Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Let fiance know his bachelor party plans are bothersome
Bachelor Party Resentment: My fiance's friends are planning a four-day bachelor party for him. Undoubtedly a lot of drinking will be involved, and if past bachelor parties are any predictor, a visit to a strip club is inevitable.
Personally, I find strip clubs abhorrent (and yes, I've been to them), and the need to get drunk and pay someone to arouse you as a way to kick off your lifetime commitment is deeply depressing to me. My fiance knows how I feel, but I suspect will choose to go along with the crowd anyway.
Meanwhile, I'll be at home all weekend taking care of our 16-month-old baby, and I'll be lucky if my friends (pretty much all moms) and I find a night we can get together for dinner as my "bachelorette" party.
I'm feeling resentful and I'm not sure of whom or why. The egalitarian in me is angry that the men seem to get a free weekend pass when it's all the women can do to get a single night out. The feminist in me is disgusted by the strip clubs (which I call the "dollars for dignity" program).
And the "it's not fair" 6-year-old in me wants to have a weekendlong party where I get to act inappropriately while my fiance is the responsible parent. How can I get past this resentment and enjoy what should be a special time?
Carolyn: He gets a four-day party, when he's already the father of a 16-month-old? How about this: The grownup in you is unimpressed that he's even interested in that kind of self-indulgence.
Just about the only argument for choosing "to go along with the crowd" is that if you did ask him not to behave like an adolescent, you'd still have the bigger problem of being engaged to an adolescent.
Think carefully, please, before you sign up for this particular life.
Bachelor Party, Again: I do feel like it's totally adolescent. And yet, other than the once-every-couple-of-years bachelor party, my fiance is a fantastic dad, loving partner and utterly responsible person. He's the last of his friends to get married and they want to celebrate with a guys' weekend, like they have for all the others. I get that, and wouldn't feel right asking him not to go.
So I guess I'm struggling with reconciling this (thankfully rare) reversion to adolescence with the terrific person he otherwise is. Any more advice?
Carolyn: Sure. Let him know the idea of this weekend really bugs you, and that you'd feel better with two things: 1. A four-day weekend of your own, out of fairness. If your friends can't travel with you, go alone, or visit someone you miss. 2. A promise from him that he won't forget himself on his weekend.
If this isn't enough to make you feel better, or if he resists either of these ideas, then I'm back to asking you whether this marriage is really a good idea. By using the phrase "forget himself," you're showing that you do think he's a good person, but you're also realistic about how things can get out of hand. A "fantastic dad, loving partner and utterly responsible person" will have no trouble sympathizing with your distress.