DEAR ABBY: I have an awkward wedding conundrum I hope you can help me with. I am getting married in April and want to invite two co-workers with whom I am very close. One of them is married; the other, “Sara,” is in the process of divorcing her husband. Sara was unhappy for years with her almost ex-husband, and we witnessed the deterioration of their marriage over several years.
About a year ago, while still married, Sara began an affair. She’s still “seeing” this man – sneaking out, meeting him on his lunch break, going to motels – while she goes through the divorce process. She considers them to have been a couple for the past year.
I’m keeping a very tight grip on my guest list to control the costs. I don’t want to pass judgment on Sara, but I don’t think her situation at present qualifies as a true, committed relationship, which is the parameter I set when deciding who gets to bring a plus-one. I also don’t want my wedding to be the event where she “debuts” her new man.
I know she will feel slighted because in her mind he’s her boyfriend, and they are a couple. I have met him only once, but because they have been so secretive, he’s a complete stranger to me.
Sara may resent that I invited our other co-worker’s husband and not her “boyfriend.” Is there a way I can handle this tactfully? – BEWILDERED BRIDE
DEAR BEWILDERED: If you invite one close co-worker’s significant other and exclude the other, there are guaranteed to be hurt feelings.
If you explain that you don’t feel she is in a committed relationship (after a year!), you will get yourself deeper into hot water because she will be insulted. Believe me, if you do what you are considering, it’s going to cost you far more than the price of two dinners.