Maid of Honor- Ok to Have a Serious Discussion?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from Seagate-83. Show Seagate-83's posts

    Maid of Honor- Ok to Have a Serious Discussion?

    Hi Ladies,

     

    A good friend asked me to be her MoH when she got engaged a few weeks ago. I am very honored, as we have been friends since childhood. She is smart, funny, quirky and her fiancé is a lot of fun as well and takes very good care of her. My issue it this: They have been dating for a little over 3 years and in that time- my friend has changed, A LOT. I guess she (lets call her Katie) is what you would call a “pleaser”- she is always trying to make her friends, family and esp. her fiancé (we will call him Sam) as happy as possible, always trying to get their approval.

     

    Sam is a great guy; he transferred to DC (where they both live) for work and grew up down South in what sounds like a pretty traditional and conservative family/ community. I like him a lot, for the record. Katie has never really been a girlie-girl; she has always been big on hiking and sports when we were in school. Her idea of getting ready to go out for a big night was a cute top and her hair in a pony tail.

     

    Well, three years with Sam (yes, they live together now) and whenever I see her for a visit, she is fully made up, her hair is a straightened and styled, she is in high heels or boots and wearing clothes she NEVER would have used to wear and she just acts different out in public. I know people change when they are in relationships, I know I have- but she is just like a whole other girl now. Hiking would never happen now; it would ruin her acrylics! (Which she never had in her whole life until she started dating him).

     

    I don’t think he is necessarily manipulating her, but I can tell he goes for the Southern Belle Barbie Doll Type and I think that Katie picks up on that and started to change for him. But that is so not her, ever… I don’t know enough to tell whether he has asked her to change or whether she is just doing it. This past summer, she cut like 6 inches off her virgin brunette hair and went blonde. Like REALLY blonde. When we went out, I tried to address the issue and she just said that she loved feeling attractive for Sam (he clearly has a thing for blondes) and felt she wanted to try something new for once in her life. She has been a blonde since, not that its a bad think- she looks great.

     

    But... I really think she was just politely saying: “Don’t worry, not your business.” Well, I am going to be her MoH now and I partially feel it is my business and my duty to really bring up the fact that it feels like my friend has been Stepfordized. She has completely changed the way she looks and don’t even get me started on other stuff: it even seems she has changed her political beliefs to be more in line with his. I just don’t want her to wake up 10 years down the road, look in the mirror and ask: “Who am I??”

     

    Should I get more involved? Should I just let it go? I mean, clearly- they are happy and honestly, she looks beautiful and she IS genuinely in love. Maybe she is just growing up, I’ve just never seen someone- even one of my best friends do such a 180! Any thoughts??

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from trex509. Show trex509's posts

    Re: Maid of Honor- Ok to Have a Serious Discussion?

    How close of friends are you?  She lives in DC now, right?  Has she been there for a long time?  And how old are you guys?

    My feeling is this:  it is none of your business.  If you bring it up right now, she will take it badly and it will most likely ruin your relationship with her.  It is her life, and she has to make her own decisions.  Just be there to support her.  If she comes to you with reservations about the marriage or anything, just listen and support and maybe talk about issues, but only if she brings them up.  That is the most important part.

    But reading your post, it sounds more to me like she has changed and you don't really approve of her changes.  I know a lot of people who change a lot when they get out on their own (like after college, that's why I asked your ages).  I've definitely seen friends do the 180 in the other direction, from girly girl to hippie chick after moving to a new area and expanding their horizons.  And I know DC is a trendy place.  Maybe she made new friends and is becoming more into fashion/trendy stuff.  Or maybe she has changed due to her relationship.  Whatever the reason, it is not a problem unless she's unhappy with the change.  Based on your post, it doesn't sound like she's unhappy.

    Anyway, you are sweet to worry about her, but make sure this is about HER and not YOU.  Are you sure you aren't upset by the change simply because she's not the same person you knew as a kid? 
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Maid of Honor- Ok to Have a Serious Discussion?

    I totally get your dilema, but it is not your responsibility.  If you haven't talked to her before now, being her MOH doesn't make it any more your responsibility than it was before.  What it will do is strain your friendship, ruin the MOH joy/experience, and NOT help her in any way.

    Pleasers are raised to be that way (usually not on purpose, of course, so nothing against her parents).  She's always been that way and she always will be.  If she gets a divorce because she wakes up one day totally miserable wondering where her SELF went it will not be your fault for not mentioning it.  Pleasers have to learn the hard way.  It's the only way they get it...if ever.  Friends that try to get them to open their eyes simply fail, ruining the friendship.

    Knowing this, you can go on and be a happy participant in her wedding, guilt free.  If you could do something positive by having a "serious chat" and you chickened out because you were afraid, that would be a different story.  But, you have ZERO chance of success with your idea of a chat you "should" have so let it go and be happy for your friend. 

    Sometimes, pleasers really ARE happy in their pleasing worlds even if it seems like to those who are driven to preserve more of a sense of self that it's impossible.  Allow her to be herself even if it's a less "authentic" way to live, IMO, as well.  Autheticity is something you have or you don't, not something a friend can counsel you to have after you're grown up enough to be engaged.

    Don't fake being happy for her - just be happy.  She's happy in her world.  Pleasers like to please.  And people who marry them generally don't want or need super strong, independent women to be happy themselves, either.  I'm guessing they both fill each other's needs that way, and what's the harm in that. 
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from WhirledPeasPlease. Show WhirledPeasPlease's posts

    Re: Maid of Honor- Ok to Have a Serious Discussion?

    I agree with Trex, I don't think you should say anything to her about this. It sounds like she's doing all of this so she *doesn't*, as you say, wake up in 10 years and wonder who she is. 

    People change. They go through phases, try out new personalities, dye their hair, and change their clothes. She's just decided that she wants to be a girly girl. Maybe this will be an enduring characteristic, or maybe this will last for a few years and she'll try something else. Maybe she'll go gothic and listen to death metal in five years. 

    No one stays the same. Are you the same person you were 15 or 20 years go? Of course not. People grow up, evolve, have different experiences that leave imprints on their lives. 

    If you're really uncomfortable with this, you don't have to be MOH. If you do decide to be her MOH, though, it means that you're not only condoning her decision to marry her FI, but you're also lead cheerleader. MOH duties are as follows: being super psyched for the bride, showing up, and wearing a dress. 
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Maid of Honor- Ok to Have a Serious Discussion?

    First of all, I want to welcome you to the boards and say don't be scared to post just because we don't agree with this one idea :o)

    That being said, I agree with the others that you shouldn't say anything.  People change A LOT from one phase to another.  I cringe when I think of how I wore my hair in high school... and college... heck, I cringe when I think of how I wore it last year!

    I would feel differently if you had ever witnessed her fiance criticizing her appearance or acting like a control freak, but that doesn't seem to be the case - at least there is no proof of that.

    Best wishes
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Seagate-83. Show Seagate-83's posts

    Re: Maid of Honor- Ok to Have a Serious Discussion?

    We are both 27. And as I mentioned in my first post- I tried to talk to her about this before with no luck. We have both been out of college for four years and she moved to DC right after graduation.

    I totally understand that people change and I am truly happy for her and will be the biggest cheerleader in the world on their wedding day. I guess that the issue at hand is that it has just been a progressive change and I know that much of it has to do with her FI. I myself have changed quite a bit too over the years, it's just been more extreme with her. She looks like an after picture on a makeover show and acts the part. She is happy, so that's great- I just have a hunch, deep down inside that her FI is playing "built-to-order-wife" with her. Anything he wants- he gets and yes so the sporty-hippie girl (who only dated sporty-hippie guys) is becoming his personal barbie doll and he knows that he can get it because she is a pleaser. I guess closure is just the best way for me to move on with this.

    And our friendship does feel different now because she is a different person, she is a very good friend so there is no way that I am backing out of it though. I just know that I am not the only one of this opinion. Thanks for the advice- I will march ahead and accept that this is part of life and she is happy and march on.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from Seagate-83. Show Seagate-83's posts

    Re: Maid of Honor- Ok to Have a Serious Discussion?

    Oh and for the record- early on I definitely have heard him say hinted things when we have all been out:

    "I love a lady in high heels.."

    "I am a true believer of the old phrase, gentlemen prefer blondes..."

    So yes, I think I have heard the hints. Get a little bourbon in a man and he will speak his mind, for sure- even if its very charming...
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Maid of Honor- Ok to Have a Serious Discussion?

    Don't read too much into the hair thing.  I just moved to DC and I noticed that there is a HUGE population of bleached blondes down here.  Yes, there were bottle blondes in Boston, but when my mom visited and we were walking around she even commented on it.  Bleached blonde is big down here, as is alot of makeup [by Boston standards] and acrylic nails. 

    Most men do like heels, so I don't think he's unusual.  And Southern men do like their women blonde. I'm sure  there are just as many who like them brunette and red headed as well.

    Most people change their appearances as they get older.  She may have been sporty in HS and college, but as she got older [and got better jobs that gave her money to burn] she may have found new, less intense interests called shopping and the spa. I am no clotheshorse, but I never shopped or went to the spa when I was in college or just out b/c I simply had no money. Once I got some, I started splurging and stopped wearing holey jeans.  Most people [esp women] don't go hiking alone for safety reasons. If she doesn't hike as much now, maybe it's b/c he doesnt like to and she'd rather spend time w/ him.

    You tried to say something to her and she brushed it off. Let it go. If you don't feel like you can give her marriage your blessing, don't be MOH - make up some reason like time, money, distance, etc.  But don't tell her you disapprove of her FI or her decision to marry him.  It will not go over well.  GL
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from Ihavemyhats. Show Ihavemyhats's posts

    Re: Maid of Honor- Ok to Have a Serious Discussion?

    You can't say anything.   I think you know that deep down.  Because saying "you've changed too much for your fiance" really means "I don't think he's right for you" and nobody ever listens to that.

    Let's hope she decides to get involved with boy or girl scouts  (yes, the boys have female scoutmasters now) when she has kids so she can get back to the hiking and camping.

    Ever think of asking her to hike or camp with you? Maybe that could be her bachelorette.... Showing her what she's missing is better than disparaging what she has become.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Maid of Honor- Ok to Have a Serious Discussion?

    You answered your own question before you got here.  You've tried discussing this before with "no luck."  This will NOT CHANGE.  If you go against your gut and all of us, you'll regret it.

    And, it's not like she's being beaten or even emotionally abused.  Everyone's emotional needs for happiness is different.  At 28 a person's emotional makeup is set in stone unless THEY, totally on their own, perceive a need to change and decide to do it. 

    My mom did this for herself at 60; she made huge emotional changes that I'd been trying to get her to make much of my adult life (I'm 10 years older than you).  Every "talk" we had before that fell on deaf ears and caused much hurt and many tears...for no benefit whatsoever.  She didn't change because I'd mentinoed it 1000 times, she changed because one day she decided that she wanted to be different. 
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from dkb6248. Show dkb6248's posts

    Re: Maid of Honor- Ok to Have a Serious Discussion?

    You've gotta let it go.  It comes down to the fact that you don't like him for your friend, but that isn't your decision to make.  It is okay to feel that way - my best friend is very serious with a man who, frankly, I don't think is good enough for her.  But she is blissfully happy and he treats her well, so I keep those thoughts to myself (and I really don't think anyone will be good enough for her, IMO). 

    I don't think the changes she has made are alarming.  I dress completely different from how I used to, and like Alf said most of that is due to maturity, my career and actually having money to spend on nice clothes, mani's, hairstyles, etc. 

    Also, I had many hobbies when I was younger that my friends probably thought defined me that I no longer have anything to do with.  I used to hike and camp as well on a regular basis and now I have no interest (why would I want to sleep in the woods when I have an awesome warm bed at home?).

    Hope all the comments help, and at least you got to vent!

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from Prill. Show Prill's posts

    Re: Maid of Honor- Ok to Have a Serious Discussion?

    Wow - such unity in responses on the board, it's been a while!!  Like all others have said, if she is happy then leave it be and be happy with her.

    Everyone changes over time and we all will change (some slightly, some massively) when with a partner.  Until I met my now DH I would have rathered sitting at a bar and drinking til passing out... now I run triathlons just for fun! I'm also back to may natural color and no longer bottle blonde!

    As long as he is not threatening her, or being violent towards her, or belittling her, then there really shouldn't be huge cause for concern.  If, on the other hand he starts demanding she join the NRA or else he'll shoot her;  or once married she must leave work and be barefoot & pregnant or else he'll start looking elswehere; or she must keep her hair blonde or else he will leave her, then you can re-asses the situation.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Maid of Honor- Ok to Have a Serious Discussion?

    I have to agree witht he ladies, you have no way of knowing if she's changing for him or changing for herself.

    it would be one thing if he was saying "it's a good thing she went blonde, because my eye was starting to wander." or "thank God you started wearing heels, you lookd so ugly in sneakers." then I'd understand the concern.
    But she's not doing anything she doesn't want to do. And if there are no signs of depression or unhappiness, then you've got to let it go.
    As Prill said, if there are no red flags for a controlling, intimidating relationship, you just have to accept that your friend changed. She may change back, she may change another way completely. It just happens.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from lucy7368. Show lucy7368's posts

    Re: Maid of Honor- Ok to Have a Serious Discussion?

    Well, the good news is, if she wakes up in 10 years and hates her blond hair and fake nails, she can fix it pretty easily.

    The other ladies have made a lot of good points.  Also, you knew her in college - we're all broke in college.  What you may be seeing is the simple fact that she has more money to spend now than she did before.  I wear nicer clothes now than I did in college (and have a better haircut) because I can afford them.  It may not actually be about him (although, I'm sure she notices the hints if you do).

    Bottom line: She won't appreciate anything you say, and it could well ruin your friendship.  I once told my best friend of 15 years that her FI hit on a mutual friend of ours (and asked me to join them in a very intimate situation), and she didn't speak to me for eight years (at which point I was relieved to discover that she'd married someone else).  Unless you see signs of abuse, keep it to yourself.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from sunshinemrs. Show sunshinemrs's posts

    Re: Maid of Honor- Ok to Have a Serious Discussion?

    The 20s are like dog years in terms of growth for most people.  There is an immense amount of change that goes into each year - At 29, I wasn't much like I had been at 20.

    This sounds to me like growing pains in your relationship with her, as much as her physical makeover.  She is changing, perhaps not in the same way you are changing, and you're chafing a bit at it.

    You really can't saying anything to her at this point, you already tried and she wasn't interested.

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Maid of Honor- Ok to Have a Serious Discussion?

    I haven't read all of the posts yet, but I agree with those who say don't say anything, it's not your role as MOH to dissect her and her relationship.  Your role is to support her through her wedding.

    I also think that if you are the true supporting friend she must regard you as, since she chose you as her MOH, if SHE is having any reservations about the relationship or the changes in herself, she is more likely to bring them up if she trusts that you are not going to be jugemental.  She may spontaneously start talking about it one day, or she may not, but if she feels supported by you she will more likely voice her fears, if she has any.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Maid of Honor- Ok to Have a Serious Discussion?

    sunshine, your dog years comment is particularly apropos for the FMIL rant thread...it's a great analogy, I totally love it. 
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from sunshinemrs. Show sunshinemrs's posts

    Re: Maid of Honor- Ok to Have a Serious Discussion?

    Kargiver - Now I'm going to have to check out the FMIL thread :-)
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from Seagate--83. Show Seagate--83's posts

    Re: Maid of Honor- Ok to Have a Serious Discussion?

    Well ladies, hello- it's been nearly a year since I posted and 9 months since my friend's wedding.

    It's probably all a very dim and distant memory to you know, about my original concerns with my friend changing for her then FI and now hubbie.

    I should note that I went on to be MOH and we all had a blast. The bride looked gorgeous, but as I had noted before- NOTHING like herself. The day couldn't have been more perfect, especially the weather and reception.

    I dutifully took the advice of nearly everyone and recieved accolades on setting everything up and my speech.

    I just want to say though- for the record- I had a gotcha moment the other day in one of our phone conversations and thought of these website posts! My friend asked if her husband had any special Valentine's Day requests (remember, her being a pleaser and all) over the phone one day at lunch. Apparently hubbie comes home with a little pink thing from Victoria Secret and a picture of Christina Aguilera with a platinum blonde short bob.

    I got a phonecall finally justifying my thoughts... The quote: "I love making him happy- but I feel like he is molding me." I gracefully said my peace after all this time (I should note the girlyness really died down with her after the wedding).

    Atleast got it off my chest. The conclusion of the story however? The pleaser lives!

    Tomorrow- 3PM: salon appt. Full bleach and atleast 5 inches of hair gone. Justification? "He is going to be all over me non-stop." Ahhh... we live in different world! Hehe.

    The End....?
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Maid of Honor- Ok to Have a Serious Discussion?

    It's hair. Until she starts scheduling surgery, I don't think you really have to worry about it. 
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Maid of Honor- Ok to Have a Serious Discussion?

    If you're happy, that's great.  But, I'm sure your comments didn't sit to well with her or do your friendship or their marriage any good.  I'm reminded of the old fashioned instruction from the officiant, "If anyone has anything negative to say about this, say it now or FOREVER HOLD your piece."  There's a reason for that - because there's a statute of limitations on saying anything about people getting married, and it expires the moment they say "I do."
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from WhirledPeasPlease. Show WhirledPeasPlease's posts

    Re: Maid of Honor- Ok to Have a Serious Discussion?

    If she wants to look like Christina Aguiliera (who I've never really thought is that pretty, but whatever), let the girl look like Christina Aguliera. Good lord, woman. You seriously laid all of this on her after all that time?

    Remember when you were a teenager and didn't know much about yourself so you went through different phases? Someone who was a tomboy for a long time  wakes up one day and thinks, "I want to wear dresses and feel pretty." But her friends are screaming, "NOOOO! NEVER! THAT'S NOT YOU!"

    Maybe part of her being a "pleaser" is that she's finally pleasing herself instead of letting a friend mold her into who she thinks she should be.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from trex509. Show trex509's posts

    Re: Maid of Honor- Ok to Have a Serious Discussion?

    She's married and she's happy.  Who knows if they will stay together forever, but I still think this is none of your business and you seem a little too happy to be looking for this relationship to fail.  Maybe that's so you can say "I was right!" or "I knew it!", but personally I would never be hoping for my friends marriage to fail.

    Oh wait, I just realized you actually told her how you felt before the marriage?  WOW.  I'm curious as to how she responded seeing as she's still getting the dye job.  This may have more repurcussions on YOUR relationship with her than her relationship with her husband.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Maid of Honor- Ok to Have a Serious Discussion?

    It wouldn't be a huge loss of a friendship from what we know here.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Maid of Honor- Ok to Have a Serious Discussion?

    unless he booked the appointment at the salon and stood by to watch and make sure that it was the way he wanted it, this is something she's doing to herself.

    This is a choice she has made. You can either support her choices and be there for her, or you can let the friendship die. If she truly is just doing these things to please him, that is a conclusion she needs to come to on her own. You can't make her realize that.

    If she has to choose between pleasing you and pleasing him, she's going to choose him every time. Don't put her in that position.

    Finally- she asked him if he had any special requests, he responded by telling her his fantasy. I think it's sweet of her to try and fulfill it for him. I don't think it's as strange as you're making it out to be. It's no different than donning a schoolgirl or cheerleader outfit or some high and tall boots to give your man a little taste of fun. Hair is a very temporary thing, she could go change the color and cut tomorrow if she felt like it.

     

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