Divorce Registries Have Arrived and the Idea All Started With a Toothbrush Holder
It's estimated that 50 percent of U.S. marriages will end in separation or divorce, which is one of the most stressful and emotionally taxing experiences in life. But what happens when happily ever after turns into happily never ever?
Depending on the circumstances, after filing for divorce many exes are left looking for a good therapist — as well as a good set of pots and pans.
When people divorce, personal property is typically split, which means one party loses those everyday items and appliances they never really thought about having to replace. Now, there's a solution.
While it's typical for wedding gifts to be given to happy couples on their wedding day, companies such as Fresh Starts Registry are pushing the concept of a divorce registry, prompting friends and family members of recently divorced people to help the newly-single folks collect themselves and restart their lives, one mundane household item at a time.
The idea all started with a toothbrush holder.
Fresh Starts Registry founder Olivia Dreizen Howell says she got the idea following her divorce when she realized her ex still had the toothbrush holder they once shared.
"There's no place that celebrates these big life changes. We tend to celebrate babies and weddings, but not everything else in between," Dreizen Howell tells the New York Post.
Dreizen Howell also believes we're looking at divorce all wrong and that leaving a bad marriage should be fêted, not frowned upon. She hopes her business will ultimately help reframe the social attitudes surrounding divorce.
Meanwhile, Ilyssa Panitz, host of The Divorce Hour With Ilyssa Panitz podcast, tells the New York Post that the concept is more about spirit than stuff.
"It's all about new beginnings — restarting and recharging," Panitz explains. "People are getting the sh-- kicked out of them in their divorces — and they're down."
Divorce registries are already helping some newly divorced people start new chapters in their lives.
Emily Aronson, a 37-year-old mom-of-three, created an Amazon registry on a whim and was overwhelmed with gratitude for friends and family who chipped in as she worked to rebuild her home and life after her last marriage.
Aronson says she's using the opportunity to reestablish her family's needs, as well as a positive conversation starter for her and her children.
"It's been a miraculously healing experience — opening items from friends from my past and talking to my kids about all of the relationships I've had in my life that resulted in having dozens of people who want to help us establish our new home," the preschool teacher says. "It's an opportunity to talk to the kids about, 'Why would someone want to help us?' Because people are good."