Author Topic: They didn't really get married, now what UPDATE POST 84, and 234 (page 16)  (Read 26106 times)

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darkprincess

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Someone I am very close with had a wedding a few years ago. DH, LO, and I had some involvement. LO was in the wedding party so we attended the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner, purchased the clothing the bride picked out. DH took vacation time with much difficulty so we could attend. We loaned them equipment that we had so they would not have to rent it. I attended the shower and brought a gift that was a bit more expensive than I normally do. For the wedding gift they did register but let people know by word of mouth that they preferred money. Usually with wedding gifts i get creative so i can give something impressive that they will like without spending a lot. we are close and we knew they were hoping for money for their honeymoon so we gave them cash that was significantly more than we would have spent on a gift.
The wedding was at a traditional wedding venue complete with white wedding dress, tuxes, and they even stood in front of everyone and signed some sort of paperwork.

If they had had a commitment ceremony instead, we would have treated this very differently. No gifts, no flower girl, DH would not have been able to attend.

Three years have past and they recently had a fight. During the course of the fight one of them told a common friend that at least they won't have to worry about a divorce because they never really got married. The other member of the couple inadvertently confirmed this when they told me they were on a specific govt. program that they don't qualify for if they are married. A third friend took it upon himself to do a search and confirmed that they did not even apply for a marriage license. I don't think that they are aware that their secret is out.

Now they have temporarily made nice with each other but one of them has said that they are getting ready to be able to leave at a moments notice because they don't think it will work out. The other person on the other hand is planning an anniversary party.

At this point I feel used, lied to, and I don't trust either of them. Dh and I plan on sending regrets to any invite to an anniversary party. My gut says that I should say nothing to either of them about this. I don't need to say that many of us know they lied, or that one is making plans to leave.

What do you etiquette gurus say?
« Last Edit: July 19, 2013, 05:04:56 PM by darkprincess »

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: They didn't really get married, now what
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2013, 05:17:28 PM »
I wouldn't bring it up, but I also wouldn't trust them or attend any event celebrating an occasion that didn't happen.  If they won't accept whatever stock answer you give them, and they press... well, I know I'd probably bring it up then ("You want to know the real reason?  All right, but remember, this was your idea.")
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EllenS

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Re: They didn't really get married, now what
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2013, 05:25:31 PM »
I wouldn't say anything to them, about this or anything else.  Being lied to and manipulated into an elaborate public fraud...for the sake of money?  This is hovering very near the threshold for the Cut Direct, and may indeed have crossed it.

I assume you had reasons to feel so close and so fond of them as to be in their wedding, so for the sake of that friendship I might merely reduce them to the status of Nodding Acquaintence, rather than They Who No Longer Cast a Shadow, but it's a tough call.

Definitely would not attend any sham anniversary party, or any other invites.

rose red

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Re: They didn't really get married, now what
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2013, 05:42:41 PM »
Some people can't or won't get married for whatever reason, but I would still attend and give a gift if they labeled it with the truth of the matter (starting a new life/housewarming/whatever.)  What they did is beyond hideous.  Like PP's, I wouldn't say anything, but would not attend any future celebrations and may back away from them.

doodlemor

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Re: They didn't really get married, now what
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2013, 05:46:22 PM »
I don't think that you owe them any more gifts.  What a fraud!

It may be that they have reached common law status, though, depending on where you live.  If so, the person who wants to walk away may have more problems than he/she anticipates.

Venus193

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Re: They didn't really get married, now what
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2013, 05:52:27 PM »
You don't owe them anything.  Send your regrets and reduce them to Nodding Acquaintances.

jedikaiti

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Re: They didn't really get married, now what
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2013, 06:03:31 PM »
Are they SURE they're not married? I don't want to get into legalities, but in some places a license and a ceremony are not required.

I would certainly send my regrets, and if they ask why, tell them. If not, then I think just distancing yourself is enough.
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darkprincess

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Re: They didn't really get married, now what
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2013, 06:07:45 PM »
OP here, yes I am sure they are not married and no common law marriage where they live.

Judah

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Re: They didn't really get married, now what
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2013, 06:08:35 PM »
I wouldn't say anything to them, about this or anything else.  Being lied to and manipulated into an elaborate public fraud...for the sake of money?  This is hovering very near the threshold for the Cut Direct, and may indeed have crossed it.

I assume you had reasons to feel so close and so fond of them as to be in their wedding, so for the sake of that friendship I might merely reduce them to the status of Nodding Acquaintence, rather than They Who No Longer Cast a Shadow, but it's a tough call.

Definitely would not attend any sham anniversary party, or any other invites.

This. And it wouldn't matter to me if they are considered married now. They went to a lot of trouble, and put a lot of other people to a lot of trouble, for a lie.
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EllenS

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Re: They didn't really get married, now what
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2013, 06:08:49 PM »
Out of curiosity, I would love to know what the paperwork was they signed.  Unless it was a traditional ketubah, that is taking it pretty far to deceive people.

Lynn2000

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Re: They didn't really get married, now what
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2013, 06:12:46 PM »
Wow, that is a big pile of rude! If it's true--it sounds like there is enough evidence to suggest that it is, but I would want one of them to confirm it to me directly (not that I would ask). If it's true, I would definitely feel used for money and lied to.

There could be lots of reasons they opted for a commitment ceremony over a wedding and I personally wouldn't necessarily have treated it differently--kind of depends on the reason, if they chose to share it. But I think it should be clear to people what they're witnessing--it sounds like they went out of their way to make people believe they were witnessing a full, legal wedding (or at the very least that one had/would be happening around the same time). Worst case scenario, they knew they couldn't be in that government program if they were legally married (I'm guessing it leads to some kind of financial benefit), but also knew their guests wouldn't be as generous if they had a commitment ceremony only for that reason, so they deliberately lied to get money from both their guests and the government.

It's awkward enough to know that one is planning an anniversary party, while the other is thinking of hightailing it. If there was only this issue--I guess I'm not sure. On the one hand it could be that the party is a trainwreck and I'd be afraid I was attending out of prurient interest, so perhaps I should decline. On the other hand, if one person is clueless that their relationship is on the brink of dissolving, maybe they need me to be supportive of them now more than ever.

For me personally, before I treated them differently over the non-marriage thing, I would need to know for certain, as in getting confirmation from one of them directly. In a general sense I don't think it would be polite to ask; but there are some people I feel close enough to (mom, sister, daughter level) that I would ask anyway. I don't know if you feel that close to them or not. I would hate to distance myself from someone I previously cared for over issue X, only to find out that issue X was all a big misunderstanding.

ETA: The OP says it's definitely true. So in that case I would let them drop way, way off my radar. Maybe not a full-on Cut Direct where I'd ignore them if they said hi on the street, but I would be turning down all invitations and keeping any conversation with them brisk and cool.
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Vall

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Re: They didn't really get married, now what
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2013, 08:37:47 PM »
Now what?
Nothing.  I would decline any further invitations and avoid them.  Perhaps this kind of lying would be forgivable to some people but I wouldn't be interested.  I just don't have the time in my life for people that I can't trust.

If you want to continue the friendship, I would keep my eyes wide open.  I would definitely stay away from their relationship issues with each other.

Cami

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Re: They didn't really get married, now what
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2013, 08:48:39 PM »
They have shown their true character -- they are lying liars who lie.

I'd be done with them.

SuperMartianRobotGirl

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Re: They didn't really get married, now what
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2013, 08:50:24 PM »
That's beyond bad etiquette and into fraud territory. I wouldn't have anything to do with them again.

Isometric

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Re: They didn't really get married, now what
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2013, 08:51:28 PM »
I would also not be interested in continuing a relationship with them. They've shown their true colors. There was literally no reason to call it a "wedding", except to get cash. If they just wanted to celebrate their relationship, fine, but don't call it a wedding if it's not.