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by Abigail Van Buren

Girlfriend Left on Sideline at Small Family Wedding

DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend of five years calls me his "partner." I care about his family, and they are happy we are together.

His daughter had a small wedding with just a few family members and the wedding party. I sat alone in our room for hours while they took pre-wedding photos. Not a problem. But when no voices were heard, I looked out, and everyone was gone! I texted my partner asking where everyone was. I had heard him walk by our room several times earlier, but he didn't respond. Should I have chased after him, asking to be included?

Before and after the ceremony, the photographer took individual and group photos, as well as the tables, the caterer and venue staff in addition to the family and wedding party. Although I was standing with everyone, no one invited me to join a group photo or take one with my partner. My brother said I should have asked to be included, but I didn't think it was my place. The bride and groom had already decided who they wanted photos of.

One of the groomsmen could tell my feelings were hurt. He came over and sat with me and asked if I was having fun. I did some grunt work for this ceremony, so it would have been nice to have had my presence acknowledged with an official photo, not a selfie. What do you think? -- LEFT-OUT LADY IN VIRGINIA

DEAR LADY: The bride and her husband may have been distracted, but your "partner" should have made sure you were included in at least one of the photos. The treatment you received was not only rude and thoughtless, it was also callous. Have there been other occasions in which he has been similarly thoughtless? If you plan to continue this romance, accept that you will have to become more assertive, rather than wait at the mercy of others.

Read more in: Love & Dating | Family & Parenting | Holidays & Celebrations