My marriage formally ended in April of 2016. It was somewhat painful timing as that relationship ended three of our mutual friends were lining up their weddings.
As one thing ends, others begin but for me, I made the harsh decision that I could not be a part of my friends weddings. I couldn’t in good conscience go to someone’s wedding and have so little ability to share and contribute to their happiness that I would put a dark cloud over their best day. I remember what it was like on my wedding day all too well. It’s confusing and frustrating to feel like someone else’s happiness is a trigger to your depression.
There’s folks that will put me on blast as selfish for thinking this way but I often think of the flip side. We all see the tropes and hear the horror stories. Folks who go to a wedding when they don’t really want to be there, folks who get drunk to drown away their sadness during a wedding. I didn’t want to be that person, that cliché of the bitter divorcee who spouts snide comments at a wedding. My friends deserve better than that.
Social expectation and masks are something I’ve struggled with since my teens. I’m not sociable, I’m better in small tight groups. A wedding is perhaps the largest social gathering folks hope to have and a time to be sharing in the start of a new life together. I’m not about to put on a mask anymore because social norms say I’m supposed to. “Do it for them” I’ve heard, and while well meaning it misses the point. To me putting on a false front for someone on a day when genuine happiness should be the only thing there is a disservice in my eyes. So while I wish them all the best, I’ll remain where I am, working, trying to change until the day I can go to a friends wedding and smile again, with a real smile.