Is it ok not to go to wedding?(290 Posts)
An old friend is getting married at the start of March. Let's call her Jane. Jane and I used to have a good friend in common (Sally) but Sally and I had a major falling out three years ago. I tried to make friends and apologise, but Sally wasn't having any of it and said she just didn't want me in her life anymore.
I was very cut up about all of this. My depression and anxiety, which had been under check, spiraled back out of control and i became quite ill again.
However, in the interim, lives have moved on. Sally and I each married our husbands. We both invited Jane to our respective weddings, but didn't invite each other (unsurprisingly).
While life has moved on, I have not. If anyone mentions Sally's name i get very upset. Hot, tight throat, panicky, tears. I am not proud of this and i know it's not normal. But there we are.
Sally lives overseas. Around the time of her engagement, Jane told me that Sally couldn't make it to her wedding for various weddings, including distance. Jane was sad but understood.
I found out, last weekend, that actually Sally can now come to the wedding. (This is confirmed, not just gossip/guess-work).
I have (privately) been in bits since I found out. I cannot face seeing Sally again and don't want to go to the wedding.
I've been a nervous wreck this week and have had to take time off work. I have cried for days on end. It is not that i think she will be horrid to me at the wedding - I know she won't speak to me beyond a polite hello - i just cannot face seeing her. If i do, i feel like it will be another blow to my mental health (I am already a mess) and if i am being honest, i just don't want to put myself through that.
Separately, i am also horribly afraid of getting upset and causing a scene at Jane's wedding.
AIBU not to go, even though all there is to fear is my own reactions?
Even if you don't go could you have counselling for this as it obviously causes you a lot of pain. You don't have time for this now bwfore the wedding so l would think your own mental health is most important. Will Jane understand do you think ?
Why put yourself through it?
It really isn't worth it.
Make your excuses and be kind to yourself.
@June: I hope so. That's the problem though, my own mental health is so subjective to me. It's not rational to feel the way i do, i know. So i have to count on her seeing past what appears like a complete mountain/molehill.
Does Jane know the extent of your feelings? That will be the tipping point of her reaction.
Talk to Jane about this - how would she feel if you missed her wedding?
@NoIdea. Yes and no. She knew about when we fell out, and why. She was sympathetic and made it clear she wasn't getting involved. I do think she knows that i am still cut up about it (e.g. 18 months later Sally came up anecdotally in conversation and i cried) but she wouldn't know the extent of it, no, because i suppose i hide that from her. I know i can only keep her as a friend if I let her stay neutral - it would be impossible for us to be friends if i always wailed about Sally. So i keep that for my other (separate friends). Not that i wail constantly about Sally, to anyone, you understand!
This is why it's tricky - i feel like she won't understand where i'm coming from not just from a 'mental health' pov, but also because she won't understand i felt this strongly.
But spend the money you would have spent on some decent therapy to work this out . I promise you it will help untangle it .
It’s a tricky one but as an anxiety sufferer and a battler of depression I can understand the overwhelming feeling you had.
Did you do her wrong? Does your anxiety stem from guilt? If so that’s what you need to look at.
Also remember neither of you are that same version of yourselves that you were then.
I know i need to talk to Jane about this but my feeling is that this is something she really doesn't need a month before her wedding. I
know she wants me there (and Sally, of course), and i know she will be sad if i don't come. I think this disappointment in my absence would be compounded by me burdening her with my internal woes now. I don't feel that's fair.
I don’t think now is the time to talk to her as you said.
I think you should talk to DH as if you go he’s your support. You can also leave ASAP if you go.
I don’t think you can control the tears unless you understand why they are happening and what is triggering them.
@Middle Class Problem. That's a fair question. no..no guilt. Regret, huge regret. I wish i had handled it all differently. But no, no guilt. It was simply that Sally made a decision that was right for her, but hurtful towards me (and we both acknowledged that was the case at the time, btw). This all happened when i was out visiting Sally, and I was inconsolably upset about it, and cried non stop that weekend. Sally felt it had all been a hysterical overreaction on my part, essentially said she didn't need that drama in her life, and well...that's what happened.
Stopfucking@ i know i need (more) therapy. I hate therapy though. I have been having it on and off (mostly off) for 17 years and it's never solved anything for me. I also hate crying for an hour and then getting shoved outside into the brightly lit corridor because time is up. It just leaves me feeling even more lost than i did before the session began.
Also @MiddleClass: DH is stoic and says we can go or not go and he just wants me to do what i think is best. He is very kind but he doesn't really understand what goes on in my head, i think he thinks this is all womanly drama maybe.
Do you think if you handled it differently that the outcome would have been different?
Do you think you could have handled it differently? Meaning do you think you were capable of having a different reaction or was it inevitable with your personality?
You’re being tourmented by this anyway so you might as well explore it. Which bits are still hurting you and why?
Rejection is a shit feeling but do you really want someone in your life who does that? As much as she feels you’re not a fit for her, is she not a fit for you?
So he’s not someone you really talk to in depth about things like this?
Sorry I’m pushing you a lot. I’m just trying to help you figure out the triggers and a support on the day if you go.
I don't think i could have handled it differently really. Tears are tears, they well up and the come, don't they? They're not easily controlled things. When i wasn't crying she felt i was being sullen / moody - that's the bit i regret i suppose. I tried to explain that i wasn't sulking i was just holding back tears, you know when as soon as you open your mouth you just start wailing again? I wish i had explained that. Then maybe she would have been exasperated but not so cross.
It's the rejection that hurts. We were very close. I don't think i did anything wrong per se.
I am very slowly starting to realise that she didn't deserve the pedestal that i had her on. But it still hurts.
I am scared Jane will fall out with me too now - "there's Dexy, being hysterical and drama llama again..."
i love my husband very much but no..he's not someone i talk to about these things. I took him to some of my therapy sessions so he could see and hear me, does that make sense? We didn't go to couple's therapy, it was for me, but he came and sort of watched. That sounds so fucked up actually. To be clear, i desperately wanted him to come - it wasn't his idea and he didn't force it on me!
You are not pushing, not in a bad way. Thank you.
How well do you get on with your therapist, and is it just talking or is it something structured like CBT/DBT/ACT?
I have seen various people. A psychologist when i was young and going through a bad break up. The others have all been counsellors, and as far as i am aware it has always been CBT. I am interested to hear you call CBT structured as it feels decidedly unstructured to me...and over the years i think i've seen about 6 different people, in different parts of the country. Private/NHS mix.
I am off to google DBT / ACT.
My issue with counselling, apart from the 'time's up' thing, is that it takes place in the day, and therefore i am a tearful wreck and can't go back to work / school / uni (as the case used to be). It basically ruins the whole day. And i don't get any answers, i need someone to tell advise me on how to approach things, how to handle situations that upset me. I hate the long silences, i need answers.
Of course it is OK to not go to a wedding if the very thought of it is triggering such anguish. No friend would want you to suffer so much.
However can you not press for something that does work for you - be that a different thought of therapy or some medication ? To be so unable to cope with what (to people without mental health issues) is such a small thing in life must affect the way you live your life so much. I mean, I know Mental Health services in the UK are completely underfunded and rubbish, but even if it were a 3 year waiting list, it has to be worth trying something to help you.
ok, cross posted there with the fact you have
So you regret that she didn’t try and understand you better or read you right?
You couldn’t change your response. But what she did was not give you a chance and assume a different emotion from you. That’s on her.
You can change how someone else would act. She isn’t someone with patience or someone willing to give in from her stance. You said after this point you apologised etc but she didn’t want contact. She’s stubborn and had chosen that route.
I think you need to see that possible there was nothing you could have done to change the outcome and possibly she could have done this at a later point if not then.
None of this means you are bad people or that you didn’t have a great friendship but sometimes a unique situation shows you that you’re not compatible as it seems this did here.
You need to give yourself a break. Do what if you’re a crier and a more sensitive than she is? That’s nothing to be ashamed of and there will be people that love that about you.
She’s just a woman at a wedding who you don’t really know anymore. And whilst it didn’t end on a great note, it’s not a reflection on you being awful.
I’m sure Jane understands you better. She’s not Sally and it doesn’t mean she will do what Sally did.
You have had a whole other life since then. Don’t live in the past. Think about all those things that have happened since and how they have shaped you.
I don't want to be cruel, but your reaction sounds like it may well have been over the top. If so, I can understand why Sally is reluctant to resolve things as that kind of drama is exhausting.
Can you give us a bit more information about what happened? I have to say, I've got several groups of friends and there are people I really don't like etc. And I just go, smile politely, avoid and enjoy myself.
I cannot imagine missing the wedding of a good friend because there's someone there that I fell out with years ago unless she fucked my husband or something.
Husband at counselling sounds lovely. Supportive.
It's one day. Will you feel worse about it if you don't go and risk your relationship with Jane? Can you do a swift exit to somewhere nice with DH after the speeches? Have you got a hotel room there? It will be hard but have some respite planned if you do.
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