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Rams’ Rede: a story of a disliked fiance

Rams’ Rede,

My friends really don’t like my fiance. We just got engaged recently, and my friends are threatening to not be in my wedding because of their dislike of him. They think that he is selfish and rude, but they just don’t know him like I do. What can I do?

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Engaged

Dear Engaged,

This isn’t going to be what you want to hear. And keep in mind that I understand that I don’t know the workings of your relationship, and neither do your friends. But, it sounds like, from what you’ve told me, those friends might be on to something.

A lot of times, when we find ourselves in a relationship, we feel a lot of things over a very short amount of time. We fall hard and fast, and when the big L word gets thrown around, we are more and more apt to excuse away the not-so-great things about our significant others. In the beginning stages of a relationship, there is this tendency to idealize them, because we’re thinking about them all the time and wish for everything to work out, and that idealization has a tendency of not diminishing until you’re slapped with the realization that there are things about your other half that you’re not a fan of.

English: An engagement ring.
(via Wikipedia)

And this happens to everyone. This is before the point when idiosyncrasies like taking toothpaste from the middle of the tube instead of rolling from the end (which is the right way, just for clarification) stop being cute and start being annoying. Your significant other is not perfect — there are things about him that have to drive you nuts. But in spite of those things, the two of you are just starting out, and it makes sense for you to be infatuated with him.

It also makes sense why you would be quick to jump on the defensive. When people poke at something that you love, you want to speak up for your choices and for the character of your significant other. And, it sounds like it’s nothing new for you to defend your fiance’s behavior. However, that doesn’t mean that people around you don’t have a point.

People on the outside, your friends who love you and want what’s best for you, they aren’t infatuated with him. When we’re in the thick of a relationship, a lot of times we don’t see what could be red flags, and get offended when those on the outside can. We believe that our love can conquer all, so even if he has a tendency of being selfish sometimes, and even if he’s not always the most polite, you have the ability to overlook that. You know the times when he’s selfless and unfailingly courteous, so you’re quick to get offended when people point something out that you can easily dismiss.

It’s true, no one — including me — knows what goes on behind the closed doors of your relationship. But, I would encourage you to not be so quick to overlook your friends’ concerns.

It sounds like you and your fiance have been together for a while, and he has yet to do anything to diminish the warnings of your friends. If he truly has had plenty of time and opportunities to win them over and get back in their good graces, and has failed to do so, that worries me.

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I have no doubt that he loves you. If he has taken the big step to get down on one knee and profess his desire to spend every day of the rest of his life with you, he must really, truly, deep down inside love you exactly for who you are. And congratulations on finding that.

But, what I also see is that if your friends are willing to forgo seeing you pledge your love for this man, then they must see something fundamentally wrong with your relationship. Your friends love you and want what’s best for you, and if they are willing to not be there on your big day because they truly don’t like this man that much, then it’s not over something trivial.

That is not to say that your friends are in the right. If they truly want what is best for you, then it is their job to support you regardless of the choices that you make.Their refusal seems to be more of a statement than a threat, and I doubt that they will go through with it. But, it is something to keep in mind — they dislike him this much, so maybe it’s time to reflect on your relationship.

Instead of being defensive, try to objectively look at your fiance and give some weight to what they are saying. Reevaluate your relationship, and take a look at their concerns. If you still see nothing wrong and feel that your love can conquer all, then go through with the wedding. If you suddenly see the things that your friends have pointed out, then don’t be afraid to be hesitant to rush into matrimony. A little objective reevaluation can go a long way.

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