Q: My wonderful man had a female friend he was close to (just friends) when we started dating. I was fine with it in theory, but she made it very clear to me she was against me through passive aggressive behavior from the start. So for awhile there I had to battle with her being nice to my man’s face and her really crummy behavior toward me.
I have a great guy, I love him, we are happy, and things have been taking nice big steps forward, steps that are clear to everyone. With those steps she has started to become more desperate with her behavior and cutting me down directly to my partner, and trying to drive a wedge in my two-year relationship. She acts very territorial over him, and uses guilt on everyone. She also asked him to be a Bridesman, because of course she did, in one of her attempts of manipulation. He accepted. We are a couple months into her engagement and the amount of money he has already spent on costs that could have been cut is ridiculous. It’s also upsetting to me simply because of the amount HER name comes up talking about HER wedding, and I’ve been ready for engagement for a while.
I’ve expressed this to him and he is very understanding and kind, but he feels it’s easier to just be in the wedding to cause less drama, than to say “no” to her at this point even though he plans to cut her entirely out of our lives after her wedding. Isn’t this going to send mixed signals to her? I’m so tired of her attempts to destroy my relationship, and I’m starting to be bitter that my partner is allowing someone like that around our good, solid relationship. She is mutual friends with my boyfriend’s friends which is why he is trying to fulfill his commitment and reduce the amount of drama overall; he is also known for being too nice. But isn’t he causing more drama for our relationship than it is worth for someone he is upset with and is going to cut out of his life? What do I do? What do we do? Do I go to the wedding? Do I stick to his plan and count my blessings it will be over soon? Do I drop cake on her wedding dress? Just kidding with the last one. I would never ruin a good piece of cake.
A: Dear Rita,
This could really go either way. I mean, maybe she really is some conniving, jealous, territorial lady who’s not behaving very nicely. But I’ve only got a brief email to go on, and based only on that, it could easily be a very different situation. Not that I don’t believe you! Just be real with yourself. Is it possible you’re being sensitive? Reading into some of the things she’s done? Honestly, asking someone to be in the bridal party doesn’t sound like manipulation to me, which makes me wonder—what else is going on?
I also want to know how your partner feels about this. He says he’s going to cut her off, which is great if she makes you uncomfortable and he’s demonstrating that he prioritizes his relationship with you over his relationship with her. But does he see her this way? Have you factored in his perceptions of what’s going on?
Maybe, too, you’re letting your jealousy that she’s getting married color your view of how things are unfolding. She’s marrying someone else. Theoretically, this could be a great thing for you! And as much as it stirs up those old, “Why not us?” feelings, her wedding has nothing to do with your lack of wedding. These are separate issues; don’t let them get muddled together.
Being in her wedding doesn’t “cause drama” unless you let it. He already committed to the job, he’s already paid the cash for the various obligations, what’s the harm in seeing it through? It sounds to me like he’s trying to avoid making a statement, when he could just as easily let things naturally drift apart after this wedding wraps up and dies down.
To an extent, a “good solid relationship” can withstand being around some crappy people. Yeah sure, try to remove them when you can, but if you’re really as good and solid as you say, some parameters should be enough. So, he’s in the wedding. Go to the wedding, grin and bear it, look forward to the day that she’s married. And while you’re there, enjoy some cake (eating it, not smashing it).
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