When Your Commitment-Phobic Ex Pulls a Clooney...

You’ll thank yourself later for keeping a dignified silence (publicly, at least)

George Clooney attends 'The Monuments Men' Junket - Los Angeles
(Photo: Keystone Press)

The bastard.

He may have told you he wasn’t the marrying kind. But now he’s publicly proclaiming his undying affection for a fabulously attractive professional and preparing to make this emblem of female perfection his missus.

Ouch x infinite.

If you’re still friendly with your formerly commitment-phobic ex and have been invited to the wedding, then prepare to do your best impersonation of a Victorian heroine. That means swallow your pride, buy a generous gift and wish your ex well from the bottom of your broken heart, says Louise Fox, etiquette expert and owner of The Etiquette Ladies in Toronto.

However, says Fox, if you’re not pals then you’re probably not going to the wedding—so don’t even think about sending a card or gift. All you’re obliged to do under the circumstances is keep your thoughts to yourself. “If you’re B&B, or bitter and betrayed, then obviously the less said the better,” says Fox. If someone asks you to comment, or asks you how you feel about the news, play it cool. “Say ‘I wish him every happiness,’ and then change the subject.”

Keep in mind that you’re not biting your tongue out of respect for your ex—no one’s asking you to be a martyr. You’re keeping a dignified silence out of respect for yourself.  Crack a joke publicly about his change of heart and you look “cynical and jealous and vengeful,” explains Fox. Ditto if you lose your cool and rant to a pal, or decide to make a pointed allusion to the nuptials on social media.

“Keep your feelings to yourself because you’re not going to come out looking good, regardless.” If you need some emotional ventilation, so to speak, call your mother, or speak to a therapist—both assure privacy.

Fox also urges people to rise to the occasion, however painful. “Show your best side,” she counsels. The best revenge isn’t just living well; it’s being well, too. So, if you’re feeling blue or bitter or hurt, channel that energy into something positive. “Take a course, go to the gym, improve yourself in some way,” she says. “Take a positive step.”

Just make sure it’s a step forward and not back.

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