The night before the wedding there was a rehearsal but no dinner. My husband went out with some old friends of his that night (we both used to live in the town where the wedding was being held). He claims to not have been invited to the rehearsal, but I don’t recall saying that — just that I would be busy with wedding stuff being the matron of honor and that he may want to make other plans. Then comes the wedding day. I spent the morning getting ready with the bride and her sister until the wedding started (late). Immediately following the ceremony, we took pictures and then I proceeded up to the bride’s room to help her change into her reception outfit. During this time was a cocktail hour for the wedding attendants. The few times I was down by this area I did look for my husband, and I only saw him once prior to the reception. He informed me that he was not at the table we thought he was going to be at, but instead he was seated at a table full of families with children. Not knowing anyone, this made him even more uncomfortable, and he ended up leaving. Of course, I stayed throughout the evening, being part of the bridal party.
The next morning my husband left as he had made plans with friends. He informed me my friends had no etiquette and I was clueless to leave him alone and not have included him in the rehearsal dinner (again, there wasn’t a dinner — just a rundown of what to do during the ceremony) or to not have introduced him to people the day of the wedding. Things have been incredibly tense between us ever since and he’s brought up divorce if I can’t “fix this” since “I broke this.”
I guess I am clueless because I have no idea how to make this right with him. He insults my friends and says he’s beyond disappointed in me. I told him I’m not sure when I was supposed to be doing all these introductions when I was running around being a bridesmaid the whole day, not to mention I didn’t know half the attendees since they were family members I also had not met before. When things finally calmed down after dinner, he hadn’t even shown up to the reception.
I do not want to get a divorce and am horrified the topic was even brought up. On the other hand, I don’t feel my actions were that incredibly wrong to warrant all of this backlash. I understand his not feeling included, but there is not anything I can do to change that day. Please shed some perspective on this for me. — Matron-of-Honor in Trouble
Woah! I mean, I agree with your husband that you could have made a little more effort to include him in the wedding festivities, introduced him to people, and made him feel more comfortable at an event where he knew literally no one else, but to threaten divorce over this is seems a little… much. Knowing zero history between you two, I am wondering if there is a pattern of this kind of behavior and dynamic and if this wedding felt like the final straw for him. Do you generally disregard his feelings, prioritize others over him, and assume he’s perhaps more socially adept and capable than he is? These are general questions that may be hard to answer, especially because they require some self-analysis and self-criticism, but maybe these are skills you have. Or maybe your husband has given you clues in the past that indicate that he feels disregarded and disrespected by you. In that case, it may be a little easier to understand why this relatively minor offense — sort of ignoring your husband for a day while you played matron of honor in a close friend’s wedding — became such a lightening rod of controversy in your marriage.
On the other hand, maybe your husband is a little… off-kilter? Like, maybe he has some mental/emotional issues, some serious social anxiety, something that made fending for himself at a social event for a few hours a near impossibility to the point that he fucking snapped. Does anything in his history or in his family history support that theory? If that is at all a possibility, you might want to gently broach the suggestion of seeking some help, but not before taking some responsibility for blowing him off at the wedding and apologizing for being inconsiderate. Tell him that you didn’t realize you WERE being so inconsiderate – that you were focused on being a great matron-of-honor and that you regret that that took away from being a supportive spouse to him at an event where he didn’t know anyone and may have felt uncomfortable.
But, for fuck’s sake, don’t let him railroad you. He’s a grown man and not a 7-year-old, and how much hand-holding did he really need or expect? Sure, I can appreciate that he was turned off by you and your friends ignoring him – an introduction at the very least should have happened! — and sitting him at a table with a bunch of kids, but you know, there’s usually only room for one special princess at a wedding and that is typically the bride (or brides if we’re talking about a lesbian couple) – not the husband of the matron of honor. He needs to get over himself.
So what does this mean for you? Again, consider that maybe a dam broke inside your husband and that this incident was merely the inciting force. Do your due diligence to find out what may have been building up before this incident, and take responsibility and apologize where you believe it is warranted. Consider and suggest some therapy – both for him as an individual and for the two of you together as a couple. Threatening divorce is serious and should not be taken lightly. He needs to know that what he did was wrong. But at the same time, he may be trying to send you a message that what you’ve been doing is wrong, too. You need to determine whether that is true and if there’s validity to that and own it and try to fix it if there is.
I don’t think she lied about not being able to afford picking up checks on your dates or about being afraid of losing her health insurance by getting a part-time job (if she even COULD get one). If you were unable to afford the dates you two went on, and you knew she was unable to afford them, a better option than telling her to get a job would have been… you know, going on cheaper dates. You can enjoy someone’s company without spending much or any money (here are 52 ideas, actually, for inexpensive dates!).
It doesn’t sound like your girlfriend was using you. Using you for what? To go out dancing and to listen to music? She was doing those things because she liked your company and those were activities that you enjoyed together. Considering that you have regret about breaking up with her, maybe YOU were taking HER for granted. At any rate, what did you expect after you broke up with her? You dated for a year and you dumped her because she couldn’t afford to pay for any of your nights out. She hardly owes you a mourning period. And PS, how do you even know she joined a dating site? If you only know because you were on the dating site yourself and saw her profile, that’s pretty rich. You’re both free agents now and she’s as entitled to find her next date as you are (but you just might want to make sure your next one has a job).
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.