Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Dear Carolyn: Next week my live-in boyfriend is a groomsman in his best friend’s wedding in his hometown. I am also going, but am sort of dreading it. We are staying with his parents, which itself is fine, but because of his groomsman “obligations,” he’ll be gone most of the day and has asked his mom to pick me up from the airport, entertain me during the day, and drive me to the wedding itself. Cabs/Ubers are not a thing where we’re going, and he begged me not to rent my own car, as his mom is “happy to do it.”
His parents are lovely, but I’m an introvert and am anxious about having to be “on” all day. I’m also uncomfortable expecting them to chauffeur me around. He’s acknowledged my anxiety but essentially asked me to deal with it for 24 hours because his friend’s wedding is important to him and there aren’t really any alternatives at this point. I can’t help but feel resentful toward him for asking me to come to this thing (and pay for my own plane ticket) only to abandon me with his mom.
Am I being petulant? Should I have anticipated this before signing on? If I had, would it have mattered? In other words, is going to your significant other’s best friend’s wedding the kind of thing you grin and bear because it’s important to him?
There’s a middle here that your boyfriend is denying you, and that’s where the problem is.
Yes, the boyfriend’s best friend’s wedding is something you grin and bear, for all of a day, because it’s important to him. But his asking you to do so on exactly his terms, no tweaking out of respect for your temperament or interest in your comfort? Apparently in service of what his mother wants? That’s bull.
And his choosing to burden you because you will complain less than his mother will — that is what he’s doing, yes? — is a terrible precedent to set.
So. Tell him you’re not opposed to putting up with something for 24 hours when it’s necessary to, but you don’t agree it’s necessary here. You can rent your own car and spend some fine time with his lovely parents and then drive to North Wherever under some polite pretext for the alone time you need.
This is doable. He simply tells his parents this makes more sense for everyone and politely shuts them down if/when they protest.
If I’m wrong that this “entertain me during the day” plan is about sacrificing you to indulge his parents (my exact description of Hell, by the way), and in fact he has other reasons for it, then that’s something he needs to spell out for you.
However you sort this out, you do need to make peace with the terms you ultimately agree to and be a good sport for the whole 24 hours. Conveniently, having your say in how you spend them will make this much easier to accomplish.
Short version of this answer: Never leave resentment fester in an intimate relationship. Good luck.
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