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Boyfriend's excuse didn't cut it with me

Tagged as: Family, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (5 February 2017) 10 Answers - (Newest, 8 February 2017)
A female Ireland age 26-29, *onfused1001 writes:

So my boyfriend of 9 months didn't come to my sister's wedding yesterday. I was annoyed to start when he said he couldn't come a month before the wedding but when I heard his excuse I was more annoyed. I don't get on well with my family and expressed how much I would appreciate the support of him being there on the day.

He said That day was his birthday and his mum had organised a party for his 21st. But when it came to the weekend I found out that none of his friends were going to be there and there was just a bit of a family gathering, I also found that his birthday was the Monday not the Saturday. When I brought it up with him he went mad saying I have no right to be giving out and bought up things from the past and was hurtful.

I'm not just annoyed about him not making the wedding it's also that he didn't think I might like to celebrate his birthday too.

I suppose my question is would it have been unreasonable for him to try and move the family dinner to a different day (he was free all weekend and off most of the week) so he could come to the wedding? Or am I being unreasonable and shouldn't worry about countless family members thinking I have an imaginary boyfriend because I couldn't get a plus 1 for the wedding.

View related questions: his ex, wedding

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A reader, anonymous, writes (8 February 2017):

I think this thread just shows how differently people see this situation.

I really don't see birthdays as a big deal, mostly because they can be celebrated on any night- it doesn't have to be right on the day! I don't know too many people who view birthdays as THAT big a deal. I could not imagine a world in which people prioritized a 21st birthday over and above a wedding! But I guess that just shows you that traditional society is certainly changing! It is the age of social media, all about me and MY birthday, rather than a major rite of passage (Wedding).

But I think Aunt Honesty missed the point when she says that your boyfriend doesn't know your sister!

That has NEVER, EVER supposed to matter. You go to the wedding for the person you love (YOU), to support them. Same with funerals. Weddings, funerals, ceremonies, you go to support the people who do know them and are close to them. Because you are in a committed relationship you are supposed to be there for each other.

Jeez, it's your bloody sister's wedding, kind of a big deal in my books.

It would be an absolute dealbreaker for me if the person I was in a relationship with wasn't there.

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland +, writes (7 February 2017):

aunt honesty agony auntHis 21st should be a big deal. It is quite a big birthday. He did give you plenty off notice that he was not going. He probably wanted to celebrate his birthday over the weekend as that probably suited his family and those that work during the week. The way he probably saw it was he would rather celebrate his birthday than go to a wedding off someone he doesn't even know.

It seems like you have issues with family thinking you have an imaginary boyfriend, have they not met him and if not then why? Surely after nine months he would have met your family?

Look I do see why you where upset, but you where surrounded by family, surely his 21st is a good enough reason for him to not go to your sisters wedding and have a family gathering off his own. I do think you need to cut him some slack.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (6 February 2017):

I couldn't disagree with honeypie more. I think it is utterly ridiculous to say a little tiny family birthday celebration that could be placed on any night is as important as a wedding...

Sorry but there are 3 major milestones in life:




Almost all cultures recognize these 3 milestones in one way or another.

I think he is very clearly showing you that he is NOT serious about you and not thinking long term at all, it is a man's sign if they won't come to a major event with a girl that they really don't see it as a relationship.

Maybe if you were dating 2 months this would be excusable...but 9?!?! There is no excuse.

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A male reader, no nonsense Aidan United Kingdom +, writes (5 February 2017):

Well, though he did tell you he couldn’t come, I think that if you made it clear that it was going to be an occasion where you’d really value some support, it was selfish of him not to try and move his birthday celebrations, assuming he did not. I understand why you’re upset. It’s one of those cases where you don’t have the right to be angry, but you’re perfectly justified in hoping he’d have tried that bit harder for you.

You do, however, have every right to be angry that he brings things up from the past which are hurtful. The past needs to be just that. Dredging things up in an argument is out of order. I can’t help wondering if this guy is not particularly great at putting you first.

I wish you all the very best.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (5 February 2017):

Honeypie agony auntI get that you wanted him there for you, BUT... he told you a month ago he couldn't go so I don't see the problem.

He used an excuse you weren't happy with, but again.. you wanted him to have his family rearrange his family birthday meal so YOU could show your family that you have a "real" and not "imaginary" BF. Maybe HE didn't make the arrangements for the dinner but his mom did?

If he didn't want to go to the wedding, so be it. Not everyone gets excited about weddings and maybe he didn't want to go because he knows you have issues with your family and they are all a bunch of strangers to him. All fair, if you ask me.

And (just to play the Devil's advocate here) maybe he brought up the past because it is a pattern with you to get mad when you don't get your way. Though in general, I think it's fighting dirty when people drag up the past, either that issue from the past is sorted out OR it NEEDS to be sorted out.

Maybe YOU need to learn how to compromise and accept that sometimes things can't BE as you want them or plan them.

I think you should try and see it from his side a little. And I think the BOTH of you need to learn how to communicate better.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (5 February 2017):

hun, I would leave him.

You have been together 9 months, he should be man enough to suit up and be your plus one. It was your SISTER for goodness sake! There's only a one shot chance to go to your sister's wedding. And seriously, a birthday is nowhere near as big a deal as a wedding! They happen every single year! He could have celebrated at the wedding with you by dancing up a storm (if that's his thing).

Some men have a real phobia of weddings. They think if you bring them to one, it means that they are next on the chopping block! Especially if it was your sis, he is probably terrified people will assume you two are next in line. Which I think is totally ridiculous, as we know it means nothing of the sort, you just wanted your boyfriend present.

I have no patience for the wedding phobia thing, or men who have a problem being a plus one at a formal event. I think this scares men who deep down have unsure feelings about you. If they really loved you, they would come and be there. I just think it shows a quality that he will NOT be there for life's important milestones, he will not be sharing those with you.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (5 February 2017):

I don't think it would have been unreasonable for him to move things around so that he could accompany you to the wedding.

I agree with you, OP. And I understand why you are upset with him.

If I was in your shoes, I, too would be upset. Up to the point of leaving him or putting him on notice. One more strike and you're out.

Why do his actions say? He really isn't all that comitted to you or this relationship. He is taking your relationship and you for granted and/or is losing interest.

He lacks the ability to compromise. He lacks relationship skills. He is selfish and inconsiderate. And very immature. In my view, not relationship material, especially long term.

Why is he so upset at you? Because he KNOWS what he did was wrong. Because you called him out on it. Which allowed his feelings of guilt for his thoughtlessness to come to light. He did not get away with his behaviour, which is what he was hoping for.

Do you want to stick around and wait for further disappointment? He KNEW how much his support would have meant to you and he brushed you off. How reliable is he? How much does he really care about you? Actions speak louder than words. His actions here have been screaming volumes.

Are you worth more than that?

The choice is all yours.

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A female reader, NORA B Ireland + , writes (5 February 2017):

I can understand,why you are annoyed,and disappointed that your boyfriend did not attend the wedding.However maybe he does not like weddings.[2]Or it could be as you have made him aware that you do not get on with your family,he thought there could be misunderstandings discussed on that day.[3]It was very wrong of him to bring up things from the past and very unfair.It is most important that you both sit down in a calm manner and the discuss the situation of the WEDDING ONLY.This needs to be sorted out sooner then later.Its not easy to get to know a person even after 9 months,one learns about each other all the time.Best luck.NORA B.

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (5 February 2017):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntIn fairness, it wasn't a last minute drop-out. He did tell you a month before, so you could easily have asked a friend to go as your "plus 1" if you felt so in need of support.

Or was it just important to you to show off your boyfriend to your family?

I do agree with you that he could possibly have asked to re-arrange the birthday gathering for a different day but maybe he chose not to because it was an easy get-out for him?

Did he really want to go to the wedding?

Young guys are usually not really "into" weddings, especially when they don't know the bride and/or groom well. Perhaps he felt pressured to go with you but didn't want to just say, "Heh, I really don't fancy going to this family wedding where there will be tension between you and your family. After all, we have only been going out for a few months and it's not something I want to put myself through."

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (5 February 2017):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntIf your family thinks your boyfriend is imaginary, that's on them. You wanting him there mostly to prove them wrong make sure him a spectacle for you to wave him around as evidence. Most people wouldn't want to go to it.

His birthday dinner may not have been able to be rescheduled because he family couldn't do it another day.

Hurtful things shouldn't have been said, but not everyone wants to go to weddings. You've only been together a fairly short time, too. He warned you in advance, so his etiquette was fine.

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