annually on April 14th (since 1987)
Reverend Ronald Coleman in 1987
Ex-Spouse Day was started by Reverend Ronald Coleman of Kansas City, Missouri, in 1987. His intention for the day was for it to be a day of healing between ex-spouses. Coleman, who himself had been divorced in 1970, had counseled many ex-spouses as a director of clergy. He noticed there were many who still held emotional scars years later, which negatively affected them and their children, and made them unable to move on in various ways, including precluding them from forming new intimate relationships. He suggested that one way to begin the healing process may be to return belongings of an ex-spouse that have been kept out of spite.
The divorce rate for first marriages in the United States is about 50 percent, meaning many are able to celebrate the day. Some get along better with their ex after divorce, or at a minimum are able to remain civil. This day may be especially important for ex-spouses who have children, as having an amicable relationship with an ex-spouse will make it much easier to raise children in separate homes.
How to Observe Ex-Spouse Day
Reverend Ronald Coleman's goal for the day was for it to be a day of healing, and that should be the overall goal of those who participate in the day. Maybe you have something you have kept from your ex-spouse that you could return to them. As ex-spouses may have different types of relationships with their ex-partner, the day may be observed differently depending on their particular circumstance. If your relationship has improved after your divorce, and you have remained friends, this will be an easy day to celebrate. Call or visit your ex-spouse and wish them a happy Ex-Spouse Day. Give them some recognition, remember the good times you had, and celebrate traits you still value in your ex-spouse. If you have raised children with your ex-spouse, you may celebrate them. If you are on bad terms with your ex-spouse, the day may be more difficult to celebrate. Reach out to them if you believe it may be of some benefit. If your relationship with your ex is beyond horrible, it may not be appropriate to talk to them. In this case, the day may be used to celebrate the end of the marriage, the freedom you now have, and the lessons you have learned.