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Ugh. Weddings. Never a fun one.
August 25, 2009 6:45 AM   Subscribe

Boyfriend invited to his best friend's wedding, and, well... drama.

My boyfriend's best friend is set to be married in three weeks. When the wedding was announced several months ago he mentioned it to me without naming a specific date, and I said 'I don't think I'm free in the middle of September'. Turns out I am away the week before the wedding instead, and updated my calendar in our flat accordingly.

The boyfriend assumed I wasn't coming and without my knowledge invited his ex-girlfriend (who would have been flying in from Japan to attend) instead. An invitation arrived for him last week, he opened it and then stuck it away somewhere, and I finally got round to asking about it this morning.

Since he got the invite, his ex has changed her mind about going. I don't have any reason to think he wants to get back with her, but rather the engaged couple are also good friends of hers, and so are many of the other guests. He probably though he was 1) being nice by asking her, 2) getting out of an awkward situation by presuming I was away and thus never having to mention she'd be there, and 3) completely mystified why I'm angry.

For my side, I'm 1) angry he didn't check the dates after the first time he asked, especially as my calendar is next to the refrigerator, 2) mystified that he would ask his ex without even mentioning it to me, and 3) offended that he doesn't think I could be in the same room with her, or her friends.

We had an argument this morning, but I had to be at work early so no resolution was reached. I don't want this to be the hill I die on, but really, I don't know what to say. He's usually considerate, but prone to making decisions without communicating his thought process with other people. I want to get him to see that this needs to change, rather than give him the impression that he should start to hide more things for fear of upsetting me.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (43 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
OK, this doesn't really sound right to me. You said initially that you didn't think you were free, and instead of making sure you weren't free, he invited his ex-girlfriend to be his date?

You say an invitation arrived for HIM last week... did he tell his best friend you weren't coming? I'm so confused.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:48 AM on August 25, 2009


I believe that the exact date was not known until the invitation arrived, meaning, OP said she was not available mid September. Invite comes with specific date, she can now say, 'Oh it's the week before that I'm gone so I can go to this'.
posted by spicynuts at 6:55 AM on August 25, 2009


If you continue to be angry and picking fights about this, then he is just going to feel that he was right to try to hide it from you in the first place and that's not going to accomplish everything. You realize that there was no ill intent, just a little bit of shadyness. So I would just sit down with him and say, "Honey, i know you weren't doing anything wrong, but I was upset because you didn't check with me and left me out, and then felt that you couldn't talk to me about it. In the future, please just check with me when making plans, and don't think you have to hide anything from me. Please communicate your thought process with me when you make decisions so this sort of miscommunication doesn't have to happen."
And then that should be the end of it. She said she can't make it to the wedding anyway right? Alls well that ends well?
posted by amethysts at 6:55 AM on August 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


spicynuts, that's what I thought, but it didn't jive in my mind. It's the boyfriend's best friend's wedding. I'm sure they knew what date it was well before the invitation came.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:58 AM on August 25, 2009


It sounds like you're more upset about his actions than you are about the ex-girlfriend. Maybe making THAT clear would be a good place to start ("honey, I really want you to know I trust you as far as your girlfriend goes. But hiding that invitation made me feel like YOU didn't trust ME. You could have been hiding an invitation to a monestary and I still would feel this way, it's not about your ex at all").

Personally I don't find fault with his not-checking-your-calendar -- you said that you updated your calendar when you found out you COULD go, but did you TELL him that you could go as well? If not, I don't think he's as much at fault here -- in his mind, you'd already said you couldn't go, so what reason would there have been for him to check your calendar? You'd already told him you couldn't go, so in his mind all checking your calendar would do for him would be to show him that "yep, she can't go, just like she said."

Hiding the invitation was a little weird, though -- I can SORT of see the logic he was using ("well, she can't go, but I don't want her fretting about 'ohmigod I'm with the ex' while she's away"), but it's still important for him to understand that you knowing about it would still have been what YOU prefer.

As to why he asked his ex -- hell, one of my exes has been my "date" to two weddings now. We were each invited singly to one of our mutual friends' weddings, and we found we were both invited -- and him "asking" me just consisted of, "oh, well, since we're both going anyway, want to just go as a matched set?" And that was it. It was more of a convenience thing for the sake of the couple getting married -- if i was his "guest," it meant they had an easier time with place settings, etc. -- and my ex and I also could share a cab, go halves on the gift, etc. It wasn't even remotely about any lingering Feelings one or the other of us may have had -- it was more on a scale of, "oh, hey, we're both going to this same Event anyway, let's just travel together."

I think the not checking your calendar and the asking his ex was forgivable, but hiding the invitation was just a dumb move. I'd focus on that, and make it clear that you're not upset about the ex or anything, it was strictly his behavior that gave you pause.

....If you are actually deep down a little worried about the ex, though, you may want to reflect on that first. I have a feeling you're not, but...you may want to check yourself about that as well.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:01 AM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


This sounds like it's probably a misunderstanding more than anything and I agree it's confusing. When did he say you couldn't be in the same room as his ex and his friends? That said, I would be uncomfortable that he invited his ex and didn't tell me, too. I think that's worth a conversation. He should have mentioned it.

But if you wanted to go and didn't tell him, then it seems like you're testing him and/or setting him up for failure. Rather than expect him to check your calendar and make assumptions on what you wanted to do, you should have said, "Oh, hey, when's that wedding? I think I'm free and I'd like to go."
posted by juliplease at 7:02 AM on August 25, 2009


If you were free, your boyfriend would very likely take you to this wedding. But you're not, so he can't. And you say you're pretty sure he doesn't want his ex back AND she won't actually be attending, so what's the big deal? I don't think you boyfriend was being malicious and I also don't think you really have anything to be upset about. So, crisis averted. Carry on.
posted by SkylitDrawl at 7:03 AM on August 25, 2009


I'm not sure there's a question there to be answered (at least I didn't see one), but he shouldn't have done that. Are you asking what should be done about it?
posted by mrmojoflying at 7:03 AM on August 25, 2009


You're both wrong.

You screwed up with your scheduling and he should be mentioning he's taking his ex-girlfriend.
posted by poppo at 7:04 AM on August 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


This is one of those things where- as long as he's sorry (and he understands why you're upset,) I'd chalk it up to "It sounded like a good idea at the time." He didn't think you could go, he extended a courtesy to his ex. It sounds like he was trying to be a good person and just didn't think it all the way through.
posted by headspace at 7:07 AM on August 25, 2009


Can you go to this wedding? Are you going? Why do you guys communicate with each other through calendars? Next time, just talk.
posted by SkylitDrawl at 7:08 AM on August 25, 2009 [11 favorites]


I think it's weird to invite her as his date, not tell you, and then hide the invitation. I can't for the life of me figure out why people are suggesting you apologize to him.
posted by xammerboy at 7:13 AM on August 25, 2009 [9 favorites]


Yeah, this whole situation sounds extremely passive-aggressive on both your parts. The hardest thing for me to do is to let go of the specifics of an argument and focus on the general causes - for example, the fact that you two are not effectively communicating... in fact, it seems you two are not communicating at all until a crisis comes up.

If I were in your shoes, I'd be pissed off, too. But if I was in his shoes, I'd be confused and upset that you're pissed off.
posted by muddgirl at 7:17 AM on August 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


The part where he assumed you couldn't go, based on your earlier conversation, doesn't strike me as a problem.

The part that I find a little weird is "So I'll bring my ex-girlfriend as my date, without even running that idea by my current girlfriend." If she's such great friends with the person getting married, why wasn't she invited herself? Even aside from that, it's pretty basic courtesy to discuss with your current partner whom you might be bringing as an alternative "date" to a social function the partner can't attend, especially when that "date" is an ex-partner.

Because how awkward would that whole scenario have been, anyway? "Oh, hi, Bob! Hey, Jane! I didn't know you guys were still together!" "Er, no, I'm still dating Sue, but she was busy today, so I brought Jane as my date" times several is not so smooth, socially.

That said, it seems like the main thing is that you guys need to sort out how you're going to manage your mutual schedules as you go forward. One of the biggest pitfalls in relationships is taking for granted that the other person is going to do things the same way you do them; that's a recipe for friction. Talk about stuff, as others have said.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:17 AM on August 25, 2009 [7 favorites]


1 - "I don't think I'm free" is a lot different than "I"m not free." He should have checked. Unless you said something to the effect of "I don't think I'm free but I'll let you know if I am." In that case it's your fault that he thought you weren't free.

2 - Inviting his ex is something I can't comment on because I don't know their relationship now. If they've become friends and you're fine with that then this shouldn't be an issue. For just about anything else the nice thing to do would have been to mention it to you first.

3 - Are you friends with bride and groom in a way that would get you invited without your boyfriend being in the picture? If so then at least one of you (but possibly both) need to work on your communication skills. (If needed) You need to make sure that you're sending the message you think you are and (if needed) he needs to work on hearing the message that you're actually sending out and not the one it sounds like you're sending out. Sort of like how "I wish I had some tea" really means "get me some tea."

And for the record, writing something on your calendar isn't the same thing as telling him.

4 - Are you sure he hid the invitation? I put things down all the time and through various phases of putting other things down and moving things around it could easily be seen as me hiding things when that's not what I'm doing at all. So make sure you're not overreacting to that.

Now onto what you should do. Figure out what it is that you're mad about. If it's not about the ex then don't even bring her up. It seems to me that you're mad about him assuming you're not free for the wedding. Let him know that you'd appreciate being given a last chance to confirm or deny an invitation before he invites someone else. Also tell him you're sorry about updating your calendar and assuming he would see the information there instead of talking to him. Let him know that when he gets an invitation that involves you somehow he should assume you haven't told anything about the date.

@xammerboy: It's all about the communication on that one. From the limited information the OP has given us it seems that more direct communication could have been given to the OP's boyfriend. The only thing the OP should apologize for is the lack of communication in letting him know that the OP was in fact free for the wedding.

@Sidhedevil: Taking the ex as a date doesn't mean the ex wasn't going in the first place without him. The OP does state that the ex is flying in from Japan to go to the wedding. So taking her as a date only means that they're riding with each other to the wedding.
posted by theichibun at 7:21 AM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


So taking her as a date only means that they're riding with each other to the wedding.

No, the OP said that the boyfriend "invited her," not that she'd already been invited.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:24 AM on August 25, 2009


He's usually considerate, but prone to making decisions without communicating his thought process with other people.

Why are you telling us this? He needs to hear this. From you.

For my side, I'm 1) angry he didn't check the dates after the first time he asked, especially as my calendar is next to the refrigerator

Seriously? This is weird. Obviously this system is broken. You gotta use the calendar as confirmation of what you actually tell each other. Don't use it as the main means of communication.

2) mystified that he would ask his ex without even mentioning it to me, and

I think this is your only valid grief and I would point to sentence number one for resolution.

3) offended that he doesn't think I could be in the same room with her, or her friends.

Dunno where you got this from. You didn't get invited because you originally said you couldn't go, not because he doesn't want to take you. Unless you have some other actual reason to believe this, let it go.
posted by like_neon at 7:26 AM on August 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


He's usually considerate, but prone to making decisions without communicating his thought process with other people.

This is what you are upset with. Take the complex word problem off the table - the wedding and its planning issues are a red herring. An event is small potatoes. You are reacting to a watershed moment where you realized that his behavior in similar situations irks you.

I want to get him to see that this needs to change, rather than give him the impression that he should start to hide more things for fear of upsetting me.

Or you need to change. Seriously, can you think of one time in history when a relationship was made better by someone saying, "I hate this part of you, but love YOU, so you should change for me." No. Just no. At the very best, you can lay out what YOUR NEEDS AND DESIRES ARE and hope - not ask, not beg, not threaten - that he likes you enough to meet them. Use a lot of "I" statements.

Also: A good way to prove that you're incapable of being around ex-girlfriends is to initiate a shrill argument about them in the pre-dawn twilight.
posted by greekphilosophy at 7:42 AM on August 25, 2009 [10 favorites]


(Sorry, that sounded way more JudgeMe than I intended it to. For the record, I've had many shrill early morning arguments and I've found in the long run that they reflect much more on MY issues than those belonging to others.)
posted by greekphilosophy at 7:44 AM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't think his inviting someone else in your steed while you are away is a bad thing. He probably didn't mention it to you because he thought it would be a difficult issue to discuss, and given that you indicated you would likely be out of town, bringing something like that up could potentially just stir up trouble. Did you ever actually tell him that your availability changed? It sounds like you expect him to plan according to a calendar by the refrigerator rather than by what you tell him. From my perspective, this comes off as a little silly.

Frankly I'm curious why you would argue about something like this at all. You're coming off as passive-aggressive. On one hand you told him you would likely be unavailable. You didn't tell him otherwise but instead chose to update a calendar. You didn't ask him about the wedding again presumably for awhile, then became upset because he had made plans concerning an event that you had last informed him you probably wouldn't be around for.

Part of a relationship is trusting your significant other to make decisions, and then being okay with those decisions. If you want him to discuss his decision-making processes with you, you are going to need to be proactive and start the discussions. It wouldn't hurt to not expect him to consult you for all the details of his life--my fiancee and I regularly plan innocent things with the opposite sex while the other is away without consulting each other because we TRUST each other.

I guess my message is that life is not a hassle and a big deal unless you make it one.
posted by Phyltre at 7:53 AM on August 25, 2009


It's not his job to check your calendar, but it his job to get a specific date. The way it should go is: He gives specific date. You give specific response. That's it!
posted by yesno at 8:08 AM on August 25, 2009


I don't think his inviting someone else in your steed while you are away is a bad thing. He probably didn't mention it to you because he thought it would be a difficult issue to discuss, and given that you indicated you would likely be out of town, bringing something like that up could potentially just stir up trouble.

I don't know if you're married or in a LTR, Phylter, but I'll say right now that if you "think it would be a difficult issue to discuss... bringing something like that up could potentially just stir up trouble..." means that it's an issue that should be discussed, not avoided.
posted by muddgirl at 8:09 AM on August 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


No, the OP said that the boyfriend "invited her," not that she'd already been invited.

Ah, I misread. My apologies.

I still think it's pretty innocent, though, but that's just from where I'm sitting.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:14 AM on August 25, 2009


@muddgirl:

I don't think it would be a difficult issue to discuss for ME. My fiancee and I regularly who at our respective jobs we have work crushes on, we are generally brutally honest with each other. And it is extremely liberating and positive for us. That being said, I realize that some people might genuinely be trying to do the right thing and not cause problems by just not mentioning something. That's not how I work but I know other people who work that way. Just trying to offer some male perspective, I kind of feel like the OP might not be getting much of it.
posted by Phyltre at 8:20 AM on August 25, 2009


my fiancee and I regularly plan innocent things with the opposite sex while the other is away without consulting each other because we TRUST each other

There's a difference between "getting together for lunch with a co-worker of the romantically preferred sex" and "inviting an ex-partner to a wedding as your date." At least to me.

Note: I am happily married for 9 years, and if my husband invited an ex-girlfriend to the wedding of a mutual friend of ours without discussing it with me, I would be livid. Note 2: We are good friends with all my husband's ex-girlfriends, and have lent one of them tens of thousands of dollars after she had some unexpected life reversals, so it's not like I have some weird dog-in-the-manger attitude about my husband and the women in his life.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:24 AM on August 25, 2009


That's not how I work but I know other people who work that way. Just trying to offer some male perspective, I kind of feel like the OP might not be getting much of it.

It has nothing to do with a male vs. female perspective, and everything to do with forming a relationship based on open and honest communication. One sign that they are not communicating openly is that one or both of them has issues that they refuse to discuss with their partner, whether because they are ashamed or because they want to "save" their partner from some perceived hurt.
posted by muddgirl at 8:29 AM on August 25, 2009


An invitation arrived for him last week, he opened it and then stuck it away somewhere, and I finally got round to asking about it this morning.

Okay, the best thing to do would have been for him to be open and communicative about all this ex-girlfriend from Japan invite thing.

But.

It seems like he told you EVERYTHING as soon as you asked. (I'm assuming, but how else would you know all this if he wasn't the one to tell you?) If you are truly sincere about valuing change over deception, then be calm and collected when you explain to him the reasons why you're upset. If you go in all guns a'blazing and being all "YOU SHOULD'VE KNOWN" or "I CAN'T BELIEVE YOUR ASHAMED OF ME" or anything other than "Here are the things that bother me, and here's why. I'd like you to understand why this bothers me, and know that there was no reason to hide any of this from me", he's going to be so much less likely to ever be honest with you in the future about stuff.
posted by 23skidoo at 8:30 AM on August 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


muddgirl, where did you get "refuse" from? He didn't mention it. I don't think we've heard that he refused to discuss it, or the OP asked him and he didn't mention it--just that he thought she would be out of town and didn't bring it up. That's a pretty far cry from refusing to discuss something.
posted by Phyltre at 8:32 AM on August 25, 2009


The ex thing is the biggie. Bring it up now. Gentle but firm.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:33 AM on August 25, 2009


"I don't think I'm free" is a lot different than "I"m not free."

It can be intended differently, but it's not shocking that it would be interpreted the same way.

An invitation arrived for him last week, he opened it and then stuck it away somewhere

I don't think this is cause to immediately jump on the "he's hiding it from me" bandwagon. I misplace important papers--including wedding invitations--all the time.

Frankly it just sounds to me like the boyfriend heard "I can't make it" from the OP, never heard anything different, opened the invitation, saw the date, and carried on as if things were already decided. This isn't a Battle of the Sexes thing, but one person is overthinking the situation and one is not and that's creating conflict. The ex-girlfriend issue is a question mark, but that needs to be resolved directly.
posted by kittyprecious at 8:37 AM on August 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


An invitation arrived for him last week, he opened it and then stuck it away somewhere, and I finally got round to asking about it this morning

This does not sound like he hid the letter. It sounds more like he just threw it somewhere. He knew the date, he knew the OP couldn't make it, so just throw the invite wherever. It doesn't sound to me like there was any intention of hiding the letter at all.

Since he got the invite, his ex has changed her mind about going.

It wasn't clear that she had decided not to go from your post, though I assume that since she had to fly in from Japan she wasn't going to come and has since changed her mind and now wants to come, otherwise there wouldn't be an issue.

I don't have any reason to think he wants to get back with her, but rather the engaged couple are also good friends of hers, and so are many of the other guests. He probably though he was 1) being nice by asking her, 2) getting out of an awkward situation by presuming I was away and thus never having to mention she'd be there, and 3) completely mystified why I'm angry.

He also wanted someone to go with him since you weren't going (you said you weren't available and he took you at that). If your plans change, the onus is on you to let him know; it's not his responsibility to ask if your plans change whenever he's scheduling something, especially if you'd indicated earlier that you would not be free. You can be frustrated at him for not double checking with you to confirm that you couldn't come, but I don't think you should be angry with him for that. It sounds like an honest miscommunication, and one that you shouldn't hold against him given that you were also partly to blame. He probably thinks that all of your anger is directed at him, when he doesn't think he's really done anything wrong. Perhaps try explaining that you're also angry at yourself, and that you're upset with the situation in general.

For my side, I'm 1) angry he didn't check the dates after the first time he asked, especially as my calendar is next to the refrigerator, 2) mystified that he would ask his ex without even mentioning it to me, and 3) offended that he doesn't think I could be in the same room with her, or her friends.

So, you're saying he regularly uses and updates this calendar, right? I mean, sometimes guys are just absent-minded. It would have totally slipped my mind to check this calendar if I were him, and I know my wife keeps hers online. Despite that, I'm always asking what her plans are because I can't the specifics at all. If she were to tell me that she couldn't make an event, that's what I would remember not the specific dates and such, and I would feel no need to go and check her calendar. I'm not saying this is the best behavior, but I think it's fairly normal. Concerning point 2, if he didn't think it was a problem then it probably isn't for him. I'm not sure how old he is, but when I was younger I saw no problem hanging out with my exes at all (much to my then-girlfriend-current-wife's chagrin). Of course, now I understand what the big deal was, but then I was still growing up. Perhaps he's in that same state. Now, regarding the last point, it sort of sticks out from the rest of your post as not belonging. It's an interpretation that you've ascribed to his actions that isn't defended by the rest of the post. If he actually said this, then you might have deeper problems than I think, but if this is just your worry then I would advise you to let it go. You said that her friends are basically his friends. Do you really think he wouldn't want you to hang around his friends? He may just be prudent (and somewhat arrogant to think he matters so much) by keeping his current and ex girlfriends away from each other.
posted by scrutiny at 8:55 AM on August 25, 2009


He's being sneaky, it sounds like. What would be wrong with going alone to a wedding? Why did he feel like he had to bring someone? And he didn't say anything to you about it? Weird and unsettling.

He's mystified as to why you're angry because he didn't feel like thinking about it and wanted to get away with "Oh, I didn't think of it like that." He should have thought of how it would look.

He may not even be aware of what he's doing, but that hardly excuses that it's time he actually think about what he's doing and why he's doing it. You're supposed to be dating someone with all his mental faculties intact, and unless he's challenged cognitively, he really needs to think about how it looks to you and why it's a bad idea to keep things from a serious girlfriend.
posted by anniecat at 9:10 AM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


You cannot assume he checks your calendar. And he cannot assume you check his.

My wife and I have been together for twenty years, and this used to be a constant problem. She'd get cranky with me for double-booking a date. "But I had something on the calendar," she'd say. So? It's not on my calendar. Lameness all around.

I don't have any suggestions for your current predicament. However, in the future, it's probably in your best interest to have a shared household calendar so this sort of stuff doesn't happen. That's what we've done here. We use iCal/Google to make sure we both see what the other person is up to. Sometimes one of us will forget to put something down, but now it's easy to see what we've got going on.
posted by jdroth at 9:14 AM on August 25, 2009


muddgirl, where did you get "refuse" from? He didn't mention it. I don't think we've heard that he refused to discuss it, or the OP asked him and he didn't mention it--just that he thought she would be out of town and didn't bring it up. That's a pretty far cry from refusing to discuss something.

Refuse was the wrong word, and I am referring not to the specifics of the question (again, I don't think the specifics are relevant), and instead to this general idea (that you brought up) that it's understandable to keep relevant information from a spouse or long-term partner to save oneself from a difficult or upsetting conversation. It may be "understandable" behavior for a child, but for adults in an adult relationship, it can be destructive, as we see in this question.
posted by muddgirl at 9:26 AM on August 25, 2009


If you didn't know an exact date for the wedding last time you discussed it, he shouldn't have assumed that you couldn't go.

If he'd really wanted to bring you as his date, it seems to me he would have checked just in case you could make it, especially since your original wording was tentative too.

The impression it gives me is that he wasn't excited to go with you, which is hurtful.

Adding the fact that he invited an ex-girlfriend adds hurt to the mix, I think, and helps explain the intensity of the emotions involved.

In any case, there's a BIG difference between discussing an event whose exact date you don't know some months away, and planning around an actual invitation. That's a concrete communication issue to clarify.
posted by Salamandrous at 9:34 AM on August 25, 2009


If he'd really wanted to bring you as his date, it seems to me he would have checked just in case you could make it, especially since your original wording was tentative too.

True, but this all seems to me like he didn't think it was a big deal who he went with at all. If I'm giving him the biggest benefit of the doubt that I can, then I think he felt that who he went with was largely unimportant. I know weddings seem like a really big deal to most people, but not to everyone. It could be as simple as: his friend was getting married and he wanted to go. His first choice was taken, so he asked someone else who was invited but might not otherwise go. No big deal. This seems to be an accidental crime of negligence as opposed to a purposeful crime of deceit.
posted by scrutiny at 9:43 AM on August 25, 2009


So. Boyfriend finds out his old friend (and coincidentally former flame) is going to be traveling a long way to the wedding. He thinks: oh, since I'm going stag anyway maybe I should invite her as my "date" and we'll split a cab and have a fun evening reminiscing. Then! He should think: I should double check with my current girlfriend that that is kosher. Seriously. That is the right thing to do. Point that out to him that in the future this is what you want him to do. Because otherwise you have this ridiculous conversation that really should not be had in a long-term committed relationship.

I know it is terribly inconvenient and hard for men to communicate but it's not really so difficult. Just be explicit about how you'd like him to act in the future and then put it all behind you.
posted by amanda at 11:36 AM on August 25, 2009


OP - I do not agree anything that precipitated this conflict is innocent. I do recommend calm resolution, tho.

One the one hand, it doesn't matter who did or didn't do what. What matters is you and your BF live together, and yet don't communicate about really important stuff. You could focus on how you guys relate to each other partnership-wise, and all that.

On the other hand, you are downplaying some serious serious shit. BF "forgot" to follow-up with you about his best friend's wedding invitation? BF "forgot" to mention his ex was flying in for the occasion and he agreed to escort her to the event? Whoa. I can't imagine in what universe an ex-live-in-partner could conceivably forget to share something like that with me.

There is a lot of debate in the answers above. Like me, I think most folks don't know how to parse your ask.

YMMV.... When I was in similar situations years ago, I thought conflicts like you describe were resolvable with communication and agreements to improve the relationship. Living together is a big commitment, you want to do everything you can. I get it.

Now that I'm older, something like this would be a big fat deal breaker. Having to remind your BF to remember you during a big life event (best friend's wedding) is NOT like having to remind your children to send thank-you notes.
posted by jbenben at 11:58 AM on August 25, 2009


I think kittyprecious nailed it, and anniecat the opposite of nails it.
posted by Jezztek at 12:00 PM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Only you can know the state of your relationship and your boyfriend's previous behavior. If he's naturally that absent minded and aloof, then fine.

The combination of you being out of town + ex flying in + ex suddenly canceling = mighty suspicious to me.

And I agree with others above that it is a red flag that he didn't deem it important that you be present at his best friend's wedding. So the opposite of what Jezztek just said, I guess.
posted by the foreground at 1:38 PM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, you are downplaying some serious serious shit. BF "forgot" to follow-up with you about his best friend's wedding invitation? BF "forgot" to mention his ex was flying in for the occasion and he agreed to escort her to the event? Whoa. I can't imagine in what universe an ex-live-in-partner could conceivably forget to share something like that with me.

Nothing odd about that. As far as he was concerned, when OP bowed out of the event, the unfolding details of the event ceased to be relevant to OP. OP was under the impression that she had not bowed out, and he, the opposite.

Most of the time, talking to someone about how they plan to attend some thing that the other person is not going to, is chatter, and can sometimes even be annoying. In this case, the details took OP by surprise, and the fact that she wanted to stay in the loop on an event that he thought she had bowed out of, took her boyfriend by surprise.

No serious shit, other than failure to communicate.
posted by -harlequin- at 4:23 PM on August 25, 2009


Two things you said aren't quite gelling with me, if he knew inviting her would be an awkward situation with you and because you'd be away and wouldn't know, he wouldn't have to tell you, surely he shouldn't be mystified as to why you'd be angry when you found out she was invited, given that from the sounds of it he deliberately hid it? If my partner took his ex to a wedding and didn't tell me I'd be livid - not because he took her but because he didn't tell me, which would make me wonder what was going on that he felt he couldn't.
posted by Jubey at 6:25 PM on August 25, 2009


This whole thing is really sketchy, unfortunately, whether he meant it to be like that or not. My position, were I you, would be that you are not angry, rather, disappointed in his lack of communication and trust in you. I would then move on, but keep an eye out for this in the future and try to nip it in the bud by being absolutely clear and straightforward in my communication.
posted by kathrineg at 10:53 PM on August 27, 2009


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