“My best friend has a special birthday coming up. He has invited friends to a special dinner. This invitation includes myself, other individuals and some couples. Some are people I know, and some are not.
My dilemma is that he did not invite my partner. My partner has known him and his wife as long as I have. Other couples on the guest list include people with whom we have all socialized many times.
Initially I thought her name was left off by mistake, so I called him. He explained that there was no mistake; he was inviting only people with whom he felt especially close. He said he did not include her in that category. He said there were also some other couples where he had only invited one of the partners.
My partner was devastated by being left out and I feel in a terrible quandary about whether to attend. On one hand I respect and like him so much I feel honored to be invited at all, but on the other I feel my partner’s pain and I am also hurt that she was left out.
I feel torn two ways — but I am leaning toward not attending.
Can you offer any advice to me and comment on the propriety, or lack of it, in this situation? — Torn”
Your friend is kind of an asshole.
He’s picking and choosing members of couples who he wants at his party. You said he’s known the both of you for a long time and yet he wants to include only you in the celebration? That doesn’t sound like much of a friendship. It sounds like he only truly values one of you and that’s not cool.
I think you need to decline the invitation and do something with your partner on that day instead. If, when you tell him, he changes his tune and decides that you can bring your partner along, still decline. Let him know that his selfish ways aren’t tolerated.