I have submitted several horror stories over the years but now it’s my turn to ask for etiquette advice in an area I don’t think I’ll find covered elsewhere. I would really appreciate some input concerning this situation.
A year ago my marriage ended under highly distressing circumstances when I discovered a file of photographs of my husband having sex with other women. The photos stretched back eight years, almost the entirety of our marriage. When I confronted my husband he took off overseas to be with the latest woman as he said he was in love with her. When he left we had two children aged two years and three months old. Their father has come to see them once in the past year. As I thought we were happily married, this was a huge shock and to be honest I am still struggling with coming to terms with it all-the loss of my future as well as the fact that my past was all lies and betrayal, let alone my grief for my children’s sake.
Anyway, my question pertains to a friend of mine who has recently become engaged. I have expressed my congratulations to her and genuinely feel joy for her as she has wanted this for years. I am truly happy for her. However, I do not feel that emotionally I can cope with a wedding right now. It sounds selfish and self-pitying, but I still tear up often over it all and I do not think the year has been enough time for me. I know everyone else’s lives go on, and in time I will be ok with these things again, but right now, with my divorce looming, I feel heartbroken and overwhelmed at the thought of attending a wedding and thinking about my own happy naive day. I am aware of how exceptionally self-involved this sounds and beg everyone’s indulgence in the circumstances. Unless you have been through it I am not sure you can understand, so please believe this is not a jealousy issue and I dread my friend being aware of my unhappiness. But it is still raw enough for me that I can’t see brides etc without becoming upset. If you think I should make more effort, believe me I have made a huge effort in going through the engagement thing, helping her with bits and pieces and hiding my upset at the loss of my own marriage and life to which I was committed. So what would your recommendation be – be honest about why I am not going, or make up a white lie? I love this girl and wish her every joy. I just can’t face it yet and apart from my own emotional health do not wish to upset anyone or detract from the events of the day.
Any advice would be so helpful. 0719-13
I am sorry to hear of your sad demise of your marriage.
There is no need to lie in order to decline a wedding invitation. Simply write on the rsvp card, “I’m so sorry but I will not be able to attend. I wish you much joy and happiness on your special day!” If you are pressed as to why you are not coming, simply say you have a prior commitment and then pack up the kids to go see Grandmom or head to the zoo or beach for the day.