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My Maid of Honor Doesn’t Seem Happy For Me

Published: February 24, 2015 | Last Updated: July 13, 2021 By | 13 Replies Continue Reading

A bride-to-be feels senses her maid of honor doesn’t seem happy for her and wonders how to handle the situation.

When I received this letter about someone feeling left out when her friend didn’t ask her to be a bridesmaid, I turned to my friend and colleague, wedding expert Sharon Naylor, for her sage advice.

QUESTION

Hello Irene,

I am a bride getting married this summer and have asked my best friend to be my maid-of-honor (MOH). We have been friends for just over 10 years. I have been with my fiancé for about two years. She has been with her boyfriend/son’s father for about five. She has been badly wanting to get engaged and her SO (significant other) keeps putting it off. At the beginning of my engagement, she was “happy for me” but she made certain comments that made her seem jealous and otherwise.

She has a six-month-old and is on maternity leave. At first, she told me she had tons of time to help me. There are four bridesmaids in total and I have yet to ask them for any help. I am trying to do as much as possible alone so that there is no drama and everyone can relax and have fun. I do however want support and excitement from my MOH.

She never brings up my wedding nor does she offer help. In fact, I paid for her dress that she didn’t have money for and booked a hotel room for them to stay at the night of the wedding. Which she said they will “most likely stay in.” Fast forward to today, she messaged me to say she will be more helpful in a month when she is back from her vacation. She is to busy right now and has to keep a calendar in order to remember everything (in my head, I’m thinking who doesn’t?)

I lost it. I was upset and said that I want her support and I’m not getting it that I don’t appreciate her saying she is “too busy.” I said that I gave her the option to be MOH and she said yes. She then said it’s hard for her to be excited for something I threatened to cancel (Me and her have had the same issues in our relationship.)

My relationship is amazing other than the fact we don’t have enough sex. I have told her that me and my fiancé need to fix our issues before the wedding, and we are in therapy working on it. She and her SO just don’t have sex and she accepts it which is her way of dealing with it.

Long story short, she said she is done and wasn’t going to say anything else. Question is: Where do I go from here? Should I get another bridesmaid to stand in her place? We have been friends for so long but at the same time do I want someone standing next to me who doesn’t want the best for our marriage?

Sorry for the long message. Any advice is extremely appreciated.

Signed, Vera

ANSWER

Hi Vera,

It can be quite difficult when trusted friends don’t act the way we expect them to, and then it gets even more difficult when we start guessing what the cause could be for the lack of ‘action’ on their end. Especially when planning a wedding, a time when emotions are heightened and relationships are all the more important.

To help you navigate this complicated situation, remember that people are very much like icebergs when it comes to their relationships and friendships — there’s a lot going on beneath the surface that you can’t see, and it’s useless and dangerous to try to guess what’s going on underneath. Making this even more of a challenge is that asking for an explanation isn’t always going to deliver the crystal-clear solution, because it’s quite common for a person to not fully know WHY he or she is getting distant or acting out.

So the best thing to do is give her the benefit of the doubt — that she is busy with a 6-month-old, and her lack of time isn’t anything personal — and importantly, do the important work of a good friendship and have humility with regard to the argument you had with your friend. It’s a wise act, a mature one, to recognize that you lost your cool with her (no need to list out reasons why, or throw in her face that she had any influence on your eruption) and — this is important — acknowledge that she’s got a lot on her plate, as do you. You’re both on the same page, and you’re showing understanding and validation for what’s going on in her life, what you can see and what you can’t see. She’ll then feel safer to do the same for you.

Explain that you’re trying to grasp why she’s not as active in the wedding plans (and say ‘active,’ not ‘interested,’ the latter of which can make people defensive) as you’d like her to be. If in a calmer discussion–and not in an argument–she says that it’s hard to get excited about a wedding you threatened to cancel in the past, then you can either thank her for her concern but assure her that you’re doing work in your romantic relationship, or accept her concerns and decide if you wish to allow her the out of being your MOH. Let her know that would be a difficult step to take, but that you can’t have her stand up for you if she’s against your marriage. Work together to find a solution, and with your concerns raised, it may be best to allow her time to think about it. This doesn’t have to be solved in one emotional discussion.

Don’t make the mistake of attributing or mentioning that her boyfriend hasn’t proposed, or hint or say that she’s jealous — that’s not a path to a solution; it’s a path to the end of a friendship. You can’t unsay hurtful things.

This is a tough situation, but if you act from the high road and keep any assumptions out of the steps you take now, AND your mindset, you’ll find a good solution that honors your friendship and your wedding wishes.

Signed, Sharon Naylor*


Sharon Naylor is author of 1001 Ways to Save Money and Still Have a Dazzling  Wedding.

Sharon Naylor

Sharon Naylor


Some prior posts on The Friendship Blog about weddings and friendship:  

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Category: Bridezillas and other monsters

Comments (13)

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  1. ShootingStar says:

    I forgot to mention I have made it to her city 2 times now for dress shopping. A tasting, and arrangements. Every time I try to make plans she says she has a few hours to spend at a time. She just texted me and from the sounds of it she expects me to travel to her again acouple times next week…and u still HAVEN’T been asked! 🙁

  2. ShootingStar says:

    I know this particular blog is different from my exact problem, but if anyone could give me some advice I’d appreciate it. I’m so stressed and have recently given up. My best friend of over 10 yrs is getting married. January it came to my attention she was setting a date in March. Late February she and her fiancé decided to post pone. She claims to have invatations, but they don’t include a date. In January I went an hour away to her city to do some dress shopping and cake tasting (that I organized). Then in February I went on vacation. Now the wedding is supposed to be June1st. She has been saying the most obvious clues that I am the MOH and has been talking to me about the wedding festivities like weddig shower, bachelorette party, etc. the wedding is 2 months away and I still haven’t been asked!!!! I’ve put most my weekends in my life on hold in case I need to throw her a damn party. On top all it all I’m expected to pay for my outfit that’ll atleast include a dress and shoes! And get this…she hasn’t picked u a bridal dress for the girls to wear!!!!!!!!!!!so besides it being prom season and everything is being boughten up..,my dress could be anywhere from $20-$200!!!! So there’s not even a budget..oh and of all things her gown budget is $295!!!!!!!

  3. MaddieB says:

    Truthfully with a 6 month old, I would bow out. If you intend to go through with this wedding, despite a huge red flag, I would gently and graciously give her this choice.

  4. MaddieB says:

    It is unwise to marry a man with a sexual hang up.

    If a man is not having sex with you it is because he does not want to.

    This can indicate control issues, an addition to pornography, or that he is bisexual or gay. These are not rare issues.

    Do not ignore red flags.

  5. GraceW says:

    The one thing that really stood out to me: “[Maid of honor] then said it’s hard for her to be excited for something I threatened to cancel.” Did you really threaten to cancel your wedding? I am like your MOH in that it would be really hard for me to be excited about something that might be cancelled. How can you expect others to be happy about your upcoming wedding when your behavior regarding it is conflicted? If people are taking cues from you, their behavior will be conflicted, too.

  6. LaTrice says:

    My best friend is getting married this upcoming April, and I can’t help but be excited for her!! Then, she sent me a text message, by telling me that I’m her Maid of Honor. I was under the assumption that she was going to have someone else be her Maid of Honor, but out of everyone else, she picked me! She told me that I’m her best friend-not to mention, the godmother of her two kids.

    I know that my best friend will be going through this life-changing position very soon. I did express my concern, by telling her that I hope that we can still remain best friends-even though she’s going to be a married woman. She told me that we will ALWAYS be best friends, and honestly, I couldn’t help but feel relieved!!

    You need to talk to your Maid of Honor, and ask her what’s going on in her life. Give her the opportunity to talk to you, and hopefully, the two of you can find a solution. You shouldn’t allow her negative attitude to ruin your spirits. This is the best time of your life, and you have every RIGHT to enjoy it.

  7. Dionne says:

    Was she told what you wanted when you asked her to be the MOH or is it possible she assumed you wouldn’t expect her to take on any serious expenses like a hotel room and dress (such as if you knew she was on a limited budget) and perhaps also did not realize heavy participation in the planning was included?

    When I was young, I was a bridesmaid/maid of honor several times in a couple of years and it got to be way too much. The brides-to-be were so caught up in their plans that most of them didn’t seem to notice that their girlfriends had very little extra money. Aside from that, sometimes the time/effort/favor demands grew and grew until we wondered if they wanted us to walk down the aisle for them too! One of them ended up hitting up one friend (who had worked in a florist shop) to do all the flowers (and pay for them), asked the rest of us to bring the food for the reception, asked for use of another bridesmaid’s parent’s timeshare for the honeymoon, etc. She was quick to get snippy when her demands weren’t met, too (Bridezilla!)

    The best one came and picked us all up for fittings and had a seamstress make the dresses. She chose a more casual look so we could re-use them and a simple style and low price. She chose the shoes the same way. I still remember how considerate and lovely she was.

    TBH, with most of the weddings I’ve known of, the bridesmaids’ (even the MOH) weren’t asked or expected to share in much of the planning or work. The brides’ mothers and/or grooms did that.

    Anyway, I have no idea what’s going on here so this may not apply at all but just wanted to toss it out there that sometimes people have vastly different expectations of what is expected from the MOH and that can cause problems too.

  8. lottie says:

    I cant understand why two healthy I presume young happy people are in love but not satisfied with there sex life.You are already in therapy dealing with it which to me sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. It will not get better after the marriage if it is not sorted now,and you are discussing it with your to be MOH! Not good. Any discussing surely should be in private.To me it really is cause for concern.
    On saying that she also says the same about her relationship.She has had a baby and will be exhausted,plus she could be suffering with PND. You have bought her a dress as to be expected and kindly will pay the hotel for them to stay. What really bothers me does the DRESS STILL FIT maybe she might have some weight that she wants to get off.Its ok everybody saying… oh you look fine….I cant see any difference….or its nothing.It will be to her if that dress is too tight and she feels a mess in it then she will not be a happy bunny just a sad one and I feel really sorry for her,plus her sex life is causing problems. She has no reason to be jumping up and down for you. So I do not think she is jealous just very unhappy and extremely jiggered,and sadly you are wrapped up with you.
    I truly hope I am wrong on all points I have made,and would like to say very best wishes for your wedding,even if it postponed. Take care. Lottie

  9. Laura says:

    Your expectations of your MOH sounds vague to me. You really need to quantify exactly what you expect from your MOH? You are really early in the planning stages, and at this point I don’t see exactly what she would need to be doing? My MOH and BMs went with me for my dress, and made a shower and bachlorette party.

    The fact that you’re having problems with your fiance is a big red flag. This is not a sound basis on which to be planning a wedding.

    You might want to put off the wedding until you resolve your problems with your fiance. Hopefully you will resolve the issues in your relationship and by that time your MOH’s life will have settled down.

  10. Amy F says:

    Yikes. Great advice. I think the bride-to-be is underestimating just how all encompassing and how priorities change. The MOH is probably exhausted, as new mothers are. She’s probably also in love with her little bundle and distracted by other things. BTB doesn’t seem to be able to empathize with her friend. I wonder in what ways BTB has shared in the enjoyment and excitement of the baby. The fact that the MOH recognized and gave a time table of when she’d have more time should show BTB that she cares.

  11. Mrs. Chen says:

    Hi Vera,
    I don’t disagree with Sharon, but I would add that before you say anything to your MOH, you need to first ask yourself what do YOU want to happen. Do you still want this friend to be your MOH? Or would you rather another friend take that role?

    If you’d rather have someone else be your MOH but don’t want to further hurt your friendship with your friend, you’ll need to help your friend reach the conclusion that it is best for BOTH of you that she gives up her position as MOH. As Sharon says, don’t get agitated when talking to your friend and never imply anything about her being jealous of your wedding. But do talk about (even exaggerate) how much support — both physical and emotional — you are going to need in the coming weeks from your MOH. Do talk about how you understand how busy and stressed your friend is with her newborn (which, let me assure you, she really is). If you can come up with something that you’d like your MOH to do with/for you that you know will be difficult for your friend to do, mention that. Do talk about how you guys have always done what is best for each. Hopefully she’ll reach the conclusion that it really is better for her that she gives up her MOH role while still staying in your wedding party as a bridesmaid.

    It may seem a little manipulative, but it’s your wedding and you have the right to enjoy everything about it (the planning, the pre-parties, the actual day, etc.) You are already having so much drama with your friend and, unless she get over her jealousy QUICK, the drama will continue and you two may end up doing permanent damage to your friendship.

    Good luck and congratulations!

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