Post # 1
Hi fellow Bees 🙂
I’m would really appreciate the opinions of people not connected to this issue. It’s a long post, grab coffee!
I have lived and worked outside of the UK for six years now, in two three year segments. In between, I came back to the UK for almost two years.
Friend A (one of my closest friends for over 12 years), has been in a relationship for almost 10 years. I have not been introduced to her partner once. However, I have met their baby several times. Friend B ( the other third of our group) has met her partner on two occasions and on both occasions he was cold and rude.
I feel quite hurt that my friend hasn’t introduced me to her partner or that potentially her partner is just not really interested in meeting me and our other mutual friends. I believe that it is more due to him that we haven’t been introduced (I have seen photos on facebook of many events in her family, where he just has not been present). She doesn’t talk to me about her relationship, I think this is due to her knowing what my reaction would be. She previously told Friend B that he had gotten really angry when she had invited her brother and niece into their house, as they had been having a day out in their city, with his reaction being “How dare you invite them into my house without my permission?”, bearing in mind that she is his equal and she also pays the bills.
Having said that I have two problems related to this and our upcoming wedding.
I don’t want to invite her partner not even to the evening do, I feel he has proactively not met me over the past ten years. I do work abroad however there have been plenty of opportunities to meet. I know that this will upset her, another mutual friend did the same and she spent the event complaining to other guests that she was upset that her partner was not invited. Part of me also wants to be the bigger person and just invite him to keep people happy but my fiancé knows how much this issue has bothered me and does not want him there. It’s our day and it’s special, why would we want someone there that I have nothing to do with?
I am also caught up about whether or not I should ask her to be a bridesmaid. My Mum says I should as she believes it would end in tears otherwise. I am concerned she is in a potentially emotionally abusive relationship and this could be a way of showing support. Our friendship group is a trio, she has been a bit withdrawn over the past few years. I was in shock when I visited her with Friend B, and we noticed there wasn’t a single photo of us on display in the house. But she has photos featuring friends from medical school. She does not make much effort anymore. Friend B and I initially put it down to her having a baby but we have started to wonder if we value our friendship more than she does, which could explain some of the behaviour she’s been demonstrating.
I am stuck! Everyone I know has something to say about this topic. Please give me a hint and tell me what I should do?
Post # 2
You cannot have her as a bridesmaid and then not invite her partner, they have a child together. IMO you’re going to cause a bigger rift just because you don’t want to invite the SO than if you don’t ask her to be a bridesmaid.
Post # 3
you shold invite them both, you already know he is not going to go. he sounds like a jack ass, but its better for it be formal and him decline and your friend go then only inviting him and he gets bothered.
Post # 4
You cannot invite her without including her SO. They are a long term and serious relationship and are a social unit, whether you like it or know him or not. You cannot disrespect her relationship while asking her to honor your own.
If you feel less close to her or that the friendship has run its course, then don’t have her as a maid and don’t invite her. If you want to keep her in your life in any way, though, it would be hard to have the other two friends as bridesmaids and leave her out. Think about the long-term relationship with her. Do you want to try to salvage it, or has it runs its course? Not inviting her and probably not having her as a bridesmaid is probably friendship-ending, but is that bothersome to you?
Post # 5
One of the worst things you can do to a victim of domestic violence is to exclude their partner. I know it sounds horrible to think about including the abuser but when the victims friends start excluding the abuser it typically goes two ways. 1. The abuser takes the slight out on your friend and 2. It gives the abuser ammunition to isolate the victim. See I told you your friends are horrible people.
I think you need to also stop making ths about your wedding. You need to be there and help your friend. Invite them places so she can see healthy couples behaviour. Talk to her about how she is feeling and do not bad mouth her partner.
The abuse cycle is a very complex thing for the victim. They do and feel things that someone not caught in the cycle cannot understand. It might be worth taking to a helpline about how best to support your friend.
Post # 6
Invite both or neither. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Be the bigger person. Not inviting him is petty. If he truly has no interest in you he’ll likely decline anyway.
However, I’m truly confused by your statement that you suspect she is in an emotionally abusive relationship and the rest of your post about then excluding her spouse.
If you suspect that, then why would you ostracize her more? Why would you create potential issues for her by purposely disrespecting her relationship? If what you suspect is true, then not inviting him doesn’t punish him – it punishes her. It forces her to take sides and gives him all the more reason to try to isolate her from you.
Post # 7
YES x100. I am at a really hard place right now because my friend just dropped out of being a bridesmaid because I confronted her about not really feeling like she was being a realiable bridesmaid. She has flaked on every single wedding activity (shower, dress shopping, and now bachelorette planning) because of her boyfriends high demands. I didn’t say anything about him but she knows her reasons and excuses for not making it revolve around him. But they have a child together and he’s not going anywhere any time soon. I KNOW she’s being emotionally abused so I hold my tongue about how I feel about him a lot because I fear that the day he crosses that line he will have isolated her from all the friends and family that could help. I don’t like him, FH can’t stand him either, and we’re not stoked about having him around on my wedding day but he’s still invited. Don’t severe that connection with your friend, just swallow your pride because you love her even if it is your wedding day.
Post # 8
Putting it in that way makes me think in a different light. I love her and I don’t want to end our friendship, I care about her. But at the same time, I really dislike her partner. I want to be the bigger person, but obviously there are plenty of emotions tied up there.