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I'm considering ending a 16+ year friendship.

Friendship Having issues with a friend? Get it off your chest!

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Old 7th May 2009, 6:17 AM   #1
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Location: California
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Unhappy I'm considering ending a 16+ year friendship.

I've been engaged for 10 months. My wedding is about six months away. I've been with my fiance for five years now and he's the greatest thing since chocolate and peanut butter. Honestly, he's my best friend. If he could be my Groom AND my "Maid of Honor", believe me! I'd have him in pink taffeta! But, instead, I have a so-called best friend of over 16 years who claimed the right of being MoH long ago after my first date with Mr. Right.

My problem is that my "best friend" ... we'll call her SUE, is a major flake. She always has been, always will be. Sue missed my first "wedding" 12 years ago (I'd eloped to Vegas) because I'd gotten so sick of leaving her messages and emails with no replies that I just stopped trying to contact her all together. THREE YEARS went by before she called me back! By then my first marriage was practically over, and Sue vowed to be a better friend and did at least see me through my divorce.

After that, sometimes Sue was really flakey, and sometime she was a pretty good friend. With all the life changes and moving around I've had in the last decade, Sue has been one of only two people that I've remained friends with long term. (The other friend I've known for 11 years and its no secret that she's quite self-centered and is only friends when she needs something.) At this point, I've realized that it's not so much them as its me, as in it's the type of people I must attract as friends that is the problem. While probably true, this realization has come a little late in life and there's not much I can do about it now. So...

Fast forward to 10 months ago...I let Sue know that my boyfriend had finally officially proposed and she was very excited for us and of course wanted confirmation that she'd be my MoH. I said yes, since I don't have anyone else to fill that role and I've always have pictured her being there standing at the alter with me. So for a few months, Sue did very well calling me weekly to see how things were going. She always asked about wedding plans but I never pushed the topic on her. Then we had a few lunch dates (we live quite a distance from each other so when we made plans, it always took effort on both our parts to schedule days/times that we could meet). Then, just like clockwork, Sue started disappearing. We would play phone tag, go back and forth for two or three weeks "missing" each other's calls, she'd text once in a while, send an email once in a blue moon, she'd say she wanted to get together, and then it was just radio silence.I let it go for about two months and then she popped up with all these excuses, apologizing for being a flake, and then less than two weeks later, she'd disappear again.

It's been six months since I've seen Sue, and at least two months since Sue's responded to any of my messages. I think the last time I heard from her was a text message that said, "Let's get together, I miss u!" and I responded, "When?". She never answered.

My wedding planner has asked me repeatedly if Sue's picked out her dress, what color she'll be wearing, what kind of bouquet do we need to order for her, will she be at the rehearsal dinner, will she need hair and make up the day of the wedding or will she just be showing up, etc. All things I just don't know because I don't ever talk to her.

Earlier tonight my fiance asked me how long it's been since I've heard from Sue, and for some reason, my patience with her completely depleted. Prior to the wedding issue, I was content to let her come and go as she pleased. But at this point and at my age, I'm sort of finding the insult of her actions at this time in my life really disturbing. I was discussing with my fiance the possibility of just removing her role from the wedding all together. And he asked me, "You mean remove her from the wedding party, or remove her from the wedding all together" and that just made me say, "ALL TOGETHER".

We're having a small family affair, only about 50 guests, almost entirely from his side, but we're spending a lot of money to make it very grand. We had planned on a MoH and best man as our only party, and since Sue had been deemed MOH years ago, my fiance chose his brother, who he's honestly not very close to, as Best Man.

But now, considering the costs of the event, the effort we're putting into it to make it special for everyone, I feel like my fiance and I are the only ones who really deserve to be standing on our wedding day, so not only do I want to bounce the MoH and Best Man from the wedding party (my fiance's brother will have no problem stepping down and just being a guest) but I feel inclined to scratch Sue off the guest list all together and just end this nearly two decades long charade of a friendship. I feel like I want to move on with my life and I don't deserve to have to carry the baggage of a fair-weather friend for so long.

I know she'd flip if I ex-communicate her. We had a near breakup once before. Believe me when I say we had a very long talk and I let her know EXACTLY how I felt and didn't hold back. Just like then, I'm sure she'll cry a bunch and call and email her apologies trying to keep me on the line. But I know it'd be shortlived and if I let her back in, she'll just repeat the cycle as soon as the wedding passes.

So where I need some clarity is:
  • Should I be confrontational about ending the friendship?
  • Should I be passive and just not send an invite and wait for her to contact me to tell her she's no longer welcome in my life?
  • Am I over reacting because of the emotions of the wedding, and should I just relax and not get wrapped up in her issues? Is it better to carry on without her and if she does pop up last minute, allow her the token role of MoH???
I know it may seem very cut and dry based on what I'd said above, but this is a very, very difficult decision for me. I don't have a gaggle of close girlf friends at all, so letting go of her is pretty much letting go of all hope of a lasting female friendship. I just haven't been able to have decent long term relationships with any woman. Every woman I've ever met has always been so into her boyfriend or husband (or girlfriend, I have many lesbian acquaintances, too) that they wont put any effort into having a friendship.

Also, I have very small family that I'm not super close to (distant mom, a brother I hardly see or speak to, and a few aunts) so over the years, I;ve just sort of lumped Sue into what I call "family".

At this moment, my fiance and his kids (from his first marriage) are my only true family and my fiance is my only source of close companionship. We're mainly having the wedding celebration for his side of the family, as he's very close to his family and extended family. But knowing that they're there for him and no one will really be there for me leaves me practically in tears when I think about it that way. Now I'm on the thought that, If I let my friend remain as the MoH, at least I'll have someone there for me, and I honestly think that's the only reason I've put up with her for so long. And that's just not the right way to think.

What do I do??? How do I resolve this? I thought this rant would help me put things into perspective, but now I just feel worse.
20poundblackcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th May 2009, 8:53 AM   #2
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That's a hard one. I also have a best friend of 18 years. She is more like a sister to me. Although to be honest I am not sure what would happen to our friendship if she lived further than 5 miles from me. Just as you, she is my only female friend. My boyfriend of 3 years is my best friend and companion. It sounds like your fiance has a pretty strong family bond. Instead of thinking of it that his family is there only for him. Realize that you are now part of his family and they are there for the both of you. If they didn't like you, they wouldn't attend. If his family is as close as it seems, they will be ultra excited to have you joining their close family bond. Maybe this is the time to let the best friend go. If you don't want a big to do, just let her know that you and your fiance decided that you only want the two of you to stand up. If she makes a big to do than she is not worth it. Let her know that she can accept your decision and come and enjoy herself or just not show up at all if she is going to be bitter. Then you kind of leave the final decision to her and you can go on with the on again, off again friendship if she feels she can be civil about the situation.
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