“Saying No” To A Friend’s Wedding
Hi there, I’m very glad to have found your site! One of my very good friends is getting married. I know rather a lot about the couple’s rocky history as my friend had over the years kept me up to date, and in great detail (too much really. I have always tried to console her and hear her out but have also privately felt that some of the problems were of her own making).
I’m not saying the wedding is necessarily the beginning of the end but I do know she had wanted this for a long time (she told me numerous times) whereas her now fiance had never been keen (she told me this also). She often brought up the subject with him which led to big/nasty fights (again I know more than I want about these).
In short I feel very uncomfortable and really do not want to attend. If I believed they will be truly happy then I will heartily give them my blessing but I honestly cannot. It will be a huge wedding.
I really don’t know what to do. My friend is very easily offended (eg if you decline a ride in the car with her because you have some errands to run + it would be easier to go your own way) so I really am dreading what I am to do and what her reaction might be. I understand this is mainly all about her but I also feel that I shouldn’t have to force myself to sit through multiple showers/ceremony/dinner when deep down I really do not want to be there.
I don’t want to lose a friend but I also don’t want to torture myself. Please help! Much appreciated.
Dr. Meredith Hansen Find Love. Get Love. Keep Love.
Psychologist and relationship expert helping you learn how to live happily ever after!
I am sorry to hear about your dilemma. However, if you have chosen to remain friends with this person the issue has little do with her upcoming marriage. She has chosen to marry her fiance and, as her friend, it is up to you to support her. You may have feelings about the marriage, but it is her life and her choice. Not showing up to the wedding will cause damage to your relationship.
On that note, it sounds like at times this relationship can cause you stress and discomfort. It may be time for you to think about the value of this relationship. If this friend is important to you, find a way to begin setting boundaries with her. The most important place to start seems to be with her venting. Let her know, in a gentle way, that when she shares all of the negative details about her relationship it makes it difficult for you to support her. Tell her you love her and want to see her happy, but are having a difficult time with some of the information she shares. Find ways to steer the conversation in a different direction and practice setting limits with her.
Jay Remer, The Etiquette Guy, International Protocol and Corporate & Social Etiquette
I agree with Dr. Hansen completely. Although you state that this wedding is all about her, so don’t make it all about you, as you are now doing. If she is your friend, support her decisions. Compassion for her in her decision and for you in your frustration is key. Stop fuelling the negativity and start celebrating this marriage. It is not for us to decide what is best for others, only what is best for ourselves. Not showing up at her wedding sends a clear signal that you are not a friend. The choice is yours. Best of luck!
Donna, Wedding Queen
Agreed, unless she’s being abused. Note that you aren’t obligated to attend the shower. Maybe scale down the exposure to the festivities to a level you find fitting your comfort zone? Thank you very much for your advice. I really appreciate it.
Larry James, President CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com
“It is not for us to decide what is best for others, only what is best for ourselves.” from Jay is the key. If she is REALLY a good friend, you must support her. Go to the wedding and have fun. If you don’t feel comfortable about attending the shower, etc., send a gift and have a good excuse not to go. It sounds to me like you may be on the fence about how good a friend she really is. I make it a point to distance myself from people who drag me down and generally have little to say that is positive. I believe it is always important to take care of YOU first. I know you will make the right choice for you.