'I went to my ex-husband's wedding – we're more like siblings now'
Katie Mathis, 33, from Nashville, Tennessee, wouldn’t have dreamed that one day she’d go to her own ex-husband’s wedding back when they went through their nasty divorce in 2018.
Katie, a photographer and social media content creator, called it quits with Evan, her then-husband of six years, when she was 28.
They cut ties completely at the time, but after Katie went through a bad breakup, her ex actually helped her get through it.
Now, she says they’re more like siblings, and she was even in his new wife’s bridal party.
Katie, who shares their family situation on social media, says this was the best possible outcome for them and the two daughters they share.
She said: ‘I think people think there is something weird going on and a lot of people have disbelief and say how it’s not possible. People don’t understand what we’re going through – you have to do what you have to do so your kids have great experiences.
‘My ex-husband and his new wife went above and beyond to make me feel honoured at their wedding. I was even a part of the bridal party. I got ready with the bride, and she even got me a robe – it was very sweet.
‘I didn’t find it strange getting invited to the wedding, but I know a lot of people did. The only thing I found strange was that I thought the invitation was given to me because the kids were there and for me to watch them, but then they hired a nanny to watch them instead.
‘My friends and family were happy I was invited, and if anything, they were concerned why they weren’t invited – but it was small, and they all understood, as my ex-husband is such a big part of my life still.
‘It was an amazing day. I went with my partner, and he didn’t find it weird either. I’ve found a gem of a man, and he is so lovely. We all even hung out on Mother’s Day together too.’
Now, Katie goes over to her ex’s place on a regular basis, where she’ll hang out with her three children.
But it wasn’t always this easy – the two co-parents had to go to counselling first to make this platonic relationship work.
‘We got together when I was 21 and he was 29,’ Katie recalled, ‘there was a lot of growth. We realised we were completely different people – he wanted a certain person, and I wasn’t that. He wasn’t what I wanted either.
‘I got pregnant at 21 and got married at 22, then divorced at 28.
‘The divorce was very typical, very push and pull, as we were unsure if it was what we wanted, and at times, we said we would fight through it and stay together for the kids.
‘When it came to the final moment, we both sat down, shook hands, and agreed that it was what we had to do.
‘A lot comes in a divorce process, you want to hold onto what you’re used to. I lived a lavish life, as he is well-off. I wanted to give my kids the same lifestyle they had before, even though I knew I couldn’t.
‘I knew it could be something in the middle. I downsized and made their lives as normal as possible. I was a full-time mum, and now I have to share them. The money and lifestyle were easy to leave, but halving the time I had with them was weird.
‘My ex-husband and I are definitely not best friends. People take it the wrong way, and I get people who aren’t very receptive to this, but it’s like having a sibling.
‘When either of us is low, we are there to support each other. Like when I broke up with my partner, he was there for me and told me, “You’ve got through this before, and you can do it again.”‘
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