My Best Friend Just Un-Invited My Husband to Her Destination Wedding

She supported me during a rough patch, and this is his punishment

Q:DEAR AMY,

My best friend is getting married in a few months, and I’m going to be a bridesmaid in her destination wedding in a pretty remote and expensive area. Yay? But today she informed me that my husband is sorta-kinda not invited. And I’m feeling pretty hurt and confused and not sure how to react.

A bit of background: My husband and I have had a really, really difficult year. We very nearly got divorced this summer, after a hellish eight-month period in which his work took us to a dangerous and very isolated area. While there, he fell into a depression and completely withdrew emotionally and verbally—barely got out of bed, barely spoke to me. During the same period I also got a long, long overdue diagnosis for depression and anxiety that landed me in the hospital for suicidal behavior. My husband wasn’t really in any shape to be much support, and I felt totally alone and abandoned, then had emotional affair that really damaged our marriage.

I guess that’s a long way of saying that there’s plenty of blame on both sides, and he’s not some aggressive asshole whose girlfriend’s friends all secretly hate him. He’s a little introverted and not a huge party animal, but has never been violent or insulting or creepy toward me or any of my friends. His worst transgression is silence. Prior to my meltdown, she really liked him! She used to tell me how great she thought he was and and that she considered him a big brother. He and I have since reconciled and have been working really hard on communicating, supporting each other, and learning to be the kind of partners we both need to lean on, and I think (with cautious optimism) that things between us are better than they have ever been (thank you therapy!). He’s really stepped up and taken care of me at a time when I needed it, and I’m doing my best to do the same for him.

My best friend was there for me through a lot of this, and I think she places a disproportionate amount of blame on him. There were a few times where I was too depressed and overwhelmed to return her calls and when she reached out to him, he told her I was okay and didn’t adequately panic or react the way she expected him to.

On the one hand, I understand her position—we only reconciled about a month ago and the wedding is now just a couple months away and as costs add up, finances are tight. On the other hand, as we rebuild trust and work on our marriage, I can’t very well take off for a international vacation and leave my husband behind, especially when money is tight. I talked it over with her a little, and she said part of it was financial (she’s heavily subsidizing all of the guests) and part is space at the resort (which is tight, but there is room for him). All of the other guests and bridesmaids with serious significant others are bringing them to the resort at the “subsidized” rate. Her compromise was that either he can be the only guest to pay full price if he wants to come (which we really cannot afford) while I pay the “subsidized” rate, or we can stay in a rental house that’s about a twenty-minute walk off-site, which would kind of isolate us, especially considering that the area is under a travel advisory and not really considered super safe right now. If he doesn’t come, I can stay on-site, but I’m one of the only friends who didn’t grow up in or currently live in her hometown, so while they all know each other and have partners, I’d kind of be the odd one out. I am a bit of an introvert myself, so that doesn’t make things really easy. And in the emotional shape I’m in right now, for a five-day trip, I really would like to have my husband with me. I genuinely enjoy spending time with him! And emotional support! And right now that time away just feels really critical.

I guess don’t really know what my question is. I feel really hurt and like I’m being punished for having a less-than-perfect relationship. I understand that the wedding is really expensive and finances are tight, but their wedding plans are pretty extravagant by any measure, and it stings that the one budget item that didn’t make the cut is my marriage—but the fancy chairs for a hundred-plus guests did. How do I handle this? I refuse to choose a destination wedding over my own marriage, flawed as it might be, but I really, really love this girl. Our friendship is so important to me that I can’t imagining losing it. My family aside, they are the two most important people in my life, and I feel hopelessly caught in the middle and so, so hurt. Maaaaaaybe my husband and I can scrape together the money, but even so, it stings that we’re literally the only ones out of a large guest list to do so. It makes me feel like he’s unwanted and that by extension, I am as well. I also don’t know how to tell my husband what she told me for fear that it’ll just drive a wedge between them, which will make this an ongoing either/or choice for the rest of our lives. And I can’t imagine my life without either of them.

Please help! I could really use a balanced outside perspective on this.

—hurt bestie

A:DEAR hurt bestie,

I can tell this feels impossibly difficult to you right now, and I’m sorry. By all accounts you’ve had a rough year, and there is nothing more frustrating than feeling like everything is better and then getting thrown back into the mess.

Advice From Me (With Help From My BFF)

But you asked for a balanced outside perspective and (with the help of my best friend, who I also had weigh in on this), I’m going to give it to you. Fair warning, you won’t like it. To cut to the chase, I think you should go, without him, and without any anger toward your best friend. For so many, many reasons.

First, let’s be very clear about reality. Your husband is not “sorta-kinda not invited.” That is not a thing that is true. He is invited. Your best friend has just declined to pay to subsidize the cost of his trip.

And why might that be? Let’s examine the last year from her perspective. She loves you, I assume like all best friends do, with a fierce and passionate loyalty. Your husband takes you away to an isolated and dangerous place. Once he has you there, he stops talking to you or getting out of bed. You are hospitalized for your own issues and he doesn’t support you. When she reached out to him with concern, he basically blows her off. When you say she blames him, it’s hard for me as an outsider to see why she is wrong to do so!

You and your husband have reconciled. To be honest, when your description of a man includes, prominently, “he’s never been violent,” that’s actually a really bad sign, in my experience. But it’s your marriage and I don’t know. Maybe its great! Maybe this was a true and genuine turning point. Maybe you are both getting really excellent mental health treatment and you’re back in a safe area with a big support network and everything is roses. But has your husband reconciled with your best friend?

I think for this reconciliation to work, you need to be honest with your husband. And that includes being able to tell him that your bestie is mad at him, and why. Surely he is aware that his behavior was Not Good? You say you can’t tell him she feels this way or it will drive a wedge between them. If he can’t understand that she’s upset about his behavior and isn’t ready to move on yet, is he really addressing his role in the breakdown of your marriage?

You have been back together for one month! ONE. “Hey, you’re obviously invited to bestie’s wedding, but she isn’t going to be able to subsidize the cost for you. Since we weren’t together as she was finalizing her plans, and her wedding is in two months, it just isn’t in the cards. And, honestly, I think she’s still a little mad about the whole last year. I’m clearly going, do you want to come? We can probably get the money together if you do, but I also don’t mind going by myself if you don’t want to.” Why pretend everything is perfect when it’s been an absolute disaster of a year? I think the best way back from that has got to involve a matter-of-fact acknowledgment of reality.

Break The Glass On The Advice If I’m Wrong

But I’m open to entertaining the idea that I’m wrong here, so let’s also take the opposite point of view. Your relationship is on the ups, and you need your friend’s full support. Your best friend is flat out wrong to be mad. She should be treating him like any other SO.

All that being the case, I still think you should go without him. You’ve had a rough time of it, and she showed up for you. She invested herself in this friendship and saw you through a really hard thing. It is now your turn to show up for her, even if she’s making some choices you don’t agree with. So yes, it might be less than ideal to attend without your husband. It was probably less than ideal for her to be panicking at not being able to reach her suicidal best friend in a scary faraway place, but she showed up for that, so you can handle a few days in a resort that aren’t your favorite days ever. Being your friend over the last year wasn’t really easy, which means that you can step it up for her and attend her wedding, even if it’s hard. Being a best friend means that you show up for her even when she’s wrong or if it’s inconvenient. It means that you owe her some grace. Nothing would do more to repair her relationship with your husband than him being gracious and understanding about this, and I think you should ask yourself why you aren’t comfortable asking that of him.

Bottom line though? Your problem is the kind of problem born out of having a friend who has deep, fierce, and protective love for you. No matter how you decide to manage this situation, remember that this kind of friend is worth hanging on to, even when you aren’t seeing eye to eye. She had your back. Now it’s time to have hers.

—Amy March

HAVE A WEDDING QUESTION?
EMAIL ME: AMYMARCH [AT] APRACTICALWEDDING [DOT] COM.

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  • CMT

    I’m so sorry to be this person, but is there a word missing from this sentence?

    To be honest, when your description of a man includes, prominently, “he b,” that’s actually a really bad sign, in my experience.

    I only ask because I really want to know all of what Amy March is saying!

    • Lisa

      Thank you for asking this! I tried to do a search for that term because it figured so heavily in that portion of the advice.

    • penguin

      I had the same question! The “b” is bolded, which makes me think there was some kind of HTML error (just a guess though).

      I kept trying to say “he be” in a way that made sense, and so far haven’t found one.

    • Katharine Parker

      I agree with Penguin that it appears to be a html error, and I would like to know which thing Amy is referring to.

      I also find the last sentence of the second paragraph to be missing a subject in the last clause: “My husband wasn’t really in any shape to be much support, and I felt totally alone and abandoned, then had emotional affair that really damaged our marriage.” Which party had an emotional affair?

      • Amy March

        She did. Trying to fix that, thanks!

        • Katharine Parker

          Hmm… I would be very interested in the friend’s perspective on the emotional affair.

    • Amy March

      Yes! Trying to fix that, just an editing error. It’s meant to read “he’s never been violent.”

  • Ashlah

    Huh. I’ll be honest, I was really surprised by this answer. It’s the complete opposite of what I expected! I’m curious to hear what others think. Despite her friend’s experience, I don’t think it’s her place to judge whether he deserves to be at the wedding in the same capacity as other guests’ partners. I know “not subsidizing” isn’t the same as not inviting, but in this scenario, it pretty much feels the same. If I were LW, I would feel like my friend wasn’t respecting my decision to work things out with my spouse, or like she felt like she had a better understanding of my marriage than I do, and I’m not sure I would be comfortable going.

    • Lisa

      I was surprised, too. Does she know that finances are tight for the LW right now? If so, she basically invited him in a way that she knows he won’t be able to come. I guess the advice boils down to “ovaries before brovaries”?

      • SS Express

        Yeah, it feels like she doesn’t want him there at all but presented it as “we can’t cover the cost so he’ll have to pay his own way [which I know isn’t possible for you guys right now]” so she could avoid the awkwardness of straight up saying he’s not welcome.

        • penguin

          Right, which is why I was surprised at the final answer. Usually when someone getting married invites all spouses but one (or otherwise excludes one spouse), it’s reallllly frowned upon by most of APW. I think the bestie/bride here isn’t being great overall, although I’m sympathetic to her position.

          • Amy March

            I also think the bride isn’t being great. But sometimes your best friend isn’t great, and you still show up for her. I think this is one of those times, and I also think it’s just different to not subsidize his cost versus say he cannot come because he isn’t invited.

          • Jan

            I agree that sometimes we have to show up even when our friends aren’t being great, but I don’t think the LW should let this go without discussing it with the bride. No one is in a fantastic position here– it’s complicated for the bride and for the LW. If the LW is going to have to deal with her own shitty position, I don’t see why she shouldn’t also have a much-needed conversation with her best friend about how this sucks for her.

          • Amy March

            Don’t see anywhere I suggested LW not discuss it with the bride! I’m all for conversations.

          • Jan

            Of course— didn’t mean to imply that you discouraged the conversation. I just wanted to make the point that being there for your friend doesn’t necessarily mean just grinning and bearing it, and in this case I think a conversation between friends is important.

        • Jan

          Which is a pretty shitty thing for a best friend to do.

      • Sarah E

        Absolutely. The non-subsidization, while an invite in theory, is a non-invite in practice.

    • Jessica

      I get it. I support this answer from Amy.

      My best friends were there for both my husband and I during the recovery, but there was a point where I was traveling without him, because we all needed a break from pretending everything was something it wasn’t. I needed a break–and distance can be a very good thing for perspective and healing. I don’t know if the bff in LW’s letter handled the messaging well, but I completely understand her position.

      Sounds like husband needs to make amends with the friend over time, and LW needs to keep working on the marriage with honesty and vulnerability.

      • Zoya

        I was wondering what your take on this would be, Jessica!

    • GCDC

      I think this advice boils down to two rules:

      1. You don’t get to judge the relevance of other people’s relationships; and
      2. You don’t get to dictate how other people spend their money.

      I see the bride/best friend as walking on the really thin path where these two rules have collided. Rule 1 generally dictates/suggests that you don’t draw arbitrary lines for inviting guests’ significant others. And bride/best friend hasn’t done that. Husband is invited, even though he wasn’t with the LW when, presumably, invitations were sent and arrangements were being finalized. Rule 2 generally dictates/suggests that guests shouldn’t feel entitled to certain expenditures from the people throwing the party. Under one reading of the facts, the LW is violating Rule 2, because while husband is invited, bride/best friend isn’t offering to pay money for him to stay at the resort. Under another reading of the facts, maybe bride/best friend is crossing Rule 1, in that she’s not offering the same terms and conditions to the LW’s husband as she is to the other wedding party members’ significant others. But I guess I’m just not very sympathetic to that reading of things, especially considering that LW and her husband were separated until recently.

      • sofar

        You pin-pointed EXACTLY why this is such a tricky issue!

    • Katharine Parker

      This is a rare case where I feel pretty ambivalent about both sides.

    • You know, when the answer came in, it surprised me too. But the more I thought about it, the more I started to agree with it.

    • Sara

      I’m both surpised and not. On one hand, I agree that that dis-inviting a husband of your bridesmaid is a big slap in the face. But as Amy points out, the BFF probably went though a horrendous amount of anxiety trying to help her best friend from far away, so I can see her not being ready to entertain her husband on HER day.

      • Her Lindsayship

        This, and also, as Amy pointed out, the relationship between husband and best friend is not something LW can magically repair. Husband might be able to repair it, but only if he learns the truth about his invitation status. If he can’t deal with the fact that best friend is having a hard time forgiving him, then idk, maybe he’s not really working as hard on this marriage as LW is.

        • G.

          Yep, this is the point of my long response above. Repairing a relationship with the LW is not the same as repairing/making amends/reconciling with her friend. He’s got to take the initiative to do the latter before either can expect a subsidized invite.

      • PAJane

        Was he DIS-invited, though? Was he ever invited to begin with? If the first time his invitational status is being discussed is now, mere months before jumping on the plane, it sounds like up until now the answer to whether or not he was going seemed obvious to at least the bride.

    • G.

      I’m 100% Team Amy here.

      For context, my sister and her husband almost got divorced (things were rough, he cheated, etc) a few years ago. When things were bad, they were really bad. She was depressed and close to suicidal (or appeared to be). The other siblings/partners, parents, several of her close friends, and I were doing everything we could to support her — hours-long phone calls, picking her up in the middle of the night when he walked out and she didn’t want to be alone, letting her stay with various of us when she needed to be away from him, finding a way to get my sister to still be at my brother’s wedding and then shepherding her away quietly when she started to lose it, etc. Then, all of the sudden, when the mistress’ family got wind that he was actually still married (he had lied to them — gone on vacation with them, etc), they convinced her to end things with him. All the sudden he was open to reconciliation and going to therapy. Since then, they appear to have reconciled, by which I mean they’re still married. Meanwhile, despite the fact that we were all there for her while the shit was going down, we have no real sense of what’s happening now. They’ve expected us to greet him with open arms and warm hellos, but he never reached out to us to reconcile or even gesture toward an apology. So we…tolerate him. We don’t forbid him from coming to stuff, but we’re not on good terms. Frankly, we’re all still pretty pissed at him, in part because he hasn’t indicated to us that he’s taken responsibility for his behavior and is taking steps to change it. Like really change it. We pretty much expect this to happen again, it’s just a question of when.

      You can’t lean on people when shit hits the fan and expect them to embrace the husband when you don’t clue them in on what’s changed and how. I’m not saying I need a ticket to watch therapy sessions. But I was talking to my sister daily for hours to support her as he did shitty things, flew across the country to support her when she was not doing well, and now I hear from her…once a month? Her husband has never approached us — family or friends — and said anything about that time. It seems he wants to believe we just forgot it, or erased it. And, well, that’s not how it works. I haven’t forgotten. I don’t trust him. I don’t like him. And I wouldn’t go out of my way to make him feel welcome at a wedding, since he isn’t. I wouldn’t bar him, but I wouldn’t make it easy. And I think this is fair — if he wants access to me, my events, my life, then he needs to approach me and acknowledge the past and reconcile with me as well. Reconciling with my sister doesn’t mean he’s reconciled with the rest of us. A mature person can realize that, an immature person…probably not.

    • If I were the LW I’d *feel* like not subsidizing is the same as not inviting, but in actuality I think they are in fact pretty different. I don’t think that LW should go alone, but I do kind of think she should pretend really hard that the budget excuse her friend is giving is legit.

      Honestly, it sounds like to me that all three of these relationships have taken a bit of a beating and it kind of sounds like the best friend may still need some more active relationship repair. Having people close to you go through something as intense as LW can generate a lottttt of fear and anger, and the best friend may not have had the chance to heal that LW and her husband have.

    • Ashlah

      I want to thank everyone here for this discussion. You’ve all (Amy’s original advice included) made me rethink a lot about this situation, and helped me see more from the bride’s POV. In particular, I skimmed over the fact that this change to the guest list is happening so close to the wedding. In general, though, I can see why, regardless of finances, this is a tough sell for the bride. I still really feel for the LW too, though. It’s a really rough, emotional situation for everyone involved.

    • Jan

      I was surprised by the advice as well. I just keep thinking about how I’d have handled this situation when I was struggling with my ex-husband, and I think this would have really felt like a slap in the face. Like, I’m trying so hard, and this person I am so close with, that I’ve been vulnerable with and been honest with about what’s happening, for them to sort of disregard all of that and essentially cut him out (which, let’s face it, is what’s happening)? I don’t know. That would suck.

      I do get the advice given. I don’t think it’s wrong, necessarily. I just also really feel for the LW, and think maybe there’s some middle ground here (perhaps involving not just a frank conversation with the husband, but with the BFF as well).

  • Katharine Parker

    I can see both sides of this, especially since not subsidizing the husband in the way that every other guest is subsidized feels unfair when that punishes the LW, too, as it sounds that she and her husband share finances.

    Also, it seems like no one actually believes that this is due to wedding budget or space constraints. Have the LW and her BFF had a truly honest conversation about why the BFF is upset with the LW’s husband? Has the LW’s husband apologized to the BFF for blowing off her concerns about the LW?

    • Lisa

      I don’t think the LW’s husband is even aware that the friend is mad at him currently because she said, “I also don’t know how to tell my husband what she told me for fear that it’ll just drive a wedge between them, which will make this an ongoing either/or choice for the rest of our lives.” She should have a frank conversation with her husband about her friend’s feelings and how he treated her during a time of crisis. Hopefully that would spur him to discuss it with the friend. If he tries to turn it back on the friend, then I think that says a lot about him and how he views his role in the LW’s breakdown, which would be useful information for her moving forward. (Like if he gets angry about all of this and can’t see the friend’s perspective and minimizes her after everything she did for the LW… then I would have serious doubts about the sincerity of their reconciliation.)

      • Amy March

        Yup.

      • Katharine Parker

        Yeah, husband needs to understand why the friend is upset and take responsibility for that, including an apology.

        The LW is still so in the middle of this situation in her marriage that it is hard to gauge how things will shake out. I’m more on team BFF as I think about it.

        • Zoya

          Yup yup. If the husband hasn’t apologized and started doing his own work to mend fences with the best friend, that’s a problem.

      • Sara

        I think if the husband was surprised the BFF was mad at him that would be a huge red flag. He has to know at the very least that BFF was LW’s support when he wasn’t. I would be shocked if he thought everything was fine with their relationship after that year.

        • Lisa

          Yes to the red flag. I’ve heard it said before that sometimes, when you tell someone something about yourself, their reaction tells you everything you need to know about them. I’m not sure if this is quite at that level, but given the large emotions and high-stakes situations at play here, it’s close.

      • AP

        Right…and the conversation with the husband could be very revealing. A husband who’s committed to getting healthy and rebuilding their marriage should be understanding and appreciative of the ways that the best friend was there for his wife when he wasn’t and would realize he had some damage control to do and take responsibility for that. If his reaction is defensive, blaming the friend, forcing a choice between himself and the friend…then I think that would be really good info for LW to have. As it stands, she’s protecting him from feeling the full effects of his behavior over the past year (and as someone who was once married to a drug abuser, I get that impulse. I really do.) But the husband’s relationship with the friend is his responsibility to rebuild, and the timeline may be longer than the upcoming wedding will allow.

        • Jessica

          I have been in the situation of giving husband not great news and feeling attacked by his reaction. I highly recommend LW tell her husband and take stock of the reaction–and how SHE FEELS about the reaction.

        • PAJane

          Pay attention to who draws an ultimatum. The bride isn’t asking LW to choose between her and the husband. She’s open to him coming, with whatever degree of grudge. I would be curious to see if the husband does.

          • MTM

            It kind of is an ultimatum if LW and husband can’t afford the un-subsidized cost for husband to attend.

      • emilyg25

        Yes. If she can’t have a frank conversation with her spouse, well they still have a lot of work to do on their marriage.

    • Her Lindsayship

      “Have the LW and her BFF had a truly honest conversation about why the BFF is upset with the LW’s husband?”

      I think this convo needs to happen. I think LW may need to be prepared to hear some cutting truths about her husband from her BFF, and I also think LW should be allowed to tell BFF that the psuedo-invitation for her husband has put her in a painful position. I definitely don’t think that convo should happen before the wedding, because it would sound like LW is demanding husband get a resort subsidy and that’s not ok, and also because BFF needs some time to focus on her wedding for just a little bit. But later, when the wedding is past and things with husband are a little more stable, I think this convo is warranted. Along with one between husband and BFF of course.

  • sofar

    I read the letter twice, and there are two possible scenarios:

    a) Bride and LW were operating under the assumption that LW would be divorced by the wedding. And so bride, when drawing up her budget on whom to subsidize, was leaving out LW’s soon-to-be-ex. And then, a month before the wedding (surprise!) LW expected her to add him back to the balance sheet.

    b) Bride is refusing to subsidize LW’s husband to Make A Point about LW’s husband specifically (and packaging this as wanting to “protect LW” and/or wanting to keep costs down). However, if another bridesmaid suddenly dumped her fiance and got engaged to a different person in the next couple months, she would subsidize this new fiance.

    We will never know which is the case. In any case, bride pays for what and whom she wants. But her decision is hurtful.

    I agree that Amy’s advice is valid, especially because LW was the one to drag the bride into her marital troubles in the first place. LW may just want to admit, “You know what, she was there for me, I dragged her through all this crap, and these are the consequences. I want to be her bridesmaid.”

    However, the bride also does not get to dictate how anyone (even a bridesmaid) spends their money or vacation time. So (assuming the LW hasn’t already RSVP’d yes and the bride hasn’t paid for anything on her behalf) an equally valid alternative would be for LW to say, “Look, we can’t both afford to come if my husband pays full price. As you know, we are working things out, and my husband and I have agreed it’s not great for me to blow our travel budget for the year on a vacation only I can take. I’ll have to step down as bridesmaid.”

    • Sara

      To go with your point A – it is kind of unfair of LW to equate renting chairs with her husband attending. Presumably, the bride knew about the chairs from the beginning. They were always part of the budget and were factored in from early on. Her husband on the other hand was out of the picture for this trip until a month ago, which is a surprise cost to a budget. And if she’s subsidizing a lot of the guests, its not just another plate at dinner she has to pick up. If its only a couple months away, it could be she honestly can’t afford an unexpected hit to the budget.

      • Sunday

        Not to mention that it’s *her* wedding. She gets to pick the damn chairs that she wants. I’ll go further and say it’s totally unfair of LW to bring that up and it’s not relevant, for the reasons you stated. LW is mad and looking for things to back that up. I totally get it. But it’s still unfair.

      • rg223

        I wish I could upvote this ten more times.

    • Katharine Parker

      A little bit of (a) and a little bit of (b) is also likely–bride was assuming that LW would be split up, so she made her budget plans without him; when LW asked about husband attending, bride could have shuffled things to pay for him but decided against it for the many reasons being discussed–to make a point, because she’s upset and angry at him, to encourage the LW to get away for a few days, so that their possibly volatile(?) relationship doesn’t erupt during the wedding festivities, etc.

      • Amy March

        I think it’s probably a bit of both- it is a financial challenge to subsidize another person last minute and also she hates him and doesn’t want to.

        And if Bride had written in I probably would have pressed her on that and suggested that she really try to find it in the budget, but she didn’t.

        • K.K.

          As Bride in this scenario (not this one, but a likely a fairly similar future one), why are my emotions less important than my friends’ at my own wedding if I have just been through a year of stress due to my friend’s husband?

          • Amy March

            That’s a whole other question entirely (pls write in!) but generally you have to invite spouses, regardless of how you feel about them, because that’s just how it all works. Way too big of a subject to delve into in too much detail here though!

          • K.K.

            Eh, fair enough. I don’t think I’d be comfortable saying enough publicly (even quasi-anonymously) to write in for myself, but I would love to see where people think the tipping point is so I can privately evaluate where this particular instance falls in relation to it.

          • Em

            I don’t think there’s any particular tipping point except your own line of when it’s worth it. You always have the choice not to follow etiquette, but you need to accept there will be consequences. Do you have good reasons for not inviting your friend’s husband, and will your friend understand and happily come alone? The consequences are minimal, probably worth it. Do you have good reasons but your friend will be angry and maybe not come to the wedding? Up to you whether those consequences would be worth it.

      • sofar

        Definitely! I hadn’t thought of the possibility that the bride might also not want a relationship explosion during her wedding and, since she can’t NOT invite someone’s husband, she’s going the he’ll-need-to-pay-full-price-and-I-know-he-can’t-afford-that-so-maybe-he’ll-stay-home route.

        • Katharine Parker

          Suggesting that they could stay 20 minutes away (and thus not be present at the all-inclusive all the time) seems like a message.

  • ManderGimlet

    My take: a little of column A, a little of column B. I think your friend has a right to be mad but is showing it in a petty, punishing way that affects you more than anyone else in this scenario. I think it’s unfair of her to socially isolate you but say it’s because she loves/cares about you so much. Those things don’t jive and she is being very dishonest with you about her reasons. She can decline to pay for him, but you deserve honesty.
    I also think that you need to have a frank talk with your husband about last year and be prepared for a whole other can of worms to be opened and more work having to be done.

    Were I in your position: go with your husband and stay off site. You will have a TERRIBLE time by yourself (and you better believe everyone else there will take his absence as license to give you their opinion of him) and may never forgive your friend for 5 days of misery and judgement. Let everyone see you and your spouse making the effort together, standing together even as they want to push you out. Your friend is laying down a challenge. Face it with your husband together and let her know that your marriage, and hers too, is something worth fighting for.

    • sofar

      I …really like this advice.

    • G.

      Eh, I don’t think the bride is trying to socially isolate LW. She’s creating a choice: be with the wedding party onsite (socially embedded) or stay offsite with your partner (socially partnered). There are financial and social consequences, to be sure, but an independent adult should be able to attend a wedding on her own or make a decision to stay offsite or decide to fork over the funds to bring partner and stay onsite. Each choice–which LW gets to make–has consequences, but that doesn’t mean the goal is to socially isolate LW (even if it feels like that).

      • Amy March

        I keep coming back to this. Until a month ago, sounds like LW was actually planning to attend alone.

        • ManderGimlet

          I didn’t pick up on that, it seems like she was asked a long time ago to be a bridesmaid but now “yesterday” she was told her husband would not be subsidized though the partners of all other bridal party members would. I don’t think LW ever intended on going to this wedding alone.

          • Amy March

            Well, until a month ago, she and her husband were separated. So that’s where I’m getting the idea she might have been expecting to go alone.

          • I don’t see anything in the letter that says the LW and her husband were ever officially separated. She says that they nearly got divorced, but not that they decided to separate, or even lived apart or gave any other indication to their social circle that they were no longer together. The way I read the letter, LW and her husband were both originally invited to the wedding a while back, with the subsidies, and then after the rough patch in their relationship and their reconciliation, the BFF decided to withdraw the husband’s subsidy.

          • penguin

            This is how I read it too – that they were having relationship problems, but not that they had actually separated.

          • chartreuse

            I think if that were the case, LW would not have said, “On the one hand, I understand her position — we only reconciled about a month ago and the wedding is now just a couple months away…” That says to me that the bride, at least, knew they were not together and struck the guy from the invite list completely on that understanding. If this was a rough patch but LW and Husband didn’t formally separate or make any kind of announcement, that sentence would not make sense.

      • S

        I get what you’re saying, but if nobody else attending has to make that same choice and everyone else gets to be together with no caveats, it is a little isolating and exclusionary. Sure, if she stays off-site she’ll be with her husband and not alone. But everyone else will all be together, WITH their spouses, as one big group. I’m not saying I fault the bestie for making this call or drawing this line in the sand. I really do understand, and don’t think she should be obligated to subsidise the husband. But let’s also acknowledge that the cabin the twins are put in in The Parent Trap – together – apart from the rest of the camp is called the Isolation Cabin. For a reason.

        • Sarah E

          Yeah, I’m with you on this. Even without vilifying the BFF, the difference between what’s true on paper (of course he’s invited! The off-site place isn’t that far!) and what’s true in practice (they really can’t make the invitation work without $$ help. the off-site place will absolutely be the forgotten-about-not-in-on-all-the-inside-jokes place) is very different.

        • penguin

          I also think the choices suck because the area is unsafe, so the choices are 20 minute walk offsite with husband or stay on-site alone.

    • Ros

      I 100% agree with that first paragraph.

      With regards to the advice, though… I agree with a really big caveat: I think it’s important to discuss the issue with the LWs husband first. Because his reaction would say a lot if it’s blame-shifting and minimizing of the past year (and that’s valuable information you’d want to know), whereas (for me, at least), a husband who responded something like “that’s not ideal, it sucks, I’m sorry last year was rough enough to bring this on, we will keep working together to make it better, and in the meantime, go alone we can afford it/stay offsite with me it’ll be fun/let’s make it work so we can both go” is a guy I wanna be with.

      … and, incidentally, having the discussion might help inform your choice of how/whether/with who you attend this wedding.

  • Katharine Parker

    I would be so interested in the friend’s perspective on the LW’s relationship. How does the friend describe the past year of the LW’s marriage? The LW’s emotional affair? Her concerns about the husband? Does the friend think the husband could ever make repair that former brotherly relationship?

    • Amy March

      Like, if I were sitting with this friend over wine, I am so sure she has Things To Say about this and 100% of them are not pro-husband.

      • Katharine Parker

        I’m also curious about this massive destination wedding, so wine with this friend would be fun.

  • penelope

    I like Amy’s answer, because I can see both sides of this, too.

    On the one hand, the bride’s trying to punish LW’s husband, but the person the bride is really putting in a tight spot here is LW, the friend she’s supposed to be supporting. The husband owes the bride some major apologies (if I thought a friend of mine was suicidal and their long-term partner blew me off, I’d have a hard time forgiving the partner, too) but that should be handled separately, in a way that minimizes the effect on LW.

    On the other hand, it sounds like any letter the bride wrote Amy would read a little something like this:

    “Amy, my bridesmaid and close friend is going through a really, really rough patch. [Insert litany of the ways in which husband behaved badly.] When we finalized the guest list and arrangements, they were separated, and I confess I was really relieved about that. Now friend announces that she and her husband are back together and she’d like to bring him along! The trouble is that I’m subsidizing the cost of the trip for the rest of the bridal party, and even one more guest adds a lot to my costs. Plus I’m furious with this guy. He’s treated her abysmally and he hasn’t treated me well either. I told my friend that I’ll continue to subsidize her costs, but if he wants to come, it’s on his dime. Was that out of line?”

    LW, when you separate from your spouse, the two of you no longer get to be treated as a social unit. Going back on that is naturally going to cause a problem for an event like this. Your reunion is just one month old!

    • Abs

      I was thinking exactly this. Also, as always, it’s really important for LW to consider that even if the whole wedding seems “extravagant” and it looks like there’s all kinds of money flying around, she may well not have the whole story. At a guess, with the year she’s had she hasn’t been keeping up with every detail of the wedding planning. Resort weddings often do things as a package–the fancy chairs may have come with the venue. It is entirely possible that the bride is choosing between paying for the whole cost for some relative who is in dire straits and subsidizing this guy who treated her friend like shit. Not to mention that feeling that everyone gets at the end of “OMG everything is so expensive where can I cut costs?”

      Basically–LW probably has it right that it’s not all about the money, but it may also kind of be about the money. And I think best friend is owed a little benefit of the doubt here.

  • Zoya

    I think this is also about the relationship between bride and husband. It sounds like there was a pre-existing relationship (whether an independent friendship or a we-both-love-the-same-person-ship) that sustained some damage during this period. In that case, it’s on the husband to apologize and mend fences with this person, rather than having his wife run interference. If that hasn’t happened, I can see why the bride would be hesitant to subsidize a ticket for someone with whom she’s had a falling-out.

  • Sara

    I’m curious what LW was planning on doing before she reconciled with her husband. Was she planning to go alone? Or was she banking on reuniting with her husband? Because if she was planning on going alone to begin with, she should keep her original plans.

    • Zoya

      I was just thinking about how weddings this size are large, slow-moving boats. It’s just not possible to change direction in order to address every guest’s real-time personal life. Obviously there’s more going on than that here, but LW might find it helpful to focus on the more innocuous frame of, “This wedding invitation reflects where our relationship was at the time decisions had to be made,” and behave accordingly. Then, once the wedding-dust has settled, there’s more time and breathing room to hash out the stuff underneath.

      • PAJane

        Asking the bride to throw another guest on the subsidized list is also a bigger deal than, say, $150/head wedding at a traditional, local venue, where people’s RSVPs are not set in stone until they actually show up day of. This is expensive destination travel, planned long in advance, and people have already made their plane and resort reservations. If you took away the context of their relationship fallout and its aftermath, nobody would consider that a reasonable expectation.

  • I think that the advice that LW’s husband needs to make some kind of reconciliation with her best friend is spot-on… That sounds like a terrifying experience for her, and and having that acknowledged and reflected to go a long way.

    That said, I really do think that LW is being put in a terrible situation — Spending your what sounds like limited vacation money on a trip where your husband feels excluded while you are trying to rebuild a marriage, all while already wrestling with limited mental health resources sounds incredibly difficult.

    I’m not sure how unsafe the area is, but to be honest if it were me the 20 minute walk away guest house would definitely be my pick. Being a little isolated sucks, but if you are both introverts having access to downtime might not be the worst, and it sounds like it’s a better option than going without your husband or having to drop out of your best friend’s wedding?

  • Jennifer Bockelman

    This isn’t the first answer I’ve read on this site that I wholeheartedly disagree with. While I understand the bride’s point of view, and I went through a very similar situation when I married recently, the fact remains that she is asking LW to support her, spend money to attend a destination wedding, buy a dress, buy a wedding gift, and whatever other costs are associated with being a BM (which there are many), but is making it more difficult to her by putting her in a position that essentially uninvites LW’s husband. Because whether she technically uninvited him or not, by making it almost financially impossible for them to swing it, that’s what she has done. If she wasn’t subsidizing anyone else’s stay, then it wouldn’t be a big deal. But she is specifically singling out LW and her husband. That feels so wrong to me. LW and her husband are still married and are working on reconcile and they should be treated like every other couple there.

    It sounds more to me, like others have pointed out, that bride assumed husband and LW would be divorced by wedding and is now scrambling to get finance stories in control.

    • Jennifer Bockelman

      *This IS** the first answer I’ve read that I disagree with! Typing too fast on a mobile…

    • Jennifer

      This IS** the first answer I’ve wholeheartedly disagreed with

      Finances in control**

      Typing fast on a mobile…

    • MC

      But I don’t think she kind-of uninvited him – it sounds like he wasn’t invited originally because Husband and LW were on the rocks, and now that they’ve reconciled, she gave LW a last-minute option for him to attend.

  • PAJane

    She planned this whole thing assuming that LW’s relationship with her husband would be on the rocks or nonexistent, so he wasn’t on the expected guest list. That’s the best anybody can do planning a wedding — plan to accommodate for the relationships people have at that time, and this particular marriage was Capital B Bad. There’s no way she could have anticipated their reconciliation a month ago, and so of course he’s not in her budget. So, in light of recent changes, she has offered the best compromise she can come up with: he’s welcome to come, but she can’t pay towards his costs, and there’s also this other cheaper housing alternative option, and LW and her spouse have some choices to make. None of this is ideal, but I’m not sure what else the bride could have done. She’s already trying to meet in the middle.

    • Jan

      What I’m hearing here is, don’t ever plan for your friend’s marriage to completely implode before your wedding date.

      • Honestly, I think that’s good advice! Nothing is set in stone until the papers are signed at either end of a marriage.

  • Lucy

    I will admit to being extremely cynical post-divorce. That said… I agree 1000% with Amy and would even add a few points. First, I wonder what your friend remembers about your husband during that rough period that you’re now forgetting/downplaying as you reconcile? People get serious cognitive bias during breakups and makeups, and what you might now think of as, “Oh, that?” could have been a sleepless night or three for your friend as she helped you through it. My mom once uninvited my uncle from Thanksgiving. She told her sister, “I love you and I want you here. But he is a serial philanderer with an active addiction who really, really hurt you, and he’s not welcome at my house.” I dunno, I think that’s a valid choice as a hostess. Not that your friend is even making that choice, because he is still invited to the wedding… Second, I know you’re just now reconciling and all, but being worried about how to tell him and not wanting to spend time apart during this time period (with the background of “he’s never been violent” which, again, completely agree with Amy there) throw up some red flags for me… Sorry. Maybe this is all about budget on your friend’s part, but I’m willing to bet it’s not.

    I think you should go alone, and pay close attention to how he reacts to that news and how you both handle your solo trip. Also, you can’t pin not having a good time on being “introverted.” For god’s sake, bring a few great books, grab a solo beach chair, and join in the fun whenever you feel resourced enough to do it. You might find it’s exactly what you need. Whatever you do, please don’t stay with him offsite–not because I think he’s going to turn violent or something, but because I have a feeling isolating is not what the two of you need right now.

    • PeaceIsTheWay

      Good point about cognitive bias.

    • G.

      This.

    • Abs

      All of this. Also–I feel like, as Amy said, no one in this situation has behaved perfectly. What that means is someone is going to have to forgive someone else. What LW seems to be saying is that it will be harder for her husband to forgive her best friend for not subsidizing his attendance to her wedding than it will for her best friend to forgive her husband for his behavior during the last year. To which I would say, REALLY?

      • MTM

        There’s A LOT of blame going towards the husband, but LW is playing a passive role in her own narrative: “[he] took us to a dangerous and very isolated area”, “I…also got a long, long overdue diagnosis for depression and anxiety that landed me in the hospital” and then blaming him for abandoning her (while he has his own mental health issues going on) as a reason for her having an affair. She’s then blaming her friend for the wedding issues, while not taking any ownership in the breakdown. LW took part in the destruction of her own marriage and is now feeling the consequences of her own behavior. I think the friend is okay in her non-invitation, but I think the blame for that is on the LW, not the friend.

        • Kathy

          I feel like everyone here is blaming the husband unfairly. He certainly did not behave properly, but neither did the other parts. And while the bride/bff did help the LW during a rough time, the husband was going through an equally rough time. The only mistake from the husband I see is Ithis “There were a few times where I was too depressed and overwhelmed to return her calls and when she reached out to him, he told her I was okay and didn’t adequately panic or react the way she expected him to.” But that is not even related to the friend. And if the LW is willing to work on her marriage, the friend should not take so personally faults that were not directed at her and that were committed by someone struggling with mental issues.

    • Yes, this. This was a rare one where I could see both sides and was a bit ambivalent too. On one hand I feel like every couple should have been offered the same accommodations, on the other, our friends and family often remember the ways partners hurt us that we elide as we try to reconcile. My best friends, who supported me when my husband was really crappy and I was crying to them all the time, do not answer his texts or calls, they are so through with him. He gets butt hurt about it, but he did the damage to those relationships through the way he treated me and it’s not my job to fix it. I don’t think that because I am trying to forgive him, that they have to as well.

      But one thing I found really concerning was that the LW seemed so worried about leaving the husband for just a few days to go to a wedding. A week apart is not going to break a reconciliation. A healthy, secure relationship benefits from, doesn’t suffer from, a week apart. There seems to be some fear there that, combined with the other mental health and emotional abuse issues that she described from earlier in the relationship, are concerning.

      The friend also might just doubt whether the reconciliation is really going to hold, and doesn’t want to waste her money, and is using the budget excuse to get around saying that. Maybe not paying for the partner feels rude and unsupportive, but telling her straight up, “I don’t know if he’s going to be in the picture in a month” would be even worse.

      This is a hard one. My heart goes out to the LW, she has had a rough time and it is a difficult situation. But I think she should respect her friend’s terms and go to the wedding. And that she still has a lot of deep self-work and relationship work to do as well.

  • PeaceIsTheWay

    I dunno. I think LW’s relationship with her spouse should take precedence over that with her best friend, for as long as they are working on their marriage. “Being there” for your BFF goes both ways- either LW can put her friend first and go be a bridesmaid without her husband, or the bride can put her friend first and either subsidize LW’s husband or understand if LW doesn’t make it.

    Tough situation for sure. The LW seems to sense that going without her husband would damage the fragile beginnings of rebuilding their marriage and I would trust that feeling and, frankly, not risk it.

    Finally, I think there is an underlying issue here which more money wouldn’t solve, and that is the tension- animosity?- between LW’s BFF and husband. I actually think Amy is placing too much of the blame for this on the husband, when as far as I can tell it should be shared by the BFF and LW herself. Not sure there is any way to resolve this in time for the wedding, though.

    • penelope

      Look, by LW’s own admission, when LW was depressed and suicidal, her husband didn’t help her at all and blew off BFF’s concerns about her well-being when she reached out to him. That is a major, major breach of trust, and not something I could easily forgive in a friend’s partner. Not to mention, LW’s letter leads us to understand that Husband does not know BFF is even angry with him, and is not angry with BFF himself, because as far as he knows BFF hasn’t done anything wrong. That’s not the kind of situation about which you can say “everyone fucked up here.” The more I think about it, the closer I’m getting to team BFF on this one.

      • PeaceIsTheWay

        I read the letter more as the LW and her husband both dealt with major mental and emotional health issues while abroad, neither supported the other for a while, and both actively damaged their marriage. I wonder if the husband has a best friend, what they would say about LW?

        • penelope

          That’s fair enough, and I wonder a lot about the emotional affair LW confesses she had. But you said: “[blame] should be shared by the BFF and LW herself.” The LW herself, probably. The BFF, no. Up to this point in time, she has done nothing but go above and beyond to support her friend.

          • PeaceIsTheWay

            Fair point! The bride is likely trying to be the best friend she can be.

        • megs

          I read it this way too. She also says that husband didn’t react in the way that BFF expected him to, which could mean a variety of things. For me, marriage > bestfriendship. You’ve solemnly vowed to put your spouse first, and I think that should be a priority when trying to decide between which relationship is most important to invest in. Yes, BFF helped though some shit and of course deserves to have LW’s support for her own marriage, but from my perspective marriage has to come first regardless.

          • S

            Yeah, and I feel like people might not necessarily understand that when you’re too depressed to get out of bed, as husband was, you’re probably not going to be wanting to answer the phone to talk to your wife’s best friend. I suffer depression and I honestly don’t know what I would do if I were in one of those blackest, can’t-shower-or-get-out-of-bed states, then my spouse was hospitalised with their own mental health setback that I somehow had to respond to and deal with while in that black state, and THEN outside of that people were calling me and expecting me to be “on”, and then my wife’s having an emotional affair and it’s all my fault for not being more expressive on the phone. Not to mention that depression or no-depression we all deal with serious issues in our own way. When I had to tell a friend our mutual friend died, I was cracking up internally because I was so dissociated from the situation. The fact that husband didn’t respond the way BFF expected or wanted doesn’t seem like a super giant crime here, to me at least. At the very least it shouldn’t be automatically decided that because he wasn’t X on the phone, it means he wasn’t feeling Y. Hey, it’s 100% possible I’m being way too considerate of the husband here and he was a bonafide jerk. But literally the only person in this letter we have information about RE: bad behaviour is the LW, so that’s what I’m going off. That, and my mental health background.

          • penelope

            LW writes: “I was too depressed and overwhelmed to return her calls, and when she reached out to him, he told her I was okay.” That doesn’t sound to me like BFF expected to have a nice chat with Husband and he was grumpy on the phone; that sounds like BFF was rightly worried about her best friend, and when she asked Husband what was up, he lied. LW was definitely not okay.

            There can be all sorts of explanations for why both LW and Husband behaved the way they did. I’ve had mental health stuff, too. I know sometimes when we’re in a bad place we do things we regret. But explanations aren’t excuses, and even though Husband did these things when he was in a bad place, he still did them, and he owes BFF an apology. The impact on BFF was the same regardless of Husband’s intent. Now, does LW also owe her husband some apologies? Sure sounds like it! But that is a different question from the relationship between BFF and Husband.

          • penguin

            Although I read that as, best friend was worried about LW’s safety (she wasn’t answering the phone), and husband let best friend know that LW was okay (okay as in, she’s alive and here, not as in she’s never been better).

          • penelope

            Ah! See, I don’t interpret “okay” to mean “alive and here” at all. I interpret “okay” to mean “functioning, you don’t have to worry” — which it doesn’t sound like LW was, and there was plenty of cause for BFF to worry, seeing as how LW ended up in the hospital.

            Like I said, though: there are lots of plausible explanations for why husband might have said these things, but they’re not excuses. There are a lot of comments here trying to get inside Husband’s head and figure out what he was thinking when he said this stuff, but BFF is not inside his head. What BFF knows is that he abdicated his responsibility to care for LW in her time of need, and when BFF tried to pick up the slack, he was unhelpful to the point of obstructionist. From BFF’s point of view, regardless of why he did it or what kind of place he was in when it happened, he blew her off when she was trying to get her friend some much-needed mental health care. Now that he’s out of the woods, he owes BFF a reckoning and an apology.

            There’s probably a whole other story here involving LW’s inability or refusal to help Husband out while HE was depressed, maybe even similar interventions on behalf of Husband by his friends, etc. etc. etc. I wouldn’t be surprised. LW doesn’t come out of this smelling like roses. But I think people are conflating *LW’s role in the situation* with *BFF’s role in the situation.* LW and BFF are not the same person! LW’s responsibilities to Husband and BFF’s are not the same!

            If Husband wants to maintain a good relationship with BFF, he’s got to be able to have an honest conversation with her about what went down and recognize that she was very hurt and afraid for her best buddy. If there are really some explanations for Husband’s behavior that he thinks might help BFF understand where he was coming from, BFF needs to hear that from him.

            I do think BFF is inappropriately trying to conflate two separate issues. She needs to keep the issue of finances (not having budgeted for Husband’s attendance on the understanding that he was not in the picture anymore) separate from her concerns about behavior and how she will interact with Husband going forward. She’s created more problems for her friend by mixing these issues together.

            But people are making it sound like BFF should keep her nose out of this couple’s business and has no right to be upset in the first place, and I don’t think that’s fair. Friends help each other out, LW turned to BFF in a really tough spot, and BFF showed up for her. I don’t think it’s fair to expect BFF not to have a lot of feelings about her friend getting hospitalized for mental health issues.

    • Sara

      I don’t think Amy is really blaming the husband, but saying that BFF’s point of view places a lot of the blame on him (the same admission is made by LW). And while I agree, that ‘being there’ goes both ways, it sounds like BFF put a lot of that energy into helping LW the last year. I can understand why she’s not helping LW in this case.

    • Sarah E

      I think there’s also a fallacy in thinking “You helped me for X period, which is now over. It is now my turn to support you for Y period, which begins now.”

      Just because they’re back together, in therapy, etc, doesn’t mean they aren’t still wading through the shit in their marriage. There is no magic “yes, depression over now” sign. This will be an ongoing issue in various intensities. And the same could be said for the best-friendship, too. All of these things are messy and overlapping, and while I agree it’s important to show the same level of care for a friend that they show you, it’s important not to let that slide into emotional score-keeping.

      • Amy March

        I mean though I think there is really something to be said for recognizing when you’ve needed a lot from a friendship and then trying to give back. There are clearly on going issues, but friend was there for a real crisis and it sounds like the critical part is over. But if you want to be a good friend, I think looking for opportunities to reciprocate is a good thing.

  • Neva Sullivan

    Oh my god. I literally cried reading this advice. I am currently in a similar position with my very best friend in the entire world. Long story short, we’ve been friends since 7th grade and are now almost 30 and she’s in the midst of a four 6 month marriage that I know will ultimately end in divorce. I will spare the details, but for the last two months I have been sent screenshot after screenshot of their worst fights, I’ve been on the receiving end of every detail of his emotional abuse, I’ve been disgusted by the things he has said and the way he has treated her. I’ve spent many sleepless nights thinking about their relationship and doing whatever is required to support my best friend/ sister. I’ve spent so much time on this, my own body and mind have broken down several times because of the sheer amount of time I have had to be “on-call” for her breakdowns during this. And I’m HAPPY to do this. But I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I’m terrified of the eventuality that they reconcile and the cognitive bias kicks in. My relationship with her husband has been and will be irrevocably damaged. I was fully expecting to read about how out of line this bride is for making the decision she made. It’s really honestly doing wonders for my own mental health to see the support she’s receiving.

    • Sunday

      That must all be so tough to deal with. She’s lucky to have a friend like you!

      • Neva Sullivan

        I know she’d do the same for me :)

    • K.K.

      I am in a very similar situation too – longer marriage, fewer screencaps, incredibly high stakes all around – and have read through so many discussions on APW of ‘there is no case to not invite the spouse of someone you are inviting’ that I have semi-seriously considered postponing my wedding until a hypothetical future divorce date. Reading this, the acknowledgement of all of the feelings involved and the nuance of this situation, made me feel so relieved. Thank you, Amy March! I will 100% talk to my bestie before moving my wedding date on her account, but I am not sure what I will do if the choices come down to inviting this man to our wedding or not inviting him and making her life worse because of it.

  • Anon

    Eesh, I think a few important things should be considered here — which, granted, aren’t really anywhere in the letter, and we can only operate from what we have, but it still bothers me that they weren’t taken into account.

    I can’t speak for all people with depression and/or anxiety, but I can speak from my own experience: My husband and I both experience these mental illnesses, and as much as we love each other, it’s damn hard to be supportive of each other’s health when we’re going through our own depressive episodes at the same time. LW’s husband laying in bed and not speaking to her? Yeah, I’ve done that. My husband has done that, while I’ve been a trainwreck myself. He’s also told people to piss off when they ask after me because that’s what he wants whenever he’s depressed — to be left alone. Was that what was in LW’s husband’s head when he told her best friend that LW was fine? I have no idea, but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. That’s something they should maybe talk about in the future, as well as how to make sure they always have a large support network.

    Secondly, I have awful social anxiety, and if this were me in LW’s situation, I would be having a panic attack about how to get my husband to go but also honor that my best friend has all but said she hates him. It’s VERY hard for me to be by myself in social situations, especially the one LW describes — a lot of the other bridesmaids know each other well, and she’s sort of the odd woman out. I’d love to have a very familiar face around, because lord knows I couldn’t rely on my friend — she is busy getting married, after all!

    I do believe that people need to take responsibility for their own mental health, and maybe LW’s husband didn’t do that here, in which case he’s completely in the wrong. But we don’t know that, nor what kind of stigma he might have been dealing with in whatever random place they were living. I’m really tired of people viewing severe depression as the person not trying hard enough when often, that just isn’t the case. Maybe these are things that LW needs to explain to her best friend.

    • Yeah, I strongly agree with all of this — I’m not sure that it really changes the advice, but I do feel like the mental health piece is of this huge. Based on the letter this seems less about the husband being an asshole and more about them both falling seriously ill at the same time in a place with no support network. (Although to be fair, I think it’s also possible that the friend got really hurt in a way that isn’t being fully acknowledged… Having someone you love hospitalized for suicidal behavior can be devastating in it’s own right.)

    • Lucy

      I see what you’re saying, but is mental illness an excuse for bad behavior? The LW can choose to stay with her husband and work it out despite the hurtful behavior on both sides. The friend doesn’t have to if what was said and done was too hurtful for her to just get over (not to mention it seems like the husband hasn’t made attempts to reconcile with the friend or acknowledge that hurt). I’ve been there, too, on both sides of it, and despite the underlying mental illness, sometimes the hurt is still too great and there’s a bell you can’t unring.

      • Lucy

        I mean, we’re all making a lot of assumptions and filling in blanks here, of course through the lens of our own experiences. So maybe I’m reading it wrong. While I agree that untreated mental illness can contribute to lots of behaviors, it doesn’t protect one from the consequences of those behaviors. Which, in this case, could be a hurt wife’s bestie not bending over backwards for you to attend her wedding.

      • I mean, when this whole story hinges around the mental health crises they were both having and the husband’s “bad behavior” is how he reacted to LW’s mental illness, it’s a pretty dang relevant factor. And frankly, if mental illness is a reason why LW couldn’t even take her best friend’s call, why on earth would it not be a reason that the husband couldn’t handle that call as well as he should have?

        Like, we are missing a lot of context, but there is definitely a potential scenario where the best friend is mad at someone who (metaphorically) is bed-ridden with a debilitating flu for not getting up and making soup for the other person who also has the flu.

        • Lucy

          I don’t think it’s not relevant; I just said it doesn’t excuse his behavior, which could be relatively minor or there could be more. Your scenario is definitely a possibility, but so are others.

          (I can’t see my other comment clarifying what I’m thinking, but I’ll c/p it from Disqus…)

          I mean, we’re all making a lot of assumptions and filling in blanks here, of course through the lens of our own experiences. So maybe I’m reading it wrong. While I agree that untreated mental illness can contribute to lots of behaviors, it doesn’t protect one from the consequences of those behaviors. Which, in this case, could be a hurt wife’s bestie not bending over backwards for you to attend her wedding.

          • Well yeah, in my experience it’s definitely true that getting badly sick – physically or mentally – usually comes with a whole shitton of negative consequences.

            I think it’s reasonable that the friend can’t/won’t subsidize the husband coming to her wedding. I think it’s pretty unreasonable to presume “bad behavior” based on the content of the letter.

    • S

      Thank you for this. The mental health stuff is a massive part of this for me. I understand that for people who don’t have that background, they might not be able to understand why husband wasn’t forthcoming or expressive or worried on the phone to the bestie. I don’t blame the bestie for her worry – she’s automatically on Team LW and her loyalty is placed there, and she might not have all the information, and/or might not be very educated on depression. And we don’t have all the information either. Maybe he was feeling much better when bestie called him and was deliberately callous. We don’t know. But for everyone reading this who doesn’t have this background with mental health, I hope you take the time to understand how serious depression can be and how it’s as much a disease as anything else.

  • EF

    spot on advice, amy. hard agree with situation A here – this is SO quick after getting back together and it’s really shitty to see your bestie be treated badly, only to go back for more (which is how i’ve always viewed it when my BFF stays with someone non-ideal).

    amy, i also like the formal logic here – ‘even if’ equations are my jam. nicely done.

    • Amy March

      Awww thanks. This was a hard one to answer! I think it would be really easy to just say that Bride should treat my husband like anyone else, she isn’t, so I’m not going and it’s all her fault. But I don’t think that really serves the LW well.

  • S

    I feel really uncomfortable about how line-in-the-sand it seems to be to so many people that her husband treated her terribly. Am I reading this wrong? He…got depression and couldn’t make it out of bed? Presumably the decision for him to take this job in this isolated area was made by both of them weighing up pros and cons, i.e money and career progression versus sacrifice of location, etc. It feels very weird and anti-the concept of marriage for anyone to blame him for the fact that they were there or the fact that he happened to get depression while they were there. Likewise, the reader’s depression and suicide attempt is not a big way she treated anyone bad either. As far as I can tell they both had a rough period of mental health, their communication understandably suffered (when you’re too depressed to get out of bed it can be hard to pay attention to what’s happening around you) and then she had an emotional affair. I’m sure it’s much, much more nuanced than all this, but I can only go off what I’ve read here.

    • S

      (Just in case it was unclear, by “anti-the concept of marriage” I mean that in my mind, when a married couple moves somewhere for one spouse’s job, I view that as a joint decision until I have reason to think of it otherwise, and then in my mind if the decision is made together, the idea of it being a selfish decision or only profiting one spouse or moving there “for” one party etc needs to be taken off the table. From the point where two people in a marriage sit down and decide to move to a new place so that one party can get a raise or career progression, the move and the extra money or job title is “for” both of them. One party didn’t “move” the couple there, they both moved there to take advantage of better opportunities for them as a team. Whatever happens on that move can’t be blamed on one party if it was a team decision.)

      • Amy March

        It can if you are one person’s BFF, and I was trying to illustrate how things reasonably could look through the eyes of someone who loves one person in a marriage very very much and not the other. Everything you said is why I won’t weigh in on whether or not reconciling is a good idea, but I think BFFs get to be Team My Person sometimes!

        • S

          Oh, for sure, and I’ve been there. My ex-bestie had such a horrible on and off boyfriend/fiance/husband/ex-husband that it eventually – after several years – ended our friendship. I’m sure she and I (and he!) all interpreted things very differently, and I know how I felt and acted only came from a place of love in that situation. I agree with most of your advice. I definitely think she should go (although I like one commenter below’s advice about going with the husband at whatever cost as a united front best.) But I feel like in some of the comments we’ve taken how the bestie might be feeling and why, for a blanket fact that the husband definitely treated her badly, and while I can see how the bestie gets there, I’m not sure how I, the reader, get there just based on what’s written.

      • MTM

        YES. I thought this too. LW was so passive in her narrative — him moving them to a dangerous area, her own unaddressed mental health issues, then the blame on him for her affair. There’s clearly a lot going on with their relationship and hubs got a bad deal in this letter response.

    • percysowner

      I think whatever the reality of the situation is, the bride only saw one side and therefore SHE sees it as line in the sand, mostly the husband’s fault. That’s what happens when you confide in a friend, they get your side, not a balanced view.

      For me this comes down to the fact that the bride thought the LW and her husband were broken up and that she wouldn’t have to pay for his expenses. Suddenly she’s being asked to come up with whatever part of the plane ticket she’s covering, more for a room, more for food and any other expenses that she’s covering. By now, she’s probably hitting her max budget and working him in is a bit of a hardship, a hardship she MIGHT have worked around if she hadn’t just come off a front row seat to her BFF’s nightmare.

      This is one month before the wedding and an extra thousand dollars, at a guess, can hurt. I have no problem with how the bride is handling it.

      • S

        I have no problem with how the bride is handling this, it based on the fact that the couple was recently separated. I’d probably handle it the same way. I have a problem with the fact that I’ve read a few comments that seem to have jumped on the “the husband treated LW badly” train when as far as I can tell, the only one who did anything wrong (again, probably way more nuanced than this, but I can only go off what the LW sent in) is the LW. It makes me wonder if LW was entirely honest with bestie bride about everything. It actually just makes me more confused and wanting more information, really. I know it’s human nature for people to maybe not be entirely honest about our own bad behaviour and to exaggerate the bad behaviour of others’ when we’re confiding in someone, so I understand why the bestie might be more mad at the husband than is warranted. I really think “be honest with your bestie about how badly YOU fucked up and make sure she understands how depression works and why husband might not have been super chatty on the phone” should be part of the advice here.

        • Erica

          There could definitely be some more nuance here but I felt the same way about how people have been responding to the BFF-Husband Phone Call Incident… Someone who is very depressed could easily look at someone else, whom they’re very close to, who is also very depressed, and say, “They’re okay. We’re both okay. It’s all fine,” just to get off the phone and go back to staring at the ceiling. That’s not a malicious lie, that’s the weirdness that happens when you and someone you love both slide into a breakdown in parallel and lose track of what “okay” even means anymore. LW was too depressed to take phone calls, isn’t it possible that her husband was too depressed to have a heart-to-heart with her best friend and take a realistic look about whether he and his wife were actually okay?

          • Zoya

            The thing I keep coming back to, though, is: has he apologized after the fact? Rushing her off the phone might be totally understandable given his mental state at the time, but it was also a shitty thing to do. Does he recognize that, now that he’s recovered enough to start repairing his marriage?

          • Amy March

            Yup. This is where I am at. And since LW is afraid to even tell him BFF is mad, I’m doubtful.

          • Erica

            I fully agree with you on that. I second what other commenters have said: the LW *needs* to tell her husband, very frankly, that the bride was hurt/worried by his actions and that husband & bride’s relationship is damaged because of that (LW may need to face that herself, since she seems to be under the impression that telling him this will “drive a wedge” between them, as if there’s not already damage done); how he responds will tell her a lot of necessary information about him, his mental state, and how their reconciliation is really going.

  • sara

    Huh, I super disagree with this advice. I don’t think it’s the place of a bride to judge the relationship of a *married couple*, at least without some seriously dangerous behavior on the part of the spouse. Obviously I would make exceptions for extreme cases like “I want to invite someone but they’re married to my rapist, can I uninvite the rapist?,” but this clearly does not meet that bar. I think it’s already tricky when brides try to judge the validity of non-married relationships (i.e. is this boyfriend serious enough to invite to my wedding, etc.) but these people are married! The bride shouldn’t get to decide some married couples have more “deserving” relationships than others, and I think it’s pretty shitty to do so. While it may not technically be “uninviting,” it’s clearly treating some married couples as more deserving of being included in the wedding as others and that’s just a weird and unfriendly thing to do, in my opinion. It doesn’t sound like the bride is worried about the husband causing an outburst or scene at the wedding.

    • chartreuse

      Yes, LW and Husband are married… but when Bride sent out the invitations, they were separated and actively divorcing. They’ve only been reunited for a month. If LW had actually divorced her husband, and then after the invitations had already gone out, started dating someone else, would you expect that person to be invited to the fancy destination wedding with the subsidized trip? After a month? I sure wouldn’t. I think it’s pretty generous that Husband’s still invited at all, much less subsidized.

      • MTM

        But it isn’t someone she’s been dating a month…it’s her husband with whom she never actually parted. There is a difference.

        • chartreuse

          She describes them as having “nearly divorced,” then “reconciled.” Ya can’t reconcile with someone you never parted from.

          • Jan

            I super disagree. “Reconciling” could refer to a decision to let bygones be bygones and recommit to the relationship with a fresh outlook. I’ve seen plenty of people do this.

          • chartreuse

            Okay, I’ll repeat to you more or less what I said above:

            LW says, “On the one hand, I understand her position — we only reconciled about a month ago and the wedding is now just a couple of months away…” That sentence would make no sense unless she at some point told the bride that they were not together anymore and she would not bring him to the wedding. If Husband had been invited all along and LW was representing them as a social unit still, the framing of that part of the letter would have been very different.

          • MTM

            I think there’s more gray area than what you’re describing. Reconciliation could also be used to describe being in a better place after going through what they went through. It’s not always 100% together or 100% separated…there can be a period of time where people don’t actually know what they want or which direction they are going to go. Regardless, he’s still her husband, and was never not her husband — that’s different than a 1 month boyfriend.

          • chartreuse

            That is true of troubled marriages in general, but I don’t see a way to read the letter that suggests that of LW’s case in particular, as I said above. And it may make an emotional difference that they’ve changed their minds and decided to stay together, but not in terms of logistics and finances. As far as the bride’s budget is concerned, LW wasn’t bringing someone, and now she is.

            I think we’ve about beaten this horse to death. You’re not going to convince me, and I see I haven’t convinced you.

      • Jan

        Where are people getting that they were actively divorcing? “We very nearly divorced” could mean they were separated, but could also just mean that they seriously considered it, had a super difficult time, etc. It says they reconciled a month ago, but that, too, could mean a million different things, right?

  • SS Express

    I mostly don’t agree with this advice. If your bridesmaid has a partner, you invite them. You can make an exception when someone is, say, violent or abusive, but not when someone didn’t adequately care for his sick wife and update her friends on her health while he himself was so sick he could hardly get out of bed. If a couple are married and committed to staying that way, it’s not up to the bride and groom to decide that things between them aren’t okay. It can be humiliating to have people know that your marriage isn’t so great, but I think it would be 10x more humiliating to have friends tell you your marriage was so awful they wouldn’t even tolerate your husband’s presence. If they won’t forgive that behaviour in a friend, what must they think of someone who chose to put up with it from her husband?

    I do agree that if the bride had planned the wedding assuming the husband would be an ex-husband by then and thus not need an invite, it’s not fair to ask her to change that at short notice. The letter doesn’t actually mention that, and it’s a bit weird that the bride would lead with “the wedding’s getting too expensive and anyway I’m still mad your husband was a dick to you so I took him off the list” and not “you told me you were getting divorced when I finalised the guest list so I didn’t include him and it’s too late to change that”, but it does seem pretty likely.

    And in any case, I do still agree the LW should go to the wedding. Maybe it’s perfectly reasonable that your husband isn’t invited, maybe it’s not, but it’s still not worth ending a friendship with someone who was there for you during tough times. Especially when you’re still working on your marriage and will probably really need a friend like this in the next few months.

    And PS: LW, you say you don’t know how to tell your husband he’s not invited without making things worse. I say tell him they didn’t expect him to still be in the picture and it’s too late to add him back into the headcount. Whether or not it’s true, it’s best for your own wellbeing to have them on okay terms so you don’t feel caught in the middle.

    • Amy March

      He is invited. Just to be clear.

      • suchbrightlights

        Amy, I don’t know if you have any say in the titles given to your advice pieces, so I might be talking to the wrong person- but that would be a useful clarification to make in the lead language to this piece since as it is the text is click-baity.

        • Amy March

          Actually this time that’s how the LW titled her question, so I thought it was important to leave. That’s how she is describing the situation and I don’t think it is accurate.

          • suchbrightlights

            Ooh, gotcha. Thanks.

            I pretty much agree with LW that “LW’s guest is treated very differently” is tantamount to a non-invite, and I bet that that’s what Bride is hoping will happen… but I think it will be healthy for both relationships to do a lot of soul searching about how we got here.

        • SS Express

          Yeah it is misleading/confusing! Was the bride planning to invite him and cover the cost all along and suddenly decided not to? Was he never on the guest list because they were supposed to be divorcing, and the bride did her best to squeeze him into the headcount when that changed but can’t cover the extra last-minute cost? Or something in between?

      • SS Express

        Welllllll. I suppose it depends what you mean by “invited”. At a non-destination wedding, telling a bridesmaid her husband can tag along to the ceremony and cocktail hour but needs to buy his own meal at the reception (for example) wouldn’t comply with the “invite both halves of a couple” rule. Not denying him entry but not extending the same hospitality to him that you’re extending to every other guest might technically meet the dictionary definition of an invitation, but when we talk about the etiquette of inviting people I don’t think that’s all we’re talking about.

  • Lucy

    And as for what to tell your husband–tell him the gd truth, for crying out loud. You’re trying to reconcile your marriage, and starting over with lies or feelings like you need to lie to preserve his feelings does not bode well, IMO.

    • Jan

      Yeah, I think there’s no good path where LW isn’t honest with her husband about any of this.

  • Sunday

    Really love everyone’s thoughtful discussions of the letter. After reading them all, I just have one teeny tiny picky question:

    Why doesn’t LW have a hotel room booked?! And why can’t 2 people stay in it? I’m so confused about how the bride will make LW stay somewhere else if her husband comes. Like she’s taking away the woman’s booked hotel room? Or no one has rooms yet for the wedding that is months away?

    Like I said, super picky. It’s just really bugging me now.

    • chartreuse

      I have a feeling that when LW says “subsidized” what she means is either the bride gave people a lump sum toward plane tickets or bought their plane tickets.

      Or maybe the resort is an all-inclusive, so the hotel room is just part of the deal; LW and her husband would need to pay for (expensive) meals and drinks up front for her husband, and Bride paid that cost for others but won’t for Husband.

    • A single Sarah

      Agreed.

      I’m also wondering where all of this is happening. Last year’s depression was in “a dangerous and very isolated area.” The alternative housing for the wedding is about a mile away (at least that’s my 20 minute walk) which sounds close for last minute reservations. Except for the “area is under a travel advisory and not really considered super safe right now.”

      That’s a lot of not safe places. It’s making me wonder if there are cultural differences between letter writer and me as reader that would change my reaction to the advice.

      • chartreuse

        From the letter writer’s description of the destination wedding area, I pictured Mexico: typical destination wedding location, lots of fancy resorts and guest-house-type places, but has become more dangerous recently thanks to the struggle between the cartels and the government (and among the cartels, and between various government factions…) and problems there are escalating.

      • SS Express

        Interesting observation. Maybe they just don’t want to stay in another unsafe area considering how badly it worked out last time?

    • Katharine Parker

      If it is an all-inclusive resort, prices would be per person, rather than strictly by room. I would bet that is the case here.

  • suchbrightlights

    Where I disagree here, having only the information presented, is that I think it is callous to invite a member of the bridal party to a wedding requiring travel, where the bridal party member doesn’t know a lot of people, without giving that person a plus-one. That’s the only place here that I think I can fault Bride.

    I think Bride gets a free pass on Invite Husband if she thinks she knows something about LW’s husband about which LW has gotten barn-blind- and that includes “your husband was apparently willfully disregarding that you were a danger to yourself”- neglect is just this side of abuse. From this letter, it sounds like that might be a reasonable conclusion. But if it’s true that LW doesn’t know the other attendees, I think it’s gracious to give LW an unnamed plus one when it looks like “well this marriage is not gonna be a thing by the time we get hitched” and whomever LW uses it on is her business. Yes, it sounds like Bride is spending a lot of money on hospitality (good for them!) and might not offer and pay for “unnamed plus one” to attend as a guest of anyone else, but this is a member of her bridal party.

    Where I agree with Amy is in the LW attending the wedding. It sounds like Bride came through for LW in a big way and it’s time to pay that forward, with or without husband, and forgiving that Bride (IMO) made a mistake that is hurtful. LW can be hurt, but it sounds like Bride has earned that forgiveness in the last year. Too, it’s time for LW to take a breath out of what sounds like an emotionally exhausting time and refocus on herself and things she likes to do and people she likes to be with, outside of husband, and this might be a way to start. That part of the advice was compassionate and spot on. (Amy, nice work on a tricky situation.)

    • Amy March

      Yeah I think you summarize it nicely. I don’t necessarily think the bride is right here, but I think there are enough facts in her favor that as your BFF, you suck it up for her.

  • Trying to think through this.

    Assuming the guest list (and budget) really did get set at a time the bride thought that LW and her husband were divorcing, I think I agree with those who say it’s essentially like a new boyfriend who there’s no obligation to include and LW should go. That said, bride’s bringing space at the resort into the explanation is pinging my radar–there *is* space, both by LW’s report and bride’s willingness to have him there if he’s unsubsidized, so it makes the whole explanation, including the money part, feel to me like it’s an excuse. LW is in a much better position to know than I am, and I’m certainly guilty of just…tacking on reasons when I feel badly about something but also don’t really have another choice (which is maybe what the bridge was doing with respect to the space issue), but I wanted to raise that.

    If finances are *not* really the problem, I think I feel pretty differently than Amy and most folks here. I think to the husband, attending the wedding in a circumstance where he’s being excluded by choice reads as “my best friend is mad at you for how you behaved during your crushing medical problem, has been very clear she doesn’t want you around, and I’m OK with that.” I think that, to the extent LW and her husband really do both bear responsibility for their martial problems and are committing together to resolving them, declining to go might be a pretty important commitment-affirming choice to make.

    I’ll also acknowledge that “excluded by choice” is sort of hazy–I think I probably mean “excluded in a situation where, for another spouse, the bride would find the cash to get him/her there, but is not in this scenario because she’s mad at this particular spouse.”

  • SLG

    This is fascinating. I don’t usually disagree with Amy March’s take, but as someone who’s been on all three sides of situations very similar to this one, I’m taking a hard no on this advice.

    First, LW and her husband have both been through some deep trauma here, and they need to choose whatever is best for their marriage and their health. Period.

    (Yes, the situation over the last several months was likely traumatic for the bride as well — and I have been on that end of things so I know the toll it takes — but it was at one remove. She needs to follow the “comfort in, dump out” rule, and she’s not the one who wrote in anyway.)

    Second, a lot of the comments assume LW and her husband were separated, but I’ve read the letter several times and I don’t see any mention of that. I also can’t tell if the husband was originally invited with a full subsidy several months ago and now things have changed — LW says their tough situation lasted about 8 months, and it’s not uncommon for destination weddings to be planned a year or more out. Without those details it’s hard to tell who set what expectations going into this. “Hey, 6 months ago Bride thought you wouldn’t be in the picture, but obviously you are now so let’s figure this out” is different from “Hey, a year ago Bride invited both of us but now she says she’s only covering my costs, not yours” — and we don’t know which one is happening here. I think the response would be different in those two scenarios.

    Third, there are probably way more options than the two choices Bride is presenting. It sounds like LW has a therapist involved, which is wonderful — and talking about this with her husband and the therapist(s) together can be a safe way to figure out a way forward. I’d want to know things like: is Bride flexible on costs at all? Can they split 50-50 or 25-75 instead of all-or-nothing? Is this one of those destination weddings where guests are expected to be there for a week? If so, how about attending together for a shorter time? How about going for the rehearsal, ceremony, and reception, dancing your hearts out together at the reception, slipping out early if you’re tired, and using the remaining time off you would have spent at that destination event to have a quiet getaway together and reconnect after the tough year you’ve had? And together, plan some ways to reconnect with Bride and rebuild that relationship now that the wedding craziness is over? There are lots of ways to approach this, and I suspect some honest and caring (and maybe tough) conversations could help bring them to light.

    Finally, LW, I don’t know if you’re reading this. If you are, I want to say that mental health issues are no joke, and a spouse with mental health issues is no joke either. You’ve made it through a deep, dark time with your life and your marriage intact, and that’s worth celebrating. Here’s to you. <3

  • Liz

    I didn’t see anyone else mention this…but I think the bride DID disinvite him. LW writers that the compromise was offering for him to come but not subsidizing him:

    **I talked it over with her a little**, and she said part of it was financial (she’s heavily subsidizing all of the guests) and part is space at the resort (which is tight, but there is room for him). All of the other guests and bridesmaids with serious significant others are bringing them to the resort at the “subsidized” rate.

    **Her compromise** was that either he can be the only guest to pay full price if he wants to come (which we really cannot afford) while I pay the “subsidized” rate, or we can stay in a rental house that’s about a twenty-minute walk off-site

  • SLG

    I wrote a long comment earlier today and I think Discus ate it, but the thing I most wanted to say was this: LW, if you’re reading, it sounds like you and your husband have both come through a deep, dark time with both your lives and your marriage intact — which is huge. It is totally worth celebrating! Whatever happens with this destination wedding, I hope you have some time to celebrate together, even if quiet celebration is your jam. Here’s to you.

  • Mairik

    Honestly, if I were the BFF I would put the husband on the subsidised rate and have done. I wouldn’t be delighted but I would take the attitude that my friend/bridesmaid is, after all, married to him, and whether I think it’s a good relationship/he’s a good guy, it’s not ultimately my call on whether she should or shouldn’t be. The only possible exception to this grin-and-bear-it scenario would be if she had specifically told me he would not be coming at some particular cut-off date. In that case I’d be inclined to say they needed to pick up full costs of his flights/other travel and I’d offer the subsidised rate for the rest. I’d see that as a compromise; saying effectively, ‘he can pay to be at this resort like any other tourist’… not so much. Since they’re going to be sharing a room, I assume, I can’t really see what the fuss about ‘space’ is about. And surely the wedding has been in the planning for some considerable time, with a budget allowing for SOs for married bridesmaids from the start? The fact that at one point it seemed one wouldn’t be coming might have seemed a ‘win’; it shouldn’t have been the basis on which stuff was worked out.

    We have two people coming to our wedding who have told us they are in rocky relationships and they are unsure whether spouses will come. We’ve allowed for the spouses anyway; we’re realists and we reckon that unless the ink is dry on divorce papers, the chances are the relationships will still be on. I’d love it if they didn’t, but hey, I want my friends to be happy and I recognise that it’s up to them to decide what ‘happy’ looks like for themselves.

    On which note, it bothers me to think that LW’s BFF has some sort of validation right on LW’s marriage. I’ve thought friends were in bad relationships in the past; it’s not my call though, and I wouldn’t exclude those spouses from anything. I’m also not sure about the ‘go off on an international vacation by yourself’ advice. LW knows whether her relationship is at a point where that would feel right; she says it’s not. It’s also pretty tough, I think, on a person who has a recent history of mental health issues and clearly not too much spending money. We’re in that situation re spending due to various work and home upheavals. I’d be really upset if my SO went off on an international trip without me this year; our relationship is fab and if he did so, it would make me question his care for me!

  • Steph

    All bridesmaids should have the option of bringing a sig other/guest to a destination wedding, that should have been accounted for regardless of who that guest would be. Also putting your cost issues on your BM is kind of tacky. If the bride has a serious problem with the LW’s husband and/or relationship that’s an issue that needs to be addressed outside the context of the wedding.