‘Friend has fallen out with me because I can’t afford to go to

Dear Coleen

I have fallen out with my best friend, whom I’ve known since childhood. She got divorced three years ago and has twin daughters aged seven.

Eighteen months ago she met a new man and they’re now engaged. He has quite a bit more money than my husband and I, and they’re planning a wedding in Barbados next summer. She wants me, my husband and our four-year-old son to fly over and make a week of it.

However, the hotel is expensive and we just can’t afford it. I’m also trying to get pregnant again, so I may even have a newborn by the time of the wedding. My husband and I were doing IVF before lockdown, and we hope to start again next month.

Therefore all our money is going towards that. When I explained all of this to her, she went mad and told me she couldn’t believe I wouldn’t be at her wedding.

I’m so happy for her, but we just can’t afford this holiday.

How can I get her to forgive me?

Coleen says

I don’t think you need to get her to forgive you because you’ve done nothing wrong. Don’t be pressured into putting yourself in loads of debt or missing out on IVF and a much longed-for second baby just for the sake of a wedding. You could say to your friend, “Listen, nobody is more gutted than me to be missing your wedding. If I could be there, I’d be there in a flash because I love you and you’re my best friend.

“But I’m trying for IVF and I just don’t have the money to take the whole family to Barbados. But when you come back, I would love to all get together and celebrate with you.”

I do think it’s a bit cheeky when people get married abroad and expect everybody to spend a fortune flying out to celebrate with them.

If your guests want to go, and they can afford it, then fine.

But if not, there shouldn’t be any pressure to go. And Barbados is hardly Spain or France. If there was a cheap way to do it, I’m sure you’d try.

It’s impossible to go to the ­Caribbean without spending quite a bit of money, so your friend is being a bit unreasonable, in my opinion.

What does she expect you to do, miss out on having a second baby just because she wants to get married on a beach?

My nephew is getting married next year in Italy and they’ve only invited immediate family.

It’s their day and none of us are offended at all – we just can’t wait to see their fabulous photos ­afterwards.

Just leave her to get over her tantrum.

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