The complex issue of any relationship is rather fluid and filled with dynamism. A relationship is not like a Bugatti Veyron 16.4 sports car which can hit 60 mph in 2.5 seconds, or a Porsche 918 which can race to 60 mph in 2.2 seconds. Each society has norms steeped in cultural expectation and history which often serves as a guide or social control regarding the ‘dos and don’ts’ of relationships. One of the relational matters which always get strong opinions from both sexes is the perennial question: Would you invite your ex to your wedding? A wedding is supposed to be a happy and family orientated event in which the bride and groom take center stage. A colleague of mine, Alberto, not his real name, age 42, is of the belief that it is ok to invite one’s ex to one’s wedding. “I believe too many people have hang-ups about this person and that person. He added that if the ex is a great person, and we have a great friendship, I don’t see why not”. Alberto clearly takes a mature approach to the topic, a topic which is not necessarily in the category of most popular subject matter to discuss. However, in playing the devil advocate, one can ask the question, if the ex was such a great person, why is it that you did not marry that great person. Alberto adds, not everyone is meant to your mate, you may date, have a relationship and then you experience some deal breakers, like future plans don’t align or just some habits you can’t stand”. Alberto went on to say, “As long as she respects my wife and not trying to undercover, reconnect with me, and we have a healthy friendship, then I see no issues”. Alberto who is married revealed that he invited two of his exes to his wedding. He confidently stated that his wife knew about them. “As a matter of fact she has met them before and is even Facebook friends with them. You might be wondering if his exes turned up to the wedding. Take a guess, one made it, the other would have too, however, she had a family emergency. However, not all men are like Alberto. Kurt, age, 41, is also married and was quite adamant that inviting an ex girlfriend to one’s wedding is not a good idea. When asked if he would attend the wedding of an ex, this is what he said. “I don’t think I would go. Even though it may be good between us, the other person may not be comfortable with that”. A female colleague shared her opinion on the subject. I will refer to her as Miss Ting. Miss Ting also made it down the altar and is the mother of two children. “It is somewhat insensitive to invite an ex to your wedding, as such an occasion for the bride and groom is indicative of attainment, commitment, moving on and for the ex it cements loss, failure, inability to secure. So although the ex may be genuinely happy that such an individual is finding joy, even if that ex is married it’s almost impossible not to feel a sense of tortures while the bride and groom experiences joy unspeakable” Miss Foxy, age 48, sees this as a non-issue. “I would invite an ex with whom I have a good relationship and understanding after we break up”. Among the younger respondents to this rather informal survey are Black Princess, age 26, she was very unwavering that she would not invite her ex to her wedding. “Unless I was trying to make the person feel jealous and if that be so, there is some feelings”. Her friend, Shanna, age 24, said No, “ex is the ex, no feelings, even when they pick a number, that person must remain in the number lane”. Black Princess, agreed with her by adding, “remain ex lane, don’t cross the bounder”.
One cannot switch on and off one’s emotion like a pipe. The emotional journey which one engages in while in a relationship often takes a longer time to come to an end even after the relationship has ended. Clearly the jury is still out on this subject. The decision to invite or not invite an ex to one’s wedding is not a right or wrong one issue. It all deepens on the individuals involved, the level of respect each party has for the other as well as the type of relationship which existed between the parties. It bears thought that traditionally June is the month of weddings in Jamaica. On your wedding day the attention and focus should be on the bride and groom and not on some past relationship, or on issues associated with a past relationship. One’s wedding day should be drama free, unless you are doing a reality television show and desperate for ratings. Each person has to figure out what is best for them regarding their big day!
Wayne Campbell is an educator and social commentator with an interest in development policies as they affect culture and or gender issues.