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'My colleague didn't invite me to her wedding and it's completely unravelled our friendship' UPDATED

'My colleague didn't invite me to her wedding and it's completely unravelled our friendship' UPDATED


One of my work colleagues is a lifelong friend of mine. We lived on the same street growing up, went to the same school and when I needed a job after graduating university, she made me aware of an opening at the company she worked at. I applied, got the job, and it's been quite a few years since and we still work together.

It's a pretty small company, and quite male-dominated, so after we started working together we became really close. We take all our lunches together, we regularly stop by each other's desks for a chat, and we quickly became known round the office as inseparable.

A year ago she got engaged to her long term partner, and I was ecstatic for her. She had a really tough time a couple of years ago (two family deaths close together) and I did everything I could to be a good friend to her while she was in the worst stages of grieving.

She cried with me daily for weeks and I made sure she knew I was always available to listen. I also took about a third of her workload off her voluntarily, so she could take days off when she needed to without stressing about her work building up. So now that life has gotten better for her and she's always smiling and excited, it's really nice to see.

Ever since she got engaged, as expected, she's talked a lot about wedding plans, especially at our lunches. I know basically every detail. When she booked her venue she was really excited, but she refused to tell me where it was going to be, saying that she wanted it to be a surprise when the invitations came out.

The wedding is two weeks away now, and I've long since stopped waiting for my invitation to show up. I know when they were sent because she told me all about delivering them, and shows me every day the gifts people have started to buy off their registry.

I feel silly for saying it, but the more I think about it, the more hurt I feel that I haven't been included. It's a big wedding, and she has invited some other people from work that I didn't know she was even close to.

She hasn't mentioned the reason why I'm not invited, and at this point I feel too awkward to ask. I guess it's just a slap in the face because I really thought we were close, and now I'm realising that maybe we're not.

The trouble is, since all this I've started to really examine our friendship, and I'm wondering if she even cares about me at all. I can think of a hundred examples of where I've helped her work through decisions, listen to her vent, stood up for her when she's had issues with colleagues etc.

Even tons of little things, like if anyone brings in cake and she's out of the office I always save her a slice so she doesn't miss out. But I can't remember a time that she did anything for me in return.

Now when she talks to me, I've realised she doesn't even listen to me. When I'm finished talking she just carries on with what she was saying before, almost as if I'd never spoken at all. If we're ever talking about me or something I've been doing, she never has anything to say. She just kind of nods and then switches the conversation back to herself.

I'm starting to think she couldn't care less about me, she just likes having someone around who she can talk at, and whoever that person is doesn't really matter to her. I've invested so many years into this friendship, it's really cut me deep. I feel used. It's also made being at work incredibly lonely, because she was my only friend.

I've stopped having lunch with her and any time she tries to chat I politely bring the conversation to a quick end and go back to work. She doesn't appear to have even noticed.

I do still wish her well, I'm still glad for her that life has turned around and she's so happy, but I'm a bit lost. I'm not sure if I'm being too harsh because I'm hurt, or if I even have the right to feel hurt in the first place, as I know weddings have a finite number of guests and you have to leave people out that you would invite in an ideal world.

But I'm not sure there's any way back from this either. Has anyone else had a similar experience? Am I being unreasonable or overdramatic? Should I just let the dust settle and see how I feel then?

Edit 1: Just to clarify things that have been asked a lot or requested to be put in an edit - 1) She hand delivered the invites to other people at work so I know it hasn't been lost in the post 2) I haven't asked her about it because I'm a total doormat and scared of difficult conversations and 3) I invited her to my wedding, but that was years ago so it's possible she thinks things have changed since then.

TL;DR My best work friend didn't invite me to her wedding, and since then I've started to question our entire friendship. I think it's permanently damaged everything we had, and I'm feeling really hurt, lost, and unsure of how to proceed.

How do you think she should handle this situation? This is what top commenters had to say about it:

[deleted] said:

Why don’t you ask her why you didn’t get an invite? If you thought of her as one of your close friends, seems like it would be worth the effort.

hussainsuriya said:

this has happened to me so many times in all types of relationships at all stages in life. I’ve honestly accepted that the few people that care are really the only ones. i’m kind and people use that, i wont change myself to be accepted by someone else. it is not wrong for you to feel bad that you were not invited, but you should never ever regret being a good person.

vinny_wizzy said:

I just want to address you feeling lonely at work now. Instead of spending all of your time with one colleague resulting in a work bff, its better to have a bunch of colleagues you can consider your friend. I know it might seem too late to do that in your current office, but hey, you've still got a long career ahead!

After personally being in a similar relationship dynamic for years, I realised that it's always better to spread your source of energy, time and happiness, and not depend on one person/thing in any walk of life. People change, values change. You're more safeguarded this way.

Gogogadgetskates said:

So clearly she hadn’t invited you and there’s no missing invite as she hand delivered to other people at work. So at this point I don’t think I’d bother asking. It’s pretty clear that she’s using you as an ear to yack at over lunch but she doesn’t see much actual friendship between the two of you. So if I were you I’d just continue doing the fade.

It’s super tacky to talk endlessly about your wedding to someone you’re not inviting.

justanotheruterus said:

You have to ask her if you are invited. If she says no then you will know exactly where you stand and can move on with your life. If she says yes then you can save yourself the heartache.

Five days after her original post, she shared this update:

So it took me a few days to decide the best way to approach this, but yesterday I had lunch with her again and had the conversation. I started by saying: "So you've sent all your invitations out now, haven't you?" She looked immediately panicked by my question and I knew right away that she didn't want me to go down this road.

When she said she had sent them all, I asked if that meant she could show me her venue now. She showed me the website of it, including the photo gallery, and talked me through all about where everything was going to happen, all the flowers and decorations she was going to add etc. It's a nice enough country hotel with some pretty gardens, but I'm not sure what all the secrecy was for.

I probed a little more, asking who she's invited from work (the list didn't include me), said I was looking forward to seeing the photos so I could see how everything looked (she didn't correct me that I would see it on the day) and then I was completely sure that my lack of invitation wasn't an accident.

She looked so relieved when I switched subject and asked if she's excited about her honeymoon and having a rest from all the wedding stress. So I'm definitely not invited. I thought it over carefully and I have decided not to ask why, for three reasons:

The reason is already fairly obvious. She clearly doesn't think we're anything more than colleagues and I've misread the situation. (There were some other theories suggested e.g. jealous husband-to-be, associating me with her past grief, but considering everything I know about her and our history I'm sure it's not that.)

I'm not sure why she didn't cool it on the wedding talk with someone she had no intention of inviting, or even just bring it up with me and explain why I'm not invited, but never mind.

Having an awkward relationship at work is the last thing I want. I'm worried that if I push this and turn it into an "issue" that I'll look pathetic and needy, or it will just be unprofessional. I also run the risk of her badmouthing me to colleagues and mutual friends, and I will find it much easier and less messy to handle my own feelings quietly.

This is a once in a lifetime experience for her, and I don't want to be the source of drama that dampens her spirits at all. I'd rather just let her enjoy her wedding, make good memories and not bring her down.

And you know, I'm fine with not going. It was never really about getting invited to a wedding, it was more having to face the fact that I'd been naive and taken for granted, and I felt silly that I'd invested way too much in this relationship. That's not all on her, because she was never obligated to be my friend.

Talking it through on my previous post actually really helped me work through my feelings. When I went back to work on Monday I felt much calmer and more detached from it emotionally.

I have looked back on our whole relationship and honestly she's always been self involved, entitled and narcissistic. Being a bride has just made it more obvious, but it's always been there.

She's also never given back to me (besides helping me get my job, which of course I'm grateful for), in that she's never been willing to talk me through any problems I've had, and although I help her happily with her work, she says no if I ask her for help in return.

She has a few office enemies and even though I saw her negative traits that caused her to be disliked by some people, I overlooked them and defended her anyway. Now I have put a little distance there it's quite apparent that she's not a very nice person, and I'm genuinely OK with just moving on.

She hasn't really noticed the distance between us so far (or she has noticed and doesn't care/is relieved that I'm giving her space), so I intend to just continue with doing that. If she eventually asks why, or I get the sense that she's trying to rekindle our friendship, then it will be time to clear the air with how I've been feeling. If she doesn't and we just continue drifting, then that's probably for the best.

It's sad to lose a friend, and it will probably take me some time to get over it and to become comfortable with the change in our relationship, but I have other genuine friendships, and plenty of colleagues who are lovely people who I can get to know better now.

Sources: Reddit
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