Falling in love with someone wonderful is the easy part, committing to a lifetime with that wonderful person sometimes turns out to be next to impossible.
Recently, Catherine Navarro, 34, from New Jersey, threw herself a fancy divorce party in order to celebrate the end of years she spent trying to divorce her husband.
The beginning of the end started back on Friday the 13th of May, 2005, when Catherine married her now-ex-husband, Marc when she was only 20-years-old.
Prior to their wedding day, the couple had a very whirlwind engagement, deciding on saying “I do” only one week prior.
This meant their friends and family had a week to put together the “last minute” nuptials before the couple wed at City Hall in New York.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be happily ever after for the couple. In 2012, Catherine filed for divorce, wanting out of the “toxic” marriage, but Marc wouldn’t let her go. Shortly after, Marc skipped out on Catherine and disappeared, creating a nightmare for her as she tried to prove to the court that she had indeed searched for her husband, in order to obtain a divorce in his absence.
Finally, after a long struggle, she was granted her divorce on March 18, 2019. It was then that she decided to throw herself a celebratory “divorce party” with the help of her friends.
Recounting the story of her doomed marriage, Catherine said, “Marc and I decided to get married at my cousin’s reception a week prior. Honestly, I thought he was joking at first because we’d been drinking and were on a dance floor in that moment, but a few days later he followed up about my dress and flowers.”
She continued, “I immediately called my best friends – who all attended my divorce party – before heading straight to the shopping centre with my mum, where I found a stunning white silk dress for just $80. I ordered a two-tier white cake with lilies on the side. As I’m always multitasking, I ordered it while getting my nails done and instructing my best friend to pick up lights and decorations that would ultimately set the mood for a reception in my parents’ living room.”
Regarding the actual day of the ceremony, Catherine said it seemed to be an ideal day. “On the day, the weather couldn’t have been more perfect, it was an absolutely gorgeous day for a ceremony at City Hall in New York City. Witnesses included my best friends, my bridesmaids, and of course, my mum.”
She then added, “I realised not long into the marriage that I didn’t know him at all and there were too many secrets. The first divorce proceeding started approximately seven years ago, and lawyers were involved, but he refused to agree to the terms. So, it goes in blind love, I eventually gave up on the idea and instead vowed to continue working on our marriage. Ultimately, we separated and during that time, which spanned nearly a decade, I tried to file for divorce multiple times, but he refused to sign the papers.”
Catherine found her road to freedom to be a long and processed one.
“When things fell apart again, the road to the final divorce was quite the journey. Marc vanished off the face of the planet and I didn’t hear from him or have any idea where he was,” she said. “When this sort of thing happens, when you can’t find your husband anywhere, and desperately want to cut legal ties, there’s an option to file for divorce in their absence – but you have to prove you’ve looked everywhere.”
Once she was able to prove she’d tried – and failed – to locate Marc, she was granted her divorce.
To celebrate her freedom, Catherine invited close to 30 of her friends and family to a party featuring assorted cupcakes with a “boy, bye” theme, as well as a full-sized cake which had “straight out of marriage” written across the top.
Feeling relieved and with a whole new lease on life, Catherine remarked, “It had been years in the making, but the day I finally got divorced, my closest friends, who’d seen me through this whole journey, and I decided it was time to manifest the occasion with an incredible party that would celebrate my new beginning. I was so excited to finally have my maiden name back and be rid of him. It made me so happy. As soon as it was finalized I felt like I was 20 again and had a new chance at love.”
“Party highlights included a decadent cake which had ‘straight out of marriage’ written on it, surrounded by happy photos of me when I was single. We had cupcakes with custom made toppers that had cheeky phrases on them, such as ‘boy, bye’. The balloons said, ‘happily divorced’ and there was a cinematic ‘finally divorced’ sign, which served as the photo back-drop. Of course, we also had loads of festive props, and my favorite was a sign, which read ‘we didn’t like him anyway’, because my friends didn’t,” she added. “Party food was simple, composing of light bites, a meat and cheese platter, fruit and chicken wings. We ate, laughed and danced the night away. It was fantastic.”
Catherine had some recommendations as well, “I’d definitely recommend a divorce party to anyone else if it’s a happy occasion which brings joy, rather than drudging up old memories.”
And in spite of all she’s been through, she also had some new-found advice for others who may be in similar circumstances. “Everything happens for a reason, and for me in the end it all happened for the best. Don’t dwell on the past and instead accept the lessons that every experience provides. Life is too short to be in a relationship which doesn’t make you happy – lawfully or not.”
It looks like she will be living her best life from now on, and we wish her all the best. And hopefully if she decides to look for love again, this time will be the charm.