(Last Updated On: November 7, 2022)


Very few marriages end amicably. Each year on April 14th, National Ex-Spouse Day encourages those who have dissolved a marriage to forgive their former spouse and move beyond any anger or bitterness that may remain. And even those that do aren’t free from angst or regrets. 

For a wide variety of reasons, sometimes marriages just do not work out. Recent statistics show that the divorce rate for first marriages is at 50 percent.  Some people find that they get along better after a divorce than they did during the marriage. Unfortunately, all divorces do not turn out that friendly and the experience can be painful and traumatic. Regardless of whether it is a friendly separation, there needs to be a way to manage the situation when children are involved.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalExSpouseDay

  • Come to terms with your divorce.
  • Forgive your ex so you can move on. It’s as much for them as it is for you.
  • Find something positive about your ex-spouse that will help ease any lasting bitterness.
  • Visit with other divorcees to discuss how they coped with their divorces.
  • Use #NationalExSpouseDay to post on social media.


Reverend Ronald Coleman of Kansas City, Missouri created National Ex-Spouse Day in 1987 as a way to dissolve the bitterness that is often associated with divorce. In its inaugural year, Rev. Coleman offered buttons that read, “I’m OK – You’re History,” to help lighten the day. He hoped more people would forgive their spouses and focus on the positive aspects of their own lives.

Ex-Spouse FAQ

Q. Is divorce on the rise?
A. Overall, divorce rates are on the decline. However, one segment of the population is seeing increased divorce rates – Baby Boomers. Called gray divorce, the divorce rate of those 50 and older more than doubled since 2015 according to Pew Research.

Q. Is there a better word than “ex” to describe an ex-spouse?
A. There are multiple ways to describe an ex-spouse. A few that illustrate the dissolved relation in a more positive light are:

  • Former spouse
  • Once-upon-a-time spouse
  • Spouse 1.0 (2.0, 3.0 for those who need these options)
  • Was-spouse
  • wasbund, waswife
  • Practice spouse


Join the

Stay up to date on upcoming national days and Celebrate Every Day!

National Day Radio