My ex stole my wedding
Many women dream of that day when they will walk down the aisle, the beach or the garden path to marry Prince Charming and live happily ever after.
But what happens when Prince Charming turns into a dunce, becomes your ex, meets a bad version of you, proposes in Paris, with the ring you picked out when you were together, then plans your dream wedding with her?
This happened to Lisa*, a beautiful and successful businesswoman in her mid thirties. ''We were together for over four years, most of which I supported him while he was out of work,'' she said. Even so, she loved Adam* and thought they'd be together forever. She shared all of her wedding plans she'd dreamed of since she was a little girl. But it wasn't to be and they broke up.
Fast forward a few years and because she and Adam shared mutual friends she discovered he was now going to marry someone else. ''I couldn't avoid it. The Facebook grapevine was going into overdrive. There was a constant barrage of information about the impending wedding,'' she said.
But it's what she saw next that left her speechless.
"He was having 'our' wedding!'' she said. ''My evil ex and his vacuous bride-to-be obviously didn't have an original thought to share between them, so everything I had planned with Adam for our wedding was unfolding before my eyes, only I wasn't the bride.''
There were waterside nuptials, a sunset cocktail style reception, the same guest list, same groomsmen, matching Tiffany wedding bands they had chosen previously. ''They even chose the same song as their wedding song and went to my dream honeymoon location of Bora Bora.''
Clinical physiologist, Dr Amanda Symboluk, understands Lisa's distress but thinks she's reading too much into the mimicked wedding. "It's quite warped, men do it to impress the woman, but it's not actually malicious, it's just lazy.''
''He probably thought he was being romantic and creative and in reality he forgot where he originally got the idea," she said.
Symboluk believes an ex-partner getting married or re-marrying brings up unresolved issues relating to that relationship. If you find yourself in that position she suggests the following:
The end of a relationship is like a death and in order to heal we must pass through and deal with the following emotions, grief, denial, anger, sadness and finally acceptance.
2. Don't take it personally
Remind yourself that you can't take 100 per cent of the responsibility and blame for the break up.
3. Stay off social media
A self-imposed ban till the dust settles can be a good idea.
Social Media has definitely made things worse when dealing with a break up, it's not about hearsay, it's in your face and it can lead to "stalking" which is a form of self harm and does nothing to help in the recovery and healing process.
4. Mutual Friends
If you share mutual friends with your ex, explain to these friends that you want to stay in contact but on a one on one basis. Also ask them not to divulge information about your ex, until you are ready to hear it.
5. Professional Advice
If you are still having trouble dealing with your breakup and moving on it can be helpful to seek professional advice.
Lisa has since had time to reflect and says: ''Now that the wedding is done and I feel like I've disembarked from the rollercoaster of the past, I honestly wish them all the best. That chapter of my life is over and I can now truly move on,'' she said. "I'll just have to plan a better wedding."
* names have been changed