Post # 1
I am not sure what to do about this friend. She’s really not so much of a friend anymore, but we were close for a very long time (middle school through college). I was in her wedding in 2014 (which ended in divorce a year later). I moved away, went to grad school, and have a real job now. In a lot of ways I’m a different person now.
She has sort of struggled since college to find her place. I was there for her through a lot of things (abusive boyfriends, money problems, family problems, substance abuse problems, emotional instability), but after a couple of years passed I concluded she was really unstable. I just couldn’t be as close to her as I once was. We grew apart because she continued to live with her mom, couldn’t hold a job (not because she couldn’t but because she didn’t want to), and used drugs. I just didn’t mesh with her lifestyle and was exhausted trying to help her when she was so self destructive. Still loved her as a person mostly because of our history.
I told her when I pulled back and why, and I feel like she’s been trying to prove herself to me ever since. She said she has a new job, is living with someone she likes, and feels she is doing okay. When I got engaged, she immediately called me (after not speaking at all for months) and wanted details about the wedding. She had been expecting an invite, clearly. I’ve been pushing off this decision, but now that I’m sending invites I have to decide. Am I horrible for not inviting her? I don’t think she would do anything destructive at the wedding, that part would be fine, but I do not see us being close again in the future. It might be nice to see her again, especially if she’s in a better place now. I just don’t know. I feel so conflicted.
Post # 2
pierce2019 : I am a firm believer in only inviting the people you want, if you are not close and not that bothered then don’t invite her. If she asks just say you are having a very intimate wedding.
Post # 3
I had to make a similar decision when I married my ex husband. I know the girl I didn’t invite was hurt, but we had drifted, and some of her general behavior was questionable; I just didn’t want her at my wedding. She made this big deal about wanting to be close again after all of that, and I’ve heard from her maybe a handful of times since then. I’ve seen her just twice. That was 7 years ago.
Honestly, some people just want the wedding invite and to feel significant.
Post # 4
Would she have to travel far for the wedding, would she know people well or would you be giving her a plus one? If it’s easy logistically to invite her then I might. I mean you were good friends once and it DOES seem like she is on the right track now. My best friend since I was little got into a bunch of things I wanted nothing to do with for awhile and we drifted apart. She eventually got it together, got married, made the apologies she needed to. And I’m glad for it.
Of course you shouldn’t feel guilty not inviting her. But if she really seems to be making an effort and doing better, and it doesn’t put a burden on you, I might invite her. Have you hung out with her recently? Maybe grab lunch and feel things out and see how you feel then.
Post # 5
pierce2019 : If you are at peace with never being good friends with her again no matter how much she might get her life together in the future than don’t invite her, let that chapter close. But if you think in the future YOU might want to be friends with her again and be close at all than invite her. But decide based on what you want, not what she wants. Does a friendship with her benefit you at all? Be a bit selfish here.
Post # 6
If you knew she had cleaned up her life, would you want a relationship with her?
It doesn’t seem like she did anything particularly bad to you, she made poor decisions in her life, and you drifted apart. She seems to have gotten herself back on track…good for her!
Sometimes people don’t realize how much time has gone by between them until someone has a big event, like an engagement or a baby etc. I wouldn’t be offended by her reaching out and, if I had the room, I would give her another chance. But that’s just me.
Post # 7
I wouldn’t invite her. And if you do, you will wish you never did. Not because she did something wrong at the wedding, but because this is essentially reinviting her back into your life.
In the past I consistently kept reinviting people back into my life and regretted it every single time. There is a reason things ended even if it was a mutual ending. Just like exes.
Post # 8
Thanks, bees. I really appreciate your comments.
And to follow up a bit, no, she hasn’t done anything terrible to me. She has been consistently flaky in the past and has an issue with boundaries, but otherwise nothing terrible. She’s always well-intentioned but oblivious to how her actions effect others until well after the fact.
For example, was when I was in my first year of grad school (4 years ago), she came to visit me and brought her boyfriend at the time and a few other friends (at the last minute). I remember she expected me to host her 24/7 and pay for everything when I was just barely making it myself due to being in school. She brought substances to my house that I wasn’t happy about because I asked her not to. After that, I made it a point to only visit her and not have her visit me, so that I could bounce any time I felt uncomfortable.
Since then, I visited her once. It was 2+ years ago. She drank too much too fast and fighting with her boyfriend, so I ended up staying out with some other friends who lived in the area. I think my main issue with her now is that she’s unpredictable and not reliable. If I invited her, I would half expect her to bring 3 other people who weren’t invited, and maybe bring illegal substances. Maybe I sound uptight, I just don’t want any added stress that day.
Every positive I have with her is more than 5 years ago. Maybe it’s just time to really let go and I’m struggling with that. On the other hand, maybe I should give her another chance.
Post # 9
Wow… yeah, I think if she visited me and brought a boyfriend and a few extra uninvited friends AND brought drugs to my house AND expected me to pay for everything that friendship would be over for me.
Post # 10
The problem here is trust. You can’t trust that she won’t do something that could endanger your wedding. If there was a little trust there then inviting her wouldn’t be a problem. Honestly, I’d not invite her and let this friendship go bee. If she is truly on the straight and sober path she will understand that she burned some bridges and bow out gracefully.
Post # 12
Thanks, Bees. I think I’m going to just let it go and not invite her.
Post # 13
pierce2019 : If you have the budget for that one extra person (possibly 2, if you give her a plus 1), I would just invite her. What would it hurt? You might find your old friend is back and she is better and it might rekindle your friendship.
ETA: originally you said, “I don’t think she would do anything destructive at the wedding, that part would be fine.”
My reply was based off that. You’re now saying she’d randomly bring 3 extra people and illegal substances. If she would do that, don’t invite her. If she wouldn’t do anything destructive, I don’t see the issue.