Partner not invited to marriage, advice from Dear Prudence.
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A friend of mine from college, “Chris,” whom I’ve known for 13 years, is getting married this summer several hundred miles away. Since I met my long time partner six years ago, he and Chris have met several times for one day events, enjoyed each other’s company and exchanged well wishes birthday, congratulations, etc., online, all to say that my partner is definitely no stranger.
That’s why I was shocked to receive a wedding invitation that was addressed only to me. I called Chris to clarify that the invite was for me only and was told only married couples get a plus-one. Prudie, my partner and I lived together before this couple even met! It seems ridiculous to ask someone to spend $700 on a flight, two nights in a hotel and a gift, while leaving their partner of more than half a decade at home. Far be it from me to tell anyone who to invite to their wedding, but am I right to be upset that I feel judged and excluded? If it matters, we’re in our early thirties, and while Chris and his fiancée are quite religious, that never factored into our relationship.
I think you deserve at least the chance to feel upset! Certainly, in your place, I would send you my warmest congratulations and my regrets at not being able to be present. I agree that Chris has the final say on the guest list, of course, and it can often be difficult to keep the number of invites manageable, but overlook a long-term partner just because you’re both ‘t married is thoughtless. —Danny M.Lavery
From: “To help! I didn’t get a plus-one for my friend’s wedding because I’m not married to my partner.(April 1, 2019)
My parents divorced when I was 5 years old. I have a strong and loving relationship with both my parents and each has remarried and started new families, which means I have much younger half-siblings, whom I also love very much. My father and my mother-in-law never helped me financially during my university studies, although their house and their way of life lead me to believe that they could have. I worked to pay for my studies, I lived at home and I had excellent grades. But I’m struggling with over $100,000 in school debt. Now my younger sister has started college. My father and mother-in-law have paid much of his tuition, help him with daily expenses, and encourage him to study abroad. She said she was told that “school was her job” and that she didn’t have to work. I feel like I need to distance myself and calm down, but I still want to share with my dad how unfair this all feels. How do I deal with the anger and resentment I feel towards my sister and the “second family”?
It’s always a good idea to freshen up before you face a difficult situation in which you will seek redress. Your goal shouldn’t just be to unburden your father about the disparities in opportunities you two sisters had, but to open up a discussion with him about the burden you carried alone for your own upbringing. You can say seeing how he and his wife ease a lot of your sister’s financial burden made you wish you had the emotional means when you left – make sure it stays home – so that the university talks to him about getting help. (You left your mother out of the equation. I assume you lived with her and she had no money for your education.) Explain that you maintained excellent grades while progressing in school . But you couldn’t earn enough to pay tuition and now you have six-figure debt. Explain how this hinders your ability to launch your adult life and you ask him to help you pay off some of your college loans. I hope your father will consider your request and help you. If not, you’ll have some understandable anger and resentment to deal with, but keep in mind that the person behaving unfairly is your father, not your siblings. —Emilie Yoffe
From: “To help! I once had a one-night stand with my new crush’s brother.(October 17, 2013)
My boyfriend and I have been together for over eight years and have two young children together. We’ve had some ups and downs and generally things are going pretty well. We had an active sex life before we had children and now we don’t. Although I’m ok with the way things are, he’s not. I am tired after working all day, taking care of the house and the children. I understand that sex is important and he made it known that he wanted more of it. Things improved from once every few weeks to once a week. For me, it’s fine, and he’s “okay” with it even though I know he’d be thrilled every day. When he initiates, I try to accommodate myself even if I don’t feel it because I don’t want to hurt him and in the end I’m always glad I didn’t refuse him. I told him in the not so recent past that I don’t like it when he wakes me up to have sex. Sleep is very precious to me and we have other times in the evening, so why wait for me to sleep? He’s been good at it until recently. Last night I had taken a bunch of medicine before bed because I am sick and had been sleeping for over two hours when he woke me up to have sex. I was so mad…but there’s a part of me that feels guilty, like I shouldn’t refuse her, so I didn’t. I know it sounds stupid to ask…but is it wrong of me to be upset? Here I am, sick and exhausted knowing that I have to work in the morning, and I feel bad for saying no. Then I ended up finding myself a few hours later with sick children.
If you’re looking for someone to be mad at on your behalf when someone wakes you up (several times it feels like) with insufficient justification, you’ve come to the right place! Sure, sex is important, but it’s no more important than getting enough sleep or making sure both partners contribute equally when it comes to keeping the house clean and caring for children. children when they are sick. You’re putting so much extra pressure on yourself right now – imagining how ‘thrilled’ your boyfriend would be if you had sex more often when you weren’t really in the mood, remembering that you end up often happy once you’ve decided to have sex with him, afraid it’s wrong to be angry when he does something you’ve already told him not to do. It’s not your job to match your boyfriend’s libido. You have the right to set boundaries, to stand up for yourself even if it doesn’t immediately and instantly make him happy, to get a full night’s sleep, and to find a division of chores that doesn’t leave either of you exhausted and full of resentful and the other bored, excited and wide awake. I think it’s important to tell him that your current arrangement isn’t working for you, that he needs to stop trying to wake you up in the middle of the night to have sex (and if he does it again, he’ll sleep on the couch or at a friend’s house), and that there are other issues in your relationship that need to be prioritized right now. —DL
From: “To help! My boyfriend keeps waking me up in the middle of the night to have sex.(February 11, 2019)
My 9 year old son loves going to his grandparents (husband’s parents) for holidays and school vacations. He and his grandfather sleep in the same room on separate beds because they have similar sleeping schedules. I just learned that grandfather sleeps naked! My son told me that like it was a secret. I inquired further and got no indication that anything else inappropriate was going on. I asked my husband, and he remembered that his father slept naked. I was shocked and upset, and didn’t think it was appropriate. What should we do?
You could rush order a Pajamagram to Gramps. But if he’s a man who’s spent decades sleeping in the buff, he’s committed to becoming a commando. You kindly asked your son if there was anything alarming going on and you got a reassuring answer. He made this confession to you in confidence because he obviously realized that Grandpa is hanging out in a way he doesn’t see back home and he just couldn’t keep the news to himself. So now have your husband tell your son that he remembers his dad never wearing pajamas, and that’s kind of funny, but that’s just as well. —EY
From: “To help! My stepfather sleeps naked. Shouldn’t I let my son stay with him?(September 23, 2014)
More advice from dear Prudence
I am a 13 year old girl who has always been quite shy. However, I started hanging out with a new group of girls at my school. I really enjoy their company and they have a funny sense of humor. They talk a lot about boys and often joke about their “little guys”.