Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“I’m a Bridesmaid and I’ve Been Relegated to a Hotel”

Today you get three letters in one — kinda like shortcuts, but a little bit longer (and you’ll still get regular shortcuts tomorrow, because this week is awesome like that!). I’m going to start incorporating more of these kinds of columns — collections of letters that don’t warrant entire columns on their own, but work well grouped together. Ideas for a name for this feature??

Bridesmaids

I have agreed to be a bridesmaid in my best friend’s wedding who lives 300 miles away from me. We are planning a trip for me to come down in a couple of months to help with wedding planning and pick out bridesmaids dresses. Originally, she told me it would be no problem for me to stay with her for three days while I was down there. Then, after speaking with her fiancé (whom she recently moved in with) she said that he would feel awkward, so it would be better for me to stay in a hotel even though they have a spare room. She researched some affordable hotels close to where they live and gave me the information.

I expected to pay for a hotel the weekend of the wedding, but not for the planning weekends leading up to it. Every other time I have visited her in our seven year friendship, I have always stayed with her. Should I say something to her or just do my best to understand and let it go? — Bridesmaid on a Budget


Call up your friend and explain that since you have only budgeted to pay for a hotel once for her wedding, you’ll have to help her pick out dresses and make other wedding plans long distance. Fortunately, a little something called the internet makes that a lot easier, as does a phone. If she has a problem emailing links to you of dress contenders and would rather get your input in person, she can either invite you to stay in her spare room despite her fiancé’s fear of “awkwardness” or offer to pay for your hotel.

I’m getting married in two months and this weekend my parents are coming in to town specifically to meet my fiancé’s parents. My fiancé’s parents have known about this trip for months and now they’re suddenly saying that they only want to have one meal with my folks which seems like they’re snubbing us. My fiancé feels horrible and keeps telling me that being social is “just not them.” I totally get that, but isn’t this kind of a special circumstance? My folks aren’t asking to go on a three-week cruise with them, they just want to know the future in-laws a bit better.

I don’t think we’re going to be able to change their minds so my real problem is how do I keep my folks from feeling snubbed or slighted? I’ve planned all kinds of activities for the weekend, but I’m pretty sure they’re going to notice that the point of their trip bailed on them. — Snubbed Bride

 
I would hope that spending time with their daughter and enjoying the many activities she’s planned would be a bigger draw for your parents than spending an entire weekend with her unsocial, future in-laws. And why is it necessary to force a friendship between the two sets of parents anyway? They’re not getting married to each other — their kids are! One meal together will give everyone the opportunity for face-time and small talk, and if your parents really feel like they need more than that, well, there’s always the rest of their lives to come visit.
 

I joined an online dating site a few months ago and just got a nice message from a guy who is 5 years older than I am (I am 26, he is 31). According to his profile, he is divorced; he and I have not spoken about this yet. In the past week, we’ve corresponded quite a bit and I like what I know of him. We haven’t met in person yet, but we became Facebook friends today, and although he and his ex-wife (I found her on his friend’s list) don’t have any relationship status up, it seems pretty clear that his divorce was recent (within a few months).

What’s a good way to bring up this guy’s divorce in an email with him? I feel like I should broach the topic before I end up dating him for awhile only to get hurt if he gets back together with his ex-wife. — Not a Rebound

 
Slow down! You haven’t even met the guy and you’re already talking about a future relationship AND break up? If you like the guy, go out with him. Have dinner and see how you feel then. Ask how long he’s been divorced if you’re still really curious. But if you want to avoid taking any risk in dating, then you probably just shouldn’t date, period, because any time you go out with someone, divorced or not, you put your heart on the line, and no amount of questions in an email beforehand is going to protect you from that.

***************

You can follow me on Facebook here and sign up for my weekly newsletter here.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

189 comments… add one
  • katie

    katie July 11, 2013, 9:13 am

    WWS, WWS, WWS. these all seem like such weird problems. weird, and really simple to solve…

    LW1- “oh, im sorry, i can only afford hotel for the wedding weekend! but i understand that your fiance and you want some privacy now that you live together. i guess we will have to facetime the dress shopping!”

    LW2- “so, bob’s parents are only going to join us for dinner on friday night. they are just not the social type, and so this will be easier for everyone rather then forcing a whole weekend of interaction. but, we still have x, y, z activities planned!”

    LW3- just stop. your being “that girl” that plans the wedding as she looks at online dating profiles- dont be that girl.

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    • katie

      katie July 11, 2013, 9:39 am

      oh and also- what is with the “oh he is divorced, wa wa waaaaa (sad trombone sound effect)” mindset? so what if he is divorced? and so what if it was recent? you have no idea who this guy is and the circumstances of his divorce, why write him off so quickly?

      my coworker just did this same thing this morning- she walked in and said “so i found out he was separated, dang. too much drama for me”. and i didnt say anything, but i was like, why? why is that a lot of drama? did he tell you, last night, the second time you had met him ever, all the drama he is in right now or do you just assume?

      i just dont think that is an accurate, fair or intelligent way to weed through people at all.

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. July 11, 2013, 10:28 am

        Well, separated is different from divorced. Separated means they’re still legally married and this might be a problem for some people.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson July 11, 2013, 10:46 am

        I don’t think I’ve ever found you sexier.

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    • avatar

      Doodles July 11, 2013, 1:09 pm

      Katie I love your responses, especially to LW3. She is totally being THAT GIRL. Listen.lw3, this guy doesn’t really even know you, so he might not feel okay devulging this information to you yet.

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest July 11, 2013, 9:17 am

    Wait, 3 letters? Is it Friday?

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    • avatar

      ktfran July 11, 2013, 9:21 am

      Right? I wish. Unfortunately, it’s not.

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    • avatar

      Bunnycsp July 11, 2013, 9:21 am

      Wendy is messing with my world

      Reply Link
    • theattack

      theattack July 11, 2013, 9:21 am

      I was confused too. I’ll just go tell my boss that I’m not coming in tomorrow because this week’s shortcuts have already happened. I’m sure she’ll understand, right?

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle July 11, 2013, 9:25 am

      I was confused, too. Although these aren’t so palm-to-the-forehead-y as “Shortcuts” usually are, haha. (& if a bunch of people hadn’t already wished me a “happy Thursday” today, I’d also think it must be Friday 😉 )

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy July 11, 2013, 9:26 am

      This is long form shortcuts. And you get MORE shortcuts tomorrow, because this week is awesome like that.

      Reply Link
      • theattack

        theattack July 11, 2013, 9:28 am

        yay!

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      • Dear Wendy

        Wendy July 11, 2013, 9:28 am

        I updated with a little note above the first letter.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 11, 2013, 9:39 am

        YAY! I actually thought of a cool idea you might like yesterday. What about a daily/weekly Threadjack column, so we don’t have to threadjack letters or forums?

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      • theattack

        theattack July 11, 2013, 9:41 am

        Isn’t that the weekend open thread?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 11, 2013, 9:43 am

        I thought it would be different only in that no one ever goes back to the last week’s open thread. What made me think of it was yesterday I wanted to say something totally unrelated, but it didn’t warrant a forum at all, so I thought it’d be cool.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Wendy July 11, 2013, 9:50 am

        That’s what the forums are for!

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 11, 2013, 9:54 am

        Yea, you’re right, haha. I don’t know why I hesitate to start one for only one dumb comment.

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      • avatar

        Christy July 11, 2013, 9:54 am

        Oh dude, please, I start dumb forum threads all the time.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray July 11, 2013, 9:54 am

        Do you remember life BF (before forums)? Me neither.

        Do you also remember how some people threw such fits about the forums because change is scary? Weirdos.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle July 11, 2013, 9:59 am

        I barely remember life BF, but I do remember feeling like, “OMG WHAT IS HAPPENING” about it when Wendy introduced them?

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray July 11, 2013, 10:00 am

        It *was* a big scary change.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 11, 2013, 10:04 am

        Its helped me learn to embrace change.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray July 11, 2013, 10:20 am

        that’s a positive way to look at it. it helped us all take a step closer to the empowered women we will become.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson July 11, 2013, 10:48 am

        Right? Remember how scared we both were to register? That was intense.

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      • AJ

        AJ July 11, 2013, 12:09 pm

        It’s like long shortcuts. Longcuts?

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      • Portia

        Portia July 11, 2013, 12:53 pm

        That was my first reaction too!

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      • avatar

        bondbabe July 11, 2013, 12:17 pm

        How about calling it “Topical Tango”?

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    • avatar

      Morgan July 11, 2013, 10:07 am

      I got so excited. So excited.

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    • avatar

      Taylor July 11, 2013, 10:43 am

      Had the same reaction. Stupid Thursday.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow July 11, 2013, 12:37 pm

        I, for one, am glad it’s not Friday because I have a big scary midterm tomorrow. Also, I’m off today. :p

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  • avatar

    Kate July 11, 2013, 9:20 am

    Regarding the third letter, it’s just not good online dating practice to have a lot of correspondence, social media involvement, and/or google stalking before meeting someone in person. If there’s interest, get OFF the internet and into a bar for a drink as soon as possible. Have a nice friendly conversation without getting into too much heavy personal detail, and get a sense of whether you are even interested in the guy before you worry about anything else. I would honestly wait a couple dates before you casually bring up someone’s marital status / divorce. Don’t go into it with preconceived ideas.

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle July 11, 2013, 9:21 am

    WWS for all of them (& I like Katie’s suggested things to say for all the situations)

    LW1: If you tell her you’ve only budgeted for the wedding stay, she’ll either accept a virtual shopping session, OR offer to pay (like Wendy said). I mean, she could also flip out, I guess, but from what you wrote, she doesn’t sound like the type.

    LW2: Yeah, one meal is enough for the two sets of parents to at least meet, & get to know each other a bit. I don’t see why they need to spend the majority of the time together—& I think your parents will be more understanding than you think.

    LW3: WHOA. Take things one step at a time, okay? Or maybe…don’t? (I can’t tell if you’re being overly anxious about his “divorced” status, or if you’re really just not okay with dating a recently divorced guy?)

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    • avatar

      Bunnycsp July 11, 2013, 9:30 am

      Agree with LW2- one meal is PLENTY of awkwardness. I have been married 7 years and my parents and in-laws have not seen each other since the wedding. It isn’t that they don’t like each other, but there are no reasons. They have their own families and lives. But honestly, the more they see each other, the more reasons they can find to dislike each other.

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      • avatar

        bethany July 11, 2013, 10:04 am

        Yes. My parents haven’t spent any time with my 2 sets of in-laws since the wedding, either.
        They probably will when/if I have a baby, but even then, it’s not like we’re all going to be spending a ton of time together.

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      • becboo84

        BecBoo84 July 11, 2013, 10:13 am

        Once kids are in the picture though, in laws do end up spending quite a bit more time together (bday parties, dance recitals, tball games, etc.), especially if they both live within a few hours.

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      • avatar

        Bunnycsp July 11, 2013, 10:24 am

        right, but only if they are close location wise and how much your parents want to be involved with that stuff. I mean, some families, the grandparents are at every game and sometimes they send a card for a birthday and you only see them at Christmas. But that grows organically over time. To thrust intense amounts of time together right at the beginning can only make things worse during the stress of the wedding. I would just keeps meetings brief and polite.

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      • avatar

        Friend of Beagles July 11, 2013, 10:39 am

        Hey, I suspect my mom-in-law has a crush on my dad, so, awkward. The less they see each other, the better.

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      • avatar

        Bunnycsp July 11, 2013, 10:59 am

        OMG – right, you want them friendly. not too friendly!

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      • avatar

        Boosker July 11, 2013, 9:54 am

        My parents and my in-laws see each other once a year, but that’s just because my in-laws live in a really cool area and my parents get a cabin there. Even then, we spend plenty of the weekend apart. One meal is more than enough get together time. It does seem weird that these are your parents and yet they don’t really know each other, but that’s just how it works in most cases–especially if there’s travel involved. The wedding itself won’t be awkward because your sets of parents didn’t become BFF’s prior to the ceremony. It could be awkward for a myriad of other reasons, but probably not that one.

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      • avatar

        Bunnycsp July 11, 2013, 10:10 am

        Yea, If we had kids, I am sure our parents would see each other more. But most of the time, they don’t want to travel hours to visit each other. But to force a whole weekend is going to be just that, forced. It will be worse if the inlaws clearly don’t want to be there then if you just do dinner.

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  • theattack

    theattack July 11, 2013, 9:26 am

    LW1: No. That’s not fair. First of all that’s weird that her fiancé doesn’t want you to stay. I really hope that trend doesn’t continue because that’s shitty. Don’t go unless they’re providing housing in some way.

    LW2: Parents meeting for the first time is kind of stressful anyway. Believe me, it’s best to stick to one meal for now anyway. I doubt your parents expected to spend an intensive weekend bonding with your future in-laws, but if they did, plan some other activities to fill the time and don’t frame it the way you did to us. Tell them that you have X, Y, and Z planned during the day, and you’ll all be joining your in-laws for dinner. Don’t say “They don’t want to hang out with you because they’re sucky and nonsocial, so I guess we’ll have to come up with something else.”

    LW3: WWS.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle July 11, 2013, 9:35 am

      “Tell them that you have X, Y, and Z planned during the day, and you’ll all be joining your in-laws for dinner. Don’t say ‘They don’t want to hang out with you because they’re sucky and nonsocial, so I guess we’ll have to come up with something else.’ ”

      Yes, yes, yes. I have a feeling this LW’s first instinct will be to frame it in the latter way. Don’t, LW #2, don’t!!

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      • theattack

        theattack July 11, 2013, 9:40 am

        I really hope she doesn’t, but I think she will. LW, NEVER say anything bad about your in-laws to your parents. It will just breed resentment, and they will probably never forget the things you say. It’s your job to coordinate and make sure your parents see the best in each other, IMO. And luckily for you, it’s easier to see the best in someone when it’s just for an hour and a half rather than a whole weekend.

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      • katie

        katie July 11, 2013, 10:51 am

        ok, but, is saying that they arent very social people technically “talking badly”, though? i mean, if thats the truth, thats the truth. i know i would like to be told that about someone, as someone who is much more social and would be fine with, and even be excited for, a whole weekend with new people. but if my daughter came to me and was like, well, were just doing dinner, but to them that IS social, they arent super social people, its not that they hate you, bla bla bla- i would be grateful for that.

        i mean you have to frame it correctly, i agree, but i dont think its a bad thing to say that people arent social. i mean its not a bad thing to not be social in the first place.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 11, 2013, 10:53 am

        I think ta was responding to the idea of her saying “they don’t want to hang out with you and are sucky and nonsocial”

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle July 11, 2013, 11:13 am

        The thing is, from the sound of her letter (“suddenly they’re saying…” “seems like they’re snubbing” “I get that, BUT it’s not like they want to go on a 3 week cruise…”) it’s unlikely she will find the words to frame “they aren’t too social” in a nice way. And people unfortunately DO view “not being social” as a negative trait, so even if she just said that, the parents might still have a negative impression. Better to just be like, “How great you guys are here! Today we’re doing A., B., & C., then having dinner with fiance’s folks. Tomorrow we’ll do breakfast, just you guys & us, & then we’ll see you off! YAY” or whatever.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay July 11, 2013, 11:57 am

        I don’t think that saying someone isn’t social is talking badly. But her implying that they were supposed to hang out more and the in-laws didn’t want to is unnecessary, I think, unless her parents knew about the possible plans. Also, it sounds like the LW doesn’t really respect the “not being social” reason, and if she framed it to her parents like she did here, WOULD sound like she was talking badly most likely.

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      • theattack

        theattack July 11, 2013, 12:37 pm

        Yeah, I agree that not being social isn’t bad. I’m not very social myself. I just foresee this LW saying it in a way that will make it sound like the future in-laws don’t want to spend time with them, which DOES sound bad. She could try really hard to say it in a nice way, but to be safe, I think she should just say what the plans are and not make any commentary on why they are what they are.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay July 11, 2013, 10:34 am

        I had the same feeling because I don’t think that her parents would be so sure to feel slighted UNLESS she went out of her way to tell them that the in-laws didn’t want to see them more.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest July 11, 2013, 9:41 am

      1 confused me too. Why would he not want her there if they have a spare room? Is she going to do all this wedding stuff and then never see her friend again because she’ll have to stay in a hotel?

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      • avatar

        Christy July 11, 2013, 9:47 am

        I imagine life is crazy with the wedding planning stuff, and fiance doesn’t want to feel like he has to be “on” in his own home when so much else is happening. I can certainly imagine feeling that way, especially for a multi-day visit.

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        lets_be_honest July 11, 2013, 9:56 am

        That makes sense I guess. Good point.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 11, 2013, 10:04 am

        I do understand wanting a break…but one weekend with your fiancé’s friend/bridesmaid in town? I mean I think it’s kinda shitty to say no, specially when fiancé already promised. And, it sounds like they have pre-wedding activities to do (the ladies) so the guy wouldn’t have to be “on” 24 hours a day.

        But I’m also the kind of person who lets my husbands smelly college friends crash on our living room floor for 3 or 4 nights to go to football games. So I just don’t see the big deal!

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        lets_be_honest July 11, 2013, 10:16 am

        I agree with you all. Its still shitty. And they don’t have to both be “on,” my siblings stay with me for days at a time and as long as Peter is friendly while going about his own business, I’m happy. Neither of us expect him to be “on” for my guests.

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      • avatar

        Christy July 11, 2013, 10:20 am

        See, I got the sense that on the phone with LW1, friend just offhandedly assumed it wouldn’t be an issue (likely because it was never an issue when she was living alone), and when she did check with fiance, he had an issue with it. So it wasn’t a promise so much as a “I’m sure it’ll be fine, let me double-check with Fiance.” And fiance didn’t think of it the same way.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 11, 2013, 10:31 am

        Yeah, It depends on the actual wording. But still- what’s the point of having a spare bedroom if best friends aren’t staying in it?

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        Christy July 11, 2013, 11:40 am

        I like how clearly other-oriented you are. I mean that in a positive way. (no sarcasm!) Like, of course the obvious conclusion of a spare bedroom is so others can stay with you!

        My grandfather has a spare bedroom, and sure, it’s for people to stay in sometimes, but it’s also so the antique sewing machine and the various kid-toys have a home.

        As a hypothetical, gf and I have the idea that if we ever moved in together, we’d get a two-bedroom so we could have isolated private space if we wanted, without being in the bedroom and being interrupted. Plus it’d be a space to spare the leftover bed and the bookcases. Oh, the bookcases. We already have 9 full-size bookcases between us and they’re overfull. And we could potentially have people over, but just because you have the room doesn’t mean that you automatically want guests.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 11, 2013, 11:52 am

        Yeah, I guess it’s a fundamental difference. We don’t even have a spare bedroom and we welcome guests with open arms. Other people aren’t as willing to open their homes. Neither are good or bad, just different!

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay July 11, 2013, 12:17 pm

        True. I’m a weird one in that it’s stressful to me to have guests because I’m such an introvert, but I want my friends to always be welcome in my home. I think it would be better if I did have a spare room or at least didn’t live with roommates.

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      • AJ

        AJ July 11, 2013, 12:29 pm

        Maybe the fiance has embarrassing habits at home that they don’t want anybody to know of, like walking around home with nothing but a Superman cape on, or practicing his smize while watching America’s Next Top Model on Blue Ray.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 11, 2013, 12:57 pm

        It’s like 3 days…I would do just about anything for my husband for 3 days.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay July 11, 2013, 10:06 am

        That makes sense. I get really exhausted having guests. But I think the friend should have translated it better, and I personally would have just sucked it up. Hopefully, it’s just because of the wedding and not a permanent thing. When I visit my friends and their husbands, the husband either plays video games and leaves us alone or he hangs out with us as a friend (or a mixture), so not too much of a hassle.

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      • avatar

        Christy July 11, 2013, 10:27 am

        Yeah, I don’t think the friend handled it well. Like, it’s an easy cop-out.

        OOOH Idea! Maybe friend realized that she didn’t want to have to deal with a houseguest (even though it was her bff) and she blamed the fiance! I would totally blame gf for something like that. Or if neither of us really wanted houseguests, I’d blame gf. (Probably I’d just tell my bff, but my other close friends, I’d just lie about it.)

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        GatorGirl July 11, 2013, 10:33 am

        I think it’s really shitty to blame your partner for something because you’re too chickenshit to own up to it.

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        lets_be_honest July 11, 2013, 10:43 am

        Meh, I think its done way more than you would think.

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        GatorGirl July 11, 2013, 11:02 am

        I’m sure it is done way more than it should be, but I don’t think that makes it right to do so.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 11, 2013, 11:11 am

        I think it spares feelings though. Parents do this all the time too. I couldn’t count how many times I’ve said I can’t do X because of “the baby.” haha.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 11, 2013, 11:19 am

        Unless it creates resentment between the friend and the other partner. Like in this case the bridesmaid might harbor negative feelings towards the husband…when he really had nothing to do with it. So not friend is secretly pissed at husband for no reason at all. Not a great solution.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 11, 2013, 11:32 am

        Yea, I guess it depends on what’s said. Like, I wouldn’ t be offended if my girlfriend didn’t want to hang out, and said her husband was too tired for company, or something like that.

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        lemongrass July 11, 2013, 12:23 pm

        I just said to my husband “what’s the point in being married if you can’t blame your husband for things?” and he said “absolutely! It works both ways. I blame you for things, too.”

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      • avatar

        bethany July 11, 2013, 10:54 am

        I tell my husband to blame stuff on me all the time, but he never does!

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 11, 2013, 11:03 am

        I do tell GatorGuy to blame things on me, but I think that’s vastly different than what Christy was saying, which to me was blame it on the partner with out them knowing.

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      • avatar

        Christy July 11, 2013, 11:29 am

        Oh, I was totally assuming collusion between the friend and her fiance.

        That’s what I’m assuming for myself, too, fyi.

        (I’m seeing that I wasn’t clear on that either way.)

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle July 11, 2013, 10:41 am

        Haha, I blame my boyfriend for stuff sometimes, too. Or he blames me. It’s even though? because sometimes he’ll pretend something was his idea, when it was actually mine (i.e., we were hanging out with another couple over the weekend, & they wanted to go to a diner, & then the movies. I was being difficult that day, like, “Ugh, no movies! And diner? Seriously?” So, he texted them saying *I* didn’t want to go to the movies, & that ~he~ didn’t want diner food. So it didn’t look like I was being That Person Who Hates Everything. Even though I was :-|)

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle July 11, 2013, 10:42 am

        But, um, to be on-topic— I could see that being the case for LW #1’s situation.

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      • avatar

        kerrycontrary July 11, 2013, 11:05 am

        Yeh we shift blame a lot if it’s something awkward (well, not a lot, but when it’s necessary). As long as the other person knows about it we don’t mind. Like if my boyfriend doesn’t feel like driving an hour to his friends I’ll say “blame it on me and the dog!”

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        Christy July 11, 2013, 11:27 am

        Eh, I don’t really feel bad about it. If it’s easier for all involved? No shame. Especially if she didn’t want the houseguests either.

        I’d lie on her behalf too, like saying she’s busy when really she just doesn’t want to go to the third family party of Christmas week. (After how exhausting it was last year, I’d give her an out without hurting feelings.)

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        GatorGirl July 11, 2013, 11:31 am

        What you seemed to be saying to me was that you would blame your own decisions on your partner, with out them knowing. Which I think it an issue. So for example, you didn’t want house guests and you “blamed” it on your gf with out her knowing. So now the friend is thinking your gf doesn’t want her in the house, when really you don’t want houseguests. Resentment builds between friend and gf and it’s a bad situation.

        If you’re both “in” on the blaming/lying, totally fine but doing it with out the others consent/approval is shitty, IMO.

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      • avatar

        Christy July 11, 2013, 11:34 am

        Oh yeah, please, gf knows everything. I can’t keep a secret from her for shit. Even if it’s a nothing secret.

        Honestly it never occurred to me to hide it from gf (in this theoretical land). I’d most likely check in with her first, too, rather than telling her after the fact. But I have a feeling it’d be generally ok.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 11, 2013, 11:39 am

        Unfortunately I do think there are a lot of people who would blame their partner with out them knowing, and I think that’s shitty. But you have your head screwed on right, so I was confused when you seemed to be saying otherwise.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 11, 2013, 11:40 am

        Ah, ok, that would be messed up. I guess I was not thinking of it that way.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay July 11, 2013, 11:49 am

        Yeah, I thought about that too!

        My main thing with this is that I think it’s rude to say that it’s too “awkward” to have the LW over. Like what does that even mean? It’s fine if someone is too tired or too busy with planning or too busy with the big move, but saying it’s awkward is more about how the LW would make THEM feel. Like “it would be really awkward to have you in our home” as opposed to “we’re inundated with moving and wedding stuff, so we can’t be good hosts right now.” Because presumably he wouldn’t find it “awkward” to have certain other people staying, right?

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle July 11, 2013, 11:56 am

        I feel like maybe when the friend told her fiancè, he sort of spazzed out in an anxiety fit? So the friend is probably translating that to the LW by just using the word “awkward”.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay July 11, 2013, 12:06 pm

        Haha, yeah, it may even just mean that the fiance would be awkward about it!

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      • theattack

        theattack July 11, 2013, 10:11 am

        It is hard, for sure. When we were wedding planning, the last thing we needed was more sheets to wash, and keeping guests was hard, but it’s not optional. You HAVE to do it if you want to have your friends and family involved. If it’s so hard for him, he can go spend the weekend with a friend too. Plus there’s something really fun and special about how intense everything is during the wedding planning. It was challenging, but I loved every minute of having my friends crash in my messy pre-wedding apartment. It’s just part of it.

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      • avatar

        lemongrass July 11, 2013, 11:51 am

        Or you can do what I did… get married in your hometown so that everyone stays at your parents house and you don’t have to do all that extra work. Sorry mom!

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      • avatar

        Bunnycsp July 11, 2013, 11:39 am

        I am guessing they need the LW to be there for like 2 things and they have other plans that weekend too. Like a dinner with his boss for example. And he is like, “So are we just going to leave her in the apartment by herself?”

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay July 11, 2013, 12:00 pm

        That’s true. I usually don’t invite someone to stay with me on a weekend where I had big plans already or would consider that warranting a “sorry, got plans” if someone invited me somewhere else that weekend. But I can see how it’s unavoidable sometimes. Personally, though, I would much prefer being expected to spend time on my own for a few hours than be forced to suddenly book a hotel room for the whole time, if it was only the one dinner (or whatever event) that was the problem.

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      • avatar

        Bunnycsp July 11, 2013, 12:37 pm

        Right, but since it is all wedding stuff. Lets say they are doing like ‘dress shopping” then that night they go out to dinner with both parents. The bridesmaid wouldn’t be invited. Or maybe the grandmother just wants to take the couple out. I found these kind of things happened a lot when I was getting married.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay July 11, 2013, 12:51 pm

        Yeah, in that case, it’s probably best to do it remotely, since it’s more of a errand than a personal visit.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 11, 2013, 12:55 pm

        Why do all of those things have to be scheduled in the same weekend? If it’s planned that the friend will come into town specifically for wedding stuff, it would be rude of the bride to plan a bunch of shit she isn’t including the friend in. Also, why can’t the bridesmaid go dress shopping? I thought that was pretty common- bridesmaids going with the bride.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay July 11, 2013, 1:10 pm

        Yeah, tell the parents or grandmother or whomever that you have a friend in town that weekend. Bridesmaid dress shopping is going to be done well in advance of a wedding, I assume, so there’s months upon months for all of these events to be planned.

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      • avatar

        Bunnycsp July 11, 2013, 1:40 pm

        Yea, that is what happened with me. When we did things like bridesmaid dress shopping a lot of people had to come into town. So if my inlaws came from out of town and so did this friend, it is hard. The same stuff happened around the shower. Like I had 5 friends sleep at my house around my shower but then had to balance the family from out of town.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay July 11, 2013, 1:57 pm

        Ah, I see! I guess I’ve just never had bridesmaid dress shopping be a big family event before to where all the extended family would come from out of town. In that case, the bride should have known ahead of time that there’d be more people to accommodate and not extended an invitation. I don’t think it’s wrong to not be able to accommodate everyone if there’s a huge group in town, but I gathered that it was an individual friend trip.

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      • avatar

        Bunnycsp July 11, 2013, 1:44 pm

        I didn’t mean that the dress shopping was the problem but more that they had family stuff after dress shopping. Or if they let her stay in the apartment but told the groom’s sister or parents that they couldn’t stay at the apartment. Like, how can they tell her yes but other people no.

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    • avatar

      Ella__ July 11, 2013, 9:48 am

      My boyfriend’s parents and my parents met for the first time when his parents visited the area where my parents live. Neither my boyfriend nor I were there, and his parents stayed overnight at my parents’ house! But, they got along great and it all worked out, but yeah, weird way for the parents to meet.

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  • avatar

    Bunnycsp July 11, 2013, 9:32 am

    LW3 – you know what you need to so far. That is, because you are on Facebook, that he is really divorced and not secretly cheating. So go to the bar and bring it up on the 3rd day.

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  • avatar

    GatorGirl July 11, 2013, 9:41 am

    LW1- Absolutely tell your friend it’s not in your budget to get a hotel. You planed the trip based on the promise of staying with her, she changed the deal.

    LW2- My suggestion would be to plan an activity for everyone to do. Go golfing, a street festival, wine tasting- anything really. Invite both sets of parents along. If one set doesn’t show, well they look like the dumb dumbs, not you. My SIL dealt with this with her husbands family. They where pretty absentee for all of the prewedding events, it hurt her feelings for a while until she realized it wasn’t a commentary on their relationship, rather their own nervousness and social fears. She has a great relationship with them, but the don’t join in big public events.

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  • avatar

    GatorGirl July 11, 2013, 9:43 am

    And LW3. You’re nuts. You’re worried about a guy reconciling with his newly divorced wife after a few e-mails and NEVER meeting him?? WHAT? Maybe meet him once or twice and see if there are any sparks before jumping to outlandish conclusions.

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  • avatar

    fairhairedchild July 11, 2013, 9:45 am

    Possible name: “Group Therapy Thursdays”

    *shrugs*.. and now to actually reading the letters

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray July 11, 2013, 9:58 am

      Thursday Threes?

      Menage à Thursday?

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        Addie Pray July 11, 2013, 9:59 am

        Menage à Thursday!

        Menage à Thursday!

        Menage à Thursday!

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray July 11, 2013, 10:00 am

        No, it’s a stretch. Back to the drawing board.

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      • avatar

        Taylor July 11, 2013, 10:43 am

        Hah!!

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    • Lindsay

      Lindsay July 11, 2013, 10:04 am

      Shortcuts Jr.!

      Reply Link
    • katie

      katie July 11, 2013, 11:24 am

      ok i want to go really dirty with it and call it “DW Threesomes” -and then you can do it on any day you want! ha!

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle July 11, 2013, 11:28 am

        I actually like “threesomes”— “Thursday Threesomes” (I know you said “any day”, but I can’t resist the alliteration, haha)

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      • KKZ

        KKZ July 11, 2013, 2:47 pm

        Thursday Threesomes!!!! That’s my vote!! I liked the other suggestions too, but LOVE this one. 🙂

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    • kmtthat

      kmentothat July 11, 2013, 12:28 pm

      Themed Thursdays!

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    VK July 11, 2013, 9:48 am

    This column should be called “Groupies” obviously 🙂

    Reply Link
  • littlebit

    littlebit July 11, 2013, 9:48 am

    Maybe this should be called “Thrice the Advice”! …ok a little corny but catchy lol

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      Addie Pray July 11, 2013, 9:56 am

      I like it!

      Reply Link
  • Lindsay

    Lindsay July 11, 2013, 9:49 am

    LW1: None of my friends have ever had a problem with me staying with them and their boyfriends/fiances/husbands, so I find it really annoying that he finds that “awkward.” I like Wendy’s advice. FWIW, though, choosing dresses online kind of sucks because clothes look different on than they do on a computer screen.

    LW2: Unless you explicitly told your parents that they’d be spending the entire weekend with your fiance’s parents, they shouldn’t be that disappointed. Please don’t make a big deal about it to your parents or anybody, though. Honestly, I assume your parents would rather spend time with you (and your fiance) than a random couple they barely know and have to meet out of obligation. If they hit it off, I’m sure his parents will make more time for them.

    LW3: Yeah, slow down. People seem to think that a divorce deserves more explanation than a relationship. Would you really expect a dude to give you the details of his last relationship before you even go on a date with him? My roommate just started dating a divorced guy, and they didn’t talk about his divorce until the second or third date. I mean, she knew he was divorced, but talking about exes isn’t exactly first-date material. And please meet up with him instead of being pen pals and Facebook stalkers with each other.

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    • avatar

      bethany July 11, 2013, 10:08 am

      I know my husband would probably be a little annoyed if one of my good friends stayed with us for 3 days (but that’s only because my friends and I are kind of obnoxious when we’re together- lots of inside jokes and old stories, stuff like that). But he would never tell me that they couldn’t stay with us. He’d probably use their visit as an excuse to go do something fun without me, like go visit a friend for the weekend or go snowboarding or something else fun.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay July 11, 2013, 10:15 am

        Yeah, that seems like a reasonable response!

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  • mandalee

    mandalee July 11, 2013, 9:54 am

    LW1- Am I only the one that doesn’t understand how having a guest stay in a spare room for a weekend is “awkward”?, especially when said guest is your fiance’s best friend, but I guess that’s besides the point. I couldn’t imagine making my friends budget in a hotel for weekends at a time to help plan my wedding. It’s perfectly reasonable to say you can’t afford it, and either she can volunteer to pay for the hotel or plan long distance.

    LW2- I agree with Wendy, a dinner with everyone together is more than enough. Your parent might be more social and his aren’t. Believe me, when it comes to in-laws this is a very minor problem to have.

    LW3- I think you’re definitely over thinking and worrying when you haven’t even met the guy yet. Maybe you’re just not comfortable dating someone who is divorced if you’re having all these thoughts already?

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    • avatar

      rachel July 11, 2013, 10:06 am

      I agree about LW1, it would be really weird to me if my fiance told me one of my friends couldn’t stay over. He knows and gets along with my friends who he’s met, and I’m sure trusts me enough that the ones he hasn’t wouldn’t be some kind of crazies.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow July 11, 2013, 1:27 pm

        Teehee. Fiance. 😉

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl July 11, 2013, 10:08 am

      I totally agree about LW1. I don’t get what’s awkward about someone staying in the room you specifically have designated for overnight guests…

      Reply Link
      • mandalee

        mandalee July 11, 2013, 10:18 am

        Right, isn’t that the purpose of a spare room? My husband and I pay $400 extra a month to have a 2-bedroom so people can visit us since we live so far away from our friends and family. I just don’t get the logic.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle July 11, 2013, 10:22 am

      I mean, like people are saying above, it’s a “need to be ‘on’ ” type thing—& that, I understand. But still, I’d never say NO to my partner if he wanted a friend to stay over for a short while. I’d just suck it up, maybe feel a bit weird & anxious beforehand, but ultimately, be fine with it. It’s definitely weird that the fiancè just said “no”, I think…

      Reply Link
      • mandalee

        mandalee July 11, 2013, 10:38 am

        Do you really need to be “on” though when your significant other has a friend in town though? My husband’s friend came to visit the other week, and they hung out and did whatever, and since I had stuff to do did my own thing- went to class, studied, hell even put a face mask when I knew they’d be gone for awhile. The only thing I couldn’t do was walk around naked or spend an hour getting dressed since my clothes are in the spare bedroom.

        I’m also a huge introvert and need my space a lot and still don’t feel pressure to be “on” for my husband’s guests unless it’s my in-laws because they exhaust me in general.

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      • mandalee

        mandalee July 11, 2013, 10:39 am

        way too many thoughs in that first sentence and random grammar errors in that post. I blame it on the two mimosas I had this morning lol

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      • Portia

        Portia July 11, 2013, 1:18 pm

        So I totally get being welcoming of anyone to come stay with you and would have never thought twice about that, but it’s actually become an issue between me and the boyfriend on various issues. Like, if I was just living with a roommate, I’d be like “my friend so and so is gonna be here for a week, hope that’s cool.” But with my boyfriend, we both want to be in on the decision of who and for how long.

        And we’ve had plenty of friends stay with us, too, but that’s definitely a discussion before we say yes to anyone. So maybe they’re figuring out all this coupley stuff that the LW is not privy to?

        I know with our parents, we’ve definitely had tons of conversations about this and they led us to, no parents are staying with us unless they absolutely need to. Despite the fact that we have an extra room, there is just too much stress that comes along with both sets of parents and we both have veto power. Then again, we’re in a unique situation because both of our siblings (and their families) have settled in our city, which means more frequent trips and more options of where to stay and more opportunities for trips gone wrong (it’s happened with both sets of parents). Perhaps if they’re living together or in a bigger place for the first time, this is a result of some discussion they’ve had more recently.

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    • avatar

      lemongrass July 11, 2013, 11:55 am

      My husband and I have an agreement that each others family & friends are always welcome to stay in our house. We pick up the slack for each other too so that the other can spend more time with those visiting. So if I have my sister over, my husband will cook and do the dishes so we can drink wine and chill. It’s a really good arrangement!

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  • avatar

    bethany July 11, 2013, 9:55 am

    Is it just me, or have we read Letter 2 before? Or at least something very similar?

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      bethany July 11, 2013, 9:56 am

      And WWS to all 3 letters.

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        Addie Pray July 11, 2013, 10:01 am

        BETHANY, WE HAVE TO TALK BIKRAM OMG

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      • avatar

        bethany July 11, 2013, 10:09 am

        I bailed AGAIN last night. I’m a horrible Bikram person. You need to make me go back to class!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray July 11, 2013, 10:19 am

        *gasp*

        how do you live with yourself i mean really?

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      • avatar

        bethany July 11, 2013, 10:33 am

        barely. I barely live with myself. AND I’m wearing my fat pants. The ones I haven’t worn in 2+ years, and I vowed I would never wear again, unless I was pregnant. I NEED bikram. Next week. I promise.

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    • avatar

      Tanya July 11, 2013, 11:56 am

      No, it’s definitely not just you. I have read the first two letters before, but can’t remember when or where. Not sure about the third. Strange!

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  • avatar

    TECH July 11, 2013, 10:10 am

    Regarding this first letter. I went through a very similar thing when a good friend got married. All of a sudden I was not invited to stay at my friend’s apartment when the fiance moved in.
    It bugged me for a while. I think I just had to get used to the idea that my friendship was changing with her marriage. His wishes and priorities were now her priorities.
    I came to the conclusion that if I wanted to visit or see my friend I would have to pay for a hotel. This would probably mean I would not see her as frequently as I used to. I also hoped that if they got a larger place or eventually moved into a house they might have more room for me and not feel so “awkward.”
    So yeah, I think this is just an unfortunate case of your friendship is changing because she is getting married. Expect other changes too.

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    • Kate B.

      Kate B. July 11, 2013, 10:39 am

      I agree with this. I thnk the LW is being a little overly sensitive. It’s his house, too, and if he does not want you to stay, that’s his perogative. Maybe the place is too small. Mine is. I’ve had to institute a new rule: no guests for more than two nights. If it means she can’t come see her friend, then that’s what it means. (Maybe the friend should have checked with the fiancee before extending the invite?) This marriage will change a lot of things, and if kids come along, it will all change again. You’d better get used to it.

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      • avatar

        Christy July 11, 2013, 11:31 am

        Yup, PLUS they’re working on creating a joint home, and I can understand not really wanting three-day houseguests after recently combining households.

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. July 11, 2013, 11:54 am

        Yeah, and maybe the friend is still getting used to her new circumstances, too, and forgot to check with the fiancee. Everything’s in flux. Just go with it.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark July 11, 2013, 5:10 pm

        Oh like its that fucking hard to combine houses and throw a tacky wedding. Some people are just too fragile to live, I guess. My patience with fragile people was at its end long ago. Just shatter into a million pieces already and be swept out with the trash… Trust me. You won’t be missed…

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay July 11, 2013, 5:48 pm

        I don’t know what happened, but I love everything you say these days.

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      • mandalee

        mandalee July 11, 2013, 11:42 am

        Does marriage really change house guests though? I can see kids, since they take up time and space, but having signed a legal document changes the policy of people visiting your house? I just don’t see that. I can’t remember my guest policy changing from when we dated, to when we lived together, to when we got married, especially if it’s just for a weekend and you have a spare bedroom.

        I get combining personal preferences and what not, but this is a friend that is coming to help plan and assist with both the friend and the fiance’s wedding and is close enough to be in the wedding is it really “awkward” to have her there for two nights over the course of a weekend?

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      • avatar

        Christy July 11, 2013, 11:46 am

        I would say it changes when you share a household. And that’s something that has recently change for LW’s friend. It wasn’t fiance’s home before, and it is now.

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. July 11, 2013, 12:00 pm

        It could. It depends on the people involved. Especially, as someone else pointed out, the friends get obnoxious when they’re together. I have a group of friends with whom I get very loud and obnoxious. We all are. (Way fun to travel together. Let’s get thrown off the plane!) Plus, pre-wedding stress can lower people’s tolerance for things. As I mentioned above, my guest policy recently changed and it has nothing to do with my living arrangement. (I live alone.) Sometimes, things just change.

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. July 11, 2013, 12:09 pm

        I also want to add that they just recently moved in together. That means this guy was either living alone or with someone other than his fiancee. Having not one but two people in his space is a big change. I personally used to get weirded out when my roommates had guests. I felt like there was a stranger in my space.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle July 11, 2013, 12:26 pm

        I get like that, too. I’m so on the fence about this, because I understand that feeling, & yet I think it’s weird if the fiancè actually ~said~ no?

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      • avatar

        Christy July 11, 2013, 12:31 pm

        I know gf is now at the point in her life where she wouldn’t do something she didn’t want to do (unless it involved her family or perhaps mine). Like, if she didn’t want houseguests, she’d veto houseguests. She doesn’t want to go to trivia, she’s not going to go to trivia. If it was super-important to me, she’d do it (whatever it was) but if it was more important to her than it was to me, she wouldn’t.

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. July 11, 2013, 12:35 pm

        His attitude may change. I acknowledge that I am territorial. Maybe he is too. I like to know exactly who’s going to be in my house when I get home. If I ever lived with anybody, I think I would would freak out if I walked in and there was another person there, i.e., someone he’d invited. Ideally, I would like to get to know them before having them as a guest, and be consulted in advance. But that’s in a perfect world. It’s also possible that there’s some specific reason he doesn’t want her to stay, but that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle July 11, 2013, 12:43 pm

        “I think I would would freak out if I walked in and there was another person there, i.e., someone he’d invited” haha, my boyfriend & I just had this discussion the other day (we’ve been having many hypothetical discussions about living together, lately). I’m like you—I’d be totally weirded out if I came upon a guest my S/O invited without being warned prior. But I’m pretty fine if I have enough time to mentally prepare, so I guess that’s why I’m questioning the fiancè here.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay July 11, 2013, 12:44 pm

        Same. I understand the feeling, but asking someone to spend that much money for a hotel when they’re coming to help make decisions about YOUR wedding when they already have to pay for another hotel room and dress and travel simply because it’s “awkward” just seems kind of obnoxious. I know weddings are stressful, but they don’t just “happen” to you, you know? I certainly have sympathy for people who are stressed by their wedding planning, but it’s not the same sympathy I’d have for someone who was stressed after losing their job or having a health scare.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 11, 2013, 12:46 pm

        It is obnoxious, and rude.

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      • Lady_Red

        Red_Lady July 11, 2013, 11:23 pm

        But it’s for 3 days!! He really can’t handle one weekend? That just seems rude to me. This girl has agreed to be in their wedding, and wants to help them with planning, and they can’t let her stay with them for a few days? It’s really not that much time in the scheme of things. They should just suck it up and deal with the “awkwardness”, whatever that is.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 11, 2013, 12:14 pm

        mandalee, I’m totally with you on this…it’s a guest for a 3 day weekend, tiny little blip. You can make anything work for 3 days! Our house guest policy didn’t change at all when we combined households.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay July 11, 2013, 1:23 pm

        My friends actually became more accommodating when they got married because they suddenly had a bigger living space, more household items (like extra towels and linens) and were just generally more prepared to have visitors (like were used to having family over and stuff). Definitely more so than when they lived in tiny apartments and had one set of sheets.

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      • landygirl

        landygirl July 11, 2013, 1:21 pm

        Are you implying that the LW’s friend is engaged to Bobby Brown?

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      • becboo84

        BecBoo84 July 11, 2013, 4:55 pm

        That would make sense, except for the fact that they have a guest room. What’s the point of a guest room if guests aren’t actually allowed to stay in it?

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  • avatar

    Morgan July 11, 2013, 10:17 am

    LW1: Wanna talk about awkward. Awkward is your boyfriend’s parents and sister staying with you in your livingroom, which is only separated from your bedroom by a curtain, and when there are adorable little windows (with lanterns in them! So cute! But awkward) that go from the livingroom to the bedroom. Seriously, our apartment has a verrrrry open floor plan, and for a couple its perfect, but with guests? Especially parents? Awkward. A spare bedroom is not awkward.

    That said, don’t judge the guy too harshly, especially if they just moved in together. It can be a stressful transition, especially with all the wedding planning. Just express to your friend that you’re disappointed and that you really appreciate her trying to help you find a hotel, but unfortunately your budget is tight and you’re not sure you can add a hotel into your expenses. Then ask what you can do to help remotely.

    LW2: “Hey Mom and Dad! So right now the plan is dinner with Bob’s parents on Friday night, and then Saturday we’re going to the unicorn zoo, then the moon, then to feed the dinosaurs! Sound good? Let me know if you’d like to try to squeeze in a visit with big foot while you’re here.”

    LW3: Step away from the internet. Put down the iphone, log off facebook, and get your butt to an actual restaurant or bar or cafe or wherever and meet this guy in person. I’m glad you’ve hit it off on the internet, but before you worry about him leaving you for his ex wife, maybe see if you actually, you know, even want to date the guy?

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    • avatar

      rachel July 11, 2013, 10:19 am

      omg, I wanna go to the unicorn zoo!

      Reply Link
  • mandalee

    mandalee July 11, 2013, 10:21 am

    Also, can I just say that seeing the bridesmaid photo and wedding questions kinda makes me want to break out in stress hives? One my friends just got engaged, and we were talking about her wedding, and I got the idea that I may be a part of the wedding, and I was just like nooooo in my head and felt like a shitty friend. I’m a much bigger fan of weddings as a guest. I feel much more honored as a guest since I can just use my money to get a big fancy gift and not worry about all the other expenses.

    Reply Link
    • FireStar

      Firestar July 11, 2013, 1:03 pm

      I actually told my friends it is my fondest dream to go through life never being a bridesmaid. I’ll help however you want, I’ll man the gift table, I’ll threaten and cajole whoever is giving you a hard time, I’ll boss around your photographer so you get perfect shots – but no bridesmaid. Knock wood. I only have a couple more friends to go and I’ve escaped thus far!

      Reply Link
  • Copa

    Copa July 11, 2013, 10:50 am

    LW3 – I could have written this EXACT letter in December. But I probably would’ve done so with less anxiety. (Maybe…) I met my current boyfriend online, we were the same ages/age difference as what you described, and when we became Facebook friends, I actually wasn’t intending to LOOK for his ex-wife (but put two and two together while looking through some of his photos). And then I stopped the stalking immediately because I didn’t want to fill in the blanks.

    My advice to you: don’t fill in the blanks, stop making assumptions based off of Facebook. They’re Facebook friends. So what? You run the same risk of getting hurt no matter a guy’s romantic past, no matter where you meet him. Just like this divorced guy you’re chatting with may reconcile with his ex-wife, anyone you meet anywhere could, in theory, reconcile with a past love. Don’t judge him for his divorce until you’ve heard details that worth judging him for. Chances are he’s more aware of the stigma of being divorced than you are.

    How do you bring up his divorce with him? Don’t. Let him be the one to bring it up. Just like it’d be pretty weird if he started asking too much too soon about YOUR past relationships, it’s weird if you start hounding him for the details of his divorce too soon. If you haven’t met in person yet, it’s too soon. Date him like you’d date anyone else: get to know him, see if you like him, decide if that’s what you’re looking for in a partner.

    When his divorce comes up — and I’m sure it will after a few dates — decide how you feel about the details he gives. If he has nothing to hide, he’ll probably be open to any questions you have about it.

    If you truly don’t think you can handle his “status” regardless of the details, move on now.

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  • avatar

    Julia July 11, 2013, 11:24 am

    Ok this isn’t helpful to LW1, but it is sort of relevant. My husband and I live in a one bedroom apartment. We LOVE to host friends and family, but in tight quarters like ours, house guests can really start to cramp one’s style.

    So, we have a 3-night rule. No house guests for more than three nights. Most guests aren’t staying in town more than three nights, anyway, but for the ones that are, it’s nice to have an it’s-not-personal rule to let them know that on night 4, they are going to have to find other accommodations. It’s not personal, it’s just house rules.

    Anecdote time! This weekend my husband has two buddies coming up from out of town. I don’t know if he communicated our rule to them or not, but they are both staying with us three nights. EXCEPT! They didn’t coordinate with each other or my husband, and they are staying different nights, so we’ll actually have house guests for four nights. I guess they found the loophole! At first I was like RAWR but then I was like, eff it, and invited myself to stay at my sister’s place for a couple nights. It’s a sleepover silver lining!

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  • Classic

    Classic July 11, 2013, 11:48 am

    Bitch Batch
    Queued Qs
    Midweek Muddle

    Wait, I will go make coffee, sorry.

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    • Classic

      Classic July 11, 2013, 12:11 pm

      Reply All
      Dear Wednesday

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle July 11, 2013, 12:18 pm

        Okay, I let you have “midweek muddle”, but now I’m starting to think that you think it’s Wednesday 😉 It may be time to make more coffee! (I like your suggestions, though, especially “queued q’s” & “reply all”

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      • Classic

        Classic July 11, 2013, 12:23 pm

        Haha Fabelle. I didn’t get the impression that Wendy always wanted to have it on Thursdays, especially since I think that is too close to shortcuts, so I am throwing out options for other days 🙂

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle July 11, 2013, 12:25 pm

        Okay, good to hear! haha

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    • Classic

      Classic July 11, 2013, 1:34 pm

      Midweek Medley

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    • Diablo

      Diablo July 11, 2013, 1:39 pm

      It’s funny how much more negative the word “bitch” is as a noun compared to verb. We all “bitch” about our daily lives. It’s almost a value-neutral word. To say “stop bitching” to someone is no big deal. But to say “stop being a bitch” is quite a different thing. Tow work more vowels into that one, how about “Botched Butch Bitch Batch, You Betcha.” Not!

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  • avatar

    j.walker July 11, 2013, 11:48 am

    Maybe the “spare room” isn’t a spare bedroom but just another room, say, an office (maybe his office?) or study or somewhere where wedding things are being organized. Or maybe he’s crazy. IDK not enough info on this one but I would def let the friend know that there is no way the LW can pay for three additional nights in a hotel.

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  • CatsMeow

    CatsMeow July 11, 2013, 12:34 pm

    LW1: I totally understand your disappointment. I personally think it’s shitty, but I am also sensitive to friendships changing after marriage. The thing is, the friendship WILL change and there isn’t much you can do about it. Even though it sucks, I think *I’d* just suck it up and deal with it because there are a million and one reasons they could have made this decision, and this is just how it might be from here on out anyway. (Unless you for real don’t have the money – then do WWS).

    LW2: I don’t see what the big deal is.

    LW3: I needed to hear Wendy’s response today because I am doing the same thing – overanalyzing before anything has even happened yet. I’m scared to even reply to a text message right now because I’m envisioning our future breakup and everything that (in my head) WILL go wrong between now and then. Yeah, let’s not do that, LW3. Time to take some risks!!

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  • Diablo

    Diablo July 11, 2013, 12:38 pm

    Wendy, You could call this type of piece:

    “Variations on a Theme:_______” with a theme word or phrase in the blank, like bridesmaids, wedding worries, etc.

    “Flock Shooting” – because the advice can aim at a group instead of one letter.

    “You’re Not Alone” – that is, the letters writers all have similar problems

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    • avatar

      Christy July 11, 2013, 1:26 pm

      Ooh I really like Variations on a Theme: ______

      It’s clear, it’s direct, and you know what you’re getting.

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    • Betsy

      Betsy July 11, 2013, 3:55 pm

      I like the “You’re Not Alone” spin – or something that plays with “all in the same boat”

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  • avatar

    Stephanie July 11, 2013, 12:40 pm

    LW 1: The point of the trip is to help your friend with her weding planning, correct? If your best friend and her fiance can’t appreciate the reason why you’re coming in the first place and the financial sacrifices you’re already agreeing to in order to be part of this wedding I’d feel no guilt in saying what Wendy said. She has someone traveling 300 miles at their own expense to help her with her wedding and she and her fiance can’t let her best friend sleep on the couch? Get the fuck out of here! Something tells me that when the wedding is over this best friend and her new husband are going to further distance themselves from the LW and they won’t continue their friendship.

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph July 11, 2013, 1:15 pm

      So agree with you. This is really shitty of the friend to even let her fiance pull this kind of crap. I wouldn’t ask my husband, I would tell him. Unless there’s major extenuating circumstances, this is way not ok.

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  • AKchic_

    AKchic_ July 11, 2013, 12:53 pm

    LW2: My MIL didn’t meet my family until the day of the wedding. She avoided it for a very long time, making things inconvenient by showing up an hour early to birthday parties and then complaining that because nothing was set up, she was going to leave (and then she would!) just to avoid my family.

    She won’t talk to my parents. Insists that she doesn’t want to “get attached” because she’s sure we’re going to split up anyways.

    A meet-n-greet dinner is fine. Warn your parents ahead of time that the future in-laws are not sociable and that they are kind of shy. They will have time at the wedding/reception to be awkward, just let it be.

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  • avatar

    SpaceySteph July 11, 2013, 1:53 pm

    LW2- I don’t think that this is really that odd. Idk why your parents or your fiance’s parents would want to spend a whole weekend together like that. Since travel is involved, I will guess they don’t see you often either and are most looking forward to hanging out with you, their daughter, and maybe a bit their soon to be son in law rather than his parents.
    My guess is that everyone will breathe a sigh of relief knowing its only one dinner.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark July 11, 2013, 4:35 pm

    LW1). I’d be irked, too. This is yet another instance of how lame many people get upon marrying. Wendy has good advice… Much nicer than mine would have been.

    LW2). Having witnessed inlaw introductions first hand, I gotta say. Less is more. It can be a strained relationship. Often odd rivalries arise among the mothers in particular. Honestly, be happy it is just one meal and enjoy the time with your folks.

    LW3). Don’t date this guy. Don’t even meet him. He simply doesn’t deserve you. He doesn’t deserve you or your hopelessly pointless drama…

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow July 11, 2013, 5:15 pm

      Why DO so many people turn lame once they’re married? I hope that never happens to me.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 11, 2013, 5:16 pm

        I guess I’m really lucky in that my experiences, my friends have all gotten LESS lame since marrying! (except for one guy who got super lame once he got engaged)

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark July 11, 2013, 5:26 pm

        Marriage makes many people instantly OLD. They get fat. Being out past ten on a week night is suddenly… “Just too much!” In other words — lame.

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      • avatar

        Christy July 11, 2013, 6:13 pm

        I was born old.

        And fat, too, if we’re being honest.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle July 11, 2013, 6:36 pm

        I think people like that just use marriage as an excuse? Not out loud, like, “Married now, can’t go out!” but in their heads, which influences their outward decisions?

        In other words, the stereotypical “I got a ring, now I can let go of everything else” person (men & women!)

        Not that I like to speak in stereotypes, but what you are talking about is A Thing, I’d say.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 11, 2013, 5:35 pm

        We don’t have many married friends, but we are actively trying to not become lame since our wedding. It’s been pretty easy…you just act the same as you did pre wedding!

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray July 11, 2013, 5:56 pm

        what do you mean not *become* lame?!… Oh Snap!

        ^ Did I take picking on you too far? I may have. But AP is like a lovable bully, right?

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      • theattack

        theattack July 11, 2013, 6:42 pm

        Our problem is that our friends just ASSUME we’re lame now and stopped inviting us to things after the wedding. We want to be fun, but that’s hard to do if people don’t even give us a chance. I guess by BGM’s standards I’ve always been lame though. It’s always been too hard to stay out late if I have to go to work the next morning. That’s not a marriage thing really.

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      • Lady_Red

        Red_Lady July 11, 2013, 11:35 pm

        I think that’s kind of common in the beginning of your marriage – I always assume newlyweds are busy getting used to being married, and wait for them to reach out first before inviting them out to do stuff. Hopefully that’s what your friends are thinking, and they’ll start inviting you out soon?

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  • avatar

    Lucy July 11, 2013, 7:50 pm

    I guess no one else jumped to my totally unsupported conclusion about LW1, which is that they’ve got some wild BDSM stuff going on that involves the kitchen, and the bf can’t stand to go without for a few days. I hope it’s something like that, and that we don’t get another letter from LW1 in two years talking about how her friend’s husband has slowly isolated her from all her friends and family because “other people just make everything so awkward.”

    I can’t even imagine being a relationship with someone who couldn’t stand houseguests, especially family or close friends. I would totally not marry someone based on that one thing. It just seems nutty. Sorry to all the people I just insulted.

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    • Lady_Red

      Red_Lady July 11, 2013, 11:37 pm

      I couldn’t marry someone like that either! I will do just about anything for close friends and family that I really care about. If my guy isn’t of a similar mindset, we would not be compatible.

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  • avatar

    Jessica July 12, 2013, 1:13 am

    Um what is the point of having a guest room if your guests have to stay in a hotel?

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