Ask Wendy

Am I In Charge of Planning This Stupid Party?

Friday, September 29, 2017
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am i in charge
Hey Wendy,

My fiancé is turning 50 in two weeks. We’ve had a tough relationship and his parents are cordial to me, but not nice. For example, his father recently hired a criminal lawyer to research whether I was trying to get his son in trouble, because my fiancé was arrested a while back due to his temper and I nearly had to have a restraining order. I was not physically hurt but his anger sometimes scares me.

His mother texted me today and asked what we are doing for his birthday. She is asking me to throw a big party, cater it and invite his friends. His friends apparently hate me too because when we had our issues, he told them personal things about me that were private. I really don't want to invite these people. I invited his kids and even offered to pay for his son to fly in. But I don't want this big party. It's going to turn my stomach knowing that they all hate me while I stand there and smile.

I suggested a weekend trip and he said no. The reasons he gave were he wanted to be at home with his family and friends for his birthday, and he didn’t trust me enough to travel with me right now.

I don’t know what to do. How would you handle this?

BT – Charlotte, NC

Hey BT,

Nowhere is it written that at 50 you are guaranteed a large-scale birthday party planned by your beloved. If that’s the way your fiancé wants to spend his 50th? Awesome. He can plan it and make it all happen, just as he wishes.

If you don’t want to be with his friends and family, perhaps you might have yourself a nice, quiet spa day (with the money you saved on that catering bill). Let him have that time with family and friends as he likes; you two can celebrate his birthday together in another way. This option gives him two different celebrations – doubly awesome.

You asked me how I would handle it. I certainly would not fund it and be the gracious host to a roomful of people that despise me – that would not happen in my lifetime. I might attend a party that someone else planned and paid for, but only if I had an ally or seven who promised to keep me guarded Arya Stark-style and be good company for the entirety of the party. I’d also hatch a plan B escape route. You know, just in case I needed to (hopefully gracefully) exit the event if things went sideways.

I would be remiss if I didn’t address a larger concern – your relationship with your fiancé. Let’s not glaze over the anger management issues and his lack of trust in you. In a domestic disturbance call, if the policers decide he’s so out of control or hyped-up angry that he needs to be jailed? Um… that’s a flaming, red-hot flag. Girl, this is not good. I’m sure you two love each other, but do you even like each other? I’d call off that wedding and truly sort through the relationship dynamics here, because you two push each other’s buttons in really unlovely and unworkable ways that don’t magically go away through the power of white cake and an exchange of rings.

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