The words “divorce” and “breakup” have unnecessarily negative connotations in our society — too often, they conjure up images of failure and shame.
In reality, 85% of relationships end in breakup and 50% of marriages end in divorce, so they are very much universal life experiences.
Every year in America, 876,000 couples who’ve found themselves in the uncomfortable position of reevaluating their marriage ultimately decide to divorce.
Sometimes we grow apart — other times we come to the realisation that we just aren’t the best life partners for each other.
Whatever the reason, it is a narrative that plays out over and over again.
Although divorce has been rapidly increasing throughout the years, and certainly doesn’t carry the same ignominy as it once did, it’s (disappointingly) still not something that occurs entirely within the realm of social acceptability.
Natalie, better known by her performer name Mikka Minx, decided to challenge that perception when she and her partner of 10 years (and spouse of three years) decided to part ways last year.
As a performance artist, Natalie contemplated how to react artistically when there was no longer a romantic future in sight for her and her then-husband, Andre.
The result: They threw a “divorce party,” which proved to be incredibly cathartic for everyone involved.
I hope it may bring forward a new movement of acknowledging all phases of life and relationships for what they actually are.
Minx said her intention for the gathering was to try to “love all of the range of emotions that go with breakup”:
“The more you can experience the concepts of sadness, pain, and fear,” she told us, “the more capacity you have for joy and love and the other side of the spectrum... I wanted to appreciate the entire process, and that what makes us whole is appreciating the entire range of emotions.
“I’m a proponent of bringing light into the entire range because [sadness, pain, and fear] are just as impactful and important.”
Natalie effectively transformed the negative stigma attached to divorce and breakups by sharing her experience and inviting the public to view — and her loved ones to collaborate in — her and Andre’s final moments of vulnerability and separation. Hundreds of guests came to support them as they publicly parted ways.
A friend of mine noted that they must have been an incredibly stable couple to have been able to go through that together. But, talking to Minx about the experience, she relayed to me that there were plenty of tears and fights behind the scenes, just like any other couple facing separation.