Being a bridesmaid is the WORST THING EVER EVER EVER
May 16, 2012 6:49 AM Subscribe
I'm in the wedding party of a woman I detest. In fact, 3 of the 4 women in the bridal party now officially hate the bride. Help us navigate this crazy situation.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (36 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I realize on the surface this sounds like run of the mill wedding drama. Perhaps it is, but at this point it's spilling into a lot of areas of a lot of people's lives and I'm hoping I can get some outside perspectives.
A little background: I've known the bride for over a decade. What I've discovered over this time is she is a perfectly capable "dish over drinks" kind of friend. She's a woman that's good for getting a fancy cocktail with and complaining about whatever man problem you have. A+ on that front.
Of course, that worked a lot better when we were young women in the throes of wildly overwrought romantic dramas. Once we aged a bit and moved out of this model, things completely exploded. We worked together and it went terribly. We went on trips together and it was miserable. The consensus among many mutual friends is she is not someone to embark on any sort of project with because she will ultimately leave you holding the "every crappy part of the project" bag and simultaneously be angry that you aren't thanking her for giving it to you. She isn't meaningfully malicious as far as I can tell - she is just extremely self-involved and lacking in much empathy for other people. Setting boundaries goes badly - she has a way of turning it around on you every time to the point where it feels fruitless to try to have an honest interaction. Long story short, I would prefer to not have a friendship with her. Sad reality though - we still work together and letting the contact whither away naturally has been difficult when she sits next to me. yay.
Cut to this wedding. At the time she asked me to be involved, we worked together. Still do in fact. I am in another wedding (for a very close friend who I am SO THRILLED is getting married and so disgustingly overjoyed to shop for wedding shoes with that it's almost embarrassing) and it looked like I might be able to cite a date conflict. Unfortunately she made it clear she would tailor her dates to ensure I was included. yay.
Working with her has been a continuous challenge for many reasons, and I ultimately decided it was in my best interest to agree to participate because if this is how she treated me at work when she considered me close enough to schedule her wedding around me, I didn't want to see the outcome where I said no when she could plain as day see my day to day life and question my saying no when she was "so flexible." I've debated whether or not this was a good or bad choice with my therapist and friends many times and ultimately people seem to think this was a largely practical decision on my part. I of course am now miserable and wish I had said no in the first place, but hindsight is 20/20 and I have no way of knowing if trading work misery for personal misery was the better choice, so it's sort of a moot point beyond a lesson for the future.
Add to this that two of my close girlfriends (I'll call them 1 and 2) were also asked to be in the bridal party and said yes - 1 because she felt pressured by 2, and 2 because she genuinely still liked her since their friendship was still limited to fancy cocktails and she hadn't embarked on anything complex with her in a few years, forgetting previous traumas.
Cut to now - 2 hates the bride after a couple of as usual non-malicious but somewhat hard-hearted decisions to include 2's ex fiance in the wedding for services to save money, despite 2 still being completely devastated by their breakup and bride not being close with her ex fiance. She told her she chose to use ex fiance to use a deal they were offering. 2 wants to drop out and 1 is mad and hurt because she feels 2 pressured her in the first place when she was crying on her couch about how much the bride had hurt her over the past few months and is now resentful that 2 wants to drop out given that she wasn't supported at that moment. As for me, I have the pleasure of working with her and being continually appalled by her behavior at work, all while swallowing my frustration and fielding 8 bazillion links to different flower arrangements, and hearing truly twisted representations of her side of these issues with 2. My feeling is it wasn't necessarily wrong on paper, but why hurt someone you would include in your wedding if it's simply a practical decision? It just seems unkind.
I could go on and on, but it boils down to this - it is creating wild amounts of cognitive dissonance to be involved in this wedding for all of us, and it's spilling over into my friendships with 1 and 2 and their friendships with each other, all while bride seems oblivious to it. She blames people's non-responsiveness and muted enthusiasm to activities on everyone being busy. In truth, none of us had much social contact with her in the previous years before her wedding and are baffled we were even asked to be involved in something so intimate given that our friendships had all essentially devolved into non-existence up until this point.
Overall, I wish everyone had made independent decisions about their involvement. I did - I decided to do it because of work. I think they tried some 3 musketeers though and now it's backfiring on all of us.
The whole thing is just sort of crazy and tragic. I hate watching my friends hurt about it and feel conflicted. I hate the idea of dropping out and devastating this woman, but I also hate lying to her on a daily basis. I hate pretending to care, and even more I hate the ways I fail at it and don't bring my best self to this day for her despite the fact that I don't believe she deserves my enthusiasm. It's just not who I am and it feels terrible.
At this point, my plan is to hunker through. She revealed she plans to move to a new city on a very fast schedule, so she won't work with me soon which removes that problem, and my moral compass seems to point slightly more toward sucking it up and being deceitful for a few more months rather than being genuine and bursting her weird, fake friendship perception bubble. It's uncomfortable but I feel like I committed at the front end and should see it through. 2 is a live wire and may drop out and I can live with that. 1 feels dropping out under any circumstances is mean and hates 2 for even considering it, so I have no idea how badly this will impact any of our friendships long term.
So I guess the question is - is it worse to drop out or worse to disingenuously stay involved, all while privately hating on this lady? I'd love to have a genuine heart to heart with her, but past experience has revealed that this will ultimately cause more grief to the aggrieved than solve any problems and lead to a higher plane of understanding, so while that is a very mature and reasonable answer for most adults, it's not an option here. What say you, mefites?
Final note - this is so crazy long. I apologize in advance if I didn't get to the point concisely, but the context seemed important.