Friend's getting married, I'm single = Lots of Hurt Feelings


#1

I've debated how to word this thread and the issue I am having so bear with me please. My friend is getting married next week, I am standing in the wedding, and am truly happy for her. But I am having a hard time with how she is treating me and perhaps in a sense disrespecting my dignity and life.

She has always been almost fanatical about getting married, even before we graduated from high school, You know how some churches/ministries put such a huge emphasis on marriage? Well, she comes from that whole worldview. She believes (and maybe this is true, I am no expert on God's plans for us) that God brings us the exact person we're supposed to marry and she said she made a list of all the traits she was looking for in a husband and within a month she met the one. Now, maybe it's like that, but it sure hasn't worked for me :o. It was basically as though they agreed to marry before they started dating. I found it a bit weird she was so convinced but I did not judge her.

Here's where I have issues. She has ZERO interest in my life besides my relationship status when we talk. I think I live a pretty interesting life, I have a pretty significant disability, but graduated 2nd in my class, and after 2 years living at home and going to community college, last year I started going to school away from home at the snowiest and pretty prestigious public university in the state.

But our conversations were dominated by her relationship and whether or not I was dating or not. I'm almost graduated with my BA and have never dated, I think the disability freaks guys out just a bit. I have lots of guy friends (my school has a 4:1 ratio of guys to girls) but it never goes further.

When I try to talk about my life, classes, college life, etc. she's never interested and acts as though my issues are so trivial because I'm still single and in her view, not grown up. She even thought it was silly I was taking a summer class; though she probably didn't like that it ends right before her wedding. It's like now that she is getting married, my life is somehow unimportant.

I am afraid I'm becoming resentful, though I am trying so hard not to. I try to tell her I'm at peace if it is God's will I remain single but she thinks it means I lost faith that God has a plan for me to marry. I am spending the whole week before the wedding with her and I don't know if I can handle the little put-downs and commenting and gloating (though I know it's HER wedding!). I know it might sound like it's just another bridezilla story but it began years ago.

Is this normal for my friend to act this way? Is this focus on marriage more common than I realize in religious circles and am I just encountering it for the first time? How do I handle myself graciously but keep my dignity?

Thanks in advance! God Bless!


#2

Is she a Catholic?

If she is, you may need to gently remind her that GOD calls us to our vocations and your call may be to single life. If it is, then it is a life that is as important as a married or religious life - which, of course, she knows if she is Catholic.

If she is not Catholic, you may need to explain to her what that means.

Meanwhile, try to remember what I am always being reminded of by my spiritual director - to be misunderstood and mistreated is something Our Lord understands. Take your pain and resentments to Him and ask for the grace to love and serve, rather than to be loved or be served.

Darn it.


#3

Hey, Skigirl. Don't worry. Fanatics can't really appreciate anything that doesn't coincide with their own narrowed vision. It looks like your friend very much wants to live the tale and prove it at the risk of putting self-fulfilling prophesies in her life. Apparently marriage has been the central point of her attention and she has little appreciation, regard or even attention for anything else. You've got to put up with her just like with people who see nothing in the world beyond their child or hobby or whatever.

As for her putting you down, I won't be telling you this is the best option theologically (maybe it would be better to offer it up but then we're also supposed to correct the sinners), but I'd explain to the friend first perhaps how you feel when your conversations go like that—without putting stress on "you" (i.e. her) as suposedly being in the wrong. Failing that, you could explain to her that part of God's calling for all of us is to love our neighbour, which includes being kind to friends.

I hear my own share of stuff too (being single and male at 28), so I can relate to an extent. I'm glad to hear you enjoy your life and find it interesting. Too many single people can't get over being single and thus lose out on so many great things in life due to gloominess and apathy.


#4

After whatever faint charm she has wears off, "the one" may find her unbearable, and she may find herself an ex-wife. Or maybe she will grow up and lighten up. In any case, she sounds like a pain in the Obama. Maybe you should lose her number and find real friends.

Don't sweat the dating thing. You are still very young and have lots of time. You're studying engineering, right? :hypno: Serious students don't have a lot of time to date, but college is a good time to hone your social skills and to improve yourself for casting a wide net when you do have time. Catching a husband (when you are ready) is not as hard as you might think. Here's how to give yourself an edge. Learn everything you can so that you can eventually speak casually about a wide variety of things in various social situations. In spite of what the feminists say, guys (even low-wattage guys) admire a smart girl. Study a field that leads to a higher than average income so that the high quality guy without the high income career can choose you without choosing poverty. Show your generosity and kindness in small ways whenever you can, because some of the people you suffer with in college are going to be your friends and business contacts for the rest of your life. One of them may turn into a dating partner or the friend who introduces you to someone and talks up your qualities before doing so. Be funny and well remembered by them, but not fawning; desperation is not attractive. Quiet confidence is attractive. Kindness is attractive. A sense of humor and a sunny personality are attractive. Honesty, charity, and good moral values are attractive. Understand that people remember emotions long after they forget particulars.

There are ways of compensating for any shortcoming, and the value of these other qualities is going to become much more obvious to you and your potential marriage partners as you age. Above all, learn to cook. That sounds old fashioned, but it is rock solid and goes straight to the heart.

Finally, consider how stupid the notion is that God brings us the perfect marriage partner or the equally stupid notiong that there is only one perfect marriage partner. If the former were the case, there would be no unhappy marriages, and if the latter were the case, there would be almost no happy marriages for failure to find each other. I would agree that there are some people who should not be married to each other under any circumstances, but God isn't up there on his throne playing games with us.

Marriage is a challenge. You find a person with similar values and with whom you share mutual attraction, and then work at it until you are inseparable. Don't let your friend annoy you. Just tell her you are happy for her, but you are too busy in your life to even think about marriage for several years to come. And then lose her phone number. She sounds like the type to want to moan about her awful husband while you need to study for a mid-term. :bigyikes:


#5

It sounds as though you and she have grown apart in the time since high school. Her impending marriage has exacerbated the differences in your personalities and goals etc. but it appears that you two are basically very different people to begin with.

I don't know how long you have known each other, but you mention being in high school together and that now you are about to get your B.A. People grow and change a lot during the years of say 14-22. The things that brought you together at age 14 or 15 aren't terribly relevant now at age 20-22.

The next few years are going to bring even more radical changes for the two of you. She will likely have children right away while you pursue, either more education or a career or both...
These changes will likely mean that the two of you will grow even farther apart.

Accept this. God brings others into our lives at certain points and for certain reasons. After a time we, and these others, need to move on. Not "breaking up" but simply moving on. Continue to count this girl as your friend, but recognize these changes, accept them and move forward with God's call for you.

Peace
James


#6

I'm in a similar situation. My best friend, who I met at Catholic Church, is marrying in two weeks. I helped her to stay in my country (when she would've had to return to her native land), got her a place at college and I even got her free accommodation(!). She stayed happily for two years, met a guy from Spain on a local pilgrimage, and within a few months was engaged, with the wedding a few months after that.

I broke up with my boyfriend a while back, I am also disabled and hadn't had a relationship in years. It was an especially painful break up as he had phoned to say he'd spent a week in bed with someone else! My friend had no sympathy for the terrible pain I went through. She just kind of said, "oh you'll find someone else. don't be stupid".

The final kick in the teeth? She and her fiancee sat after Mass two months ago and passed out wedding invitations to our group. I am not invited. People had asked me if I was a bridesmaid, but I'm not even a guest.

I've come to the conclusion that these people aren't worth it. Pray for them, love them but don't put yourself in a position to be hurt. After your friend's wedding, just let things die a natural death. You are a far better person than your friend, she is focused on her needs, her wants. She may find that this person tires of her quickly. She may find herself single in a few years or even a single mother.

You are intelligent and I'm sure that these guys you hang about with will eventually lead to a relationship. Could you talk to a close male friend, ask his advice on how you seem to men? You may be sending out "only want friendship" signals, in their eyes. As guys get older, they will feel more able to "cope" with the disability thing.


#7

Being in my mid-30s now, I realize that as we grow up, certain things just do not seem to matter. By that I mean when I reflect on the friendships that I had in the past and issues like this, I wonder why I did not just move on from that friendship? Not saying that you have to move on, but it is something to consider. Leaving a friendship can be like leaving a relationship with a boyfriend/girlfriend. It may be hard at first, but you realize that it is necessary for the good of both parties.

Listening to an amazing talk at a men's conference by Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers and he was talking about relationships/friendships relating it to the moral relativism that is so ramampant curretly in our society. To sum up what he said is that if you have a friend that is not leading you closer to Christ, "cut them the hell outta your life." Now very bold I know and you have to realize it was at a men's conference and he was refering to friendships and other "things" that may lead you from God, but you get what the meaning is of this statment.

I have to realize that in my own life, if there are those that are not leading me closer to Christ and my relationship with him, the time that I spend trying to nuture or foster that friendship is minimal. I have too many other things to worry about (5 kids and a wife) than someone that is not supportive of me. All I can do is say a prayer for that person and move forward.

This is your decision to make and if this is something that can work for you, but it is something to consider. A friendship/relationship has to be a two way street, it is not one way, it is give and take and if someone is not really interested in you, everything about you, then it may be time to move forward. Just a thought.


#8

I empathize.

While there is really no "fault" in this situation, this might be just another case of the 2 of you growing apart as your life situations diverge. It is not uncommon for even close friendships to diverge once one of them is married and the other is not.

God Bless and ICXC NIKA


#9

Practical advice: you are young! This is not the 50s and women don't attend college just to find a man-we actually (gasp!) go for the education. I got married at 28 and I would not have wanted to do it earlier. You have your whole life ahead of you. I have friends who really regret getting married right out of school.

Now, how to deal with this girl. I had a friend who was passive aggressive like this, and I finally just stopped talking to her altogether, which you might consider. But in the meantime, you can just make little comments back to her to let her know that you are perfectly happy where you are thankyouverymuch. If she starts up, just say something like, "Are you kidding? With these advanced classes I'm taking, I have ZERO time to be messing around with boys right now.". Or "Trust me, I have lots of guy friends, so I know how they think. I think I'll wait until these college boys actually become men before I start seriously thinking about anything even CLOSE to marriage.", or "Are you kidding? I'm WAY too young to be worrying about that stuff. I want to have fun in my 20s and get my career started, not be playing June Cleaver and washing my husband's dirty underwear."

Once she realizes you have a comeback for all of her little jibes, they will mysteriously stop. Believe me when I say I have extensive experience with girls like this.


#10

God help the bride who can think of nothing but her own perfect dress, perfect wedding, perfect honeymoon, perfect gifts, perfect fiance, perfect self. Perhaps God has blessed her with the perfect everything, and if it is according to His plan, you should rejoice with her. Try to forgive her when she says or does something inconsiderate. It is only one week of your life, and sometime later, she will need you to be there for her when she come back down to earth from this pre-wedding high that is impossible to maintain. things.

Pray and continue to remain open to what God's plan is for you. He does have a plan for each of us, of that we can be assured. God knows what is best for us, and if we listen to Him instead of imposing our own will, or the will of others, over His, we will find our path. You are young. So much is out there ahead of you. Rejoice. God bless you.


#11

[quote="PattiDay, post:10, topic:250919"]
God help the bride who can think of nothing but her own perfect dress, perfect wedding, perfect honeymoon, perfect gifts, perfect fiance, perfect self. Perhaps God has blessed her with the perfect everything, and if it is according to His plan, you should rejoice with her. Try to forgive her when she says or does something inconsiderate. It is only one week of your life, and sometime later, she will need you to be there for her when she come back down to earth from this pre-wedding high that is impossible to maintain. things.

[/quote]

This is exactly what I was thinking- what is going to happen after the wedding? What is she going to talk about? People like this have built up the wedding so much that it's scary to think of what will happen when real life sets in. She may view things a little differently after being married awhile, and come to you about it, or she could continue to harp on you for being single.

If so, you may have to make a decision about whether your friendship is harming your well-being, and how you're going to proceed. In my case, I have a married family member who is the way you describe your friend is, and only became interested in my life once I became engaged. She thinks anyone who is single is a pathetic spinster, but in my view if her self-worth and opinion of others is so tied up with marital status, she is the one with the problem.

Perhaps she means well, and simply wants you to have the same happiness she does. Or perhaps she needs to be less self-absorbed. Maybe both. In any case, it sounds like you are the one who is truly listening and discerning God's will for your life, and that is always going to make you happier in the end, even if it doesn't always feel like it. You have a healthy attitude, and it's too bad she can't understand that, but you're better off for it.


#12

Thanks for all of the responses and advice! I've known her since I was a baby, our dads work for the same company and my dad was transferred shortly after I was born and her parents were the only people my parents knew in the area. She was born 2 months after I was and we grew up together. She was so used to my disability and was really my only close friend saw in person until we graduated.

I totally agree we have grown apart since high school, but it started even before that. She thought I had made a stupid decision going to the community college because it wasn't a quality school. It really hurt because I was working my butt off and I don't think it was any easier than my university classes Well, all of my credits transferred and I am still going to earn my degree in four years. I guess I keep the relationship going because she has been a good friend at times and it's hard to let go after 20+ years.

No, she is not Catholic so talking vocations with her would not work. She was raised Baptist, was non-denominational for a while...they're getting married in a Baptist church so not sure what's going on with that as she's getting married in her fiance's church.

[quote="Saburo, post:4, topic:250919"]

Don't sweat the dating thing. You are still very young and have lots of time. You're studying engineering, right? :hypno: Serious students don't have a lot of time to date.....

Marriage is a challenge. You find a person with similar values and with whom you share mutual attraction, and then work at it until you are inseparable. Don't let your friend annoy you. Just tell her you are happy for her, but you are too busy in your life to even think about marriage for several years to come. And then lose her phone number. She sounds like the type to want to moan about her awful husband while you need to study for a mid-term. :bigyikes:

[/quote]

No, I am studying English but I go to a university where engineering is the major area of study. Sometimes when people hear where I go to school the ask "what kind of engineering are you studying?" and I have to say "umm, I'm not." The majority of people don't even know the school has an English program, but it is demanding program none the less.

Yes, I can see her complaining. She was complaining last month that her fiance wasn't excited about the wedding details. I told her "he's a guys, guys don't get excited about the details!"

[quote="PattiDay, post:10, topic:250919"]
God help the bride who can think of nothing but her own perfect dress, perfect wedding, perfect honeymoon, perfect gifts, perfect fiance, perfect self. Perhaps God has blessed her with the perfect everything, and if it is according to His plan, you should rejoice with her. Try to forgive her when she says or does something inconsiderate. It is only one week of your life, and sometime later, she will need you to be there for her when she come back down to earth from this pre-wedding high that is impossible to maintain. things.

Pray and continue to remain open to what God's plan is for you. He does have a plan for each of us, of that we can be assured. God knows what is best for us, and if we listen to Him instead of imposing our own will, or the will of others, over His, we will find our path. You are young. So much is out there ahead of you. Rejoice. God bless you.

[/quote]

Yes, I cannot imagine getting married before 22, or even before 24! I just hope nothing goes wrong because she would freak. A couple weeks ago she said we had to be at the church 7 1/2 hours before the ceremony. I actually asked my mom if this was normal, seeing I've never been involved in a wedding. Mom said "NO!"

Please pray for me, I'm going to need all the help I can get:D


#13

I'm in the same boat. I've lost several friends once they get married. It's not that anything bad happened or anything like that, just that they don't have time to "be friends" anymore. You go from talking with someone on the phone or whatever once or twice a week and hanging out, doing some kind of activity several times a month to only being able to get together once every couple of months or so, then once or twice a year and eventually, you just don't even bother anymore.


#14

[quote="skigirl1689, post:12, topic:250919"]

No, I am studying English but I go to a university where engineering is the major area of study. Sometimes when people hear where I go to school the ask "what kind of engineering are you studying?" and I have to say "umm, I'm not." The majority of people don't even know the school has an English program, but it is demanding program none the less.

[/quote]

I think I have been to your university for skiing. Though maybe different skiing than what you would think. We spent a night in the dorms before our regional nordic ski races. There was all night broom ball going on and someone pulled the fire alarm. :rolleyes: It was also greek week or something and they had all the ice sculptures out. (This was 4 years ago or so, while one of the dorms was still under construction).


#15

[quote="Bataar, post:13, topic:250919"]
I'm in the same boat. I've lost several friends once they get married. It's not that anything bad happened or anything like that, just that they don't have time to "be friends" anymore. You go from talking with someone on the phone or whatever once or twice a week and hanging out, doing some kind of activity several times a month to only being able to get together once every couple of months or so, then once or twice a year and eventually, you just don't even bother anymore.

[/quote]

I will tip you off that there gets to be a point where mothers begin to think very wistfully about their old friends. I'm not saying that a mother ever gets the social life she had before kids until the nest is near empty--we spend much of our social time with our husbands and children, and this is a good thing--but I am saying that an annual big outing or two with her old friends from before she was married becomes one of the most treasured parts of her entire year.

If you were to call your old friends with children, the ones that have kids old enough that their husbands can manage the fort for a weekend, and you were to propose a destination weekend, I think you will get an enthusiastic response. If you were to further propose that there be periods of tell-all-about-the-family and periods of women-talk-but-no-mom-talk during this weekend, I think that proposal will be well-received, too.

If you go somewhere that you can go see live theater or hear live concerts or some other activity that children can't do and husbands may not be nuts about, so much the better! Even more, get a house where you can all stay, and let each pair of you do a meal. The rest of the meals out. There is nothing better for a mom than to not have to cook! You will also want a place with a gathering place, a big porch or a living room with a view, somewhere you can all sit around, nurse a glass of wine, and chat. For the active, three-day no-cell-phone hikes have been reported as the stuff of life-time memories. If a bunch of you chip in, renting a house meant for corporate retreats can be a possibility (again, partcularly if it cuts out expensive restaurants that don't want you lollling around for 3 hours after the meal starts.)

If you get this going, you will be a star. These are the friendships that carry into old age, and they are priceless.


#16

OP, your friend is acting in a way that is self-centered and a bit self-righteous. Naturally, that can be difficult to endure, but it is not hopeless. The chances that you will get her to see that right now is about zero, but after the wedding and when she's had the reality of marriage to settle her down, that might change.

The idea that God intends for everyone to marry is certainly not Biblical:
* Now to the unmarried and to widows, I say: it is a good thing for them to remain as they are, as I do, but if they cannot exercise self-control they should marry, for it is better to marry than to be on fire....

Brothers, everyone should continue before God in the state in which he was called. Now in regard to virgins, I have no commandment from the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy. So this is what I think best because of the present distress: that it is a good thing for a person to remain as he is.

Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek a separation. Are you free of a wife? Then do not look for a wife. If you marry, however, you do not sin, nor does an unmarried woman sin if she marries; but such people will experience affliction in their earthly life, and I would like to spare you that.

I tell you, brothers, the time is running out. From now on, let those having wives act as not having them, those weeping as not weeping, those rejoicing as not rejoicing, those buying as not owning, those using the world as not using it fully. For the world in its present form is passing away.

I should like you to be free of anxieties. An unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord. But a married man is anxious about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and he is divided. An unmarried woman or a virgin is anxious about the things of the Lord, so that she may be holy in both body and spirit. A married woman, on the other hand, is anxious about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

I am telling you this for your own benefit, not to impose a restraint upon you, but for the sake of propriety and adherence to the Lord without distraction. If anyone thinks he is behaving improperly toward his virgin, and if a critical moment has come and so it has to be, let him do as he wishes. He is committing no sin; let them get married. The one who stands firm in his resolve, however, who is not under compulsion but has power over his own will, and has made up his mind to keep his virgin, will be doing well. So then, the one who marries his virgin does well; the one who does not marry her will do better.* 1 Cor. 7:8-9,24-38

You can tell her: Sarah, you're on fire. You've been on fire since we were in high school. Obviously, you ought to marry, so you will remain pure. I'm not on fire. The Lord has spared me that so far, and so far I am kept for him without distraction. When I find that I am on fire, then of course marriage is something I ought to be entirely open to, and I will trust the Lord to guide me to a good marriage. As it is, though, I am without that distraction. I'm not going to worry if it doesn't find me. In fact, I am going to use this time for God. I understand that there are many Catholic men looking for a wife like that, one who is more interested in pleasing God than anything else, even finding a man, and who cannot find one. I think God will provide a good husband, if God has that in mind for me. Do you understand, Sarah? Being devoted to God is what will prepare me for the husband I want.

After that, you can just use the code: Sarah. You're On Fire. I'm Not On Fire. Remember? Good.


#17

[quote="EasterJoy, post:16, topic:250919"]
Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek a separation. Are you free of a wife? Then do not look for a wife. If you marry, however, you do not sin, nor does an unmarried woman sin if she marries; but such people will experience affliction in their earthly life, and I would like to spare you that.

[/quote]

Hahahaha! This forum is a testament to this...I am sorry but it made me chuckle.

Please spare me...:D


#18

Your friend is just going through a phase. FWIW, the vast majority of marriages at that age, end within 10 years. Your friend has made marriage into this fairytale and she'll learn the hard way, especially when kids come along.

I would not end the friendship...I would just try to be understanding that she's just going through a phase and in a year or two, reality will set in and she'll be a lot less arrogant.

I didn't get married until age 35. I got a lot of judgement too and I was very irritated most of the time. There's nothing wrong with waiting until you are ready.

As for your school...your friend is just young. She doesn't know how the world works yet. Give her time. She'll get there. Her opinions are based on very little experience. Her opinion should not be important to you b/c they are meaningless.


#19

[quote="mamaslo, post:17, topic:250919"]
Hahahaha! This forum is a testament to this...I am sorry but it made me chuckle.

Please spare me...:D

[/quote]

:rotfl:

I remember my sister coming home some months after her marriage, and noting to my mom with some chagrin: "Husbands are a lot of work!"

No kidding! :D

I'm sure are a few marriages where this isn't the case, but these are the two most common comments I hear coming from married couples:
Her: Divorce? Oh, I'd never do that! Homicide...well, maybe. But divorce, never!
Him: Why am I happily married? Because every morning I get up, look in the mirror, and say to myself, "Be honest. You're no great prize, either."

My MIL, widowed after many years of being contentedly married, still shared the sentiment of many of her friends: Once was plenty, Lord, thank you very much. She had offers to date, but she politely declined.

If you're on fire, marry. If you're not on fire, spare yourself until you are.


#20

[quote="EasterJoy, post:19, topic:250919"]
:rotfl:

I remember my sister coming home some months after her marriage, and noting to my mom with some chagrin: "Husbands are a lot of work!"

No kidding! :D

I'm sure are a few marriages where this isn't the case, but these are the two most common comments I hear coming from married couples:
Her: Divorce? Oh, I'd never do that! Homicide...well, maybe. But divorce, never!
Him: Why am I happily married? Because every morning I get up, look in the mirror, and say to myself, "Be honest. You're no great prize, either."

My MIL, widowed after many years of being contentedly married, still shared the sentiment of many of her friends: Once was plenty, Lord, thank you very much. She had offers to date, but she politely declined.

If you're on fire, marry. If you're not on fire, spare yourself until you are.

[/quote]

:thumbsup:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.