My Friend Said I Should Sell My House To Afford Her Wedding

Is my divorce making me a bad bridesmaid?

Viewpoint down a line of bridemaids, focus on one of their hands

Q: After planning my wedding and marrying my love, I went through a shocking divorce. I discovered my husband was cheating for months during business travel and had a side girlfriend while I was planning our beautiful, heartfelt wedding.

A year after my divorce, I’m still adjusting to life on one income with a crazy expensive Bay Area mortgage, paying off my ex crazy amounts so I can keep the house. My only vacations have been weddings. Last year I didn’t mind being a bridesmaid again in my friend’s wedding, but it was expensive for me and hard to go through emotionally.

Now I am the maid of honor in another friend’s wedding in January, planning her destination bachelorette and also bridal shower with little help (other than a long, long list of what she wants and choosing my birthday weekend months in advance). I was also invited to another best friend’s wedding in Europe that I had to say no to for financial reasons. My friend was shocked and hurt I couldn’t attend, her parents and other friends were too. I had two other friends call me shocked. My friend told me she will never forget, and this will be her only wedding. She also asked if I should consider selling my house. It stresses me out constantly and haunts me at night. I feel so guilty I didn’t go.

I tell friends I have a lot of financial obligations and life is very different for me now, but I think they see that I have the house (despite the twenty-year-old car in the driveway and my whole paycheck going toward it—that was my decision) and don’t notice things I’m giving up, like vacations, and that the only time I’ve taken off work is for weddings. One (very close) friend who lives out of town surprised me when she said she forgot I was divorced.

To get to the point, I’ve been feeling so stressed and resentful and have had sleepless nights, even though I communicate clearly and feel good that I’ve done what I can to get my perspective across. I feel lucky to have so many friends, and they were all supportive during my divorce. I think they just forget, don’t know what it’s like. And because they are celebrating now, it’s not in their mind that I’m reliving my wedding over and over in many ways with these planning events.

Do I need to suck it up? I don’t want to lose friendships. I need my besties, but sometimes I just feel very isolated in my situation. And now I also feel resentful. I have other friends with baby showers and weddings on the near horizon, but it’s not my reality right now, and sometimes it can be really hard to know if I’m being negative and selfish. I hate looking at wedding decorations and all things related to weddings now. I love me and feel proud of what I have communicated, but I love my friends too and don’t know if I just need to suck it up and allow this time to be about them, even if it means putting myself (my vacation desires, etc.) on hold for a while.


A: Dear Anonymous,

We all put ourselves on hold for friends, sometimes. We use precious vacation time to go to weddings, we spend our birthdays celebrating someone else, we trade cozy nights in for penis necklaces and watered-down cocktails. That’s a part of the friendship deal. And it goes for good times as well as the bad. I’m hoping someone was there for you in any late night crying bouts during your divorce, even if it meant they missed out on some sleep or skipped an episode of Insecure. Friendship means putting yourself on hold for friends in a lot of different ways.

But you canNOT put your mental health on hold. That’s where I draw a solid, steady line. It’s not negative, not selfish, to need to step away from something that reminds you of a recent traumatic experience. We can all recover from a night of lost sleep; we can bounce back from the disappointment of a skipped vacation. Sacrificing your emotional health isn’t so easy to overcome.

So, start there with this wedding. If involvement is bringing back all of your pain to the extent that you can’t sleep at night, step back. I’m not sure if that means giving up the bridesmaid role completely (I’d try to avoid that, if possible) or, more likely, roping in a mutual friend to take on some of the logistical planning. Do what you can to ease the burden of nonstop wedding.

I’ll be honest, your friends probably won’t get it, even if you do a great job of communicating your feelings. And we can’t be too hard on them for that. You said it yourself—even the very best friends can be totally oblivious to struggles they haven’t experienced. That ranges from mundane problems like the stress of wedding planning, to the infinitely more difficult ones, like recovering from the financial and emotional turmoil of divorce. People often don’t understand what they haven’t lived through. And I’m so sorry that it seems like your friends aren’t getting what you’re going through right now.

That said. There are a few things you mention that have me wondering if maybe these particular friends sort of suck. Someone who’s not only surprised that you can’t travel for a destination wedding, but suggests you sell your house to do it? Someone telling you they forgot you were divorced? That’s some next-level bullshit.

Are these folks just swept up in their own short-lived whirlwind, or are they generally, usually ignorant of you and your feelings? Like we just discussed, yeah, there will be times you set yourself aside to be there for a friend. But are you finding you have to do that a lot? Like, all the time? Or is this just a short stretch of wedding foolishness?

It can be really, really tough to set aside your own junk to be supportive of the happiness of friends. It’s an important skill! But it has to be balanced with protecting yourself. Be introspective. Are you setting yourself aside in normal, expected ways, or are you sacrificing your emotional health? Is this a short stretch of self-focus for your friends, or are they generally people you can’t rely on? Answer those questions and it may help you figure out how much effort to put out here (and how much not to).


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  • AmandaBee

    “Someone who’s not only surprised that you can’t travel for a destination wedding, but suggests you sell your house to do it? Someone telling you they forgot you were divorced? That’s some next-level bullshit.”

    Aaaaamen. There’s a difference between being unintentionally oblivious to problems that you haven’t experienced before, and being a downright crappy friend. Someone who thinks you should make major financial decisions that have long-lasting ramifications to attend their destination wedding? Probably not a great friend.

    Also: “My friend told me she will never forget, and this will be her only wedding.”
    That’s a hella tone-deaf at best (and malicious at worst) thing to say to a friend who is getting divorced. If this is the same person as destination-wedding friend, I’d really reconsider whether this person is someone you want to still consider a friend.

    • penguin

      Right this was my thought too. She doesn’t have a her-problem, she has a friend problem – they suck.

    • Jane

      That last paragraph! Exactly what I was thinking! I have no idea who her friend is, and I know people say silly thing while they are stressed about weddings, but you (1) don’t suggest someone to sell their own house to make you happy (2) don’t say mean things like that to someone who just got divorced. I think the divorce itself could be enough for LW not wanting to attend the wedding, if she feels her metal health is at stake.

    • The part about forgetting she was divorced makes me feel like my hair is on fire with rage.

      Also, I feel like I’d be wishing divorce on the “never forget” friend, which would then make me feel like a horrible person. And I try to not hang out with people that make me feel like a horrible person. Or, I’m learning that.

      • AmandaBee

        “And I try to not hang out with people that make me feel like a horrible person.”

        This seems like a solid life rule-of-thumb.

    • Her Lindsayship

      Totally agree. Even if LW isn’t at a place where she’s ready to burn down these friendships necessarily, some of these friends need to be told they’re being insensitive. If they actually aren’t monsters, they should immediately see her point and apologize. If they flip over backwards trying to make some point about how she’s wronged *them*, they need to be phased out.

  • Meredith

    I am sometimes the friend who oversteps boundaries when giving advice. To me, this doesn’t sound like the friend was asking her to sell her house for the wedding, but maybe just consider selling it in general. She can probably tell the friend is burdened and stressed about the financial cost of the house. She probably meant it to be helpful, but it was bad timing so it made it seemed like she was coming from a selfish place, rather than a caring place.

    • Lisa

      Based on the LW’s writing, that was how I interpreted the comment, too. I can totally see a friend being stressed about finances and talking about how her entire paycheck goes towards mortgage payments, and my advice might have been she consider selling the place to get her life back. (I know in the Bay Area this is not always an easy solution.) I think the wedding and the house selling were two different conversations that may have been conflated.

      • Amy March

        But if she didn’t ask for advice? I think it’s wildly out of line.

      • Kara E

        I can easily see the two getting conflated too – and further conflated in the title. Hope the letter writer is able to get herself to a place where she has things in balance…

    • penguin

      I could see it being intended that way. If the LW is stressed out and stretched thin enough that she can’t afford to do anything except pay for the house and go to weddings, I see why someone might want to suggest that maybe she consider selling the house. Maybe she can’t sell it yet for some reason? Or doesn’t want to?

      • Meredith

        I do totally feel for her though. My husband and I put a lot of work into our tiny house in Austin, and it’s expensive! If he left me I would definitely struggle on my own. Selling it would be really, really hard for me.

        • sofar

          Same (also an Austin homeowner). When we bought it, I figured I’d have no problem selling if it made sense to do so. Now, I can’t imagine parting with our little housie. Especially if my life were in turmoil. Parting with your home is a difficult thing and I’d definitely fly off the handle if someone “helpfully” suggested I sell it during a time of peak stress. Especially because I know I couldn’t afford a new place in a similar area in the current market.

          • Meredith

            Oh hi! I had a feeling you were from Austin too. :)

          • Katharine Parker

            Especially if the person suggesting I sell was throwing an extremely expensive destination wedding in Europe.

          • mjh

            I feel the same about my little two bedroom condo in Chicago, even without having put any renovation work into it. I put life and memories into it, and it’s my house, goddamnit. I already feel slightly annoyed when people talk about the property values rising in my area and follow that up with asking if we’re thinking to move to something bigger. To get the comments LW is getting in the situation she’s in, ooohwee, I’d be pissed.

          • Yes, to how difficult it can be to parting with your home in a time of turmoil. I only rent, but I stayed in my home after my now-ex left me, and I just was NOT in a place where moving would have been helpful for me at all. And I’m still in my homey little apartment four years later. I had to make it mine again and change some things so that it fit my new life, but I had lost so much, I didn’t want to lose my home too…

        • quiet000001

          From people I’ve talked to, I think some people get much more attached to homes than other people – my partner likes having a nice place to live but he really doesn’t care too much as long as it provides the basic necessities and isn’t too awful. He doesn’t feel super anxious if he’s temporarily homeless (between leases, moving, etc.) I get much more attached to a place and want to fix it up and it’s a source of comfort to me to know it’s there, even if I’m not living there at the time. (Like if it worked financially, I’d much rather rent out a house I owned if I had to move somewhere else for a couple of years than sell the house and just rent – because if I own it I know it’s still THERE.)

          So I can easily see the topic of sell or not to sell being a thing where people really just don’t understand each other and if you combine that with the stress of a divorce and a wedding, that’s a recipe for people getting very hurt, especially if one of the people involved isn’t good at being thoughtful to begin with. (And like some other comments, I do get the impression that the friends group is people who are all relatively well off, so budgeting to afford a home and not being able to spend money on vacations and trips without careful planning is not something they’re used to thinking about.)

          And of course for folks reading who are thinking about getting married – this is a good thing to talk to each other about and see where you both fall before you have to make any housing changes. My bf and I have known each other for a very long time so we discussed this a long time ago, but if we hadn’t I can easily see it leading to problems if we set out to move or consider selling a house because we just wouldn’t be talking about the same thing.

      • Lisa

        Yeah, Bay Area housing is wacky. Maybe she got a steal of a place in a fantastic, convenient location and knows that it would be difficult to purchase in the same area going forward. She’s got her reasons. I’m sure with that amount of hardship she’s thought of selling it off but has some compelling factors to stay for now.

    • Katharine Parker

      Certainly, in the context of a conversation about what should the LW do in the wake of her divorce and the challenges she’s having paying her mortgage now that she’s single, probing at whether she should sell her house would be appropriate. But in response to the LW telling the friend she can’t make her wedding, this is grossly out of line.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      This was my read as well.

    • BSM

      I can’t really imagine advice from a friend suggesting someone consider selling their home ever being helpful or appreciated, no matter how well-meaning.

    • Amy March

      I’m obvi an inveterate giver of advice, but it’s just never okay to “suggest” your friend sell her house. That’s part of actually being caring! Taking the extra pause to figure out if you should really be making that “helpful” suggestion at all.

      • quiet000001

        I actually don’t see why asking “are you sure you want to keep the house? It seem to really be stressing you.” would be a bad friend thing to do in the right circumstances. (I.e. not in the same breath as ‘why can’t you cime to my expensive wedding’ for a start.)

        Sometimes people do get into a rut of thinking they have to do something (like keep a house) because they made a choice in the past but things have changed and it is valid to rethink those choices in light of the changes. Mentioning that appropriately seems totally like a thing for a good friend to do, to me.

    • Jan

      I hadn’t considered this, and it’s totally possible that LW is adding two totally different things (the house-selling comment and her friends’ dismay that she can’t make the wedding in Europe) up and feeling hurt by something that wasn’t really what her friend meant. That said, I agree with Amy that it’s still sort of an invasive thing to suggest, especially given LW’s circumstances.

  • Katharine Parker

    “My friend told me she will never forget, and this will be her only wedding.”

    This person is not being your friend. How insanely selfish and cruel of her to say this to you! I genuinely hope you have other friends who aren’t self-absorbed monsters and have some empathy for your situation.

    • penguin

      Yep my jaw dropped on that one – so needlessly cruel. And most people don’t get married thinking that they’ll probably get divorced at some point, wow. If I’d been the LW in this situation I would have been tempted to say something along the lines of “I thought my wedding was going to be my only one too”, but that’s the petty in me.

      • Katharine Parker

        No one knows what life will bring–people get divorced, spouses die tragically young, we are not in control of our fates–and smugness is a bad color on anyone.

      • Abigail Jacob

        For real! And it’s not like her divorce is her fault in any way, shape or form. Her ex chose to be an asshole and cheat on her! That’s all on him!

      • LAinTexas

        I actually do know someone who went into a marriage knowing she’d almost certainly get divorced…and she did…and now she’s married to someone else and they have a kiddo together. But why go through all the expense of the first marriage and divorce when you knew before ever getting that far that it wasn’t the right relationship?

        • idkmybffjill

          What! Was it like…. she always had an inkling in retrospect? Or like.. fully knew? I could see saying you always knew when hindsight is 20/20… but this seems batshit if she truly went into it that way?

          • LAinTexas

            I don’t know her very well, but we have mutual friends, and I’m closer to the mutual friends. It was one of those friends who told me that she knew she was going to divorce Husband #1. So…to the best of my knowledge, she knew before ever marrying him that that would be the eventual outcome. She wasn’t a very pleasant person back then and burned a lot of bridges during that time because she was so unhappy and was just mean to pretty much everyone. I didn’t enjoy it when she was included in gatherings with our mutual friends, so I never sought out opportunities to get to know her better or spend time with her one-on-one.

            Back then, she also apparently strongly claimed she never wanted kids and even that she didn’t like kids. Fast forward to current husband, and they have a kid together – he’s about to turn two. She clearly loves her son a lot and seems to be a good mom, but…a LOOOOTTTT of changes from her old personality to her new personality, ha!

        • Lisa

          One of my husband’s grad school classmates was like this. He and his wife got married, but he said he figured that the marriage wouldn’t last forever. (Something about how his parents had each had at least 3 marriages so clearly you don’t stay together with your spouse.) I’m pretty sure they’re divorced now, and I sometimes wonder how much effort he put into sustaining his marriage when he went into it thinking it would end in a few years.

          • LAinTexas

            That mindset doesn’t seem at all productive or helpful. But, if his mindset on that was indeed influenced by his experiences growing up, then…I guess what else can we expect? I feel sorry for him that that’s his outlook on partnership and marriage. I hope that he learns it can be different.

    • Violet

      I don’t believe in tempting the fates, jinxes, or whatever, but this friend saying this will be her only wedding is TOTALLY tempting the fates.

      • penguin

        Yep – in a movie some ominous music would have played as she said that, and they’d flash back to her saying it while she was signing her divorce papers or something.

        • Violet

          Yep. Played by Christine Baransky.

        • Amandalikeshummus

          Or just the narrator from Arrested Development: “It wasn’t.”

          • Violet

            LOL, this.

          • Ilora

            This comment just made my night!

    • AP

      I read those words and SAW FUCKING RED. I almost didn’t finish the letter before jumping to the comments to rage about it. That is JUST. NOT. COOL. and those words should never come out of a supposed best friend’s mouth.

      • mjh

        Exactly. I rushed my ass down to the comments section to rage search for discussion about that line.

        That is seriously not the least bit okay.

    • mjh

      Yup. That line *killed* me. I can understand having difficulty truly grasping something you haven’t been through yourself, etc, etc, but I cannot understand someone saying those words with good intentions and no malice.

      And honestly, how many people does she think go into their weddings expecting their marriages to end?

    • Caitlyn

      Completely agree – that comment in particular felt like a gut punch when I read it – I can’t imagine how the LW must have felt. Oy!

    • Jan

      The Pettysaurus in me wouldn’t have been able to keep a sly “maaayyyybe…” from escaping my lips.

    • Yes, that comment was particularly awful. And I even feel like the subtext suggests a bit a blaming the the letter writer for her divorce…as if her divorce was something she could have had control over! I sure hope that if she was available during the letter writer’s divorce, she wasn’t saying things like this regularly! And even if somehow the comment slipped out and there was no malice intended and was more like this is my only wedding, you have to be there…. well, right after that there should have been some quick apologizing for her insensitivity! But combined with the never forget part, it does feel like it was intentionally hurtful.

  • sofar

    Of all the wtf in this letter, one thing stands out:

    I can’t be alone in my belief that, if you get married somewhere that requires travel across the world, you give up the right to be “shocked” and “hurt” if someone doesn’t attend.

    • penguin

      And then two friends were “shocked” enough to call and bug her about it? Even if she wasn’t recently divorced, it wouldn’t be shocking to not go to a wedding halfway around the world.

    • Rose

      Absolutely! Even if it’s not that far, but honestly, if it’s another continent? If having that person there is absolutely crucial, you should have checked with them beforehand and/or offered to pay their travel costs if you want to.

      • d

        Yes! A friend of mine paid to bring at least three close friends to a distant wedding because otherwise they could never have afforded it. The wedding was not really a destination wedding as it was where the couple lived. I think if you’re going to do this, a good way to do it is offer immediately, before the save the date/ invitation, in a straightforward way: “I’m getting married in X at this date. I understand if you can’t make, but I’m renting a house where you can stay for these dates, and can cover your flights if you let me know your schedule.”

    • CMT

      I hope that LW’s friends are not so awful to actually be shocked and hurt. What I hope is that they called to maybe commiserate with LW and didn’t do it very well? I just want to believe that they didn’t have such poor intentions.

    • Meredith

      Exactly! I invited a friend to my wedding who was living in France. I didn’t expect her to come at all, but wanted her to feel included! It sounds like this writer could benefit from a divorcee support group or something to find people who can relate.

      • LAinTexas

        I live halfway across the country from most of my family and friends, so although I often can’t go to events they’re hosting, I always feel really grateful whenever I still receive an invitation. <3 I'm actually feeling really torn up right now because a friend is getting married back in my hometown next month, and I don't think I'll be able to go due to budgetary reasons. Part of me just wants to fly home and go anyway, and the other part of me is like, "No, you spent a LOT of money this summer [a bachelorette and a wedding, both of which were back in my home state – I was a bridesmaid, and then a 2-week vacation to Europe], so you should rein it in." *crying*

      • mjh

        I think this is one of those things that varies by the group/people. The first time I encountered what was essentially a “thinking of you!” invite (an evite for a not once in a lifetime event on a different continent) I was very confused. But I found out it’s totally the norm in that friend’s family to invite your closest people to things that everyone knows there is zero chance of them making just so they can feel included.

        • quiet000001

          This is one of those times when including a personal note with the invite would be a good thing.

          • susannahdon

            Completely agreed. I got a little note saying “We love you and wish y’all were living closer! Understand if you can’t make it” and it meant the woooorld to me. Gonna do the same thing.

          • quiet000001

            Exactly. Similar for people with special needs (disability, allergies, whatever) – not to imply they didn’t have to come, but I’d include a note that explicitly said to contact someone if there are any special arrangements needed. I wouldn’t want to trust to people ‘knowing’ they can ask about something, you know?

    • Jessica


      I do wonder if, in this situation with all of the emotions and trauma that divorce causes, someone saying “I’m so sad you won’t be there!” has been built up in the LW’s mind as shocked and hurt. There were a few weeks this year that the smallest thing my friend’s said made me feel like I was letting everyone down–though looking back on it, they were fine, just communicating their own feelings back to me.

      That said, these friends sound kind of shitty.

      • sofar

        Great point! I had to navigate this with my in-laws and husband’s friends. Whenever I said, “no” for budgetary reasons, they’d come at me with, “But we really really really want you there. Are you sure you can’t come?” To me, that was them bothering me and questioning my judgment. To them, they were just trying to show how badly they wanted me there. My family and the bulk of my friends will just say, “OK! I understand” when I say no, and that’s what I was used to.

        • ItsyBit

          This is something that my husband and I are still figuring out, in that he always wants to ask people a second time (to show how much he loves and cares!) and I want to back off (because I trust that they can’t and know how hard it is to say no). It leads to some irritated conversations between us (him: “Just ask!” me: “But they said they didn’t think they could last week!”) Glad to know it’s not just us!

      • ellabynight

        I was wondering if this was the case with the friend who suggested the LW sell her house. It’s hard to tell from the letter if what the friend said was something extreme and gross like, “Well, if you can’t afford to attend my wedding you should clearly sell your house to do so.” or if the friend was saying something along the lines of, “Wow, I’m hearing you talk about financial stress in your life–including not being able to go to my wedding–a lot and it sounds like it’s all in service of keeping your house. If the stress of keeping the house is too much, then you might consider selling it.” If it was the latter, I could definitely see how the stress of the divorce and her tight financial situation could make it sound a lot more unkind.

        That being said, this person also said this will be her *only* wedding, which is straight up lousy, so she might not deserve the benefit of the doubt.

        • Jessica

          She does not deserve the benefit of the doubt–she sounds terrible.

          The LW might need a little perspective on other things though, and should definitely take Liz’s advice and be kind to herself.

          • ellabynight

            Yeah, after I hit “Post” on that comment I realized that I was being too kind to the friend in question. The other stuff she said definitely negates any charitable reading of her suggestion to consider selling the house.

          • quiet000001

            I had the same thought – or that it is being heard as worse than what was said (even if what was said wasn’t awesome.) Like, it sounds to me like LW needs to take a step back mentally and have some ‘me’ time or something too just relax a bit and deal with her own stuff. Which is a thing you need to do someyimes.

    • Eenie

      You give up the right to express said shock and hurt. You may still be shocked with who chooses to go/not go and you can still mourn the friends who can’t make it.

    • Mrrpaderp

      Absolutely yes. By the same token, though, when you’re spending more per month on your mortgage than it would cost you to take that trip halfway across the world, it’s not that surprising that you get pushback when you say you’re too house poor to attend a good friend’s wedding. I’m not saying it’s fair but I think bringing the house into it opens the door to that sort of comparison.

      • Henri


        There are a LOT of reasons folks live where they live. LW could’ve been in the Bay their whole life, their job is currently there. Selling would mean what? Paying more in rent than they currently do in a mortgage, if they can even manage to find a place to rent? Having to find a new job, pay whatever costs to sell your house, pay to move to a new area, etc.? It’s just not as simple as “don’t pay that big of a mortgage,” when LW clearly didn’t go into that mortgage expecting to have to foot that bill alone.

        Given that ^, LW’s friend is still a jerk.

        • sofar

          Plus, once you get used to living in a place you own, it’s … kinda hard to go back to renting. I never thought I’d say this, but I’d give up a destination wedding to be able to live in MY house.

          • Henri

            I’ll be honest. I’m completely baffled by the idea that “stable place to live” (especially in a place like SF, where even folks paying ridiculous rent are at risk of being no-cause evicted if the building gets sold) is even on the table to trade for a destination wedding or ANY wedding. That is just. . . not a reasonable trade-off.

            My wedding is taking place across the country from most of my dearest people, and I’m 100% not shocked when some of them can’t swing it. A little generally sad? You bet. Angry? Hell no. I would MUCH rather they take care of themselves than put their wellbeing at risk to basically attend a really great (and meaningful) party for one day.

            And, as @Roselyne:disqus put really well above, judging other people’s financial decisions (especially when I will never ever have the full context) is rude as hell, as well as truly unproductive. I have a lot of complicated thoughts and feelings about real estate, housing, and COL in SF, but I’m not about to try to solve that via an individual.

          • sofar

            Yes yes yes, to all of this!

      • Ros

        Well, you can judge, and you can feel how you wanna feel, but publicly making a show of acting like you can allocate someone else’s salary and expenses is kinda… well, not cool.

        Or, as Captain Awkward is a fan of saying, no one else gets to spend your money for you.

        And if I say I can’t afford a cup of coffee and get pushback, regardless of what I’m spending on anything else, that’s the last time I’m going for coffee with THAT person. Because the only people who get to prioritize my household finances are the people contributing to them.

        • Michelle

          Oh, I just love this. It’s not related to the post, but I used to work in this group of party-people who liked to go out drinking and for expensive lunches. They were all Senior Managers and I was the admin. They always gave me crap when I said I couldn’t afford to go to X restaurant or that not only do I not drink (allergic) but I need more sleep than bar-hopping until 2am on a Tuesday would allow (and I don’t want to). They all made at least double my salary (very likely more, as it was my first job out of college) and just thought that I wasn’t social and didn’t want to hang out with them. When the partner was interviewing to replace my position when I moved on, the person told me he specifically said they want someone who can attend social outings. Argh! So glad I’m shot of that.

      • BSM

        Um, what? It’s totally acceptable to push friends to sell their homes so that they can afford an international flight? That is both absurd and being a shitty friend.

        Also, I live in the Bay Area and don’t know anyone who’s bought a house in the last 5 years whose mortgage wouldn’t be at least double the cost of an international trip. I imagine it’s different in lower COL areas, but that is definitely a given here.

    • toomanybooks

      Um, yeah, if you have a destination wedding, you get to be privately disappointed that someone doesn’t come, and the most you can say to them is along the lines of “Aww, we’ll miss you!” unless you’re offering to pay for their vacation (lol). You do not get to redress them for not *selling their house* – in the Bay Area, might I add. I haven’t owned a house yet but I’m, ahem, pretty sure Bay Area real estate is not that trifling of a matter. Goodness.

      Also, saying “This is going to be MY ONLY WEDDING” to a recently divorced person??? Wowowowow. Girl, you don’t know that! Clearly LW thought her wedding was going to be her only wedding too, what if she remarries someday? Ouch!

      Destination Wedding Friend doesn’t sound like much of a friend. There’s only so much I can chalk up to wedding brain. She’s said so many insanely hurtful things to you, LW. You can fade out on that friendship, or you can be like “btw, maybe don’t ever suggest to someone that they sell their house to go to your wedding, and maybe don’t tell someone who just got divorced that you are only going to have one wedding and they must attend at all costs… to pay their respects to how sanctimonious you are about 1 person=1 marriage I guess??”

  • Violet

    I honestly don’t know what to make of these friends. Apparently they were there for LW when she needed them, but then also go around saying really cruel things and meddling (Two friends called you shocked that you couldn’t go to a European wedding? Really? Two whole friends of yours felt the need to be buttinskys?!). I don’t get it.

    • sofar

      When I read this, I wondered if the bulk of LW’s friends are and have always been wealthy. LW was part of this crew (and perhaps well off herself) before her divorce. Now, saddled with an insane mortgage, she’s having to make choices her friends have never had to make (and can’t wrap their heads around).

      • Cleo

        These were my thoughts exactly.

      • Violet

        True, true. But being shocked is one thing; calling the friend about not attending a wedding that’s NOT EVEN YOURS is another. I don’t care how privileged or entitled they are money-wise, why do they think it’s their place to go around calling out friends for their choices? Or put more productively, why has LW decided it’s okay to have friends treat her that way?

        • sofar

          No, it’s obviously not OK. My post was more about the reason than a justification. I have friends like this (went to school with a lot of wealthy folks). My in-laws are also like this.

          It’s unclear from the letter what the “two friends” where were “shocked” said to LW, but it’s possible it was clueless rich-people stuff that I hear whenever I say “no” for budgetary reasons: “But whyyyy???” I said, “no” to a Vegas bachelorette party a few years ago because I was poor and in grad school, and the MoH called me up and said, “Why aren’t you going? We really really really want you there!” I had to bluntly remind her of my budgetary constraints and tell that she was making me feel bad. She backed off and apologized. LW may not have the strength right now to be super blunt. And these issues with her friends may be very new because it’s possible LW was well off before the divorce and never had to say no to anything.

          Agreed, though, that it’s perhaps time to find new friends and put these ones on the back-burner for a while.

          • Henri


            There’s also a point when dealing with Life Stuff where you have to move on past friends who can’t or won’t grow with you. I always find it really sad when this happens, but it is a really normal thing.

      • Lisa

        That was my thinking, too. Like maybe they’ve taken multiple vacations together in the past (including “destination bachelorette”) so, when she has to say no instead of a previous automatic yes, the friends were taken aback. I’d hope though that they’d have some empathy for the LW and her situation though instead of being so shocked at her and asking her to justify herself.

      • Sara

        This is honestly what I thought of too. I think that its hard to remember what the budget line is when your line is so far above someone elses.
        But also, this friend is being a jerk anyway in non-money ways.

      • savannnah

        I second this and I also wonder if the LW had a wedding of her own that was financially demanding to her friends as well. This is no way excuses any of their behavior but could speak to how radically different her life is now post-divorce, whereas theirs has stayed the same.

      • Nell

        I think there’s also a huge problem in friend groups with what someone “can” and what someone “should” spend. It’s possible that these women have a ton of detail about LW’s financial situation – and just have different ideas about how they’d allocate that money. Maybe they remember a time where they ate PB&J’s for a month to afford plane tix or something. But you actually don’t get to decide what your friends think is an acceptable use of their financial resources.

        • sofar

          So true. Also, some people are willing to go into debt and plunk down credit cards for destination bachelorettes and the like (and pay it off over the next few months) and assume everyone should be “willing” to do this for “people they really care about.” I see them as irresponsible. They see me as heartless.

        • Ros

          Yeah, I have a social/family circle that was giving me lots of advice about what we “should” afford about 2 years ago (build a bigger house! Borrow the mortgage the bank is offering, not 1/3 of that number! Why does the family have only 1 compact car, you can “afford” 2 SUV car payments! You can afford to eat out! Etc, etc..) (we like a managable house, our car is fine, and we live in the middle of nowhere and eating out is more trouble than its worth).

          And then my husband got laid off while I was 8.5 months pregnant with our second kid and about to start a year-long maternity leave. And those people called me in a panic asking me what I was gonna do (and I was like, mom, I’ve got it under control lay off…)… and we were fine. Because what we had was what we could ACTUALLY afford.

          But yeah. Let’s say it made me REAL stubborn about not ever taking advice on what I “can afford” from outside sources.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Isn’t this the plot of Bridesmaids?

        • sofar

          That movie was so real to me, in so many ways.

      • AP

        I think this is a very generous framing for giving the friends the benefit of the doubt. I still think her friends are acting like assholes and LW deserves better.

        • sofar

          Yes, they’re acting like jerks, but the question is whether they are aware of this. Some people really just can’t see outside their own experience.

          Hypothetically, if I went though a divorce, I can TOTALLY see one of my best friends from college flying out to visit me, cooking for me, taking me out to dinner, and sending me chocolates in the mail… and then also acting confused as to why I couldn’t attend her wedding out of state.

          I also think LW needs to find a different friend circle if she finds that her current friends are unable to relate to her.

          • Amy March

            Isn’t that bad though? Like, if you can’t see out of your own worldview when your friend tells you that she can’t sell her house to attend your wedding, you are a jerk, you are thoughtless, and you’re not a great person.

          • Henri

            Yeah, I’m pretty anti-that friend. The other two may be, as @disqus_NSPCIO6X7g:disqus said, not fully in the know about the reasons and therefore sorta clueless and rude rather than active jerks.

          • sofar

            LW seems to have several friends that she mentions. There’s the one who says, “This will be my ONLY wedding” and “sell your house.” And there are others who seem to have called her to ask why she isn’t coming, possibly before knowing the full story.

            The former is a jerk, the latter ones are probably just clueless. This particular thread was about the latter ones.

      • Her Lindsayship

        I see this point, but also: I have some friends who grew up much more well-off than I did, and who will probably never know what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck… but they are still capable of empathy. I don’t think you need to have experienced tough financial times to understand they are a thing, just as a baseline for interacting with other humans.

        • sofar

          Some people really just can’t see outside their own experience. They don’t know they’re being clueless, and I sometimes have to tell them. But they’re sweet and supportive in other ways.

          If I went though a divorce, I can TOTALLY see one of my best friends from college flying out to visit me, cooking for me, taking me out to dinner, and sending me chocolates in the mail… and then also acting confused as to why I couldn’t attend her wedding out of state.

        • The thing is, your friends are probably decent people. LW’s friends… forgot she was divorced. Gotta be honest, these sound very much like people who might forget that their life experiences aren’t entirely universal and judge others accordingly. LW needs more friends like yours.

          • Her Lindsayship

            I guess that’s what I’m saying – I don’t think it’s fair to say that LW’s friends’ complete ignorance needs to be explained by their socioeconomic status. It’s explained by the fact that they suck.

      • Amy March

        Is it really that hard when someone says “I can’t afford it” to maybe, I dunno, listen to and trust your friend? I think this is way too generous.

        • sofar

          But before getting told point-blank “I can’t afford this wedding,” I can totally see them calling her up and asking her why she can’t come. The bride who then followed up with, “This will be my ONLY wedding” is being nasty, for sure. But LW mentioned a couple other nebulous friends who were simply “shocked” and may not have gotten the full story before making the “Why aren’t you coming?” call. True, a truly empathetic person may have thought to themselves before making the call, “Hmmm my friend just went through a divorce and saying no to a destination event is unlike her. Maybe instead of asking why she can’t come, I should ask if she is OK.” But some people are lacking in that the put-two-and-two-together department.

      • Libby

        Absolutely my first thought. Even I had no clue how much divorce would affect me financially. Especially in a high cost-of-living area, it sucks. And I think it’s worse for women, who are more likely to be under-employed and/or underpaid.

  • Jane

    Dear LW, I am sorry you are dealing with all of this. You are in a difficult position, mourning about betrayas and the end of many dreams, and feeling you should be happy to celebrate your friends marriages. It is possible to do both, but it’s difficult.
    Please feel free to do what is best for you. Financially and psychologically.
    My judgement of your friends is probably unfair, as it is biased these negative remarks, but they don’t seem good friends. Sometimes it’s ok to be oblivious, other times that means you are being a bad friend. (And someone who keeps on being a bad friend is not a friend). So, please set aside some time to reflect about your relationships with those people (even the friends who called you to say they were shocked youa re not going to the wedding).
    If you think these friendships are worth keeping, I think it’s appropriate for you to send them a heartfelt letter about your current situation (they probably think one year is enough for you to recover fully from all the consequences of a divorce). Don’t accuse them, just tell them how you feel and how you can’t do as many things as you used to do.

  • Angela’s Back

    I just want to say that I rent an apartment in a pretty reasonable cost of living area as opposed to owning a house in the Bay Area and ain’t no way I could afford to go to a European destination wedding. I have a wedding to go in New Orleans in January and even that is like… if it wasn’t a high school bestie, wouldn’t be going now that I have to fly to get to NOLA. So kudos to you for owning your budget, your friend is being a jerk, and much love getting through the post-divorce process.

  • Another Meg

    I’ve been the young divorcee with no money to spend on the influx of friend weddings. I get that. Hugs! But friends who hadn’t even been married yet had no idea what to do with me and my piles of baggage. They didn’t understand.

    There are a lot of things going on in this letter, but I have one piece of advice for the LW – sometimes you have to step back from friends. I had to do this with a few friends and now, 8 years after my divorce, we are starting to be close again. And it’s awesome, but it had to work this way for us to salvage the relationship.

    • AP

      Yes! Also? The friends I made post-divorce are awesome. These are folks who have never known me in the context of my ex-relationship, never met my ex, and only know (and love and appreciate) the new person I’ve become since my divorce. Especially in the first year or so after the divorce, I was desperate for social outlets that didn’t constantly remind me of my ex and my marriage. It’s nice to have people in my life who have seen me through all of it and know that side of me too, but making new friends can be super freeing and fun.

      • Another Meg


        I love having both of those kinds of friends. Some of my longterm friends were amazing – and plenty put their feet firmly in their mouths in the years and months after the divorce. And YASSS to having new friends who don’t associate me with my ex even a little bit.

        • Shawnykate

          During my divorce, most of my old friends have been amazing. But, sometimes it stings a little that they have moved on to a place in their lives I thought I would be at, but no longer am. I’ve found it really helpful and important to have new friends in my life who are single and dating. When you are in your mid-thirties and out there again when you didn’t think you would be, you need that support, but don’t automatically have it when other friends are in wedding/baby mode. Connect with and get closer with those dating friends! Call them to commiserate when your college bestie who got married 6 months after you did announces she is pregnant! Also, I’m so sorry you went through such insensitive comments about the house and financial situation. I know for me it was hard, because you feel punished by the divorce, but then you feel punished again and put at a financial disadvantage after the divorce, even if you have been responsible and sound with your money forever. The situation isn’t fair, which makes it hard to let go and formulate a new plan moving forward, even if the old equation is no longer serving your new life. Sounds like you have thought it through completely, but if it comes to the point where keeping the house isn’t serving you, your mental health and your new life, maybe you make a different plan at some point – but obviously that has to be in your time and on your terms, not out of guilt or perception of social obligation.

      • Jan

        Same. Also, my partner mentioned to me once how all my really close friends here (in a state I never lived in with my ex) are also young divorcees. I’d never realized that before, but I guess we just sort of gravitated toward each other.

  • Rezia

    This is such a tough place to be in. I am sorry that you are going through this and you sound like such a considerate friend. If someone forgets you were divorced — they are not a friend, period. This is the sort of thing that a friend remembers, because they were there to comfort you when it happened, then checked up with you often afterwards to see how you were doing. You’re just a year out! There is no excuse for forgetting, out of town or not.

    You’ve already committed to the January wedding so at this point, I do think (unless, as Liz said, it is hurting your mental health!) you should to do the job, focus on your happiness for your friend, and take the bitter pill that comes with it. As Liz suggested, ask mutual friends to help ease the burden if possible. But I don’t think you should feel guilty for missing the wedding in Europe! You were clear upfront, you didn’t mislead anyone. Don’t feel guilty.

    For future events and weddings, I suggest taking some time to reflect on what is good for you and your mental health before accepting an invitation or taking on a bridesmaid role. You can say, “I am SO happy for you. [Unfortunately because I’m paying for a house on a single income right now, I can’t attend the wedding]/ [Right now, I’m still raw from my divorce and wedding planning inevitably makes me think about my own wedding, so I don’t think this is a good role for me]. But I would love to be there for you as a friend by [gushing over your wedding photos with you after you get back]/[being someone you can call any time you’re stressed about the planning process]/[celebrating and tearing up the dance floor with you on your wedding day]/[whatever it is that would bring you JOY to do for your friend]. I hope you understand. I love you lots.” and then show up in the way that you can!

  • Sara

    I would not suck it up LW. I would stay strong and not spend an insane amount of money to go to Europe. Ask a friend if they’ll Skype you in, or send a letter to the bride for her to read day of. But you don’t need to put yourself further into financial worry unless YOU absolutely want to.

  • Nell

    I 100% agree with all the advice for this LW to not listen to the haters and do what she needs to do to be mentally and financially healthy.

    The severity of the comments from her friends do leave me with a question: To what extent is there an expectation in LW’s friend group that she needs to “repay” her friends for things they took on during LW’s wedding? Is there some unspoken, lingering resentment about things that LW’s bridesmaids had to purchase, or travel for, etc, etc? It might help to just air it all out – whatever it may be.

    Also, my two cents… it sucks to be the first of your friends to go through a big transition – because there is no one to relate to and there are all sorts of unvoiced expectations that get launched at you from all sides. It sucks to get boobs first. It sucks to be the first to get married. It sucks to be the first to have a kid. And it sucks to get divorced first. Statistically, it’s pretty likely that someone in this group is going to experience divorce before long. In the meantime, maybe there is a local support group for divorced people that could provide a source of some new friendships.

  • ManderGimlet

    Maybe use this time to…take stock? It sounds like you have a history of putting a whole lot of effort and yourself out there for people who don’t deserve it. From your ex husband to the “friend” who FORGOT YOU WERE DIVORCED( seriously, get this person the hell out of your life, no need for apologies or explanations), you seem like a really kind, creative person with a lot of energy you want to expend on your friends but who unfortunately also attracts leeches. You don’t have to feel guilty for not submitting to the whims of people who cannot even imagine the financial hardships of divorce. I have not gone through one personally, but it doesn’t take a divorce lawyer to have an idea, you know? They don’t understand what you are going through because they refuse to listen to you or accept that you are hurting and need help right now. They want you to go back to being the party planning wunderkind who is going to help them do all this heavy lifting and ask nothing in return.

    A good friend is sad or even disappointed you can’t come to her wedding. She may even poke, prod, and pry you, her wedding plans, her budget, many things, to try to make it possible for you to attend. But a good friend does not advise you make devastating financial decisions or enlist other people to guilt you into making a commitment you have clearly stated you can’t keep. Examine who has REALLY been there for you since your divorce, in the ways you need people to be. It’s wonderful when friends rush to your side with a bottle of champagne and a box of tissues in the immediate aftermath of a trauma like that. But a real friend is still there for you months later, when the newness has worn off and your pain is mundane but still cutting, they listen to you when you reach out and they meet you where you are, not demand you shake it off and catch up to their party.

    • Yes! “But a real friend is still there for you months later, when the newness has worn off and your pain is mundane but still cutting, they listen to you when you reach out and they meet you where you are, not demand you shake it off and catch up to their party.”

  • Mrrpaderp

    This is a good example of why overexplaining is a bad idea. No is a complete sentence, but it can feel like kind of a mean thing to say. It’s tempting to give an excuse. If you must say something, say “I’m sorry but that doesn’t work for my situation right now, I’m sure you understand.”

    When you offered up something concrete, like the house, as an excuse for declining all this fun stuff, nosey (but possibly well-intentioned) people are going to find a way to “helpfully fix” your situation by offering suggestions. Here, “well just sell it.”

    Also, and I’m sure LW doesn’t realize this, when you say, I can’t attend your wedding because of my house payment, and you’re living in a million+ dollar house, what they’re hearing is, “I love my house more than you. I COULD live in a comfortable, more modest home AND ALSO do fun stuff with you but I choose my house over you because you’re just not that important.” Unfair? Yep. Misses the point of the emotional turmoil of divorce and the fact that you’re trying to cling to this one stable piece of your life? Yep. And LW’s explanation is equally guilty of that. Not saying it’s fair, and your finances are no one’s business but your own, but you have to kind of consider your audience.

    All that said, I really feel for LW and I agree that her friends are being jerks here. But since LW is the one that wrote in, I feel like I should say something that’s useful to her.

    • Jan

      “I’m sure LW doesn’t realize this, when you say, I can’t attend your wedding because of my house payment, and you’re living in a million+ dollar house, what they’re hearing is, ‘I love my house more than you. I COULD live in a comfortable, more modest home AND ALSO do fun stuff with you but I choose my house over you because you’re just not that important.'”

      I get what you’re saying here, but if that’s what the friend is hearing I suggest she reevaluate some things and get a grip. LW can’t attend a friend’s wedding. It’s not like the friend has been diagnosed with terminal cancer; it’s just one day of her life. An important day, sure, but just a day.

    • BSM

      So, if I can’t attend a friend’s destination wedding because I’m a teacher’s aide and don’t make enough to cover my expenses and be able to afford the trip, am I saying that I love my job more than my friend? I COULD find a higher paying job AND ALSO do fun stuff with her, but I choose my job over her because she’s just not that important?

      Is that also an explanation that misses the point?

      • Honestly, for some people, yes – and I’m willing to bet LW’s destination wedding friends are amongst them! There’s a whole pile of privilege going on the in the background of this letter that suggests the friends just don’t get the complexities of divorce that makes me think they probably wouldn’t get the complexities of the job market, you know? But that’s just pure bitchy speculation :)

  • Jan

    “That said. There are a few things you mention that have me wondering if maybe these particular friends sort of suck.”

    Holy hell, yes, this.

    Also, this entire letter got me wondering how old these people are. I got divorced riiiiiight before most of my friends started getting married and dealt with a lot of shitty comments that I think were people just fundamentally not understanding wtf it means for someone they are close with to get divorced. I got the “Omg, I forgot you’re divorced/used to be married” comments a lot, and it frigging sucked every time. I particularly enjoyed when people at parties would say to me, “Oh man, sorry we’ve been blabbing on and on about wedding stuff/mortgages/babies/minivans, this must be soooo boring to you.” One time I couldn’t hold it in and blurted, “No, it’s totally cool, I’m already like three steps ahead of you with the divorce” (WINK).

    • Ros

      Omg that is a GREAT response. :D

  • MDBethann

    Anyone who “forgot” that you are divorced is NOT a very good friend. Anyone who suggests you should sell your house to attend their European (or any other) wedding is not a very good friend. Anyone who also throws in your face that “this is her only wedding” is not a very good friend (and also very possibly wrong – no one knows what the future holds for us and how long our marriages will last – death and divorce can surprise anyone, as divorce clearly surprised the LW). My advice to the LW is to take a step back and evaluate her friendships to see if these “friends” still fit into her life as it is now and maybe a slow fade is in order. People grow and change and sometimes friendships grow, change, or fade away – that “reason, season, lifetime friend” saying is pretty true (in my 38 years of experience).

    Now, I will caveat this to say that it is unclear from the letter if the friend in question there suggested the LW sell her house so she could afford to attend the European wedding or if she suggested LW sell her house to ease her financial burdens and make her life more enjoyable. The way the letter was written it wasn’t entirely clear to me. The former is selfish on the part of the friend, not to mention cruel. The later interpretation (which I hope is closer to the truth) might be painful but may have been said with the best intentions because the friend is worried about the LW.

  • Jennifer D.

    OP, I’m in the Bay Area if you need support/a hiking buddy/someone to be unguarded with. My email is Jennifer dot demartini at gmail dot com.

    • ART

      I was going to say I think this LW might need a Bay Area APW pick-me-up happy hour or something. Jeeeeze. I’d be down.

      • BSM


      • Zoya

        Me three!

  • idkmybffjill



  • lafitz

    As someone who went through a divorce at the time when most of my friends were getting married and/or having babies, I am 110% on team “do you”. I remember being at a bridal shower while my divorce was in process, and someone suggested everyone go around and give the bride-to-be one piece of advice regarding marriage. My heart just about thumped out of my chest, and I could not get out of that room and into the bathroom fast enough. Point is: It’s hard! It’s hard to feel like you aren’t being/cannot possibly be a “good enough” bridesmaid/friend. It’s hard to be at weddings when your marriage (and all the hopes and dreams it carried with it) fall apart. It’s hard to pretend you’re totally happy when you really want to be totally happy but there’s a huge part of you that can’t get there. It’s hard to know that your best might not meet your friend’s expectations. And it’s hard to be forgiving and gracious when people say things that minimize, overlook, or demean your experience because they are so focused on there own. So yeah, “do you”…and that’s hard, too. It’s all just really fucking hard! Sending love!

  • Letter writer, I hope you have some truly understanding friends (besides these people you mention!!) supporting you through the divorce! If you’d like a new long-distance email friend, I am happy to listen, and I’ve been through a traumatic divorce too. (My ex left me suddenly for his new girlfriend.) If you click on my name, there is a way to send a message to me on the right side column of my blog. Things do eventually get better, and you sound like you are handling all the awfulness well and making wise decisions that are right for you. Take care of yourself (and please don’t listen to friends that don’t want to take care of you too in this difficult season of your life).

  • djuna

    Sorry, but these “friends” sound pretty awful and out of touch with the way the world/relationships/money/friendships actually work. Friends are allowed to be oblivious to the nuances in your life, but it takes a pretty thick headed and self-absorbed person to be shocked and hurt when you can’t attend extremely expensive events while sorting through a divorce and the financial complications that come with it.

    I didn’t expect close friends who live two states over to make it to my wedding. I was overjoyed with the ones who were able to swing it and completely related to the ones who are currently struggling/starting a new job/dealing with a new child, etc. It’s called life. Friends walk it with you. A solid individual doesn’t use “I’ll never forget this” to guilt trip a friend unless they’re in the 7th grade.

    To sum up, I’m pretty damn happy my friends and I are all varying degrees of broke and have very low expectations for how things are “supposed to go.”

  • mui

    These friends don’t sound nice or considerate…I’m proud of you for standing up for your self and taking care of your financial responsibilities. Please don’t let what they’ve said make you feel guilty, you’re doing the right thing and I hope that they either become more sensitive and supportive, or that you find new friends that are caring, understanding people.

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  • KC from MA

    Those are some awful friends and LW, you are right to take care of yourself first. They are asking you for a lot and totally ignoring your needs, which you are allowed to have even when other people are in wuuuv. They asked you to do something optional for them. You said no. They should be grown ups about it.

    But, LW, you also sound financially stressed out – is a roommate something you would consider? Not so you can go to stupid folks’ weddings, but so you can have a little breathing room.

  • I can’t get over that someone said, this will be “her only wedding.” That is low. That is not a friend.

  • Victoria

    OP’s friends are being shitty. Bottom line, no argument, there it is. They are acting shitty and I’m sorry and you should take care of yourself and not worry about loosing them – if they are worth keeping you will not loose them by taking care of yourself.

    But I can think of explanations/context that explains why they might be acting shitty and not actually be particularly shitty people or friends.

    (I could totally be wrong but:)
    I suspect that OP’s wedding was expensive. I suspect that OP’s house is nice and in the Bay Area that means extremely expensive. It can be hard when a wealthy person says they can not afford something for the benefit of someone else – lots of people get judgmental. Now don’t get me wrong – I’m certain she’s making the right call skipping the European wedding – a Bay Area mortgage equivalent (she’s buying out her ex) on one salary instead of two means she’s almost certainly tapped out (but that doesn’t mean she isn’t wealthy just that even wealthy people have to make difficult financial decisions sometimes.)

    I suspect that OP got divorced very soon after her wedding. And while a 1 year marriage (half a year marriage?) is devastating in the life of the person whose marriage that was for a somewhat distant friend it can read like a “blip.” Not particularly more significant than a 1 year relationship that didn’t work out. Especially if that person has never been married. If the OP is reserved and doesn’t talk a lot about how hard it is it is easy for people without personal experience to “forget” what she might be feeling. She seems ok right? She’s not crying on my shoulder like I would be crying on hers? Well some people are way more private and reserved over others.

    • Victoria

      And I don’t know but I really really hope that the “my only wedding” was in context of “it’s a once in a lifetime event! you are having a hard financial time now but we both know you’re going to be well off the rest of your life and recover financially but you’ll never be able to attend my wedding again so it’s worth some sacrifice so that you’re in my wedding album for our children!” which is STILL SHITTY. But if it truly was a dig at you over your divorce…OMG END THAT FRIENDSHIP – that’s not forgivable.

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  • Caroline W.

    Hi. I just want to throw in my two cents here as an also recently divorced person who will be a bridesmaid in my cousin’s wedding next year. The divorce was final this week, but it has been ongoing (and exhausting!) for the last 18 months. My cousin chose my former wedding anniversary for her wedding, and although I am not the maid of honor, I am expected to shell out money for an expensive out of state bachelorette, an over-the-top bridal shower in addition to the normal expectations that go along with the wedding weekend. The wedding weekend and parts of the shower are normal expectations and are, in most cases, part of being in someone’s wedding. The rest of it? I’m sorry, but I’m having a hard time mustering the financial (and emotional, and mental, and psychological) resources to DO ALL THE THINGS! With a smile, no less. Lawyers are expensive; people don’t get that unless they have actually paid for a lawyer themselves at some point in their lives. I am living with family right now to ease the financial transition, and at one point, my cousin approached me and said “you’ll have the money because you don’t pay rent.” I was like…okay, no.

    I have decided that it is fine for her to be entitled to the kind of wedding/pre wedding that she wants. These are her expectations, and she is 100% entitled to them. But they are not mine. It’s okay to say no sometimes. I have learned this the hard way, and I think it bears mentioning over and over again. You have a right to say no. You have a right to your own time for healing and self-care. Yeah, it’s okay to participate to the extent that you are not putting yourself in a position to be emotionally compromised. Beyond that, say no if at all possible.

    It’s okay to protect your heart. I’m here with you. You’re not alone.

  • pinki kumari

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  • Molly the Bean

    I’m shocked every time I read an article like this. People are really this selfish and unreasonable? Obviously a ridiculous question, but honestly it sounds like the LW needs better friends. I genuinely don’t know anyone who would have those sorts of expectations, and take another person’s financial situation so lightly.

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