There are very few male friends that I have who started out as strictly platonic. One in particular is a very good friend of mine who I dated for maybe a summer…2 months at best. We kissed, but that was the only physical exchange we ever shared. Once we realized we were better suited as friends, the rest was easy. We went on with our lives as buddies, sharing stories about who we were dating and nothing was weird. We were truly friends.
Fast forward 10 years and my guy friend was getting married. I knew all about his intended but had not actually met her. We live in 2 different states, and with busy lives the time just never presented itself. I was looking forward to finally meeting the woman who was able to settle my friend down and was thrilled to receive their wedding invitation in the mail – until my friend called and asked me if I was really planning on coming.
I didn’t see an issue with it, but apparently inviting his “ex” wasn’t his idea. His fiancée knew he and I were friends and thought nothing of inviting me since he had always presented me as “just a friend.” He never told her that we dated or kissed, and I can see why. It wasn’t that big of a deal to either of us, which is why I couldn’t understand his apprehension to my coming…or why he never was completely honest about our friendship. I didn’t even consider myself an “ex.” I guess he did.
Perhaps he was concerned with any questions that might come up from his wife at the reception – who knows. I’m sure he felt some guilt for not being totally forthcoming and probably knows that his wife would never be cool with him inviting a woman he was once romantically interested in – even if very briefly. Being a married woman myself, I wondered if I’d have minded if my husband invited a woman who he had kissed, never slept with, but managed to become friends with. After all, a friendship IS a relationship, just not a romantic one. And if there was ever a physical attraction, who’s to say that one might not creep back up again in the future? He probably just didn’t want to open up that door…I guess?
I believe men and women can be friends, even after a breakup – though I believe some time has to pass and boundaries need to be set. And inviting an ex to your wedding is definitely crossing those boundaries. Even if your soon-t0-be wife is okay with it, it seems borderline tacky, no matter how mature all parties are. It’s not say that it can never happen, and if your wife is friends with your ex as well, it might be okay. My husband and his first wife are very friendly and speak occasionally because they share children, and I have no issue with it. She and I get along and speak on the phone from time to time as well. I would, however, have felt awkward if she were at our wedding. There would have been no real reason for her to be there, especially since the children they share are adults. They had their day; now it was time for us to have ours. The focus should be on the bride and groom, and if guests know that an ex is present, their focus could be on him/her and not the love between husband and wife. Just a bad idea all around.
Needless to say, I didn’t go to my friend’s wedding. He told his wife that I had a prior commitment and that we’d meet another time. I respect his decision although I don’t respect the fact that he wasn’t entirely honest about our friendship. That’s for him to sort out. However, if you’re contemplating inviting a “real ex” to your wedding, ask yourself why you want him or her to be there. Even if you ALL really are friends, there’s a time and place for everything and a wedding is about you and your spouse – no one else. Weddings are already emotion filled days that have their own drama built in – there is no need to possibly add more by having an ex present creating kinds of gossip and hurt feelings. I’m sure the ex will understand if he/she doesn’t get an invitation. And if they don’t understand – too bad, it’s not about them. They’ll get over it.