Old flame's appearance at funeral disrespectful
Ex-Etiquette: We draw the line at paramours (for want of a better word) attending a funeral.
Contra Costa Times
Q: I recently went to a funeral of a longtime friend. She had been engaged and living with her fiancé for years, and he seemed devastated by her death. It was a very somber occasion magnified by the fact that she evidently had been having an affair with a past boyfriend for the past few months, and the guy she was seeing showed up at the funeral. Her fiancé had no idea about the affair until the funeral and the drama overshadowed a lot of the sentiment. This can't be good ex-etiquette. I don't think he should have attended.
A: Of course it's not good ex-etiquette. And, of course he should not have attended the funeral. You have to wonder about someone who thinks it's OK to have an affair in secret, then mourns the lover's passing in public. Bottom line: It's not OK. Ex-Etiquette rule No. 8: "Be honest and straightforward" certainly applies here, both before and after the funeral! Trust is a primary component to any long-term relationship. To say it is bad ex-etiquette to sleep with an ex when you are engaged to another is a huge understatement.
Funerals often spark strong feelings of regret. We have worked many with who have had an even greater sense of loss when they realize how stupid they have been for holding a grudge or being spiteful after someone, particularly an ex, has passed away. For this very reason we have often paved the way for exes to respectfully attend an ex's funeral, especially if he or she and the deceased share children. However, we draw the line at paramours (for want of a better word) attending a funeral. It may be great writing for a Sunday afternoon made-for-TV movie, but in real life, you attend a funeral to pay your respects to the loved one who has passed, and more importantly, to pay your respects to the loved ones he or she has left behind.
Skulking around, acting heartbroken at the funeral of someone you have secretly been having an affair with seems about the most disrespectful thing you can do, and a character flaw. And, the fact that the fiancé had no idea about the affair until the paramour showed up at the funeral only adds insult to injury. It was a selfish, tacky, and insensitive act with a sprinkling of narcissism to boot. We hope a representative of the fiancée's loved ones quietly ushered him from the scene and very sternly told him to get lost.
Jann Blackstone-Ford, Ph.D., and her husband's ex-wife, Sharyl Jupe, authors of "Ex-Etiquette for Parents," are the founders of Bonus Families (www.bonusfamilies.com). Reach them at email@example.com.
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.