I’m supposed to be a bridesmaid at my friend’s upcoming wedding, but a few months ago, I learned that she cheated on her fiancé. She started lying to me about her communication with the other man and it’s clear she isn’t looking to follow anyone’s advice and is going to do what she wants. Canceling or postponing the wedding, or, god forbid, coming clean to her fiancé are out of the question. Her wedding is a destination affair so I will be paying to fly and stay at a very nice hotel for the weekend; the bridesmaid dresses are costly; and the bachelorette party isn’t going to be cheap either. I find myself starting to resent my friend. She comes crying when she feels confused or lost. but hasn’t really expressed or acknowledged how much this is costing or affecting her friends. I have tried to talk to her, but all I get in return are empty promises and lies. Am I supposed to just go along with it? Send an anonymous letter to her fiancé so they can try and have an honest talk about this? I work hard for my money and I really don’t want spend it on this charade. Is there anything I can do that won’t ruin the friendship? Or, am I being overly judgmental and need to mind my own business? — Reluctant Bridesmaid
The thing with relationships is the only people who ever truly know what’s going on are the ones in them. It would be a grave mistake on your part to butt-in by sharing the information you know (or think you know) with your friend’s fiancé. For one thing, you probably don’t know the whole truth and you can’t be sure how much the fiancé is or isn’t aware of. This is an issue your friend has to sort out with him on her own, but you can certainly decide for yourself whether the wedding is something you want to be part of. It may help you to think of it this way: attending someone’s wedding isn’t necessarily a declaration of support for the union as much as it’s an expression of support for the people getting married. If you want to let your friend know that you care for her and support her, but don’t approve of the choice she’s making, consider bowing out of your bridesmaid gig but still attending the nuptials. You can explain that you don’t feel comfortable standing up for the marriage, but you’ll always be there to stand up for your friend.
If, after thinking about it, you decide that you don’t even want to attend the wedding, you should let your friend know right away and be honest about your reason. But understand that by skipping her wedding, you’re sending a message to your friend that you not only don’t support her decisions, you don’t support her. If her relationship implodes, as you probably imagine it will, she’s not going to feel like she has you to turn to. Maybe you’re comfortable with that, in which case, you really aren’t meant to be friends anyway and it doesn’t matter if you ditch her wedding. But, if you think this is a friendship you’d like to continue, show her your commitment and go. You can always think of it as a weekend getaway with your friends and a game of “charades” thrown in “for fun.”
My boyfriend and I have been dating online for six months, which may be insignificant to others, but we have a strong attachment that neither of us has experienced before. Quite recently my boyfriend has been extremely down and feeling jealous of my ex whom I dated for 10 months but never had sex with (I’m a virgin). We did, however, “touch” one another, but I never think about my ex and I get frustrated with my boyfriend’s jealousy. I am my boyfriend’s first relationship and we struggle through our distance, but vow one day soon we’ll be together. Recently, he’s been worrying I won’t get to meet him this year and it upsets him greatly. He says he won’t be able to cope very well and is thinking of a breaking up with me. Is there anyway to keep him happy and stay with me through the time we have to wait? Is there anyway he can stop thinking about my ex? How can we continue the loving relationship we have? — Online Lover
You don’t have a loving relationship if you’ve never actually met in person. You’re pen pals. And even that relationship isn’t very loving if your “boyfriend” is manipulating you like he is. Anyone who makes you feel bad for having a past isn’t worth contemplating a future with. Turn off your computer and go find someone in real life you can connect with.
*Do you have a relationship/dating question I can help with? Send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.