So I have an issue and I really don’t know what to do in regards to our upcoming wedding. My fiance and I have been in a long distance relationship from the US to the UK for nearly 7 years. We are getting married soon and having a pretty big wedding and we haven’t officially asked our friends to be in our wedding party yet but plan to do so soon. So I was going to ask my good friend of 3+ years who is currently my roommate to be in our wedding. I am pretty close with her (or at least thought) until I found out some stuff recently and now I’m torn. I saw messages she sent to our friend group (but not me) about how she hates living with me because “I’m a neat freak.”
She recently started seeing this guy 3 weeks ago and told everyone but me in our friend group and specifically told our friend group not to tell me about her seeing this guy and that she would tell me when she “was ready.” Monday I asked her if she would be able to go with our 2 gay friends and myself to David’s Bridal to try on dresses. She told me she was busy with her new boy toy Tuesday afternoon but would be free in the evening. Tuesday morning she texted me asking to bring him along to the dress search later that evening in which I kindly suggested it was a bad idea. I wanted this to be an intimate experience between all of us and I was going to officially “propose” they be in the wedding. She replied that she was still going to bring him along. I was slightly upset but didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, so I just said we would reschedule.
Tuesday night I get back and I decorated the whole apartment for her birthday on Wednesday. I wrapped some presents for her and baked some brownies before going to bed at 2am. Wednesday morning when I walk downstairs to go to work my roommate is there. She asks why I bothered to decorate and buy presents and stuff for her and yells at me for doing all this for her. That day she texts our friend group and says “can’t wait to go to dinner with all of you” at 7 tonight. When I get home everyone is at the apt. I go upstairs to shower quick and change out of my work clothes. The whole time I am in the shower she knocks on my door to hurry up so we can drink before going out to dinner. Finally I’m downstairs with all the guests and she opens her presents and everyone else starts drinking. After she opens presents she makes an announcement that she is paying for everyone except for me and 2 other people (She basically lists all the names of people she’s paying for at dinner).
Meanwhile, I feel terrible since I had just spent a fortune on decorations and gifts. We go to leave and she says she’s going to call an uber for everyone. I say I’m just going to drive myself there because I’m going to go off to the store after dinner to grab a couple items for work the next morning. She insists instead of her paying for an uber that I drive everyone (8 people) even though my car only has room for 5. I tell her I don’t feel comfortable doing that and she says she doesn’t care. We full on argue in front of everyone and finally I just say “fine but if I get pulled over you are paying my ticket and insurance and everyone here serves as witnesses” because I can’t afford another ticket on my license. We finally get to the restaurant after cramming everyone into my car and she makes me sit on the opposite end. She then orders for me without asking what I wanted when I go to the bathroom. I get back to the table to realize this and at this point I’m going to have a breakdown but I try to keep it together as best I can. I feel like she doesn’t value me as a friend, and I feel like why should I have her in the wedding if she doesn’t even care about me? Please help me!
-Best Friend, Or So I Thought
Dear So I thought,
Why exactly did you think that she was your best friend in the first place? Perhaps in your current stress you forgot to mention the good times but from an outside observer all I hear is how bad of a friend (and human being) she is. You almost have to try to be that bad of a friend including showing up whenever she wants, disrespecting your requests, talking bad about your behind your back (although you always seem to find out), and being ungrateful. It is clear that she doesn’t care about you and therefore I don’t know why in the world you would keep her in your life, much less in your wedding party.
Her disrespect is so blatant that I can’t help but think that she is doing this on purpose. Perhaps she is going through a very immature and selfish time in her life, but it sounds like she believes that she can take advantage of you for her own gain. When we talk about relationships in which there is an unfair balance of give and take, it usually comes down to someone who is asking for too much and someone who is giving too much. This give (and more give) relationship with her may be rare for you, but my hunch is that this is a pattern for you.
Her disrespect is so blatant that I can’t help but think that she is doing this on purpose.
Boundaries can be difficult to figure out and set with others but if you are always the one doing the giving in a relationship then you will feel perpetually dissatisfied. I’m not saying that you should cut out or even cut down on your giving to others. Caring for others is a gift that should be used and nurtured. But you need to figure out a way to identify healthy people for you to do your giving to.
Relationships are best considered a 50/50 balance; the give and take should be equal. Depending on your personality style and the person with whom you are in a relationship, that balance may look a little more unbalanced one way or another. It’s hard to set a hard rule on what that balance should be for you, but a maximum 65/35 split is a good rule to consider.
Dear So I Thought,
This story is long and complex and shows a blaring level of disrespect from your “friend.” It seems like you feel obligated to have her in the wedding. Is there a reason for this? Her behavior as described seems childish and selfish. Has this been the story line throughout your relationship? Living with someone comes with challenges, but these actions are hurtful and deliberate.
One thought behind this behavior. You two have lived together for three years. Now you’re getting married. You’re moving on. You no longer “need” her as a roommate. While all of this is a life step, there may be resentment and jealousy tied into this transition that is manifesting into disrespectful actions and behavior.
Another thought is that from years of not standing up for yourself you’ve allowed this awful behavior to rear it’s ugly head. By not putting your foot down she has learned to walk all over you. Voicing your opinion about not having her very new boyfriend attend the dress appointment, or communicating that you were uncomfortable transporting a clown car of friends is important, but in both of these situations you let her push you to the side and have the final decision. If she thinks she can just get away with this behavior, then you are allowing it to repeat without repercussions. You mentioned almost having a “breakdown” at the dinner which is a sign you’ve hit a boiling point of emotions. By not communicating your feelings to her honestly, how will she know how you feel?
By not communicating your feelings to her honestly, how will she know how you feel?
To me it seems she’s taking advantage of the relationship. Sending messages behind your back and canceling appointments last minute is rude and it’s certainly not behavior of a good friend or bridesmaid. There is nothing in your question that makes her seem worthy of being a special part of a very important day. Some wedding advice I received was to surround myself with those who loved me and brought me joy. Does she bring you joy? Don’t feel obligated to include this “best friend” in your day or wedding party because she is your roommate.