You said that the boyfriend, who wasn’t granted a plus-one to a wedding he was invited to, had to choose the lesser of two evils when deciding whether to attend the wedding without his girlfriend or decline the invitation, and that he should go to the wedding. But all of the arguments you made for the boyfriend to go — it’s just a one-day affair, and upsetting the girlfriend in the short-term is not as big a deal as upsetting his friends in the longer-term — support the fact that the boyfriend should have prioritized his relationship and gracefully declined the invite, sent a gift, and taken his girlfriend out for the day. In no way would this have been a short-term issue for the girlfriend. I just don’t understand where compassion and loyalty for your partner have gone in this day and age.
A few years ago, my husband and I were not invited to the wedding of our best friend of 30 years because his wife only invited her family. They had a rocky relationship from the start and she repeatedly broke it off with him and she’d move on to other relationships until he finally wore her down and she agreed to marry him. We supported their relationship because we knew there was something about her that he NEEDED, so we were shocked to learn (after a casual evening together) that they were getting married THE NEXT DAY and only her family was invited. We were graceful about the news (albeit with an open jaw) but I am still hurt by it.
Our friend has been completely overwhelmed by her family and we see him once or twice a year (this, after seeing him almost every day for YEARS). We accept their relationship as it is and have grieved the loss of our friend without complaint to him….we just want him to be happy. With that said, I would have been devastated if we had been put into the same situation as your writer, where the bride and groom were insensitive or cheap enough to invite one half of a couple. Our experience taught me, it’s not about “one damn day” at all. It’s about love and respect in relationships. — Still Not Over It
Ok, consider the topic revisited. Four and a half years later, I still stand by my original advice. It sucks when one half of an unmarried couple is invited to a wedding without a plus-one for the other half, especially if that couple has been together for two years like the couple in the original letter. But you have only a few options: go to the wedding, make the most of it, and support your friends who probably had difficult decisions to make as they planned their wedding and guest list; or, stay home either out of principle because you can’t support someone who doesn’t support your relationship, or stay home because you can’t bear the idea of being away from your boyfriend or girlfriend for a few hours.
It’s a personal decision and you gotta do what you gotta do, but, yeah, it is “one damn day,” and, more often than not, the lack of a plus-one has much more to do with budget or size limitations than anything else, and it’s far shittier to be “devastated” over a lack of an invite, and ditch a friend over this perceived personal slight, than it is to be “cheap” as you say and throw the wedding you can afford even if it, unfortunately, hurts some feelings of people you care about.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.