My friend is going to uninvite me from her wedding because of my husband’s ex-wife. What can I do?

Sure, it hurts, says our elder. But you have to be the classy one here.

Dear EWC

My husband and his ex-wife are invited to a mutual friend’s wedding. The ex-wife is making these friends uninvite us (I heard this from their daughter). The bride wants me to call her — I suppose to tell me not to come with apologies. How should I handle this? My husband doesn’t know.

Folk replies

I am so sorry that you are being uninvited to your friend’s wedding. Things like this should never happen. But they do. Sometimes friendships tank. Sometimes invitations have to be taken back because of costs. And sometimes, like in your case, ex-wives put pressure on brides who want their wedding days to be perfect and force them to uninvite certain guests. This not only creates anguish for everybody concerned, but it also creates grudges that can last for years and years.

The bride, of course, did not to give in to ex-wife’s cruel demand; she could have stood firm and resisted. But she didn’t. This has got to hurt, and I wouldn’t blame you one bit for being steamed about it to boot. I know I would be both if I were in your place. But here’s the thing: Obviously, you and your husband don’t want to go anyplace you are not wanted. So, if the bride wants to uninvite you, call her back and let her do it. Believe me, it will not be a comfortable phone conversation for her. Do not let on that you know what she wants to say; instead, act surprised and confused and allow her to stumble through her whole explanation and apology before saying, “I am very sorry that we will not be attending your wedding. I’m sure it will be lovely, and I wish you all the best.”

Just because the bride and ex-wifey are being classless doesn’t mean that you have to be. If you get mad and say what you really think, the bride will feel justified in uninviting you; she will think she dodged a bullet. But if you act classy, she will feel extra-guilty about caving into ex-wife’s demand. Since you will not be attending the wedding, I suggest you take the money you would have spent on a gift and either buy something special for yourself or go out to a nice dinner with your husband.

It may make you feel better to know that the reason you are being uninvited to the wedding isn’t because your being there is unimportant. In fact, it’s just the opposite. You and your husband are being uninvited because you’re too important. The wedding is the couple’s day, but we all know it’s really the bride’s day, so her feelings are the most important thing. And she thinks that you and your husband being there has the power to somehow detract from her special day. In thinking this, she is attributing a lot more power and importance to the two of you than you probably deserve.

Uninviting somebody is such an incredibly rude thing to do that I’d understand it if you and your husband decided to hold a grudge about this. But when you think about it, there is a positive side to this whole mess too. From what you said in your letter, you did nothing wrong — and you know that. The positive side is these people have shown their true colors and that is to your benefit. You do not want or need people in your life who uninvite friends just because other friends ask them to. So just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and put this behind you. It is a lesson learned about friends who aren’t really friends. Do not feel bad about any of this; it’s on them, not you. By being upset you are giving these people power over you; take your power back and move on by not allowing yourself to get too hurt or too upset. Blow off a little steam if you have to get your feelings off your chest, but then settle down and remember that It’s really their loss.

I hope this helps. We are always here if you’d like to talk more about this. I hope you will write back and let me know how things go. I will be thinking of you.

Letter #: 427381
Category: Friendship

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