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If she is on the spectrum, try explaining it in words. Talk like the wiki page on why not to make someone else's wedding day about yourself.
Get better friends. You friend is a stinking jerk, quit assuming blame and avoiding facing what a selfish tool she is. You must decide your priorities and stick to them, come what may. Sooner rather than later.
Hi there,

I would love some advice, I'm in a bit of a sticky situation with one of my friends (I'll call her BB). I'm the maid of honor for her wedding, and so (understandably!) she has been asking me to help out with quite a lot. There have been a couple issues:

1. My mother has a terminal illness and has been in and out of the hospital for the past couple months. I'm suffering extremely with this, and BB doesn't seem to understand its impact on me. She keeps expecting me to focus on her.
2. I am getting married myself, the timing of which has to do with my mother's illness. I want the (very small) day to be about my and my partner's immediate family, and BB doesn't seem to understand this. She cried when I didn't take her wedding dress shopping (only my mum went with me, it was an incredibly special experience for me), and she keeps inserting herself into the day. She wants to get ready with me, her hair and makeup done, etc etc.
3. She doesn't seem to ever recognize that I'm also a bride. Everything is about her. I called one of her vendors (her father recommended them to me), and she yelled at me for contacting them and said it was embarrassing for her. I feel like if she's doing something then I can't do the same thing, but if I do something differently than her then she thinks I'm doing it wrong. For example, after showing her my ring (bought in a shop), she talked for 10 minutes about how happy she is that her ring wasn't bought in a shop but was designed, which makes it unique.

I have a hard time talking with BB about even very small things as she tends to get irritated with me rather quickly. The rest of my support system wants me to talk with BB about my issues, but I'm having trouble seeing that go well.

Any insight or advice?

Thanks a bunch!!
Aiiiiii! I was asked to be maid of honor for my friend - and I struggled a lot with that as an Aspie, so much that I didn't even put that kind of stress on anyone else for my own wedding. My assessment of this situation - yeah, if your friend is on the spectrum, there is a high likelihood that your own situation is not really registering high enough in her consciousness, plus, being a bride and planning a wedding can be very stressful for anyone, for her it might be especially so, making her even more prone to go into Aspie mode and have tunnel vision only on her own needs and rely far harder on you. The number one thing I noticed though, is that in your situation, I wouldn't think you would be the appropriate choice for maid of honor duties!

So here's what my friend did - well, this is how things worked out, thankfully! She lived long-distance - so I wasn't available to do most of the traditional maid-of-honor things, like help her go shopping, plan the bachelorette party, plan the wedding, etc. She had another friend there who helped her do all of that - and that friend was super obsessive and perfectionistic about it and did a far better job than I would have. (My own wedding was far more casual - by choice, I couldn't even handle all that detail for my own wedding, lol!). I was surprised my friend still wanted me to be the maid of honor - I guess it was just due to how long we had been friends. But all I had to do was show up, walk down the aisle, and give a speech at the wedding reception (that last part was hard enough). But maybe if you explain this to your friend, she can find a different maid of honor OR just find someone who is willing to help her with everything while you focus on your own life. My own mother suffered many months and died, and I am sorry for the things I put ahead of spending time with her, even though we didn't realize it was terminal at the time, and I was confused about how to make my priorities, it was all just so overwhelming. If I could go back, I would do things very differently. I'm thinking even specifically a situation where a very self-absorbed "friend" of mine insisted on visiting, then barely even looked at my mother, she spent the whole time yapping and crying about her own life tragedies - at the time, I just thought of comforting this "friend", but honestly, that was ridiculous! I wish I had seen her true colors then. But anyway, please don't let your friend's unconscious lack of sensitivity to your situation affect your health, your wedding, your happiness, and most of all, your time with your mom - you can't get that back, and you want to be in the best shape possible for that mentally, physically, and emotionally. Your mother deserves your time and attention more than someone else's wedding does. And your friend needs to learn about these kinds of boundaries and priorities and to be sensitive about this kind of issue, no one should go through life not realizing these things. I myself have often only learned about my own selfishness and tendency to hurt others through the pain of social rejection or abandonment. But a conversation would be good for her - and if that doesn't work, I wouldn't blame you for walking away. I now see why some people just had to do that in my life, when I was just not being appropriate and didn't know how.

I would also add...don't let it build up to the level of strain where you just have to pop and abandon ship, that will be far worse for your friend and your friendship - just nip this in the bud however you can! Even if the conversation doesn't "go well", it will go well for you, because you don't deserve to be treated like that, regardless of whether her lack of insight is caused by autism/Asperger's or just plain selfishness. It sounds like your family needs you and cares about you, I would think of it also as honoring those who care about you rather than letting someone who is less sensitive walk all over you. How many other of her friends would put up with what you are describing?
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Thanks so much for the reply! Sorry I wasn't more descriptive with the main issue - I know most of these problems have more to do with her personality than anything, but my instinct is to communicate my problems to her and that is where I'm hitting a wall.

I don't know how to effectively and respectfully tell her that how she is acting is negatively impacting me. Any attempts at this in the past have been met with a tantrum and (most importantly) no change whatsoever on her part. I feel as though I've been approaching it all wrong - expecting her to understand feelings like I do.

Do you have any advice for when I talk to her about what is going on?

Thanks again!!
First of all-- hug/smile or friendly waves for you! So much on your plate right now. Very sorry to hear about your mom. Not certain how much energy you wish to invest (or really should invest) in being your friend's maid of honor. Bigger concern for me is your own well-being. I recently crashed due to caregiver burnout...from trying to do my best job looking after everyone else. I'm on stress leave from work and realizing that I should have started taking better care of myself/ setting boundaries/ saying no to demands long ago. I appreciate how important it may seem to be a good friend-- you're on an ASD forum looking for advice, for Pete's sake! Please please just remember that you must take care of yourself first!

That said, you might find using Ablon's Collaborative Problem Solving approach a useful framework for discussing the issues with your friend.
@Maiki I don’t think the bride to be needs your advice on this topic anymore, since this topic is almost 3 years old ;)

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