Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Husband is Threatening Divorce Because I Didn’t Sit By Him at My Friend’s Wedding”

A couple weeks ago my husband, “Gary,” and I attended an out-of-town wedding for my best friend. We spent a couple thousand dollars between travel, accommodations, and gifts (which is not an issue for me but is a sticky point for my husband). Gary does not know my friends and has deemed me clueless with etiquette, saying horrible things about my friends since their wedding day. Now he is even threatening divorce unless I make things right. Let me explain…

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 was married for 25 years and have been divorced for One and a half years. A year ago I met a lovely woman and we have had great times, going out dancing and listening to live music. However, she has never picked up a tab, and when I pointed that out to her, she said she could hardly pay her bills. She is on disability but is able to do things. I suggested she maybe get a small part-time job to help with our expenses, and she said she is afraid of losing her health insurance. She sells things on eBay and is able to make a couple of dollars when she has a good sale, but she still doesn’t pick up a check. This bothered me until it came out in a big fight. We both emptied our clothes from each other’s homes. It has been a week and she has already joined a dating site. I feel used and taken for granted, but I have major regrets about breaking up. Any insight would be appreciated. — Feeling Used

 
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).

***************

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy​(AT)​dearwendy.com.

106 comments… add one
  • avatar

    ktfran December 4, 2018, 1:51 pm

    LW1: I think your husband is definitely overreacting. I mean divorce over this slight is super extreme unless something else is going on. With that being said, I think you were in the wrong. You basically told your husband to fend for himself. I get that you were in the wedding party and had other, more pressing things to take care of, but you should have also helped your husband with your absence.

    How could you have done that? By making a few introductions and asking a few people if they could take your husband under their wing while you were doing all the wedding party things. The rehearsal would have been a perfect opportunity to meet some other people and make introductions. Of course, this is assuming you knew more people present than just the bride and groom.

    My husband and I were in separate, out of town weddings last year. We had the same type of activities you mentioned. There was an earlier church wedding and an evening reception. The wedding party was taking photos between these events. I made sure my husband had people to hang out with between events. He did the same for me. It’s the kind, thoughtful thing to do.

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  • avatar

    JD December 4, 2018, 2:16 pm

    Ugh your husband is a dram queen LW1. He needs therapy and to get a grip.

    LW2: uh ya only one way you’d know she joined the site.

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  • avatar

    csp December 4, 2018, 3:06 pm

    LW1 – I am normally not one to say “therapy” but you guys need to figure something out. Did this fight just start rolling and end with the big divorce word being thrown out there? Like did the fight escalate to that?

    Look, you were thoughtless. But if he throws divorce on the table every time you are thoughtless then you have a lot of pain in your future. I know one couple that the husband always went to divorce when they fought over anything. So after only 8 months of marriage, she walked out and said fine. Then he couldn’t believe she took him up on it. Some people learn to fight badly from their parents. But you need to figure out what is going on here. I mean, he couldn’t have brought a book for the downtime? He couldn’t play candy crush?

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    • avatar

      csp December 4, 2018, 3:14 pm

      I keep thinking of times I have left my husband in annoying situations and he was a good sport:

      1.) My sister’s baby shower – he sat in a dark room with my brother’s sleeping toddler. He had his phone and we brought him a plate of food.
      2.) I have been in 8 weddings – and I said “make friends”
      3.) My mom had a small meltdown at her father’s funeral and wanted only the kids for hotel room sharing purposes. He said ok and didn’t go.
      4.) He started taking salsa lessons with me and once I was really late and didn’t call. He just started dancing with someone else.

      Now I feel bad because he is awesome. That is what I thought of in 20 seconds. Give me a day and I could think of tons of other times.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy December 4, 2018, 3:32 pm

        I did the same thing – thought of times that Drew had to fend for himself a bit because I was late or otherwise occupied, and he’s always, 100% been a good sport. I’d find it super jarring if he threw a fit – let alone threatened divorce – because I was distracted at a special event and didn’t give him any attention for a few hours.

        Something is definitely up with this guy…

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      • avatar

        JD December 4, 2018, 3:56 pm

        Ya I can’t with the divorce comment over it. My husband would just deal with it and understand. I mean, weddings aren’t for you to be with your BFF in the right seat, it’s to socialize. He is acting like he is in 6th grade. Divorce over this? I’d tell him it’s either that or he clearly needs some help.

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      • avatar

        ktfran December 4, 2018, 4:19 pm

        That’s part of the reason I love the husband. He can fend for himself in any situation. I don’t have to “babysit.”

        But if I knew the circumstance, at let’s say a wedding, I would talk to him about it beforehand to make sure he was A OK

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      • avatar

        JD December 4, 2018, 4:25 pm

        I wouldn’t have married my husband if he was the kind who had to be babysat and would throw a fit over such a thing.

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    • avatar

      dinoceros December 4, 2018, 3:40 pm

      Is it thoughtless, though? The LW didn’t make the seating arrangements. The LW didn’t decide not to have a rehearsal dinner.

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      • avatar

        csp December 4, 2018, 4:08 pm

        No, she didn’t do either of those things. But in the weddings I have been in, I normally will try to make a connection or explain downtimes. So for my baby shower example. My husband knew he was there to watch a sleeping toddler so he had his phone and charger. It was annoying but he was prepared. Or I will grab the date of another bridesmaid or groomsman or an old friend or someone to make an introduction. I think that is normal.

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph December 4, 2018, 4:25 pm

        I think people with little experience with wedding planning or being in wedding party don’t realize how much goes into a seating chart, or how much is expected of the wedding party.
        He might think she had some control over this but once she said ok to being matron of honor she was pretty much along for the ride within reason. And asking for a whole day and a half of her time is pretty within the realm of reasonable for wedding party.

        When my husband and I went to his cousin’s wedding (before we got married) I had very little wedding experience and was a little put off at how much time I was left to fend for myself with his family I’d never met while he was in the wedding party. But it was a minor grumble and I quickly got over it, made really good friends with his cousin, and definitely didn’t threaten to breakup.

        That he would throw away a marriage over this means there’s something more going on– whether its a pattern or that he’s severely unhinged, I can’t be sure.

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  • avatar

    Essie December 4, 2018, 3:17 pm

    There’s definitely more to the story with LW1. I’m really curious as to whether this is new behavior. Does he have some kind of crippling social anxiety that makes him unable to walk up to people and introduce himself? Or unable to tolerate sitting at a table with a bunch of strangers for a couple of hours?

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  • avatar

    brise December 4, 2018, 3:21 pm

    LW1: you took your task as a bridesmaid too seriously. I can’t understand why he wasn’t seated next to you for dinner. Did you really let him sit at a family table and not next to you? Didn’t you visit him and sit by him? Then the bride and groom were over the top with their expectations. You don’t separate married couples at a wedding. You should have been more by his side: he is your partner, not the bride.
    I think your best bet is to apologise to your husband for having let him down at this wedding party, which must have been totally boring, if not humiliating for him. But tell him also that threats of divorce are no way of communicating in a good way. This is destructive and excessive, and frankly childish.
    Expect to hear other matters of frustration on his part. He wouldn’t overreact without other reasons to be upset.

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    • avatar

      dinoceros December 4, 2018, 3:38 pm

      I’ve been at weddings where couples were separated due to one person being in the wedding party. I was at a table with former classmates/co-workers and we had a very nice conversation with a spouse of one of the bridesmaids. I’m sure most couples would prefer to sit together (and maybe it’s in an etiquette book somewhere), but it’s not as dramatic as he makes it out to be. Certainly not worth threatening divorce.

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      • avatar

        dinoceros December 4, 2018, 3:39 pm

        Also, I think saying it’s humiliating is way over the top. If an adult find speaking to strangers at a social even humiliating, then they should not agree to go to a wedding and should get to therapy pronto.

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    • CurlyQue

      CurlyQue December 4, 2018, 4:03 pm

      She never got to interact with him at the reception. He saw he at a table with a family (not the table she thought he’d be at) and he left. Like a tantrumy baby he left instead of just dealt with it till she could be back down there and keep him company.

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    • avatar

      csp December 4, 2018, 4:16 pm

      yea, I have been seated at a bridal party table before but normally my husband was seated at the “dates” table. The reverse happened to me as well. so I think it depends on the wedding.

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster December 4, 2018, 4:42 pm

        I’ve never heard of separating the bridal party from their dates during the reception and I’ve been in a TON of bridal parties (I’m practically 27 dresses over here lol). It’s super weird to me that people do this. I would not like to be on either end of that, but I certainly wouldn’t act like a huge dramatic baby by leaving the reception and threatening divorce! LW had zero control over that. I do think it’s super weird she didn’t give him a heads up, like “I’m gonna be busy for the first few hours of the wedding so you’re gonna have to entertain yourself.” That’s what I said to my boyfriend last time I was in a wedding, and he was a little lonely but he was fine.

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      • avatar

        JD December 4, 2018, 4:44 pm

        I mean, he couldn’t figure that out? Or just go with it? He isn’t ten “ok honey mommy is going to go do her wedding duties you sit here and be a good boy”. He is a serious brat.

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster December 4, 2018, 5:03 pm

        I think it’s considerate to give people a heads up on what to expect on the day of an event they’re not part of, especially if they don’t know anyone. It definitely helps my boyfriend feel more comfortable to know what’s going on bc he tends to get nervous in those kinds of situations. It doesn’t mean I’m holding his hand or he’s a brat. LW’s husband tho went completely nuclear and DID act like a brat. Most people know their partners well enough to know how they will react in unfamiliar situations. LW must know on some level she’s married to a drama queen. This can’t have been the first time he acted like this.

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    • avatar

      Ange December 4, 2018, 4:31 pm

      I’ve never seen a wedding where the bridal party is sat with their partner, they’re always at a head table with the bride and groom. Who on earth can’t handle that for a few hours?

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    • avatar

      MissD December 4, 2018, 5:03 pm

      I have only been to one wedding, and the bridal party sat together with the bride and the groom at the head table. They did not have their dates with them. I believe the partners/spouses of those in the bridal party sat together at a different table.

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    • avatar

      Matron-of-Honor In Trouble December 4, 2018, 5:19 pm

      I would have gladly sat next to him during the dinner if he had shown up. Once he saw where he was seated for the reception he didn’t return. I could have made other arrangements had I known but I was told previously he would be sitting at a different table. When I did look for him in between pictures, the ceremony, and the cocktail hour before the reception I could not find him.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy December 4, 2018, 5:38 pm

        Is there a pattern of histrionics with your husband? Surely this reaction didn’t come completely out of nowhere, did it?

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    • Kate B.

      Kate B. December 4, 2018, 6:32 pm

      I have seen members of the wedding party seated at a different table than their significant others. I think it’s the norm.

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  • avatar

    LisforLeslie December 4, 2018, 3:30 pm

    LW #1 – Does your husband have crippling anxiety or some other social issue? Because being left alone for 1 day and throwing a tantrum like a child is beyond me. Two things strike me: 1. He doesn’t listen to you. He refuses to accept the information you gave him. There was no rehearsal dinner. There was a rehearsal, no dinner. He thinks he was left out of some fancy dinner -why? Why doesn’t he believe you? 2. Etiquette is only about his feelings -he left the wedding in the middle? He didn’t ask you to dance? He didn’t talk to anyone there? He just sat by himself like a pouty teenager? As your escort, leaving early was poor manners. As your husband and friend, not giving you room to deal with your responsibilities was poor manners. And throwing your friends’ lack of invitation to a dinner that did not exist, again, poor manners.

    So, yeah – maybe you have a habit of ignoring him or maybe he’s just a freaking narcissist who can’t bear the attention be on anyone else. Therapy. Stat.

    LW #2 – You decided you didn’t believe her. Your attempts to coach her into fixing her problems weren’t realistic. She owes you nothing. She doesn’t own you a mourning period. You dumped her.

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  • avatar

    Anon from LA December 4, 2018, 3:36 pm

    #1: Your husband is being so petty that I’m wondering if he’s manufacturing a fight because he WANTS to end your marriage.

    Maybe you could’ve done more to include him in the festivities, but I also think that when you’re married, you have to accept that once in a great while, your spouse may ask you to be a +1 to a wedding or event that you don’t really wan to attend. The loving response is to go and be gracious and patient, even if you’re stuck at the kids table for a few hours.

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    • avatar

      Sue December 5, 2018, 12:36 am

      My first thought was, wow he is very controlling. Second thought was, he has something going on, wants out but is going to blame it on you. Neither one is ok, don’t blame yourself here, he is manipulative.

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      • avatar

        Anon December 5, 2018, 3:45 pm

        “Second thought was, he has something going on, wants out but is going to blame it on you.” –> Yes, I thought the same thing. He’s cheating, or doing something shady, and is projecting his bad behavior onto the LW.

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  • avatar

    dinoceros December 4, 2018, 3:37 pm

    LW1: Is your husband normally this childish and possessive? Most normal adults know that if they are the partner of someone in the wedding party that they are sort of on their own for most of the time. If he didn’t like this, he should not have gone. Even if he didn’t already know this, then if he was that concerned about not being by your side at every moment, he should have asked what the weekend would be like.

    The only thing that makes me concerned that a divorce may be in your future is that your husband’s response to all this is really pathetic. If he normally acts like this and/or cannot get over it, then I don’t see how anyone could put up with him for very long. You might want to try marriage counseling to figure out why he’d go to such a nuclear option. He’s either incredibly manipulative and doesn’t know how to use his words, or you guys have bigger problems than you are letting on.

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    • avatar

      LisforLeslie December 4, 2018, 4:50 pm

      What struck me was that he said she has to fix the problem because she caused the problem. That’s inflammatory language indeed.

      One weekend of less than attentive behavior leads to divorce. Is he willing to help fix this problem or is it entirely on her shoulders. There’s no way the marriage can come out of this undamaged.

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      • avatar

        Vathena December 4, 2018, 5:27 pm

        I’m confused as to what would constitute “fixing it”. If I could turn back time…if I could find some way!

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  • avatar

    Moe December 4, 2018, 3:44 pm

    LW1: I am thinking of the times I went with my ex-wife (I am a lesbian) to long, expensive and/or tedious family and friend events like this wedding. They can be super boring. Why did he even GO if it was so expensive and all her time would be spent with the bride? I would either have not gone on the trip at all, or told her I might want to leave if things get tedious. I totally wouldn’t blame HER, though. I DO know, though, that when I am totally fed up with someone in general and went to a tedious thing like this, I might feel angrier and end up wrongfully blaming them for my feelings.

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  • avatar

    Rangerchic December 4, 2018, 3:56 pm

    LW1 – I too think his reaction is over the top. I was in my BF wedding (12 years ago) and my husband was not. I did all the things similar to you. He didn’t know anyone there. I don’t even know what he did – but he managed. it was one day!

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    • avatar

      Rangerchic December 4, 2018, 3:58 pm

      I did forget…there was the rehearsal and there was a dinner but spouses were welcome at the dinner. So he watched rehearsal (this is the era before readily available cell phones with games – so maybe they’ve been married longer than that even!) and then we went to dinner.

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  • avatar

    Vathena December 4, 2018, 4:13 pm

    I’m with everyone else, LW1 – your husband’s behavior is off the wall and really beyond the pale. Even if there WAS a rehearsal dinner – he was out with his friends! I was in a wedding of a close friend when my husband and I had been dating for less than a year. He happily traveled to the (remote) location, stayed in a house with all my college buds. While I was doing bridesmaidy stuff, he was hanging out with my other besties, playing tennis and swimming in a creek with them (people he’d just met that weekend). By the end of the night he was in The Club. Gosh he’s a good one. That’s what it SHOULD look like. Not like saying he’s going to DIVORCE you over it. Going nuclear over a nothing-burger is a bad sign, dude. Real bad. PS – BACK UP YOUR BIRTH CONTROL!!! NO BABIES!!!

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    • TaraMonster

      TaraMonster December 4, 2018, 4:45 pm

      Co-signing the birth control comment. Lock that uterus up, girl!

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      • avatar

        Vathena December 4, 2018, 5:25 pm

        Yeah, I was just bracing for the dreaded …”and now I’m pregnant.” DON’T. GET. PREGNANT. With this guy.

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      • avatar

        JD December 4, 2018, 5:28 pm

        Then she would have two babies to care for.

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  • avatar

    Kiki December 4, 2018, 4:51 pm

    LW#1: I’ve been with my partner for 17 years. Something I only realized the true depth of this year – my partner has severe social anxiety. Once we went to dinner with 2 old friend of mine that he had already met several times, and he excused himself to go to the washroom to throw up, due to his anxiety. Before this he had been very good at hiding it. While he would never blame or threaten me because of it, this might be something that could have contributed to his feelings when being left to fend for himself in a room full of strangers.

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  • avatar

    Miss MJ December 4, 2018, 5:38 pm

    So to recap, LW1, you went to a wedding of presumably a close friend since you were the MOH and your husband (1) has bitched about the money spent non-stop; (2) made plans with his friends the night of the rehearsal, but still bitched at you for not being invited to a non-existent rehearsal dinner; (3) sulked throughout the wedding and left the reception because you were busy doing other MOH-y things; (4) has whined non-stop about you not being 100% focused on him at your friends wedding that you were in; and (5) instead of owning up to being a giant man baby brat, has turned it around on you to “fix” (How, exactly? Does he want a wedding redo where you ignore everyone but him?) and is now threatening your marriage, which is to say, your peace of mind, relationship security, financial security and future plans all over something that is truly trivial. .

    Take him up on his offer and get a divorce. This level of self-involved manipulation, blatant gaslighting and acting out specifically to ruin your time with other people you care about (not to mention running them down constantly to you) is a fucking deal breaker. It’s designed to get you to separate from everyone else, make it onerous for you to socialize with others, and ultimately end up at his beck and call. Nope, nope, nope. Fo to a therapist first, if you must, but I’m guessing these signs didn’t just come from nowhere.

    LW2, when you break up with someone, they’re entitled to find someone new. You should have thought about how much you valued this wonan’s companionship before you essentially accused her of being a gold digger, told her to get a job and dumped her because she didn’t have enough money for you. I’m not sure what you thought would happen when you broke up — that she’d see the error of her ways, throw her health insurance to the wind, get a job despite her being on disability and come running to you flashing a paycheck? It didn’t happen. She’s moved on. That’s the rush you take when you break up to prove a point. You should move on, too. And stop checking on her on dating sites!

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  • avatar

    anonymousse December 4, 2018, 5:52 pm

    I’m sure it was no accident he was sat with the children….because he acts like a child. He’s an adult, he can make small talk. He had plans with his other friends as well. Even if he was upset, he should have said something in the moment.

    Quite honestly, I think you should take him up on that divorce he’s offering. Emotional manipulation and threats don’t belong in a marriage.

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  • Dear Wendy

    Dear Wendy December 4, 2018, 6:21 pm

    From LW 2: “Thank you Wendy I just lost the best thing I had Mea culpa

    she is gone i am Heart broken and an idiot” 🙁

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  • avatar

    Beth December 4, 2018, 6:32 pm

    LW 1: either he didn’t want to go at all and is incapable of communicating that with you or he did something while out with his friends and is trying to make you out to be in trouble first.

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    • avatar

      anonymousse December 4, 2018, 7:56 pm

      Interesting perspective.

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  • avatar

    brise December 4, 2018, 7:37 pm

    To recommend to LW1 a divorce because of a fight is really excessive in my opinion. We read the story in her perspective. If I were the husband, I would have understood the “make other plans during the rehearsal” as not be invited indeed. And the LW probably ignored him completely during the whole party, plus he was seated like the guy nobody knows what to do with. He felt bored and humiliated. Not to say he is right or wrong – he is definitely wrong in speaking of a divorce over this – but he felt that way. He didn’t like the party nor his treatment by the LW’s friends. I know men in my family who could get cross too and wonder what the hell they are doing there and leave. The strange thing is that the LW’s couple can’t solve this and is in a critical situation because of a detail in a couple’s life. My advise if you don’t want a divorce, LW, is to start with a question: why do you react so strongly? How did it make you feel? Did it recall you a previous situation for you to react so strongly? Then do apologise. You speak so seriously about this task of bridesmaids, frankly, even signing your post with this function of “matron-of-honor”, Jesus! What a title! Grow up as well. Say that a next time, you won’t ignore him, you will take his presence into account, you are sorry – magic word. Didn’t you pay attention to the sitting plan, as a member of the organisation?
    But then: do insist on his overreaction. His anger and harsch hostility are really disproportionate. You can’t tolerate that divorce is spoken of about a party going wrong. If he can’t fight fairly, then you both have a problem. But you must fight fairly too and acknowledge some responsibility – what your post doesn’t.
    By the way: to part the “bridal party” from their partners: nobody does that where I live. Either all couples are together, or all are separate in order to mix the guests (very rare). Perhaps your husband finds this wedding folklore over the top and your friends inconsiderate, perhaps he was disappointed in them. And perhaps he is oversensitive in general. At the end of the day, if he loves you, he should find a way to “forgive you” (you are not the sole responsible of this unfortunate situation anyway) and to let it go. There is nothing grave in this situation. Nothing that deserves a divorce.

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      JD December 4, 2018, 7:41 pm

      No he sat no where because he stomped off. And how is sitting with a family with kids humiliating? Regardless of his perspective he is being a baby. There was no freaking reversal for him to attend. He went and saw old friends.

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      JD December 4, 2018, 7:42 pm

      Uh also, why would she see a seating plan? I’ve been in many weddings and never once seen a freaking seating chart. I’ve also never sat next to my date if I was in the wedding.

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        MissD December 5, 2018, 5:57 am

        Yeah this must be a regional thing, because I’ve never heard of the bridal party getting to sit with their dates… they sit at the head table with the bride and groom.

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        K December 5, 2018, 12:42 pm

        I agree this must be a regional thing, because the 2 times I was a bridesmaid and my boyfriend accompanied me, he sat with me at the reception. We were seated with friends, and the bridal party did not have a head table. I’ve hardly ever been to weddings with a head table…maybe 2?

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster December 5, 2018, 2:10 pm

        I think it must be regional and maybe generational as well. I’ve never once been to a wedding with a head table here in the northeast, although I *think* I recall seeing a few photos from the 70s and early 80s where people in my parents’ generation did that.

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        MissD December 5, 2018, 2:14 pm

        Who do the bride and groom sit with at the wedding, if not their bridal party?

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster December 5, 2018, 2:35 pm

        They sit at a sweetheart table, so it’s just the two of them.

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        MissD December 5, 2018, 2:41 pm

        @TaraMonster I have never heard of this. It seems incredibly weird to me and I would not want to do that.

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        LisforLeslie December 5, 2018, 2:56 pm

        The only good reason I’ve seen for the sweetheart table is that they get their own waiter who has explicit instructions to not remove plates unless the bride and groom give the say so. That way they ensure they get to eat.

        I’m in the NE US and most wedding’s I’ve been to, the bridal party is spread across various tables, those who are single are at the single table and others sit with their partners.

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster December 5, 2018, 2:59 pm

        @MissD I find this super interesting bc I feel exactly the opposite. I went over to The Knot and my not-scientific takeaway from the etiquette forums is that Canadian and British couples tend to favor the high table as they see it as traditional, while Americans favor the sweetheart table, and actually find the head table to be rude (to put it mildly… my god those comments were awash in negativity. I need kitten photos STAT lol).

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster December 5, 2018, 3:02 pm

        @LisforLeslie, yeah I’ve heard the food thing too, as well as it being a way for the bride and groom to be able to have a private moment here and there.

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        K December 5, 2018, 3:44 pm

        @TaraMonster I think you’re in NY right? So am I, and yup, usually it’s the sweetheart table. I’ve also seen it in other areas of the Northeast, like a wedding I went to in VT this September.

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster December 5, 2018, 4:23 pm

        @K, yup, I’m in NYC and I’ve been to about 25 weddings all in NY, NJ, CT, RI.

        I also went to one wedding in Germany (the couple is German), and they also did a sweetheart table. That was a wedding for the books. Absolutely gorgeous and so much fun! It didn’t end until 6am and one of the guests picked us up in a German firetruck to get us back to our cabins. 10/10 would repeat the experience!

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      anonymousse December 4, 2018, 7:53 pm

      Good lord, I’m pretty sure Wendy makes up the signatures at the end of letters.

      He knew she was maid of honor. It sounds like she explained pretty clearly that she’d be really busy. Adults don’t normally need their hands held through one weekend of a wedding. If he respected her, he would have spoken up long before blowing up and making pretty strange threats. If he respected her, he’d understand it’s her bff’s wedding and she was busy. Instead, he’s acting like a tantrumming toddler.

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  • CurlyQue

    CurlyQue December 4, 2018, 8:13 pm

    I just can’t fathom the drama of getting up and leaving during the cocktail hour without even saying bye to his wife. She came down looking for him MULTIPLE times and never could find him. He looked at the seating chart, got huffy and left. I don’t even get why he’s complaining so much about missing her do the rehearsal. Yes, he could’ve met some more people which might have helped while he was waiting around at the cocktail hour BUT he did get to hang out with his friends, something he also got to do the very next morning when he left her alone to go hang out with them.

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    CET December 4, 2018, 9:59 pm

    LW1, I’m guessing your husband has social anxiety and being in a social situation like that where he knows no one completely stressed him out. That said, he is over reacting. But, also you two do not communicate well at ALL. Did you walk around with him and introduce him to people? Why did you not plan to meet him for dinner after your rehearsal? Were you texting him any to keep him updated on where you were or what you were doing? Why would he blame you for the seating chart? Why didn’t you two notice you weren’t seated together and say to each other, hey, after the toasts meet me by the bar. I’ll hang out with you after my duties are over. I feel like you were both in the wrong. He over reacted and was very hurt and felt abandoned. You just sort of neglected him and didn’t seem to care that he was so uncomfortable. If you don’t get divorced then definitely do marriage counseling to work on communicating better with each other and understanding each other better. Wanting a divorce over this is over the top…so I’m going to guess there are other things wrong with your relationship. I personally hate weddings and I would be super uncomfortable if my husband just left me alone. I hate dressy clothes. I hate girl shoes. I hate being around a bunch of people who love to be dressed up and dance. I hate situations where you are expected to dance. I just feel super on edge and uncomfortable. So, if your husband is like me he probably was gritting his teeth the whole time.

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark December 5, 2018, 3:05 am

    LW1) Eh. Call his bluff. And good riddance. Who gives a fuck if he has social anxiety? Just another asshole causing needless drama. MOA.
    .
    LW2) Confucious say: “Romancing a Career Ebayer means always paying for the buffet.” And seriously. Who wants that? MOA. Find somebody with a job AND health insurance.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom December 5, 2018, 12:40 pm

    LW1 Is this the first time that something like this has been blown all out of proportion? Is this becoming a pattern?

    You need to consider that his over the top reaction is a manipulative way to control you. He’s demanding that you fix it as if he played no part in what happened. That’s a bad sign for your relationship. He’s not saying his feelings were hurt and he’d like to talk to you about how he feels and how can the two of you do better in the future. He is blaming you for things beyond your control like the seating chart and didn’t he know you would be expected to be available for photos. Hasn’t he been to a wedding as an adult?

    Will this make you think twice about attending the wedding of any other friend? Will you be doing whatever he wants in order to try to fix this? If you are answering yes the future looks bleak for you. He’s insulting you and your friends. That sounds like an abusive man trying to separate your from your friends.

    Apologize for anything you may have done but stand up for yourself and do not let yourself be walked all over. You do not need to apologize for the seating chart. That was beyond your control and you should say so. He needs to quit saying he wasn’t invited to the rehearsal dinner. Tell him one last time that there was no dinner so there was no dinner to be invited to and you did warn him that he should find something else to do which he did. Tell him you won’t apologize for a friend not hosting a rehearsal dinner. Tell him you will not apologize for things beyond your control.

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    JudgeSheryl December 5, 2018, 1:10 pm

    To LW1 – did you actually apologize for ignoring your husband or thank him for his understanding of leaving him in a lame situation? From your letter, you seem entitled for him to just deal with whatever you (or your friends) threw at him and defend yourself and your friends for everything, without ever acknowledging that, yeah, it was kinda lame for him to make the trip and then promptly be ignored by you. (For all the people with ‘good sport’ partners, I hope you did thank them for being good sports and/or apologize for your part in the transgressions)

    I’m curious how the divorce comment came about… It didn’t seem like it was a ‘you didn’t sit with me, I want a divorce!’ it seems more like a ‘I’m really upset by this and you can even acknowledge you did anything wrong, much less apologize for doing it. If you can’t recognize this, maybe we shouldn’t be together’. The former, yes, husband seems like an a-hole child, but the latter seems like a much more reasonable reaction (even if the delivery was not as articulate and calm), and there could be a history of being ignored or disregarded by the LW to warrant the escalation.

    I suggest going to couples counseling and hashing this out with a third party. I really don’t think this is as cut and dry as many others make it out to be.

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      Vathena December 5, 2018, 1:27 pm

      DID she do anything “wrong” though? He went out with friends rather than attend the rehearsal (and there was no rehearsal dinner). She was helping get ready and taking pictures during the wedding events – as one does – and every time she went to look for him he was nowhere to be found. When she does find him, he’s mad about where he’s supposed to sit during dinner, so he flounces out of the reception altogether. Then the next morning he ditches her again to go out with his friends. I mean, I agree that it’s possible they’re poorly matched and this was just the last straw for him, but I really don’t see what else she was supposed to have done – or do now to “make it right”. She said she also didn’t know many people at the wedding to introduce him TO. Sometimes as humans we have to be mildly uncomfortable or endure awkward situations for a few minutes, or even hours, at a time. If attending the wedding of his wife’s best friend and having to entertain himself for awhile is grounds for divorce, that’s just freaking pathetic and they should never have gotten married in the first place. I agree with whoever said that he’s probably done with their marriage and looking for an excuse to end things.

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        Vathena December 5, 2018, 1:28 pm

        It’s pretty hard to pay attention to and spend time with your husband at a wedding reception when he has decided not to attend the wedding reception.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom December 5, 2018, 1:43 pm

        It really does seem like he is trying to create a problem to have a fight.

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        JudgeSheryl December 5, 2018, 2:54 pm

        It’s hard to tell for certain, I wasn’t there, and we are only hearing her half. But, yes, it seems like she did something *wrong*. I dont understand how she “searched” several times and couldn’t find him at a wedding (this is before he left, I think). It really doesn’t seem like she was trying that hard- did she text him? Maybe, but still, doesn’t seem that hard if you were really trying. And when she did finally find him, he expressed frustration that he wasn’t even sitting with her, and she blew off his concern and defended the friend’s inconsiderate or absentminded decision, and then went back to her friends. If my significant other did all those things to me, I might leave, too, because it would be clear they didn’t care if I was there or not. The plans with the friend’s before & after the event are irrelevant.

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster December 5, 2018, 3:14 pm

        At a big wedding it can be really difficult to find your partner. My boyfriend was a groomsman over the summer in an Indian wedding and I straight up couldn’t find him for hours at a time. I highly doubt he was even bothering to look for me. And I didn’t expect him to because he was so busy. I hung out with other people and had a great time dancing and eating. Also, this wedding went on for four days so I was in this position frequently and it was a total non-issue.

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        Vathena December 5, 2018, 3:41 pm

        @JudgeSheryl, she may not have had her phone on her. Many bridesmaid dresses don’t have pockets, and she likely wasn’t carrying a bag. I maintain that while one might construe her behavior to be inconsiderate, and validate the husband’s hurt feelings, he has decided that this infraction is worth DIVORCING HIS WIFE over. My husband and I have had numerous disagreements and misunderstandings resulting in hurt feelings, but we talk about it and move on. Because we love each other and vowed to spend our lives together. I am hard pressed to think of a situation where my husband would announce that he’s ready to divorce me. Like, maybe a long-term affair, gambling away our life savings, fentanyl addiction, abuse of our child. Those are the things you divorce over. Not feeling ignored for one afternoon by your wife who is the maid of honor in her friend’s wedding. Absent additional information here, that is a massive overreaction.

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        JudgeSheryl December 5, 2018, 3:51 pm

        @vathena – what you state about ‘talking about it and move on’ probably means you and your husband actually listen to and respect one another when you differ in opinions. That IS how it should be. Congrats on being in a marriage of good communication. However, in this case, If he said he was upset, and she continued to ignore him or disregard his feelings, that isn’t actually working through anything. I don’t understand why he should have just folded if this is actually how it played out… Maybe going nuclear was his only option if the LW was refusing to listen to his side at all (and does this continuously).

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        Northern Star December 5, 2018, 3:56 pm

        This guy is threatening to DIVORCE HIS WIFE because he didn’t get to sit next to her at someone else’s wedding.

        It doesn’t matter if you agree that the bride “should” have paired couples together (and you’re way off base if you think this never happens). If doesn’t matter if the LW didn’t do “enough” to find her husband that day.

        It was one day of his life in his hometown, and he spent the rest of the weekend with his buddies. This husband is the most childish little baby I’ve ever heard of if this is truly the reason he’s so upset.

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        LisforLeslie December 5, 2018, 4:08 pm

        Or, she was getting tied up in MOH duties and had 5 minutes in between things and did a quick loop. If he was in the bathroom, or hiding in a quiet space, she wouldn’t have found him.

        He wasn’t getting the attention he needed. He wasn’t in pain. He wasn’t ill. He was uncomfortable. He could have sat down next to someone and said “My wife is a bridesmaid, how do you know the couple?” and would have had a pleasant conversation with someone.

        He CHOSE to make this an issue. We choose our reactions to situations. We choose to go with the flow or have tantrums. We choose to blame and stew or figure out the next step and move on. He. Is. A. Schmuck.

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        JudgeSheryl December 5, 2018, 4:22 pm

        He left. He didn’t “storm”.

        Why can’t he be upset when something actually happens and tell his trusting and understanding wife? He didn’t go up to the bride to tell her how awful he thought she was.

        Maybe he didn’t make it an issue after he left. He removed himself from the situation. We don’t know how the argument after played out. If he is really threatening divorce for not sitting with him, yes, agree that there is no excuse and maybe she should call his bluff. But, there seems to be way more baggage based on the continued defensiveness and disregarding attitude of the lw.

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        JudgeSheryl December 5, 2018, 4:44 pm

        Yeah, to some people, being basically alone at a wedding may very well be like torture. Don’t judge.

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      JD December 5, 2018, 3:02 pm

      It wasn’t absent minded to chose to have a head table. It was how she wanted it. She rightly thought that he was an adult. Well, wrongly thought rather.

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        JudgeSheryl December 5, 2018, 3:34 pm

        Fine. Inconsiderate only, then. Did they break any laws? No, but the lw’s is allowed to be annoyed at them for it.
        And to the other response 1) this doesn’t seem like a giant Indian wedding; every wedding I’ve ever been to, I’ve been able to locate my SO in 10 min or less when I really wanted to, 2) you either knew other people also or were atleast comfortable not knowing people.

        He was allowed to be miffed about it. And the LW just disregarded it. It sounds like he could have expressed it more productively, but it seems like an annoying situation to be in and a simply apology for the inconvenience, appreciation for just going with the flow, or at least any type of recognition/validation of his feelings could have gone a long way. (Again, I don’t know if this happened, but by the defensiveness of the original LW, I don’t think it did)

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster December 5, 2018, 4:10 pm

        “Miffed” means mildly annoyed. He wasn’t miffed. He was a total asshole and huge baby who stormed out of a wedding and threatened to divorce his wife bc she didn’t fall over herself apologizing to him when he got sat somewhere he didn’t like and didn’t get to go to a non-existent rehearsal dinner.

        Here’s the thing about recognizing someone else’s feelings: sometimes the other person is being a total asshole and you don’t bend over backwards to accommodate their assholery bc it teaches them they can do it again and that it’s okay. LW’s husband is manipulating her for god-only-knows what reasons and she shouldn’t be sorry at all. She should be alarmed that she’s married to a dick.

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      anonymousse December 5, 2018, 4:08 pm

      He didn’t tell her he was upset, and even if he did, the time to discuss it and work out his feelings is not in the middle of her bff’s wedding.

      She wrote this happened weeks ago, and he’s apparently not backed down from his threat.

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        JudgeSheryl December 5, 2018, 5:09 pm

        I re-read the letter, and I’m sticking by my assumption that the LW could be at least partially to blame in this scenario. The husband didn’t make a scene, he just left. He removed himself from a situation he couldn’t handle for whatever reason.

        The argument after is where things seemed to escalate and both parties were probably not nice and refused to consider the other points of view, at all. This happened weeks ago and she seems to “not have budged” either.

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        anonymousse December 5, 2018, 6:03 pm

        What is she supposed to do now to make it right? Why was it wrong?

        He’s an adult. He should be able to handle a few minutes without his wife holding his hand and paying attention to him. He knew it was her bffs wedding, and that she was the maid of honor. She told him she’d be busy. It’s out of order to blame her for his selfish behavior and actions.

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  • CurlyQue

    CurlyQue December 5, 2018, 3:07 pm

    When he expressed frustration at sitting with a family, what would you prefer the LW to do other than stating she didn’t know. ?? This isn’t her wedding, she doesn’t make the decisions. She’s already stated that if he had stayed she would’ve hung out with him but he left (like an upset child rather than a grown adult there to support his wife).

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      JudgeSheryl December 5, 2018, 3:38 pm

      It seems like she ended up just fine on her own. What exactly was he “supporting”? She said several times she had her own stuff to do.

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        LisforLeslie December 5, 2018, 3:54 pm

        Well, this was her friend that was getting married. She was invited with her husband. She was the MOH and based on her description, had many things that needed her attention that day. Her tantrum-baby husband could have supported her by chilling out, understanding that she didn’t make the seating chart, she committed this weekend to help her friend and that for one evening and one day, he could play second chair instead of having a hissy fit that he wasn’t getting enough attention.

        That’s how he could have supported his wife. Instead, he made that weekend all about his feelings, and is now demanding his wife fix this.

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        JudgeSheryl December 5, 2018, 4:13 pm

        In this isolated incident, she treated him like crap and took him for granted. She made it clear she didn’t ‘need’ him.

        He left. He didn’t make a scene. His wife was safe. And she seemed to continue to have fun. The drama happened after the wedding. We don’t know how the argument played out, and who said what. But, I maintain he was put in a crappy situation, and the LW reminded him several times he wasn’t her priority. And she seems to be continuing that mantra, even now, and that could be why things escalated.

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        LisforLeslie December 5, 2018, 4:26 pm

        Treated him crappy? How? She let him know that she had this role to play for one day. You’re saying that if someone treats you poorly for one day out of years of being together that’s enough to demand a divorce? And it’s not like she said to him “You don’t matter” what she did was she focused her attention on the bride. On the brides’ wedding day. Remember that, this wasn’t his day. It wasn’t his wedding.

        It’s not like she made a huge party for her husband’s birthday and didn’t invite him. Or invited him and told him that he was a doink and couldn’t have any cake in front of his friends. She didn’t yell at him in public. She didn’t insult him. She expected that he’d be able to manage for a few fucking hours.

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        Vathena December 5, 2018, 4:32 pm

        “A crappy situation” at a party having a few drinks. We should all count our blessings to not be put in crappy situations like that. Why, it’s worse than having your baby starve to death in Yemen! His wife is obviously a monster and he’d be well rid of her. Then he can go find a lady who has no friends and will fall all over herself tending to his every desire. He need never feel uncomfortable again!

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        JD December 5, 2018, 4:37 pm

        Of course HE wasn’t her priority on her friends wedding day she was maid of honor at. The bride is her priority. It’s the actual description of the role.

        I read the letter to my husband and his words were “he seems really selfish and needing too much attention”.

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        JudgeSheryl December 5, 2018, 4:41 pm

        I didn’t say that one day of being treated like crap to you should threaten divorce. I do think there is more to it, and there is a pattern of prioritizing other people over her husband (again, I don’t actually know, I wasn’t there, and neither we’re you)

        You don’t know if she didn’t insult him in the argument after.. that’s when he threatened divorce. Maybe is WAS too much for him to be alone for that long if he doesn’t like social situations. He really, really might hate them. And she disregarded it.

        This is a different perspective for the LW to consider, because presumably she doesn’t think her husband is actually the a-hole everyone is making him out to be because she did marry him. Sometimes it is us who is being the a-hole and you need an outside perspective to even consider it. Or maybe it’s both but you are both so blinded by your “rightness” you can’t come back.

        I could be wrong, and the husband is the a-hole completely, but I am trying to give him the benefit of the doubt based on my impression from the LW.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom December 5, 2018, 5:16 pm

        I really don’t see how he was treated like crap. He didn’t get seated where he wanted. That has nothing to do with his wife and wasn’t anything she could change. He got to spend the rehearsal evening with friends. If he has too much social anxiety to be alone for a while at the wedding he could have gone on the trip but spent the wedding day with friends. No one forced him to go if he felt it was too much. He knew going into the day that his wife was matron of honor. Surely he had some clue that she would be helping the bride and would be with the wedding party while pictures were taken. They are married. He has at least been to his own wedding. He should know the bare minimum about weddings. If he gets so uncomfortable in a social situation where he doesn’t know many people that he ends up threatening to divorce his wife he has a problem and he needs to seek counseling to work on it. You seem to think his wife needs to tip toe through life worried about what will set him off.

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        JudgeSheryl December 5, 2018, 5:31 pm

        But you don’t know if he was forced or misled! He didn’t threaten to divorce after the wedding, it was after fighting about the wedding. That’s a big difference.

        How do you know the backstory? Maybe their wedding was small. Maybe they sat all couples together at their wedding. Who knows?! But he left a wedding while his wife was preoccupied and she blew off and dismissed any comfort he expressed. Showing basic compassion or understanding to someone who is uncomfortable is not an inconceivable request or expectation, especially if it happens over and over again. And that is not ‘tip toeing’ to be compassionate and respect the feelings of your partner.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom December 5, 2018, 5:46 pm

        She didn’t blow him off. She kept trying to find him and couldn’t. When you hide somewhere, which he must have done if he repeatedly couldn’t be found, you shouldn’t be complaining about being alone. He probably left very early and that’s why she couldn’t find him or it was an absolutely huge wedding.

        If he couldn’t be found he must have left for a while. Then he came back for dinner but hated the seating so he left again. He certainly had no trouble finding something to do that he liked better than the wedding.

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        anonymousse December 5, 2018, 6:09 pm

        Are you reading the same letter? She didn’t blow him off- she was the maid of honor at a wedding.
        He keeps insisting he wasn’t invited to the NONEXISTENT rehearsal dinner. It seems pretty clear he’s aching, stretching to make up reasons to be mad at her and it seems, push her into a divorce.

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster December 5, 2018, 6:48 pm

        “Showing basic compassion or understanding to someone who is uncomfortable is not an inconceivable request or expectation, especially if it happens over and over again. ”

        You mean like the basic compassion and understanding that your wife is running around doing maid of honor duties and doesn’t have time to cater to your unreasonable demands of her time and energy? If anything is happening over and over again, it’s more likely LW’s husband’s temper tantrums.

        Idk if you’re projecting or what @JudgeSheryl but that’s how your comments read. It’s like you’re purposely ignoring the parts of the letter that are inconvenient to the narrative you’re trying to construct- like that LW’s husband griped about the cost of attending before they even got there, took not being invited to a boring rehearsal (not even a dinner!) as a slight, has been saying awful things about LW’s friends, and has threatened to divorce her if she doesn’t take his unreasonable temper tantrum seriously.

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  • CurlyQue

    CurlyQue December 5, 2018, 8:21 pm

    I really don’t know what you wanted her to do @JudgeSheryl. You state she “blew off and dismissed any comfort he expressed” BUT WHAT WOULD YOU (and the husband) PREFER HER TO HAVE DONE? Go to the bride and demand he sit with her? She’s already stated she was going to hang out with him even though they were seated apart.

    I think she told her husband to make his own plans while she was busy at the rehearsal and iterated to her husband MULTIPLE times that she would be busy being MOH because he is so used to having 100% of her attention that she was trying to lay the groundwork for him to understand that wouldn’t be the case this time. If that’s his normal attitude she can try couples therapy but he really has to understand what his issues are and try to fix them. Being left a lone for an…hour or two isn’t the end of the world. Yet he’s now crapping all over her friends and her and just telling her to “fix it” without taking any responsibility for his own actions in the situation.

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      JudgeSheryl December 5, 2018, 11:39 pm

      Saying ‘I’m sorry, that does suck. It would be great if you could just get through dinner, then the dancing will start and I will pull up a chair’ . I still don’t think anything like that was said. If I’m wrong, and she said that, then fine. He’s a dick.

      I also think it’s weird he didn’t know any of the people from a town he grew up in. Which makes me also think something happened with those set of friends and that there is more to the story than what was written.

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        LisforLeslie December 6, 2018, 6:21 am

        Depends on how large the town is, where they went to church, where they went to school, and who they socialized with.

        I grew up in a town of 50,000. Two public high schools, three nearby private schools. I’ve gone back for the occasional event like this and known 5 people out of 100.

        I don’t think it unusual at all.

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    keyblade December 6, 2018, 1:23 am

    @JudgeSheryl-. If readers assume that actions and responses of the letter writers didn’t occur inside vacuums, there is usually three versions of the truth: his perspective, her perspective, and objective reality.

    Recreating every detail of what happened isn’t realistic and it’s safe to assume we are only getting a myopic perspective focusing on one single dilemma but what stands out to me is this line: “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.”

    Because it’s a direct quote, I’d guess he really did say something to this effect. His feelings may be valid, but his reaction isn’t putting his wife in a tenable situation: he is putting all the responsibility to resolve the conflict on her shoulders. He may feel helpless and lack skills, but a good relationship involves effort by both parties to communicate and resolve conflict. He is being stubborn. Maybe this his way of getting the letter writer’s attention because he perceives she doesn’t care about his feelings. But it just makes him come across as the one willing to nuke the relationship rather than work through conflict.

    I think the letter writer should insist on therapy because being with someone who is insecure (or even hostile) enough to threaten marital dissolution sounds like a terrible way to live. If this is a final straw- he has failed to communicate effectively about it.

    In defense of his perspective; I find it a little odd that he has never met the letter writer’s best friends even though they are all from the same area. It’s strange that the letter writer sounded so unconcerned about the money being spent when it was concerning to her husband. I’d be interested to know if they have debt or other issues surrounding money. ‘I don’t recall” uninviting him to the rehearsal doesn’t sound convincing-Even if there wasn’t a dinner, I imagine that many of those people might have gotten together afterwards. She may have thought she was doing him a favor, but perhaps it didn’t come across that way.

    It is odd to seat the traveling Matron-of-honor/best friend’s spouse at a children’s table. If the wedding started late, it would have been considerate for the letter writer to briefly touch base with her husband. by the sound of it, nobody would have probably noticed if he had not bothered to attend at all.

    The most generous explanation I can think of is that he went to be supportive of his wife and meet some of her people and he felt disappointed and unappreciated. But even if he had those feelings, the way he is choosing to act on them doesn’t sound good.

    If they are recently married, the letter writer should probably insist on marriage counseling, right away. Even if they aren’t recently married and they have a strong foundational base, her husband brining up divorce and checking out in all of his responsibilities to the marriage means the letter writer needs to make some tough choices, here.

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      JudgeSheryl December 6, 2018, 6:58 am

      Yes, all I was trying to say is any of my posts is that, the LW seems like she could have handled what was clearly an uncomfortable/undesirable situation for her husband a little better. Should that alone validate a divorce threat? Absolutely not! But, what happened after seemed like a lack of communication/understanding on BOTH their parts. Even if the quote she gave was direct, we still don’t know what led to it.

      And someone accused me of conveniently leaving out the other “facts”, so here is my continued assessment: he is already upset over the amount of money: this could actually be evidence that the divorce comment isn’t from ‘not sitting with him’, there is clearly other things they are having huge disagreements about. Disagreeeing on spending thousands of dollars is a huge tension builder.

      And, two, about the rehearsal non-dinner, maybe there was a geniune misunderstanding! It seems like along the way, the LW wasn’t really clear on why decisions about the wedding was made. This alone doesn’t make him seem like he is being unreasonable.

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        anonymousse December 6, 2018, 9:19 am

        She repeatedly told him there was no rehearsal dinner.

        Of course she doesn’t know why decisions were made- she’s not planning the wedding!

        It’s so funny to me that you are really trying to make this not his fault. Maybe he actually is a grown adult and capable of managing his own emotions? Maybe if he didn’t want to go he could have said that? Maybe, maybe, maybe….you make up a lot of maybes but seem to ignore what the LW actually did write. And no matter what the truth of the situation is, I am unconvinced you have the LWs best interests at heart if you are just really trying hard to make this her fault.

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    Lorac December 6, 2018, 3:44 am

    Husband doesn’t appear to know what’s involved in being in the wedding party.
    Has he got to his age and have no idea? Why didn’t he just go and spend time with his friends the whole weekend? He could of caught up with them and hung out. Why did he go the wedding, at all, he says he doesn’t like her friends? I’m sure he got sat at the kids table on purpose, her friends know what he’s like. If his anxiety is that bad with new people why test how bad it is at a wedding? If his not interested in socialising go back to the room, take your shoes off and relax, read, listen to music, go to sleep, have a nice hot shower, soak in the tub! But no wifey/partner didn’t pay enough attention to him, poor bloke. It wasn’t his big day, it was her friend’s day, it was all about her friend, not him.

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    LisforLeslie December 6, 2018, 6:25 am

    If this is how the husband acts on a regular basis, I can see why the friend placed him at the children’s table.

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      anonymousse December 6, 2018, 9:21 am

      Yeah, the people you’ve never met get sat in odd places. Double that if they are known to be ornery. He’s a low priority guest, and it really makes me wonder how nice of a person he is, if he’s never bothered to meet his wife’s BFF.

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    Mimi December 6, 2018, 8:18 am

    LW1, the dynamic of your husband blaming you and saying “you have to fix it because you broke it” sounds like serious gaslighting to me. What is “it” and how would he like you to make amends? Has he verbalized anything concrete? Would he like you to hop around on one foot while patting your head in order for him to feel better? You are not responsible for his feelings and it sounds like he didn’t want to be at this wedding, didn’t want to spend money for this wedding, and apparently he wasn’t happy that you were other-focused during this wedding. A decent partner would have understood that the day was about neither one of you and, I don’t know, made sure you stay hydrated or something, instead of pouting and having tantrums. I’m with the reader who said check your birth control and don’t have children with this man.

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    JudgeSheryl December 6, 2018, 10:02 am

    Last comment/suggestion from me:

    LW1- have you tried asking you husband what specifically he wants you to do to fix it? Saying something like this, “I’m really struggling to understand your deep frustration about this, and I am not seeing a way to fix this alone or without your help. Can you please describe how you think we can move forward from this?” Then, listen to his response and decide if his requests are reasonable. And also, you can make some of your own reasonable requests to him around not holding in resentment and communicating when there is still an issue before it blows up.

    Some examples of unreasonable requests from your husband:
    -cutting off all contact with these friends
    – never going to a wedding again
    – grovelling from now until the end of time that you messed up
    -calling the bride to tell her how awful her wedding was for him

    Reasonable requests:
    -apologize for miscommunication and not being clear on expectations
    -commitment to work harder to find a compromise that works for both parties for events like this in the future (two way request)
    -some inclusion in events with friends to try to get to know them better and/or help socializing with them

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