I have a small close-knit group of friends, and we’ve all been friends now for several years, since college (we’re in our late twenties). One of the girls in the group has been seeing a boyfriend for about the last year, who I, and others, find to be very rude and a bully. Since they have started dating, she will bring him to events and parties unannounced.
I was bullied really badly in high school and I don’t need to be around adults who act like that. He makes me feel very uncomfortable, and it has gotten to the point where I will leave events early or not attend if he is there. She has brought him several times to events at my house, uninvited, and I really don’t feel comfortable inviting him in to my home. One of our friends previously brought up to her that she is afraid that the boyfriend is abusive, but our friend says that is not the case.
I’d like to throw a small get-together this weekend for a few friends, and invite her to join since I still enjoy her company and do not want to exclude her. How do I politely, but assertively, invite only her, and not her boyfriend, to events in my home?
It's clear something is off here. Your friend's love life is her business but under no circumstances should you allow someone into your home who makes you feel this uneasy. I'm sure it's no secret to your friend that you (and, it seems, others) don't appreciate her boyfriend's behavior (especially since she has friends asking her if she's being abused). She probably won't be surprised when you tell her that you are not comfortable having him over.
Start by saying something simple like this: "I'd love to invite you over this weekend but I'd prefer if you didn't bring your boyfriend along." If she presses you as to why, don't be rude but don't sugarcoat it. You can absolutely tell her that you don't like what boyfriend does and says to you and your friends. Don't blame her for his behavior, just make it clear that how he acts is not welcome around you.