Updates: “Assumed Guilty” Responds

updatesIt’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing now. Today we hear from “Assumed Guilty,” whose friend asked her to be bridesmaid and then rescinded the offer and acted like it was the LW’s fault for assuming she’d been asked to be in the wedding party. “While I treasure our friendship,” she said, “this is truly making me ill. To think that I am being talked about is driving me insane and giving me anxiety attacks. And I just cannot not say something to her. Any advice on how I can clear this up without hurting our friendship?” Keep reading to see what she decided to say.

The reason why the whole situation makes me “ill” is that I am above and beyond nice, considerate, etc., to everyone in every situation. More upsetting is that I am being talked about (and yes, BGM, I do know that for a fact – I have a long history with these people), and, while I do not think it is mean-spirited, I’m upset that what’s being said is totally false (X assumed she’s a bridesmaid). Let’s be honest, like anyone is going to go back and say “Oh, you know, it turns out I remembered that I did ask her.” Highly doubtful.

I did end up saying to her, “I just remember that night so clearly as it really took me by surprise, did you not recall that evening over at x place?” Of course, it was, “Oh, I thought that I may have asked you but couldn’t remember.” REALLY???? I ended our short visit on it saying how I understand things change, weddings are hard, and I’m excited for her and can’t wait to celebrate.

The beyond frustrating part is that I was point-blank asked, which I do not think she “forgot” at all. I think that’s the road she took out of the situation. I did not assume anything, the words out of her month that night were “Would you be one of my bridesmaids?”. She made a clear decision on how to respond to my email — several days after I sent it — inquiring about bridesmaids dresses. There is no excuse for asking someone to be in your wedding and then, when you have to change things, blaming it on their wrongly assuming it. There were many ways of saying some version of “things changed and I can’t have you in the wedding anymore, but let’s make a point to get some pictures together.” That’s the part that has hurt our friendship – that she felt it better to push it off as my fault. The part of being a bridesmaid is beyond trivial to me. Sure, maybe when I hadn’t received details, I should have “assumed” I wasn’t in the wedding party. I guess I was busy working and trying to think of shower ideas and what else could be done to help out.

After days of thinking on it, do I feel it appropriate to never see her again? No. But I now know that, in general, I am not that important a person to her. This is not being dramatic, it is knowing where you stand. I know how she normally is and I know how timely she usually responds to emails, so I know that, in the days she delayed in responding to me, she was discussing with others what to say. (Again, I do know for a fact it was discussed with others). I’m blown away that a person I thought I knew so well made the decision to push the blame onto me.

So, to sum it all up: The reason I was so hurt by the situation is that I just found out that my “close friend” is not such a close friend after all these years. While some of you think it’s no big deal to be treated so rudely, I guess I expect more of my friends. I 100% expect not to be made to feel guilty for something I did not do. And I, above all else, expect my friends to be considerate when responding to a touchy situation. We have all had our fair share of those awkward moments, but it’s how you handle it that determines who stays in your life and who goes.

Thanks, Wendy, and everyone else for your responses.

Thanks for the update!


If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at wendy@dearwendy.com with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.

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  1. for_cutie says:

    I’m confused. The LW says she told her friend she would be there on her big day. However, her note to us seems like she is over the friendship and possibly even this friend circle. Which is it?

    1. After days of thinking on it, do I feel it appropriate to never see her again? No.

      She says that she now knows that the friendship is not as important as she thought it was, but not ended.

  2. LW, I was totally on your side after your initial letter (with the exception of the “feeling ill” comment, which seemed a bit overboard), but you honestly sound a bit obsessive in this response. Your friend did something inexcusably crappy, but I really can’t understanding why you’re friends with this group of women in the first place since you clearly find them to be very gossipy and seem extremely resentful of the fact that some of them have closer relationships with each other than you do. I would recommend that you take a major step back and invest in some relationships with other women whom you enjoy more and won’t end up feeling like the “fifth wheel” with their already close knit group.

    1. +1 for the response and a million points for using ‘fifth wheel’ instead of ‘third wheel.’ 🙂

  3. WHAT ARE YOUR FRIENDS SAYING ABOUT YOU!? This seems so overblown with absolutely no example of what they said. If this girl that you’re so happy to celebrate her wedding with said something about you to you friends it’s not their fault that is the only thing they have to go by. I mean who cares if she discussed it with them to get their info on how to break the news gentley to you so she doesn’t hurt your feelings, I mean they are your friends so they might have some advice on it. You yourself said it wasn’t mean spirited so I don’t get what the problem is at all. I would be willing to bet you have talked with this circle of friends behind another persons back as well that is how you know that it is being done in this situation.

  4. Bittergaymark says:

    Gee… I can’t possibly imagine why she would ever change her mind about you being in her wedding party… I mean, it’s not like you are one to ever go looking for needless and unecessary drama.

  5. “Would you be one of my bridesmaids?”.

    “Oh, I thought that I may have asked you but couldn’t remember.”

    “(Wendy) assumed she’s a bridesmaid”

    Honestly, if you’re really over this lady and her air-headed revisions, I’d just tell her sweetly that you can’t make the wedding (she’ll know why)and be done with her except in polite mingling around others. Don’t carry on about it.

  6. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

    So, you tell BMG that you “know for a fact” they were talking about you, and you follow that with “I have a long history with these people.” So, is that your only evidence that they’re talking about you? Doesn’t seem very solid. But assuming that to be true, how do you know it’s mean-spirited? Same reason, because you just “know” them? If that’s the case, I’m not sure why you would want to spend more time with these mean-spirited girls. Consider this a blessing in disguise and make new friends. It still sounds like you’re jumping the gun and being way, way too dramatic about this. The bride sounds like she can’t admit when she’s wrong, but that’s it. Also, I wonder how many friends you’ve told about how the group of friends are talking bad about you – and now your friends know, based on said long history of friendship, that you’re spreading rumors about what they’re spreading rumors about. They’re probably talking about that, too. So I’d be extra pissed about the rumors they’re spreading about your rumors about their rumors! See? Get out now, it’s never-ending drama.

    1. Avatar photo Stonegypsy says:

      It’s an ouroboros of friend drama

      1. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        I had to google that – I’m not that smart! Haha. But that’s exactly what it is.

      2. Haha I thought it was an inside joke I might have missed.

      3. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        My inside jokes definitely do not involve big words. I got a 2 on my AP English exam. But in my defense, one of the questions was totally a trick question so I refused to answer it.

  7. If LW’s friends make her so anxious, then maybe she should start looking for new friends.
    Look, LW, relationships end. Not only the romantical ones, also friendships. Like you say, you now know where you stand. So, you can either move on, treat your anxiety and try to make new friends, or you can keep crying over the spilled milk, feeling miserable because of the friends you have.

    1. I agree with this. I would take a big step back from this group of people. There are friends I have had conflicts with but they don’t make me feel like this. I mean, people talk. We all are guility of it, but the fact that you feel like these girls close ranks and are vicious sounds unhealthy.

  8. dinoceros says:

    I get why you were angry to begin with. And you can see it as that’s who your friend is while also being angry. Those things can both happen.

    But I’m going to be honest and say that for someone who says they aren’t being dramatic, you seem pretty dramatic. I get that you see this as a monumental realization that your friend doesn’t value you enough. But I think this is more a reflection of who she is. Even someone who didn’t care about you that much but who was a kind person wouldn’t have done this. Anyway, despite the greater meaning you’re placing on this, the amount of fury that you have (which I infer from the several paragraphs you spend raging about this here and in your previous latter) seems, to me, overblown. Yeah, it was rude and maybe you see her as not as good a friend, but it was over being in a wedding or not. The only person you’re hurting by stewing over this is yourself. Maybe you are the kind of person who goes from furious to chill easily, but the amount of anger you have over the tiniest details of this incident make me doubtful you’ll ever be able to be her friend again.

  9. Your friend (“friend”?) made a huge faux pas here – first by asking you to be a bridesmaid before finalizing her plans and second by not being able to own up to it and trying to slide out of an awkward situation for her by pushing it off on a “misunderstanding.” But you’re being sooooo melodramatic about the whole thing. You now what? She and her friends probably did talk about what to do about her unintentional/regretted invite. And they probably told her to play it the way that they did. Maybe she told them that you misunderstood; maybe not. There’s nothing you can do about what they do or say or what she does or says. And, I don’t think that’s really your problem, anyway.
    You’re upset because this incident showed you that you’re not part of this woman’s inner circle. You obviously want to be. And with the bridesmaid invite, you thought you were, but not so much. God knows why you want to be, since you seem to think these people are shallow assholes who are making fun of you behind your back, but apparently, that’s your thing?
    My advice is to find people to be friends with that you like and that you click with; unfortunately, it isn’t always the same set of people and, for you, I don’t think it is these people. So, move on, focus on making or strengthening your relationships with other friends and stop trying to force something that isn’t there. Friends aren’t supposed to make you rant for paragraphs about how hurt you are by them and what dicks they are to you.

  10. LisforLeslie says:

    LW for years you’ve been friends with back-stabby people and you’re now surprised and upset because you have a knife between the shoulder blades. It sucks. We get it. I think the vitriol that you’re getting here is because you know these girls* and knew what they were like and you thought that because you were polite and kind they wouldn’t turn on you. But they did, and now you’re upset and surprised. You need better friends. You need to expect better from yourself too.

    I’m sorry that your friends suck.

    *I say girls because women would have addressed the issue directly not behind your back

  11. You wrote “…I am above and beyond nice, considerate, etc., to everyone in every situation,” and “…I guess I expect more of my friends. I 100% expect not to be made to feel guilty for something I did not do. And I, above all else, expect my friends to be considerate….”

    Your expectations of your friends (which are apparently too high) is what is putting you in the mad-dramatic mindset. You thought you knew this group of friends but it’s obvious you don’t. And you don’t need to feel guilty, but you are choosing to and are mad at the thought they are discussing it. Okay, it’s not correct and shitty they are doing that; but you can’t control what others do or say. Your friends (especially the bride) has shown you their true colors. You should consider yourself lucky that you found out. Let this group go.

    If I were you, I’d RSVP “no” to the wedding and send a gift and/or card with wishes for her to be happy. Because, let’s face it, if you go to the wedding, you’ll be sitting there wondering if you were being discussed while the bride/bridesmaids were getting dressed, or if the groom knows, or the bride’s mother/sister/aunt/cousin knows, you won’t really be there for a celebration of the union of two people.

  12. Dear LW, I’m glad you found a way to speak to Bridezilla that you felt comfortable with and that allowed you to [maybe] keep a minimal level of courteous casual acquaintance with this flighty “friend.” I also would have found her behavior hurtful and admire you for being as gracious as you have been. Personally, after attending the wedding, I would implement the slow fade. No drama needed.

  13. I wonder why, if it makes her so anxious, she is considering attending the wedding. I mean, it’s not like it will be all over by then. If anything, this would all be worse. She would be sitting there wondering if they are still talking about her. I think that for her own sanity, she should not attend.

    1. bittergaymark says:

      For the bride’s sanity, too. This LW is full on batshitcrazy… Seriously. Fucking psycho.

  14. ele4phant says:

    I’m sorry, I think you’re being dramatic here. If you genuinely feel anxious or are having panic attacks about all this, you need to work on that because that’s not a reasonable response to this situation.

    So they talked about you. Who cares? So did you! You got the advice of all your friends, then you came here and got the advice of a bunch of strangers. You can’t judge her for doing the same thing you yourself do! As long as you know that the chatter isn’t malicious (and you just said it wasn’t), then I don’t understand why you are so upset.

    Who cares if they think you were the one responsible for the miscommunication? It WAS the result of a miscommunication. The bride herself acknowledged she may have given you the wrong impression, so it’s not like you imagined the whole thing.

    Are you worried they’re judging you? That they think you are some desperate hanger-on that is delusional and imagined out of thin air she was bridesmaid?

    If they are reasonable people. they’re not going to think that. They’re going to think it was a simple miscommunication. And if they’re good friends with the bride and she is prone to being wishy-washy, not being clear, or forgetting what she said, they probably even rightly assume it was (at least partly) her fault not yours.

    At the end of the day, if being friends with these people and the dynamics of the group is so anxiety-provoking, then maybe it’s better for your mental health to move on and not be friends with them.

    But I encourage you to examine your reaction to this situation. From your own description of the situation, your reaction seems disproportionate to what happened. Even if you move on from these friend group, if common misunderstandings and the mere thought of people having conversations about you is SUCH a big deal, you are going to be plagued with this anxiety in other contexts.

  15. Obviously the LW takes the idea of people talking behind her back EXTREMELY painfully, to the point that she becomes ill and obsessed about it. I doubt any one of us can change this in her. I thought most people grow out of this in their early twenties but apparently it may take her more time to realise that there are worse things in the world than friends talking behind your back and the simple way to deal with it is to re-evaluate your friendships. Going on and on about it and having headaches over it won’t change what your friends talk about in their free time, it will waste your precious time and sanity.

  16. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

    You’ve learned the hard way that what you see people do to other people they will do to you. If you see them gossiping about other people you know they will gossip about you. If you see them lying about other people you know that they will lie about you. If you see them lie to other people you know they will lie to you. If you see them use other people you know they will use you. If they mock other people they will mock you. If you see them manipulate other people they will manipulate you.
    If you see a friend treating other people poorly you have to know that your turn will come and so you need to find better friends. Use this experience to be picky when choosing friends. If you don’t want to be gossiped about you don’t choose friends who gossip.

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