Some might say this isn't a love letter. It sort of isn't. But it's the season, it's about how love affects friendships, and I wonder if some of this conflict is about the state of the letter writer's own relationship. You decide.
I was part of a trio. My two best friends are a guy and a girl, and both are getting married this summer. One to a fantastic guy and the other to what he considers the American dream. I've bought the engagement presents and tried to be supportive, but they've been very condescending. Saying things like "he should just marry you" about my partner. My partner and I are very serious and bought a house last summer. We've also been living together the longest. We simply aren't ready for marriage.
Fast forward to the bridal shower for my female friend. I spent months planning it and making it happen. At a meeting with her mom the week before the shower, she made a comment that was along the lines of "we'll see how I like it." Then I snapped and said we've spent a lot of time money and effort on this shower. Then she said I shouldn't be passive-aggressive about money.
I complained to my guy friend about this and he said I "shouldn't say anything negative to people getting married." Then he took the moment to tell me I "needed to stop saying his guest list stressed me out and was motivating me to loose weight." Then he told me, oh, by the way, we're having a groom's party but we only want people who are fun, jell well together, and are supportive. I told him I need space and hung up in tears.
He tried to talk, but I wasn't ready after being rejected – and told I'm not fun. The bridal shower happened with us not talking, and the bride yelled at me for ruining her week and what is supposed to be a year about celebrating them. I yelled at her for not saying thank you about the bridal shower.
I got what are essentially break up texts from both of them and I'm not really sure what to do now?
Are weddings always this dramatic?
– No fun
A lot of weddings are this dramatic. They can make close friends and family unrecognizable to each other.
I think it's unfair that weddings often deal in hierarchies of friendships because no matter how close I am with the people in my life, I'd be terrible at planning wedding events. This is probably why when I was younger, and a lot of my friends were getting married, I was the bridesmaid following the pack, or I'd get asked to read a poem.
Honestly, by the end, I knew how to say no to bigger requests – and when to say, "Actually, I'm not the best person to stand by you in this particular way." I realized that sometimes it's wonderful not to be invited to something that a good friend knows you won't like. (Your guy friend's delivery could use some work, of course.)
Had you written to me before all of this, I might have told you that yes, signing on to be the "best" anything often means nodding and smiling as you spend money and think, "Wait, what is happening here?" It's a lot of smiling, even when you don't feel like it. Sometimes the tradition of it all results in a lack of gratitude.
I'm not saying that excuses all behavior and that you should apologize and ignore you own feelings. For now, give yourself some space to see how you feel. If it seems right, you can send your friends notes saying that as much as you've wanted to celebrate their experiences, you might not be the best ambassador at weddings – and now you all know! Ask for a reset and some empathy. Get through these weddings and see what normal looks like. Maybe it'll go back to what it was.
No matter what, don't let anybody shame you for being self-aware about what marriage means to you. It's a presumptuous thing to tell someone to just get married. If you're feeling a bit passive-aggressive about that – and a bit unseen – I don't blame you. That's something to talk about on the other side of all this, if you can all meet in the middle.
Readers? Apologize? Is this about the letter writer's own relationship? If you've signed up for wedding duties, do you have to slap on a permanent smile, no matter what?