DEAR AMY: My friend cheated on her husband after about two years of marriage. The husband found out – and when our group of friends learned about it, we were all very shocked and upset by the news.
The husband has decided to try to work it out with his wife, and for the most part all of the couple’s friends are trying to be supportive of his decision.
The only exception to this is my boyfriend, who refuses to see the wife or be anywhere she is. He thinks I should follow suit and do the same. This has put me in an awkward spot, and I am not sure what to do.
Stuck in the Middle
DEAR STUCK: One hazard of friendship with couples is that when this sort of thing happens, friends can feel compelled to convey their loyalty by taking sides. It is very tempting to do this – and it often feels like the right thing to do. But couples do sometimes successfully recover from infidelity, and when they do, their friends should try to respect their choice – even if they themselves are feeling bewildered, disapproving or even betrayed.
Your boyfriend can’t insist that you break up with this friend – as he is doing. He might be quite lonely if the entire friendship circle can somehow repair – and only he is on the outs.
If the husband wants to retain your boyfriend’s friendship, he should reach out privately and ask him to respect his choice to try to stay in the marriage. The fact is that no one knows what goes on in the private emotional life of a couple.
DEAR AMY: I’ve been invited to a wedding for old friends that I haven’t seen in years.
An invitation postcard came months ago to save the date. Now the invitation has arrived and I was astonished at several things.
First, I’m shocked that the wedding is going to take place on a Thursday.
Secondly that the wedding is actually at 4 p.m., with a reception to follow, but the bride and groom will leave for their honeymoon immediately following the reception.
About 12 years ago this same friend had a private ceremony and then a reception to follow with friends and family. Gifts were appropriate at this time.
Questions: What’s with the 4 p.m. on a weekday wedding? Is this a trend? Or is this because they really don’t want us to come? Should I take a vacation day for someone I haven’t seen in years? If I go or not, is it required I send a gift? Again? No dinner was mentioned on the invitation – should I expect dinner if the wedding is at 4 p.m.?
DEAR BEWILDERED: This couple seems to be following many traditional wedding practices – except for getting married on a weekday, and that is becoming more common.
Couples choose to marry on a weekday for a variety of reasons. Sometimes a favorite venue is available (or less expensive), or they may have professional or personal reasons for choosing this particular day. Some people pick a specific wedding date because it is an important anniversary day or birthday of a relative who has passed away.
Late afternoon is a very common time to host a wedding ceremony, and the reception following might be a light meal, or cocktails and cocktail food – or perhaps a full dinner. If you are concerned about the timing or content of a meal for health reasons, you can inquire with the person hosting the wedding.
It is also traditional for the couple to leave on their honeymoon right after the reception, but this tradition also seems to throw you off.
The beauty here is that you have received an invitation, not a demand. You can always politely decline. A gift would be generous but is not required – or likely expected. If you do attend, it would be kindest if you did so with an open mind and heart.
DEAR AMY: “Grandmother To Be” was worried that her daughter was pregnant with the wrong guy and involved in a “doomed” relationship. Grandmother seemed to want to keep the pregnancy a secret.
How heartbreaking! I agreed with you that this child should be welcomed into the world with joy – regardless of the circumstances.
DEAR GRANDMOTHER: The expectant mother was excited, and the expectant grandmother should take her cues from her. Every disclosure about this pregnancy should be up to the mother – and the grandmother should do her best to be supportive.
Email Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.