Post # 1
Bees, I am in need of advice. I’m the Maid/Matron of Honor in a wedding next week. They’ve been together for 4 years. It’s been a tumultuous relationship the entire time.
In the beginning, he was going out 4 nights a week with his guy friends to party (drinking & drugs) and not coming home at all. He feels he’s made many concessions as he’s now only going out once a week, but comes home by 2 a.m., but goes to the bar every day for a couple of cocktails.
The bride found out she was pregnant shortly after they got engaged last year and since she’s 41, decided to step up the wedding to May. His behavior has not changed, and even up until this last weekend, they were arguing over his drinking. He says things will change when the baby comes, but obviously, she doesn’t believe him because he hasn’t done much to prove otherwise.
She is ten years older than he is, and constantly feels like she’s telling him what to do, mostly since he is irresponsible about most things. They aren’t one of those couples that ever look like they are happy with each other. They finally went to see a therapist this week, but she and & have discussed that they will not resolve this by the wedding.
The bride and I had many discussions over the years. This is who she’s chosen so for the last couple of years, I don’t remind her that she’s known all of these things about him. If she complains, I usually just listen supportively, and talk about trying different ways to manage her expectations and remind her that the only thing she can control is her actions/reactions.
However, now that the wedding is in a week, do I have the responsibility of asking her one last time if she’s sure she wants to do this?
Post # 3
I think you shouldn’t say anything more since you have voiced your thoughts on the matter. Oh but its going to be so hard not to. Does she have family that have asker her about her feelings?
Such a tough spot.
Post # 4
Nope. She’s already chosen him, and you can support her by believing in her choice. Personally, I would be furious if any of my friends expressed doubt right before the wedding. Better to preserve your friendship now so you can be there later if her marriage is troubled.
Post # 5
Wow. I was in the same situation 5 years ago…and just this month the couple filed for divorce. 🙁 Unfortunatley, there isn’t much more you can do. You have voiced your opinion and yet she feels that she needs to try I guess for the baby. So let them try…and just be there to support her no matter what the outcome. Good luck!
Post # 6
Yeah, all you can do is sit back and watch, I’m afraid. She seems to be aware that there are problems; you’ve already told her what you think and they’re in couples counseling – it sounds like everything that can be done has been done, and all you can do is support her. It’s really tough, though. I’ve certainly been there.
Post # 7
I agree with the above post, despite your genuine concern for her she has made her decision. All you can do is be supportive and listen when she needs you. Good luck
Post # 8
I’m going to go against the grain here, this is what friends are for!! Especially being her maid of honor. Obviously, this is nothing new and not something that will be coming out of the blue. You said yourself that she complains about things, they’re going to counseling the week before their wedding, and she doesn’t even feel like he will change when the baby comes. It’s a lot easier to not go through with a wedding than it is to get a divorce! She probably stayed with him so long because it was the easy and comfortable thing to do. I would definitely say something, but try not to say it in a derogatory way, just gently. Ask how the therapy sessions are going, something along those lines, so it’s not so much that you think they are terrible for each other, but more-so that you’re re-iterating concerns she has expressed to you over the years. She is probably just going through with all of this because she feels it’s the right thing to do, but if this guy is into drugs, etc, is that really the kind of person she wants to raise a child with? And if they’re always fighting, is that the situation she wants to raise a child in? It’s much better to have 2 very loving homes, than 1 stressful home. Good luck!!
Post # 9
Wow – I was in that same relationship. Much younger man, way too much partying. It finally got to the point where it was obvious he was an alcoholic – even though he didn’t drink every day, he simply could not drink at all without continuing until he was ready to pass out. None of our friends would be with him when he was drinking, and he stopped paying the bills that were his responsibility because he was spending the money on bar-hopping. Luckily it wasn’t me who got pregnant – it was his other girlfriend. The one he was mostly drinking with, after it got to be too much for even his guy friends.
The thing is, your friend has to decide herself that she’s not going to put up with his behavior, and she has to realize herself that it’s not going to change. You know that, I know that, how doesn’t she know that? Who knows. Apparently she wants to believe something different.
As her friend, you do need to be supportive. However, I don’t think there is anything wrong with saying, in a caring and nonconfrontational way, "Are you sure this is what you want to do? Because we will stand by you no matter what you decide." There is a point where wedding plans start to have a life of their own, and possibly she feels that it’s not reasonable to back out now, or that the baby "needs a father," or something like that. I think that if you say it in the spirit of friendship and concern, it may not make her happy, but it shouldn’t make her angry either. And then you accept her answer with a smile, whether it means walking down the aisle ahead of her, or calling 150 people to tell them not to come! Above all, hug her and let her know you love her, as that will be something she needs a lot.
Post # 10
This is such a hard place to be in! I’m so sorry! I agree though that the only thing you can do is support her in her decision and be ready to support her if/when she decides it wasn’t the best decision. I’ve talked with people who were at the end of a bad relationship (myself included) who said they really wish some one had told them what a bad decision they were making. But when I’ve pressed them (including when I’ve asked myself this question) they all say that they wouldn’t have headed the warnings if they had been given. The way I deal with my mom’s relationship is that I’ve told her how I feel about her Boyfriend or Best Friend, I express my honest opinion if I’m asked to, and other than that I remind her of how much I love her and how I’m going to support her in whatever she decides will make her happy. That actually might be a good compromise. If you guys have some time together, say something to the effect of, "I’ve told you a million times how i feel about Fiance, but I want you to know, that above all else, I’m going to love you and support you no matter what!" ::hug::
Post # 11
I was also in this situation a few years ago… my friend who was getting married came to visit me and another bridesmaid and spent the whole time crying and telling us how nervous she was and how she felt like she might be making the wrong choice. We were very concerned, especially because we had other problems with the groom beyond the ones the bride was focusing on. And we told her we were worried about her.
But there wasn’t really much we could do beyond making it clear that we were always going to be there for her. She was already seeing a therapist (although getting pressure from her fiancee to stop going.)
Four years later… they are still married… while other friends’ marriages have come and gone. So who knows? I think it’s very hard to know what the dynamics of someone else’s relationship are like.
All you can do is be there for her, no matter what choices she makes.
Post # 12
This is a tricky situation, you feel like you should say something but you don’t want to get in the middle of something that isn’t up to you. If you do decide to talk to the bride, just make sure you ensure she knows that you will be there for her no matter what she decides. Let her know that if she doesn’t want to go through with it, she doesn’t have to, she shouldn’t feel pressured. You need to pick your words very carefully, especially if she chooses to stay with him.
Post # 13
I was recently in a similar situation, only it was a friend buying a house with her bf. While this is not marriage, it is certainly very serious and will feel like a divorce if they ever split up (splitting possessions and all)….I tried to listen, to rephrase what she was saying (i.e. "It sounds like you are saying, It sounds like you are feeling…") and helped her weigh the pros and cons without adding any of my own. She and I had 3 LONG conversations about this, and she even called the day before closing to say she was making a mistake! In the end, she bought the house. I think when people make their minds, they’ve made up their minds. Telling them otherwise would put your friendship at risk. All you can do is support your friend’s choice.
Post # 14
Your friend knows there’s clearly a problem and she isn’t in denial at all; if it is so obvious to her that things won’t change, going through with the wedding isn’t going to make things any better.
My SIL and her ex-husband had the same problem. It wasn’t with alcohol, but it was the same line: "Things will change when the baby comes." Why not NOW? Why does it have to change later? It’s a work-in-process, not something that just happens overnight as soon as the baby starts to crown. My SIL and her ex-husband divorced soon after the baby was born..No surprise there.
When you are with someone, especially marrying them, hoping for change is a great way to look at it. Let’s be realistic, though. Can you manage and handle the situation if things DIDN’T change? …Because that’s the worst case scenario. If your friend doesn’t think she could, it’s probably best not to go through with it.
As a friend, and based on your being the Maid/Matron of Honor, a very close friend’s responsibility is always to have your friend’s best interest in mind. Tell her you love and care for her and want the best for her. Let her know just because the DJ is booked, the dress bought, the invitations sent out, it’s never too late to say no and to change her mind. We are always in complete control of our situation and know our comfort levels the best.
I would ask how sure is she of wanting to do this and if she has any reservations or doubts at all…Because she shouldn’t…And if ever you find yourself dressing her into her gown on the morning-of, you can ask, "Are you ready to do this?"….And leave it at that.
Post # 15
This must be really hard for you. One of my closest friends married a jerk. When she asked me to be her Maid/Matron of Honor I had to turn her down. We haven’t been the same since. Do your duty with a cheerful heart. Brides are like bloodhounds. She’ll sniff out you aren’t happy and that’s not something she needs on her day. There are enough stories of sullen bridesmaids on this site to prove it.
Post # 16
- Wedding: August 2007 - The Wellington House in Fayetteville, NY
I can tell you from experience that she won’t listen, and she will go through with it. Especially with the pregnancy. Sometimes people just have to make their own mistakes.