March 10, 2024

Is it wise to attend your ex-husband’s wedding?

Is it wise to attend your ex-husband’s wedding?

By Bunmi Sofola

WOULD you attend your ex-husband’s wedding to his new bride even if he’s behaved like a rat? 

When Angela’s marriage broke down irretrievably some five years ago, she was very bitter that she’d been left to raise their three children as a single parent. “Until that point,” she recalled, “Uzor was my whole life! We’d met in our mid 20s, and within a few months, we’d had the traditional wedding and moved in together. Within five years, we had two children.

Our third child and only son followed and we rarely argued. We had a registry wedding to make our union legal and Uzor’s business running a security outfit boomed. When I had my third child, it was agreed I quit teaching so as to be around to see the kids grow. I had a fabric shop that I ran from the house but it wasn’t making that much profit and I became increasingly dependent upon my husband financially and emotionally.

Once in a while, the thought crossed my mind that if he ever left me it would be like someone cutting off my right arm. Little did I know how much of a premonition it was.

“One night, eight years ago, I got a phone call from a ‘friend’ who thought I should know Uzor had a second family and the other woman had two kids already. My world came crashing down especially when he didn’t deny it.

He was full of tears as he wept and told me he’d been in love with this other women for a while. I would be the last person to live with a man who professed to be in love with another woman, so I told him to do what he deemed fit. Deluding myself he would stay with his family, he perfected his get-away for as long as it took him to get an apartment for both of them. It was then I realised there was no future for us as a couple and, for the first time, contemplated a terrifying future as a single mother with my matrimonial home and career long gone. Worst of all, I was now 40. Not much of a ‘catch’ for any new man with my three kids in tow.

“I was boiling mad – too angry and broken to cry. I was hurt and ashamed.

My self-esteem was gone and the aftermath of that betrayal was horrendous.

At first, I waded through the days in a state of complete shock. Then the anger and emotional pain started to take hold as I had to move with the kids to a cheaper accommodation. Whenever I was on the phone to my husband, I would cry and shout at him and avoid conversations when he came in to hand in fees for the ‘kids’ school.

“It was at this stage that my mum sat me down and warned I should forget being so bitter and make a choice about how to deal with what had happened, or it was going to eat up my life and harm the children into the bargain. I could choose to let my bitterness and rage rule my thinking – and become one of those angry women who are always slagging off their ex and never seem to find any real joy in life any more. Or I could put on a brave face and do what was right for the children while my soul slowly died inside. By keeping anger and hurt hidden, she warned “it would eventually find its way out in the form of illness and depression.

“She then offered a third way out – strive to build a healthy relationship to co-parent my children with Uzor’s husband snatcher who had metaphorically ripped out my heart, then carved it up with a knife for good measure!

Although I was livid with what he’d done, mum made me realise that punishing him was not going to help anyone, particularly our children. After all, they were half of both of us. If I said bad things about their dad, that meant I was also attacking half the child. Poor mum, she was one of three wives dad, married, she was the first wife. I could now imaging how she could have felt. Welcoming two wives while she stayed put in her matrimonial home. At least I didn’t have to live with the other woman.

“Thanks to mum, I learnt to put myself on what I can only describe as a crash course on how to see myself not as a victim, but as a woman blessed with a chance to start again. I may not have chosen for my family to be broken up in such a painful way, but I realised that the choice of how I deal with the situation was mine. It was tough at times. I had to accept some responsibility for what had happened. Instead of hating my husband for throwing away our relationship for a second family, I tried to see things from his point of view.

Obviously, the stress of supporting us all was huge. He was deeply unhappy and just because we had made three beautiful babies together didn’t mean he had to spend the rest of his life with me. Painfully, I began to realise that outside of the children, Uzor and I had very little in common.

“Gradually, I started ignoring negative comments and ‘advice’ about my ex (many friends deemed my attitude ‘weird’) and determined to transform myself from a bitter single mother to someone free to have fun again. Within a few years, I had been on some wonderful dates and realised I could actually enjoy sex more in my 40s than when I was in my 20s. Because I wasn’t bitter about the past and refused to believe all men were untrustworthy, I was complimented on being easy to go out with.

“Of course, it bothered me when Uzor announced shortly after our divorce five years ago, he was getting married. There was definitely flashes of jealousy. But after getting over the initial strangeness of it all I got used to the idea. When I actually got an invitation card for the wedding and I told some of my friends. I might attend, they considered it beyond bizarre that I wanted to go to the wedding. I asked, what’s so wrong with being nice to your ex?

When I read about the terrible increase in the number of children who became delinquent due to the stress of divorce, I thank God that I had it in me to be magnanimous and forgive. To put the needs of my children first.

So you are battling through a break-up and want to build a new and healthy relationship with your ex, don’t listen to the people who raise their eyebrows when you tell them you intend to attend functions with your ex and his wife –with coolers packed with steaming delicacies in tow! It’s hard to be a perfect wife and even harder to be a perfect ex – but the rewards are beyond measure!”

His Friends Could Be An Indication Of How Serious He Is!

Take a close look at your man’s circle of friends to suss out whether you should get serious or show him the door. The crucial questions you

need to ask are: Does he have an eclectic circle of friends? Look for a good mix. If some of his friends have coupled off, he probably won’t quake about commitment. And odds are that a man with a few female friends can relate to women on an emotional level. But if he’s chummy with a bunch of Casanovas, he may be cut from the same cloth.

How strong are his bonds? A man who’ll do anything for his friends might seem like a considerate catch, but he may not be willing to break away from his boys to give you the quality time you deserve.

Does he treat them with kindness? Men are naturally competitive and show affection by competitive sorts. But beware if he belittles his friends’ achievements behind their backs. Not giving them their due suggests he might not applaud your accomplishments.

How do his friends treat you? If his posse is clued into your vitals (e.g. what you do for a living), it’s a sure sign he is serious. Men don’t reveal their feelings easily, so filling them in, denotes you’re already a part of his life.