July 26, 2014 at 9:12 am #61811GracieParticipant
This will be my very first post. I thank you in advance for any advice you have to offer as I found your forum by mistake when in search for help for myself. I have been reading (and admiring) your stories every day and have been so amazed to see all the love and support you have to offer. I come to you with a situation that has been really bothering me for the past almost 3 months. I am a newly wed, I have known my husband for 10 years, been together as a couple for 4 years and now we’ve been married for 3 months. The problem I’m referring to is an an incident surrounding his bachelor party that has hurt me. I’m sure you can suspect where he went, to a strip club. The problem is, I told him he could go. In our whole relationship he never went to one, and in any relationship I’ve ever been in my partner has never been to one so I didn’t realize the feelings it would make me feel. The next day I woke up at my sisters house (it was my bachelorette party that night, a small sleep over with girl friends.) He was asleep at home, and when I got home it all started to hit me..that I was bothered. I was much more bothered than what I thought I would be. I asked him if he had a lap dance first thing when he woke up (I realize now this was not the right way to approach the situation, as my best friend was standing behind me staring at him too, in this moment) and he responded no. Four days Iater I come to find that wasn’t the truth (now three days until our wedding.) One of my best guy friends was one of his groomsmen and had made a comment to me on the phone that had led me to believe he wasn’t telling the truth and when I asked him a second time, he admitted to me the truth.
This was the very first time he has lied to me and to me it was about something that hurt so bad I didn’t/and don’t completely know how to deal with it. I recognize it was my fault for telling him to go when I didn’t know how uncomfortable it would make me but the biggest issue for me was not that he went but the lap dance. When I did tell him he could go if he wanted I did note that was the one thing I was uncomfortable with. He told me his groomsmen paid for it and sent her over without his knowledge. I have never even stepped foot into a strip club before. He’s told me that when he went, for the first time since before he was in a relationship with me it made him feel nothing but uncomfortable and guilty. He said he was thinking this is a place for single people and that he has a women, soon to be his wife at home and it even further validated that this is not the place he wants to be.
I have had a hard time about this, not only because of the content of where he was but about the lie. We have always been very open and honest with each other our entire relationship and this lie just scared me in a way I haven’t been able to explain. Like a shock I haven’t been able to fully come out of. Another thing that has been bothering me is that before this incident, I was okay with us having a subscription to Playboy and since I shudder when I see the magazines. I feel like a knife has went through my stomach and heart when I see things like that on the tv as well. I recognize from a lot of your writings that this probably has to do more with learning to love myself, and I’ve been trying to put it all into practice but I need help.We have talked about this many times in the past three months, and each time we have he has been very understanding and compassionate with me. He has been fully apologetic (and so have I, acknowledging I was not straight forward with how I felt in the beginning.) He holds me while I cry (and cries with me at time) and tells me that no matter what we will get through this and he will do anything he can to help me through this and better our relationship. He’s the most loving and caring person in my life and one thing I know is that I’m fully committed to making our marriage work and last until death do us part. I’m having trouble distinguishing how much of my sadness is coming from this and how much is from being a caretaker of my Grandma who’s very sick (I plan to explain this better in another blog.) I think I may have been depressed for awhile but I think it was covered up by all of the stress (and planning) of the wedding that after it was all said and done it really hit me. I’m really sorry I’m writing a book but friends if you have any, I just ask for some advice. I need to be at peace with this situation and with myself to go forward. I have the most supporting and loving husband I could ever ask for..why am I so stuck in my head?July 26, 2014 at 12:50 pm #61824MattParticipant
You dear sweet sister, why would you be afraid that he doesn’t see you as beautiful? Of course he does! Random boobs and butts, while pretty and whatnot, don’t carry his heart, don’t reach beyond the surface. Much like candy, it has some sweetness, but no nourishment. He saw that, “uncomfortable” just meaning he was trying to set it all aside and couldn’t, it didn’t feel right.
Rejoice, sister, because it means his heart is yours, your intimacy is strong and fulfilling for him. It’d take far more than some jiggling boobs to pull his tender attention away from you.
Consider checking a recent post entitled “how do I open to my boyfriend’s love.” The practice described there may bring the relief you’re looking for. Basically, it sounds like you’re the one obsessed with passion, but here fearfully. And yes, it certainly ties in with the stress of your loved one needing care. When you come to him, its perhaps feeling drained, as a beggar looking for comfort. That’s OK, its normal. You’re not a beggar, you’re a champion of love. That gets tired after too much “saving the day.”
As far as the lie goes, perhaps you’ve learned that ambushing him leads to a startled reaction, instead of heartfelt communication. “Did you?” while boatloads of fear that he might say yes, and from him “uh, no” (then probably in his head “shit, why did I say that?”).
Its true I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt, but I do that. You could to, if you feel he deserves it!
MattJuly 26, 2014 at 1:56 pm #61829WilliamParticipant
I think Matt is pretty much there. And…from a lifetime of experience…..we must let others be….our finest relationship is that we have with ourselves. which is not easy….but is the way of love.July 26, 2014 at 9:36 pm #61845DanielleParticipant
It sounds to me like you’re experiencing several different emotions right now. Maybe a bit of anger because he lied to you about the lap dance, perhaps a bit of regret for not expressing how you really felt about him going to that strip club in the first place.
I can relate so much with your post for several reasons. I’m currently in a committed relationship and honestly, if i was in your position I probably would have done the same thing. I try not to restrict my boyfriend too much by being one of those overprotective girlfriends who have their boyfriends on lock-down, so I tend to give the go ahead when it comes to things like that (even if i’m not fully comfortable with it). I know this isn’t really a good thing since i’m compromising my own feelings in the process but i’m now working on striking that balance. I’m not sure if this was the same logic you had when you gave your fiance the go ahead.
The fact that he lied about the whole lap dance thing isn’t cool at all. For me, lying is a HUGE turn off and has been the source of several arguments that I’ve had with my bf.. but in your situation, I guess your fiance was put in a strange place since your best friend was also staring him down when you confronted him about it. He may have lied about it because it wasn’t something he wanted to discuss in front of your friend. He may have just panicked. I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt here.
All in all, it sounds like you’ve got yourself a wonderful man who loves and appreciates you. It also sounds to me that he’s truly sorry about all that happened. I know that you’re going through a lot at home because taking care of a sick person is no easy business. Despite all the hardships just remember that you’re truly blessed. I wish you so much happiness in this new chapter of life.July 27, 2014 at 12:23 am #61848The RuminantParticipant
There was one thing that you mentioned almost in passing, but I thought it was rather important in all of this. You said that you might’ve been depressed, and on top of that you’ve had the stress from the wedding. Those are times when the ability to handle threats is impaired. This whole scenario has presented you with some kind of threats, and now you’re stuck trying to fend them.
Years ago I was in a relationship with this really loving and caring guy. That was a time when my self-confidence was really low and I think I was more or less chronically depressed. So, I had this stroke of genius and decided to play a little game with him where both he and I would pick from a list of people the ones we found attractive and then share that knowledge. I thought it would’ve just been interesting. Wrong. He had no problem with my list, or at least he didn’t react to it in any meaningful way, but then me… I went ballistic. The poor man. I had asked him to tell me which women he found attractive and then I just became really, really mad. There was nothing he could even do to save it. “She looked a bit like you, so I liked her.” “You think I look like THAT?!” It was the dumbest thing and I still feel so bad for treating him that way.
There are a few points I would like to make with my story. One is that even though rationally we understand that a picture of another woman isn’t the same as actually having a romantic rival, we might still react to it as if it was. When depressed, it’s really hard to just let things go and move on. The smallest thing can all of a sudden become way too big to handle. There’s not enough energy and confidence.
As for the lying, as much as it annoys me that men have a tendency to lie a bit in certain circumstances, I also know that there are often times when hearing the truth would also cause me to react in certain ways. So it’s kind of a lose-lose situation. Men often have learned the hard way that sometimes it’s better to communicate in a way that is the least likely to cause a conflict. Men who are very direct and give honest answers tend to stay single, not out of their own choice… So it’s not exactly the sign of a sociopath to quickly answer “no” to a question “did you have a lap dance?”
If certain things make you react in a bad way right now, then why keep poking the wound? Take time to build your confidence and to reconnect with who you are. Practice mindfulness meditation to heal. You need the strength, so treat yourself like you’re in rehabilitation. Don’t be too demanding on yourself. Allow love to flow into you.
When you gain more strength and confidence and feel safe and loved (spiritually, not just by your husband), it is so much easier to let go of the things that are bothering you as well as heal the communication and the connection between you two.July 28, 2014 at 6:24 am #61949LucindaParticipant
Wow…I’m so sorry this pain has caused such a riff, but it does sound like you will get through it as a couple.
For me, the most important thing is to take responsibility for MY side of the situation. So here, you TOLD him he could go… You sound like a very bright articulate woman and I’m pretty sure you know what happens at strip clubs: boobs, butts, sexy outfits, pole-dancing, and lap dances. That’s what happens at those places, so it should not have been ANY surprise to you that’s what indeed happened. It’s like trying to say, “I said you could go to the amusement park with your friends, but I didn’t think you’d actually ride any of the rides??” Sounds kinda silly when you think of it that way, don’t you think?
The lying is problematic, but, as at least one other reply (and you yourself) mentioned, ambushing him right upon awakening was probably not the best set-up for a healthy discussion. I tend to agree with Danielle, that he probably just did a knee-jerk reaction, then regretted it; you can tell because he confessed within a few days. Personally, I don’t think you should have even asked him about the night, in a way it’s none of your business. Again you know what goes on in a strip club, and that’s where he went, so…
Here are a few lessons I see that you could take away:
1. Your husband asked for your input on this important event. He values your input and your opinion; if he didn’t, he wouldn’t have even bothered asking but just told you what he would be doing.
2. Being true to yourself means being honest with your preferences. If he asks, be HONEST.
3. When reasonable things happen at reasonable places and times, don’t be surprised.
4. Your husband loves you, and sounds like a good man who made a mistake (in the lie). He ended up revealing it, and is working with you on the repercussions, and that’s just about as good as it gets really.
Good luck in your new life with him – try to be present with whatever life brings you today, and no matter what, ALWAYS To Thine Own Self Be True (Shakespeare)
4.July 28, 2014 at 11:38 am #61975GracieParticipant
Thank you every one, I have truly taken to heart all of your responses and really appreciate all of the love & friendship you guys have to offer.