Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Updates: “Anxious Bridesmaid” Responds

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 wendy@dearwendy.com with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.

9 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Britannia December 1, 2011, 12:49 pm

    It seems like you got caught up in your head with worry, which is something I do a lot of. It really helps sometimes to step back and ask yourself how you can make it a win-win situation for everyone while still remaining true to yourself and your feelings/boundaries. It sounds like you figured that out on your own, and I’m really glad that everything worked out for the best!

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    cdubs December 1, 2011, 6:39 pm

    “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.”

    Seriously? You had plans the day of her wedding? What kind of bridesmaid makes plans the day of the wedding, and then tells the bride they would ‘work it out’.

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      Rachel December 1, 2011, 7:12 pm

      If I remember correctly there was something really weird and last minute about how she was told when/where the wedding would actually be. So maybe that had something to do with it?

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark December 2, 2011, 1:19 am

    Seriously. This is one seriously strange update. I sure do wish there was a link to the original letter because, reading this alone, I am left scratching my head. The whole thing about making other plans on the day of a wedding you’re actually in is all very Bridesmaidzilla — hmmmm, perhaps a new phenomenon has just been birthed here at Dear Wendy…

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      Ravage Maladie December 2, 2011, 8:56 am

      In this case reading the original letter does clear things up quite a bit. Having said that, by all means do go on fleshing out the concept of ‘Bridesmaidzilla’, it’s making my life better already:).

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      • avatar

        DebMoore December 2, 2011, 2:29 pm

        Where do we find the original letter?

        Link
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      Temperance December 2, 2011, 10:22 pm

      I think you just made it a thing. Godspeed, good sir.

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    Temperance December 2, 2011, 10:22 pm

    That’s the original letter. I’m kind of head scratching at it, because I think that weddings are a big deal, and if I had a bridesmaid tell me that she and her boyfriend would show up to my wedding around their plans, I would blow a gasket. I really disliked this update, if only because the sentence about “conforming my life to hers” is so bizarre in this context; could you really compare lunch with your boyfriend or a movie or whatever to someone’s once-in-a-lifetime (ideally) wedding? Really?

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    • avatar

      DebMoore December 5, 2011, 2:26 pm

      True, but re-reading the letter helped. Normally if a person said they would be a bridemaid and then say they make if they could I would think that would be a big deal and rather odd. But the Bride didn’t tell her where/when till the night before? I have never experienced that before. Usually you know weeks if not months before hand when and where the wedding will be and what time. So that was odd on the brides part, and made the LW/bridesmaid not seem so odd for saying she’d show up when she could. Plus the whole not being allowed in the church thing also makes a differance on how the wedding would go. I know a friend of mine got married to a Morman girl and none of his family were allowed to attend the service. NONE!!!! So they had another wedding so that family and friends could attend.
      Anyways LW your friend sounds toxic and it might be best to distance yourself from her. I know I would have a hard time being friends with someone who told me I was crazy. I am not saying she can’t be your friend, just maybe she should be one of those people that when you see them it’s fun to cacth up and maybe hang out with for a little bit but after that forget about her and don’t make plans with her in the future.

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