An Ex Dilemma
There is a distinct tugging of emotions that occurs when you hear that a significant ex is getting married. This emotion may be one of genuine joy for their happiness, slight regret or complete bitterness. It is likely that, if you have received an invitation, there is a fairly friendly spirit between the two of you. However, this does not guarantee that you do not still have some feelings for the ex getting married. Before taking any action in response to the invitation, it is vital that you carefully consider how you really feel about your ex. If you foster ANY feeling of still being in love with this person or of harbouring some anger towards them, do not even consider going to their wedding. You may feel like you can contain your emotions but listening to one soppy toast after another while knocking back glasses of champagne tends to inspire nostalgic displays to which we do not usually indulge ourselves.
Imagine the day beforehand and picture your ex proclaiming his / her love for someone else and meaning it. Do not cultivate the notion that he / she could never love someone as much as they loved you. Likewise, do not imagine that you will never find someone like them again. These feelings are brought on by the emotions involved in acknowledging that an ex has moved on and are not based on rational thought or reasoning. Picturing the day allows you to deal with what will happen before trying to manage your feelings in a church or hall full of people.
Do not, at any point before the wedding, bring up the past or your relationship with this person. No matter how the relationship ended, it likely took a great deal of consideration and understanding from your ex’s future spouse to invite you and the last thing you want to do is to use this opportunity to dredge up the past. Do not even contact him or her to inform them of a new child or job before the wedding. They will be busy with preparations and you will have a chance to inform them at the reception. The only contact you should have before the big day is a simple, direct RSVP to the invitation.
At the church and reception, be yourself. He or she knows you well enough to know when your icy grin and dead eyes are ingratiating and insincere. It is important to be genuinely happy and not fake because you may otherwise create an awkward, tense atmosphere. If possible, attend the wedding with a good friend if you are not in a relationship. This person should know the context of your relationship with the bride or groom and accept it. Do not attempt to show up at the wedding alone. You may need emotional support, even if you are over your ex, and it may give the wrong impression to others if you sit at the wedding alone.
At the reception, congratulate the bridal couple briefly, but sincerely. Do not go into the gory details of how you know one another, and do not utter the words “remember when…” The gift you give them should be small, but good quality. An overly big present may convey the image that you wish to prove something, while a tiny or cheap gift will seem resentful.
If you feel that you cannot attend the wedding without being emotional or resentful, do not take a chance. Rather, send the couple a card and a gift voucher. Express your sincere happiness at their finding happiness. Keep it brief and simple to avoid it being misunderstood or read into.
A person’s wedding day is about celebrating their love and commitment to one another. Make sure that, if you decide to share your ex’s special day, you behave with the utmost sincerity and appropriateness. In this way, you preserve your own dignity and ensure that you play your part in ensuring that the day is as special for the couple as possible.
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