During this time frame, none of my friends reached out to see how I was doing, and they all seemed to turn on me – pitting me against Dan – this even included my best friend, “Kara.” The first scenario where this become abundantly clear was when my two best friends planned a small getaway with some other friends and didn’t invite me while they invited Dan. No one mentioned anything to me about the getaway until it was too late for me to go, and their reasoning for inviting Dan instead of me was that the trip better aligned with him, and they gave me a “maybe next time.” Naturally I was mad, especially at Kara who knew that I was upset about the breakup.
I didn’t talk to them for a bit after that, but eventually I decided to reach out to Kara. We rekindled our friendship and all seemed well and on the mend. A few weeks later, I asked what she was doing for the upcoming long weekend and she replied “I am going to a friend’s cottage.” Dan’s cottage. My heart was broken. How could my best friend do this to me? I thought she was my ride or die. I felt more betrayed than ever and stopped all forms of communication for months.
I then realized that perhaps I had overreacted and I needed my bestie back in my life. I was dating someone new, and I thought I was moving forward and hoped that maybe Kara also had “learned her lesson.” Everything was going well until she wouldn’t let me come over to her house because her boyfriend didn’t feel comfortable with my bringing my new man around since he and Kara were still friends with Dan. I wasn’t happy and threw a bit of a fit, but I moved on – until I got a text from my ex saying that he had gotten a new job in their town and was going to be living with them. My ex living with MY best friend – how?! Kara defended it by saying that she looked at it as she was helping out a friend and that it was temporary. Well, he lived there for eight months. In this time frame, I was mad, sad, betrayed, hurt – I did not know what to do. He has now moved out, but they go to the same gym and are fairly involved in each other’s lives – I hate it.
In between all of this happening, Kara got engaged, and naturally, even though we had been through all this, she asked me to be her MOH. Honored and excited for her, I obliged, thinking that this is what we needed to get past this ridiculousness. But now Dan is invited to the wedding, too. During this process, I have been doing so much for her – parties, showers and everything in between, and she doesn’t see anything wrong with inviting my ex to her wedding. Am I overreacting? I have a ton of anxiety about seeing him, being in the same room with him, etc. – I feel physically ill to even write this because it gives me such anxiety. I am emotionally distressed about this situation and am almost at the point of – “him or me” – even though I don’t want to do that to her. But I am at a loss. Please help me! — Reluctant MOH
Yes, you are overreacting. Furthermore, I am surprised you are so shocked that Dan would be invited to the wedding. Clearly, Kara and her fiancé are still very close with Dan. They vacation with him, he lived with them for eight months, and, as you said, they are “fairly involved in each other’s lives.” It didn’t cross your mind that he would likely be invited to the wedding?
And, look, you are not “almost at the point” of asking them to choose him or you. You are well, well past that point. That point happened immediately after your breakup, except you never said so explicitly. You simply implicitly expected your friends to choose you over Dan, and over and over they chose him. And every time they did that, you shut down, ignored them for months until you got lonely for them, and then came back, hoping they, too, “learned their lesson.” Well, they – or, Kara, specifically — didn’t learn any lesson. She didn’t miss you as much as you missed her or she would have been the one reaching out to you. But she didn’t. Each time, it was you who reached out. So, what lesson was there for Kara to learn? That if she chose Dan, the friend she apparently enjoys more, you would drop off for a while and then come back to her? Ok. Lesson learned then, I guess.
I can’t tell you why Kara asked you to be her MOH when she clearly doesn’t treat you like much of a friend. Maybe it was an easy way to throw you a bone. Maybe she thought you’d be most likely to do all the leg work a maid of honor does without complaining or playing martyr; I really don’t know. But she didn’t choose you to be MOH because it was what you two “needed to get past this ridiculousness.” That wasn’t even on her mind. The “ridiculousness,” in her mind, was all on your end. You were the one who implicitly expected your friends to choose sides and then dropped off when you weren’t chosen and then came crawling back months later when you got lonely. Kara and the rest of them were simply living their lives. Were they being good friends to you? No, obviously not. But any ridiculousness here was from your continuing to give them a chance to change when it was obvious they had no interest in doing so.
At this point, you have two choices: suck it up and go to the wedding* (and then either bluntly end the friendship with Kara immediately after or fade out over time), OR tell Kara the anxiety over seeing Dan is too much for you and you are going to have to bow out of going to the wedding. Either way, this friendship is essentially over. The truth is, it’s been over for a long time. Playing Kara’s MOH and doing all this stuff for her is not going to change anything. It isn’t going to win over her loyalty and love. She isn’t your ride or die. She apparently doesn’t even like your company as much as she likes Dan’s, and since you require her to “choose a side” in order to remain close to you, you’re already out because the side was chosen a long time ago and you didn’t win. I know that sucks and that you still feel sad and betrayed after all this time. But now you can truly move on, and you can focus on making new friends who don’t make you feel so sad all the time.
* If you do decide to attend the wedding — which is what I would do if I were you if for no other reason than it just looks really bad if you don’t, it needn’t be the end of the world. Here is some advice for how to handle seeing your ex at the event.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.