Engagement guilt-trip

I’ve been engaged for about a month and a half now, and I’m completely ecstatic about it. P and I have been in an LDR for two years now, and we’ll both be moving to a new city together in a couple of months since his job is taking him there. We are so excited about starting a new life together, and the new city is in between the two cities we live in now, so we’re still within a few hours of our friends.

The issue is with one of my bridesmaids. She’s practically my best friend, but I feel like she’s more concerned about me “leaving her” than she is happy for me. She thinks P and I are a good match, and she likes to talk about how we’re so weird and perfect for each other, but almost every day she shouts “Damnit, P!” because she’s angry that he’s “taking me away from her.” I try to remind her that even if he hadn’t proposed, we would still be moving together this fall, but she just can’t stop thinking about our engagement as something that is bad for her. We’re very close, and I’m sad to be leaving her too, but I think it’s crazy to expect me to plan my life around hers. I also think she might be a little jealous, because since our engagement, she’s made some comments about how she thought she would be married with kids by now.

I’m very frustrated with her comments by now. I don’t want to directly confront her about them, because I know she’s just genuinely expressing her own hurt. But she’s starting to make me feel bad for doing something completely normal, when it really has nothing to do with her. I want to be able to be excited about ending the distance and about getting married, but whenever the topic comes up with her, she turns it into something sad and horrible. Sometimes she’ll even say something negative out of the blue while we’re having fun together because she realizes that we won’t be able to spend so much time together when I move. Should I continue trying to ignore her comments, understand her feelings, and make empathetic comments about how I’ll miss her too? Or should I address her comments? And if so, how can I do that while being sensitive to her feelings and letting her know that I value my time with her?

8 thoughts on “Engagement guilt-trip

  1. Happy Pants says:

    [You need to address her comments, if only because they’re starting to make you feel guilty for something that is, as you put it, “completely normal.” I think that telling her exactly what you’ve said in your post would be a good start—it’s sensitive to how she might feel, but realistic as well. You have to make her understand, or at least try to make her understand, that it isn’t about her. This is about you, and she needs to either be happy for you, or stop making half-joking comments about your fiancé taking you away from her.

  2. Missy says:

    [This is clearly more about her and her insecurities than it is about you and your engagement. It sounds like she feels like she’s getting left behind, and rather than acknowledging her feelings and making any necessary changes in her life, she’s blaming you and your fiance for rocking the boat. I agree with HP, you need to address it (a) for your friendship and (b) for your sanity.

    Let her know that her friendship mean a lot to you, but that her negativity is hurting you and straining your friendship. It’s likely that she doesn’t recognize what she’s doing or why she’s even doing it.

    Congratulations on your engagement and good luck!

  3. Matt Sanchelli says:

    [You definitely need to address this issue with her. Because right now she certainly is not acting like a good friend, yet alone a bridesmaid.

    Your engagement, wedding, and relocation along a new path in life is about your life but she is making it completely about her. Missy makes an excellent point with stating that it sounds like she’s blaming you for changing things up rather than accepting personal responsibility for the things in her life she’s not happy with.

    If you continue to let things continue the way they have it could potentially build up, snow ball and come bursting out without you knowing it…until it’s too late.

    For the sake of your friendship, and your wedding and new life, you need to talk to her.

    Let her know that this is a big step for you (as I’m sure getting married and moving is) and I’m sure it also comes with a lot of pressure (the act of moving itself can be quite daunting). Tell her that you care about her deeply and that though things are changing it doesn’t mean it is a bad thing. However, when she makes negative, or snide, comments it hurts and makes you feel guilty for something should make you feel excited and positively anxious for.

    She may be worried about things in the future, and could possibly bring that up during your discussion. But she can’t expect you to know what the future is going to bring. But as long as both of you are willing to put in the time to try and keep the friendship going; as well as understand that things do eventually change and the need to adapt will be necessary, then you are at least headed in the right direction.

    Good Luck.

  4. AKchic says:

    [You know what the core of the issue is – she’s insecure with her own life path. Since you are now moving on in your life path further than hers – well, she is verbalizing it. I doubt she realizes just how much she’s talking about it.

    The only way she is going to stop is if you bring it up. Tactfully. Let her know that each person progresses in their own lives at their own pace. There is no competition. Reassure her that she will find someone in her own time and that complaining about it isn’t going to help. That you love her, but constantly harping on the subject of your life changes and her life stagnation isn’t going to change anything, and it’s getting annoying. Tell her that if she hasn’t met someone by the wedding, you’ll introduce her to a couple of single guys.

  5. karlos says:

    [Does she realise that there’s this amazing new invention called a train? You may be able to save some hassle by just reminding her how easy it will be for you guys to still hang out. Unless it’s difficult, then probably not.

    If she’s genuinely annoying you, she needs to know, if you’re as close as you say you should be able to share your concerns with each other, if she can tell you she’s sad you’re leaving, you can tell her to be cool and stop complaining.

    Failing that, I agree with AKchic, introduce her to some people at your wedding, preferably with an accent, because that’s cool.

  6. lilredbmw says:

    [Yep. It’s been said. You need to say something to her. And not in a passive way, but in a very direct way, so there is no confusion as to the point you are making. Trust me, do it soon! As the wedding comes up, things get more stressful and it strains your relationships. You will need a strong support system already in play. You don’t want to get to a point where you blow up at her in the heat of a stressful moment. Rather, take her out to coffee, and have a nice chat with her about it. Chances are, this has just been her venting and she really isn’t even aware that it’s affecting you. But it’s time she found out.

  7. Jasmine says:

    [Try reverse psychology!! “I know, damn P! Why is he taking me from you?? Let’s call this whole thing off! You and I will get married instead!” I have a twisted sense of humor, and I love calling people’s bluff- either she’ll laugh with you over how ridiculous it sounds (and you can breathe better knowing it really is just her attempt at putting humor to a devastating situation), be genuinely concerned that you want to call off the wedding (which means she really is more concerned about your happiness than her own), or she’ll jump for joy and start planning your escape route (giving you the opportunity to set things straight and she can’t play off that she’s just been joking this whole time).
    I was a bride once, and it’s hard when others want to put their needs over yours- weddings can bring out the very best and the very worst in people (no one is safe! Not the bride, groom, bridesmaid, mother, caterer, future mother in law, best man, florist…). Keep breathing, take long baths, and rest easy in the comfort that at the end of all of this you will be in a new city with the love of your life. Hopefully, you’ll still have a best friend too.

  8. Solstice says:

    [Definitely say something to her about it, or else she just might keep it up. You could say something like “I know I’m moving further away, but we’ll still be able to talk on the phone/Gchat/text/Skype/etc., and we’ll make time to see each other. I may be getting married, but I’m still going to be your best friend.” You need to reassure her that you’ll still be there for her, and then maybe the comments will stop!

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