- 14 years ago
- Wedding: August 2008
My guess is that your friend may feel "threatened" by your FH and the fact that you’re marrying him. Marriage often changes the dynamic of friendships — particularly those between the married person and their non-married/commited friends. As the wedding gets closer, she may be thinking more and more that she’s going to "lose" you, and that she’s becoming less important to you. As her best friend, you know her best, so you know whether she’s prone to act petty or immature when things don’t go her way. Deep down, she may be happy for you, but on the surface, she may be totally sad for herself, and she’s letting it make her behave very badly.
Then again, she could just be a bad friend — the kind of person who is petty and jealous and who is catty to people. Maybe she likes being the center of attention, and she resents that you’re getting all the glory because she’s not the bride.
My advice would be to have a heart to heart with her. I would say "Friend, I’ve noticed lately that you’ve seemed less than enthused about my upcoming wedding — sometimes to the point of being rather snarky and mean. This is really stressful and hurtful for me because, as my best friend, I love you dearly and I need your support and friendship now more than ever. I’m not really sure where the negativity is coming from, and my guess is that you don’t really mean it and maybe don’t even quite realize you’re doing it. I really don’t want to lose you as my best friend, but given the way things have been going recently, I’m not sure how our friendship can survive if this continues. I’d like to get this worked out, and I’d like to figure out what’s bothering you so much, because I really want you up there with me celebrating my marriage to FH, and I want us to continue to be close and supportive of one another even after the wedding is over. Is there anything that’s been on your mind that we should talk through?"
Keep the conversation less focused on pointing fingers at her and accusing her of being a bad friend or a rotten person. Obviously, you’ll need to point out the things she’s done wrong, even in a general way, but you can do it in a way that makes her feel less defensive. Try to frame it in terms of you (i.e. "I feel hurt when you make negative comments about my FH because I feel very confident about my decision to marry him, and I’m not quite sure why you now feel differently" as opposed to "you keep saying nasty things about my FH, and it’s pissing me off"). Make a sincere effort towards hearing her out and acknowledging her concerns and fears. It doesn’t mean you have to agree, but if you want to save the friendship you should listen and try to empathize. A little validation goes a long way too.
If she still reacts poorly even after your heart to heart, I’d seriously consider removing her from the bridal party — even if it’s done the night before (at that point, you can either keep her in because it’s "awkward" to ask her to step down, and have her ruin your day. Or eject her from the bridal party, and at least have some peace on your wedding day). You don’t have to be mean or catty about it. Just tell her that given her behavior following your talk, it’s clear that she’s not comfortable supporting your marriage to your FH. As a result, you think it would be easier on both of you if she steps down as Maid/Matron of Honor (you can even tell her that one of the MOH’s key duties is supporting the bride and groom and helping to ensure a stressfree and happy wedding day, and that is seems as if she does not feel capable of doing this for you). If you feel comfortable doing so, you can tell her that you’d love to still have her at the wedding, if she chooses. Although, I’d also tell her that, as your friend, you would really appreciate it if she would keep her negative thoughts and comments to herself for the day so as not to upset any of your other friends or family.
Depending on how everything goes, after the wedding you may need to reevaluate whether this is someone you really want in your life — particularly as your best friend. Sometimes, people outgrow each other, and sometimes friendships just no longer work. If she can’t be happy for you, or at least "play nice" for one (very important) day, is that really someone you want to stay friends with? I sure wouldn’t. There are lots of nice, supportive people out there who I’m sure would love to be a better friend to you than she is being.