It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “Anxious Bridesmaid” who wondered if she should/could skip her friends’ wedding two days later even though she was a bridesmaid. “The thought of spending more time with this person who has hurt me so much brings tears to my eyes. Moreover, I know that above all this is her special day, and I need to suck it up and act happy if only for the pictures or while she’s talking to me. But I just don’t know how I will do it. I have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, and because of that I can’t always control my nerves. It’s not whether or not I should suck it up for her big day, it’s if I can.” After the jump, find out whether she skipped the wedding or not.
Thank you so much for your advice! It really helped and I truly appreciate it. I waited to thank you properly until I could tell you how it went, so here it is:
I had already told my friend that we could probably stop by her rehearsal dinner when I got your response, so we did go for a little while but didn’t stay for dinner. With my amazing boyfriend holding my hand I felt a hundred times better, and was pleased to find that the other bridesmaids were really nice and we got along well. I left the get-together feeling much more positive not only because of this but also because I took a moment to explain to my friend that my boyfriend and I had some plans for the day of her wedding too, but that as long as she told me when and where I needed to be we would work it out. She was really understanding and I felt a lot less pressured to conform my life to hers (and therefore a lot less angry).
The following day, my boyfriend and I participated in our own activities as well as those of the wedding and things went wonderfully. I felt so much more relaxed due to your advice and the events of the previous day that I was easily able to smile through the photos and even have a lot of fun dancing with my boyfriend at the reception!
Everything went so well that it kind of seems like I was overreacting, but I just wanted to explain to you that your advice was a huge contributor for things turning around for me in this way. I had been stressing about this event for a while but every time I talked to people about it they just told me that I had to go through with my commitment and forgive everything she ever did to me. That I didn’t have a choice and my contemplating bailing was not only terrible, it was out of the question entirely! The fact that you told me that it was okay (even if it wasn’t so nice) to choose not to go validated my feelings and thus gave me the chance to choose how I wanted to proceed without outside pressure. This, along with the support of my boyfriend, allowed me to make the decision to do the right thing on my own, rather than be coerced into it and then feeling anxious, uncomfortable, and resentful the whole time.
You made the right decision; I’m glad you were able to reach it calmly and without feeling pressured into it. Hopefully, you’ll have similar peace as you navigate your friendship from here.
If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.