I’m in my late 20s and my boyfriend is in his early 30s. We’ve been together over two years, do not live together, and aren’t engaged although we’ve looked at rings and discussed in depth marriage plans and a timeline. Although we’re footing the bill and my dad doesn’t have a say, we now feel uncomfortable going. We don’t want to cause a scene or ruin the wedding. The location is a small town that is almost already booked (not that we could afford another room). All the of rooms have one queen-sized bed and we are uncomfortable sharing a room with other family members. Advice? — Footing the Bill for My Own Room
To clarify: When you say everyone is “footing their own bill,” you mean paying for their hotel accommodations, right? That is typical of weddings that people have to travel for, even destination weddings. I ask because you mention it twice, which makes me wonder if you think it’s out of the ordinary for wedding guests to pay for their hotel accommodations, or for adult children to pay for their accommodations at family weddings that their parents are attending, or if you are simply underscoring the point that YOU are paying, not your parents, and so YOU get to have the. say in whom you share a room with. If it’s the latter point, I 100% completely agree. You are an adult, you are paying your own way, you have complete say in whether or not you and your boyfriend share a hotel room, and you have already made that decision and made the reservation. So what if it’s not the decision your dad expected? My response to that would have been, “Oh, ok, that’s odd that you didn’t expect me to share a hotel room with my boyfriend of two years but we are sharing. Period. End of discussion. And that’s exactly what I would recommend saying if he brings it up again.
Honestly, I’m not sure why you now feel uncomfortable attending your sibling’s wedding and worry about causing a scene or ruining the wedding (!). Is there more to the story than what you’ve shared here? From the details you’ve included, your dad has expressed surprise that you’re sharing a room with a significant other. Or, maybe, when he said he “expected you two to have separate rooms,” you took that as a directive? Again, I’d ignore it and continue your course, and if you’re truly worried that you’ll show up and your dad is going to, like, yell at you and cause a scene, then reach out to him before you all leave for the wedding and remind him that you are an adult, that you are paying your own way, and that you will be sharing a room with your boyfriend as intended and planned. It will then be his choice whether or not to “ruin the wedding” over this, but your living life as an adult will not be the cause of that, and you shouldn’t feel bad or uncomfortable.
I don’t know why I suddenly feel like I’m not okay with it anymore. He went to Europe in August with the guys for ten days, which I had no problem with at the time, but they still talk about their inside jokes from Europe every time we all hang out… Also, he keeps showing me pictures of Tahiti and talking about it all the time. He gets sad when I don’t watch enough of his adult softball games, or when I don’t join their season-end pizza party. He wants to get involved in skiing with his friends annually starting next year. He also brings up that he wants me to participate in more activities with his friends, like paintball and motorcycle riding, when I already spent this past fall motorcycle riding with him.
We really wanted to do the Caribbean for our honeymoon but decided on the Amalfi Coast since we are having a small destination wedding nearby. I guess I’m jealous because I’ve never been to Tahiti and have only been to another Caribbean Island once. He has already been several times (at least eight?) and we always talk about going together, but I do always worry he’s going to be annoyed having to show me places he’s already been. I used to travel alone and loved it, but now that we’re together, I couldn’t imagine going somewhere we’ve always talked about without him.
I am super encouraging of him to have guys nights regularly and weekend lake trips for boys only. We also spend a majority of summer weekends at his parents’ lake house. I’ve come to like, it but it’s not my first choice of “vacation.” These trips are usually with all of his guy friends and some of their girlfriends. When my girlfriends get together, it’s only for a few hours enjoying some wine and good conversation. And when that happens, he makes it known that he is very sad he won’t see me that night and will miss me. He got so sad and quiet when I went to dinner with my mom at a place he and I talked about going together at some point. I worry that because his dad is footing half of the bill, that will be his excuse for my not being able to do the same if I so choose. — Missing Him While He’s Away
All of these issues could be solved with, wait for it: better communication!! In your quest to be “the opposite of needy,” you sound super passive, and he sounds fairly manipulative. Why would you encourage all these vacations and guy weekends and lake house visits if you, in fact, have a problem with your fiancé traveling so much with his buddies and spending most of your summer at his parents’ home? And don’t say you don’t have a problem with it, which is what it sounds like you keep trying to tell yourself and him. You do have a problem with it! Your whole letter is about how you have a problem with it.
He goes on these long trips without you, doesn’t seem to do equally long or exciting trips with you, schedules the trips during times that are are in conflict for you (your first Thanksgiving together as a married couple, your best friend’s wedding), plans lots of weekends with his guys friends, talks constantly about inside jokes from these trips, rubs it all in your face by showing you lots of photos of places you haven’t been but would love to go, and books a majority of the summer weekends at his parents’ lake house with all his buddies. And let’s not forget how he acts like a big fucking baby when you spend two hours having dinner with your mother. You both need to grow up.
Pull up your big girl panties and say “Fuck this shit.” Ok, don’t really say that to him. But say it to yourself. Tap into your anger a little bit. Quit being a pansy about it and speak up. Tell him that it really upsets you that he totally ignored the date you gave him for your best friend’s wedding and planned a trip during it. Tell him that, in the future, he needs to double- and triple-check dates with you before committing to a trip without you. Tell him that, in the future, you want him to take fewer trips with the guys and more trips with you because you feel left out, like you aren’t as important as the guys, and, frankly, you would like to do more traveling. Tell him that you don’t want to spend the whole damn summer hanging with his friends at his parents’ lake house — that once or maybe twice is enough for you and any more than that is not your idea of fun and that you’d prefer having weekends away just the two of you, in new places you haven’t been. Tell him that for as encouraging and understanding as you are about all the time he spends with friends and/or on hobbies, you need him to be as encouraging when you spend time with your friends, and that when he acts sad about your being out with your girlfriends for a few hours, it makes you feel that he is not supportive of you, which is ironic given how supportive you are when he goes away with his friends to opposite sides of the world for ten days, sometimes even over major holidays typically spent with one’s significant other.
Will these conversations be a little awkward? Maybe! Your fiancé might even get angry. He probably doesn’t see it coming. You’ve probably given no indication you are upset by any of these things because you work so hard to seem not needy, because heaven forbid a woman have any needs. How uncool! But he’ll have to fucking deal because women do, in fact, have needs, and, no, that does not make them or you “needy.” It makes you freaking human, and if he can’t deal with his human wife-to-be having her own needs and desires and wants and opinions and preferences, he should not be marrying one. And you should not be marrying a man who does not have interest in accommodating the needs and desires and wants and preferences of his real life human wife-to-be should that be the case.
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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.