebrate their wedding anniversary and divorce.

That’s right, an intimate gathering of friends in Nashville to help the couple celebrate their un-coupling.  How does this reflect on the marriage itself, or the people?  What message does it send to their children?  Is this worse than the “regular” type of divorces, where everyone goes their separate ways quietly?  Does this mean that they should stay together, if they can get along well enough to have a party together?

The truth is that some partners make better friends than spouses.  True happiness in life might come from the ability to realize the difference between a friend and a spouse and love that person for whichever they are to you.

Most states now give couples the right to file for divorce by citing “irreconcilable differences” as the sole reason to end the marriage.  The story behind those differences might be as sordid as a romance novel or as simple as best friends needing more space from each other.  If the parties can manage to bring their own level of discourse and drama down to a simple phrase like this, “irreconcilable differences,” much like a band breaking up over “artistic differences,” then all parties are able to move forward more freely with less hurt and baggage attached.

Consider the friends, family and children of White and Elson – they are free from having to decide who was “right” or “wrong” in the divorce. They never have to feel forced to choose sides after the divorce is complete, and they never have to feel awkward about inviting both people to the same event.  They already know that both White and Elson still have enough respect and esteem for each other to celebrate together.

What could be more comforting for the couple’s two minor children?  Or more calming for the couple?  No one has to worry about becoming the outcast in their own circle of friends or families.

Recommendations for throwing your own Divorce party:  Only invite people who are truly supportive of both parties.  Serve food that each partner loves (and the other never liked): Sushi and Italian?  Wild game and vegan?  Let your differences shine!   Take a moment at times throughout the party to stop and connect with the people you are most afraid of losing such as a trusted mother-in-law, your husband’s best man’s wife, etc. 

And, consider playing songs from this playlist, recommended by www.deathandtaxesmag.comThe Avalanches “Since I Left You,” Fleetwood Mac “Go Your Own Way,” Jeff Buckley “Last Goodbye/Unforgiven,” The Magnetic Fields “Yeah! Oh, Yeah!” Dinosaur, Jr. “Over It,” Prince “When You Were Mine” (beautifully described as a love that’s stronger than a relationship), Gwen Stefani “Cool,” Simple Minds “(Don’t You) Forget About Me,” and – of course – The White Stripes “We’re Going to be Friends.”

What We Love:  It is worth going to the site and watching the videos while reading the song descriptions.  Whether you have the break-up party or not, this flurry of empowering songs and videos helps put it all into perspective.


Published by Sharon Oberst DeFala

Sharon Oberst DeFala has practiced low-impact safe divorce since 1992.

2 thoughts on “What is a divorce party and what does it have to do with The White Stripes?

  1. Sharon! I love this! I’m going to send you my prospectus for the book I’m writing and wonder if you guys might be interested in participating in the project. i love you!

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