What someone chooses to post online can greatly affect how others view them.
In a popular post on the Relationships subreddit, a man asked if he should kick his best friend out of his wedding at his fiance's request. He wrote:
My fiance and I: 30 M/F, fairly socially liberal, together 5 years, interracial couple, not religious
My best friend and his wife: 30M/27F, strongly Christian, social conservatives, married 7 years.
My best friend is going to be my best man, and I was his best man. Our friendship is somewhat unusual because we are pretty much opposites as far as political and personal beliefs are concerned, but my policy with him is to never discuss these issues so as to avoid conflict and it works.
My fiance used to like best man (BM) and his wife (BMW) when they first met, but BMW likes to post about her personal views a lot on Facebook and through that, fiance has learned a lot about BM and BMW's political views and it has changed her opinion of them. Topics of BMW's Facebook posts in the past have included: condemnation of homosexuality, ab*rtion, and v*ccination.
My fiance is not very political but she has told me she has trouble interacting with BMW knowing that she is h*mophobic among other things. She avoids these topics in conversation like my policy and can have friendly conversations and behave cordially but prefers not to spend time with this couple.
She has confessed that she wishes they were not in our wedding, but has not told me outright that they can't be in it. Basically leaving the choice to me. I told her our differences in political opinion shouldn't affect our relationship because these topics are just hypotheticals to us: we're not gay, we've never had an ab*rtion, and none of us have kids to vaccinate.
None of these affect us personally yet. Maybe in the future, but there's no reason they can't be in our wedding NOW. But then fiance said that people like BM and BMW tend to be highly judgmental and she doesn't want to feel under scrutiny on our wedding. Our wedding will be secular and she thinks BM and BMW, who are strongly religious, will frown at that.
We are also an interracial couple and she thinks that homophobia goes hand in hand with racism despite BM and BMW having never made racist comments against her or our relationship. Fiance seems to think they can't be homophobic without also being secretly racist too.
So I can either keep BM and his wife in our wedding knowing that fiance will be uncomfortable, or tell them they're not invited and have to come up with an explanation why.
TL;DR: Fiance doesn't want my best friend and his wife to be at our wedding because she's uncomfortable with their personal beliefs.
I'm getting married in a couple months, and there are some people my SO and I are inviting who, to put it mildly, do not share our (liberal) views on certain controversial topics (gay marriage, abortion). They are otherwise perfectly wonderful people, and I only know about the views of these people because of social media--they've never come up in conversation with us.
As I've found out more and more about some people, I've been conflicted about having them there, but at the end of the day, it boils down to this: they support us and our marriage. They might not share our views on other topics, but they are truly excited for us to start our lives together and couldn't be happier for us.
Given that the controversial topics are unlikely to come up at our wedding and that our wedding is also unlikely to be a polling station for hot button issues, I don't feel that I'm compromising my values by having them there.
If these topics come up with them in the future, we'll see how that goes, but for now, I'm satisfied that our celebration is separate from any political goings-on (unless you count some fierce college football rivalries), and so this shouldn't be a problem.
And OP responded:
The problem is though, fiance doesn't really think they support our marriage 100%. While they're not overtly racist, my BM and his wife have made uncomfortable comments that border on racism against one ethnic minority, which is not the minority my fiance belongs to but nonetheless she thinks they're secretly racist and disapproves of our marriage.
And ch1ck4do0dl3 responded:
"BM and his wife have made uncomfortable comments that border on racism against one ethnic minority, which is not the minority my fiance belongs to but nonetheless she thinks they're secretly racist."
Can't exactly blame her, there. Your post made it sound like she thought this just because of the homophobia, but this is different. They've made remarks. I get that they're your friends and that, to wit, they haven't pushed any of their beliefs on you, but do you think you might be giving them a little bit more leeway than you would if the shoe were on the other foot?
I'm not saying you can't be friends with them. I'm not saying they're awful people. What I am saying is that, especially in light of this new "little" detail, it makes a hell of a lot more sense why she'd be uncomfortable with them there.
Unfortunately, that makes the solution a lot less clear-cut. Yes, they've never done anything overt or with the express intent of harming/belittling you or your fiancee. I suspect that, if they are as you describe, they probably wouldn't. At the same time, this is the comfort of your future wife you're talking about on one of the biggest days of your life.
She's your partner and teammate, and she has every reason to be uncomfortable with these people. My best "compromise" at the moment would be to limit their contact with the both of you at the wedding. For instance, if you're having a head table, you might instead consider a sweetheart table with a bit of a buffer zone.
You might consider limiting speeches to family.
At this point, I'm more worried about after the wedding, and I definitely don't have a clear answer for you either than that should you choose to keep in contact, your wife is not obligated to do the same.
And OP responded once again:
My BM and his wife made the comments about black people (for example, one comment expressing disapproval of white/black marriages). My fiance is East Asian. BM and wife have never shown racist attitudes against Asians, if they had I would have done something by now. In fact they even seem to have favorable opinions of Asians compared to other groups.
Fiance thinks racism against one minority is equivalent to racism against all minorities which I definitely understand but since their prejudices are fairly mind and don't directly involve us I don't think it'll hurt to just ignore it for the sake of keeping the peace.
"In fact they even seem to have favorable opinions of Asians compared to other groups."
"I don't think you suck AS MUCH as those other minority groups" isn't a compliment.
Woo tough one. I'd say keep them in the wedding, because they'd still be at the wedding right? So they still could judge her and the wedding just as much as if they were in the wedding party. So that reason doesn't hold up. Unless you plan to ban them outright? How long have you been friends with this best friend?
Do you want him to be in the wedding? Would you resent your fiance if she guilted you into having him go? Sometimes your significant other doesn't like your friends, it happens. But if she loved you, she'd understand that you want him there, despite her dislike. Just because you're getting married doesn't mean she can decided who you hang out with.
She has a right to inform you of her discomfort though, I can completely understand her side. I probably wouldn't like them much either. But this wedding isn't just for her, it's for you too.
And OP responded:
We've been best friends since college so about 8 years. I would like him in my wedding. I was his best man and I feel like it's only fair that he's mine too. I wouldn't resent fiance or anything, it's just very uncomfortable if I had to ask him to step down from being best man at this point.
I think the only compromise here is to have him not be best man but still invite him to the wedding but even so I'd have to give him a reason why and I don't see any way to explain that wouldn't get messy.
Assigning human rights issues as mere irrelevant "hypotheticals" says a lot about the kind of person you are. If you have children they will face issues you can't even begin to understand right now because you can't even put yourself in your wife's shoes at this moment. I hope you become the kind of man she deserves.
I can completely understand your fiance's feelings. What happens if you have children and they're gay. What happens if you both have children and they decide to not vaccinate theirs? What happens if your fiance accidentally gets pregnant at the worst time, and the only reasonable thing to do is abort. What happens if there are gay couples at the wedding?
And to be honest, the same arguments that are used against homosexuality are the same arguments that were used against interracial marriage. It's literally the exact same argument, except with a different subject. I'm going to assume that you're white, your friends are white, and your fiance is the minority.
If this is true, then it's very possible that your friends do make racist comments and imply that minorities in general are lesser people. If you are not a minority, you may not pick up on things like that because that sort of thing doesn't negatively impact you.
I would really take a good hard look at your friendship and think about whether or not these people actually support your marriage and your wife. You're entitled to your friendships, but you are all different people, and if your life changes at all, then it's very realistic that the friendship will come to an end.
You don't seem to consider the long term here. If you're going to form a family, these are people who will be influencing the formation of that family. Your kids will learn about those negatives from your Best Man and his wife. Just because it doesn't affect you, doesn't mean you should ignore. Being quiet about their statements, is seen as accepting or motivating their views.
Your wife is right to worry: if these friends are so judgmental about people they don't know, what do they say about the people they DO know? You're going to look at those wedding pics for decades hopefully. You don't want people there who don't support your union. You don't want people there who lie in your face, while talking s#$t about you. That's how your fiancée sees the friendship.
And you acknowledge that there will be issues with these friends in the future, issues you just ignore to keep the friendship. It also shows that your fiancée doesn't know these friends enough to see value there. Did you two not discuss who your bridal party would contain and why? It's hard 'going back' in a friendship. You already asked him to be your Best Man.
You'll have to pull some familial rank to overrule that. There's no safe exit without insulting someone. Have another discussion with your fiancée. Explain why your friend is important for you to have there. How you see the friendship between you as couples develop. And why you want to keep them in your life.
If it turns out you don't, have a private and important conversation with Best man soon. It's easier to have drama and separation done before the wedding than during.
I read all the comments from last thread including the ones I didn't reply to. There were some strong points made and it got me thinking. I talked to my fiance about best man and his wife. It took some digging to get the truth out of her--she is not very political or vocal about social issues and clearly didn't want to discuss them. I talked to her one night, hit a wall, gave up and tried again a week later.
It finally came out that best man and his wife have expressed opinions about her that I was not aware of. Among other things, topics mentioned were:
How Asians are 'taking over' American universities in some places and how this should be curbed.
How our mixed race kids are going to be confused about their identity and that children should have a 'unified' nuclear family.
How her parents speak with an accent. Even though both of my fiance's parents are highly educated professionals and their English is pretty darn good especially considering they learned it in their 30s.
As well as some other less savory stuff not specific to east Asians.
So, it turns out a lot of the comments were correct in speculating that my best friend and his wife were secretly a lot more bigoted than they let on in front of me.
It was shocking everything my fiance told me came out of their mouths when I wasn't around, but at the same time...I'm not completely surprised. Throughout our entire friendship I have kind of just willfully ignored the aspects of his beliefs that made me uncomfortable and prided myself on being able to stay friends with someone who didn't share the same opinions as me.
About a month before the wedding I asked my cousin to step up to be best man. It was kind of half-a$$ed--this cousin is not super close to me, but he was the only male relative I could ask. It didn't go over too well, but my fiance and I were both more relaxed at the wedding than we would have been otherwise.
Some time after the wedding we were talking about my friend, and my wife came clean with one more thing. He had hit on her pretty aggressively at several points in the past, and one of these incidents happened when I was out of state for a while. This was while he was with his wife. I cut contact with both of them after that. I told him why, and left it to him to explain to his wife, if he does.
TL;DR: The wedding happened. Pulled family rank to get my cousin to replace friend as best man. We are no longer in contact with former best friend and his wife. My former best friend's preaching of 'family values' turns out to be a load of hypocritical bulls#$t. My new wife and I are doing fine. :)
Sounds like you stepped up and supported your wife and did the right thing.
Thanks...I just can't believe my wife would have just kept this to herself if I hadn't pried hard enough.
I'm really glad you've seen the true colours of this couple, but to be honest I totally see why your wife didn't tell you sooner. Previously your attitude had been "I'm not gay, so who cares if they are homophobic" so it's not a big leap to assume that you wouldn't care about their racism since you are white.
The attitude of "I don't care how BM and BMW treat others as long as they treat me well" obviously made her feel like confiding in you would be a risk since you weren't the one they were judging.
Their attitudes did make me uncomfortable tbh. Reading back on the old post now and after what's happened, I can see clear as day I was in denial and rationalizing away their behavior so that I could stay friends with them.
So....they were homophobic, r*cist, horrible people. And you knew that before you knew anything they'd specifically said to your wife. Whether your wife told you all this or not, what in the world were you thinking?
I wasn't 'okay' with it. I just put my head in the sand and avoided thinking about it. I didn't want to reconcile my image of what my friends were with what they were saying. Yes it took them hitting closer to home for me to stop sweeping it under the rug but I was never okay with their opinions.
What did he say when you told him you couldn't be friends with him anymore? Also, these people sound like f#$king AHs.
At the time, I was riding on anger that he had been hitting on my wife, so I opened with that. There was a lot of denial and anger on his part and he tried to make it out like my fiance is crazy and a pathological liar, or at the very least that she was attention seeking and misinterpreting his motives. Which is bulls#$t, she's none of those things.
Things got heated and he made a (sort of? I'm not sure) racially charged comment. Unfortunately he never left physical proof like incriminating texts so it was basically her word against his. Then he tried to spin the family values angle...I told him to take care of his own house before preaching to others. We never quite got to the bigotry thing. He had blown up before we could and I couldn't make myself heard.
Misinterpreting?" What was his spin on it?
I'm not sure. He was trying to say she made it out to be way more than it was. For example the time I was out of town, my fiance said he tried to invite himself over (just him alone) and she came up with some concocted "family emergency" to avoid playing host...I don't really see how that's at all appropriate.
So I asked him that and our conversation got confusing and incoherent. There was just a lot of yelling and denying on his part but not a whole lot of explaining that made sense. It tripped my BS sensor and I wasn't terribly inclined to believe anything else he said.
And the important thing is you keep this in mind, especially concerning any future friendships. Never excuse bigoted behavior or thinking. It is almost as bad, because your silence is encouraging these things.
It sounds like OP learned his lesson, and they dodged a serious wedding bullet.