Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Friend is Getting Married Just to Have a Bachelor Party”

My friend, “Chris,” is getting married, and I’m worried that he doesn’t grasp the magnitude of the commitment he’s making. He’s Greek, so his attitude on marriage may not be the same as I’m used to, but of even greater concern is the possibility that he’s only going through with it because he wants us to throw him a bachelor party.

Chris has always loved guys’ night out — “bro times,” as he calls them — and since many of the guys in our friend group have married or entered serious relationships, they happen less frequently. The rest of us are comfortable inviting our wives and girlfriends for a night on the town, but he wants it to be all guys. Again, maybe this is a Greek thing, I don’t know. In any case, bachelor parties are one of the only times he gets his way, and he loves them. He’s down for anything: strippers; cocaine; grab-ass — you name it. And he’s always pressing his friends on when they’re going to get married because he wants another party.

He’s running out of single friends, so it almost seems like he took the plunge and got engaged just because it was the only way to bring about another bachelor party. I actually asked him directly if this was the case, and he said it was “honestly a big part” of the decision.

I worry that this is bound to be a disaster. Will he even want to go through with the wedding after the bachelor party? Even worse, will he want a divorce after a few years so he can have another bachelor party? I feel like maybe I should explain this to his fiancée, but I worry that it wouldn’t be my place. She’s trying to finish school, and I worry that a shock like this might throw her completely off course. — Potential Groomsman

It absolutely is not your place to tell Chris’ fiancée that you suspect Chris only wants to marry her so he can have a bachelor party. The truth is, it isn’t even necessarily the bachelor party Chris wants; he simply wants some “bro time.” For the love of God, give your friend some bro time. It’s nice that all the guys in your friend group are happy inviting their wives and girlfriends to always join in the planned get-togethers, but it would also be nice for all of you to have some guys-only get-togethers once or twice a year. Have a damn bro weekend in Vegas or Miami once a year. If that’s too much, pick a night to go out locally and hit the town. Plan the kind of bachelor party all of you might want (or at least that Chris might want), tell everyone when and where to show up, no significant others allowed, call it Chris’ birthday party, and everyone is responsible for paying his own way plus Chris’ expenses. Tell him next year and every year after that he should organize his own birthday party, and he can plan whatever he wants to do with his bros (no significant others allowed). All you bros will show up for him and you’ll enjoy your time together and you’ll also be reminded why you only need to do this once or twice a year and you’ll feel a renewed gratitude for your life and Chris will be satisfied in his bro time for another six to twelve months and it will be great for everyone, no sham marriage — or divorce needed. (And, obviously, no one in the friend group should do something he’s uncomfortable with, whether that be strip clubs, cocaine, or getting married.)

P.S. His being Greek has nothing to do with his attitude on marriage or his wanting to hang with his bros.

I am a 50-year-old woman in a relationship with a 50-year-old man, “Mark.” We both are previously divorced; I have two adult children and he has one teenager. Both of our previous marriages ended due to our respective spouses having affairs. Mark and I have been dating for about nine months and get along very well. We are kind and loving to one another. We share a similar sense of humor and love for our children, but there’s an issue.

Recently, my partner has become obsessed with a family photo collage in my kitchen. In one collage there is a 4×6 picture in which my ex is sitting with us during a family vacation. In the picture, I’m on one side of our kids and he’s on the other. My explanation for the picture still being in our home — my children still live with me — is that my ex is my children’s father and I want them to know that they came from a happy and loving place when they were young. My partner is very clear about my feelings for my ex. Aside from his being the father of the children, it is good that we are no longer together and I harbor no romantic feelings at all for him anymore. So am I wrong for having this one small picture in the kitchen of my home?

My partner recently moved into a new home and now he says he is going to hang up old family pictures all over. I can’t understand why all of a sudden he’s acting like a little kid in a playground, fighting with another kid instead of having an adult conversation to understand each other? I get the feeling he’s trying to bully me into taking the picture in my kitchen down permanently. Just today he asked me to help his ex got a job where I work, and I wonder if that was related to my decision to leave the 4 x 6 picture up. I don’t want to take the picture down — it means a lot to my kids. What do I do? — A girl who wants to make everyone happy without losing herself

 
Count your blessings that he showed his true colors now rather than later after you’d have invested more time and feelings in the relationship. He’s acting like a kid because he IS a kid. He’s exhibiting his true character, and you’re lucky that he’s let his guard down enough — or simply got jealous enough — to show it to you. Now you can peace right on out of this doomed relationship, relatively unscathed, with your dignity intact and the knowledge that your good judgement of character will go a long way in keeping you safe from drama.
***************

Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.

47 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Katie September 3, 2019, 8:30 am

    Chris sounds like a tool. Probably best to let that particular friendship fizzle out. Maybe he can go find bros who have fewer wives and girlfriends to infiltrate his strippers and blow time.

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    anonymousse September 3, 2019, 8:46 am

    What is up with the preoccupation with Chris being Greek?

    It’s weird to me that you’re this concerned about his personal life and relationship. If you really feel the need to butt in, take him out for some quality bro time and in between snorting lines and playing grab ass- make the point that he’ll probably have less chances for hard partying after he gets hitched. And then leave it alone.

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    • avatar

      CanadaGoose September 3, 2019, 11:16 am

      Um, what is grab-ass? I mean, I can kind of guess but really have no sense of whose ass is being grabbed. It’s not like you can run around grabbing random people’s posteriors.

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      • avatar

        anonymousse September 3, 2019, 12:05 pm

        Locker room horseplay. See below.

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      rooster September 4, 2019, 6:31 pm

      I feel like he’s trying to be open to the possibility that he comes from a different culture that may have different views on marriage. I got the impression that this guy is actually from Greece, not just Greek. Could be wrong.

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      • avatar

        Harriet Marlowe September 5, 2019, 10:00 am

        Oh what a ridiculous comment! How different could the ‘Greek view on marriage’ be? It is not devout Mormon with 4 wives territory, FFS! My friend is Greek (we are in the UK) and his view on marriage is exactly like my Anglo-Scottish one. It is clear that the letter writer (or all the other blokes in their group) has no objection to snorting, strip-clubs and ‘ass-grabbing’, otherwise he would have told ‘Chris’ a million years ago. The rest is just bewildering crap (‘he is marrying for the bachelor party’!!!) mixed with a bit of envy that Chris can still do what all those blokes in the group used to love to do.

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    ArtsyGirl September 3, 2019, 9:21 am

    Both LWs – you have entitled, immature babies in your lives

    LW1 – I think Chris’s behavior has more to do with him being an immature man-child than being Greek. If you actually enjoy hanging out with Chris, follow Wendy’s advice, if you find bacchanalian weekends unbearable, fade out of his life.

    LW 2 – your boyfriend is trying to hurt you. Lashing out at you because of a perceived slight is not the sign of a healthy relationship – having one picture of your ex in a large montage featuring your family is completely reasonable. Dump him and thank the stars you did not move in with him before discovering he is an unreasonable brat.

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  • Copa

    Copa September 3, 2019, 9:27 am

    LW1 – MYOB! Chris’s reasons for getting married really aren’t any of your business and it’d be *very* inappropriate to take your suspicions to his fiance. Chris can – -and probably should — find new bros who share his interest in coke, strippers, and grab-ass. But this also isn’t really anything you should be overly concerned with.

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  • avatar

    cdobbs September 3, 2019, 9:30 am

    LW2’s boyfriend reminds me of a former friend….she found a box of old pictures and an engagement ring that belonged to her husband….she cut up all the pictures while he was at work and then when he came home tried to make him swallow the ring! (i wish i was kidding)….but seriously LW2 that is childish behaviour and who needs the mind games

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    • Copa

      Copa September 3, 2019, 9:41 am

      omg.

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    • avatar

      ArtsyGirl September 3, 2019, 9:44 am

      Woah – that is an insane response. Also, what did she think would happen to the ring after he swallowed it? Biology suggests he would either pass it naturally or have to have surgery to have it removed so not sure what her end game is.

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    • avatar

      Essie September 3, 2019, 9:54 am

      I hope the husband ran for his life. Seriously, this is the kind of crazy that leads to those awful news stories about the woman who poisoned her husband with an anti-freeze-laced smoothie.

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  • avatar

    Mo September 3, 2019, 9:32 am

    I feel like a man who apparently routinely grabs strippers’ asses and snorts coke is probably not someone who makes life choices based on sound logic and thinking about healthy choices, including getting married, and that he has or will make other poor choices. Maybe the problem is more general than you believe, that perhaps he should think about his addiction problem and how he treats women before he dates ANYONE or perhaps before he would not act like a total asshole.

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  • avatar

    Essie September 3, 2019, 9:58 am

    LW1: Good lord. No, it’s not a Greek thing for a guy to want to hang out with other guys. Guys like to hang out with the guys sometimes. Just like women like a girls’ night out sometimes. And no, you don’t talk to Chris’s fiancee, because their relationship and reasons for marrying aren’t any of your business.

    LW2: Your boyfriend is an immature, spiteful ass who will bring you nothing but misery with his passive-aggressive games. Run.

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom September 3, 2019, 2:16 pm

      Maybe the guys hang out with wives and girlfriends included because they enjoy it and also to keep Chris from trying to turn the evening into a trip to the strip club along with using cocaine. Sometimes other people are a check or buffer on bad behavior, instead of confronting him and saying we aren’t going to do that any more they may take along wives and girlfriends.

      LW You can have a bro night out without cocaine or strippers. You can go somewhere with just the guys and insist on having the evening the rest of you would like to have and if Chris hates it too bad. If he insists on moving to a strip club let him go by himself or with any of the guys who want to go along. If he wants to use cocaine you leave.

      You do not owe him the type of bachelor party he wants. In fact, you would be better off skipping the cocaine and skipping any grabbing of women without their permission that might happen. If you are comfortable with the strip club you could go but if you aren’t comfortable with that or with hiring a stripper you are fine living within your own comfort zone.

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  • avatar

    FYI September 3, 2019, 10:04 am

    What the heck is grab-ass? If Chris is assaulting people, then don’t be friends with him anymore. I’m not sure why the advice is to indulge this man-child with semi-annual parties until he grows up, but I would at least try to talk to him about not hurting his fiancée. If he were my friend, I would talk to him about his decision-making skills.

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    • avatar

      golfer.gal September 3, 2019, 12:12 pm

      FYI, I am in agreement with you. Chris seems to want some pretty wild weekends beyond what is considered a normal bachelor party, and probably includes what would constitute dealbreakers for many of the so’s and fiance in this situation (sexual assault, sex workers, hard drug usage) if they knew what was happening. Not that I’m knocking any of those things (except assault, duh), but just because he wants those things doesn’t mean you have to go along, and you need to stay within the agreed to boundaries of your own marriage. Is your own wife cool with you engaging in that shit? Are you cool with throwing this party given what you know about his questionable commitment to his fiance? I don’t think you owe this guy wild coke weekends in perpetuity just because he wants them. Talk to your friend about whether he really wants to get married or not, and about respecting the woman he is marrying. If he can’t do that , don’t participate. If you feel like you need more guy time, go ahead and plan a yearly trip. But make it about doing things you’ll enjoy together and feel good about, not catering to the whims of a man child. Frankly you may want to fade this friendship. He…does not sound like a good guy

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    • avatar

      anonymousse September 3, 2019, 12:50 pm

      Grab ass probably could extend to assault but it’s a term for bro on bro horseplay.

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  • avatar

    Ele4phant September 3, 2019, 10:09 am

    Chris’s fiancé knows him, right? She’s an adult, if she wants to hitch her wagon to him, that’s her call.

    I suppose if he ever cheated on her in front of you, you might feel compelled to tell her – but if he’s a rowdy guy who doesn’t want to grow up, undoubtedly she’s aware. Or in denial I suppose. But at some level she knows who she’s marrying and wants to move forward. That’s her call.

    Maintaining separate friendships is important, for the individual as well as the strength of the marriage. LW1, I encourage *you* to on occasion do things without your wife.

    If you don’t want to party hard like Chris, you don’t have to and maybe Chris needs to go find new friends that still like that lifestyle. But not every hangout you have with your male friends has to turn into co-ed group date nights.

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    • avatar

      Ele4phant September 3, 2019, 10:15 am

      Do tell Chris to knock it off with the grab ass though.

      Groping women just isn’t cool these days (it never was, but there should be no ambiguity these days that women DO NOT WANT TO BE TOUCHED WITHOUT CONSENT).

      He can be a perpetual party boy the rest of his life if he wants but he does need to start respect women’s autonomy and stop sexually assaulting them.

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      • avatar

        anonymousse September 3, 2019, 11:17 am

        To my knowledge, grab ass means bros messing around and play wrestling, like locker room shenanigans. I hope that’s what he meant.

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      • avatar

        Ele4phant September 3, 2019, 12:20 pm

        Oh interesting, I’ve only ever heard grab ass in reference to sexual grabbing, but urban dictionary says it is horseplay.

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      • avatar

        Kate September 3, 2019, 7:14 pm

        I think of grab-ass as like, what goes on in the kitchen at restaurants. I don’t think of it as same-sex straight horseplay, though I guess it could be. More like touchy-feely flirty play than roughhousing.

        Surprising how so many people never heard the term.

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      • avatar

        FYI September 3, 2019, 8:27 pm

        Even if it IS bro horseplay, every guy might not WANT to be put in a headlock or want his ass grabbed or smacked. Yeesh.

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      • avatar

        FYI September 3, 2019, 8:29 pm

        Lots of lawsuits and wrecked reputations over what went on in restaurant kitchens. Nobody should have to dodge grabby hands.

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      • avatar

        Ele4phant September 3, 2019, 8:44 pm

        Good point. Even if LW did intend to mean horseplay, it doesn’t sound like *he* particularly enjoys…whatever it is.

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      • avatar

        Kate September 4, 2019, 4:47 am

        Excuse me, @FYI, I said what I thought grab-ass is, not whether whoever should be okay with it or not. I have no opinion on this letter.

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      • avatar

        Kate September 4, 2019, 4:58 am

        That said, contextual cues. He says “down for anything: strippers, cocaine, grab ass.” So I don’t think HE means it like time-wasting wrestling or horseplay between bros, I think he means touching women.

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  • avatar

    ron September 3, 2019, 10:30 am

    I disagree with Wendy on this one. I don’t think the guys should participate in the kind of bro time he seeks, . They are mature, mainly married or happily coupled guys who have fortunately gotten past that unfortunate former stage in their life where they felt it okay to travel in a herd and play grab ass, probably with the strippers. His friends are also well advised not to join Chris in his desire to do coke. Chris seems a man-child who is afraid to demean women as he wishes to do under the protection of his herd. It is right and proper not to give him that protection or enable that bad behavior and certainly not to desert their more mature/civilized behavior and stoop to his level for a bro get together. If LW and friends truly think Chris is married just to have a grab-ass bachelor party, the friends who would be throwing the party can let him know in advance that they plan a tamer event.

    The problem is not that Chris wants some all-male time with his bros. It’s how he enjoys spending that time. His former bros do not need to turn back into cretins to give Chris what he wants so he doesn’t feel he needs a marriage to get it.

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    • avatar

      ron September 3, 2019, 10:32 am

      And yes, LW, it is not your place to talk to the fiancé.

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    • avatar

      ron September 3, 2019, 10:34 am

      Crap. That was supposed to read”…EXCEPT under the protection of the herd.

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark September 3, 2019, 11:28 am

    Two LWs today writing in about two total douche canoes.
    .
    LW1) should mind his own business but maybe do a slow fade on this friendship.
    .
    LW2) Needs to run for the hills. All this drama over a single photo you have in a collage. What an idiot your new BF is. Dump his ass now. Seriously. NOW!!

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  • avatar

    anonymousse September 3, 2019, 12:51 pm

    Mr. Grab Ass also wrote in on the live chat with Dear Prudence today.

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    • avatar

      Fyodor September 3, 2019, 7:45 pm

      It’s a French name – Grabasse.

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    • avatar

      Ruby Tuesday September 4, 2019, 11:44 am

      This is the second time recently I’ve read letters questioning whether advice columnists are just copying from each other. Apparently the simple explanation that the LW contacted multiple columnists isn’t good enough.

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      • avatar

        anonymousse September 4, 2019, 12:13 pm

        I didn’t accuse Wendy or Prudence of copying letters. I just pointed out that he wrote into both.

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        anonymousse September 4, 2019, 12:42 pm

        I see where that was on the chat now, whoops. The funny thing is, Wendy had her response posted before the live chat yesterday.

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      • avatar

        Ruby Tuesday September 4, 2019, 2:29 pm

        Sorry about that! I did not phrase that very well.

        I find it fascinating that these readers seem to take pleasure in calling out the repeats, as if they’ve outsmarted the columnist.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom September 3, 2019, 1:03 pm

    LW1 Chris sounds like a guy who isn’t growing up. You should feel no need to provide him with the the type of party he wants. You also don’t need to attend that type of party. He sounds like the type of guy you need to remove from your life. Absolutely don’t feel like you need to cater to his wants. Especially not the wants where he disrespects women or uses cocaine. You are probably better off putting a lot of distance between yourself and Chris. Sooner or later he will get caught using the cocaine and sooner or later some woman will file a complaint against him for his behavior. You don’t want to be included in either. It is okay to inform him that if there is a bachelor party it will not include cocaine or abuse of women. You need to set boundaries for your life that protect what you have.

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  • avatar

    Mimi September 4, 2019, 4:51 am

    Grow up. You’re not a girl, you should be well past the stage where you need to please everyone.

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  • avatar

    Susie Bee September 4, 2019, 5:50 am

    This same letter showed up on Dear Prudence

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy September 4, 2019, 8:00 am

      That happens sometimes – people send their letters to multiple advice columnists to increase the odds of getting a response and occasionally multiple columnists will answer the same letter. I’m always interested when readers point this out to see how the other columnist(s) reply to the same questions.

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    • avatar

      Vathena September 4, 2019, 12:27 pm

      And hey, at least Wendy got name-checked in the bargain! I liked Daniel’s answer to this poster:

      Q. Re: Getting married for a bachelor party: This was asked word for word on Dear Wendy today. I hope it’s someone double-dipping and not just copying.

      A: I think double-dipping advice columnists is a pretty smart idea, because the odds that your letter is going to get picked by a single one are fairly small. There’s also no single national advice-column-letter database that we can all cross-reference before answering. My guess is that most columnists would give a version of the same answer to this question: “Talk to your friend about his upcoming wedding and don’t mention your weird theory about his Greekness.”

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy September 4, 2019, 12:38 pm

        I’ll take the name-check and the incredible referral traffic (already nearly twice my daily average, at 1:30 pm) — thanks, Daniel! — even if it comes with a side of some people thinking I copied from another advice columnist (I didn’t, of course, and neither did Daniel, I’m sure).

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      • avatar

        Vathena September 4, 2019, 1:41 pm

        I see repeat questions all the time because I’m an advice column junkie, lol.

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        Ruby Tuesday September 4, 2019, 2:31 pm

        EXACTLY. I find it incredibly suspect that these people default to plagiarism by the advice columnist rather than the simplest explanation. It’s not like it’s hard to send multiple emails.

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  • avatar

    Morghan Richardson September 5, 2019, 2:59 pm

    Please have your friend Chris give me a call and we’ll talk prenups. I literally wrote one with a lap-dance clause in it. #divorcelawyer

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