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Seeing an Ex at a Wedding

Group Therapy: I Have to See an Ex at My Friend's Wedding

This question comes from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

One of my good friends is getting married, and she invited me to her wedding. However, her brother is my ex-boyfriend, and let's just say we didn't end things in good terms.

Our breakup was one of those very nasty breakups, and it was very hard on me. We never talked things out, and the last things we said to each other were extremely hurtful. It has been almost two years since the last time we saw and spoke to each other. (I got a job in another city and that made it easier for me to move on.) How should I handle this?

I really don't want to ruin my friend's wedding and not going to the wedding is just not an option — she will be extremely hurt. I fear that once I see him all the horrible memories will come back. He was my first real boyfriend and we were together for three years.

How should I handle this? Should I ignore him? Should I make small talk? Should I wait for him to approach me, or should I approach him first?  Should I bring a date to the wedding? Also, this wedding will last the entire weekend.

Have a dilemma of your own? Post it, anonymously, to Group Therapy for advice, and check out what else is happening in the TrèsSugar Community.


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sahieszhya sahieszhya 5 years
Go to the wedding, have a great time!!! your going for your friend, do not think about ur ex, it will be hard, but look ur best and show him what he's missing!! do anything clingy and it will only make things harder for you. Enjoy urself and smile, dont force it tho. Show him his presence does not affect you. Stay calm, have a great weekend and look fabulous! xx
sahieszhya sahieszhya 5 years
Go to the wedding, have a great time!!! your going for your friend, do not think about ur ex, it will be hard, but look ur best and show him what he's missing!! do anything clingy and it will only make things harder for you. Enjoy urself and smile, dont force it tho. Show him his presence does not affect you. Stay calm, have a great weekend and look fabulous!xx
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 5 years
Be cordial. There's not a whole more to it than that, in my opinion. It's unpleasant, but it doesn't have to be a big deal. And if it feels like a big deal on the inside... well, fake it 'til you make it!
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 5 years
Definitely don't approach the guy about the end of your relationship AT the wedding! That can only go horribly wrong. Do say hi if you run into him, but don't turn it into a long conversation. I'm sure there'll be so many people there that you won't be in the awkward situation of having to make small talk with him. From what it sounds like, he won't be out to do that, either. Just talk to other people. And yes, bring a date if you find someone. Be prepared to see him with one, too. And maybe.. just maybe, if it's been two years, and you still can't stand to even catch a glimpse of your ex boyfriend... get some professional help.
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 5 years
Definitely don't approach the guy about the end of your relationship AT the wedding! That can only go horribly wrong.Do say hi if you run into him, but don't turn it into a long conversation. I'm sure there'll be so many people there that you won't be in the awkward situation of having to make small talk with him. From what it sounds like, he won't be out to do that, either. Just talk to other people. And yes, bring a date if you find someone. Be prepared to see him with one, too.And maybe.. just maybe, if it's been two years, and you still can't stand to even catch a glimpse of your ex boyfriend... get some professional help.
dikke-kus dikke-kus 5 years
I would probably go but as jazzy says don't bring up the drama at the wedding for sure. It makes you better person that you are. Look your very best and put that experience behind you. Be polite but honestly avoid the guy if at all possible. Remember to relax and stay calm if he approaches you. If he comes near you, have a glass of champagne and look really bored in the other direction. Nothing will come of it especially considering he'll probably have a date with him anyway. He sounds like he's not the type to explain or come clean about his cold behavior at the breakup. You could bring someone with you as well, its up to you. I think that would help a little with the situation. Also I wouldn't tell a word of it to your date becuase its old news and should stay that way. If anyone starts up a conversation act bored about it and excuse yourself to the dance floor, the buffet or the chocolate fountain! Take a better direction. Smile and go home early if it gets on your nerves too much.
DrDar DrDar 5 years
If you don't feel comfortable being around him, then don't be around him. It really is quite simple. If you end up being near him a simple hello will suffice but you don't have to take it any further. You hold the power of where and how things go during the wedding weekend. You can find ways to not be around him. You can find ways to stay busy. Maybe ask your friend if you can have a job that weekend to help out - this will keep you focused on the wedding. If you are dating someone already and you feel comfortable with them being at the wedding, by all means take them. But don't take a date to help you feel more comfortable because your ex will be there. If this bothers you too much, then you can also let your friend know that you are choosing not to go. If she is a true friend, she will understand. Sure, her feelings will get hurt, but she will get over it. You have to take care of yourself - no one else will until you take care of yourself first.
DrDar DrDar 5 years
If you don't feel comfortable being around him, then don't be around him. It really is quite simple. If you end up being near him a simple hello will suffice but you don't have to take it any further. You hold the power of where and how things go during the wedding weekend. You can find ways to not be around him. You can find ways to stay busy. Maybe ask your friend if you can have a job that weekend to help out - this will keep you focused on the wedding. If you are dating someone already and you feel comfortable with them being at the wedding, by all means take them. But don't take a date to help you feel more comfortable because your ex will be there.If this bothers you too much, then you can also let your friend know that you are choosing not to go. If she is a true friend, she will understand. Sure, her feelings will get hurt, but she will get over it. You have to take care of yourself - no one else will until you take care of yourself first.
LucyLuu LucyLuu 5 years
Oops! I meant you guys might get some closure!
LucyLuu LucyLuu 5 years
At the wedding, try to concentrate on your friend and her happiness at getting married, keep your head held high, and a smile on your face. Take some deep breaths if you need to and try and relax. You'll have a lovely time. I wouldn't recommend going up to talk to him, but don't openly ignore him either. Take the high road and just be pleasant if he looks your way or comes over to talk to you. Remember, you've come a long way since he broke your heart and he's just an unpleasant part of your past but he doesn't need to tarnish your good time at the wedding! And who knows, this might be the opportunity for you guys to make amends and get some proper closer. :-)
LucyLuu LucyLuu 5 years
At the wedding, try to concentrate on your friend and her happiness at getting married, keep your head held high, and a smile on your face. Take some deep breaths if you need to and try and relax. You'll have a lovely time.I wouldn't recommend going up to talk to him, but don't openly ignore him either. Take the high road and just be pleasant if he looks your way or comes over to talk to you. Remember, you've come a long way since he broke your heart and he's just an unpleasant part of your past but he doesn't need to tarnish your good time at the wedding! And who knows, this might be the opportunity for you guys to make amends and get some proper closer. :-)
JoeTyndall JoeTyndall 5 years
OP, This is all about you getting the emotional support you need to get through this. First, tell the lady who is getting married exactly what is going on. Second, get your 'gang' around you when you see this guy at the wedding. Walk up to him and say, "Well, well, John, it's been a long time." Do not let him control the conversation, make sure you control of the conversation. If he starts talkking about himself, abruptly change the topic and start talking about whatever you want to talk about. Afterwards, get together with your 'gang' and ask them how you did. If you take a date along as a kind of emotional support, be sure you tell him what is going on. (If your date is a guy who cannot be understanding and give you emotional support in such a situation, then he shouldn't be your date in the first place.)
JoeTyndall JoeTyndall 5 years
OP, This is all about you getting the emotional support you need to get through this. First, tell the lady who is getting married exactly what is going on. Second, get your 'gang' around you when you see this guy at the wedding. Walk up to him and say, "Well, well, John, it's been a long time." Do not let him control the conversation, make sure <i>you</i> control of the conversation. If he starts talkking about himself, abruptly change the topic and start talking about whatever <i>you</i> want to talk about. Afterwards, get together with your 'gang' and ask them how you did. If you take a date along as a kind of emotional support, <i>be sure you tell him what is going on.</i> (If your date is a guy who cannot be understanding and give you emotional support in such a situation, then he shouldn't be your date in the first place.)
HollyJRockNRoll HollyJRockNRoll 5 years
What a shitty situation, especially since the ex is related to the bride. ARGH!!! I wouldn't bring a date unless you already have a boyfriend. If you bring a date it may make them uncomfortable. If you have any other friends at the wedding (real friends) tell them how you feel and ask them to be your support. I'd pretty much stay with them the whole wedding and avoid the guy. I would NOT go up and say hi, or make eye contact or anything else. I have been in a situation very similar to this. My friend got married and I was a bridesmaid at his wedding. His brother was my first boyfriend. While I had no feelings for him anymore, I had not yet learned how to accept that some people who arn't boyfriend material can still make decent friends. I completely ignored him when I could and was standoffish whenever he talked to me. I may have been friendlier if I could do it all over again. In short, if he talks to you, be polite but don't engage in more then hello chat. Frankly, I would just say hello and then go about his business. If he actually decides to act like a real man and be nice and apologize to you, just sweetly say you appreciate it and if he wants to talk about it, it will have to be some time after the wedding. If he's a jerk off and continues to be a prick, you won't know because you will be too busy ignoring his ass anyway!
HollyJRockNRoll HollyJRockNRoll 5 years
What a shitty situation, especially since the ex is related to the bride. ARGH!!! I wouldn't bring a date unless you already have a boyfriend. If you bring a date it may make them uncomfortable. If you have any other friends at the wedding (real friends) tell them how you feel and ask them to be your support. I'd pretty much stay with them the whole wedding and avoid the guy. I would NOT go up and say hi, or make eye contact or anything else. I have been in a situation very similar to this. My friend got married and I was a bridesmaid at his wedding. His brother was my first boyfriend. While I had no feelings for him anymore, I had not yet learned how to accept that some people who arn't boyfriend material can still make decent friends. I completely ignored him when I could and was standoffish whenever he talked to me. I may have been friendlier if I could do it all over again. In short, if he talks to you, be polite but don't engage in more then hello chat. Frankly, I would just say hello and then go about his business. If he actually decides to act like a real man and be nice and apologize to you, just sweetly say you appreciate it and if he wants to talk about it, it will have to be some time after the wedding. If he's a jerk off and continues to be a prick, you won't know because you will be too busy ignoring his ass anyway!
jazzytummy jazzytummy 5 years
Part of being a mature adult is doing unpleasant things for the sake of others, and doing them with grace and dignity. You absolutely need to go to the wedding, there is no question about that. Now all you have to decide is how much you are going to let this guy affect your weekend. You can choose to stress out about it and let your anxiety ruin the event for you, or you can sit and think about how you want to handle it rationally before you leave. I would be pleasant and cordial to the guy for the sake of your friend. I would not engage him in ANY conversation about your break-up, even if it is instigated by him. Your friend's wedding is not the place for your drama. If he brings it up, just say that it is in the past and you do not wish to talk about it at his sister's wedding. That. Is. It. Your decision to take a date should be based on whether you want to or not, with or without the ex being there. It is an independent decision. Your overthinking the whole thing is giving this guy way too much control. If for some reason he is a douche to you, just take the high road as best as you can, and I guarantee you will feel much better about yourself than if you let him upset you there. Don't think about who approaches who first, just go with the flow. Good luck.
jazzytummy jazzytummy 5 years
Part of being a mature adult is doing unpleasant things for the sake of others, and doing them with grace and dignity. You absolutely need to go to the wedding, there is no question about that. Now all you have to decide is how much you are going to let this guy affect your weekend. You can choose to stress out about it and let your anxiety ruin the event for you, or you can sit and think about how you want to handle it rationally before you leave. I would be pleasant and cordial to the guy for the sake of your friend. I would not engage him in ANY conversation about your break-up, even if it is instigated by him. Your friend's wedding is not the place for your drama. If he brings it up, just say that it is in the past and you do not wish to talk about it at his sister's wedding. That. Is. It. Your decision to take a date should be based on whether you want to or not, with or without the ex being there. It is an independent decision. Your overthinking the whole thing is giving this guy way too much control. If for some reason he is a douche to you, just take the high road as best as you can, and I guarantee you will feel much better about yourself than if you let him upset you there. Don't think about who approaches who first, just go with the flow. Good luck.
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