I was invited to my ex’s sister’s wedding, but don’t know if I should go

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a woman in my 20s who is a company employee. I have a child who is a little over a year old. I also got divorced a year and a half ago, and I’m no longer directly involved with my ex-husband in any way. Despite this, I am still in contact with his family.

My child is my ex-husband’s parents’ first grandchild, and I think they’d like to see my child grow up. I’m an optimist who doesn’t dwell on the details, so for me, I really enjoy talking to his family. I especially love my ex-husband’s older sister, with whom I still go out and have lunch on my days off.

I just got invited to that older sister’s wedding and I really want to be there to celebrate this time in her life, but my ex-husband will be there too, which complicates things.

I’m grateful to my ex’s family for continuing to care about us and wishing for our happiness even after the divorce. I don’t think I’d be wrong whether I went or not, which is what’s actually making it harder for me to RSVP. I would really appreciate some advice.

— C, Hyogo Prefecture

Dear Ms. C:

You got divorced about the same time you gave birth, right? And you are not involved with your ex-husband in any way. There isn’t any sort of communication and there’s no child support being paid, is there? Those are quite the circumstances to find yourself in.

Despite this, you’re still communicating with his family. I can understand them wanting to see their grandchild grow up, but I feel like that’s not enough to justify this. On top of that, you going to this wedding tells not only the older sister’s husband but also his family and friends about you and your child. Even you, the optimist, sensed something about this was off enough that you included it in your letter.

You are still young, and you can’t rule out getting married again. If that were to happen, do you think his family would happily see you and your child off into your new life?

Pain walks hand-in-hand with divorce. Divorce doesn’t just mean the husband and wife become strangers; it means both families cutting ties. I think his family just can’t accept this. I think if you keep letting them see their grandchild, that risks having your child one day taste the pain of saying farewell to them.

I think you need to reflect on not only whether you should attend the wedding, but on whether you should continue communicating with his family. Please think about your future, not your past, and decide what to do.

—Hazuki Saisho, writer