This is an evening event (rather than an all-day affair) in what I have seen looks to be a nice venue, and I can’t see my exclusion as being anything to do with cost or a deliberate decision on the part of the hosts, both of which points lead me back to believing that this is solely my girlfriend’s decision to go without me although she says she alone was invited. — Not Invited
Ok, so you have no reason to believe that you were included on the wedding invitation and that your girlfriend’s lying about it and pretending you weren’t except that you think the couple could have afforded to invite plus-ones based on the venue looking “nice” and the event taking place in the evening rather than all day? (Fwiw, most receptions are just a few hours.) Plenty of people have evening receptions in nice venues and don’t extend plus-ones to every guest. Have you considered that limiting the guest list is HOW they were able to afford a “nice venue”?
The real problem here though isn’t so much that you suspect your girlfriend is lying about your being invited, but rather it’s that you don’t trust your girlfriend and you think there’s reason to believe she doesn’t want to be around you. Why else mention how long she was gone for the bachelorette/hen party? (For the record, leaving around 6 and getting home in the early morning is pretty typical for that kind of event.) It sounds like you’re looking for evidence to support gut feelings you have. What would be a better use of your time and energy would be to discuss the gut feelings, whatever they may be. Are you feeling neglected, rejected, or like your girlfriend has lost interest or doesn’t care about you? Discuss THAT. Stop focusing on some stupid wedding you don’t believe you weren’t invited to. Where does an argument about that go? It goes like this:
“Your name was not on the invitation!”
“I think I was! I don’t believe you. Why didn’t you ask if you could bring me?”
“Because that’s fucking tacky.”
“No, it’s not!”
“Yes, it is.”
See? Stupid. Whereas, if you discuss your actual feelings about the relationship, you might get somewhere. If you tell your girlfriend that after ten years, you’re beginning to feel taken for granted, neglected, ignored, whatever, she can’t argue with that. She can’t say you AREN’T feeling those feelings. I mean, I guess she could, but at least that gives you some kind of resolution and validation that your feelings aren’t actually being considered. What is more likely to happen if you discuss your feelings is that you have a discussion about your relationship — which is the actual subject of your problem — and not about some dumb invitation. You see the difference? Focus on those hurt feelings of yours, but when explaining why they’re hurt, don’t tell your girlfriend it’s because you weren’t invited to the wedding; tell her it’s because your relationship is at a point that you feel she prefers going without you. I don’t know what the reasons are that you believe your girlfriend would prefer going to a wedding without you, and maybe you don’t either — but those reasons are the true root of the issue here, not how nice the venue is or what time the reception is being held.
Living in an apartment in the city with two small kids, I am very familiar with this situation. Our downstairs neighbor in our last place used to complain all the time, and this was back when we just had one child, he was asleep from 7 pm until 6 am every day, and we were out and about for much of every weekend. Didn’t matter. This woman worked from home, so any noise she heard at, say, 3 pm on a Wednesday afternoon distracted her and she’d complain. I regret in hindsight kowtowing to her as much as we did. Making normal, walking-around, playing-with-toys noise on a weekday afternoon is totally reasonable. She should have rented an office space or found a table in a cafe or gone to our very lovely and very large neighborhood library to work. Instead, she complained, I felt constantly on edge, and we ended up moving out.
Before we moved, I told our potential new downstairs neighbor – who happened to also be our new potential landlord — that as a family we might make some noise. I brought my then 3-year-old son to the open house, told him to run around, and then asked our potential neighbor if he was sure he’d be ok with that kind of activity right above him on occasion. He said he would, and, to his credit, in the three years he lived below us he never complained once (and we added a second kid to the mix eight months after we moved in). And whenever we asked how the noise level was, he said, “Not an issue! Don’t worry about it!” So, he was either exceedingly patient and understanding, or our last neighbor was an uptight bitch. We have new downstairs neighbors now who moved in a couple months ago, and they, too, say the noise isn’t a problem. Which makes me think the problem all along was unreasonable expectations from our old neighbor.
Some people, I’ve learned, simply love to complain. And some people live in a city with the full understanding that it isn’t going to be as quiet as, say, a suburb in Milwaukee where one might have lived her entire adult life until retiring to Brooklyn to write her (parenting!) memoir from home while complaining about the toddler living above singing ABCs too loudly in the stairwell (true story). (By the way, the same complainy neighbor in my last place also whined about another neighbor’s dog and bought for our shared stairwell some weird dog whistle thing that would go off every time the poor dog got taken out for a walk. As I said, some people like to complain and probably shouldn’t live in apartments in big, loud cities if they need total silence in their homes).
Anyway! If I were you, I’d ask the landlord what the expectations are for noise levels and what he wants from you. Does he expect zero noise at all, any time of the day? Is that in your lease? Does he expect you to cover, say, 75% of your floors with rugs (a reasonable expectation)? What? He’s allowed to have expectations, but he needs to express them, and you’re allowed to decide whether the expectations are reasonable and whether you can meet them. If you can’t, you may want to consider moving out. And certainly, if the downstairs neighbor continues harassing you, you may want to consider moving out. But first, I’d try discussing things with the landlord and getting on the same page about expectations — and making a real effort to meet agreed expectations — so that he will be in a better position to support YOU.
Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.