Wedding Party

To have OR to hold...?

First off I apologize if this is not the correct board for this. I posted here because the lady mentioned in this post was originally in the wedding party.

Also, I have talked to a couple other people that I know and a couple other knotties but I wanted to see if other people had the same general opinion.... 

I posted about the original situation on the etiquette board called Invite Bridal Party Parents (if you want to go and read the original posting and replies) but I have copied and pasted what I said in that post here (regarding the conflicts to keep a long story short-ish) ..... I have a girl as a bridesmaid who is a mutual friend of mine and my fiance's. She is/was an alcoholic for many years but had been sober for 6 years straight. She has been having some personal issues and began drinking again (last 6 month) She has only had 1 episode where we had to go help her. She lives in the apartment right above us and doesn't drive so she does all her drinking in her apartment. 

An update on the situation. I talked to her (heart to heart and as a friend not a bride) and she brought up the wedding. She looked my straight in the face and said that she will drink before and after the ceremony and at the reception if she wants to and that she doesn't care if she gets so far gone that she ruins the night. What do I do? I was and still am so shocked that she said that.  I know that was rude of her. I am still shocked by it. She refuses to get help. Her parents are aware of the seriousness of the situation and have tried to get her to get help. She would say she can't afford it and they offered to pay. She comes up with one excuse after another. I honestly think she doesn't think she needs help. I saw her mom today and told her what happened, her mom was brought to tears by it because now (and I quote) "my daughter is beginning to hurt others".

The most recent update is that she did not stop the drinking and has mixed it with pain killers (both prescribed and non prescribed) and has been given morphine from people she knows who are not doctors nor are they in the medical field at all.  Anyway I tried talking to her as a friend (not a bride) again trying to get her side of things in terms of why she is doing these things (maybe something was going on that I wasn't aware of or something) and it went downhill VERY VERY fast. Anyway it ended up with her texting my FI a very long message the next night saying not nice things about me and saying to "find a new bridesmaid because she was out".  Sadly, but honestly, that was a relief for us due to the events that had taken place in the not so long ago past and the recent future. This situation (drinking and pills) has been ongoing for the past 6 months. 

Since then she has not apologized (and I am not expecting her to since she has not been one to ever apologize for anything) for things that she said and did but she is acting as if nothing happened and my FI and I are wondering if she thinks she is still in the wedding party. We're not sure how to handle it if she does think that she is in the bridal party. She hasn't mentioned anything wedding related and we're scared to bring it up since we do not know how she will react to the conversation. These events have been with in the past 2 months with the most recent only last week.  At this point my FI who is one of the most patient people I know has decided that he is done with her until she gets help. 

We have been advised to hold her to her word (what she said) and that is what we are thinking of doing. Anyway, our question is.... do we HOLD her to her word (since we have the messages from her saying she is out) or do we HAVE her in the wedding party? 

Please no disrespectful comments about people who are alcoholics. I know everyone has their own opinions about people being alcoholics (which would be an entirely different thread / post). Please answer with what you would do in this situation. Thanks
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Re: To have OR to hold...?

  • hlvonbhlvonb member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    If SHE said she was out then she's out. I mean I don't think BM's can just drop out then come back as they please. 

    I have had one BM dropout and if she said 'oh nevermind I'm back in' I would not let her. 

    ^That may not be right etiquette or what not but if the Bride isn't allowed to kick people out then BM's shouldn't be allowed to drop out then come back later whenever they please. 

    I do feel sorry for your friend and I do hope she gets help but if she said directly to you face that she doesn't care if she ruins your day and plans to by drinking all day then I don't think she should be there. <This is my opinion. (My younger brother said the same to me. He told me he and his girlfriend plans to bring liquor to my wedding (my FI's family have issues with alcohol so we chose a dry wedding) just to ruin my day. I told him if thats what he wants to do then he or his girlfriend are not  allowed at the wedding and there will be someone to escort them out if they decided to come. I have seen my brother drunk and he has ruined many family functions and he is not ruining mine too.)
    Yes SHE said she was out. We have the messages saved. I hope she gets help soon too but I know I can't make her. She has to decide she is ready
    [Deleted User]
  • hlvonbhlvonb member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    I'm confused by what you mean about holding her to her word. No, you absolutely don't have to let her back into the wedding party. In fact, as horrible as it sounds, I would start distancing myself completely. She refuses to acknowledge that she has a problem, and all of your attempts to help have been met with hostility. Unfortunately, it's time to start protecting yourself. As far as the wedding, don't mention it to her again. If SHE mentions it, just politely remind her that she backed out and change the subject.
    What I meant by holding her to her word is by reminding her she backed out and not letting her back in. I agree that it is time to start protecting myself since unfortunately I don't see things getting better with her soon. I will remember what you said about reminding her that she backed out and changing the subject if she brings up the wedding. That's a good idea. Thanks!
  • hlvonbhlvonb member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    If she previously told you that she was out, and you haven't since said "drop out" agreed to let her back in, then she's out. Does she own the dress already? If not, I don't think you have much to worry about. I don't think at this point she will purchase it.
    I have not agreed to let her back in. As for the dress I do not believe she owns it. I know she tried some dresses on previously (each girl gets their own style as long as its the color I picked and about knee length) but I don't think she bought a dress.
  • hlvonbhlvonb member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    There is a VERY good reason that one of the steps of AA is apologizing to people in your life you have hurt with alcoholism.

    It is sad, but true that part of the cycle of alcoholism is destroying relationships and hitting rock bottom.  Some people don't ever realize that they even HAVE a problem until they hit this point, and it's starting to sound like your friend is the same. 

    You've done everything you can for her, and gone above and beyond what most friends would do.  You don't owe her a sacrafice of your wedding on her way down to bottom.  She's already taken herself out of the party, just don't let her back in.
    I agree that is a very good AA step. I think she is the same with thinking she doesn't have a problem though anyone can tell she does. Thank you for your advice. My FI and I are thinking what you and others have mentioned and that is to not let her back in.
  • hlvonbhlvonb member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    Don't let her back into the wedding party, and don't invite her to the wedding.  Period. 

    I don't agree that you must coddle alcoholics.  I dislike AA because it's all about how to deal with THEIR problem and how to "forgive" them despite what they do to you.  IF THEY CAUSE TROUBLE FOR YOU AND DO YOU HARM, CUT THEM OFF. PERIOD.

    It's her fault she damaged your relationship with her, not hers. 

    She doesn't need to have money in order to get help.  There are plenty of free programs out here.  If you feel inclined to help, give her the number to the local council on alcohol and drug abuse.  Every community has one.   If it's not in the phone book, call your local health department.  They'll know where to refer you, or her.  Then leave it alone, and stay away from her.
    Those are very good suggestions. We tried the free program and it didn't work. She came up with one reason after another for not doing it. So we stopped trying.
  • hlvonbhlvonb member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    CMGr said:
    I am sorry.  Your friend is an alcoholic.
    Until she decides to change for herself, nothing you can do or say will make any difference.
    You cannot hold her to a promise.  Promises mean nothing compared to the bottle.
    Most alcoholics need to hit bottom before they can recover.  Your friend isn't there yet.
    Do not let her back into your wedding party.  She has made her choice, and it wasn't for you.  She has told you that drinking is more important to her than your wedding, and your feelings.  This is the truth.
    The best thing you can do for her is to cut off relations with her.  If she asks why, then you tell her what she has done.  She will be in denial. 
    Perhaps someday she will realize how much she is hurting people who care about her.  If she ever does, then she will have a chance for recovery.  (Not a cure.  She will always be an alcoholic.)
    As long as people make excuses for her, or let her get away with inappropriate behavior, she will have no reason to face reality.
    Be a good friend.  Cut off your friendship.
    You cannot un-invite her to the wedding, but you might have someone alert in case she needs to be escorted out.  Chances are she won't show up, anyway.
    Thank you for your advice. I appreciate it. As for un-inviting her, we have not sent out invitations yet and since she took herself out of the wedding party I would assume (maybe incorrectly) that she would think she is not invited. I do agree with you that she probably wont show up anyway.
    RetreadBride
  • hlvonbhlvonb member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    Everything CMG said.

    You tried to help her get help.  She refused.

    You've done everything you can.  You've reached the point now where you need to protect yourselves from her behavior, so cut her loose.

    She took herself out of the wedding party, so you didn't kick her out.  Proceed onward with no guilt.

    Best of luck to you.  We're here if you need us.
    Thank you RetreadBride and to the others who posted on here. You and everyone else have been a lot of help. My FI and I appreciate it. 
    RetreadBride
  • hlvonb said:
    An update on the situation. I talked to her (heart to heart and as a friend not a bride) and she brought up the wedding. She looked my straight in the face and said that she will drink before and after the ceremony and at the reception if she wants to and that she doesn't care if she gets so far gone that she ruins the night. What do I do? I was and still am so shocked that she said that.  I know that was rude of her. I am still shocked by it. She refuses to get help. Her parents are aware of the seriousness of the situation and have tried to get her to get help. She would say she can't afford it and they offered to pay. She comes up with one excuse after another. I honestly think she doesn't think she needs help. I saw her mom today and told her what happened, her mom was brought to tears by it because now (and I quote) "my daughter is beginning to hurt others".


    Woah.. this is the part I am having a hard time getting over! Now granted I have little to no experience with alcoholics so I really don't know what I am talking about. But a friend (which I assume she was sober when you had this talk) ALREADY made the decision she was ok if things got out of hand and ruined your night....

    Seems like alot of good advice was given, and I'm more giving support to your situation. I hope this all works out and you have an amazing wedding :)

    image


    Anniversary
  • Don't let her back into the wedding party, and don't invite her to the wedding.  Period. 

    I don't agree that you must coddle alcoholics.  I dislike AA because it's all about how to deal with THEIR problem and how to "forgive" them despite what they do to you.  IF THEY CAUSE TROUBLE FOR YOU AND DO YOU HARM, CUT THEM OFF. PERIOD.

    It's her fault she damaged your relationship with her, not hers. 

    She doesn't need to have money in order to get help.  There are plenty of free programs out here.  If you feel inclined to help, give her the number to the local council on alcohol and drug abuse.  Every community has one.   If it's not in the phone book, call your local health department.  They'll know where to refer you, or her.  Then leave it alone, and stay away from her.


    Retread -  this is not true of AA.  Stage is right.   AA is for the alcoholic, not the family.  In AA, they focus on healing themselves, and then healing relationships, when possible.  Nowhere in AA does it say family should forgive them despite what they do or have done.  AA is about taking responsibility for your own actions, and asking for forgiveness from those you have hurt (when you finally get to that step).

    Al Anon and Alateen are different programs, and focus on creating healthy boundaries with the user, and not accepting responsibility for their illness.  I don't know what chapters you were going to, but they sucked if they were focusing on the user, and not the person attending. 

    I have lots of family and friends who have gone to all of those programs. I have attended some. I don't care for them, because of the god aspect, but that's just my personal preference.  But, none of them give the user a free pass to forgiveness.

    TKzillamlg78[Deleted User]
  • I agree that once she has taken herself out of the bridal party that's it.  However as it comes to addiction and alcohol, I know it's hard but don't kick her out of your life.  It's weird I know, but when everything is said and done, you will regret letting her go.  It will be hard to watch her suffer and fall, you won't always be able to be there with her, but ending the friendship altogether might not be  the best for either of you.  There is obviously a reason you two were friends, and as hard as it is you have to look at that.  I'm not saying for you to be there at 3am when she can't get up, you have to let her fall, but just be there when she reaches out(you know on the okay and good days).  Alcoholics often ruin everything in their lives and lose friendships, and sadly what they need when they get sober are friends who love them regardless. You can always go to Al-anon for yourself, it's a great support group for people who are friends and family of alcoholics.  Just a thought.
  • hlvonbhlvonb member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    hlvonb said:
    An update on the situation. I talked to her (heart to heart and as a friend not a bride) and she brought up the wedding. She looked my straight in the face and said that she will drink before and after the ceremony and at the reception if she wants to and that she doesn't care if she gets so far gone that she ruins the night. What do I do? I was and still am so shocked that she said that.  I know that was rude of her. I am still shocked by it. She refuses to get help. Her parents are aware of the seriousness of the situation and have tried to get her to get help. She would say she can't afford it and they offered to pay. She comes up with one excuse after another. I honestly think she doesn't think she needs help. I saw her mom today and told her what happened, her mom was brought to tears by it because now (and I quote) "my daughter is beginning to hurt others".


    Woah.. this is the part I am having a hard time getting over! Now granted I have little to no experience with alcoholics so I really don't know what I am talking about. But a friend (which I assume she was sober when you had this talk) ALREADY made the decision she was ok if things got out of hand and ruined your night....

    Seems like alot of good advice was given, and I'm more giving support to your situation. I hope this all works out and you have an amazing wedding :)

    Thanks! I appreciate it.
  • hlvonbhlvonb member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    rgronke said:
    I agree that once she has taken herself out of the bridal party that's it.  However as it comes to addiction and alcohol, I know it's hard but don't kick her out of your life.  It's weird I know, but when everything is said and done, you will regret letting her go.  It will be hard to watch her suffer and fall, you won't always be able to be there with her, but ending the friendship altogether might not be  the best for either of you.  There is obviously a reason you two were friends, and as hard as it is you have to look at that.  I'm not saying for you to be there at 3am when she can't get up, you have to let her fall, but just be there when she reaches out(you know on the okay and good days).  Alcoholics often ruin everything in their lives and lose friendships, and sadly what they need when they get sober are friends who love them regardless. You can always go to Al-anon for yourself, it's a great support group for people who are friends and family of alcoholics.  Just a thought.
    Thanks for your advice. I will definitely consider it. :)
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Stage, I said I know what Al-Anon and Alateen do.  I had a parent, two uncles, a sibling and a husband go through AA, and I got dragged alternately to Alateen as a tween and to Al-Anon meetings (although I wasn't an adult) with the spouse).  I do know what they do.  Do you read at all, or only the parts that suit you?  I don't need, or want, your attempts to explain.

    I didn't "lie" about anything, and what's more - you know it.  Your agenda is completely transparent, and utterly boring.  Lay off. Nobody is fooled or impressed, least of all me. I suggest you find a hobby. I'm not leaving. Get over it.
    What are you talking about?



  • @StageManager14 We see the flagging issues. We're going to take this convo off the boards and work with the user through PM and explain when to flag and that warnings will be given for the abuse.
  • hlvonbhlvonb member
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    I may be getting ahead of myself here but I am trying to plan for how she will act when / if the topic arises and where we have to inform her that we are holding her to what she said. The reason I want to be "prepared" and have ideas already in mind as to how to handle her reaction is because of my FI and I wanting to handle it in the best possible way and not to be as stressed over it like we were before.

    Based on what I have seen with this situation and in other (non-related) situations, my FI and I think she will react in one of 4 ways.....

    Please help us with how to react to 1 or any of these situations (should they take place) and / or let us know if there is another possible way she may react that we are not thinking of. 

    1. She will be in denial of sending the messages and saying she was out of the party (we have the messages saved so we can show her that she sent them) and then she will say she was not serious and probably get defensive and tell us we are over-reacting and to let her know when we calm down or come to our senses. 

    2. She could respond with anger to the point where she will reiterate her saying she's not in it and try to put the blame on us (again).

    3. She may break into tears and try to guilt trip us into keeping / letting her back into the wedding party. 

    4. She may be understanding and accepting of it. (We hope this is the reaction she will have but previous experiences with her make this very unlikely but we want to give her the benefit of the doubt).
  • hlvonbhlvonb member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    @Lobster1987  Thank you for your advice.
  • Hey everyone,

    I know its been a while since there have been any posts on this thread but my question for all of you is regarding the situation of the original post. So instead of typing the question and hoping people remember what the situation was or having to explain it X times over I am just going to use this thread. That way people who are familiar with the situation can refresh themselves on what happened and I might get advice from people who are hearing about the situation for the first time. 

    Anyway....

    We were advised to hold her (the lady mentioned in the original post) to her word and that is what we are doing. We're not letting her back into the bridal party. I talked to HER mother today since I figure her mother knows her better than I do and I asked her if my FI and I should start a conversation with her and make sure that we're all on the same page as far as her not being in the bridal party or if we wait for her to bring it up? I asked because no one has brought it up so far.

    Her mom said that my FI and I should start the conversation and not wait on her because she is not good with confrontation and wont do it herself. 

    So now I am wondering if I should do it alone or with my fiance? Also, how do I / we start the conversation and what do we say so its not rude / harsh etc? I don't want to be like "hey, you're no longer in the wedding party okay bye"

    P.S. Sorry for the long post.
  • mimiphinmimiphin member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited August 2013
    I would "Hold" her to her word. She said that she was out, if a 'sober' person were to do the same thing would you let them back in to the wedding? I know I wouldn't.

    ETA: Sorry Just saw the update now,

  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    @hlvonb I see its been a while since your updated post.  Unfortunately, most of the posters who have given you your great advice earlier are no longer on this website.

    I think your friend's mom is trying to help her daughter, but not in the right way.  I would not speak with your friend.  I would still wait for her to bring up your wedding.  And as long as she doesn't know where to get the dress, she also won't be out any money.
    [Deleted User]
  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Have you talked to her at all? Like, even just a chat about the weather or the apt building or whatever?
    KeptInStitches
  • mimiphin said:
    I would "Hold" her to her word. She said that she was out, if a 'sober' person were to do the same thing would you let them back in to the wedding? I know I wouldn't.

    ETA: Sorry Just saw the update now,
    Thank you. No I would not let a sober person do the same thing. You made a good point. No worries about just seeing the update now.
  • @hlvonb I see its been a while since your updated post.  Unfortunately, most of the posters who have given you your great advice earlier are no longer on this website.

    I think your friend's mom is trying to help her daughter, but not in the right way.  I would not speak with your friend.  I would still wait for her to bring up your wedding.  And as long as she doesn't know where to get the dress, she also won't be out any money.
    She knows where to get the dress. Thank you for your advice. I really appreciate it. This situation sucks.
  • Have you talked to her at all? Like, even just a chat about the weather or the apt building or whatever?
    Yes I have. At least I should say I try. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. It depends on her mood as to whether or not she will talk. When she's in a non-talking mood she sits outside and suns all afternoon and refuses to talk anyone including her mother. Not saying that is necessarily a bad thing - just how she is lately.
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    If she knows where to get the dress, is it a bridal salon?  Can you just call them up and tell them not to give out the information to this BM?  I'm sure she would rather spend her money on alcohol/drugs, than purchase the dress. However, she may get a moment of clarity to try and purchase it.  I would feel bad myself, if a friends who was having similar problems put out a lot of money to buy a dress, when I had no intention of having that person in my WP any longer.

    Also, especially, if she is not really talking to anyone, I wouldn't bring this up to her.  She is obviously in a bad place and needs to recognize she needs help.

  • If she knows where to get the dress, is it a bridal salon?  Can you just call them up and tell them not to give out the information to this BM?  I'm sure she would rather spend her money on alcohol/drugs, than purchase the dress. However, she may get a moment of clarity to try and purchase it.  I would feel bad myself, if a friends who was having similar problems put out a lot of money to buy a dress, when I had no intention of having that person in my WP any longer.

    Also, especially, if she is not really talking to anyone, I wouldn't bring this up to her.  She is obviously in a bad place and needs to recognize she needs help.

    OliveOilsMom

    The dresses are coming from David's Bridal and she knows that. There's a store about 2 miles away from her. I called the store and they said they would try to prevent her from buying one (she would have to say she is 1 of my bridesmaids to get a discount). The problem / issue is that I did not pick out 1 dress for all the girls. I told them what color and length to get and they can pick the style that flatters them best. (It was easier this way because the girls vary in size and 2 live out of state). She knows that too. Therefore, if she did go in to get a dress they may not know she's the one I called about until she tries to pay for it.

    I would feel bad if she bought a dress. I too think she would rather spend money on alcohol or drugs but she has credit cards that she's maxed out numerous times in order to buy stuff, etc.

    You make a good point about not bringing it up to her since she's in a bad place. If there's a time where she seems like she's in a good mood / place would you suggest mentioning it then or no?

  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Honestly, I wouldn't.  I would let her bring it up.  You did all that you can in terms of not letting her buy the dress.  I'm sure she is so in her world of drugs and alcohol that your wedding is the furthest thing from her mind. 
    [Deleted User]
  • OliveOilsMom

    Thank you for your input / advice. I really appreciate it!   

  • I'm going to respectfully disagree with Olive this time.

    I have lost immediate family members to alcohol and drugs.  Watching another one right now from a distance.  This gets old.

    I am thinking of how my brother (addict and alcoholic, clean and sober for 15 years before he went back to using and eventually died) would handle this if he were in your friends shoes.

    He would pretend that things were all hunky dory, that he never dropped out of the wedding, he would get the clothes he needed to get (quietly as to not draw attention to the situation he surely never caused), show up, and then be mortified that he was no longer in the wedding.

    Addicts and alcoholics make themselves out to be the victims in situations.  If she is still reasonably functional on a day to day basis (and my brother was until close to the time he died) she could most likely carry on with being a BM, getting the dress, and showing up at the wedding.

    That would have been a reasonable expectation of any of my family members who have gone down this road.  I am going to encourage you to be direct with her now, tell her the friendship is over until she is truly clean and sober and wish her the best.
    hlvonb
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Forget everything I said, go with kmmssg's approach.  She's had more real life experience with this subject.  And all of her points are very valid.
    hlvonb
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