Breaking the news to your ex(es).
March 31, 2005 8:42 AM   Subscribe

What is the kindest way to tell an ex (or exes) that you've gotten married?

Particularly if you are worried that an ex might have hoped (despite your insistance that it was over) that the two of you would get back together, how do you phrase it? Where should you tell this person? What sort of explanation do you owe him/her?
posted by veronica sawyer to Human Relations (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Well, my ex sent me an email. All caps, with lots of exclamation points. Poor grammar, and worse spelling, helped take the edge of this otherwise devastating blow to my future hopes and dreams.
posted by veedubya at 8:51 AM on March 31, 2005 [1 favorite]

it's very kind of you to think of this, but you do not owe him anything at all. if you are divorced then you are free to live the rest of your life as you please.

Now, depending on the degree of contact that you have with the ex - if you no longer meet in person, you may want to consider the 'wedding announcement' which is a printed card in an envelope announcing that you got married. It is typically sent out to friends and acquaintances that were not invited to the ceremony (it's a formal card, and perhaps used less often in our times).

I would simply rely on word-of-mouth. The ex probably already knows, if you had/have friends in common.
posted by seawallrunner at 8:51 AM on March 31, 2005

You really don't owe any ex(s) an explanation unless you remain friends with him/her. And if s/he is still a friend, s/he probably knows that you've gotten married.

However, if you feel more comfortable letting them know, the following should suffice:

Dear Ex,

I'm writing to let you know that I married So-n-So on March 1, 2005.

I want to show my respect for you by letting you know myself rather than letting you hear it through the grapevine.


Write it by hand on plain stationary and mail it if you have a current address. If you don't have a current address, well, I'd let it go.
posted by deborah at 8:53 AM on March 31, 2005 [1 favorite]

you know, worrying about this kind of thing may be part of the reason why they haven't got the message already.
posted by andrew cooke at 8:53 AM on March 31, 2005

Missed on preview: you could add my note to the wedding announcement mentioned by seawallrunner.
posted by deborah at 8:54 AM on March 31, 2005

I just sent a wedding announcement but it was to be mean instead of to be nice.

If you want to be nice, it seems like the handwritten personal note would be the best way to go. It's still asynchronous (as opposed to a phone call), but shows a degree of respect.
posted by matildaben at 8:59 AM on March 31, 2005

"I got married"?

If you're not together, then you really don't owe him/her much of anything. I mean you should tell him/her, especially if you're still in touch and/or have stayed friends (in which case I suppose you would have told him or her already).

That said; I guess. don't lessen the relationship that the two of you had, but there's no way to sugarcoat "I'm married to someone else."

Be upfront and hope the ex is happy for you.

On preview: The wedding announcement isn't a bad idea.
posted by SoftRain at 9:00 AM on March 31, 2005

If it's someone that you talk to occasionally, do the "casual" info drop. Reference your wedding or refer to your husband.

If you consider yourself to be friends, I would call them to say "I just wanted to let you know personally." Keep it short and sweet, no need to chat afterwards. I wouldn't bring up a direct reference to their possible feelings for you, as this would likely land somewhere between awkward and tacky, depending on their actual feelings for you.

If you can't deal with the conversation, go with a note. I vote for a good-quality blank card.
posted by desuetude at 9:10 AM on March 31, 2005

If you don't have regular contact with this person, I'd say just let it go. Sending an announcement to someone you don't maintain some sort of friendly relationship with could be perceived as spiteful.

If you do have regular contact with them, just tell them in a normal conversation.
posted by ScottUltra at 9:13 AM on March 31, 2005

A wedding invitation. (Of course, you're past that point now, but a copy of the invitation and the announcement are almost as good,)

That's what I got from a college ex. It says, "Of course we're over, but I still think well enough of you to invite you."

As it happened, I couldn't make it, and phoned my ex's parents' house to say so (I'd never met the parents). When I asked for my ex, the mother, obviously suspicious, replied, "You know that X is getting married, don't you?" I replied that's what I was calling about, the mother put my ex on the phone, and we had a pleasant conversation in which I congratulated my ex on the upcoming nuptials.
posted by orthogonality at 9:36 AM on March 31, 2005

There is the assumption that this is a former spouse, which it seems may not be the case... however:

If they are still harbouring hope that you'll get back together it sounds like you're still in touch on some regular basis. If they didn't know you were dating someone seriously enough to consider marriage, let alone actually doing it, it seems that you may not have been as clear with them as you would like to think.

Personally, and I hope I'm wrong here, it sounds like maybe you've led this person on a bit. If that's true, I think you do owe him more than a note. A face-to-face meeting over coffee or a single beer would be my preference here.

If I'm wrong, go with the phone call, in my opinion, it's more civilized.

Finally, if I'm totally wrong and it is he who has not been listening to your tales of dating, etc... then you owe nothing, but telling him that you're married might be helpful to stop his delusions that you'll reunite.

Good luck.
posted by FlamingBore at 9:44 AM on March 31, 2005

Ask a question on a popular weblog that you know they read.

Thanks a lot. I did have hope, but now...
posted by OmieWise at 9:58 AM on March 31, 2005

Hmmm, what about the opposite, how do you tell someone you might be interested in that you are no longer married? ;)
posted by raster at 12:11 PM on March 31, 2005

If you're not still seeing your ex you don't need to tell them at all. If you are, say 'hey, I got married." He's your ex. That means he has no claim on you or any right to have a problem with you're being involved, married or whatever with someone else.

If you're concerned this news might upset him, I'd suggest continuing to see him is not a good idea. Exes need to be over you if they're still in contact with you. They really do. The alternative is decidedly unhealthy.
posted by Decani at 12:14 PM on March 31, 2005

If you two happened to go to college/university together, whatever you do, don't let your announcement in the alumni magazine break the news to him.
posted by emelenjr at 3:17 PM on March 31, 2005

Mine sent me an invitation to the wedding. Nasty shock, but very considerate to invite me and such.
posted by honeydew at 7:12 PM on March 31, 2005

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