- 13 years ago
- Wedding: July 2008
First of all, couples counseling/pre-marital counseling is a really good thing. From a good therapist, it’s definately not a bunch of psychoanalytic mumbo-jumbo. Ideally, it is a set of lessons in how to effectively communicate about the issues in your lives – which it sounds like you definately need. Do expect to have to actually talk about a lot of things – including this issue – because if you’re not willing to do that, there’s not much value in going.
On your main question, I feel a little differently than most of the posters. My husband is the kind of guy who also doesn’t enjoy strip clubs, and most of his friends are married, and would be in huge trouble if they went to one. Regardless, he has a couple of single/divorced friends who were really pushing the issue in planning his bachelor party. My issue was this: What kind of "friends" actually would try to pressure him into doing something he has already said he doesn’t want to do? Especially something that they know might upset me? And what does it say about him as a man if simple peer pressure can force him into a situation that we both agree is normally not acceptable behavior? After discussing those questions, in detail, he decided that he would be much happier with a bachelor party that just didn’t include those guys. And honestly, although it wasn’t my decision, I was much happier too.
Saying that it wasn’t your choice – that you didn’t even enjoy it – that your best man and the rest of your friends sort of forced you into it – really doesn’t make it better, in my opinion. Actually, it sort of begs the question, what other things (that you’ve already said are things that you don’t do or don’t enjoy) are your friends going to talk you into? This might seem like a silly question to you – but I would bet that it’s a big part of what is going through your FI’s mind. You have pretty clearly demonstrated that the lines that govern your normal behavior don’t necessarily apply when you’re with your buddies. So is this a one-time, bachelor-party thing? Or can she expect that you’ll be blowing by boundaries on a regular basis when your best man plans the parties? And is there a line past which you just won’t go? Or are there more things that you’ll go along with just to be a good sport, or not to look bad in front of your friends?
I think the "right" answer to the question of whether strip clubs are okay depends on both you and your Fiance. Just because it’s okay with some women doesn’t mean it has to be okay with her. Just because some guys enjoy it doesn’t mean you have to go along for the ride. You do either need to both agree where the line gets drawn. And to have a meaningful discussion about it, you need to stop making excuses and figure out why you really ended up in this situation, and your Fiance needs to figure out what really bothers her about that. I wish you both the best of luck – it’s not an easy discussion to have honestly. I do think it is worth doing. I have friends who, after years of marriage, still have serious fights and bad feelings over this exact issue. You don’t really want to end up that way, I’m sure.