My sister and ex-husband’s brother started dating a few months, just before we split. Now they are getting married and want us to be the maid of honor/best man. This sounds like the worst situation I can think of and it’s going to throw me and my ex together multiple time. Is there any polite way to get out of it?
– So Awkward!!
Dear So Awkward!
I can feel your love for your sister in your question. You don’t want to take away from her day. She is lucky to have you. Here’s the bad news! There is no polite and easy way to get out of it.
I don’t know enough about the circumstances of your separation/divorce to understand what issues there might be between you and your ex, and of course you can’t control him. Please focus on you.
My first step when facing fear, anxiety, or uncomfortableness is to name it. What specifically is making me tense up? Human brains like predictability. Hurt, pain, maybe even possible guilt, can block our brains from being able to think logically about events. In a weird way, not thinking about it, and wanting to withdraw keeps our brain safe from vulnerability and uncertainty. Be brave enough to be vulnerable with yourself, feel the feelings. Love yourself through them. Use the self-compassion that I often talk about. Let go of any blame, shame, or self-recrimination. Comfort yourself if you’re stuck in the loss of the relationship. Embrace your imperfection and embrace self-love. Love yourself the way a friend would. You deserve to be happy; you deserve to be treated well. You deserve to be imperfect (we all are!) and lovable at the same time.
Once you understand what is triggering your fear, that alone may take away the fear of awkwardness. It could also uncover a fear or hurt that you are concerned might trigger you during these events. If that the case, do you feel safe enough to be vulnerable and honest with your ex, to outline how you both will handle being with each other? Or comfortable enough with your sister to share your fears and concerns? You can communicate your way through this. If for any reason, your sister or ex are not safe places for you, find some one who is, or seek the help of a therapist to talk out and make a decision about how to move forward. You have the right to do what is best for you in every situation – even if that means other people don’t get what they want. I had friend who always told me, It’s very sad and can hurt when others don’t show up for us, but we can always choose to show up for ourselves. I believe in you. You can work your way through this.
Thank you for writing in. Please write back and let me know how it goes for you!