Next Your Direction Workshop, for teenagers and young adults whose parents have separated.

2nd November 2022

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Am I Mad To Go?

So nearly 3 years have passed since my separation and I get an invite to a meet up with a group of friends.  These are some of my closest friends who were there for me when things were at their toughest… but there is a catch.

My ex and I were together for a long time and this is the group of friends we share.  Out of respect and support for me they haven’t invited him to these sorts of gatherings since the separation.  He has recently got engaged to the lady he had the affair with and now that some time has passed the friendship group is ready to move on.  They have both been invited.  I’m not angry with my friends about this.  I think it reflects well on them that they are a forgiving and supportive bunch who believe in friendship that remains even when someone messes up.

The separation was a painful experience for me that took two years to recover from, I haven’t spoken to my ex for over a year and I have never met his fiancé.  So am I mad to even consider going? I don’t think so.

So why do I want to go?  There are  3 motivations…

1)By far the single biggest thing that contributed to my recovery was forgiveness.  To truly complete that process I would like to let my ex know that I have forgiven him and that I genuinely wish him well for the future.

2)There is a significant chance I could bump into my ex and his fiancé as geographically our lives still overlap.  This possibility makes me nervous.  I think the opportunity to meet face to face in a supportive environment would help me to ditch this anxiety for good.

3) It would be great for everyone if this was a non-issue going forwards, if everyone could be invited to everything and our group get-togethers could be as fun as they ever were.

I’ve given this a lot of thought, I am nervous about it and realistic about the fact it may not pan out the way I imagine but I believe I am recovered and emotionally strong enough to try.  I have put a few things in place to make it easier and act as a safeguard if it turns out to have been a terrible idea:

1)      I have talked it through with friends from the RDS course and others to help me think about it from different perspectives.

2)I will drive there and not drink so if it is awful I can politely make my excuses and leave.

3)I will have a friend on hand via text who can give me support through the evening if I need it.

4)I have thought carefully about what I want to say when I meet them so I am not stuck for words in the moment

If all goes well these are the words I will have been able to say to my ex:

“things got a bit unpleasant at the end and I am sorry for anything I said or did that was hurtful.  I am glad that you and XXXXXX seem so happy together and I wish you all the best for the future. “

I’m not sure what his reply will be but in many ways that won’t matter all that much.  For me what will matter will be that I have managed to say what I came to say.  Wish me luck…