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