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How to Resign from a Wedding (Abusive Relationship)

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I'm struggling. A friend became engaged in January. The guy, a friend of mine for a long time, had hit her once before that I knew of. I chalked it up to drunkeness. They live together and she has a child from a previous relationship. She asked me to be in the wedding. She wanted me to be the maid of honor, but knew her sister would be upset if that were the case.


I began planning the shower for a date in May.


Two weeks before the shower, she calls me to tell me the wedding is off. This is after four weeks prior to that, she had called the cops because he kicked her down the stairs. And the day the wedding was called off, he had thrown her into a wall and ripped the ring off her finger, and the cops were called again. She begged him back. Her mom and sister called me, beside themselves. My friend continued to beg him back and he did come back and gave the ring back after some more theatrics.


They have since pursued counseling. They are now 'great'. She has said the mistake she made was telling her friends about her relationship and its problems.


I had said after the first hitting incident that I was willing to abandon our friendship to get out of the wedding. I don't know how I was going to stand up for someone who was a victim of domestic abuse. I encouraged her to get help, to postpone the wedding, to do anything to give themselves more time. They bring out the absolute worst in one another. And I'm supposed to stand up in the wedding.


I want to resign, though I feel like I'll be a terrible friend if I do this. I obviously am willing to let the friendship go, as I said before, but I also feel like he wins if I abandon her. But, it's not my life.


How do I resign from a wedding (and thereby a friendship)? Any thoughts on how best to handle this?



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I would be VERY BLUNT to everyone who asks. "I will not participate in a marriage where my best friend is entering into a relationship with an abusive man who kicks her down stairs and throws her against walls."


Tell everyone why you won't condone the marriage. You may be the ONLY person strong enough to make a difference.

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"I'm sorry, I just really don't feel ok with beeing in the wedding party, I think you know why and I shouldn't really have say any more"


Don't be amazed if you're told you're not welcome at the wedding or in any part of their life afterwards, if this is a friend you plan on keeping, you should suck it up and do what she wants on 'her day'...but if you're ok with the relationship ending, stick to your ground.


Personally, I doubt I'd even go to the wedding if my friend was entering into an abusive marriage.

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I feel as though I've now made her wedding more about me than about her, which is not what I want to do. I really don't. I struggle with it, and when asked this past weekend about what I thought by a guy standing up on HIS side of the wedding party, I gave probably too much information that I'd been entrusted with by her. No good excuse as to why, beyond my own frustrations. I did tell her that I wasn't upset that it got back to her that I'd talked about it. Do you really think that one person can make a difference? If I stand up and say 'no, I won't be in the wedding' doesn't that make it about me? As you can see, I'm struggling. I really appreciate this feedback, makes me literally feel not so alone.

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I tend to see it from a different angle. I can tell you care about her a lot... and refusing to be in her wedding really could end the friendship. If the abuse continues (as it likely will), she will need people who truly care about her and understand the true depths to the problems in her relationship. So I would personally take her aside, tell her your worries about her relationship, but close by saying that you do (and always will) support her. I would choose to stand in her wedding as a sign of support for her as a person and not as a sign of support for the relationship. If she knows that you will not judge her regardless of her feelings about her decisions, she might be more likely to seek help from you later when she is ready to seek help instead of just trying to deal with it on her own.


But this is a tough situation, and while I would probably do as written above, I'm not exactly sure what the "right thing to do" is.

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It will probably go ahead without you so no, its not about you.


You have options..


You can either not go and explain your reasons and risk losing her friendship. Or,


You can go and support her begrudgingly, to keep her friendship in case she needs you in the future (and by the sounds of it, she will). Or,


You can take the 'easy' option and call in sick on the day and avoid all the awkwardness and remain her friend.


None are wrong in my opinion, and nobody can make that decision for you. You must do what you feel is right inside.

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Totally agree with Turnera.


I would be VERY BLUNT to everyone who asks. "I will not participate in a marriage where my best friend is entering into a relationship with an abusive man who kicks her down stairs and throws her against walls."


Tell everyone why you won't condone the marriage. You may be the ONLY person strong enough to make a difference.


Think of how you will feel if at some future time you required to give evidence because this lunatic seriously injures your friend.



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I totally understand your desire to excuse yourself from her wedding, and I think you should. In standing up for someone at her wedding, you are offering your support to the marriage -- in a sense, you are endorsing it -- and I understand completely why you can't support this marriage. I wouldn't be able to either.


I suggest calling her and asking to see her, or, if that's not possible, talk with her on the phone. Tell her you value her friendship and don't want to lose it, but that you feel it would by inappropriate for you to be in her wedding, as you have serious reservations/doubts about her future husband as a result of the domestic violence. You can let her know that you care very much for her, and that you are not abandoning her -- that you will always be her friend -- but that you feel uncomfortable appearing in her wedding in light of your serious concerns about her well-being.


Most likely, she will be very angry, and most likely, she will hold this against you for awhile,maybe for a loooooong time. You will have to be prepared for this. She may even tell you that you are no longer her friend. All you can do is reassure her that you ARE her friend, and that as a friend, you can't support something that you feel compromises her well-being/health/safety, but that you will be there for her should she ever need you.


Then, let it go. Something tells me that somewhere, down the line, you will hear from her, and she will need you.


I know it's hard. I had a friend who was doing something I didn't agree with at ALL -- having an affair with a married man -- and I told her that, while I would always love her and support her, I couldn't be a cheerleader for her relationship with a married guy, that I felt it was morally wrong and that it made me really uncomfortable. If she complained to me about him, I wouldn't mince any words -- I told her exactly how I felt. We stayed friends (and are to this day) and -- surprise, surprise -- the guy dumped her a long time ago to focus on his marriage. This isn't quite as serious as your situation, where your friend is in real danger, but it does illustrate that, in real friendships, we can be a friend and still not condone behavior that we think is self-destructive.


I wish you the best.

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