Don't Marry Her!

Dear Vered,

When my good friend started dating a new lady, I was immediately put off by how standoffish and wrong for my friend she was, but I wasn’t worried because I figured she was a fling. My friend is an amazing person, and I figured she was just testing the dating waters with this new lady after a previous long relationship ended badly. In my mind, there was no way my sweet, smart, open-minded friend would date her long term. Fast-forward the longest and shortest nine months in history, and they’re ENGAGED. To make it worse, my friend wants me to stand up in the wedding. My friend hasn’t been the same since her last breakup. Her previous girlfriend, who everyone loved, cheated on her and broke things off out of nowhere. That’s when my friend disappeared and an eerie Stepford Wife version of her showed up. The lights are on, but no one’s home. She doesn’t seem unhappy with her new fiancee, but she doesn’t seem happy, either. She’s just… nothing. How can I tell her she’s making a huge mistake?

Signed,
The Unhappiest Bridesmaid on the Planet

Dear Reader,

Unless you’ve witnessed your friend’s fiancée doing something morally reprehensible (cheating, stealing, abuse, you get the idea), you’re not going to be able to tell her that she’s making a huge mistake. Your friend is still reeling from her last breakup, she’s not herself, and she’s not going to listen to you make a heartfelt appeal if she isn’t even listening to her instincts, which are clearly still damaged.

If you feel really certain that this marriage is not going to work out, your first duty is to be absolutely unfailingly kind to your friend. Think about it. What would it serve to be cruel, petty, or standoffish? Your friend needs you now more than ever, even if she doesn’t realize it. So help her by cushioning the blows of this potential clusterfuck. Make sure she gets a prenuptial agreement taken care of, which is especially important for same-sex couples. Work hard to help her keep costs down as low as possible for wedding planning, because you don’t want to see her bankrupt herself on a wedding that’s going to lead to a failed marriage.

After that? Let it go. You could be totally wrong, so once you’ve done your due diligence, step back, let all the judgment go, let the drama roll off your back, and remind yourself what friends are for in the first place. They’re not to stop you from making your own decisions. They’re there to hold your hand through the consequences of those decisions.

One last thing: Don’t ever, ever say “I told you so.”

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