Remember me? Lil' Miss Bear Cub? I feel awful for being so MIA recently. It's amazing how much gets piled on your plate at one and a half months out!
The primary reason I've been gone for so long is because this past weekend I went to my best friend's wedding. I didn't date my best friend (à la Julia Roberts), but I did date her husband's brother for 3.5 years. My best friend - my own MOH "E" - got engaged while I was still dating him! I think they've been together for a cumulative of 11 years now. Some of the best things come with time. The bride & groom - E+E - had one of the most amazing weddings I've ever seen. I didn't take any pictures myself, but I didn't need to. Everyone else in attendance was a photographer there! I plan to post a recap on her wedding when I can get my hands on some pics. ;)
You want to know what it's like to go to a wedding at your ex-boyfriend's parents home?
It's awkward. Very, very awkward.
Planning a wedding doesn't usually include thinking of exes, let alone seeing them a month before your wedding. Mine does. I've known since before I met Mr. Bear Cub that I would be going to my MOH E's wedding, that it would be at my ex's parents' home, and that he would be there. As it just so happens, with his new(ish) girlfriend, too.
This was all sorts of awkward, but I love MOH E, so I tried to make the best of it. Her wedding was amazing, so it didn't end up mattering that much. But here's the thing - this wasn't just any ex. We were together for almost 4 years. I thought we were going to get married. I used to live at his parents' house with him, take dinner with the family every night, and visit the grandparents on holidays. Really, I was part of the family. I baked and knit with his mom, I went surfing with his brother, and I am best friends with his other brother's (now) wife. Needless to say, I was pretty certain we would actually be calling each other sister-in-law one day!
Then some things happened, we grew apart emotionally, and I made the biggest decision of my life. I moved to New Mexico for grad school, and he decided not to move with me. I hadn't wanted to meet anyone in NM. I had wanted to finish a masters degree in 2 years, and move back to California. But I met someone, and now I want to spend the rest of my life with that little bear. He's so much better for me in every way, and I can't wait to marry him in a month.
My ex and I haven't exactly been on the best terms. We're civil, when need be. Which I think is interesting, based on how we split. We didn't fight, neither of us really dumped the other. We realized our lives were going in different directions. For a while I tried to be friendly with my ex, but it hasn't seemed to stick at all. He keeps pushing me away, and then he does something to show that he cares just a teensy bit, and that he wants me to be happy. Aren't exes such a weird thing? I don't know if he or his gf know that I blog for WB, so I'll try to keep this as light-hearted as possible. I did meet his girlfriend at my MOH's wedding, and if she's reading, I'd like her to know that I think she's great for my ex. I think she's sweet, helpful, and I'm very glad their together (I'm too shy and non-confrontational to say so in person!).
I have a philosophical beef with "exes", in an abstract way. I know Harry told Sally that men can never be friends with women - they will only ever want to sleep with them - but is this really true? Can't you replace that "love" feeling you once had for someone with a "sibling" feeling? I wish very deeply that I could have a friend/brother relationship with my ex. He's a very interesting person, and I like to keep interesting people in my life. I don't want to be with him romantically. I could see hanging out with him like one hangs out with a brother. Or maybe sending him a book once in a while that I think he'll like, to let him know I still think he's cool (but I think Mr. Bear Cub is cooler ;) ). I know it's a fact of life, but why is it so hard to maintain a friendship with an ex, especially when the breakup isn't bad?
When I visited his parents' home for the wedding, his mom welcomed me with open arms. She was so happy to see me! And his grandmother was excited and happy to learn I was engaged! I had a wonderful time catching up with his family, but he ignored me completely. I guess it was easier for him to continue telling himself that I don't exist.
Mr. Bear Cub has been a dream about my wishes to be friends with my ex. He's been very understanding, and supportive - I'm very lucky to have a partner that cares this much for me.
Am I strange to think that people can move on completely, and evolve their relationship to a true friendship? Does this ever actually happen? In your realization that you wanted to spend the rest of your life with your fiancé (or husband), how have you made peace with the exes in your past life?