Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Get a grip on your own identity before judging fiance's actions
Washington: My fiance and his buddies are planning his bachelor party in Atlantic City, and I hope they will spend their time playing poker and hanging out.
I know it's common for guys to hire strippers, but I am absolutely disgusted by the thought of him watching/touching/getting lap-danced by some naked girl. I have told him this and I think he gets it, but he won't really be planning it himself.
This is making me crazy. To the point that when he left his e-mail open the other day I actually searched for the word "stripper." And you know what came up? An e-mail he sent back to his best man about planning the party (+/- stripper).
I think he sent the e-mail before I spoke up, but still. I am violating his privacy and driving myself nuts.
Carolyn: You know what? Your snooping is worse than having some nudenick shake herself in your fiance's face for money. That's because his icky behavior says very little about him except maybe that he buys a little too mindlessly into Guy Tradition.
Your icky behavior says you're okay with controlling his behavior when you won't even control your own.
Please figure out who you are, and then start living as that person.
Are you honorable? Are you strong? Are you thick-skinned (which is very different from strong)? Are you trusting? Are you trustworthy? Are you principled?
Once you have a fix on your identity, use it to form a consistent philosophy on the stripper thing, be it:
(1) If he gets a lap dance at his bachelor party, so be it, it's just a stupid rite of passage (or a rite of stupid passage); or,
(2) He said he understands how I feel, and I trust him not to sneak around and get a lap dance anyway, or I wouldn't be marrying him; or,
(3) I voiced my objections, and I know he'll probably go anyway, but at least I said my piece — and besides, it's more his buddies' thing than his, and he might as well have this stupid fun; or,
(4) When I voiced my objections, I think he just "yes-deared" me and plans to go anyway, which suggests he's too weak to own what he's doing, which I find abhorrent, so the wedding is off; or,
(5) Am I seriously marrying a guy who feels the need for a bachelor party? Maybe the problem isn't the strippers, it's that I'm marrying someone with all the maturity of a frat pledge.
Whatever it is, you need to own it — and by that I mean your behavior as well as your stance on his.
Anonymous: Re: Bachelor Party: How about:
(6) I tell him that I snooped through his e-mail to try to dig up dirt on his plans, and I will let him also have the same question as to whether I'm the right person for him to marry.
Carolyn: She owes him no less. Owning her behavior means opening herself up to any consequences. That includes accepting uncomfortable truths about herself, from her own perspective and from his.