Lauryn
Just Said Yes October 2020

Abusive Plus One...?

Lauryn, on November 6, 2019 at 8:37 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 17
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One of my bridesmaids has been my friend since elementary school. She moved to another state in 2012. Around that time she met this guy and has been with him since then. He's absolutely horrible for her and to her. She's not happy, but she's not really willing to leave him because she's afraid she won't find someone better, has his loans and title work in her name, and they're building a tiny house together. She occasionally calls me late at night after they have a fight and he's gotten completely wasted and left. He never tells her where he's going or when he'll be back. He accuses her of being "too emotional" and even "abusive to him". He is divorced because he caught his wife cheating, and he holds that against my friend, like it's her fault, like she's going to cheat. He doesn't trust her and tells her that he's unwilling to marry again.


She's well aware that I'm not in favor of him. I know she has lost friends over this. But I do the best that I can to empower her and just be there for her. Frankly, I don't want his toxicity at my wedding celebration. I just have no idea how to break it to her that he is not invited. I have no idea what repercussions this might have. I've only met the guy once, briefly, and it was a terrible encounter. We were at Deaf Expo, we chatted for a bit and he didn't want to have the four of us go around as a group. As far as I know, he isn't physical with her. But I'm not willing to have him at the wedding and I'm not willing to lose a bridesmaid or a friend over this. She's not a defensive person, if anything, she internalizes a lot...


Any advise is greatly appreciated.


17 Comments

  • Caitlin
    Dedicated September 2021
    Caitlin ·
    • Flag
    I feel for you. On the one hand you have someone you don't like and do not want at your wedding, on the other hand you care very much for your friend and don't want to lose her over this. I could go on and on, but I will just say I have been in a similar situation and I ultimately chose to invite the friend's boyfriend I didn't like. I realized that my friendship with my friend was more important than the toxicity from her boyfriend and I would suffer through rather than lose her over it. I think that is where you're at. I bet you will be so busy that you won't really even come into contact with him at all at your wedding anyway! Smiley smile
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  • S
    Dedicated June 2020
    Sophie ·
    • Flag
    That sounds like a horrible situation for your friend and I am so sorry you are dealing with this. Abusive behavior absolutely shouldn’t be tolerated. But...I don’t think you can invite her and not invite him, especially if you are inviting other people’s significant others (especially since she’s in your wedding party). Like PP said, hopefully you won’t even really interact with him at the wedding and you can pretend he isn’t there!
    • Reply
  • T
    Devoted May 2010
    Theresa ·
    • Flag

    It sounds like, according to your description of him, he's not going to let her go to your wedding if he isn't also invited. And it also sounds like she won't show if he tells her she can't go.

    I'm sorry you're in this situation. But, it sounds like to keep the peace you should invite him. How awful is your friend going to feel if she misses your wedding?

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  • Lauryn
    Just Said Yes October 2020
    Lauryn ·
    • Flag
    Thank you for the replies. I totally get that I will hardly interact with him. I would just hate to see him mistreating her or bringing her down in front of other people.
    • Reply
  • W
    Devoted September 2020
    Willow ·
    • Flag
    You're in a really tough spot. I feel that letting him come is almost enabling his abuse. Where do we draw the line? Is physical abuse the only thing that warrants an explicit no invite?

    He is clearly emotionally abusive. Why are his loans in her name? That's financial abuse.

    Me, personally, I think I'd sit her down and tell her that he's not invited. He's controlling, emotionally and financially abusive, and she's scared to leave. That's enough of a domestic violence dynamic for me to be a deal breaker. She needs to understand that he's holding her back.

    Good luck!
    • Reply
  • T
    Beginner January 2020
    Tanisha ·
    • Flag
    I would pray about what to do. This type of delicate situation doesn't need advice, it needs wisdom. Whatever you do, have love as your motive and it will all work out. ❤
    • Reply
  • Brianna
    Dedicated December 2019
    Brianna ·
    • Flag
    I don’t have any answers for you. I will say one thing, having been through a similar marriage. If you don’t invite him, be prepared for her to be mad at your or at least give you that impression. I knew my husband was a jerk, and I knew why people didn’t want to be around him...but while I felt trapped in that situation I didn’t feel like it would help anything if I admitted to the world he was a problem.
    It’s hard because I want to say don’t isolate her, because she probably feels isolated enough. But I also totally understand boundaries and think you know your own, and feel you are not obligated to put yourself through anything toxic just because your friend chooses to do so.
    • Reply
  • Yoice
    VIP March 2019
    Yoice ·
    • Flag
    I honestly think you should still invite him or give her a plus one and make that her decision. Regardless of what he is she has made the decision to stay with him and that is her current partner. I fear you sending the invitation only to her would bring more problems in her relationship and can make it worst for her. Is tough and I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes. Maybe address this issue with her and see what she says.
    • Reply
  • Jeanie
    Super February 2020
    Jeanie ·
    • Flag
    If he’s really that controlling, I doubt he’s going to let her come without him. Or he’ll say something along the lines of if she goes to not come back, which will make her not come. I would just invite them both. Show this jerk that she still has people who love her on her side, and that she’s not alone. Inviting him isn’t condoning the relationship, it’s supporting your friend. You can’t force her to leave him but you can show her there is light on the other side away from him. Maybe if you continue to let her see what love is supposed to be, as in your upcoming marriage, then she will find the will to leave this guy.
    • Reply
  • Future Mrs. B
    Dedicated May 2020
    Future Mrs. B ·
    • Flag
    I would say to invite for love of your friend. Even though you don’t personally like him, she does and you have to support her decisions. Also, if he wasn’t invited, he’d probably make a scene and she’d be distracted all day with texts and calls from him probably giving her a hard time. Good luck!
    • Reply
  • Annie
    Dedicated October 2020
    Annie ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    My sister in law is in the same situation. We eloped and are having a big ceremony and reception for family next year. But sister in laws fiancé sounds just like this, except he’s gotten physical with her and I absolutely don’t want him at our wedding. But, I have to invite him. And we are having security just Incase. Such a tough situation for your friend. I hope she finds some strength to realize her worth and that she deserves better! Good luck!
    • Reply
  • Jess
    Expert October 2019
    Jess ·
    • Flag
    I would have at least a phone convo with her and be honest with your thoughts and feelings and ask what she thinks or is feeling in return. That takes pressure off and let’s her know where you’re coming from and opens up the floor to something it sounds like she never gets which is sharing her opinion without any judgement or lashing out.
    • Reply
  • Lily
    Dedicated December 2019
    Lily ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    "Show this jerk that she still has people who love her on her side, and that she’s not alone. Inviting him isn’t condoning the relationship, it’s supporting your friend."

    I think Jeanie sums it up perfectly. He sounds awful, but I think you need to show support to your friend and bear his awfulness. Continue to show her that she won't lose you, and she may find the strength to lose him.
    • Reply
  • Danielle
    Devoted May 2020
    Danielle ·
    • Flag
    It's her spouse. If he's really abusive why invite her and not him to something like a wedding...you know that will create more problems for your friend.
    • Reply
  • Cher Horowitz
    Rockstar December 2019
    Cher Horowitz ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    Jeanie said it perfectly! OP, I'm so sorry you're having to see your friend suffer in this abusive relationship Smiley sad

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  • Sara
    Expert February 2020
    Sara ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    I agree with this. Except I don't know if I would address it with her if he's not going to affect you on your day.

    I've been the girl whose not so nice boyfriend wasn't invited to a wedding and it made me really upset. It messed up my relationship with the person who didn't invite him. I think I would have felt better had I been told that she didn't like him or want him at her wedding rather than the excuse I was given.. Which was we weren't married or engaged (but had been together for a decade, were living together, and had a child)..meanwhile her friends got to bring random plus ones. But who knows. I wasn't ready to see what I needed to at the time. Your friend might not be either.

    My advice.. Give her a plus one and leave it up to her. Just focus on being her friend and being there for her. She won't really hear you about him until she's ready.
    • Reply
  • Lauryn
    Just Said Yes October 2020
    Lauryn ·
    • Flag

    You guys are right... the last thing I want, the absolute last thing is to make a bad situation worse for her. I think I'm still going to ask her if she thinks he'll even go. He's very against traveling, even if he has to.


    But since he is an alcoholic, I like the idea of having security at the wedding.


    Thank you everyone.

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