My son is graduating the 6th grade. I want to throw a party for him. Should I invite his dad, even though we’ve been split up for 5 months?
It seems like the right thing to do to focus on my son first and foremost. However, he may want to bring the woman he left me for. I would feel very awkward around her.
– Should I Invite My Ex-Husband?
Dear Should I Invite My Ex-Husband:
I think it’s wonderful that you are thinking about what your son wants and considering his needs up front. There’s a couple of ways that I would think about managing this. It will require a little soul searching as well as trying to size up the probable outcomes.
If you invite your Ex and he brings his new partner, awkward might be okay. What’s the worst outcome? Will the emotional impact for you or your son be high? Are tears, or anger likely? If so, she can’t come. The distress to you and your son is not worth the kind gesture. If you are 95% to 100% sure that you won’t be emotional, or that it won’t make the day tougher for you, and just as important, that it won’t cause pain for your son – let her come.
If for any reason you feel that she shouldn’t come, it’s okay to protect yourself and in doing so your son. Have a conversation with your ex. Let him know that you’d like him to come, but emotionally you are not ready to share the time with his new partner. You can tell him it won’t always be this way, but it’s still too new. More than anything, you want your son to have a good time. Additionally, you don’t want to be dealing with any emotions that will distract you from celebrating your son’s achievement. Have this conversation soon – before any party planning and before any invitations. If your ex can’t commit to coming alone, don’t have the party. Consider celebrating another way with your son’s friends and invited family.
I wish you the best as you navigate this. I honor your thoughtfulness to do what’s best for your son. He is lucky to have you.