Post # 1
I need some advice/perspective on a situation. I realize what I’m about to describe is pretty serious stuff, and the friend in question and I have had many many hours of talks about it. I feel really selfish posting this as a “problem” I’m having in the grand scheme of things but it’s something that I don’t know how to socially navigate.
Background: One of my closest friends is dating a guy who is a racist jerk (at best) and emotionally abusive (at worst). My friend is aware of how I feel about her bf. We have had many lengthy discussions about her safety and my concerns about her being with him, so it’s no secret to her that I do not like him at all. Long story short (I don’t want to go too much into this as they’re her personal details), she’s decided that he has some redeeming qualities and wants to be with him. It’s not up to me to tell her what to do in her relationship but she knows she has a safe haven with me should she ever need it. I have been in touch with some of her family members and friends and we’re monitoring her situation to be sure someone is always there for her in case she needs it.
Situation: As a general rule, Fiance and I have decided that we’re going to give all of our close friends +1’s to the wedding. We are putting together the guest list, and I have decided that I do not want this guy to be at my wedding. I know for sure that my friend will make him her +1. I’ve thought about not extending a +1 to my friend, but I know she would be very hurt if she was the only one of our close friends that was singled out. I don’t mean to sound selfish here, as I know that my friend is dealing with a lot of heavy stuff and I feel like a b*tch for griping about guest lists in light of her situation. But at the same time, I just cannot entertain the thought of him being there because he would make me uncomfortable and he would make some of the other guests uncomfortable. How would you handle this situation?
Post # 3
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
It’s really an all or nothing situation. If you extend other plus 1’s but not to her then she is going to be upset even though she knows you hate her Boyfriend or Best Friend. Maybe some tough love is necessary in this situation and you shouldn’t invite her at all.
Post # 4
If you don’t invite him, your friendship will be over. I mean, I wish I could delete every racist family member off my guestlist, but it doesn’t really work that way. If you are close to this woman, I would treat her as you would your sister. I think the guy needs to be invited
Post # 5
@Bzztjay: Look, I get that you don’t like this guy and it sounds like you have good reason. What you don’t have is a good enough reason to single out your friend and the person she’s chosen to date from your guest list, as if his presence at the event would even manage to put the slightest damper on the proceedings in the least…I understand it’s your wedding, you should have things the way you like, but there is no way to exclude this man without making a HUGE debaucle out of the whole thing and ultimately punishing your friend for it, all for the sake of a couple of hours on one day….not worth it.
Post # 6
@Bzztjay: I hear you on not wanting to extend the plus one to her, but I think you should if you’re extending it to other people. I think if you didn’t she would be really upset and it might put a strain on your relationship. You may just have to suck it up and ignore the crap out of that guy on your day. If you’re lucky maybe he won’t even come!
Post # 7
@Bzztjay: how has he demonstrated his racism? are you or your guests a different race than he is? how do you anticipate him making your guests uncomfortable?
unless he’s known to get drunk and scream racial slurs at everyone in the room, i think you pretty much have to invite him.
Post # 8
I hate to say it, but not inviting him will give him ammunition to push her further away from friends & family. It plays right into the “us vs the world” mentality. It’s not worth the drama, and it’s not worth losing her over it. Unless you truly believe he will launch into some crazy racist tirade mid-ceremony or take over the mic and give a speech straight out of the KKK reading materials, then give her the +1.
Post # 9
@TwoStatesBride: The first time I met him, he was very vocal about his dislike of certain races (he brought it up without anyone even asking him or alluding to it). Another time, we had dinner plans at a Chinese restaurant, to which his reply was, “Am I going to be the only white guy there? I don’t want to be surrounded by Asians because they are the worst.” A bunch of people who were at dinner and within earshot were Chinese.
Post # 10
Thanks everyone for the tough love. I know that not giving her a +1 would put a strain on our friendship, and I know I’ll probably have to suck it up if I want her to be there. I guess I should also add that it’s not totally about me having my OMGSPECIAL day. I also don’t want to be an enabler and give her the impression that I approve of his behavior.
Post # 11
@Bzztjay: My best friend knows I absolutely despise her husband. He cheated on her, had the girl he was cheating with as a bridesmaid in their wedding and many other forms of disrespect I won’t get into. She stayed in the marriage because of their children but she is completely unhappy and there is no trust. He is not invited to my wedding and she understands why and is happily attending without him. Your situation sounds a bit different in that your friend wants to be with him and would take it as an insult if you didn’t invite him. It sucks, but you might have to put up with him being there.
Post # 12
I am in a somewhat similar situation. One of my good friends started dating a married guy (who is now divorced but was about 5 months into his marriage at the time they started the affair). Needless to say, it has strained our friendship and her friendship with many other girls in our “group.”
We are also doing the 1 year+ rule for inviting SOs. My other gfs in that group decided not to bring their SOs and make it a girls’ weekend. She has informed me she is bringing him. He will have zero friends there, and to be honest, I cringe at the thought that we are spending almost $300 on his dinner. There are so many people I would rather have there than him. But as everyone said…
Post # 13
I can’t really offer any advice on this that could enlighten you further. I have a couple of friends who recently got into relationships, and I’m extending them plus ones (as they are in the bridal party.) However, I have another friend who’s girlfriend cheated on him, and they’ve broken up and gotten back together a couple of times. My fiance and I haven’t met her, and my friend has never offered to bring her around. I think he knows how we feel about her. We aren’t giving him a plus one because we don’t one someone at our wedding who doesn’t respect the sanctity of a relationship (regardless of marital status.) We were comfortable with this decision mostly because he knows most of the guests who will be attending, so him not having his girlfriend there won’t leave him sitting all alone at a table. We have plenty of other single friends as well.
Post # 14
@NavyBride2013: I like the idea of the 1 year+ rule. (Though unfortunately, they’ll have been dating for over a year by the time my wedding comes around.)
@MrsTVLover: @Nona99: I’m not trying to make this a “this is my wedding and I should have things MY WAY on MY SPECIAL DAY” type of thing. I could basically replace the wedding for any social gathering and my feelings about him and inviting him would be the same, just that the wedding happens to be something near and dear to me.
I do actually think having him there would put a damper on the proceedings, as he has demonstrated that he’s very firm and vocal about his opinions and I’m really not all that comfortable having someone who has the tendency to be physically violent to be around people that I care about. (I said he was emotionally abusive in my original post, but things have changed since then and yeah…he went there.)
If I were treating her like my sister, I would be telling her flat out that he’s not invited to the wedding. I think my sister would understand, but I unfortunately do not think my friend would.
I’m not trying to sound defensive here. I think it’s clear that I have a choice to make – give her a +1 and accept that she will likely invite him, or don’t give her a +1 and risk straining our friendship/alienating her further. It just feels really awful to have to choose.
Post # 15
I am in a similar situation with my Maid/Matron of Honor. She’s dating a complete ass. She knows I don’t like him, but she’s my friend. I’m giving her a plus one because I don’t want to push her away because she’s going through so many things, but I also told her that I won’t hesistate to throw him out if he starts acting like he usually does in a group setting. She understands.
You might luck out at her boyfriend may not want to attend, but otherwise I think you should give your friend a plus one.
Post # 16
@SouthernGirl: I’m totally with you on not wanting to push her away, but I’m also afraid that allowing him to come would signal to her that I approve of him. She’s so deeply stuck in that relationship that she can’t even see how awful he is. I just don’t want a scene, you know? I think it’s time to put on my big girl pants and have a heart-to-heart with my friend so she knows that while she may want him at the wedding, that I won’t tolerate him being a jacka** to my guests.