Q: My fiancé and I have been together for a while now, but we’ve known each other a long time. We actually went to school together from middle school through high school. We weren’t close back then, but our school wasn’t very big, so we definitely knew each other. Fast forward to a couple of years after college and we ended up together—very happily, I might add.
We got engaged last year, during the pandemic (after 6+ years together). We are really excited about the prospect that our early 2023 wedding is looking promising. However… we’ve hit a big huge roadblock.
We were making our guest list in a shared spreadsheet. I started the document, went in, and added most of our family members, our friends, etc. then sent it to him to make any adjustments or additions. (We’re lucky that we have a pretty flexible guest list size to work with and don’t have to restrict ourselves much.) When I looked back at the spreadsheet the next day I saw that my wonderful fiancé had added about eight guys that we went to high school with.
Let me stop here to share some facts. 1. Fiancé does not have regular contact with these people. Maybe Instagram and Facebook-style contact, but not more than that. 2. I had no idea, truly, until seeing the spreadsheet, that he would want those people at our wedding. He doesn’t talk about them, I think they are sort of nostalgic friends from childhood, and they definitely don’t seem to be ‘current’ friends. And, most importantly, 3. I do not like these eight men… or at least I really did not like them when we were in school together. They were bullies and treated me really really poorly at a very vulnerable time in my life… enough that it has been a topic of conversation over the years for me in therapy and I believe the repeated unkindnesses have negatively affected my mental health and life. I really thought I was done with contact with these people after moving away from my hometown, considering the fact that my fiancé (my only current ‘connection’ to them) basically never references them.
How wrong I was. Anyway, you can imagine that the conversation that ensued wasn’t comfortable. Fiancé is pretty adamant that he really wants these ‘friends’ at his wedding. I am firmly against that idea, and very much do not want them at mine. But… it’s the same wedding. So, what do we do? I really need help. He’s having a hard time understanding my ages-old hurt, and I don’t understand his commitment to having friends (or these particular friends) of yesteryear there at all. It feels like he’s choosing them over me, and I think he thinks I’m being dramatic… HELP!
What do you think, APW? What should this reader do about this wedding guestlist stalemate they’ve found themselves in? Drop your two cents in the comments.