Dear Prudence

Help! I’m Still Deeply Hurt by What My Friends Forgot to Do at My Wedding.

Dear Prudence answers more of your questions—only for Slate Plus members.

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Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Getty Images Plus.

Every week, Dear Prudence answers additional questions from readers, just for Slate Plus members. R. Eric Thomas is filling in as Prudie for Jenée Desmond-Harris while she’s on parental leave. Submit questions here. (It’s anonymous!)

Q. Disappointed: I got married a few weeks ago, and much to mine and my husband’s surprise, more than half of his groomsman and several of my bridesmaids didn’t get us a gift. Before anyone jumps down my throat for being ungrateful, to be clear, of course, I’m grateful they supported us with their presence at our wedding and I genuinely don’t care about money or a physical gift. But something else stings more.

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What’s hurting and disappointing me is that these close friends whom we love dearly didn’t even think to write us a card! Gifts are one of my love languages, so perhaps I’m taking this hard because of that, but I just can’t help but feel really sad—our friends didn’t care enough to take the time to write us a few words of congratulations. Especially because we wrote them thoughtful cards for their weddings!

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The internet says it’s an etiquette no-no to say something to those who didn’t get a gift—even if it’s so out of character (and for many of our friends, it is!) that you suspect the gift got lost. But I really appreciate open and honest communication. Plus, isn’t it already an etiquette no-no to show up to a wedding empty-handed? I also worry that not saying anything is going to affect my relationships with my friends because of how hurt I am, and I don’t want this to fester inside me. What should I do?

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A. Depending on the scope and cost of your wedding, the members of your party may have decided that their presence (and the dresses, parties, etc.) were their present to you. Sure, a card would have been nice but it’s, again, possible they thought they were expressing the same sentiment in a different way. Try to think through ways you might be misconstruing their intentions and see if that lessens the hurt. If it doesn’t, you may want to have a gentle conversation couched in “I” statements where you can express the way you feel and ask questions that might clarify intent. But, if at all possible, I’d try to resolve this without having the conversation. Be grateful for the parts they played on your special day and in your life.

Classic Prudie

After some traumatic events, I’ve chosen to distance myself from my religion. However, my husband is very religious, and when we got married he expected us to always share a faith tradition. I don’t blame him, I did too—but after my experiences, I’ve changed. I have no idea how to talk to him about it…

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