Choosing between two friends I love

I told a friend I plan to host a big 40th birthday party and that I am trying to rally together many old friends. He said he doesn't want one of my other best friends to be there. He has had a grudge against the other friend since HIGH SCHOOL, over something that he still takes quite seriously to this day and I respect that. What happened you ask? One of my friends effectively tried to steal a sweetheart girlfriend from my other friend (the guy holding the grudge). I don't think at the time it was meant to be malicious or hurtful, but it was greasy and unethical (as teenagers do...). Unfortunately she died due to a lactose reaction, she was maybe 19-20 when this happened shortly after high school. It was tragic, she was an amazing person. So I guess he still holds intense feelings about this other guy, which makes sense given that she passed away not long after this. I can understand how in this context he doesn't want to be around the other guy. Question is, how do I choose who to invite? Do I invite both and hope one can make it? I feel that the right/ethical choice here is to invite the guy who holds the grudge. He is well liked and a very awesome person. He deserves to be there. Perhaps my other friend who I love dearly unfortunately gets cut from an invite because he so emotionally damaged and angered my other friend... 20 years ago. But if he finds out I didnt invite him to big awesome party he may be deeply hurt. I have very diverse friends spread out all over the world. I am blessed but also feel very fragmented as we can't form a community or see each other regularly due to our decentralized locations. I hate this dynamic sometimes of having to compartmentalize certain friends. Shield them from seeing or hearing about each other.

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Both

Jan 22, 2024 at 1:05pm

It's their problem and their decision. Invite both of them and they can work it out for themselves. No time on this earth for that type of grudge.

8 2Rating: +6

Not your grudge, not your burden [J]

Jan 22, 2024 at 5:01pm

I say let them decide. Tell them both the situation, give them each other's contact info, tell them they're both welcome but their grudge isn't. You shouldn't have to arbitrate their differences, or decide between friends you love.

If they care for you as much as you care for them, they might at least try to resolve their grudge. Failing that, they should at least be able to decide which one of them accepts the invite.

5 1Rating: +4

It happens all the time

Jan 22, 2024 at 6:09pm

In your case it’s a party that’s brought the subject to the forefront, but it’s not unusual at all. People that were once friends no longer are. Hard feelings happen and choices have to be made. Old friends fall out and it’s awkward for their other friends when a gathering is planned. But I think it’s up to the person planning that gathering to decide if they want to cater to one person’s preferences rather than invite whoever they want to. If it’s your event, why should it be up to that guy to dictate to you who you can invite? I say invite them both and he can make a choice to deal with it and go, or miss the event. People in families have to deal with this all the time thanks to divorce, and somehow we figure it out.

3 2Rating: +1

Both

Jan 22, 2024 at 9:38pm

Invite them both. Their issue, not yours. Let them deal with like grown up kids.

4 2Rating: +2

You should never

Jan 23, 2024 at 6:18am

Have to. It’s their issues… tell them both that “both are coming” and let them choose whether they can act as adults. Shielding them from each other just worsens the whole scenario… and completely adds to problem.

4 2Rating: +2

OP

Jan 23, 2024 at 4:01pm

Thank you for the advice everyone, I really appreciate it in this objective and anonymous fashion. I will invite them both. I’ll tell the guy who holds the grudge the situation. I think the other guy honestly has no idea

3 1Rating: +2

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