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When I received the invitation to my friends' wedding in the mail I was ecstatic. I had known the couple a very longtime, the bride since high school, and anyone could see that they were perfect together.
That happy feeling soon turned to dread when I realized that I would be seeing old friends from high school that I hadn’t seen since I had gotten divorced. I began to fill with anxiety as I thought of the pity and judgement I would receive. This would be the first wedding I would attend since my own wedding. I could already feel people staring at me and judging me.
I knew what I had to do. I RSVP’d that I would go to the wedding. My friends wanted me there and I didn’t want to let them down.
I was also going to be bringing my boyfriend of one year with me. I was hopeful that I would be able to lean on him for any support that I would need but also anxious that people may judge him and compare him to my ex husband. Or for the ones that haven’t heard of my divorce, wonder who he is and what happened to my ex. I am generally a fairly private person when it comes to my relationships so not everyone might have heard.
Since the wedding was out of town I booked a hotel room for us somewhere out of the way so we wouldn’t be in the middle of the wedding shenanigans and have some quiet downtime for ourselves away from everyone if needed.
When we arrived to the wedding there were many faces of old friends that I hadn’t seen in years. Including the woman my ex husband had chosen me over when we had started dating many years ago. I think most of my anxiety had stemmed from seeing her. Having failed at the relationship with the man we had both wanted.
She was with her new husband. We warmly greeted each other and began telling our dates old stories about each other. No grudges. No judgments.
My anxiety began to ease a little.
All eyes were on the bride when she appeared. She was always beautiful but at this very moment with her luminous smile and gorgeous gown she was breathtaking.
The ceremony and reception were perfect. The rain held off until after the ceremony and everyone was safe in the tent. I was seated with my old friends from high school. We talked and laughed as if we were never separated.
Everyone had a great time though the delicious meal, speeches (even when the power went out during the best man's speech), dancing, and the photo booth.
My boyfriend fit in as if he had been one of the gang all along. I realized that I had nothing to worry about all along. My friends would be there for me as they always were and wouldn’t judge me in something that had happened years ago. This day wasn’t about me anyway. It was about the bride and groom and the start of their new adventure.
I’m not the first to get divorced and I won’t be the last. These things happen every day. I wasn’t even the only divorcee at the wedding. Many other people had been divorced before, including the groom and other family members of the happy couple. Though I was initially very anxious about going to a wedding as a divorcee it was quickly replaced with the happy feeling that celebrations bring.
Congratulations to the bride and groom. I wish them a lifetime of happiness.