Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Maid of Honor Keeps Ghosting Me”

I have a little situation going on right now where I say something that seems to easily upset my Maid of Honor and she has no hesitation to “ghost” me. The more difficult part is that she not only lives in another state, but also she is my childhood friend and for some reason lately we could be talking about anything — work, her relationship, random topics, etc. – and she will get short with me saying, “K…talk to you later…I should be alone right now…”.

I truly don’t understand, and when I asked her about it and we discussed it, I thought we were all good, but then something I said afterward rubbed her the wrong way and she pushed me away again. She isn’t one to talk about her feelings, so how am I to understand why she has been reacting the way she has been? It’s hard to be going through this wedding-planning process when your BEST FRIEND/MOH shuts you out.

The only things I have been stressing about through this process have been the things I shouldn’t be stressing about. I don’t know what to do right now; she says she wants more Maid of Honor duties, but she tends to take on a lot, thinking it’s a burden to ask for help.

I guess my questions are: Why would I give someone more jobs when she ghosts me and I don’t hear from her for weeks? Should I ask her to step down and let my sister be MOH instead? I don’t know what to do or how to even approach the topic. — Shut Out By my MOH

When you asked your friend why she was ghosting you and you discussed things and you thought you were “all good,” what was her response to you? What was her reason for ghosting you? Did you listen to her? Did you consider what she was saying? What made you think you were “all good”? Was it because you understood her issues, considered her feelings, and made a conscious change in your behavior (or vice versa)? Or was it simply because she told you everything was all good and you believed her? I’m going with the latter. And I am betting you have no idea what her issue is and didn’t press finding out because she “doesn’t like talking about her feelings” and you wanted to get on with planning your wedding, right?

If you want to save this friendship, you need to get to the bottom of why your best friend keeps shutting you out. You have to step out of wedding-planning mode and simply be a friend. Maybe this has zero to do with you. Maybe there’s something going on in her life that she doesn’t want to burden you with because she has the impression that your top priority is wedding-planning. Or, maybe it IS you and she doesn’t know how to tell you. If you want to save this friendship, you have to make clear to her that it’s ok for her to tell you if she has an issue with your behavior or actions. You need to know so you can make amends and the two of you can move forward.

If you want to save this friendship, do NOT ask her to “step down” from being MOH. (That’s such a slap in the face.) And don’t give her “more duties.” What duties does she already have? I don’t understand the idea of a MOH having “duties.” It’s an honorary title. She wears a dress and stands next to you at the altar and maybe plans a bachelorette party. What else are you asking her to do? Maybe you’ve asked too much. Maybe she doesn’t like the duties you’ve assigned to her. Maybe you have starkly different expectations of what a MOH does. Why don’t you ask her if she’s comfortable with the role and the duties – if it’s what she imagined it would be like.

If you want to save this friendship, you have to prioritize the friendship above your wedding-planning. You have to think of this person as your friend — a person with her own plans she’s making, her own stresses, and her own needs and desires as opposed to your MOH. Your wedding plans are secondary to these things. Your role as a bride is secondary to your role as a friend. You’re a bride for a day; you’re a friend for much, much longer than that.

I say all of this because it seems that you are looking at your friendship through a lens of wedding planning: “It’s hard to be going through this wedding-planning process when your BEST FRIEND/MOH shuts you out.” Isn’t it hard to be shut out by a friend, period? If you’re looking at the deterioration of your friendship through the lens of planning your wedding, I bet dollars to donuts that you’re looking at the entire friendship and at your friend herself through that lens. I would not be surprised if THAT is the crux of the issue between you two. Your friend may feel forgotten as a person in her role as your MOH. There’s one way to find out: ask her about it. Don’t let her wiggle out of a discussion, however painful it may be for both of you. Your friendship is on the line here.

I’m worried that my boyfriend and I are becoming just friends. We met two years ago and hit it off right off the bat. We had a very similar sense of humor, communication style, and outlook on life. He is the kindest man I have ever met in my life and has a relentless sense of patience with me and my family issues.

That being said, things were incredible until we moved in together. Around that time I noticed we stopped having sex as frequently (maybe once a month) and things really slowed down in the passion department. We don’t do anything “cute” or “date-y” anymore and the majority of our time is spent watching movies or running errands together. When we do go on dates, we talk and hang out, but there is no allure or romance. Even our anniversary date felt a bit lackluster.

He is a very special man whom I do love him with everything in me, and I know he returns the feelings. I can’t imagine life without him because he has been there unconditionally for me.

We’ve discussed marriage and I know he wants to marry me. When the issues are brought up, he tells me he’s just not a romantic person and doesn’t have the libido he did when we first met. I can’t help but worry that maybe we’re becoming just friends if this is how things are only two years in. Is this repairable? — Only Two Years In

 
It’s worrisome that not only are you living like friends (especially so early on in your relationship!), but also that when you brought up your concerns about the lack of passion and sex and romance in your relationship, your boyfriend’s response was completely focused on himself and not at all on you. He’s not romantic and he doesn’t have the libido he once does. Well, so fucking what? You have wants and needs. Is he going to simply ignore those wants and needs because meeting them will take some work and effort on his part? I mean, that’s what it sounds like. And that’s not ok. That isn’t sustainable. And that is absolutely not a quality you want in a partner, especially a longterm partner.

Kindness and patience and companionship are great, but you can get that from, you know, a sister or a friend. Hell, you can get those things from a dog. Without the romance and passion you want and need and should have, your relationship IS nothing more than a close friendship. That isn’t what you want. Tell him you are not OK with it. Tell him that even if it isn’t what HE wants, he has to make an effort to meet your needs at least some of the time. Tell him you want some romance, you want regular sex, you want dates that feel like dates and not just chillin’ with a roomie. Tell him that when you envision a life with a partner, running errands and watching movies is not going to be enough to keep you satisfied. It’s just not enough. You want a little spice on all those carbs.

If telling him this doesn’t light a fire under him, you’re in trouble. If he continues with his excuse of not being a romantic person and having a low libido, you’re in trouble. If he plans one romantic date and thinks that fixes things and should be enough to keep you happy now, you’re in trouble. And if he puts effort into meeting your needs but you knowing he isn’t into it and that takes away from your own enjoyment, you’re in trouble.

One of the important aspects of being intimate with a partner is the bond it helps create and foster. But when you know or suspect that your partner is just going through the motions to make you happy, that can affect the level of intimacy, and by extension, the bond you share. When the bond weakens, as I suspect yours has with your boyfriend, it’s hard to repair without a joint investment in creating intimacy. You have to find out if and how much your boyfriend is invested in this. If the answer is some variation of: “not much, not a romantic person, don’t need it,” then you probably don’t need him anymore, regardless of how kind and patient he is.

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

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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.

10 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Mow August 7, 2018, 8:44 am

    To the writer of the first letter: It seems to me, in situations where one person cuts the other one off mid sentence and says they have to go, unless something is suddenly distracting her (like her little kids), It is usually because the speaker (you) have been going on and on and this is the only way she can end the conversation. Maybe you seem overwhelming right now and she is ghosting you because she needs to take breaks.

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  • avatar

    luna August 7, 2018, 9:02 am

    I think you know what you did or said that got her mad at you.
    It was whatever you said before she replied “K…talk to you later…I should be alone right now…”.

    Specially the “I should be alone right now” that´s translation for “I´ll say something I´ll regret if I keep talking to you”.
    That´s her holding back an angry reply. That´s your friend trying to preserve your friendship instead of telling you what she really thinks of your attitude/comment.
    Maybe she is overwhelmed and tired of hearing all about your wedding. Maybe you are demanding too much of her.

    I don´t know how your conversation went, but the “I´ll talk to you later, I need to be alone” is what I say to my narcissistic mother when she tries to guilt me into something.

    Maybe you are oblivious to what you said to offend her. It happens. So ask her and promise to not do it again.

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  • avatar

    anonymousse August 7, 2018, 9:38 am

    LW1: What duties is she responsible for?
    I agree with Wendy, if you are her friend, you need to take your bride hat off and talk to her about her. Something is off, and you aren’t digging deep enough.

    LW2: What do you do to keep the passion alive in your relationship? Why do you spend so much time as a couple running errands and watching TV? Order groceries online, or outsource some of that stuff and take him on a date.
    Honestly, I think two years in and a lackluster love life spell the end, unless you communicate and put some real effort into this.

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  • avatar

    ron August 7, 2018, 10:24 am

    LW #! —
    You need to tell him that this is unacceptable. He also needs to see his doctor — check blood testosterone levels, check general health, maybe try Cialis. It would be a serious mistake to marry him without a resolution of his libido issue. It sounds like you’re both young, but perhaps you are both over 50. Other things that can effect libido are heavy drinking, drug use, and of course preferring men or being largely asexual. His behavior drastically changed when you moved in together. You need to figure out why. Did he basically not want much sex with you and after you moved in decided he had ‘caught’ you and could cut back on his sexual efforts or is this physiological. Either way, unless it’s fixed, the chances of your relationship surviving are poor and the chance of it thriving are nil.

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    • avatar

      csp August 7, 2018, 3:10 pm

      I agree with Ron. I would also talk about the difference between romance and trying to make each other feel special. Most long term couples can get this way if they dont try. Are you trying to look attractive to each other. Do you eat dinner at the table and talk or just eat in front to the tv or while on your phones. Is your bedroom and home a sanctuary or is there crap everywhere. It is hard to be sexy when you are on your phone, eating on the couch in your old jammies and surrounded by all the projects you need to get done. It doesn’t mean going out but using good plates for dinner and having a wine pairing can help with reconnecting as a couple.

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  • avatar

    dinoceros August 7, 2018, 10:49 am

    LW1: I’m confused because you didn’t say what her response was when you talked about it. That matters. Does she have personal issues? Is she mad at you? What? There’s a few options. One, if you no longer want to be friends, then sure, dump her as MOH. Two, if you want to stay friends, but can’t rely on her, keep her as MOH and ask others for help (taking it from her will effectively end the friendship). As MOH, I wasn’t really expected to do anything except day-of stuff (as in, meeting the florist when the bride was getting her makeup done). It’s not a requirement that you make a MOH do wedding chores for you. The main role is standing next to you, so the question is whether you can rely on her to show up.

    Aside from that, you need to have another conversation then because clearly the first one didn’t work. It’s hard to advise without knowing what’s going on. But it sounds like you need to talk about how you thought things were resolved and they weren’t, and talk about the difficulty you have when she ghosts you. But at the same time, a long-distance, childhood friend is not always someone you stay close with, so there’s also benefit in just accepting that you’re growing apart and not necessarily have such high expectations for your friendship staying the same way all the time.

    LW2: The big issue is that instead of saying that he’s gotten complacent or he’s tired (i.e., something that is temporary), he’s telling you that this is who he is. He is saying that he is not the kind of person who wants to be romantic. The libido thing could be a temporary thing, but if he’s not interested in making an effort to find out what’s going on (perhaps a health issue or stress or whatever), then he’s saying that he’s fine with this being who he is too. Not every couple is compatible in the long run. Sometimes you seem compatible in the beginning, but you find that both partners have different ways of being in a long-term relationship. I think that’s probably what this is.

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  • avatar

    Ruby Tuesday August 7, 2018, 1:39 pm

    From one bride to another, you need to understand that you alone are responsible for your stress here. You also need to realize that you are accountable for your words and actions. Planning a wedding doesn’t give you a free pass to be an asshole.

    I am unclear how old you are, so I can only speak to my experience as a 33 year old woman in the middle of planning a June wedding in the most expensive region in the United States. If you and your partner want help planning your event, hire a wedding planner.

    Other than offering to help plan a bachelorette party, your Maid of Honor’s only obligation is to stand by your side and help you on your wedding day. That’s it. And if she can’t help with the bachelorette party, that’s okay too. She’s your best friend. You want help, you pay a professional.

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  • avatar

    Arra August 7, 2018, 1:45 pm

    Regarding the first letter: there is absolutely more to the story than the letter writer is willing to admit.

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  • avatar

    csp August 7, 2018, 2:45 pm

    LW1: I agree with everyone above. For my wedding, my little sister was my Maid of Honor. But she was 19 at the time so couldn’t plan my bach party, my other friends did that. I think you should save a life long friendship and back off of her. See who else could help you and just let things pass.

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  • avatar

    JD August 7, 2018, 6:25 pm

    My first thought was if she is single perhaps she is a bit jealous or just upset about someone else getting married. I know after 10 years of my ex not proposing, when my friend got engaged it was a bit hard for me to watch and hear about. Luckily I was rational about it and she talked about other things but there were still moments on envy. Perhaps that is what is happening.

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