National Ex-Spouse Day Date in the current year: April 14, 2024

National Ex-Spouse Day National Ex-Spouse Day is celebrated annually on April 14, exactly two months after Valentine’s Day. It was created to encourage people to forgive their former spouses for past wrongs and move on from their failed relationships into new and better lives.

Alas, not all marriages are successful; sometimes a divorce is inevitable. The crude divorce rate in 2022 in the United States was 2.3 divorces per 1,000 persons, with a tendency to decline since 2000. However, divorce rates in the country vary by state because divorce is governed by state rather than federal law. For example, Arizona, Arkansas and Louisiana have covenant marriage laws that can make divorce more difficult.

Some divorces are quick and amicable, but, sadly, it is often not the case. Regardless of the reason, divorce can be a source of emotional, mental, and financial challenges for both spouses, especially if issues of division of assets and/or debt, spousal support, child custody and child support are involved. The divorce process can drag on for months and lead to bitterness and resentment on both sides.

Once the divorce proceedings are over, some people are able to just cut ties with their former spouse and move on. However, some couples have mutual friends who don’t want to pick sides, or underage kinds who need their parents to get along or at least have a good co-parenting relationship. This is why it is so important to be able to move beyond any anger and bitterness you may feel after the divorce and keep things civil with your former partner.

Another challenge that a lot of newly divorced people face is the feeling of isolation and loneliness. They are so used to sharing their life with someone – even if it wasn’t a very happy life – that they have forgotten how to live alone. Of course, most people eventually bounce back and start afresh, but the adjustment period can take a huge emotional, mental and physical toll on a person, and it’s so easy to blame everything on the ex-spouse! However, holding on to this resentment only makes it harder to turn over a new leaf.

National Ex-Spouse Day was created in 1987 by Reverend Ronald Coleman from Kansas City, Missouri. Rev. Coleman launched the observance to dissolve the bitterness that is often associated with divorce and to encourage people to forgive their ex-spouses and focus on the positive aspects of their new lives.

If your divorce wasn’t the most amicable, maybe you should observe National Ex-Spouse Day to get rid of resentment and move on with your life. In order to do so, think about ways you may have wronged your former spouse and ask forgiveness, and then offer your forgiveness in return. You can also write a list of positive things about your ex-spouse and thank them for the good times you’ve shared.

Of course, if your ex-spouse was abusive, reaching out to them and trying to mend bridges is not an advisable course of action. In such a case, you should see a mental health professional who will help you achieve healing after a traumatizing experience and/or find a domestic abuse survivor support group. You do not need to forgive your abuser to heal, but you do need to forgive yourself for being a victim.

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