Felipe, a good friend of mine who also happens to be an ex-boyfriend, has invited me to his upcoming wedding, but I have no desire whatsoever to go. Felipe and I dated about five years ago and broke up because I was 19 and not ready for the type of relationship that he was looking for. We remained close friends, and shortly after, he started dating Jennifer, his now fiancée.
For a while, we all got along fine. Jennifer knew Felipe and I were friends, but I only saw her a handful of times over the next couple years while I saw Felipe on an almost weekly basis. At first, she was never anything but friendly, but after a while, things got ugly: she sent passive-aggressive messages on Facebook, and wrote nasty wall posts about me, calling me a whore and a drug addict, and accusing me of trying to steal her fiancée, among other hateful things.
I was upset and confronted Felipe, but he took her side and we didn’t speak for three years. Last June, Jennifer unexpectedly dumped him, and he and I began talking again, becoming very close. Two months ago, they got back together and eloped in December. He and I still talk occasionally, but not nearly as much as we did when they were broken up. Yesterday, he sent me a nonchalant text message asking for my address so he could send an invitation for the ceremony they’re having in March. I absolutely don’t want to go because I think it would be totally awkward (my first meeting with Jennifer after all the time should not be at their wedding).
I called him to say I wouldn’t be in attendance and he was very hurt and said I was his best friend and the first person he thought of to invite. He said if I wasn’t a girl I’d be his best man, and he didn’t understand why I don’t want to go. I’m from the school of thought that exes aren’t invited to weddings unless everyone is very friendly. I mean, isn’t that the norm? I told him I would give it some thought and let him know in a couple weeks. I’m considering going because it means so much to him, but I’m dreading it.
Am I being awful if I say that I just don’t want to go? Or should I suck it up and go for his sake?
The Friendly Ex in Freeport
My Dear Friendly:
No, you’re not being awful. If your relationship with Felipe is only strong when he isn’t with Jennifer, and you haven’t actually had anything to do with her since she wrote nasty things about you on Facebook, then Felipe is the one who is a little out of line by putting a guilt trip on your for skipping the wedding
It would be one thing if you and Jennifer were on good terms, but you aren’t. If Felipe truly sees you as a best friend and wants you in his life, his first thought should not have been to invite you to his wedding, but to foster a healthy relationship between you and his soon-to-be new wife.
He dropped the ball and there’s no reason you should feel bad for not bending over and picking it up. But if you’re interested in remaining friendly with Felipe, you could tell him you’re sorry you won’t be able to attend his wedding, but you’d love to take him and Jennifer out for a celebratory dinner some time after
their ceremony. This way you get to reconnect with Jennifer in a neutral setting, and you get credit for supporting your friend’s happy occasion.
But there’s a flip side to this situation and it’s that you aren’t really interested in being “just friends” with Felipe. You say you broke up years ago “because you were 19 and not ready for the type of relationship he was looking for.” If that was the main reason for your breakup and you’re five years older now, maybe in your mind you are ready for the kind of relationship Felipe was/is looking for and you are disappointed that instead of giving you another shot, he went back to Jennifer. After all, until a few months ago, you were both ex-girlfriends of his and you were the one he was spending all his time with.
If there was any part of you that hoped for a romantic reconciliation, it has to hurt that he reconciled with a different ex instead. You need to be honest with yourself and if that’s your
frame of mind right now, it’s probably best that you gracefully distance yourself from Felipe and his new wife and give them a chance at happiness without the complication of a messy love triangle. Good luck!