QUESTION: I need to know what to do or to figure out if I need my head examined.
There's a lot to my story but I'm going to squeeze it all together for you. I have a girlfriend, I'll call her Jill. Last year Jill introduced me to this guy named Deke. The first night I met him he sat in the club with us with his hat and sunglasses on, drunk. He was very unimpressive. I knew that Jill had a couple of guys on the side, so I didn't think much of him.
But she seemed to keep him around for awhile. He stayed drunk and treated her shitty for the most part, but she would not leave him. He actually punched her in the mouth one time busting her lip and drawing blood. She thought about leaving him, but days later he was right back in her home and in her arms and she was acting like nothing happened. On a few ocassions, I tried to encourage her to really ask herself if she wanted a man who stayed drunk, hardly worked and didn't mind hitting her. She stuck with him. A few weeks ago she showed up at a gathering of our friends wearing an engagment ring! Deke popped the question and dumb-dumb, I mean, Jill said yes. Our girlfriends have been falling all over her and the ring and Deke since he popped the question. I tried to ask a few of our friends if they thought Deke was good for Jill. But they seem to be just as giddy and stupid as she is is. A few of them have even hinted that I might be jealous because Jill has a man (???) and I don't. That's not my issue at all. I'd rather be alone than with a man that hits me and treats me bad.
But it gets worse. Now, my girlfriends and I have been invited to Jill and Deke's wedding which is taking place in the Bahamas. They have some kind of deal where if they can sell out 10 rooms for 3 days, then their wedding and reception are free. So basically, I'd be covering 10% of their wedding expense. I don't want to go! Am I crazy? Is Jill crazy? Am I a bad friend? Tell me what you guys are thinking!!!!!
GARLAND: Uh, you-crazy-NO, Jill-crazy-PROBABLY, bad friend-NO.
Are you crazy for NOT wanting to go to a wedding that you don't believe in? Not at all. Personally, I think this is a type of integrity that many people are reluctant to show. I think that going to a wedding where you honestly don't feel like the two people should be married is wrong. I'd like to call it criminal, but that might not be the right word for this moment. When two people are making promises of love and enternal devotion to each other, they are doing it in front of God, their families and their friends. And in turn, everyone there is given a chance to stop the show if they know of any reason these two should not be wed... I am yet to attend a wedding where someone actually did this, but I've been to some where time has proven that someone should have spoken up.
You may find yourself, in a bad spot when this point comes up. I mean, we all want our friends to be happy, and we all want what is BEST for our friends [at least we should] and you know or have strong feelings that this Deke guy, is NOT the best for your friend. I say don't go! Because if you go, and you still don't trust this guy with Jill's heart - then your attendance will be "signing off" on something that you believe is bad or wrong. And I'm not even taking into account the whole "paying for 10%" of this event. That's a whole other issue...
Thanks for your question, and good luck on you decision.
CHUCK: I agree with Garland completely that if you do not agree with this union, you should not support it, let alone subsidize it. But you also need to realize that you may be costing yourself a friend. Because if you tell her you will not be attending, she's going to ask you why. If you tell her, she'll get mad at you. If you don't tell her, she'll get mad at you. In no way I'm suggesting that you should participate in what you obviously view as a farce, but just be prepared for the reaction.
Unfortunately, that is all you can do. Nobody wants to see their friend married to a drunken, abusive bum. But she may feel that she can (sigh) change him. He probably told her that he'll be different after they're married. But seriously, if anyone out there ever knows of a situation where a guy like this has changed for the better (without a jail sentence being involved), let me know. Drop us a comment. Call me cynical, but I don't see this happening too often. Or ever.
One last bit of advice: On some day in the future, a couple of years after they get married, when they've had a kid and Deke's true colors REALLY show themselves, and she's moaning to you how she never should have married him, etc., etc., resist the urge to say "I told you so." It's always better to take the high road.