Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Boyfriend's visits to strip clubs, restaurants with scantily clad women bother her, but why?

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Explore your values to reach common ground on behavior

Q: I'm seriously dating a guy, and we've talked about marriage. He has mostly had a history of casual dating and living up the single life. This has included going to strip clubs. He says he won't go anymore because of my issue with it. Recently, he went to a bar with some friends where the servers are ridiculously scantily clad. This bothers me, especially after our discussions about strip clubs. I don't want to start a situation where he'd rather just go and not tell me. I'm just not sure if this is a make-or-break issue.

Trashy Outlets

Carolyn: What I'd really like to hear is why you deplore these places, and why his only reason for not going would be to appease you.

Since there's no practical way I can know the details of your values, all I can do is advise you both to share them with each other — on one condition. Have the conversation after both of you have given careful, independent thought to why you both approach this issue the way you do, since this topic is all too subject to the knee-jerk, "because that's what guys/girls do"-type non-answers. Then, go into the discussion with this goal and no other: understanding each other. If it's just about proving you're right, then you'll both forget to listen.

Anonymous: The guy should run from this controlling woman. First, it was no strip clubs. Second, it was no places where servers are "scantily clad." Next it's going to be a request that he find new friends. Who should be forced to live like this? She needs counseling, stat. "Gift of Fear," anyone?

Carolyn: I agree this is one possible trajectory. The early signs that a woman is controlling are more readily dismissed than the early signs that a man is controlling — I believe because many of the female signals are stereotypes that people brush off or, worse, justify.

However, there are so many under- and un-examined "You must never go to these places!!!" attitudes that I think the "controlling" tag is premature until she does the hard thinking about her beliefs. If she rejects complexity and insists on an emotional restraining order that keeps him a minimum of 300 feet from bodaciosity of any kind, then I'm with you.

Anonymous 2: Not to say he gets an automatic free pass because it's what all of his friends are doing, but I think we all have friends with whom we indulge in behaviors that we have otherwise outgrown, and that's okay sometimes.

Carolyn: And a nice argument for examining one's motives, thanks.

Trashy Outlets again: He thinks it's a fun thing to do with the guys, and I'm sure he enjoys looking at, and getting attention from, barely dressed women. That he's interacting with real people in a sexual way is nauseating to me. We just think totally differently about it.

Carolyn: If he enjoys attention from barely dressed women, and if he sees nothing disrespectful about that, then that's who he is. Keeping him home won't change his character or moral composition. Ask yourself what you accomplish in his agreeing to stay home just because you want him to. There's your "make-or-break."

Comments

Tell Me About It: Play up challenged child’s strengths

Q: One of my children has a challenging personality. Within my family, we are aware of it, and deal with it, and love him oh-so-much. As he is getting older, I can see how the outside world (teachers, coaches, neighbors) favors him less than my other...
Published: 02/20/18

Tell Me About It: DNA results reveal 52-year-old secret

Q: I am in the middle of a growing crisis in my extended family because of revelations from a DNA match. After getting my results, I was contacted by a woman looking for her biological family. It quickly became apparent she was the child my sister ga...
Published: 02/20/18

Tell Me About It: Don’t expect help from careless grandma

Q: My mother moved to be closer to us when we had a baby, who’s now 2. She’s not responsible with him. She gives him anything he points to and grunts. Just in the past month, this has included a lighter ("He doesn’t know how to use it"), garden shear...
Published: 02/19/18
Ordinary dogs take to the Derby Lane greyhound track for the Mutt Derby

Ordinary dogs take to the Derby Lane greyhound track for the Mutt Derby

Some stopped midway, some turned around and ran the wrong way and some dashed to the arms of their owners as more than 300 average house pets took to the track at Derby Lane on Sunday for the Mutt Derby. The popular fundraiser for the Jaycees died o...
Published: 02/18/18

Tell Me About It: Doubts creep in to six-year relationship

Q: I have been with my partner for six years and have just graduated from college. I love my partner and could see myself happily married to them for the long haul. However, I am beginning to feel wistful about never having dated anyone else — or kis...
Published: 02/18/18

Tell Me About It: Vacation opens dialogue about money

Vacation opens dialogue about moneyQ: My girlfriend and I just went on our first vacation together. I thought it went well, but after we were home she told me she felt I had been cheap because I wanted to split all costs 50-50.I think cheap would be ...
Published: 02/16/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Feb. 19-25

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Feb. 19-25

Gasparilla Distance Classic: One of Tampa’s best known road races returns to downtown, with a 5K and 15K Saturday and an 8K and half marathon on Sunday. The chief attraction is the 15K on Saturday, which takes runners out and back along the man...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/18/18
Dance Moms star Chloe Lukasiak to appear at Florida State Fair on Saturday

Dance Moms star Chloe Lukasiak to appear at Florida State Fair on Saturday

TAMPA — Chloe Lukasiak will take on a different role than she is accustomed when she stops by the Florida State Fair this weekend.After all, the 16-year-old Pennsylvania-native and resident rose to fame on Seasons 1 through 4 of Lifetime’s reality te...
Published: 02/15/18

Tell Me About It: Past eating disorder affects food choices

Q: My wife refuses to change her diet and grocery shopping to accommodate my health needs and those of our kids. Everything she gets is processed grains and sugar. My doctor recently recommended losing weight, and exercise won’t cut it. But because s...
Published: 02/15/18
Top things to do this weekend: Florida State Fair, Mutt Derby at Derby Lane

Top things to do this weekend: Florida State Fair, Mutt Derby at Derby Lane

GO, DOG, GO: Mutt DerbyOne of the most hilarious days at the races is Sunday, when ordinary house pets get a chance to run on the Derby Lane greyhound track. Mutt Derby registration begins at 11 a.m., but you can register in advance at greyhoundpets...
Published: 02/14/18