Originally Published: March 21, 2016 6 a.m.
Dear Annie: I have been dating “Brad” for three years. We currently date long-distance, but the relationship is fine. He is loving and kind toward me and everyone in our lives. When he proposed, I said yes immediately. But what is supposed to be an exciting time in my life is now marred by his ex-girlfriend, “Marsha.”
I knew Marsha when she and Brad dated 10 years ago. For some reason, she disliked me, even treating me rudely when she and Brad were invited to parties at my place with my then-boyfriend. Brad confided that Marsha didn’t like any of the women he was friends with, saying they were “petty.”
Marsha is now married, but she and Brad have remained friends. The three of them have even vacationed together. I’ve never objected to their friendship, but I’ve also never found a reason to befriend her, nor has she reached out to me.
Brad has reiterated Marsha’s old accusation of my being “petty” because I am resistant to initiating a friendship. He says that Marsha doesn’t remember how rudely she treated me and insists she be invited to our wedding. I disagree. I envision my wedding filled with people who love me. Since I’m paying for half, I should have a say about the guest list. Brad even told me to get counseling in order to find the “real reason” I dislike her. He intimated that I had deep-seated problems and that Marsha was the innocent party.
I’m beginning to think wedding bells are not on our horizon. Please help. – To Wed or Not to Wed
Dear Wed: There are several things going on here. If you are splitting the costs of the wedding, Brad gets to invite Marsha and her husband. You were wrong to turn that into an ultimatum. It made you seem ungenerous and forced Brad to defend his ex. The way Marsha behaved 10 years ago is old news. She was probably jealous of any women around Brad. You need to stop holding that grudge. People can change, and you won’t know if you exclude her. But we also wonder why Brad is so attached to Marsha and demands that you make friends with her. There is no reason for that except that he anticipates including Marsha and her husband in your social life on an ongoing basis. Frankly, if this argument is enough for you to stop the wedding, we think it might be for the best.
Dear Annie: I appreciated your answer to “Confused and Torn” about her dog. I have loved and cherished a number of animals in my life. It is always hard to let them go, so I ask myself, “Am I prolonging her life or prolonging her death?” And, “Am I keeping her alive for myself or for her?”
The way I see it, the animal does not understand why it suffers. I will clearly understand the loss and take that pain upon myself to keep the animal from suffering more. It is simply the price to pay for all the love and companionship the animal has given me over the years, and is the last and most important thing we can do. – S.
Dear S.: Thank you for taking a different perspective on such a difficult time.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. You can also find Annie on Facebook at Facebook.com/AskAnnies. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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