Dear Margo: The Answer Is Not Geography

My husband’s job is about to take us to the other side of the world, but I don’t want to leave: Margo Howard’s advice

The Answer Is Not Geography

Dear Margo: My husband recently received a lucrative job offer in another country (Australia) for a new employer. While I am excited, he is so respected in his work that I feel left out. Four weeks ago, I moved to Utah (where we are now) to rejoin him after a year of separation. He is often gone for work-related travel, and I am just getting used to life here, including job hunting and going back to college. Before this, we moved from Nevada to California for his job.

I kind of want my own identity, and I am still getting used to living with someone again. I feel somewhat selfish thinking of myself, but I spent three years in limbo in California. Part of me just wants to send him away and stay here on my own. I don’t want to hinder this opportunity for him, but I don’t wish to give up a life I could create for myself here. Is it selfish to decide to stay put, making my own life again? He’s not a bad guy by any stretch. — Lonely in Utah

Dear Lone: This decision must be yours. I would think the deciding factor would be the guy, not the place. (Though Australia happens to be wonderful.) I grew up in a home where my mother was willing to (and did) move numerous times. Her oft stated philosophy was, “You go where the grapes grow,” and that’s why as a little girl I thought my father was in produce. I believe anyone can make a life anywhere, but if you’re not committed to your husband and the marriage is on the ledge, stay where you are. Good luck doping this out. — Margo, independently

Persona Non Grata for a Specious Reason

Dear Margo: A close female friend of my boyfriend (she’s 38) is getting married, and according to the bride, I am not invited. My boyfriend of two years had an affair with a friend of the bride some months ago, and as a courtesy to this woman, I am “persona non grata” at the wedding. My boyfriend has promised to try to convince the bride to invite me, but he is otherwise helpless and undecided because he does not want to miss his friend’s wedding.

This situation is very hurtful to me. The affair happened during a period of time when my boyfriend and I were getting back together after a short breakup. This affair caused me a lot of pain, but I swallowed my pride, turned the page and am giving this relationship a chance. We are both putting in a lot of effort, and it is paying off: We are going strong and are talking about the future. Now this wedding situation is making the affair resurface again. I feel humiliated by the bride, and also by my man. I would be grateful to hear your thoughts on what to make of this situation, and what to reasonably expect of my boyfriend. — Distressed

Dear Dis: Undecided your beau may be, but helpless he is not. He should tell his close friend that, without his significant other, he will be unable to attend. There is no reason the bride should be carrying water for her friend at the expense of another friend. (A side issue: Your fella may have to weigh just how close of a friend the bride-to-be really is.) You can’t make your boyfriend see things your way, but do tell him this situation is coming dangerously close to “it’s her or me.” I, personally, would not think much of a romantic partner who was indifferent to my feelings and threw me under the bus so he could go to a wedding. — Margo, emphatically

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Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter. All letters must be sent via e-mail to Due to a high volume of e-mail, not all letters will be answered.


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147 Responses so far.

  1. avatar JCF4612 says:

    LW1: Australia is fabulous … give it a shot.
    LW2: Margo nailed it. Quite simply “it’s her or me.”

    • avatar Obediah Fults says:

      Wouldn’t it actually be, “It’s she or me”?

      • avatar angelmother3 says:

        No, it is, “It’s she or I.” The reason is that, first of all, “her” is parallel with “me”. Both are in the objective case. You don’t mix objective and nominative cases. Thus, “she” is parallel with “I”. In this situation, one needs the nominative case. When you say, “It is…” you need the nominative case, a pronoun that is parallel with the subject of the sentence.

        If I were faced with this situation, my grammar perfectionism would probably be forgotten, and my ultimatum to my SO would likely come out, “It’s me or her!”

        • avatar Robert Smith says:

          Actually, where the start of the phrase is “It is..” wouldn’t the objective case be correct for both, being the object of “is”?  (Just trying to keep with the vital issues here…)

          Personally, I think LW1 should say that the boyfriend going without her “ain’t gonna fly”.

      • avatar Margo Howard says:

        I was being coloquial!

        • avatar David Bolton says:

          Just be glad you didn’t use “its” for “it’s,” Margo.

        • avatar Obediah Fults says:

          Aw, I was only teasing. Besides, I thought everybody would jump on my split infinitive rather than my rhyme.

          My grammarian grandmother and her BFF/fellow-teacher used to have a running private joke. When either one would telephone the other she’d say, “It is I. Do you know who ‘I’ is?”

          When I quote you on Facebook, I always preface your words with, “Me heart Margo!” I don’t know why I started that, but now it’s a running schtick on my FB wall.

    • avatar JCF4612 says:

      I’ll stand by “her or me.”
      Think of it this way: What’s being said, from a grammatical viewpoint, is “You must choose either her or me.”

      Direct object.  

  2. avatar Kate Olsen says:

    LW1 – I feel as if I need more specific information.  You elude to many moves with you being left behind – Nevada to California to Utah.  Were you left behind due to your decision or for his?  Are there children?  All of this factors into the decision.  How long is the job there going to last? You really need to give a lot more info for us to help you.  Part of me thinks you are whining and should go with him but another part says there is more to this tale than you tell.

    LW2 – This would be a deal breaker for me.  If he goes to the wedding and leaves you home, I would not be there when he got back.  To chose the friend of the woman who he had the affair with shows where his loyalty lies.  Pack up and move on.

  3. avatar Constance Plank says:

    #1- Me, I’d give a lot to be in your shoes. I adore traveling, seeing new things, and meeting new people!

    But, this is your life. Do you want to work on building a life with the husband you must have once loved enough to marry? Or, are you done? Being in limbo, and with a year of separation, doesn’t sound very positive. Wanting to create your own identity does. Do what your gut tells you you should. Your husband can be the most respected man in any business since the inventor of the wheel, but if you aren’t happy and longing to be with him, then you probably need to stay put and invent your own life for you.

    #2- If your boyfriend actually wants to be with you, he should decline with thanks. If he wants to go to the wedding more than he wants to take care of your (rightfully) injured feelings, well, that’s very useful information about your possible future life together. Me, knowing what I know now, I’d dump him and go for a guy who really wanted me.


    Constance in the Sierra Foothills

  4. avatar BeanCounter says:

    I’m incredulous that the BF would even consider going to the wedding without his partner of two years. the bride’s actions are also strange. her friend helped a man cheat on his girlfriend, yet the GIRLFRIEND is uninvited? really? Bizarre logic there.

    • avatar David Bolton says:

      The other friend has to be invited, or a member of the wedding party.

    • avatar K Coldiron says:

      I was thinking exactly this, BeanCounter. The girlfriend is persona non grata and the cheater is accepted into the flock? Really weird.

    • avatar stateoflove_N_Trust says:

      Pure speculation on my part that I try not to indulge in, but I wonder if the bride is really trying to get the boyfriend to the wedding alone for her friend.  Most of us know of people who end up in bed with other wedding guests, in many cases due to the nature of weddings and excessive alcohol.

      • avatar Lym BO says:

        That’s what I was thinking. The bride or her friend is trying to hook up again. For those who said she is a cheater or he cheated is possibly incorrect. She said it happened while they were on a short break & getting back together. To me, that says, in his mind, they were likely not together (committed) and therefore, it wasn’t an affair. My conclusion to all of this is dump the guy.

    • avatar greenmusic23f says:

      I’m glad you brought this up, Bean. I could hardly read the rest of letter two or Margo’s reply because I was still stuck on the cheater being invited but not the innocent girlfriend.

  5. avatar Deeliteful says:

    LW #1 – You don’t mention how long you have been married, but I’m getting the impression that you and hubby have spent more time apart than actually living together. It’s hard to be in a marriage alone. Again, my impression, but it seems that hubby is furthering his career with different employers without considering how you are affected. I don’t think you are being selfish to want to pursue your own career and/or education. Also, you say you and hubby have been living apart for a year because of his job and that you have recently been reunited. Now he wants to move to Australia? Is this a pattern for him? If so, it seems that your marriage is not high on his priority list. (Military folks, please understand my comments are not directed to you and your family members.)

    You and hubby need to have a serious discussion and come up with a 5 year plan that is doable for both of you. If you can’t, your future(s) will almost certainly be separate. Better to know that sooner rather than later (after children are involved).

    • avatar amw says:

      My only question would be, when they met and married, did he have this job that required him to travel? If the answer to that is yes, this isn’t about him taking her thoughts into consideration but rather about her having changed her mind about marrying a man whose career requires frequent travel and moves.

  6. avatar ZippyDoDa says:

    LW2…You need to grow up. BF and GF come and go, but friends are forever. If the tables were turned, I am sure you’d be whining about not wanting your friend’s former lover’s girlfriend creating a scene on your special day. This is clearly a power struggle for you and you need to relase your grip.
    Let’s face it, with most weddings comes an open bar. Alcohol plus a sore victim (the bride’s friend AND you) does not bode well for picture perfect moments. How would you feel if you had to break up a fight in your wedding dress? Nothing says classy like having the police at your reception. Jeez, lady…its not all about you!
    So, suck it up and deal with the fact that your BF is going to go to the wedding in support of his friend. If your relationship is as strong and progressive as you claim, then you will be fine. Plus, by not freaking out and having a drama queen moment, you will certainly score points for being the better person.

    • avatar David Bolton says:

      Seriously, were you drunk when you wrote this—or are you just insane?

      • avatar ZippyDoDa says:

        Neither. I am just realistic.

        The LW is pissy b/c her feelings have been hurt. Unfortunately for her, this is a fact of life-you aren’t always going to be invited places nor are you always going to go everywhere you significant other goes.
        I seriously doubt the bride set out to piss off the LW. She wants a nice day and is taking steps to ensure that. The bride probably said something along the lines of this and the LW got her panties in a twist.
        I suspect the real culprit behind this is the LW’s fear that lover-boy will once again get intimate with his fling. Understandable to be insecure with the relationship history, but if you cannot build trust back up, then you might as well break it off for good.

        • avatar Michelles11 says:

          David…must be insane.

          • avatar Karen Ferguson says:

            Wow. I thought Margo’s advice was so spot-on, intelligent and objective that I never expected anyone at all to disagree, much less to the extent of telling the letter writer to suck it up. If one person should be “not” invited, it’s the girl friend who intruded into an ailing, but not broken, relationship. If both women are invited, it’s the bride’s girlfriend who should “suck it up.” But in the end, Margo’s advice is still the best. No need for the letter writer to be in agony throughout an afternoon with the “other woman” inescapably in view. Surely the boyfriend is closer to the woman he’s living with than to a friend who has no respect for his life. A polite but firm decline is absolutely in order.

        • avatar Jrz Wrld says:

          Yeah, friends are forever, and significant others can come and go. But my friends would never say “since you illicitly slept with my friend, your significant other isn’t invited.” That’s literally insane.

          I expect a certain amount of maturity and reasonableness from my friends, as I do from my significant others. If they can’t rise to the occasion when it is needed, I don’t need them.

          LW2, DTMFA. He’s a loser.

      • avatar Margo Howard says:

        David –
        “Seriously, were you drunk when you wrote this—or are you just insane?” I must say you’re starting to write like me. Tho this is a rude comment, I believe it to be correct.

      • avatar VJ Dark says:

        Zippy may or may not be insane, but is incapable of reading a letter, or someone’s character, or staying on subject. It’s irrelevant that wedding have drunk people, open bars, and people can’t be invited to everything. Zippy, don’t ever take a job that requires listening, mental acuity, and the ability to read character.
        HellOOooo! It is about:

        (1) a female friend not inviting the girlfriend of her “close” male friend, as a “courtesy” to bride’s friend, because “close” male friend had an affair with brides friend. If she were not a little too “close” and simpering up to male friend and jealous of other women, wouldn’t she not invite the offender who had the affair with her friend? That would be “close” male friend himself! It would not be his innocent-bystander girlfriend.
        (2)Boyfriend’s caring little or none about his girlfriend’s feelings. He seems to care plenty about his “close female friend’s” feelings — and about his own precious self being invited to the wedding. (In which bride’s friend is his former affair partner.)

      • avatar CanGal says:

        she’s obviously never had a significant relationship of friendship or lovers.

    • avatar Anais P says:

      How about this alternative, Zippy? Say the guy goes by himself. Most weddings come with an open bar. Alcohol plus a dateless guy plus his old affaire d’amor could well equal another affair, which may be what the bride has in mind for her friend. There is nothing about LW2’s letter that indicates she has any intention of being a drama queen. If he refuses to take into consideration his girlfriend, this most definitely a deal-breaker, and if the man is not certain if he will go or not, that has to raise red flags for LW2. Most wedding invitations to single guests come with a plus-one, so for the bride to manipulate this situation is really alarming. I completely agree with Margo: it’s either the LW or the highway.

    • avatar Cindy Marek says:


    • avatar stateoflove_N_Trust says:

      Friends are forever, but boyfriend/girlfriends come and go? What type of nonsense is this?  Both boyfriends/girlfriends and friends come and go. 

      Actually, it is about the girlfriend.  She has no right to be invited to a wedding, but she should expect her boyfriend to stick up with her, especially since it is a long-term relationship.  I don’t see why she needs to suck anything up.  I think if the bride is concerned about a fight at her wedding, she should suck it up to realize that her “good” friend will not be in attendance.

      If the boyfriend really wanted to make the best of his relationship, he would not attend the wedding.  It is the bride that put him in this predicament, not his girlfriend.  The person who creates the problem, should not be catered to and he should tell the “good” friend that.

    • avatar David Bolton says:

      Yeah, where’s Jennifer Riddle and her selective outrage now?

    • avatar mmht says:

      “BF and GF come and go, but friends are forever.” Did you get that from a song? I think it is you that needs to grow up a bit. The older you get the more you’ll learn that significant others and friends come and go. Life takes you in many directions.

      The point of this letter was that her and her boyfriend were trying to work things out and, presumably, try to build a life together. They can not do that if his friends will constantly be excluding her and he sees no issue with it. This bride is controlling and completely out of line. She clearly has no respect for their relationship and the moment she sees her friend leave his girlfriend behind for this event, she’ll try to have him leave the girlfriend behind for every event and probably try to set him up with someone else. If the girlfriend doesn’t stand up now and make it plain and simple “Its her or me” then she’ll be forever second in her boyfriends and possibly later husbands life.

      • avatar gr8tpretender408 says:

        I wouldn’t be so quick to judge the bride as controlling or insensitive.  The bride’s gf and LW’s bf might be very close and important to the bride thus both were extended the invitation.  It’s her day and she has all the rights to invite anybody she wants, and exclude people that may not be significant to her.  It is really up to the guy to either accept or decline and his decision is a good indication on how he strongly feels about working on his relationship with the LW. 

        • avatar mmht says:

          As someone who was a recent bride (as in I got married 12 days ago) I disagree with you gr8tpretender. Yes, my wedding day was about my husband and I getting married, however, I also viewed myself as a hostess of a giant party that I was giving to my family and friends in celebration of my wedding. By viewing it that way, I totally got out of that whole “This day is all about me” idea and it allowed me to focus on what was going to be most comfortable and fun for my guests. I think if more brides viewed their weddings that way then we wouldn’t have such a rash of bridezillas.

          I hold this bride to the same standards. If this was any other party, everyone would find it appalling that this bride/hostess was excluding her supposedly good friend’s significant other. If the LW’s boyfriend really was so important to her then she would have extended the invitation to the LW also b/c the LW is important to her friend. If she was concerned about a scene being made then she should talk to each party individually and make it clear that no scene will be tolerated and anyone making a ruckus will be escorted out of the wedding. That is what adults do.

          • avatar stateoflove_N_Trust says:

            I don’t have a problem with the bride not inviting the girlfriend, but to the extent that she pressures the boyfriend to attend solo, I think she is in the wrong.  If she believes that inviting her female friend and male friend’s girlfriend will cause drama, then she should not invite girlfriend with the understanding that male friend may not attend.  Even better would be to let both friends know that all are invited but no drama will be tolerated, if that is her reasoning for the disinvite.

            I do not believe that anyone is entitled to an invitation to a party or wedding by virtue of their status as family/friend/significant other of family or friend.  The host makes the rules and should accept the consequences of those rules.

          • avatar gr8tpretender408 says:

            Again, no one here really knows the bride’s intent.  For all we know, she’s afraid that LW2 attendance might cause any tension among the guests.  And as you said, a good hostess must ensure eveyone’s comfort and her solution is to exclude LW2.  By not inviting LW2 to the wedding, the bride should know the risk and must respect his decision.
            Instead of assigning who is at fault, focus on the real issue which is whether the boyfriend should accept the invite or not.

          • avatar mmht says:

            I will agree that the real issue is whether the boyfriend will accept the invite. I just think that many people are acting like its not big deal to not be invited to the wedding. I do not agree with that b/c I feel not inviting the LW is excluding her from their circle of friends and once the precedence is set, it will continue. That, in my opinion, will either be the starting point for the boyfriend to consistently put the LW last in his life or doom the relationship. However, I do like several suggestions made on here about him going to the ceremony and skipping the reception, but I feel that he should tell the bride that he’s skipping the reception b/c his girlfriend was not invited.

          • avatar ZippyDoDa says:

            Well, until any of you who are so quick to call me names and say I am insane have been in this situation, then you are all just speculating.

            I spent my entire wedding recpeption (intimate reception at my home) keeping drunk people in line. Who the hell wants that? This included keeping a letch guy I have known all my life off a young lady who was drunk. She later threw up all over my maid of honor. If I could go back, neither of these two would have been invited.

            I have also voiced my opinion as to not liking my best friend’s boyfriend. Know what happended? She cut me out of her life and married him.

            What happened after that? We reunited 2 years later when she admitted her problems with him and told me how much she could count on me. My girlfriends are my family and that will never change. It has proven itself time and again-even when we were at odds, we were there for each other when it counted.

            I stand by my position that the GF is out of line. If she had written and said she wanted to go to her male friend’s wedding, but her BF wasn’t invited b/c a groomsman or other guest and she had an affair….all of you dissenters would be on her side-and probably tell her to dump him for being so immature. This is clearly a double standard.

            And, let me state for the record, this is supposed to be a respectable advice column-therefore insulting my sanity or sobriety is hightly disrespectful. Just because I voice a different opinion, it does not make me any less insightful.

          • avatar David Bolton says:

            Why does your insight keep arriving at the logic that somehow GF + BF + wedding + “persona non grata” + nasty bride + “friend” = everyone gets drunk and the police come?

            You keep trying to turn this on LW2, who has been put into this situation through no fault of her own. If anything, the culpable party here is the bride—who should have the sense and be enough of a friend to either invite LW2 along with the BF or not put BF in a position where he’s going to have to choose between bride and LW2. At some point, the concept of being “classy” or “sucking it up” falls just as much on the bride as anyone. And here’s the thing: the fact that BF would even consider the invitation in the first place shows what kind of friend he is—not to the bride, but to LW2. Why work on rebuilding a relationship if you’re going to place your sig-o as second best and possibly damage it beyond repair to go to—of all things—a freakin’ wedding?

            And indeed, if the bride’s motive is to play matchmaker at her wedding between her friend and the BF—when she knows that he’s currently taken—all I can say to that is: “wow.” That sort of behavior may come back to haunt her with her own relationship.

          • avatar blue tooth says:

            David, maybe she comes from the school that it’s not a real party unless someone throws a chair through the window.


          • avatar mmht says:

            Zippidy DoDa, I am sorry that your wedding was awful, but if you spent the entire time freaking out and babysitting drunks then maybe you should get yourself new friends. That being said, I disagree with you. If this was a woman who had the affair and then her boyfriend was not invited to the wedding I would give the same advice: That person needs to tell their significant other that this is a deal breaker for them. The point really isn’t the wedding invite, its that the boyfriend’s friend is purposely excluding her. It may not seem like a big deal but it is, the friend is drawing battle lines here and it seems pretty clear that in the future the girlfriend will not be accepted by that friend and possibly his group of friends. If the boyfriend doesn’t make it clear now that his girlfriend is an active part of his life, she’ll forever be second to his friends or their relationship is doomed.

          • avatar David Bolton says:

            If the bride and the BF are truly friends—she would never put him in a position in which he might end up losing someone he allegedly cares about, nor would she issue a blanket “persona non grata” statement about the GF—unless GF were really some sort of evil hag.

            Alas, LW2 doesn’t come across as that through her letter in the least, but bride sure does.

    • avatar shakes says:

      Yes, I do have a feeling you were drunk when you wrote this, or a very immature early 20 something.  When I got married I had a few girlfriends who had hooked up with some of my new husbands friends while we were dating and were no longer together (2 were bridesmaids), however, they are grown ups, knew they made their choices and behaved, well, I heard one didn’t but that wasn’t my business and it didn’t effect the wedding.  If you really have to worry about police and a fist fight then you and your friends are barbarians. 

      • avatar ZippyDoDa says:

        Sorry to dissapoint, I am 38 and don’t drink. I also don’t appreciate the insunation especiallyy since I have not attacked ANYONE who has posted here. I would expect the same courtesy.

        And, btw, the friendships I am talking about in my life have been my friends since we were teens. The ones who were at my reception are no longer invited to events b/c of thier actions. I gave them multiple chances, but it was obvious they have problems.

        You all can continue to validate your opinions by attacking me if that makes you feel better about yourself. I just cannot understand the mentality of ‘its both of us or none of us’. The couple is not married and has an admittedly shakey relationship. Why on earth should anyone bend over backwards to accomodate the LW?

        I just don’t get this bandwagon atmosphere of sparing a GF’s feelings by denying the BF attendance to a friend’s wedding. Sure, it may be uncomfortable, but its life. The LW will aways harbor some amount of distrust but if she is ever going to trust him, then what better way than his attenance at this wedding?

        I guess, to me, the letter just smacks of a distrustful and put-out GF looking for validdation. I am not sorry I voiced my opinion, I am just shocked at the amount of people attacking me for not being a sheep and following the pack mentality.

        Lasty, the whole GF/BF come and go and friends are forever thing….no, its not a song. I wish I was talented enough to be a songwriter. I challenge everyone to take stock of your acquaintences. I think most people will be surprised at the amount of friends they have and the length of time they have had them vs. people they have dated.

        • avatar David Bolton says:

          You’ve completely missed the point of the argument here in favor of LW2. What’s ironic is that you talk about the validity of your own feelings and disappointments, yet you’re completely unable to empathize with the similar feelings that LW2 obviously has.

        • avatar shakes says:

          In many cases friends are not forever and girlfriends and boyfriends are.  This bride has a friend that had a brief relationship with a guy and now this guy cannot bring a date to a wedding as to not hurt this girls feelings?  The friend needs to suck it up, I highly doubt the bride is going to keep her safe from discomfort forever.  Clearly the 2 year relationship is not as rocky as the hookup from 4 months ago.  It is extremely childish and silly that this man cannot bring his girlfriend to this wedding and due to the reasons I would end this relationship if the boyfriend choses to go since it will show just where the LW stands.  The guy clearly doesn’t rank too high on the brides list either. 

    • avatar blue tooth says:

      ZippyDoDa, you make me laugh. Maybe the reason your BFs and GFs come and go is because of how you treat them. And if you had cheatin’ friends, it’d make me wonder about you.

  7. avatar David Bolton says:

    LW1: Regarding JCF’s advice about Oz—indeed it IS fabulous if you’re gay and live in a downtown condo in Sydney. But if you live where Kath & Kim do, then it’s just like trashy middle America with strip malls and accents. Moving to Australia is going to be a BIG move for even a stable relationship. There’s always Skype and email, but you’re going to be a stranger in a strange land, with a husband who will be work-focused and a dynamic in which you already feel left out.

    “I kind of want my own identity” means you want your own identity. It’s okay—own up to it. You SHOULD have your own identity anyway, if you expect any relationship to work in the long run. I’ve played the role of Mr. Flexible before—after awhile it just becomes grating when any little crumb you want suddenly becomes a major hassle in the established order.

    You’ve actually mentioned half a solution: send him away. Do it with the promise that you’ll revisit the idea of moving within 3 months. It should take you that long to wrap things up in the states anyway. And by then you’ll definitely know if you want to continue. And if you do decide to seriously consider it, make sure you have a clear understanding of what your standard of living will be in Australia BEFORE you move. For example, I’d love to move to London, but if I had to live like 90% of my friends who live there, I’d lose my mind.

    LW2: I got to “persona non grata,” stopped reading and said “f*ck that.” I’m sorry your ex-boyfriend was such a jerk (because you will almost certainly break up over this, or something similar). Don’t take him back—and better luck next time. You deserve it.

    • avatar Miss Lee says:

      You nailed both answers.  As far as the moving constantly for a spouse and never being able to establish a life for yourself, it would be very hard to be the “plus one”. in your own life.  Having said that, military wifes have managed to adapt to that life, but it would not be one that I would chose.

    • avatar Jody says:

      LOL Mina!
      Are we going to start a MEN AT WORK sing-a-long?
      Maybe snack on a Vegemite sandwich?

    • avatar Maggie Richardson says:

      If you are fortunate enough to have a chance to experience life in Australia, you would be mad not to take it. I moved here from the UK over 40 years ago and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else! David: I usually think you have pretty valid opinions, but that crap about gays is just that: I do recall that your sexual preferences were made before. I’m a senior heterosexual woman and this is a great place to be!

  8. avatar Jody says:

    Here’s my take on it: You have been handed the keys to an incredible opportunity. This is a chance for you to see the true character of your boyfriend, and how much he cares for you. Seize it! Let him know how you feel and without blaming him, just be honest about it. Then, sit back and see what he does. If he truly cares for you and his relationship with you, he won’t go to that wedding without you. However, if he chooses to go… I’d be gone when he got back.

    I’ll tell you something else too… deep down, everyone knows it. He knows the stakes here are high, and so does the Bride. The Bride’s actions leave me to believe you are not liked by her and she is rooting for a comeback with her friend who is in her wedding. Which means she’s a manipulative person, making decisions for your boyfriend on whom he should be with. How nice of her. (Please sense my sarcasm here, thank you.)

    The boyfriend gets it too. So, he’s feeling stuck between her manipulation and your unwillingness to let it go. Sit back and see what he’s made of. Is he man enough? If he’s not, then you don’t want him anyway. Either way this goes down, you are a winner. If he goes to that wedding without you, he and all involved have done you a huge favor by removing him as an obstacle towards TRUE love for you in your life. If he stays with you over the Bride’s wishes, you just might have yourself one great guy.

    No matter what happens…. just know it’s for the best. And, you will be okay, with or without him.

    Best of luck to you!

    • avatar Jody says:

      Wow… I interpreted the “friend of the Bride” to be “in her wedding”. Whoops! Sorry. (this means it’s time for me to go to bed.)

    • avatar stateoflove_N_Trust says:

      I agree, but it is complete speculation.  Weddings, alcohol and single people (or people without their significant others) is a good combination for sex.  I am wondering if bride is trying to get him there alone to see if her good friend can have another crack at him.

  9. avatar Jody says:

    LW#1: Life is short. And, often times when we are not choosing to live it, The Universe will make the decisions for us. Sometimes people just have to have their lives turned upside down to learn stuff. It’s true. So, I believe you are one of those people, because of what is happening in your life and your adverse attitude towards it all.

    I’m not saying you shouldn’t have your own likes, your own life, your own identity, etc. BUT, those things are not your husband’s responsibility anyway. They are solely yours. And, you can do all of those things anywhere… like going to school. They have fabulous schools in Australia… and their job market can’t be much worse than ours! (I don’t actually know, but it seems like we have the worst record right now from an American perspective… one-sided. lol)

    My point here is… you are diverting. If it wasn’t the moves it would be something else. The jig is up. It’s time to face the music. Get to a mirror and look. Make the decision to be happy. Happiness is a choice, not a feeling. Whether that means you choose to stay where you are, or choose to be happy going with him to Australia… just choose. Because here’s the rub… you can’t make a “wrong” decision. It’s not possible. Because no matter where you are (let’s say Australia), you always have YOU to see you through things. The experience of another country could be like a wild adventure, and who knows? Maybe you’ll fall in love all over again! Distance from family and friends can bring couples closer. Either way… commit to your decision completely once you’ve made it. This will be one way you can create more happiness in your life. No one enjoys being on the fence.

    Good luck!

  10. avatar blue tooth says:

    For LW1, sorry Margo but I gotta disagree with you there. As a married man at the top of my profession I moved around and traveled for many years, and I can tell you, there are few things more destructive to a marriage. Back in the day, many people did move around as they moved up in management, as they were being groomed to take on more and more senior level positions, so that they would have a good handle on the different aspects of the company, the different operations, partners, home cultures, etc. But that was back in the time when people stayed with one firm for a long time, and corporate loyalty went both ways.

    Nowadays, unless a person is a specialist in building bridges, hydroelectric dams, nuclear power plants, or prefabricated cities, there’s much less reason to get constant reassignments and travel without end. But even so, today more and more people are being sent out to travel and spend their lives in suitcases. Sadly, these are almost always burnout positions, where the person enjoys it in their 20’s and 30’s, but after a while they have nothing left, and no home life to go back to. The value-added today is very small. I would add that, the beauty notwithstanding, a move to Australia is not a good career move. It’s easy to get into, very hard to get out of, and the market is too small. Much better to take an assignment in Europe, China, or the Pacific Rim, or India, the Gulf, or even Brazil or Argentina.

    Her husband may be well-regarded in his profession, but he’s making these constant moves because of his desire, not because his career depends on it. Unless he’s chosen the kind of career that’ll have him moving and traveling until he’s 70.

    At some point, a man has to decide if his family’s important enough to him, that he’ll actually make room for it in his life. It sounds like this man has already decided he’s got enough room as what will fit in a suitcase, or maybe what’ll fit in a moving van. And what’s the wife trying to do. She’s actually trying to form a life of her own, since she obviously doesn’t have a life with him It’s not a matter of the wife’s commitment to her husband. It’s more a matter of his commitment to her. From her letter, I’m not seeing any.

  11. avatar Michelles11 says:

    LW2…sounds like a mess.  He should just NOT go, and if it WAS an “affair” then the boyfriend and the bride’s friend were in the wrong.  Boyfriend should not go if the wounds are that fresh and should be working on current relationship. 

  12. avatar ElizabethP says:

    I almost always agree with Margo’s answers, but was a bit taken aback by her response to LW#1. It kind of reminded me of what my mother used to say about going where the breadwinner goes. How 1950s. Is the husband the only breadwinner? Is any career she might have a simple accessory to her husband’s? And this idea that she can just plop herself down in Australia and suddenly start doing a degree there? What happens if it’s good for his career to move before she’s had a chance to finish that degree? Because from what I see in the letter, all decisions regarding where they live seem to be based on what’s good for his career. And exactly what kind of a career is she supposed to have if they’re constantly moving from pillar to post? If there are any children involved, don’t even get me started! (I taught in an international school in a European city for 9 years.) People seem to confuse going to great locations (like Australia) with going on vacation. It is not the same to live in a place as it is to vacation in one. I have to agree with Deeliteful and blue tooth on this one. It seems to me that the husband is the selfish one. He needs to decide if he really wants to be married because he appears to make life-altering decisions as though he were still single. And she needs to decide if she wants to stay married to a man who has such little regard for her as a person. I hope they can work it out and I hope there are no children involved.

    • avatar blue tooth says:

      Well said, ElizabethP. I really feel bad for LW1. The way things are now, she’s looking at a lifetime of loneliness, and that’s not what married life should be about. And what’s happening in her life, while he’s on his rising star? Is she able to get a degree, have a career of her own, have and raise children? And what happens if he decides to divorce her, after getting tired of dragging her around all over the world, because she’s cutting in on his fun? How would she feel then, in her forties maybe, no degree, no career, no job, no kids, no friends? And if he’s travelling all over the world? how is she ever going to be able to enforce any support agreement she could get, so she could put her own life back together?

      It’s a scary thought.

  13. avatar Chris Glass` says:

    My father was military so we went where he was posted as a family. I lived in Germany, Japan and many other places. I married a man who was transferred around the Southeast. I looked on each move as a chance to meet new friends and experience more of what life had to offer. I was never disappointed. Life is what we make it – it isn’t the place it is our attitude. If this reader can immerse herself in a new culture she will find wonderful new friends and opportunities. If she refuses to go or sits home pining for the states she will have a miserable time.

  14. avatar Katharine Gray says:

    LW#1:  I’m with Kate Olsen.  There really isn’t enough information in the letter to give an informed response.  My initial take from reading letter #1 is that the marriage is already in some jeopardy perhaps due to the frequent travel and separate living locations.  I know nothing about Australia except that a friend of mine and her husband spent two years there and enjoyed it immensely (both had jobs there however, so my friend had no problem with her own identity.) I guess I would say that if LW#1 chooses not to go with her husband, she can expect her marriage to end. Perhaps that is fine with her.

    As for LW#2, I think if I were the guest who had an affair with your boyfriend, I would ask the bride to banish HIM from the wedding.   I’m with those who say this is a test of his loyalty to you.  If he passes, great.  If he doesn’t pass the test, move on.  While I can understand the bride may not want a messy confrontation between you and her friend at the wedding, the solution is to leave your boyfriend off the list.  That she invited him and not you shows she has no respect for you and your relationship.  Now the question is whether your boyfriend has any respect for you and your relationship.

  15. avatar Cindy Marek says:

    L #2: Your boyfriend should tell his “friend” the bride: “Either she (you) comes with me, or I won’t be there.” I find it highly curious that she’d want the gal he had an affair with there, but not you. Is the “bride” hoping to play match-maker (other gal and your boyfriend)? Get them “back together”?

    You’d better put your foot down on this and KEEP it down.

    • avatar stateoflove_N_Trust says:

      I do think it makes some sense that she wants her female friend there over the girlfriend.  She wants all of her friends there but no drama.  It is logical of her to disinvite the girlfriend, although it may end up causing her male friend to decide not to attend.  I wonder about ulterior motives of the bride too.

      • avatar David Bolton says:

        It may make sense that she wants all of her friends there—but why on earth would you invite former lovers at your wedding, with the possibility that something “unplanned” might happen? I think it’s likely that the bride DOES have ulterior motives, and is at the very least painting herself as a bitch with the whole “persona non grata” BS. Of course, that could be LW2’s interpretation of things as well, but personally—I think she comes across as rather together in her letter.

        • avatar stateoflove_N_Trust says:

          In a circle of friends, it often occurs that some are former lovers.  I think the bride has ulterior motives, but I don’t think it is so odd to disinvite the girlfriend as people make it out to be.  For all of the faults of the female friend, which bride may even recognize, the bride’s loyalty is to the female friend over a girlfriend of another friend.  I think the bride pressing this issue is going to either cause a rift with male friend or succeed in breaking up the relationship, which may be her goal.

          • avatar A R says:

            Ya’ll, the girlfriend was not “disinvited”.

            She was *never* invited at all as she is not a friend of the bride, nor is she engaged to the boyfriend in question.

            The boyfriend’s friendship with the bride appears to exist in a realm outside of his relationship to his girlfriend. The letter doesn’t even imply that the writer ever had a friendship with the bride or her boyfriend’s friends. She never once mentions a change in the way the others treat her. In fact, her letter strikingly lacks any reference to a pre-existing friendship with those folks. I’d almost guess she doesn’t know them and never really was around them.

            With that in mind, it’s not really odd that she wouldn’t have made the guest list in the first place.

          • avatar David Bolton says:

            I can see your logic, except that the bride has specifically labeled LW2 as “persona non grata.” Something happened here—we just don’t know the exact details. So in effect—the dis-invitation is more of a “and don’t you even think about bringing her, because she’s not welcome.”

          • avatar A R says:

            Maybe, or maybe neither the boyfriend nor the bride ever used the expression “persona non grata”, nor told her it had to do with the bride’s gal pal. This may be the letter writer’s own interpretation of the lack of an invitation. No where in the letter does she say that her boyfriend already tried to talk to the bride and that was the reply he got. She says that he “promises to try to talk the bride into inviting her” (future). Sounds to me like he hasn’t actually asked the bride about it.
            Just another perspective…..

  16. avatar matchtuff says:

    This is bizarre. The girlfriend is the one who was cheated on and she is excluded from the wedding. It sounds like the bride’s girlfriend is still pining for the man. This is a simple case of it’s me or them(bride and the affair woman). I wouldn’t even tell my boyfriend that he can’t go.  I would let him choose of his own free will and if he went to the wedding he would come home to an empty house period. Also I would get a new phone number and leave him a note to not contact me since this relationship is OVER!

    • avatar Sue ZQ says:

      Re LW2: That’s what I was wondering too. Inviting the guy but not his girlfriend? Sounds like the friend who had the affair with him still wants him around without competition. That’s bad enough. But the boyfriend acting as if this is normal? Either he’s massively in denial, still having an on/off affair, or this is just gaslighting. It’s not about the wedding any more; what’s up with him?

  17. avatar sandra b says:

    LW2 – my god, it’s just a wedding. Big deal. Now it’s turned into a loyalty feud? How about return the RSVP card with “ceremony only”, both of you go to the ceremony, congratulate the couple, skip the reception and go out to dinner. Send a gift later if you want to.

    • avatar Sweet Dream says:

      Remember Sandra, she’s a “persona non grata” the bride doesn’t want to see her at ANYTIME of the wedding. So she can’t invite herself to even the ceremony. But I agree with most that this is a test of character for this man. But I don’t think she (LW) should leave him right away. You two need an honest and anger free conversation about the relationship, and then the LW can make a decision after that. I’ve been through something similar, without the affair. For a long time I always felt like an aftertought with my husband. I finally asked what was going on, trying real hard not to sound accusatory. We finally had honest conversations about US. I said conversations, because we needed ongoing conversations. We keep mental notes of our state of mind at all times. It’s not as hard as it sounds, but believe me when I say that we both grow at the same speed now.

      • avatar sandra b says:

        OK, he goes to the ceremony & skips the reception where most of the other posters feel that disaster is impending. If brides asks why the “ceremony only” RSVP he tells her that he made other plans with his “persona non grata” girfriend. He can then take that opportunity to inform bride friend that there will be other events he will be missing if the invitation is the same as the one for the wedding.

        • avatar Sweet Dream says:

          Good compromise. And if he were a real man he can set something up for the two of them such as a romantic weekend with dinner and a movie.

    • avatar S Hughes says:

      I agree, ceremony only.

  18. avatar Renee Miler says:

    LW2 – The letter writer states that they were broken up when the BF had the “affair”.  I would wonder has the couple been off and on for two years with the best friend (bride) listening to the ups and downs of the relationship.  How could this be the friend’s who had the “affair”  while he was BROKEUP!
    My guess and it is just a guess is that the relationship has always been drama filled. 

    With that said I think the GF has a right to be hurt that he is going with out her, but her calling it an affair when they were brokeup just seems a little dramaish.

    • avatar Mimsy says:

      I think you need to read the letter again.

      • avatar Renee Miler says:

        “The affair happened during a period of time when my boyfriend and I were getting back together after a short breakup.”

        I realize it says they were getting back together.  So were they back together or were they getting back together?  in other words were they just talking.  During this short break did the boyfriend think the relationship was over?  I guess I need to know exactly what “getting back together” would mean.  Had they discussed that we are officially a couple or were they just talking about the pros and cons of resuming a relationship?

        • avatar David Bolton says:

          In my mind, “back together” and “getting back together” are only separated by the condition of whether or not the process is currently working.

          We are “back together” = everything is kosher

          We are “getting back together” = currently, everything is kosher

          I seriously doubt that LW2 or her BF added in the caveat of: “I’m working on us getting back together, but I have a date with someone else at 6pm.” Since there was no mention of “we agreed to see other people while we worked on getting back together,” I seriously doubt that this was the case. They probably had a setback at some point and he fooled around with someone else.

    • avatar D C says:

      “WE WERE ON A BREAK!!” (Friends)

      • avatar S Hughes says:

        If he was serious about wanting to “get back together” why in the world would he decide to sleep with someone else? How can she trust this guy? Shouldn’t he have been thinking, “If I do this, it will hurt the woman I love.” He wasn’t thinking of her then, and he isn’t now.

  19. avatar Briana Baran says:

    Re: L#1: My husband’s company is based in Perth, Australia. It is a petroleum exploration and drilling business. He works at the Houston, Texas branch (which, before I hear about BP blowouts, has one of the most excellent safety records in the world wide market) as an IT professional. It is not uncommon at all for men and women to be asked to relocate from Perth to Houston, and vice versa. Families are welcome, expenses are paid, and an enormous amount of help is given in helping people to establish a new home in a very different environment.

    Some spouses, with or sans children, choose not to relocate. Also, both male and female employees must sometimes go to all sorts of “interesting” places (recently, a man in exploration was kidnapped in Sub-Saharan Africa because he had a very expensive cell phone…his choice…and his abductors therefore thought he must be rich. He was released unharmed) for extended visits. There is always the possibility that Rusty will have to be air-lifted to a drilling platform if there is an emergency (just as dangerous for him as for anyone else working there). There are many jobs like this…far more, I think, than people realize.

    I have some difficulty following LW1’s chronology. She moved from Nevada to California for his job. Was this immediately following their marriage, or later? Then she spent “three years in limbo” in California. If you read her letter carefully…it was only the last year there that he was absent entirely. He may have had short times away from her before…but only the one extended absence. So, I ask…why “three years in limbo”? I find the statement curious. If she spent that much time in California, why didn’t she do the same things she claims to be doing now in Utah? Most curious.

    She has only been in Utah for four weeks, a very short time…and she’s already setting down roots. The letter does not indicate whether the move to Utah was necessitated by her husband’s job…or a joint decision made by both partners…or something that was mostly her choice. Given her obvious ease at settling in…I’d be inclined to guess the last. Now her husband has gotten a “lucrative offer” from a new employer in Australia. Nowhere does she state that he’s accepted it yet (before anyone jumps to conclusions about what a tall turd he is). I think her most telling comment is this:
    “While I am excited, he is so respected in his work that I feel left out.”

    I think that she is jealous. Envious of the respect he gets, his salary, his potential. She needs validation. This does not mean that he is not giving it to her (we are given no indication of this). It does not mean that she is undeserving. But it may well mean that she is immature, and believes that sharing her life with another person somehow not only invalidates her (especially if that person, her husband, who is “not a bad guy”…nice descriptor for one’s beloved, BTW…has at this moment in time a more lucrative and respected career than she does) but actually prevents her from having any identity of her own. Another quote from her letter:
    “I kind of want my own identity, and I am still getting used to living with someone again.”

    You can live with someone and have your own identity, significance, validity…the whole pizza…loaded, with anchovies. The whole bit about being in limbo in California for three years struck me. I moved from Chicago to Houston when I was all of twenty-three. I never saw my husband…he did shift work…just as he had in Illinois. I was brand new in a place that was very different. I didn’t stay stuck in limbo…and I was terminally shy, mentally ill, had no support system anywhere, poor, and scared to death. I still made a big niche for myself…in a place I never wanted to be, which I now, after 28 years, two failed marriages, getting clean and sober, two beautiful sons…and a 17 year marriage (Today!)…and now this is home.

    LW1 needs to grow up. If she wants to be married, and he accepts the offer in Australia, then go with him (Australia is not just Sydney, Perth is lovely as well…and one needn’t be gay to enjoy it, either), and then steer a course for herself once she gets there instead of stagnating. If she can’t, or won’t realize that validation and identity are both things you find on your own, by yourself, and not by constantly comparing yourself to others…then she should do the “not bad guy” and herself a favor and bow out.

    • avatar David Bolton says:

      I was joking about Sydney—but she does need to make sure that Australia is where she wants to be. Boring old America can suddenly take on a new attractiveness when you start comparing standards of living and the way “we do things.” Again, I love London, which has 7+ million people—but even my British friends come to the states and say: “I wish we had this.”

      • avatar Briana Baran says:

        I love living in the United States, no question. But then, I am not easily bored. I do have an…ahem…ex-patriot sister who moved bag and baggage to the London area of England back in 1994. Without, of course, ever educating herself on English (and I do specifically mean English…I am aware of Wales, Scotland, and the various semi-independent islands being separate entities) law, or actual societal custom. This has ended up causing her enormous grief during the ensuing years in terms of financial loss and health issues. And she is still, after 17 years, woefully ignorant about the country she lives in, and constantly in a state of distress because she truly has no comprehension of her chosen…but still utterly foreign home.

        I could claim Italian citizenship and full rights and privileges there because my grandparents were born and raised in Italy (Bolvano and Calabria, respectively). Given the Tea Party, Glen Back and Bill O’Reilly, Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman, Christian Dominionism and Pro-Lifers, etc., it is sometimes tempting. I can claim my birthright at any time, even purchase land freely. But I am aware that living there would be a very alien experience indeed…socially, legally…entirely. But to have all of Europe so close would be fascinating.

        Personally, I think the most lackluster place I have ever resided has to be Oklahoma City. But that was in the early ’80’s. Perhaps it has improved. Back then, it was a perfect grid of cross streets, bad strip clubs, country and western bars and clothing stores, one mall, miles of tacky strip centers, and stores selling both genuine and rumored Amerind silver. I still managed to amuse myself by finding the only used bookstore in the city. All books fifty cents. Not a bad deal at all.

  20. avatar flyonthewall says:

    LW#2 That is a situation that really smells all the way around. Your boyfriend cheated on you with this other woman and this so called close friend of his wants to exclude you for the benefit of this other woman? Quite a strange and bizarre request of the bride I have to say. Makes me wonder what exactly is being said between this bride and your boyfriend. Does he paint a picture of you being the big bad horrible girlfriend that he’s desperate to get away from or is she this manipulative person who just doesn’t like you and wants him to pair off with this other friend of hers? You do have your test for him in this. If he resists staying away from this wedding, please dump him. He’s in with a bad crowd in my opinion. Personally, I would have dumped him after the affair as he sounds like a complete jerk with equally horrible friends.

  21. avatar Sue ZQ says:

    LW1: You may want to look at how decisions about moving have been made in your marriage, and ask yourself if that process is okay with you. I get the feeling that your husband has either made decisions unilaterally, or any input you have doesn’t carry much weight. That wouldn’t be okay with me personally. I would hope that my husband would not commit to a move unless he and I had first discussed it, he had said he wouldn’t accept unless we both agreed it was good for the marriage, and I had freely given my support.

  22. avatar LCMom says:

    LONELY: At the beginning, you said you were feeling left out… but then you said you just wanted to keep doing what you have been doing and create something for yourself. I kept waiting to hear more about feeling left out, but you either skipped the detail on that or are just throwing a temper tantrum. Why on earth, if you didn’t want to live apart from him, did you let that happen to begin with? It really does sound like you want out of the marriage.

    DISTRESSED: I’m not sure I’m following, your boyfriend had an “affair” with this other girl, and YOU’RE the one who is Persona non grata? I don’t think so. Either YOU were the third or they’re still together.

    • avatar stateoflove_N_Trust says:

      If she is not the friend of the bride anyway, which it sounds like she is not, then she would only be invited anyway as a +1.  It makes some sense that the bride would invite her friend over another friend’s girlfriend if there is tension.  There may be ulterior motives by the bride, but I don’t think it means that she is the third wheel or boyfriend is still conducting an affair.  There are more plausible alternatives

    • avatar David Bolton says:

      Re: DISTRESSED… Still together? I don’t think they would be quite as transparent as that—if that were the case, why not just lie about the wedding and go and not deal with the hassle?

      I think what the BF probably did was hook up with the friend’s friend, who is now attracted to him. He could also have dumped all over his GF to the friend getting married, while they were separated. Either way—the bride is making a major faux pas by NOT inviting LW2—in fact it’s she who should being sucking up, and telling the other friend to mind her manners. But I tell you this—immature or not—if the BF goes to that wedding alone, I’d show up and destroy it.

      • avatar Sweet Dream says:

        Ha..ha..ha for real David? No, she (LW) should not get in the middle of a budding romance should she? But anyway, like I said before, this calls for an honest and anger free conversation. This doesn’t have anything to do with the bride, ex-lover or the wedding.

        • avatar David Bolton says:

          Well, maybe not “destroy” it. But I’d either drop off key or make sure I got mine back—and if that exchange happened in the middle of the ceremony—ah well.

          • avatar LCMom says:

            I like that, David. At the root of what I’m sayin’ is that there’s something else… something more to this than what we’re being told. Perhaps more than what LW knows… Perhaps not. We will never know, and I’ll sleep just fine not knowing, but will the LW?

          • avatar stateoflove_N_Trust says:

            She may open herself up to civil or criminal liability depending on the circumstances if she took that approach.  I am not sure how making a public statement of that nature does anything other than to justify the lack of an invite after the fact.

          • avatar David Bolton says:

            @state: That is NOT how it happens in the movies—therefore your analysis is flawed.

          • avatar stateoflove_N_Trust says:

            Darn you, David Bolton, for pointing out the critical flaw in my thinking! I was hoping that no one would notice that. 

          • avatar David Bolton says:

            EVERYTHING is based on the rom-com. Everything. The way LW2 could solve this whole mess is if she would tell the BF that she’s just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her. And of course she’d have to buy an original Marc Chagall painting—but $1M+ is cheap when it comes to True Love.

      • avatar A R says:

        David, it’s not a major faux pas to invite a guest sans date. It’s only a faux pas to exclude the significant other when that person is engaged or married. The letter writer is neither engaged nor married to the boyfriend.
        Granted, people don’t like to be invited solo many times, but that doesn’t make it a faux pas.

        • avatar David Bolton says:

          I would agree with you if the bride hadn’t pointedly said that the BF’s current GF—LW2—was “persona non grata.” There’s a big difference between telling someone that they alone are invited to an event, and they alone are invited to an event and that their girlfriend is not welcome. In my mind this is a huge faux pas, simply because it sets up nothing but bad feelings for the future of the relationships between the bride, the BF and LW2. Let’s say that somewhere down the road bride is no longer friends with “Friend,” and that BF and LW2 are still together in whatever capacity. Bride continues to issue invitations to BF. She’s already set a precedent for excluding LW2—does she continue? What happens if LW2 and BF decide to get married—is LW2 supposed to invite bride to her own wedding, since bride and BF are friends or tell her to go screw herself? All bride has done is alienate someone who is close to her supposed friend, and show exactly how little this friendship really means.

          • avatar David Bolton says:

            And granted, as someone else posted: “persona non grata” may be LW2’s words, and not the actual words of the bride.

  23. avatar Barbara says:

    LW#1: He’s not a bad guy by any means is the best you can come up with? Not he’s the love of my life and I’m struggling to keep us together? He has a lucrative job offer and you don’t want to participate. You haven’t been in your current location long but you feel more connected to that place (sounds like with no job) rather than going with him. I’d say cut your losses now and find someone who you are passionate about.
    LW#2: I’d be asking your boyfriend why he wants to go to the wedding where the woman he cheated with will be. Is he in the wedding party or just attending? I’d think both or none attending would be the right answer. If he is a guest and he insists on attending, make sure he knows that’s his signal that it’s over for you two.

  24. avatar mmht says:

    LW#1: You say you want a life of your own, that tells you your answer. Your marriage was over with quite sometime ago and neither of you are facing the facts.

    LW#2: As a very recent bride, I never would have thought in a million years to not invite someone’s significant other of 2 years to my wedding, despite my feelings about them. Trust me, there were several people that I would have preferred to not come, but as a gracious hostess, which is basically what the bride is, I never would have excluded someone. Since your boyfriend is supposedly a good friend of the bride’s makes the bride look even worse, however, the fact that your boyfriend is even considering attending this wedding and not telling his “friend” to shove it is appalling. This would be a deal breaker for me and if you had any self respect, should be one for you. If your boyfriend truly respects you and your relationship he will tell his “friend” that you are an extension of him and if you are not invited to things then he considers himself not invited either.

  25. avatar mbr says:

    LW1: The term for us is “trailing spouse.” I have been one for 15+ years. What I’ve found is that my husband is always on the hunt for the next best thing–he’s never satisfied with the job he has. And sometimes, it’s a requirement to keep moving on in order to stay in the corporate world. I’ve moved so many times and now I’m just tired. At the moment, I’m living in a house full of boxes because I don’t even care to unpack. It has an impact on our children, too, because they lack the stability they need beyond having parents. It’s hard to make friends that you’ll just have to leave in a few years. I have said no to some of the suggested moves and he always understands. However, the jobs usually come with a promotion and more financial security. So I usually move. I envy the people who have a network of friends in the community because I’ve never really had that since I’ve been married. Hindsight is 20/20 and now I realize I should have put my foot down and stayed in one place. The only problem with that is my potential income is about 1/3 of what he earns. My husband grew up poor and I believe he is sincere in wanting to give his family the best life possible. To him, that means money/financial security–to me, I don’t think so anymore.

    You need to imagine the life you want in 10 years.

    • avatar mbr says:

      I’m replying to myself because I left out a couple of things. While it hasn’t been easy, most of the places we’ve lived have been great. We’ve traveled to & lived in beautiful cities and our children have experienced the world. So it’s just a matter of perspective–today I’m feeling lonely and but tomorrow may be better…
      Only you know your relationship and how decisions are made. My husband is the “breadwinner” but I control all our finances. We have a relationship that works for us and if anyone is hiding money, it’s me. 🙂

  26. avatar Dana2011 says:

    Here’s some personal and professional perspective on LW#1′ situation:

    I am a family lawyer. Every single week, I see women crying in my office who have been blind-sided when their husbands suddenly leave them after 20 or 30 years of marriage.  I know others will disagree with me, but the reality is that when you create or accept a situation of being financially dependent on your spouse, you give away a huge amount of power and set yourself up for a risk of ending up with NOTHING.  The wealthiest men are also the most adept at hiding their money and bankrupting the other side before there’s even a chance of a trial. And as my managing partner at the firm will tell anyone, unfairness is the cornerstone of family law. It has absolutely nothing to do with justice.

    It’s 2011, not 1949.  From what I can see, the best marriages are the ones that are equal partnerships with BOTH people making decisions together for their mutual benefit, not one person calling all the shots. This husband is making decisions as though he isn’t married. He’s acting like a single man with a “my way or the highway” attitude.  So his wife has the choice of going or staying, and if she stays Margo, she’s the one not committed to the marriage? I’d say he’s the one who’s acting like he’s not committed to the marriage when he’s making decisions as though her wishes count for nothing. She’s an adult, not a child. 

    So far, all the decisions being made appear to be in the best interest of the husband’s career, with zero regard for the wife. So Letter Writer #1, ask yourself how happy you are right now,if you want to continue being at the mercy of your husband’s unilateral decision-making and what is in YOUR best interest because that’s a question no one else seems to be considering. Do what’s best for you and do what it takes to restore your personal identity because at the end of the day, being true to yourself and who you are is what matters most.

    • avatar Briana Baran says:

      Ah, but we don’t even know that the husband has accepted the new position, or failed to discuss it with LW1, or been selfish and self-centered. She absolutely never states that any of the decisions regarding moves were made without her approval. And there is no indication at all that any decision has yet been reached about the move to Australia.

      We also don’t know why the couple moved to Utah. The LW never explains that move, only that it happened, and that she is already setting down roots after the extremely brief period of four weeks. It may have been based on her preference…which somehow seems a likely conclusion given how quickly she has settled in and made herself at home. Again, she never claims that the move to Utah was made specifically for her husband’s job, was his sole decision, or that she was against it…only that they reunited there.

      Before Utah, they lived for three years in California, to which they moved from Nevada. We have no clue as to whether that move was a mutual decision (again, she makes no comment regarding how any of the decisions to move were arrived at), how long the couple lived in Nevada before they moved to California, or whether she knew that the move would be necessary and agreed to it when she married him. In any case, she had three years in California to attend school, find a vocation, even take up…gasp…a hobby. Instead, for some mysterious reason, she claims to have been stuck “in limbo”. Why? He was only gone on one extended absence…and she does not indicate that he in any way prevented her from pursuing any goals or activities of her own. So…why are you blaming him for being a selfish bastard? Why not chastise her for being lazy and unproductive, and relying on a man for her validation and identity and ability to support herself?

      LW1 gives not even a hint that her husband has a “my way or the highway” attitude. Or makes unilateral decisions (to repeat: we don’t even know if the decision has been made to take the position in Australia…just that the offer was made). If she’s at the mercy of her husband (which I completely disagree with based on there being no evidence per her own letter), perhaps it is because she sat on her backside in California for three years feeling sorry for herself instead of doing a little bit of self-validation and finding her own identity. It IS 2011, not 1949, you know. Women can take independent action…and there is no evidence that her husband was keeping her in a Gimp Box in the basement.

      If you actually READ the letter, you will discover that the couple, according to what is written in said missive, have moved precisely ONCE for the husband’s work…and have the potential to move again because of the offer of a new and more lucrative opportunity. They have actually moved only twice as of the letter’s writing date. Wow, how horrific, What a controlling, gad-about, inconsiderate bastard the LW’s husband is.

      And, Dana2011, what about the husband? Should he give up a career in which he is very successful, highly respected, and has a chance for improvement…and perhaps even contentment and happiness…because his wife…who apparently is not working (and don’t you dare put the blame for this on him…there is no evidence to support that claim) feels left out, and doesn’t think she can have her own identity when she is married to someone? Can we talk about double standards…pretty please? If the situation were reversed, you’d be castigating him soundly for being non-supportive, cruel, misogynistic, anachronistic, and an oinking, filthy pig. Yes you would. Good grief.

      Want to know why I feel this way? See my previous comment. Yes, I am female. And much as I detest misogynistic males, I loathe misandrist females just the same.

  27. avatar Dana2011 says:

    I have to point out the glaringly obvious: The husband has a CHOICE whether to constantly apply for and accept new positions all over the country/world.  If his wife needs to be settled for a time and wants to stay put, it is HIS CHOICE to destabilize (ultimately end?) the marriage by choosing to leave her to continue pursuing his brass ring.  Again, this issue should not be framed as the wife’s commitment or lack thereof to the marriage. It’s the husband’s actions that are the destabilizing factor here.

  28. avatar Dana2011 says:

    Ah – I think LW #1 has made her decision! It’s a beautiful life afterall.

  29. avatar R Scott says:

    LW1 – So, while you’re living in Utah pursuing your life and going to school will your husband be mailing his paychecks home? Just curious. If all the traveling is not the life for you and you want to put down roots then maybe this isn’t the relationship you need to stay in.

    LW2 – Nope. No problem here. Let him go to the wedding. I think he’s showing you the utmost respect. You may also want to check into some ocean front property in Montana. I hear it’s cheap up there.

  30. avatar JCF4612 says:

    Just curious, given that the bride is 38: Is this her first marriage, involving a dress with train, veil, and walk down an aisle? Or will this be a second-or third-time around cocktail with vows event with more emphasis on a party-hearty boozy reception?   

    (Either way, the boyfriend needs to go, if he can’t respect his girlfriend enough to choose her over the bride/friend.)     

  31. avatar jkinn says:

    One thing that jumped out at me in the first letter is that she moved to Utah four weeks ago. While I completely understand her not wanting to be uprooted (again), it’s unlikely that she has been able to get a job, start school, make friends, etc. in such a short time. Even though she’s understandably disappointed because she was planning to do all of those things in Utah, perhaps this is not such a bad time to make a move – before she puts down roots in her current location. Of course it’s up to her, and I wouldn’t try to convince someone to do something she really doesn’t want to do.

  32. avatar amw says:

    LW1: I mentioned this in a response to another poster, but I really would be curious to know whether your husband’s career required extensive travel and possible relocation when the two of you got married. Because in that instance, it’s pretty obvious that you are no longer able to keep your vowed commitment and the problem has nothing to do with him being selfish.

    Ask yourself this question…have you stayed with him thus far because you love him or because of the financial security his job provides?

    LW2: Yikes…this is a tough spot to be in. Having attended weddings with exes and also as a bride-to-be, I have some input here.

    The best example would be a friend’s wedding this past April. Two exes showed out of a possible three. We were all invited in addition to our significant others. We said “hi” in passing and left it at that. A wedding is about the bride and groom and not about the past drama of their friends. If the bride’s girlfriend was to create a scene, she should be reconsidering HER invite, not your’s. I have to agree with other poster’s that it sounds like this bride is hoping your boyfriend and her friend will reconnect.

    I have a very close male friend that I’ve known for years. He has been dating a girl off and on for the past six months that I do not care for in the least bit. She is manipulative, rude and immature. (As the godmother of his two boys, I feel a certain right to form this opinion of her although I have not shared it with him because he hasn’t asked.) While I don’t expect him to be dating her when my fiance and I get married, it is possible that he will be. His presence at my wedding is more important than my dislike of her. Therefore, he will be entitled to invite his +1 because his friendship means that much to me.

    I tried to put myself in the position of the bride, and I couldn’t find any logical explanation other than the aforementioned matchmaking attempt or something that was omitted from your letter.

    If I were you, I would tell your boyfriend how slighted the non-invite makes you feel and that you would be very disappointed should he decide to go to the wedding without you. If he were smart, he would tell his friend that he shares everything with you and therefore he will share in the non-invite if those are the bride’s wishes. Of course, if the bride were any kind of friend, he wouldn’t have to tell her that…or is your boyfriend not telling you something?

  33. avatar LAChica says:

    LW1- I read your question with a twinge in my heart, as I’ve been in a similar position. While we’ve only moved twice for my husband’s work, and seriously considered an international move which eventually panned out, I can relate to your struggle of wanting your own identity and feeling left out. You sound so lost, as I felt too at one time. Even after being separated for a year, you’re still lost in this relationship, and following him to yet another place, is only going to compound this for you. If you go, it should be because you’re completely on board with it (which doesn’t seem to be the case here). The main thing I would advise is please do not go along because you don’t want to ‘hinder him.’ He’s a resourceful, grown man and will and can find another opportunity, while you’ll be left still feeling left out, full of animosity and resentment in a foreign land! Could you consider an alternative like finishing school, or working, and then meeting up in a few months? That would help you to feel empowered, and not like the accessory to his main ensemble. Good luck!
    LW2- there’s no way I could respect my partner if he went without me, especially considering the past. He needs to politely refuse, on the premise that he has enough respect and consideration for you, and your relationship. The bride sounds like she might have alterior motives, I dunno, either way, she doesn’t value you and I just would not tolerate that.   

  34. avatar Diane Shaw says:

    Ltr. #2 – “Undecided, but helpless he is not” – LOVE IT!   Nail on the head.   Unless he shows a spine, run, run for the hills, I say.

  35. avatar gr8tpretender408 says:

    LW2.  I cannot believe so many people were so quick to make an assumption about the bride’s intention.  The fact is that it’s her wedding and she invited selected guests to be part of her very important day.  It is unfortunate that LW2 was not invited but so be it. You cannot always make others do what is in your favor but you can control how you react in any given situation

    The real issue is whether the bf should accept or simply decline the invitation.  If i were on her shoe, I would let him know how I feel but let the guy make the decision on his own, and take a cue as to where I fit in his life.  Sit back and see where it goes.  Who knows, you might be pleasantly surprise if he came home to you after the wedding and know that nothing had happened between him and the fling.  Like you said, you are still working on your relationship and it is going strong.  If that’s the case, then this will be a good test on how you both are able to handle life’s ups and downs.  Good luck!

    • avatar blue tooth says:

      Do you really believe that if something happened between the BF and the fling, he’d come back and say, “Oh yeah, I slept with her?”

  36. avatar Paula says:

    LW2: Maybe the weddings I’ve been to are dated, but can’t a person attend a wedding without having to attend the reception? Assuming this, the boyfriend could essentially go to the wedding, but opt out of attending the reception. The boyfriend can make his friend happy and then spend the rest of his time that day with his girlfriend. If I were the girlfriend, I would sign that card that goes with the wedding gift; just to stick it to the bride, showing that the couple of 2 years are still united.

  37. avatar cascotownship says:

    I am someone who was in a similar situation. His work caused us to move 6 times in 4 years and at the end of the relationship he came home for 48 hours once a month. He wanted me to have a well-paying job and with a background in sales it was very hard. Knowing what I know now, my advice is to go to Australia. If you want to pursue studies it can be done online. I would also ask you to consider “blooming where you are planted”. This may sound mercenary, but since your career options are compromised, it is reasonable to expect a financial arrangement that protects you in case you are without him due to death or divorce. My belief is that it is easier to create a fulfilling life anywhere than it is to find a great guy.

  38. avatar A R says:

    LW1: I have a major question for you: do you have a source of income to finance your life alone should you decline to go with him? I ask because it would be really weird to say, “Hey, honey….I love you and all, but I don’t want to actually live with you. It’s okay if you pay my mortgage, groceries, utilities, and car however, as I don’t actually have a job. Also I want to go back to college, so I’ll need some spending money.” Point being: is it fair to live off his salary if you don’t live with him? Just food for thought….and something he might bring up.

    LW2: You do know that the bride gets to choose whom to invite to her wedding right? After all, she’s not *your* friend, she’s your boyfriend’s friend. You and he are not engaged or married, so she doesn’t have to invite him-plus-one. She is well within her rights to invite her single friends, both male and female. As devil’s advocate, if the woman your boyfriend had an affair with is a pal of the bride, why in the nether hell would she attempt to entertain the two of you at her event? That would be stupid on her part to set up such a situation.

    Your biggest problem isn’t that your name wasn’t on the invitation. Your biggest problem is that your boyfriend hopped into the sack with another chick–apparently just after you two got back together from a short separation. That speaks volumes about his commitment to you. Instead of worrying about his social calendar, direct your energy into asking yourself why you are trotting after this man who clearly has mixed feelings about getting back together with you. (For the record, I don’t even think it matters for a moment whether he would consider going or not. He’s already made his stance quite clear. You are just not hearing it.)

    • avatar David Bolton says:

      If I’m going to try to see both sides of the story—your answer here about LW2 is actually quite good.

  39. avatar VJ Dark says:

    “My boyfriend of two years had an affair with a friend of the bride some months ago, and as a courtesy to this woman, I am “persona non grata” at the wedding.”

    UM! ! ! ! . . . .

    As a courtesy to the bride, wouldn’t the illicit partner who had an affair with the bride’s friend be persona non grata at the wedding?

    Um, hey! That would be the boyfriend!

    His “close friend” the bride must be one of those women who simper up to men and hate other women. There are too many women like that around. They are arseholes. She sounds like someone who looooves her “close male friend” and is too jealous to have women (whom she hasn’t preapproved) around.

  40. avatar blue tooth says:

    To LW2,

    If I were completely cynical, I would think something was not right with this wedding story. Your boyfriend who cheated on you is going to the wedding of his female friend, where the girl he cheated with will also be, and you’re not invited. Not only not invited, but specifically disinvited. But your boyfriend still wants to go. And he broke up with this girl that he had the affair with only a few months ago.

    If I were in your shoes, I would be wondering if there’s still something going on, and if your boyfriend wants some “special time” with this girl, surrounded by his friends, who probably could be counted on to keep quiet about his shenanigans.

    The thing about affairs and regaining trust is, it’s not up to the wounded party to restore the trust, as much as it’s up to the cheating party to re-earn the trust. I lot of people lose sight of that. And a lot of cheaters lay on the guilt when the Significant Other questions their behavior. Even when they’re still cheating. Especially when they’re still cheating. “I said I was sorry. What more can I do?” A lot more.

    I get the sense that you’re working hard on this relationship. I wonder if you’re boyfriend is actually working hard, or nearly as hard as he should be, since he’s the one who had the affair.

    I definitely agree with the others. You don’t even have to justify it. “It’s her or me.”

  41. avatar impska says:

    L2 is a no brainer. If he cares about and respects his girlfriend, he will not accept an invitation to a wedding under these circumstances. “Sorry, you can’t come because it will make my former mistress uncomfortable,” is not acceptable.

    I don’t understand how this is even a question. Normal people respond to information like this by saying “Wow, that’s really not going to work for me. Have a nice wedding.” They don’t respond by saying “I’ll really need to think about this. I understand that it would be incredibly hurtful and disrespectful to my girlfriend, but boy do I hate to miss a good wedding!”

  42. avatar wendykh says:

    I have a hunch LW2 is being snowed.
    I don’t think the “other woman” saw this as an affair. More specifically I don’t think she saw her involvement with the guy as an affair. I think from her perspective she met this great guy, they were dating, things were progressing, and out of nowhere he says he has to get back with his ex.
    In other words, I suspect Bride and Buddy regard the LW as the “other woman”! This is the only way such a huge breach of etiquette (inviting a close friend and specifically NOT inviting their significant other) could be deemed remotely acceptable.

    I think that affair (not really, they were “on a break” ;-)) was a LOT more involved than BF is letting on.

  43. avatar David Bolton says:

    “As for LW#2, I will give the boyfriend a little bit of the benefit of the doubt because some people are genuinely that clueless.”

    I could see that IF: the bride were trying to match him up with Friend at the wedding and the two had no prior history together—let’s pretend that Friend has always had a major crush on BF and bride sees this as a chance to finally get the two of them together (and in the context of a wedding! How romantic!)

    However, they’ve already done it. They know each other—biblically. BF knows exactly what’s going on.

    • avatar David Bolton says:

      I agree—for as cynical as I may appear to be, I tend to think of people as logical and straightforward and honest, when many clearly aren’t.

      I’ve gotten zinged before by friends (who in fact—did NOT last forever Zippy) because I thought I could predict and assume their behavior based on past behavior. That doesn’t work, and sometimes you have no idea with whom you’re actually dealing. I genuinely hope for LW2 that this is a case of cluenessness—but even so, cluelessness has a way of being really hurtful too… when your sig-o stands in the kitchen during the Christmas party (or let’s say, an upcoming wedding) listening to his friends trash you while you’re in another room because “he didn’t think anything about it.” And then the fool is clueless enough to tell you.

  44. avatar Hedgesparrow says:

    To LW1 as a wife who followed her husband overseas here are some considerations:
    1. Will you be in living close enough to a University to attend? Will you be in Australia long enough to finish your education?(Good luck getting a U.S. college to accept any credits.) The U.S. is pretty unique in having a system of quality Community Colleges that offer classes day and night. I lived within 45 mins. of a major university and several colleges, none of which offered evening classes aimed at a degree.(Think embroidery and how to make a bookshelf). The education in most countries is aimed at fresh out of high school, and graduate school.
    2. We don’t speak English. In England they speak English. In the U.S. we speak American. In Australia they speak Australian. We called it ‘Being separated by a common language.’ Not a huge problem, but can make for some interesting conversations. I still get blank stares from the British phrasing I use.
    3. The culture is different from the U.S.. I did enjoy the difference in the U.K, but we were in a very rural area. Cities have their own flavor.
    4. If you want to come back to the U.S. for a visit it can/will take over 24hrs. door to door.
    5. I don’t even want to discuss the National Health Service. Find out what medical service is available. Our local doctors would only accept us under the NHS. EVERYONE has an NHS horror story.
    6. The salary he is being offered may seem very good, but the excess can soon be used up if you travel back to the U.S. even every couple years or the different cost of living. The cost of necessities in the U.K. was relatively low, the cost of anything not necessary to keep body and soul together was incredibly high. If his job is in Alice Springs(outback of beyond) you will spend more money on the necessities and traveling to the city to keep from going nuts. You only need to be in Alice Springs a week to have seen everything and everyone twice.
    7. You will need a work Visa to get a job. Which you might get if you have unique skills or live in an area with very low unemployment. Your Husband’s work Visa does not cover you.
    I did make some very good friends that I still keep in touch with. There is no better way to experience another country than to live there. Though if you can’t keep moving forward with your own life while you are there then that is a very high cost to pay.

    • avatar David Bolton says:

      Excellent response. Moving to another country is not for everyone—and it especially depends on where and how you’re going to be living. It’s one thing for someone to say: “oh, you’ll love it here in the States—we have everything here!” to their foreign friend, who then comes to live in a town with 5K people in it and a Burger King. Personally, I would leap at the opportunity to move to Australia, but again—it’s not for everyone. And LW1 doesn’t even sound particularly attached to her husband, let alone the idea of moving 18 hours and a day away.

  45. avatar Violet says:

    Didn’t LW1 know when she married the guy that his job would involve moving around a lot? These are the types of things that have to be discussed before you wed. If I had fallen for someone and they said that their traveling all over the world was a deal-breaker, I would not have gotten married to them, because I don’t like to travel all that much. It sounds like, if she stays in the marriage, she is in for a lifetime of misery.

    To those who say she is thinking of passing up a great opportunity, yes Australia is wonderful, and it would be cool to live there, but only if you want to. Then, what happens when she grows to love it, and in two years, he is transferred to Siberia. She needs to sort this out now, while she is still young enough to fix it.

  46. avatar Laurie Deer says:

    Run don’t walk. Run. Run. Run.

  47. avatar William Terrio says:

    We were transfered from NYC to Melbourne to Sydney & lived down under for 6&12 yrs. We loved it & return every other year to visit. Other than the distance it maybe along with Canada the easiest place on the planet to be an ex-pat as a Yank.

  48. avatar David Bolton says:

    And apparently there’s a version on “Dear Amy,” as well.

    • avatar LaurieF says:

      Amy usually has running conversations with her LW’s before she publishes, so there’s more information given about the situation.  It’s always that way, isn’t it?  The letter is far from the whole story.

      • avatar David Bolton says:

        Was rather surprised to see that this involved different countries—does LW2 not know that American advice only applies to Americans?