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Not sure how to handle...

TrailGirl posted 4/10/2019 15:30 PM

I have been NC for 4 yrs; D'd for nearly 2 yrs. Relationships damaged by the fallout of XH's LTA have been largely repaired. This includes my relationship with some of his siblings (the ones with whom I've been close for some 35+ yrs). My niece, the daughter of my dear friend/SIL (she & I became friends in high school...and eventually M'd brothers) is getting M'd next year. She is very dear to me and I wouldn't miss the wedding...well...except I am not sure how to handle if my XH is in attendance. It's still uncertain if he will be invited because, particularly after our separation 4 yrs ago, he damaged relationships with his brother & this SIL to the point where they have nothing to do with him. But, blood being thicker than water, they may still invite him to the wedding. I've had PTSD for years and after years of varying degrees of trauma in my M. My NC with XH is for my own sanity and to avoid the anxiety/panic-like reaction contact elicits. I have anxiety at just the thought of seeing him at the wedding. It makes me not want to go, but I would feel terrible to miss such an important event for my SIL/BIL & niece. Any tips for how to manage the real anxiety/panic I fully expect to feel during the 5-6 hrs of broken NC for the wedding/reception? Thanks.

LilBlackCat posted 4/10/2019 17:49 PM

Hi, I would kindly ask if he expected to attend.. or if he was invited?

Any hesitation, bob and weave.. or your gut feeling from their response insinuating at a yes or maybe..

Then you have your answer.. With your described anxiety level towards seeing him, I would not attend.

But if you do go, Plan your attendance as short as possible.. thus if he does shows up, you are likely on your way out already.. or already gone.

You can always extend your stay, calling it by ear on that day.

northeasternarea posted 4/10/2019 18:38 PM

I would ask whether he is coming. If he is, attend the ceremony and slip out as quickly as possible when it is over.

persevere posted 4/10/2019 20:35 PM

I don't know your timeline - that can certainly affect your perspective. But, as someone who has a very close relationship with my ex-inlaws, I would ask you to consider some things before deciding to bow out.
- Consider the outcome
- Consider any changes

EvenKeel posted 4/11/2019 07:26 AM

I would assume he will be there. As you said - family ties even if toxic are still there.

I fully expect to feel during the 5-6 hrs of broken NC for the wedding/reception?
Attending an event is really not breaking N/C. I have been at events with my ex and I pretend he is not even there. I don't sit near, talk to or even look his way. I figure out where he is and then I sit so I don't even have to look his way by accident.

It sounds like going is important to your heart. If that is true, then go and have an exit plan in case you need it. Migraines are an easy out because everyone understands how debilitating they can be and being around noise is unbearable. In this case, it may not even be a fib....just having an ex close by is known to cause headaches .

HOWEVER, if you just can not go. Then don't. Your SIL was your friend before she was an IL. I am sure she will understand if you decide that it is much better for your emotionally/mentally not to go. There is no shame in bowing out gracefully.

I was in this situation when my only niece got M. I made the decision to just send a gift/card and respectfully decline.

There is no right or wrong here - you do what feels best in your heart.

MamaDragon posted 4/11/2019 10:55 AM

Find out if he is coming first - if he is, make sure you can take a plus one and ask a friend you trust to attend with you.

Sit in the back of the church so that you can see everyone - and slip out of the church quicker.

You don't have to attend the reception where it would be harder to avoid him. If he speaks to you, have your friend run interference and help escort you outside.

I'd also talk to you SIL, since you are close she knows how things are with you. She might have suggestions to help you as well. Maybe you could slip in the room where the bride is getting ready before hand, so you can see her on her special day but not have to be out with everyone else.

TrailGirl posted 4/12/2019 19:16 PM

Thank you all so much! I really appreciate your perspectives and advice!

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