Best mate / witness - her other half ISSUES

hi everyone,

sorry this might be a bit long. My best friend who I have known since I was three was very excited when we got engaged, and I immediately asked her to be my witness (not having bridesmaids, getting married in Rhodes next year). Since this time she has basically gone AWOL due to her getting a new boyfriend. I'm really pleased for her, he's someone she's known for a while. This always happens when she meets someone, she doesn't get in touch and and is rubbish and contacting me back when I have rung or text.

Normally this wouldn't be an issue, I know this will wear off in time and she'll be back to normal, and I don't mind her lack of interest in the wedding, however said bloke has recently had a lung transplant.

So I text her this morning saying "I understand you're serious about "", but I had a thought this morning and I don't think he'll get travel insurance to come to the wedding, will you still come even if he can't?" to which she responded "would you be f*c*e* off if I didn't come? totally loved up, think its forever".

I left it a while and responded with "of course I would be! You're my best mate! But it's not the end of the world, just let me know soon so I can organise another witness" (I thought perhaps she had forgotten she actually had a role to play in all of this!!).

We have remained close friends all of our lives, even though I moved away for a number of years we've always been friends. She always dumps me when she's got a new bloke, but not attending my wedding (for a week) I personally think is a bit much. I have already told my other friends she is being a witness so it will look awful if I have to ask someone else, they will know they are second choice. Along with this, I don't have that many close friends, so there a only a couple of other people I would ask anyway.

I'm not sure if I'm right to be annoyed. I understand she's probably in love with him, but thought our friendship went a bit deeper. She would only have to leave him for a week. I honestly thought she wouldn't miss my wedding for anything. I'm trying to see it from her point of view in that his life expectancy is certainly reduced, but in the scheme of things I think she needs some perspective.

Just wanted to put this out there... any opinions gratefully received.


  • why wouldnt he get insurance? my mate would probably be the same - try not to take it personally, see how things pan out xxx
  • sorry was rushing and hadn't read the post properly. she should still be there but as I said before try not to take it personally. she is making the wrong choice and hopefully he'll see how important this is and tell her to go. we've all been at the stage where the thought of being away from them is horrible - fingers crossed shel sort her priorities out soon!xxx
  • Ok, I'm going to hope that you are a reasonable person and that you won't react unreasonably to what I'm about to write. I'm not writing this to attack you. Instead I hope to help you see things from a different perspective.

    This year alone, me and my partner were invited to around 6 weddings. In each case, the bride, groom or both were very important, close or childhood friends of my partner. Various circumstances prevented us from attending. Some understood whilst others kicked up a huge fuss. We then felt forced into explaining what the circumstances were. This annoyed me greatly! Firstly, in my eyes, it is only polite to accept what someone is saying. By pushing for a detailed reason it is almost as though one is saying 'I don't believe you' or a very ignorant and selfish 'what can possibly be more important than MY wedding'. We gave our reasons which included lack of available funds and my partner being on a strict diet where he could not drink or eat any foods other than packets (like slim fast). We found that once we did this people pushed further. They didn't understand and so because they didn't understand they decided our reasons were unreasonable. We then felt pressurised to explain further (it felt like we were being forced to hang our dirty laundry out to dry):

    Lack of funds: I was returning as a postgraduate to uni, all of the weddings were at the opposite end of the country, my partner is having to support us both, we still have a lot of previous debt to get rid of, we want to start saving for a deposit for a house, we have our own wedding to pay for and if we went to one then we'd be expected to go to them all.

    Diet - my partner had a lot of weight he wanted to lose in order to be more healthy, he would not have been able to enjoy himself being surrounded by lots of people drinking, he would have had to sit and watch everyone eat a huge meal that he would not have been able to participate in, he would have had a pretty miserable time - it is hard enough for him at home to watch me eat a bowl of bran flakes, the diet requires a lot of self-discipline so councilling is given with it, if he had caved and drank or ate any of the 6 meals then it would have been very hard for him to get back into his diet and lastly, his father died at the early age of 50 hence why losing the weight and sticking to it was important to him.

    Much to our disgust a few people did still not accept this and started saying that arrangements for food could be made and that if we really wanted to go we would find the money. We stood our ground.

    I guess what I'm trying to point out is that weddings make people incredibly selfish. I do believe that people don't realise how selfish they are actually being. I think we've all just been brought up on films and books that tell us it is ok to ask everyone to put themselves out to attend our wedding day. It almost seems like the guest list has become more important to some people than the main point - being with your partner and commiting to them. In other words it is all about 'look at me, look at me'. I think your point that you made where you worry about what your friends are going to think if your best friend is not your witness is an example of this. What does it matter what your friends think? Why can't people just say I can't attend without reasons having to be given. Even worse so why do reasons given have to be scrutinised and pulled apart?

    All of this is what has prompted us to go abroad on our own to get married. For a witness we are asking our photographer. From being in the shoes of the guest we have come to realise the following:

    1) It seems to be forgotten or deemed wrong for people to have a life that does not focus/revolve around ones wedding.

    2) No thought seems to be spared for the amount of money a guest has to spend (I guess because people spend a ridiculous amount on their own wedding, £500 suddenly doesn't seem much to spend on travel in the eyes of the bride/groom), for the holidays they have to take from work or for any personal circumstances.

    3) It almost seems to be that guests have to put their own life on standstill to please the bride or groom, despite difficult diets, ill partners, worry about money, taking extra days off to travel long distances, etc.

    4) It is virtually impossible to understand what someone is going through unless you are going through it yourself. E.g. some of the friends who passed judgement on us for not attending the weddings had no student debt and so had no idea what it is like to be strapped for cash. Before all this happened we used to question peoples' motives. We now realise how wrong this is and just accept what people say. We have no right to judge unless we are going through a similar thing. In your case, whilst a week may not seem like a long time to you, this may be a very long time for your friend to be away from her ill boyfriend.

    All of this puts an awful lot of pressure on a friendship which in turn can lead to a stressful time for the bride and groom, needless fallouts with longterm friends and potential guests feeling like they are in a pressure cooker.

    With all this in mind we have decided that there is no way we are putting our friends and family through this. We are giving no one the chance to be judgmental or have any influence over how we become man and wife. I am currently on a very intensive course that finishes next June. We plan to get married next July/August and neither of us have any stresses. We're doing things the way we want and without any pressures. This is what getting married means to us. It should be about enjoying the experience, making it fun and personal, doing it the way we want to without putting pressures on other people and not worrying at all what other people think.

    To sum up, this is how I see your situation:

    Your friend has a new boyfriend. For most people when they have a new boyfriend/girlfriend this can be an exciting time. One that they become totally engrossed in. To add to this, said boyfriend is ill. This must be quite a stressful and emotionally draining time for all concerned. To add to it, a friend is getting to marry the person they have fallen for. She may never get that chance. Suddenly every minute counts. A week can seem like a lifetime. If you criticise this or do anything that your friend might perceive as you trying to put your happiness above hers, then I think you are setting yourself up to lose her.

    Now to put the shoe on the other foot:

    You are getting married. You want the day to be completely special. You want your oldest friend to be by your side. This is all part of the perfect wedding dream that you have had for quite a while. But life isn't like this. Not much turns out the way we planned. So what are you going to do about it? Throw a tantrum? Push your friend away? Make a big deal out of circumstances that you don't understand because it isn't happening to you? Worry that your friends will judge you? I know what I'd do, I'd accept that life is harsh sometimes and I'd change my plans to something else that also makes me happy. This would not involve worrying what 'x' will think. I'd be supportive to my friend and would not question her thoughts and motives. I'd get some perspective.

    Good luck with whatever you decide. It really isn't worth falling out with people. Do what makes you happy but without trodding on the happiness and worries of others around you. x

  • NpopNpop Posts: 48

    I understand, asI have friends also who i lose contact with a little bit when they get a new partner etc... and its not nice.

    I understand she said she would come, and I have had some of my friends say they are and now they cant, this biggest factor being money, which upsets me but i understand as if the tables were turned i would probably be the intentions and all.

    I think your friend falls into special circumstances, its is a major ooperation, and although her loyalities should lie with you to an extenti believe this is major and I can see why she would want to be by his side, as also if anything happened (heaven forbid it doesn) she will live to regret it.

    A true sign of friendship is understanding, and to be there when in need, and sadly to say she probably needs you right now to be there for her more than the other way round, and im sure anyone else you ask will be honoured to be your witness and not see it as second place.

    Hope all works out well for you x
  • janeyptjaneypt Posts: 175

    thanks for your responses. Nixie79 - I'm sorry people have made you feel that way, it must have been unpleasant to say the least, and I hope I wouldn't make her feel like that. I've told her its not the end of the world and I certainly wouldn't fall out with her over it but I suppose I'm just disappointed. Still, I've been disappointed before and I got over it! You're right about getting married being the most important thing, and I need to remember that more!

  • we all need to remember that that is the important bit.

    A quote from friends (of all things!) sticks with me

    "I want a marriage not just a wedding" and the marriage will be enriched with your friend and her partner hopefully

    It must be disappointing but it's true that we cant have everything...
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