19 August 2010

A Sticky Situation

I am going to be as vague as possible with this, but still try and paint a decent picture of the situation. Ready? Ok, here we go.

L and I have been invited to a reception for a couple that were married in a private ceremony awhile back (more than two years ago). The husband is an acquaintance through work.

We received the invitation recently, and I have had mixed feelings about attending. Here is where things get strange. I don't want to sound like a judgmental tight ass, but it may come out that way anyway. Oh well, bear with me.

The husband in said couple really rubs me the wrong way. Need me to be more specific? He's cheated on his wife several times with call girls (Is that the proper term?) and told a lot of people about it.

Awkward.

I don't know how much the wife knows. Judging from the invitation, I assume she doesn't know anything.

I feel bad about the situation, and it really is none of my business. However, we are being asked to attend the renewing of their vows and their reception. It's still not really my business, but whether or not I attend is my business.

Here are my choices.

(a) Buy a gift and go to the event. Smile and get it over with. Their personal lives have nothing to do with me.
(b) Send a gift and don't go. He's a cheater, and I don't support cheaters.
(c) Send a gift with an anonymous card that says, "Your husband is a piece of shit. Better you know now. Thank me later."

In my heart, I pick choice "c", because I feel for this woman.

In reality, I have a feeling I may be forced to attend for professional reasons. I'm not going to lie, it makes me uncomfortable. I like to think of myself as a fairly open-minded person, but my blood boils when I hear stories like this.

What would you do?

24 comments:

  1. Oh man. I am with you Carly! I would totally want to do choice C but would probably end up going with A ... unfortunately you don't know this woman, for all you know she could be well aware and doing something fun on the side herself -- so with that I say just smile and enjoy the evening with your husband. If this were a friend though totally different story. Ugh. I feel icky just knowing about this!

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  2. I would panic, that's what I would do.

    Honestly, as much as it rankles, for your own sake, I'd choose A. If your actions would affect you or L professionally, then act in your own best interests.

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  3. I agree with the above but how awful to see a renewal of vows when this guy may or may not be doing things on the side. If her friends were really her friends and knew, they should let her know and if she chooses to stay with this guy then she is a fool. It will affect her the rest of her life. UGH! Elaine

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  4. I would go with B - make up an excuse as to why you can't attend. I couldn't sit through something so hypocritical. Sorry you are in this situation! Ehhh

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  5. I'd go with B... life is too short to spend on bad people. A kind gesture (gift) for the couple is enough I think, and you don't have to be put in a situation you don't support. I mean you don't have to say WHY you're not going right? So it's not a huge deal.

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  6. I would go with B. If the husband of the couple is a work acquaintance of L, then yeah, L is the one who SHOULD go. As his wife, you sort of should go, too, but when it comes down to support cheaters? Forget it. And 35% of me would totally send an anonymous note.

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  7. Ugh. That is a sticky situation indeed. I would probably go with B (even though I would really want to go with C).

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  8. I would also probably go with B even though I really wanted to do C :-/

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  9. If you have to attend for professional reasons, attend. Stay for just as short a time at the reception as you can get away with. And leave. Get a small, token gift. That's it. Be polite and professional, but you don't need to be more than that.

    If you don't have to attend, then don't go.

    Of course, it's never that simple.

    By going, you are doing the professional duty, but you don't have to stay one minute longer than the meal. (Unless there's no meal, in which case you can mingle for 1/2 hour and then leave.)

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  10. I wouldn't go, and I wouldn't send a gift. I'd make up an excuse for why we couldn't go if he ever asked. I'd PLAN somewhere to be other than there. I could not stand there knowing what he did, and support it by my presence and certainly not a gift (P.S. are you required to buy gifts for a vow renewal? Isn't that just like fishing for gifts?). Plus I am 90% sure I would end up saying something to SOMEONE at the reception, and nobody wants that right? good luck! VERY sticky situation.

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  11. I wouldn't go. If L had to go then he should go and you had other plans. I see where you are coming from with c, but you don't know what goes on in their relationship.

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  12. @Linda: Choice "c" was a joke. Don't worry - I'm not that invested in this :) It's their relationship!

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  13. Do you know for sure he was cheating and that they are not in an open relationship or some other agreement in which they can have multiple partners? I would wait to jump to conclusions, (unless of course you know more about the situation, because lying to your partner is not okay in my book,) because as momentspasslow mentioned, the wife may be fully aware of what is going on and possibly frolicking astray herself!
    If it were me and this was an important work relationship, I'd suck it up and go with A but try to avoid this person as much as possible in all other social engagements and not pursue a friendship.
    Best of luck with whatever you decide!

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  14. @MayLove: I don't know whether you are required to buy a gift or not for a renewal. I assumed that we had to. The invitation was quite fancy like a wedding invitation. It also has a formal RSVP enclosure (also like a wedding invite).

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  15. a very sticky situation indeed. i wouldn't go, but would send a gift to be polite.

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  16. don't do it. there is no way I could stand behind something so terrible. ugh...that just sucks...bad.

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  17. I am a big old fashioned tight ass when it comes to this.
    For example- my fiance has this friend who got married and for their bachelor party they went to vegas.. the guy who was getting married got treated to a lap dance (a 'private' one at that) and then went back TWO times [in a trip that lasted a total of 2 days!] to do it again. I lost all respect for him and think he is a pig! Why get married if you want to still act like a horny child?!

    ..so I'd go with choice "c" but I understand that due to circumstances you might have to go with choice "a" - I am constantly put in the position of having to be nice to his friend even though the site of him makes my skin crawl.

    good luck!

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  18. I can speak from some level of experience here. I had a husband who was cheating on me. In my gut I knew something was wrong, but had little proof. Here's something you should know about women in this situation - We WANT to trust our husbands. So anything other people say, while we may consider it, will usually result in defensive behavoir. If someone had told me for sure that my exhusband wasn't being faithful, even though I saw many signs, I didn't/wouldn't believe it - not because he was such a stellar man, but people generally don't take kindly to someone questioning their judgement (especially when it comes to who they choose as a mate). I know you stating the facts as you see them doesn't sound like you're questioning her judgement, but to the woman (who is probably already questioning her own judgement) it's not really what she needs to hear. It would probably frustrate her rather than embolden her to change what she can in her situation.

    Another peice of food for thought -
    You mentioned it's a vow renewal. Maybe, behind closed doors, they've addressed this and are using this to help get through their fear/doubt/distrust, etc? Attending (or being as supportive as you morally can see yourself being) might help bolster a struggling woman/couple.

    My recommendation would be to go and be an example as a couple who loves and trusts in one another. Seeing couples make it is so inspiring to those that are struggling.

    I hope none of this came off as harsh or bitchy. Just my personal experience. I really appreacited everyone who supported our marriage - ESPECIALLY when things were at their darkest. I wish my ExHusband had choosen better influences in his life ('cause he certainly missed out on the best version of me by bailing!)

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  19. J.Darling said exactly what I was thinking:

    Perhaps (this being a vow renewal) is a chance for them to move forward. Like Darling said, behind closed doors ... much could have been discussed and dissected.

    I am not a supporter of cheating, but I am a supporter of making it work. People cheat, and it is wrong, but it happens. I will applaud couples who work toward their marriage.

    As far as a gift goes? Perhaps a self-help book for the bride? juuuuuuuuust kidding!

    http://inanenvelope.blogspot.com

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  20. Sigh. I feel you, but don't do C. No good can come of that (for you OR her).

    Women in that situation will probably lash out at YOU in their own grief. It actually makes me sick to my stomach, but she'll have to figure it out on her own. And, probably, something inside of her already wonders and this big show is her way of cementing a relationship that she feels isn't completely hers.

    Go. Be professional. And, turn the negative energy you feel about it into postive energy that you put into your own marriage. It's the only way.

    By the way, I nearly peed my pants when I saw your blog. I love the layout, the typewriter (writer porn). OMG I am now a devoted follower!

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  21. Awkward. I'd go with B. But what Mo said could be true too - perhaps they had some open relationship? In any case, if you're uncomfortable, don't go, enough said.

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  22. Wow! Lame! If you have to go, maybe you leave early. Or, maybe you could give him a gift and tell him you have a family thing to go to.

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  23. @eatmovewrite.com: I found you through Mandy's blog (OMG Mom) and I absolutely LOVE your writing style. I can't wait to read more of your posts :)

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  24. Thank you all for your words of wisdom! I think we can all agree that it is a sticky situation :) I am leaning toward finding an excuse to not attend. Although it is possible that the wife knows about this whole thing and is okay with it, I don't know. It's still odd to me. We'll see. I still have time to decide before we have to RSVP. Thanks again, everyone!

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