This is a long reply – my apologies! But I wanted to respond to the main points raised. It’s been a bit hectic as it’s now four days out from the wedding, but I have snuck back on weddingbee and did get to read everyone’s comments, but only had time to write out a proper reply now.
Fi and I are really good now, and have come closer together because of what happened and from working through it together 🙂
@said8me – It doesn’t matter whether he planned, asked to go there, or whether it was one night or all the time – he chose to go there. He went into the strip club, he accepted the lap dance.
I haven’t been to a strip club myself but I’m pretty sure lap dances are nothing but sexual. They are designed to (and do) arouse and stimulate. Those feelings are for between fi and I once we are married. He would be upset, justifiably, if I say read raunchy romance novels for an erotic fix, or got turned on on by a hot actor in a movie.
Basically, arousing lust for someone other than your husband/wife is not okay. Clearly we are not coming from the same view point, but as fi and I believe in the bible we try to live by verses such as 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5: For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God…
Whatever your personal beliefs are, surely you would agree that visiting a strip club and having a lapdance goes against what fi and I believe?
@Arachna – That was exactly my concern. If this is what he does now, how will the future be any different? However after talking and praying about it a lot together and seeing him respond to people since I feel confident that it is in fact capable of standing up for his beliefs and for our relationship. He let me know his own plans for making sure things don’t get out of hand again in the future, by not getting drunk and by distancing himself from these particular friends. He has given me confidence in him again 🙂
@okqueenbee – Thank you. That was a really good idea 🙂 I suggested talking to our pastor about it and he didn’t want to at first – basically because of pride – he doesn’t want anyone to know what he did because they would think less of him. But he prayed about it, and thought about it, and eventually was humbled and said he would in fact like to bring it up with our pastor, so long as I was there with him. He is trying really hard.
@Vonniegurl, Meghan V & monitajb – thank you 🙂
@eryepye – thank you! Exactly.
@Tanya123 – you hit a few key points. As far as what Jesus would do, well, I do believe he forgives the repentant, but it is not a light thing to sin despite knowing it is wrong.
Take Hebrews 10:26-27: If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
It’s not that I think he cannot be forgiven, or that I shouldn’t forgive him, or even that I don’t ever sin despite knowing it’s wrong. But, I don’t think Christianity should be equated with easy forgiveness (I do not think you believe this, but your post does read that way). It is not just love and acceptance, there is right and wrong and we know the difference
The other specifically Christian aspect I considered was spiritual maturity and ability to avoid temptation, in relation to readyness for marriage.
@whitesonnet – I totally agree with your first paragraph. It’s really made fi realise that he needs to be firm and that it’s okay to say no, or be honest and say things that aren’t what the other person expects to hear. I’ve seen him do this a few times since, which is nice.
I didn’t take of my ring because I was angry, I took my ring off because our agreement, our relationship, had not been honoured and I did not want to continue with the wedding unless I could be sure that we were entering it with the same morals and convictions. What do you mean by the reality of taking off a ring? It was not an idle threat but an honest sentiment.
@amariem25 – oh gosh yes! He has apologised multiple times. I know he still thinks about it because he will occasionally apologise again and tell me how grateful he is that I forgave him and still love him.
I don’t think it’s okay just because it happens all the time at bachelor parties!
@CurlyDreamer – It is not that I think this is the worst thing I think we will ever face, but that I have much more choice about how I proceed since we are not yet married. What other boundaries do you mean?
@said8me (again ) – the ‘yes’ that matters is the ‘I do’ at our wedding. We not yet made our vows and are not yet husband and wife. In my eyes that would be a very different situation to our current engagement.
Out of curiousity, is there not a point at which you would abort your engagement? Strip clubs aside, what if your fiance visited a prostitute, had a one night stand or committed a crime as a part of his last ‘wild night of freedom’? Is there nothing he could do that would shock you and make you reassess who you though you were marrying?
Taking off me ring was indeed a bold move, and that is why I did it. I wouldn’t desribe what happened as a misunderstanding, but a choice that he made. There was no grey area about what or why or how, and he has never claimed there to be.
To turn your words around – Think of the message that his actions sent to me… I trusted him with my heart, and what he did indicates just how easily he can forget about me and forget his word.
@Neato andedo – I have no regrets about taking off my ring 🙂 I couldn’t stand to wear it – it represented such a lie to me when I first found out, a broken promise. And it was important to me to make sure he realised that I was perfectly serious (as my ring is quite special to us). Thank you for your support 🙂
@2PeasinaPod – oh no! I do not want to live with bitterness and resentment. It is forgiven and we have moved on 🙂
Thank you for taking the time to reply… you guys are great 🙂