Post # 1
Short version: My best friend might not be going on her mission trip and I feel like a terrible person for being happy.
Long version: So there’s this girl who’s been my best friend since I was a freshman in high school. She’s the kind of friend that will come over and help you do chores like cleaning out your closet or doing dishes and have fun doing it. She’s put herself in the path of my mother’s wrath to keep me safe; she came with me and held my hand for my first pap smear, knowing my fear of doctors. She cheered me on and encouraged me even when my own mother wouldn’t. When SO started talking about marriage, I had no doubt who my maid of honor would be— it’s even more important to me that she be there than anyone in my family, including my own parents! She is the kindest, most loyal friend I have.
So of course I supported her whole-heartedly when she decided she wanted to get baptized into her church. And a couple of months ago, she dropped the bomb that she wants to go on a mission trip. As shocked as I was, I told her I would support her if that’s what she wants to do. She would be gone for 18 months. She can write anytime and can email once a week, but could only make phone calls on Mother’s Day and Christmas (and her family would probably get the honor of those phone calls, which I totally understand).
But then came the realization that SO and I might need to get married sooner than later for financial reasons. Right now our tentative date is late 2015, because first we’d like to know for sure how things are going to go with me getting financial aid for the school I’m transfering to. If she leaves in April, which is the earliest she could, she would get back just in time for the last little bit of planning. But if she leaves any later than the last day of June (which is entirely possible), she’d have to miss the wedding entirely. Honestly, if she can’t make it, part of me doesn’t even want to do a wedding- just go to the courthouse and then have a wedding when she comes home. But it makes me so sad that she’ll miss all of the planning (which she’s much more interested in than my SO, even) and it makes me so sad to think about.
So the other day, when she told me she was reconsidering her mission trip, it took all of my willpower not to jump for joy. She said she’s so sad thinking about all she’ll miss- for she’ll not only miss my wedding planning (and possibly the wedding), but she’ll also miss her cousin’s, and there were other events besides just weddings she didn’t want to miss. Of course I told her I would support her in whatever she decided to do, and I totally will, but there’s a selfish part of me that really hopes she decides not to go. I would never tell her any of this, because I don’t want her to feel like I’m trying to guilt her into staying, so I came to the bee. Am I a horrible, selfish person for not wanting her to go?
Post # 3
I don’t think you’re horrible for not wanting her to go…as long as that just stays a thought or a feeling. You’re right that you shouldn’t jump for joy. But I think it’s pretty harmless that you are feeling this way. She clearly means a lot to you.
Post # 4
@boogiewoogies: This is true. And another reason why this sucks is because we’re normally so honest with each other, even when it’s not something the other wants to hear. That’s part of the reason we’re so close. But I don’t want to tell her my feelings because I don’t want her to feel like she has to stay, you know? This is an amazing opportunity for her, should she choose to take it, and I don’t want to take that away from her.
Post # 5
Yikes, that’s rough. I think you’re handling it well though. You have recognized your bias and are trying to keep your opinion in check. Just keep being a supportive friend and you guys will figure it out.
Post # 6
@ForeverBirds: You are not horrible you just want her there for the biggest day of your life. The fact you are supportive of her going even if she misses your wedding shows your not selfish
your just happy b.c. you love the idea of sharing the day with the people you love. She is not thinking of missing that trip just for you either you said her cousins weddings is coming as well and other event’s
the timing for that trip just might not be right right now it does not make you bad for being glad she puts it off to be part of he things that matter to her(not just you) she is choosing that because she likely feels selfish missing your wedding missing her cousins sounds likes she is a sweet giving caring girl and her family would def be lacking her if she was gone
she can always go later if she chooses the timing is off now please dont feel guility she is gonna do and be where she feels needed and if she does go its not b.c. she doesnt wanna be there for your weddintg either jsut the call of helping people with less then ourselfs was very strong andshe felt she was needed there
Post # 7
Gah well if it’s confession time…
SO and I are getting engaged soon and SO wants to start planning next summer. My best friend goes to the same university as I, but always goes home far away for breaks (including summer). I’m already saving up to fly her here for the wedding, and obviously she’ll be my Maid/Matron of Honor. But thinking of planning without her just sucks. She’s the only one of my friends who’s, well, that awesome, and the only one who’s interested in wedding stuff.
When she told me that she might have failed a course, meaning she would have to stay in my city next summer to finish her degree, I felt really sad (that sucks!) but I had this tiny little thought “awesome, then she can come dress shopping with me etc.etc.”.
I too, feel like a horrible, selfish, terrible friend for thinking that. But as long as we don’t say anything, no harm is done! Ultimately I deeply hope that she didn’t fail, but if she did at least some good would come of it 😛 So don’t worry about it, you’re not alone. We can’t help but be a little selfish sometimes, which is fine unless we act upon those selfish thoughts.
Post # 8
@ForeverBirds: I don’t think you’re a horrible, selfish person to have those thoughts, but this may be a once in a lifetime (literally) opportunity for her that she may always regret not doing. I am totally speaking from my own experience when I say this. I left my first boyfriend to go to South America for a few months (I was 18 at the time – first love!) and at 27 years old, I am SO glad I didn’t stay for him, because it was life changing. I’ve also lived in Africa and backpacked through Europe – choosing those adventures over other experiences. I missed a friends wedding that I would have been in, but Europe was something I couldn’t pass up. I really hope this isn’t offensive, because I don’t mean it to be, but it’s just a wedding – a pretty day, but the chance to really explore yourself and the world – those opportunities are so rare. I’d encourage her to go because it may very well be the most amazing experience of her life and she’ll need/want her bff to be cheering her on.
Post # 9
@ForeverBirds: You aren’t horrible or selfish at all. If you were horrible and selfish then you would have shared your feelings with her and tried to make her feel like shit/guilted her into staying. Everyone needs to live their life for themselves and to do what is best for them. They can’t let what others want dictate their own choices.
I am glad you are being supportive of whatever she decides. Yes, it will suck if she’s gone but it would suck more if she ended up resenting you for trying to hold her back.
Post # 10
If everyone was judged by their private split-second thoughts and feelings rather than their actions, I don’t think there’d be a single person who wouldn’t be considered selfish at some point or other!
Be kinder to yourself.
Post # 11
I really appreciate all of the encouragement. I just wish I COULD talk to her, because we have never had anything we couldn’t talk about before. It’s weird trying to hold back my feelings.
Post # 12
I only think it’s selfish if you demand she stay. I also think that mission trips are selfish (in that the church members are pushing their beliefs on people and stripping locals of their own belief systems). But that’s a discussion for another thread…..
Post # 13
@crayfish: I’ve had the complete opposite experience with the missionaries. I’m agnostic (with slightly pagan leanings) and I spent a lot of time with the missionaries because of my friend. The subject of religion only came up once, but when I politely declined their invitation to go to church or have them visit my house, they dropped the subject. My best friend and I would just sit and talk to them, sometimes for several hours. A couple of times we went to lunch or dinner with them. They were extremely respectful of my wish not to discuss religion. I’m sorry you’ve had different experiences.
Post # 14
You’re not a horrible or selfish friend. In fact, I think you’re doing well to keep your wishes/opinions in check, and you’re not forcing your wishes onto her. Good on you for being supportive, but make sure not to jump for joy in her presence, if you feel the need to. You’re not demanding she stay, which is good. I hope everything works out for you!