Post # 1
Hi fellow bees! I’ve been lurking around for a while now but have finally registered since I’m getting married this year. 🙂 Unfortunately I have a sticky situation regarding whether or not we should invite my fiancee’s ex to the wedding…here’s the story, it’s complicated:
My Fiance and the Ex dated for a very long time–they were neighbors and both families are very close, almost like an extended family, they still spend a lot of the holidays together. The Ex broke up with my Fiance when she went to college so she could date another guy, and my Fiance took it really hard (they were each other’s first love). Right after the breakup my Fiance and I met and started dating, we’ve been together for almost 7 yrs since then. My Fiance is my first serious relationship, and despite all the warnings of being in a “rebound” relationship, I went ahead with it anyway and stuck thru it despite the breakup not being very clean cut—it took him almost 3 yrs to get over the hurt, she would still email/call him because she “missed the closeness they had”, invite him to her competitions/events, despite her being the one who initiated the breakup. All this time it was really stressful/hurtful because I felt that her actions were selfish and my Fiance couldn’t bring himself to cut all ties with her. Now it’s a lot better, she’s engaged to be married next year, but unfortunately we all moved to live in the same area and it still bothers him a little to see the Ex with HER fiancee (not the guy she broke up with him for though).
The problem is that he’s still very close with the Ex’s brother (who will be his Best Man). The Ex’s entire family is invited to the wedding as well (it would be unthinkable not to invite them). However, I prefer not to invite his Ex and her fiancee because even after 5 yrs of relatively smooth sailing, I still remember all the negativity/hurt I felt associated with her during the early years of our relationship. I still don’t really know her that well, and the Fiance has minimal contact with her even though we live close by…in face it’s usually HER who initiates general chats/calls when she sees a Facebook status change for example. Sometimes we see them during big family gatherings with her family during the holidays, and I still get stressed out by that.
I know that for sure the consequences of the Ex being singled out in that she’ll be the only one in her family NOT invited—it’ll raise eyebrows and possibly hard feelings with her parents and my Future In-Laws, especially since her brother’s the Best Man.. My Fiance is totally OK with not inviting her, but I’m torn between preserving the social graces for everyone, or having her (and her fiancee’s) presence marr what’s supposed to be the happiest day of our lives….
What do you think? 🙁
Post # 3
I don’t believe there is an Etiquettte Rule on this per se…
BUT I will say that the general rule of thumb for most Brides & Grooms… IS NO EXES
This is most certainly the current couple’s big day (You and Your Groom) … so why have anyone potentially steal the show ? (If not them directly… then certainly other Guests who know the history could be whispering about it)
If she isn’t present… sure someone might notice, but most folks will just be sooo consumed with what is happening, they won’t notice what isn’t
Hope this helps,
PS… And oh ya, don’t worry about anyone else’s feelings in her family… if they have half-a-brain they’ll be able to figure out WHY she didn’t get the Invite. And By The Way if you should get an Invite to her Wedding… do the Gracious thing and don’t go… (if you are cornered for a reason, just say you must beg off because you have previously made plans) but do send a card / present… it would be the classy thing to do IMO
PPS… One of the perks of “Married Life” is you kind of get an opportunity to re-invent yourself / yourselves… the circle of friends for a couple, tends to be a bit different from when you were single. So this would be a good time, to be less close to this person IMO.
Post # 4
@Guest13894: no exes,
what happens if this girl tries to up stage u on ur big day… wears white or something?? jealous ex symdrome on ur day wud be awful!
social graces and all, u have who u want at ur day, my fella doesnt want his dad there at ours, my family think its a bit strange but he hasnt spoke to him in 18 years or more.
my sis didnt invite an uncle cos her fella didnt like him ( he had been very ignorant to her husband to be) caused a bit of a family fall out… but soo what…. the people that wanted to be at her wedding still went.. and thats what u want around u on ur big day and if other people dont understand it … well its not about them! im sure if they all put them selves in ur shoes they wouldnt want an ex their either.. but they will probably forget to think about it like that! i wouldnt want anyone that cud hurt my ex so badly to be at our wedding. gud luck
Post # 5
Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m pretty much thinking I won’t invite her, because I still get physically stressed out just thinking about her.
She -did- invite my Fiance for her wedding, but she’s having a destination wedding so it’ll be easier for us to -not- attend.
My main concern is the relationship with my future in laws as well…like I said their families are really close, so not inviting her (and singling it out like this) would be like not inviting one of their own kids, they’re that close…ugh..
Post # 6
You have no obligation to invite her. In fact, her family would probably understand without anything needing to be said.
A social unit is a couple, not all family members.
Post # 7
Have you or your fiance tried talking with his ex and her family? In most circumstances, I think it would be fine not to invite an ex, but given that her family is so close to your fiance’s, it could be complicated and cause issues if she’s not invited.
Obviously, your fiance is close to her brother – has he tried talking with her brother about their feelings on the subject? From what you’ve said, it doesn’t seem as though your fiance’s ex would show up at the wedding to cause drama or to upstage you – she seems to have moved on in her life and her main reason for staying in touch with you fiance (aside from the strong family connection), may be because she genuinely likes him and cares for him as a friend. I think communication is key here in figuring out what to do – get your fiance to talk with his family and his ex’s family. Even if they can’t offer any insight, at least they will understand your feelings on the topic and why you two don’t want to invite her.
Post # 8
I would feel the same way as you! it would be very stressful to have her around! oh gosh, this reminds me of that terrible song, “lips of an angel” I hope you are #1 sounds like he is not over her yet which is really sad.
NO EXS AT WEDDINGS, she should understand that! I am still close with an ex boyfriend from college, we talk every now and then. There are absolutly no romantic feelings there and my husband is fine with our friendship, dont think he would have liked him at our wedding though and I didnt even think about inviting him to the wedding and my friend, the ex, completly understands. Its just not appropriate. I did invite some muttual friends of ours, it really was not a problem.
This day is about you and your soon to be husband, this is YOUR day, not her day if you are not ok with it, which I wouldnt be either do not invite her! Its SOOO time to break ties with this woman, this is not a real firendship. They both need to move on
Post # 9
They dated in high school and that’s it. How serious could it have been? I might invite her to keep the peace with the Future In-Laws. If Fiance had a hard time getting over her, that’s not her fault – it sounds like a hangup of his.
Post # 10
Going to go against the crowd here and point out that …
– yes, a wedding is the couple’s day, but it’s also (at least traditionally) a family and community celebration, and it sounds like it would cause a lot of fallout with the FI’s family to single out this person and exclude her from the lifelong neighbors’ family invitation.
– clearly, both the Fiance and the ex-girlfriend have moved on with their lives and are each getting married to other people. If the OP is unwilling to invite her to the wedding, it seems like she’s kind of insecure, which is too bad.
– There doesn’t seem to be any indication in the OP that this girl would do anything crazily inappropriate like show up in white, try to upstage the bride, etc. Try to be gracious and give her the benefit of the doubt. If you’re really anxious about it, ask your bridesmaids to run interference for you and keep an eye on her during the reception, etc., but don’t leave her off the invitation list.
In fact, I suspect doing so would turn this into a way bigger deal than it deserves to be. If you do, you’ll probably be hearing about it from FI’s family and their neighbors (who it sounds like they typically see at holidays, etc.) for years to come. Just because it’s “the couple’s day” doesn’t give the couple a blank check to indulge in selfish behavior – you still have a responsibility to be gracious. I think the OP knows this, which is why she is uneasy about not inviting this girl. My advice, take it or leave it, is to be the bigger person and invite her.
Post # 11
it worries me that it bothers him to see his ex with her fiance! Why should it bother him? he is with you, she should not matter that way anymore!
do you feel like you are truly #1 to him? I think you really need to talk to your Fiance about this, maybe he can talk to his family and get there opinion on it
Post # 12
Thanks for all the input, here’s some things to clarify:
1) They basically were together for ~5 yrs, were each others’ firsts in many ways, and were planning to get married at one point (yup, young love, but to them it was as serious as it could be at that age).
2) Teh Fiance and I talked about this so many times during our relationship. He feels that he is totally over her, but when he sees her he’s reminded of the hurt/pain she caused, and some nostalgia of the “young love” they shared. But there is absolutely no question that he is completely faithful to me.
3) I’m pretty sure the Ex won’t do anything to upstage me. In fact, the few times we met (during their holiday get togethers) she didn’t initiate any interaction at all, just pretty much ignored me. Unfortunately she does have selfish tendencies (in my opinion), like inviting him to personal events/parties, sending personal/intimate emails while it was obvious the Fiance was in a serious relationship with me (I put a stop to that), getting her brother to invite himself and her over to our place (out of the blue) just so she can see our new puppies…stuff like that.
4) I’m pretty sure NOT inviting her will highlight the situation even more versus just pretending everythign is fine and having her and her fiancee attend. Problem is I’ve tried 7 yrs to get over this and at this point I’m pretty much resigned that I’m still going to physically get stressed out when I see her presence. Not to exagerate, but to me it WAS pretty “traumatizing” in a way, and usually I don’t get hung up on things, but I think so far in my life this is the absolute, single thing I can’t get over with. I don’t think it’s insecurity, but more that I see her and I’m reminded of the hurt/”trauma” her selfish actions caused to me and my Fiance during the early parts of OUR relationship. So I don’t know…
Post # 13
@Future Mrs K: I agree with your statements, and was just thinking the same thing.
I wouldn’t invite her, ‘family’ association be damned. She’s still an ex, there’s still hard feelings apparently, and it’s obviously making you worry enough to ask people about it. She’ll get over one day, and if she doesn’t? Then it’s probably better if ties are cut with her altogether.
Post # 14
Have you asked your inlaws their opinion, or how they think her family would react? They know the situation better than we do. Alternately, could his parents talk to her parents and explain the situation before invites go out, so at least no one is surprised?
If you do invite her, feel free to seat her at the worst possible table, you know there’s always one that is stuck in a back corner where you can’t see and get served last. And maybe get her entree order wrong accidentally.
Post # 15
If it were the second love, the tenth love..okay.
But first loves? We all remember our first loves…that sacred first love that sits so close to our heart. I would not invite an EX generally, but definitely not Fiance first love. If you are still feeling so strongly about this then listen to your gut on this one. You can try to save face and do the nice thing but the only thing you should be thinking about no your wedding is marrying your Fiance, not seeing ex Girlfriend while you walk down the aisle.
Post # 16
I think you should apply the same rules as you might to bridal party selection: Your guests/bridal party should reflect your life as it is now, not as it used to be/you want it to be.
If you haven’t been socially close to them, the only reason is to invite them is some perceived obligation. You might hurt some feelings, but unless you’re inviting everyone you know, you do risk that wherever you draw the guest-list line.