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    This Exchange simulates the original Couples Coping Support Group. It is designed to help persons with concerns in their relationships, family, marriage, seperation, divorce, etc.Offering a wide range of real world, personal experiences, information, knowledge, suggestions, & views from real people.
    Should I Go?
    3point14 posted:
    This is kind of off-topic, but I'm not 100% sure which way to go on this one. So I turn to my collective oracle of you guys

    The manfriend (M) has a friend (J) who's getting married in mid-September. I've met J a few times, and like him and his fiancée and his kid. We all get along, and they seem to like me too. M's in the wedding party. On the invite we got, it was "M plus one", not me by name. M's parents will be going.

    I DESPISE weddings. I don't want to go at all.

    It's nothing personal, I just feel weird going to a wedding of people I don't really know. I wasn't specifically invited, won't get to spend time with M at it, will probably wind up spending a lot of time with his parents. I won't know anyone else there, and his group of friends is really close-knit and though I don't think they mean to be rude, they're not inclusive at all.

    It's going to be people that M hasn't seen in years. I think he (again, not intentionally trying to be rude) will probably want to catch up with them more than hang out with me. His parents will know people there too, so they'll probably be hanging with people they know. I just see it going really awkwardly for me, and don't want to miss time at work to sit there in a dress feeling self-concious.

    When M and I talk about it, he says he wants me to go, but wants me to be happy. He said he wouldn't dance with anyone else or anything, and does want to show me off to his friends. He also acknowledges, though, that he's going to want to spend time with his people, and has to sit at the head table, and in general won't have much time for me. I'm not high maintanence enough that I need all his attention, but I feel pragmatic enough that I don't want to go to something I find boring and awkward for someone who I won't spend much time with.

    He says it's OK if I stay home (and seems to mean it), but I feel like an a-hole. Is this just something I have to do as half of a couple? My friends are getting married near the end of September, and M will be in the wedding party so he has to go (and he just likes stuff like weddings), but I feel slightly guilty that he's making this effort for my friends and I sincerely don't want to for his...I don't mind going to family things, and we've each done a funeral for each other. I just don't want to wind up bored and resentful. And yes, it's possible I'll go and have a great time...but not likely at all. Sigh.

    I just feel bad that his friends will all have dates and he won't. I feel bad that people will ask how he's been, what he's up to, and won't have the reason his life has changed so much with him. I feel like I'm being selfish. Again, he says he doesn't really mind...but I know he'd probably prefer it if I went...but I also don't want to cramp his style by wanting to dance if he's going to be hanging out with his bros from high school.

    What should I do?
    Foreverinyoureyes2 responded:
    Go. And whats more, make an actual effort to enjoy it!

    As you know, Steve's family has never warmed up to me. He and his ex were married for 10 years, so his family considers her their, "real" in-law. Plus she is a pretty dramatically sympathetic character in this play called our life, so they are all close to her.

    (This is A-ok with me, because truth to tell, Andy's family will ALWAYS be my 'real' in-laws because we were together for 17 years starting when I was 17 years old, so there is way too much history there for me to pretend that Steve's family could ever catch up with.)

    My point, and I do have one....Even though it is slightly awkward and not necessarily a great time for me to go to family functions, I do so for a couple of different reasons. One is to support my husband. Two is to represent that we are a package deal, so embrace me or not, I am going to be around for a long, long time. Three is that I love a party...any party.

    Although it isn't apples to apples, I think the theory still applies. If you are in this thing for the long haul, then sometimes you just gotta suck it up.

    And whether you mean to or not, stuff like this is memory building. Don't be on the sidelines of his life in any arena. Be with him to experience ANYTHING together that life offers you. It is bonding. It creates shared history.

    Besides some really funny crap happens at weddings sometimes and why get those stories 2nd hand when you could be in the middle of them actually seeing the brides aunt with her dress tucked into her pantyhose. Kwim?

    Go. Have fun. Seriously.
    cjh1203 responded:
    I'm with FYE. I would feel the same way you do, and come up with a bunch of good reasons not to go, but I'd go anyway and end up having a good time.

    Before you go, try to talk yourself into a different attitude. Instead of dwelling on all the reasons you don't want to go, and convincing yourself that you're not going to have a good time, think about the good reasons for going -- like the things FYE mentioned -- and see it as an opportunity to get to know the people in M's life better, and for them to get to know you better.

    I think you'd end up feeling guilty if you didn't go, and you'll probably end up having fun if you do. And, even if M tells you it's OK if you don't go, he would be at least somewhat disappointed if you didn't, and it will make him happy if you do. That's worth a few hours of your life.
    IslandL responded:
    I generally enjoy wedding receptions and have had fun at those where I've only known the person(s) who brought me. In the situation you outlined though, I'd be very tempted to decline. You won't be sitting with your guy, and if he is using this time to catch up with old friends, and so are his parents - it very well might feel awkward and boring to you.

    Receptions are a great opportunity to chat with new people though, so you could make the most of that. It's kind of like, "how outgoing to you feel"? Also, is there a timeline for the reception? One that you know is only going to be 2 hours might be more palatable than one that is open ended.
    cjh1203 responded:
    Another thing -- if people see you enough with M, and get to know you as an important part of his life, you won't be a "plus one" any more. You'll be "M and Pi".
    IslandL replied to cjh1203's response:
    And maybe you could hang out with dates of the other guys in the wedding party? They could be feeling awkward being there too while their men are up at the bridal table.
    Ashblack responded:
    You and M should have fun with it. Not to get into too much detail, but my fiance (can't figure out how to do that e) will meet at the reception. I'll introduce myself, ask her to dance, get us some drinks and have small talk. Then, I'll invite her back to my (our) place for some "drinks and to watch a movie."
    3point14 replied to cjh1203's response:
    Thanks, guys. I was thinking I probably kinda had to, even if I didn't "have to-have to". I'm just really socially awkward and have a really hard time talking to people I don't know, even moreso when it's people to whom I want to make a good impression.

    And it could be a chance for us to build a memory, I guess. He'll look hot, at least...Just not being part of the group is rough on me, and I fear I can't snap myself out of the "This is going to suck" kind of mentality. I'm not looking forward to going there and not belonging, and having it emphasized more to me that I'm not part of their clique. I know the only way to change that is to be around more...but I don't feel like they necessarily want to get to know me better. The boys are very separate from the girls, and the girls are kinda vicious and ditzy. Probably an ex or two of his will be there, and I'm not being self deprecating but they're all hotter than I am. Sucks.

    I can try to just look at it as a good time, but quite frankly I'd way prefer not to miss the day of work it's going to mean missing. I'm just nervous and pessimistic. I'm not usually like this.

    Guess I'll probably just man up and put a smile on. Ugh.
    3point14 replied to IslandL's response:
    All the other girlfriends have been friends since forever. Of course.
    tlkittycat1968 replied to 3point14's response:
    If I don't know anyone at an event and DH is busy with his band, I'll people watch and make mental comments about what they're wearing, how they act, what they say, etc. You never know, you might get some great clothing ideas (either the what to wear or the what not to wear variety). Imagine the conversations with your friends later about the woman who wore green and purple or even had green and purple hair.
    IslandL replied to 3point14's response:
    Wmd ate my first post, but it was about how you should feel free to decline and not feel guilty about it. While looking for mine to come up I read FIYE's and then wrote a second "toned down" version.

    To sum: unless it is really, really important to M that you go, why do you "have" to? It doesn't sound like you and M socialize with these people on a regular basis - and while I enjoyed (and agree) with the observation of creating memories together, I don't necessarily think one missed wedding of cliquey high school friends will make a giant difference. It's quite possible these people will be a distant memory in 10 years. Maybe even 5.

    Go if you can get the "attitude adjustment", but given that he is likely to be very occupied don't feel guilty if you take him up on the pass.

    An aside, I was surprised to read you feel socially awkward - I would have guessed the complete opposite.
    tmlmtlrl replied to 3point14's response:
    Wow, you sound like me...and I wouldn't expect that from you.

    You could always plan to go for a portion of the reception and have an out planned if you got too bored with it. Do you enjoy people watching? That is what I would end up doing. I'm a very to-myself kind a person and not very approachable by others. Sometimes, in the right mood, I can put on my 'bartender' hat and socialize for a while.

    Overall I am the kind of person that has the mentality that you suck it up and go. At least an appearance. I think that even though M will be worried about you he will be grinning on the inside.
    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.
    IslandL replied to tmlmtlrl's response:
    Grinning about 'bartender hat'. I put that on occasionally too.
    ImMe26 replied to 3point14's response:
    OMG Pi, that is totally me in a nutshell, the thinking someone ,an ex, is hotter than you and not really knowing anyone.....

    If M doesnt really express that you go, I wouldnt cause the whole time id feel uncomfortable and left out, and these are the worst feelings for me. He loves you and he knows you by now, so he understands your feelings.....he has to say he'd like for you to go, thats called being your spouse, but I think its safe to say that it would be okay if you didnt attend.
    Don't put off tomorrow, what you can accomplish today!! Procrastination is a KILLER!!--ME(26)SO(28)DD1(10yr)DD2(8yr)DS(2yr)SO's-DD(8yr)DS1(6yrs)DD(5yr)LUV THEM ALL ALWAYS WANTED A HUGE FAMILY
    3point14 replied to IslandL's response:
    Yeah, if these were people to whom he was more close, I'd care more. But to be perfectly frank, they won't care that I'm there, and I don't care that they're getting married. Not to be mean, and they've been very pleasant the like three times I've met them...but M and I have been together a year and a half and I've only seen them three times, despite the fact that we go to his hometown like three times a month.

    About people watching...I'm a weirdo. I dress weird and look weird and have weird tattoos and piercings. I'm going to try not to do that if I wind up going, but being a weirdo has killed my enjoyment of people watching. I fear that people will be looking at me like "Geez, who's the freak he's dating now?" and while that usually doesn't bother me, it'll bug me with people who I might have to know for a long time, and especially in comparison with his hotter-than-I exes.

    And yeah, to confess...I'm insanely socially awkward. I don't identify with people my age very frequently, and my interests are not like, common. I have a really hard time talking with people that I don't know. I feel disconnected from most people most of the time, and that translates to my sometimes coming off as a jerk, or as shy. I'm just really self-conscious and it usually takes a lot to psyche myself out to the point where I can be chatty.

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