After our friends were asking why I am not planning a wedding, I decided why not! So we rented a nice venue, videographer, photographer, musician and all. For the invitation portion, I wanted to do online because I have few people living overseas. The thing is that one of my friends, whom I met when I was 19, lives in Singapore but is traveling to see her family in South America right now and has not replied. Back in 2018 when she was getting married, I took vacation, went to her wedding in Singapore, was her bridesmaid, and did all the sweets for the wedding myself and helped with her wedding in other ways.
I have another good friend who lives in Belgium and I am a godmother to her child. I also have been there for her wedding and to baptize her child. She replied that she couldn’t attend my wedding and sent me a nice note, but I can’t help but feel sad. It is a small wedding – 70 guests – and will be beautiful. I wanted my people with me and not having them there makes me sad. Money is not the issue here but logistics with her child in school and her job. I just wish my friends were like me as I left everything to attend to their big days.
My question is if anyone has been through this and any advice? It turned out that planning a wedding IS way more stressful than I thought it would be. — Planning a Wedding is Stressful
Well, first, congratulations on finding happiness with your partner and on your upcoming nuptials. Since you have friends who talked you into having a wedding in the first place, I know that you WILL actually have your people with you. Seventy of them, as a matter of fact! True, you may not have ALL the people you want, but that’s part of having a wedding, especially one where you are inviting people from across the globe, and especially when those people have kids and the wedding is during the school year. I mean… do you really expect your friend(s) to pull their kids out of school for a week or two to attend your wedding? Or, to leave their kids for that long? It’s ok to be sad, but I would try not to take it too personally that your friend in Belgium can’t make it. She wrote a nice note, and maybe she’ll send a gift as well.
As for your friend from Singapore, maybe she hasn’t replied to you yet because she’s traveling and hasn’t had time to figure out whether she can swing another trip to South America so soon after her current visit? Did you just send out the digital invitations? If you did, and if the invitations weren’t preceded by Save the Date notifications, it would be understandable that long-distance friends, given only three month’s notice, might have difficulty making a wedding that’s across the globe. People often need a year to plan such a trip. If you did indeed give plenty of notice and haven’t heard any word from your friend from Singapore, I’d say it’s worth reaching out to her to make sure she’s received the invitation and to express again how much it would mean to have her at your wedding, while also letting her know you know how challenging it might be to make such a long trip and you would understand if it doesn’t work for her right now. That’s the gracious way to handle this.
Having grace doesn’t mean you won’t have hurt feelings, and if you have felt that, in general, these friends have taken more than they’ve given – that you aren’t getting a good return on the investment you’ve made in these friendships, perhaps it’s time to re-evaulate their roles in your life. A friend who completely ignored a wedding invitation probably needs to be downgraded out of your inner circle. A friend who can’t make your wedding for legitimate reasons (like scheduling conflicts, financial limitations, or health issues, for example) but otherwise continues to lend emotional support and shows up for you in other ways should be granted some amnesty. Everyone’s circumstances are different and what might’ve been your situation five years ago to allow you to show up for a friend’s wedding in another country may not be a situation your friend enjoys today. If your friend can celebrate you and your special occasion in other ways, it would behoove you to take what is offered and not compare that to what you were able to give years ago, with potentially different lifestyle limits.
I have been in previous relationships where I am always Mr. Goody Two Shoes and people take me for granted, go out without me, even go on holidays without me, and I’m there, the unusually loyal gay who people treat as a doormat. So, the wedding is next week, and secretly I keep hoping my boyfriend will turn around and ask me to come, but I doubt it will happen. It makes me feel bad because when we met, he wanted to take me everywhere and I always feel like if we had just met a month ago, there wouldn’t be a question about taking me. He just would.
Do you think this goes beyond a silly invitation or do you think he has had enough? FYI, this is one of the reasons I never want to associate with “the gay community” because they are all a bunch of selfish, sex-depraved people who want to hop from one relationship into the next, never realizing that there are people out there who get their hearts broken. I have been quite depressed over it, but maybe it is down to me. He reassures me with actions and words that he loves me, but past experiences have made me the terribly insecure person I am today. What advice can you give me? Thank you. — Uninvited
Whoa, whoa, whoa – your characterizing of the gay community is wrong and problematic and speaks to deeper issues that can’t be addressed in a short advice column. Gay people are like any people; there are loving, committed friends and partners, and people who aren’t as kind. One’s sexuality has nothing to do with who they are as people and how they treat others. You’ve obviously been hurt in the past, but straight people hurt their partners, too. Your characterization of all gays being selfish and having no thought about breaking hearts sounds like the women who have a bad boyfriend or two and then declare all men trash. Maybe you’ve just been making some poor choices. Maybe, with your passive-aggressiveness, you’ve attracted men who take advantage of you. You can stop the cycle; it starts with speaking up.
What if, instead of guessing or assuming why your invitation was seemingly rescinded and then getting mad at your boyfriend, you actually ask him for clarification? Like: “Hey, a few months ago you told me that “we” were invited to this wedding after-party, but now you’re going with your colleagues and not me. Did I misunderstand you? Was there a change of plans?” It’s ok to ask for clarification!
Maybe it’s not a misunderstanding and you went from being invited to not being invited because your boyfriend simply no longer wants to take you. Does this seem consistent with the way he’s been treating you and behaving lately? If so, sounds like it’s time to move on. If this is not consistent though and he is otherwise attentive and loving, quit taking out past hurts on him.
In general, you sound like a great candidate for therapy. You’ve got the past heartbreaks to process and potentially some self-loathing to unpack if what you say about gay people is truly representative of your feelings. You are deserving of a loving and fulfilling relationship, but it sounds like you’re getting in your own way of that. A good therapist can help you over the hurdles towards a mutually-satisfying partnership.