Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.
DEAR AMY: I got engaged about a year ago and couldn't wait to share the news with my two college friends. One of them immediately asked, "Am I going to be in your wedding party?" I was so thrown that I immediately responded, "Of course!" A year later, we are actively planning the wedding, and I don't want her to be involved. She's in an intense graduate program that won't end until after the wedding. Money is tight. Also, she can be really negative and opinionated, and I really want a stress-free time during the planning period. Every single time I talk to her she asks if I've decided on wedding colors or have picked out bridesmaid dresses. I don't even know if I want bridesmaids. I'm overwhelmed, but I don't want to have someone in my wedding just because I couldn't be honest about my feelings when she asked to participate. How do I tell her?Guilty FriendDEAR FRIEND: Before doing this, realize that you will most likely lose the friendship over this. You sound prepared to do that, so here's how you tell her: You start by apologizing and go from there. Don't make excuses or blame her schedule.
Say, "I am embarrassed and owe you an apology. Even at the time I asked you to be a bridesmaid I knew it was not a good idea for me, and now I am going in another direction. I was overwhelmed and should not have asked you before thinking it through.
I hope you'll forgive me."
DEAR AMY: "Democrat in Hiding" said her husband's political views had become extremely conservative and he had become belligerent over the years. Many men become reactionary, angry and intolerant because they feel a lack of personal power in their world. She should not allow herself to be bullied by him. She should work to show him that he still is important in her life and has value. Perhaps, in time, he will come to understand that with age comes wisdom but not absolute truth.Rocco