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Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace

Dear Sugar
One of my best friends is getting married to a man that I despise. He has been both physically and emotionally abusive towards her and he has a history of cheating on her. I have always been polite and cordial toward him and remained tight-lipped about his behavior in the past.

I am very supportive of my friend, but I am very concerned about the future that she has committed herself to. I know she is in love and nothing any of her friends or family can say or do will make her change mind. She has asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding and this is where I have to draw the line.

I do not feel comfortable standing up for this couple on their wedding day when I have so many reservations about the relationship. Is my standing up for them the equivalent of pledging my support? I want to be there for my friend on her big day, but I don't feel comfortable being a part of this.

Is it OK to skip out on a wedding of a good friend or should I suck it up and give her the support that I would want in return if such a big event was taking place in my life? Deep down I feel like I've been a terrible friend for not saying something sooner and I honestly don't know what to do - none of her friends do. Concerned Chloe

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Concerned Chloe
Yikes -- your friend's fiance sounds like a real schmuck. Have any of her family members or friends voiced their concern for her future with this man? How long has this abusive behavior been happening? Something tells me your friend has experienced this kind of treatment before which is why she is not running for the hills.

I think it is important for you to be honest with your friend. If you love her, you can't hold back your reservations about this man, especially if he is hurting her. Chances are this behavior will only get worse in time. Ask her to go for a walk so that you can talk with her about your feelings.

When you are alone, let her know how flattered you are that she wants you to be a part of her special day but you need to open up about your hesitations about her future husband. Talk to her in a nonthreatening manner as she is bound to feel attacked no matter what you say. Let her know how much you care about her and how you want her to ultimately be happy but you fear she is making a mistake and entering her marriage with a blind eye.

You could easily keep quiet and accept the bridesmaid role but you owe it to your friend to voice your concern. Love is oftentimes blind and she might just need a jump start to see clearly. Reassure her that you only want the best for her and make sure she knows you will be her friend no matter what. Hopefully your friend will take your concern to heart and break up with his man before saying I do.

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getstinko getstinko 9 years
Here's a sarcastic idea for you - if you really think that bringing this up to your friend will end your friendship, than you should get her fiancee interested in sleeping with you, video tape it and then show her what a freak he is. Granted she will hate you, but in the end you will be saving her from this loser.
getstinko getstinko 9 years
Marriage is a huge step and one that should not be entered into lightly. If this fellow is already abusive and messing up, it will only lead to more after marriage. Marriage and children amplify bad behavior and relationship problems, your friend is in for much more of the same and most likely worse. What if she continues with this goofball and has kids - only to have his abuse directed at them and eventually his cheating end up in a broken home. Risk your friendship, if you have other friends who support your belief that he's an idiot involve them in the discussion Vsugar and martiniqueenie recommend.
sidekickwannabe sidekickwannabe 9 years
My feeling is that talking to her is worth the risk of losing your friend, because you love her enough to potentially make that sacrifice. If you were doing it out of selfish motives, then it would be a different story. But this is for HER, for her physical and mental well being. If she insists on marrying the guy and if you are willing to support her, for better or worse, then be the friend and stand up with her. If not, then bow out. Either way, you run the risk of upsetting your friend and it's best to go with your gut feeling than forcing yourself to do something you just can't agree with.
Vsugar Vsugar 9 years
I agree with martini-queenie. Tell her you want to talk about the wedding, go for a walk, and then ask her about the abuse. Say something about how marriage is such a big deal, and how hard it is for people, and you know that abuse was an issue in the past, and is she concerned about it for the future, and then listen. If she brings up the bridesmaid thing, tell her you love her, and you feel a little strange standing up there with a man who you know has abused her and cheated on her before, and then say, "Does that makes sense? Do you understand why I feel that way?" Let her rage - try to be reasonable with her - if she thinks you are overreacting, then think about it, and repeat over and over again how much you love her and that you just want to only support her making positive decisions with her life. There is nothing wrong with worrying about the people that you love.
martini-queenie martini-queenie 9 years
Sadly, no matter how gently you express your concern for your friend, she is unlikely to listen. she is more likely to become defensive in the short term, and in the long term shut you out from hearing anything but the good about her husband. If you are going to voice a negative opinion at all, I would suggest doing it in the form of questions rather than accusations.
t0xxic t0xxic 9 years
Maybe you should have told her about his behavior before it got to this point. No dont be in a wedding your not supporting.
BeachBarbie BeachBarbie 9 years
Liza, I completely agree with you...if someone is in love they are not going to listen to anyone. Sorry, to hear about your friend. :(
LizaToad LizaToad 9 years
this is really tough... one of my friends is marrying a guy that is a big liar and she's one of the most honest women in the world. it makes me nervous, but pretty much everyone told me to hold my thoughts to myself.... when a girl is in love, she's not going to listen to you. she has to figure it out for herself.... good luck
Mme-Hart Mme-Hart 9 years
Think wisely before you do anything (be it saying something or staying quiet). I lost one of my best friends, lived with her for 3 fabulous years, over this exact situation. I told her and we've never spoken since. She got married this past fall, I heard it was beautiful and she looked radiant. It broke my heart. She missed my wedding, too. :(
SWEET-C9363 SWEET-C9363 9 years
this is tough
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