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Woman cuts off childhood friend after she's only invited to her wedding 'in spirit.' AITA?

Woman cuts off childhood friend after she's only invited to her wedding 'in spirit.' AITA?


"AITA for avoiding a friend after she didn't invite me to her wedding?"

Some backstory: I (39f) grew up in a small town (1 school, everyone knows everyone kinda deal) and have remained good friends with about 6 or so of my friends from there. We all stayed in touch and it's like the good ol' days when we see each other. Everyone has different groups of close friends (from university abroad, work pals or other hobbies) but this group still meets up quite regularly in person.

Even though most of us have lived abroad and gone on other adventures, our folks still live in said small town. So, around the holidays, everyone's back home and we hang out a fair bit then. There have definitely been periods of more intense contact and periods of life happening in other directions.

One of my oldest friends, L (also 39f) and I have been through some pretty intense times together. I helped her get out of a domestic abusive relationship while we were both living in different countries (mid 2000s) and I know some of her deepest secrets just like she knows many of mine.

Fast forward to last year. My partner and I moved from a different country to the same city as L and her partner of 5 or so years. They hosted us for dinner at their place, super nice and settled. We met up for drinks a few times out and about. We hadn't invited them over since we were figuring our new life out and starting from scratch with furniture etc.

L asked me to help out with some extra work she had. My job allows for a LOT of free time, so I helped out and enjoyed it. She was stoked with my ability to help out and raved about how nice it was to be able to rely on someone in that way. I borrowed some clothing from her for an event. She came over to ours for coffee and cake. I would often go pick her up for hikes since their home is really close to ours. All went really well.

She has always wanted to get married and had actually (cringingly) been pestering her long term boyfriend to propose. In front of me once! It was super awkward. Even designing the ring! Her parents and siblings would also give him a hard time. Finally, he popped the question and everyone was overjoyed. Myself included. I took over a bottle of bubbly and we celebrated.

A few weeks after the engagement, we received a digital invite to their engagement party. We got her a lovely wedding planner, a house plant for the both of them and a cigar for him. Attended the party and had a grand time. A few months go by (start of summer) and during some walks together, she reveals some heavy drama in her family. Infidelity...

Her dad had been cheating on her mom for some time. It was quite catastrophic because they love portraying the perfect family. I of course know the family very well, sympathize and offer an ear. And boy, does she love to unload. In this case, I understand the need to unpack stuff. But it's pretty much the norm for us. She has pretty much main character energy when it comes to trauma dumping.

Since that walk, we went on a few more and I realized she was just using me as a therapist. Anything I would tell her, she would turn into an opportunity to tell me how something like that had happened to her and just take over the whole conversation. I came home feeling so drained and actually told my partner that I really don't enjoy spending time with her. He said that it sounds like I need to take a bit of a step back. Thankfully, with summer in full swing, things got so busy for everyone over holidays and plans, that we didn't really see each other much.

Until one day, out of the blue, she sends a message asking whether I could go for a walk. I was on my way out with my dog anyway, so we picked her up. During this walk, she tells me they set the date and that things have been so hectic with wedding planning. She then tells me that my partner and I are on the B-list for the wedding. At first, I was quite taken aback. 1. We were at your engagement party. 2. Why would you tell me I'm on the B-list? Wait until someone cancels and if they don't, then break the news. I dunno. I didn't know what to say, so I just said it was fine and listened to her talk about venues and dresses.

She then says: "the girls have already created a Bachelorette group. Would you like to come to that anyway?" In the moment, I said, sheepishly: "sure." A few minutes after I got home, I was added to a group called "Bridezilla" (yikes) by some of her more recent friends. The weekend away was so pricey and really not my crowd so I quickly declined and said I unfortunately had other plans already.

The plans for the kitchen tea come through and I didn't even engage with it. I was feeling hurt and angry. Whenever L sent me a message, I would be civil, but not very bubbly or eager to chat. Three messages stood out:

-dumping on me about how much she's struggling with seating arrangements

-letting me know that her and her mom are going to a dress fitting together

-asking me for a playlist to listen to while she gets ready with her bridesmaids "because you always have such great playlists and this way, you'll be there in spirit."

The wedding day came and went. Pretty much all of our friends from school went. People she worked with once or twice went. I sent her a message on the day wishing her a wonderful and memorable day and the day after, I sent another message to say that I hope it was everything she had always dreamed of. She replied with "it was the best day, my favorite day ever!" and 100 photos.

Since then, she has sent me at least 5 messages along the lines of: "how are you? I miss you. Let's hang. Are you okay? Worried that I'm not hearing much back from you. How's this, how's that?" I've replied here and there, civil. But honestly, I'm really not ready to be fake and be someone's doormat.

Naturally, I'm upset for being excluded from this major event. I don't know how to shake it. I'm quite secure in all my other friendships, but I can't help feeling lost with this dynamic. I don't know whether I have it in me to confront her about it. Is there an appropriate time to let her know how it made me feel? What do I say? (it sounds so childish!) Will it even do any good? AITA for pulling back and just avoiding her? Would love some advice and perhaps some outsider's perspective. Has this happened to anyone else?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

Sea-Ad9057 said:

nta tell her she is now on your b list of friends and if someone is dropped from the a list you will include her and respond to her messages more often... but for now you are too busy

YouSayWotNow said:

It's utterly bizarre that she has come to you so often for both emotional and practical help, and invited you to her engagement party and yet didn't include you in the wedding. Especially when the rest of your home town friendship group were invited, and even people she'd only worked with briefly! I couldn't continue that friendship given the exclusion. Did the other friends in the hometown group have any insight or comments on your being excluded? NTA btw.

UzuNARUKi said:

NTA she was and try to use you even now, better keep your distances; she does not see you as a friend and better treat her that way.

Vegetable-Cod-2340 said:

NTA. Op, she sounds like the kind of person that has levels of friendships , and despite all you’ve done for her your level doesn’t get you invited to her wedding. Honestly, your partner was right she treats you like an unpaid therapist, and so it makes complete sense to her that’s she wouldn’t invite her therapist to her wedding.

Op, I think it’s time you cut the cord on this relationship, she will never give you any of the support or attention you’ve given here. She’s not capable of it. Because you’re both part of a larger group, I would just always be busy, and never have time to "chat."

Iwishyouwell2024 said:

NTA Shake her off. She only wants to know when you are sending her a gift or something. I would honestly go grey rock and move away from her.

TheDIYEd said:

NTA, and you don’t owe her anything especially not talking to her and telling her that she hurt you by how she treated you…don’t give her that satisfaction. Move on, and ignore her.

AattukaalBhaskaran said:

NTA. Seems like she was using you as her trauma dumpster. I would stop replying because these kind of people simply use us and leave.

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for these "friends?"

Sources: Reddit
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