The other day I asked for an update on bridesmaid dresses to which I received no reply. A few days after that she responded that my question had thrown her for a loop. She was terribly sorry if she had made me think her decisions on the wedding party were final and said that, when she and her fiancé had sat down and talked about it, they decided on a smaller wedding party and she was only able to choose the girls who were her childhood friends.
I am 100% ok that I am not in the wedding. What I am not ok about is knowing she most likely told all her friends that I assumed I was in the wedding party and asked for advice on how to tell me that I’m not. I didn’t assume anything! It happened, it is a fact. (My husband also remembers the night as he too was surprised I had made it into their “close knit group.”)
While I treasure our friendship, this is truly making me ill. To think that I am being talked about is driving me insane and giving me anxiety attacks. And I just cannot not say something to her. Any advice on how I can clear this up without hurting our friendship? All my friends are saying that I shouldn’t hang out with her anymore, but I hope that’s not the only answer. — Assumed Guilty
Isn’t the friendship already hurt? You’re turned off by your friend’s utter breach of etiquette, her seeming lack of respect for you, and the idea that she’s talking about you behind your back to her “close-knit” circle that you aren’t a part of. (And let’s be honest, the idea that there’s a tight circle that you haven’t been able to break into seems to be a sore point to you, too.). Now, you’re concerned with defending yourself against what you imagine is being said and thought about you (namely, the lie that you “assumed” you were a bridesmaid), but to try to do so without damaging the friendship is futile. The friendship is already damaged.
If you don’t say anything to the bride, your friendship suffers because you resent how she’s treated you. If you DO say something, there’s a good chance she’ll resent you for breaking the girlfriend code of letting shitty bridezilla behavior slide and, instead, calling her out for how she treated you when she’s busy planning her Big Special Day. But… what is it exactly you hope to “clear up” or accomplish by addressing all of this with the bride? Do you want her to admit that she did, in fact, initially ask you to be a bridesmaid and then changed her mind and didn’t have the guts to tell you and hoped you’d maybe forget she ever brought up the idea to you? Do you want her to apologize? To admit she was wrong? Do you think any of those things will really happen? Like, in a genuine way and not simply in a, “Oh, ok, I’ll say whatever I need to say to get you to leave me alone” way? I don’t.
I think the window of authenticity has closed. As soon as the bride implied that you made an assumption, that window slammed shut. Rather than own her mistake then and admit she made a mistake by asking you to be a bridesmaid and then changing her mind, she turned the tables and tried to get you to take the fall. Any apology you might get from her now won’t be genuine. It’s not like she FORGOT she asked you and that your reminding her is going to make a light bulb go off. No, she remembers perfectly well. It’s just not a convenient memory, so she has made a conscious effort to change the narrative in her mind.
Look, you’re probably not going to continue being friends with this person anyway. (The window of genuine friendship also slammed shut), so you can either go out quietly — a slow fade after attending her wedding (or, hell, skipping it on account of being physically ill over how she’s treated you). Or, you can go out with some drama by calling attention to her general shittiness and likely making yourself the subject of more inner-circle gossiping (“Ladies, first she assumed I asked her to be a bridesmaid, and THEN she totally denied that she did anything wrong and tried to put all the blame on ME even though I’M the BRIDE and it’s MY wedding!”). You have to decide for yourself which scenario will create the least anxiety for yourself and go with that. If it were I, I’d probably do the slow fade and call it a day. But if you choose the latter, please update with all the details as I’d LOVE to hear how the bride spins things when you call her out!
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.