My husband is the greatest person in the world and still not everyone likes him. Hard to believe, right? Fortunately for me, all of my friends recognize his positive qualities and vice verse. Although that seems rather inconsequential, it is actually quite monumental and something I do not take lightly. I am blessed.
Oddly enough, this happens more often than you can imagine. Even more odd is the fact that it is usually the maid of honor or the best man, so it is not just a friend it is your best friend, your BFF, your childhood chum or the keeper of your secrets that cannot seem to be in the same room with your betrothed without a fight breaking out.
So what do you do when your friend and fiance do not get along? Can you ask her (or him) to be a part of a wedding they do not endorse? How do you avoid getting in the middle of their seemingly endless arguments about nothing? More importantly how do you avoid having mugshots as your weddings photos?
1) Talk it out. Find a time when you can sit down with each of them apart and ask point blank if there is any reason for the disharmony. Be prepared to get an answer you don’t want to hear. Worst case scenario – she thinks he is cheating or he thinks she is stealing from your bank account…. I said worst-case didn’t I? Imagine the worst and hope for the best. If there is no concrete reason, ask each one to give the other a second chance. They may have gotten off to a rocky start but the fence can sometimes be mended.
2) Work it out. Find an activity that you like to do and invite each of them. Movie, sporting event, anything where you can avoid the tension…. how about a game of laser tag? Getting them to have fun together might just make them see how wrong they have been and they might be willing to make a fresh start.
3) Be sensitive. Perhaps your friend is simply tired of being the third wheel and has no interest in attending all sorts of couples functions with you (as a couple). Try to keep your friend from feeling the pangs of jealousy by spending alone time and not insisting that they always be in tow. If that friend is in a relationship, work on a group relationship. Be prepared if your fiance and his or her partner don’t become besties …you are just looking for an occasional double date and a way to take the edge off.
If you have tried and tried but they continue to put you in the middle, you will have to make a difficult decision. The fact is that if you fully intend to marry the person of whom your friend so strongly disapproves, you will be fighting this battle for the rest of your life. The polite thing to do is to to explain to the friend that he/she cannot be in your wedding because there is too much turmoil between her and your fiance. “While you are my best friend, I cannot endure any more tug of war between you & ______. So I am asking you to remain my friend in life and a guest at my wedding.” The other option is to bury your head in the sand through the entire wedding process and ignore the squabbles.
If your friend is offended by the mere suggestion that he or she opt out of standing up for your wedding, gently remind them that attendants are supposed to serve not only as witnesses, but uphold and support this marriage. If you are the friend in this case, why would you even want to be a part of something you don’t condone?
This entire discussion could quite possible put an early end to your friendship but it will also ease a lot of suffering for everyone. Realistically, as time passes and your marriage grows stronger, your friendship will dissolve on it’s own.
On the other hand, as time does pass, people change. It is not a bad idea to keep an open mind but, for God’s sake -don’t torture yourself by putting yourself in the middle for too long. NEVER complain to an unsupportive friend about a future spouse that they don’t like to begin with – it is a recipe for disaster and confrontation.
-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago