Q: After a lifetime of shitty boyfriends, I met my fantastic fiancé, who came with a gaggle of fantastic friends, who I deeply love. Since we got engaged, they’ve been nothing but sweet and supportive and helpful and generous.
I feel incredibly lucky, and I’m so thrilled to be marrying the love of my life, especially considering the gift his friends are (I’ve won the lottery twice!). The problem is… my friends. When we got engaged, I asked a few of my friends that predated my relationship with my fiancé to be bridesmaids and my maid of honor. In the last six months, we graduated from the degree program we were in, and it turns out, the relationships were based more on convenience than anything else. I don’t really have any interest in holding things together (one of them rarely leaves her house, another isn’t even sure if she’ll be able to go to the wedding). I have other friends who can hold down the fort, so I’m not too worried about that.
But… my maid of honor. When I was in bad relationships, I guess she seemed less bad than it turns out she is, or maybe she’s reacting to my engagement (I’m not being self-involved; after my last breakup, she propositioned me, so it wouldn’t be the first time that she reacted poorly to one of my relationship changes). But it’s gotten out of hand. She calls me fat on a daily basis, complains about the restrictive diet I’m on, only talks to me when she needs something from me, and routinely insults me. I don’t feel any love here any more, I know that I have other people in my life who don’t make me feel like garbage every time I see them, and I’m pretty tired of her telling me that I won’t like the bridal stuff she’s planning for me because, as she says, she has “better taste” than I do.
If she doesn’t sound like a friend, it’s because she’s not acting like one. I recently confronted her about how she’s treating me (for the second time in as many months), and she didn’t acknowledge me. I’m not interested in continuing this relationship anymore. I want to ask her to step down in the wedding party, but I don’t want any drama because I honestly don’t feel any drama about the situation—I tried to make things better in twenty different ways, it didn’t work, and I’ve processed that. Is there a graceful way to inform her that her services are no longer required (and that I don’t even want her at my wedding anymore)?
—Done With My Maid of Horror
A: Dear DWMMOH,
Nope, there’s no graceful way, but who honestly cares at this point? You’ve been honest about your feelings twice, and both times were ignored and disrespected (and let’s be serious, you shouldn’t have needed to ask someone to stop saying this kind of garbage to you).
So, graceless or not, that’s how I’d bring it up. “These things were not okay to say, I already let you know how I felt about it, and you won’t quit it. I’d prefer for you not to be my bridesmaid.” You’re likely ending the friendship with this statement, but it sounds like you truly don’t care, nor should you. You’re not creating drama; you’re distancing yourself from it.
I’d suggest you prepare yourself for friends who ask about what happened or who, if you choose to explain, just don’t get it. The thing is, they don’t have to. You’re allowed to choose who you spend your time with and your energy on. This person isn’t worth either of those things.
Cutting toxic people out of your life isn’t dramatic or graceless; it’s healthy. Sometimes you’re able to accomplish it with a gentle fade-out. Other times you’re less lucky, and it ends with a dramatic, “Get outta my wedding (and life).” Either way, you’ll be better off.