We are still struggling to determine how to deal with this situation that arose the day after we got engaged. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
After 5 years, some of which long distance, my fiance finally proposed and what I thought would be the happiest week of my life quickly turned me into an angry, hurt person. He had everything planned perfectly! He was scheduled to host a local telethon and I was to be the volunteer coordinator for the day, but I would join him on TV for a short segment where we would be interviewed together because of our involvement with the organization. To my surprise, he had planned this about nine months prior and arranged for our engagement to be on live TV. He told our friends to watch the segment and I did the same, not knowing that there would be anything special to it. Was I ever surprised!
My fiance’s family was there as his guests, as well as his two best friends,”Dave” and “Joe”. He had arranged for my parents and my best friend to watch the proposal live on TV as they live on the other side of the country. He felt that in order to prevent me from finding out, he would not tell anyone else but just encouraged other family members and friends to watch our TV segment.
We had the most wonderful evening! I was blown away by the excitement of the situation as well as by the number of volunteers, crew members and telethon organizers that were giving us their well-wishes. I managed to call two of my closest friends before they found out on Facebook as that was important to me, but as it turns out everyone else already knew as they were watching on TV. For hours, our phones buzzed with well-wishes and emails and I thought it was strange that another friend of my fiance’s “Rick” had not said anything, but not wanting to be self-centered, I thought that I shouldn’t worry about it.
In the past, my fiance, Rick and I had shared an apartment and I was integrated in their circle of friends as I was from another city. Initially, Rick and I butted heads frequently, but we kept everything at bay for the sake of his and my fiance’s friendship. Over the years, many hurtful things were said between us and I eventually learned how to “handle” Rick so that we became friends. No apologies were made on his part but I decided that for the sake of the group, I would strive to be the better person and forgive and forget. Due to all of this, I became concerned when we still had not heard anything from him the next day. I felt that it was likely that he was hurt over not knowing ahead of time, but my fiance told me that was ridiculous as it was no one else’s business but our own. He also argued that he had done more than most by having our engagement on live TV, so our friends should have felt included.
The day following our engagement, we went to the mall to pick up some celebratory champagne when my fiance’s phone buzzed with an email from Rick. The email was addressed to my fiance but was cc’d to his best friend Dave. The email basically stated a congratulations on our engagement but that we should consider the friendship over as he was surprised to find out that Dave knew about the proposal and that he did not. The email was incredibly hurtful and included that we were no longer welcome to attend his New Year’s celebrations and would not be attending our Christmas party. We should take time to think about our friendship and it would be re-evaluated in the New Year but we were not to contact him before then. The email was long and contained many other accusations, but the long and short of it is, Rick is/was upset with us for seeing Dave as a closer friend than himself. (We spend almost every weekend with Dave and his girlfriend, he will be my fiance’s best man and he has known Dave since childhood as opposed to Rick who we see once every 3-6 weeks).
It’s been nearly a month and we have not spoken to Rick at all. It is not the first time that he has tried to control an event or attempted to make it about himself, but this one took the cake. Dave spoke with Rick (somewhat forcibly) to get his feeling off his chest and to explain to Rick that his behavior was far from being ok. At this point, my fiance has simply said that he will not chase this “friend” or give in to his childish and self-centered behavior. I would like some resolution to the situation, but I’m not sure as to how to go about it, or even if that’s a good idea. The situation has fractured our group of friends and a part of me feels badly for Rick and that his behavior has cost him so many friends. 0106-13
With dozens of friends,family and event volunteers showering good wishes upon you both, why are you fixated on Rick and why does this one man have the power to affect your happiness and peace? Why is Rick living in your mind rent free? You would do well to dwell on the many good relationships and good thoughts others have given you on the occasion of your engagement.
Second, it’s clear Rick started the gossip by ccing your fiance’s best friend, Dave, with his litany of grievances. It’s been over a month since the email and I sincerely hope you and your fiance have not been spreading your version of this to friends as well. I suggest becoming quite discreet about the incident or the status of the relationship if anyone asks, and certainly not volunteer any information for this main reason: If Rick’s relationship within your group of friends is severely damaged, let it be by Rick’s own words and actions. You cannot and should not wrestle with a pig because you will look as bad as he does. Rick’s friendships will rise or fall solely on the merits of his own actions and by no means should it appear that you or fiance are “helping” him ruin those relationships by gossiping behind his back to mutual friends.