Q. To make a long story short, my boyfriend Luke and I have been together for nearly two years, we’ve been living together for a year and a half, and we definitely have our problems. There has been cheating on both ends (one time each), he interrupts me a lot, I have a temper, and once I pushed him because he ditched me on New Year’s Eve. Despite this, we have worked through the majority of our issues, and when things are good, they are really good. We both know that we are going to spend the rest of our lives together and intend on getting engaged later this year.
That being said, he has complained about me to his friends to the point where I am not welcome around them. He sees these people on a weekly basis, ditched me this past Christmas/New Year’s Eve to see them, and has told me he didn’t want me around them until our relationship had improved. Well, now that it has, I have been making a real effort to get involved with his group. I apologized to his friends for any hard feelings or misunderstandings in the past, and made it clear that having the support of our family and friends is important to me. His friends seemed to be very receptive and I thought everything was cleared up.
Unfortunately, my boyfriend is at a wedding for his best friend — the ringleader of the group — to which I was not invited. I understand not being invited, as invitations went out before we had our little talk, but last night my boyfriend was told that there is an after-party at the groom’s house, and the bride doesn’t want me there because I’m not her friend. I think it is incredibly rude not to include me in this, as I am in a long-term, committed relationship with one of the groomsmen (and we live together!). This is ridiculous. We’re all in our mid to late 20s and early 30s. How am I expected to be friends with these people if I’m constantly being told I’m not welcome, all because my boyfriend complained about me too much? He refused to press the issue, because he didn’t want to cause drama on their wedding day, but if someone was that disrespectful to Luke, I wouldn’t even go to the event! Despite some of the things that Luke has said/done to me, my friends know where the line is. I might vent to them, but they know not to speak ill of him in front of me. How can I make my boyfriend see that his friends are being disrespectful and that it is not appropriate for him to let his friends act that way toward me?
A. You need to let the wedding stuff go, AF. All bets are off when it comes to weddings. If the marrying couple doesn’t want you at an event, you just have to suck it up and smile. It’s their party.
You and Luke were in a different place when this couple organized their celebration. I know we’re talking about an after-party, but even the after-parties at weddings can be highly scheduled, overly planned events. Luke is right. No need to cause drama.
My only advice is to give this time. You and Luke made decisions about your relationship based on many discussions, but his friends need time to catch up. If you guys are known for causing problems, you might have to prove yourself before you get invited to big gatherings. Luke might have to show his friends that he’s happy and that he wants you around. You might have to invite these friends to your house to make it clear that you want them in your life.
You also have to give Luke space. Even if you were on great terms with his friends, he’d probably want to see them without you once a week or so. You don’t have to be together all the time.
I’m not going to get into your previous mistakes and make judgments about whether you and Luke have a future. That’s a different letter. All I’ll say is that you have to have patience. These events are not all about you and Luke. You have no right to demand to be at someone’s wedding or after-party, at least not yet. For now, just enjoy being happy with Luke. If the happiness continues, people will notice.
You’re not expected to be friends with them and you aren’t welcome. Get that through your head. You really expected him to not go to the wedding of a close friend where he is part of the wedding party all because they “don’t like you”? You’ve said your piece with the friends. Clearly they don’t want anything to do with you. Proceed accordingly.
Honey, you cheated on him. And you’re still making his life as miserable as he is making yours. Of course his friends don’t like you. And of course his best friend doesn’t want you at his wedding. Just because your boyfriend took you back doesn’t mean his friends have to. You didn’t just burn your bridges, you nuked them.
Wishy-washy advice . . . again (ugh). The friends are a problem but they are pretty much going off info from the boyfriend. The boyfriend needs to be a man, stand up and make it clear to his friends that she is sticking around. Also, the letter writer’s anger is misplaced on the friends because really, she should confront her boyfriend for talking crap about her behind his back.
Nobody is obligated to invite you to anything. That said, your relationship is a huge mess. Perhaps you should get your life together, aim bigger, and get out of a relationship where there is ongoing, mutual mistreatment.
Maybe he doesn’t want you there because there is a good chance you might actually cause drama and try make their wedding day about you. You want to prove to his friends that you’ve “changed”? I suggest respecting their wishes to exclude you at their wedding, drop this whole temper tantrum act, and try not to be such a self-centered drama queen going forward.
I think that you should push your boyfriend, scream at him, belittle him, and then threaten to leave him when he gets back from the wedding. That will make everybody feel much better. Just kidding, but I think that’s what you’re actually going to do.
You should end the relationship and commit yourself to a course of serious therapy.
JCColumn and reader comments are edited and reprinted from www.boston.com/loveletters. Meredith Goldstein can be reached at mgoldstein@globe
.com. She chats online on Wednesdays at 1 p.m.