Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Three’s Company: “My Fiancé Lied About Going to a Strip Club”

Here’s another 3-in-1 column, a feature I’m thinking of calling “Three’s Company” (thanks to MaterialsGirl for the suggestion):

I am getting married in a destination wedding in less than two weeks. My bridal shower is this weekend and I am in panic mode. I was perfectly happy until last week when I found out that my fiancé lied to me about his bachelor party not including strip clubs. The two times he has lied to me (that I know of) involve strip clubs. The first time I explained that it wasn’t that I was mad he went; I was mad that he didn’t fess up until I confronted him. Now that he’s lied twice about visiting strip clubs, I am terrified of becoming the clueless wife who believes everything her husband says and looks like a fool to everyone that knows the truth. If things weren’t so far along in the process, I would postpone the wedding. I can’t see myself calling 40 people who have purchased plane tickets and backing out. I also feel like I can’t talk to anyone because I don’t want to let them down. What can I do at this point? — Clueless

Your fiancé goes to strip clubs. If that’s a deal-breaker for you, you should probably call off the wedding because if he’s already lied to you at least TWICE about going to strip clubs, he will likely keep on going and keep on lying. The good news is that a destination wedding without a wedding is still a vacation, so people who have already purchased plane tickets can go and enjoy themselves and you can use the trip to clear your head.

I broke up with my boyfriend of six years about 18 months ago. We’re both seeing other people and I’ve been very happy in my new relationship for the past nine months. My ex lost his father recently. I was also close to this man and attended his funeral at my ex’s request. It’s been several weeks and my ex has contacted me. I’m the only one in this area who knew his father, and he wants to get together to share memories of his dad. I understand his need to do this, and I don’t have a problem with it, but my new boyfriend does. He told me the idea of me hanging out alone with my ex, even in a public space for a short period of time, makes him extremely uncomfortable. I hate to deny my ex his need to remember his father when he is still grieving, and it is hard to do so after more than six years of friendship. On the other hand, I understand why my current boyfriend is so uncomfortable. How do I handle this? — Sad for Ex

You didn’t share “six years of friendship” with this man, you shared a relationship. And now it’s over and you’ve moved on. At this point, it’s inappropriate for your ex to lean on you emotionally when, in addition to you no longer being his girlfriend, you are someone else’s girlfriend now — someone who has expressed his discomfort with you continuing an intimate friendship with your ex. Let your ex find comfort in his new girlfriend and other family members who are grieving the loss of his dad. As for you being the only person in the area who knew his dad, there’s no reason he can’t “remember his father” over the phone with people he didn’t spent six years dating, unless he’s simply hoping to use his father’s death as a way to get you back in his orbit because he misses you, which ew.

Two weeks ago I chatted online, at his initiation, with a guy whose dating profile I really liked. We talked for a couple of hours, seemed to have lots of common interests and similar senses of humour and planned tentatively to meet in person once he had his work schedule sorted (again, at his initiation). I sent him a message last Wednesday pertaining to something funny we had talked about, he said he’d get back to me when his schedule was clear and I haven’t heard from him since. Ordinarily, I’d say, “Yup, he’s totally not interested,” but he is an upper-year medical student and I know they have crazy schedules that are often changed last-minute. Maybe, though, I’m just making excuses because he’s the most interesting guy I’ve come across in a while. Is it worth it to send one last message saying, “Hey, you seem really cool and I’d love to meet you in real life, are you actually going to be free any time?” Or should I just move on? — Interested

You should just move on. If a guy can’t get in touch with you in the very, very beginning, when he should be trying to impress you (and vice versa), then you can’t expect him to be very dependable later. Better to MOA before you start to actually care.


You can follow me on Facebook here and sign up for my weekly newsletter here.

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

237 comments… add one
  • cdobbs July 16, 2013, 9:14 am

    LW1….I read a horrifying statistic yesterday that men typically lie up to 6X per day to their significant other (women 3X per day)!….but having said that i think the fact that he has lied to you numerous times regarding the strip club is not a good sign for what your future holds….never feel pressure to get married because it is a destination wedding and people will have to cancel travel plans….if you don’t feel right marrying this guy it is never too late to change your mind….your friends and family will understand and I am sure they would rather see you in a happy secure relationship with someone who respects you then staying in a relationship with someone just because you don’t want to hurt anyone by cancelling the wedding
    LW3….i usually have a rule that once I send someone a message it is up to them to reply….i think the longest i would wait for a guy to get back to me is 2 weeks, even that is pushing it, if he is interested he would make more of an effort

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    • kerrycontrary July 16, 2013, 9:19 am

      What a weird statistic! I love funny facts like that, but I don’t think I like 3x/day to anyone nonetheless my boyfriend.

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      • GatorGirl July 16, 2013, 9:20 am

        Yeah. I don’t lie that much.

      • lets_be_honest July 16, 2013, 9:25 am

        Maybe little white lies are included? I’ve already lied today when my co-worker asked if I liked her new dress.

      • kerrycontrary July 16, 2013, 9:30 am

        haha! I still don’t think I lie that much, or my face will just say it all. One time my friend asked me if I liked her shorts and within 2 seconds she was like “omg, I’m returning them”.

      • bethany July 16, 2013, 9:33 am

        I’m SO bad about stuff like that, too. I can’t cover it up to save my life.

      • lets_be_honest July 16, 2013, 9:34 am

        Ok, I’m tracking all my lies today now. Hopefully I’ll be surprised and the number will be low.

      • GatorGirl July 16, 2013, 9:31 am

        I meant to write that- what’s the “definition” of a lie according to this study. But I don’t think I lie 3 times a day, even including white lies.

      • temperance July 16, 2013, 12:47 pm

        So, unrelated, but I have a memory of being really little and learning in church about lying being a sin, and I asked if that meant if someone asked me if I liked their haircut that I had to tell the truth, or I would make Jesus sad. I was told that lying is always a sin, because Satan is the Prince of Liars …. so I started being brutally honest and told my grandmother that the reason she had to wear such ugly clothes is because she was too fat for nice ones.


      • lets_be_honest July 16, 2013, 12:52 pm

        You just reminded me…I can remember making up sins to confess in confession. haha!

      • cdobbs July 16, 2013, 4:30 pm

        I did that! lol!

      • lets_be_honest July 16, 2013, 4:33 pm

        So messed up!

      • iwannatalktosampson July 16, 2013, 10:07 am

        I definitely bet I lie that much. I lie about the strangest things. They’re always small, but I still have no idea why I do it. Example: Talking to Colin on my way home from work, he’ll ask how close I am, I’ll say I’m at the corner of X and Y when really I’m 10 minutes farther away than that. Or I secretly want 30 minutes alone time so I’ll be halfway home and say I haven’t left yet. Why do I do these things? Am I a sociopath? My roommate in the dorms my freshman year said that I could lie so well on the spot it almost scared her. Again, it was never about anything big. Normally about getting out of plans, but still. I bet I bring the average up.

      • KKZ July 16, 2013, 10:18 am

        I’m the same way – I lie compulsively about really inconsequential things, because the lie makes a better story than the truth, haha. Sociopaths united!

      • iwannatalktosampson July 16, 2013, 10:23 am

        See mine’s never even about story telling. It always seems to revolve around my time management skills, of lack-thereof. It seems more efficient for me to say that I’ll be home in 30 minutes, than to say that I’ll be home shortly but I really want some time to drink a beer by myself and contemplate my escape from the hell that is my job.

      • Skyblossom July 16, 2013, 10:34 am

        Wouldn’t it be better over the long run to tell him where you are and then say you need some time to unwind. That way he knows the real you and the real you comes home from work and needs some time alone. Otherwise, he knows a fake you and over the long run you can’t keep a relationship running on fake.

      • iwannatalktosampson July 16, 2013, 10:39 am

        Right? Such a simple concept. I guess normally when I need time to decompress I can’t handle communication at all. So I’m always too stressed/tired to even want to explain why I need time to decompress. I wouldn’t want him to ask me what’s wrong, because it’s normally just a bad work day, so instead of opening up that can of worms I just lie. I’ve been like this in pretty much every relationship and it’s such a hard pattern to break.

      • Skyblossom July 16, 2013, 11:21 am

        I get not wanting to spend much time explaining. Could you just say that you’re an introvert and need a little alone time after spending the day surrounded by people? Something that just makes it natural that you need a little time to unwind and there is nothing to be concerned about and no need for a long discussion.

        I wonder if you’ve had someone in your past, maybe a parent or a partner, who didn’t accept needing alone time as legitimate and so you had to lie to meet your own needs and then it became the way you lived in a relationship.

      • iwannatalktosampson July 16, 2013, 12:05 pm

        I should have clarified. I don’t think this is the type of problem I’m going to do anything about, at least not soon. For now, it almost just seems more like a personality quirk that the people I’m dating can accept. Yeah it’s still lying and still technically wrong, but I will tell them any time they ask me about it whether I lied about it. So maybe it should really just be considered prolonging the truth.

      • Betsy July 16, 2013, 2:45 pm

        My boyfriend can be like this – although instead of lying he’s just intentionally vague. It’s extremely difficult to get him to commit to times or express details about what his plan is, because (I’ve come to realize) he just wants to do his own thing and doesn’t want to have to explain himself. It’s gotten a lot easier since we’ve moved in together, for the simple reason that I no longer need him to tell me what time he’s going to get to my place.

      • Fabelle July 16, 2013, 10:27 am

        Ohh, I definitely do that (the, “I’m around the corner” when I’m really only halfway there thing). My boyfriend takes forever to come out of his house, so I HAVE to do that, though! (And one time I caught my friend doing it to me—he calls me, like, “I’m outside!” I happened to be looking outside at the time, so I go, “No, you’re not!”)

        But yeah, everyone I do this to ~knows~ I’m lying, & vice-versa so I don’t even know what the point is anymore.

      • Fabelle July 16, 2013, 10:28 am

        And also, I do the “I ~just~ got home…” thing to my friends, if I’m planning to meet up with them. Really, I’ve been home for 45 minutes & am just buying more time to relax before I actually start getting ready.

      • iwannatalktosampson July 16, 2013, 10:33 am

        Yeah it’s so weird. Maybe I’m just scared my friends will try to peer pressure me into hurrying, so instead I’ll just lie about my timeframe. Which is so dumb because I’m sure if I was like, yeah I’ve been home a while, I’m just decompressing, I’ll be there in an hour, they’d be fine with it. But sometimes it’s like I’m too stressed from my day to even explain my actions, lying is just easier.

      • Fabelle July 16, 2013, 10:40 am

        Yep, sometimes I don’t even want to use however many words it would require me to explain my need for “decompression”?

      • Copa July 16, 2013, 10:38 am

        I do the same. Except normally I haven’t even left the house yet when I’m all, “On my way!” and “Almost there!” I’m chronically late when I meet up with my friends and feel badly about it. So I guess my solution is to lie instead of leaving earlier? It’s a dumb solution because I think it’s obvious when it takes me forever to get from Point A to Point B that I was not even close to the halfway point. Ha. Why do I have friends???

      • SasLinna July 16, 2013, 10:50 am

        I definitely notice when friends do this. I’m super punctual myself so I know how long it takes to get from A to B. I don’t say anything though 🙂

      • vizslalvr July 16, 2013, 8:00 pm

        Ha. I’m super punctual and people being chronically late is my hugest pet peeve because I think it is totally disrespectful of me and my time. And I totally call people out on it, and if they are more than 15 minutes late, I have just left and texted them that I was sick of waiting, so I would catch them another time. I’m kind of a bitch about punctuality.

      • Bunnycsp July 16, 2013, 11:03 am

        my husband chronically lies about how close he is to home. I think he thinks he will get in trouble for leaving work late. He also lies if he gets distracted upstairs. Like he will say “I am going to quickly change” then will take an hour. He will then say he was getting changed when really he was checking sports websites. why lie?

      • MackenzieLee July 16, 2013, 12:22 pm

        My ability to lie is scary sometimes too. Mostly it revolves around not wantin to hurt another person’s feelings or make things awkward. It’s dumb because obviously it will hurt them more long term. One of the things I am the worst about is movies. I have seen like zero movies but people always want to work a movie into their story like “remember in thisandthat movie when somerandomcharacter does that, it reminds me of my life” I always just nod along.

        My mom does the whole I’m on my way thing. It was really annoying growin up. She would tell me that she was on her way to pick me up somewhere and I would be waiting for hours. Once I was at school (10 minutes from my house) and it took her an hour!!! I was so flaming mad. I have a big issue when expectations and reality don’t match up. I would have no problem of she said she was busy and it would take an hour but when I have the expectation it will take 10 minutes an it takes an hour I get grouchy

      • Lindsay July 16, 2013, 1:15 pm

        I’m pretty good at lying also, I think, but I don’t do it a lot. I did come up with a story in case my boss asked why I took a couple days off earlier this year because I didn’t want to tell her it was for grad school interviews. I didn’t have to use it, but I told it to my friend, and he was a little disturbed because he’d pepper me with really detailed questions to try to “stump” me and I just spewed out this entire, very elaborate and believable story.

  • GatorGirl July 16, 2013, 9:22 am

    LW1 I think you should figure out WHY he’s lying to you.

    And, quit it with the clueless wife bs. It’s not cute, and you won’t become one unless you let yourself be.

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  • lets_be_honest July 16, 2013, 9:27 am

    LW1 – If you no longer want to get married because he went to a strip club, you probably shouldn’t have planned to marry him to begin with. Idk, just seems like a minor reason to call off a major life changer.

    Not saying its right, but clearly he felt he needed to lie because maybe you can’t handle the truth and he knew it.

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    • Skyblossom July 16, 2013, 10:01 am

      If he felt he needed to lie to hide the truth then they aren’t a good match for a lifetime together. He needs to find a wife who doesn’t mind strip clubs.

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      • lets_be_honest July 16, 2013, 10:02 am

        I agree.

      • TECH July 16, 2013, 10:26 am

        It just seems like the fiance went to strip clubs with his buddies as part of his bachelor party/pre wedding activities. It doesn’t mean he’s a scum ball or an adulterer. Personally, I think the LW needs to loosen up and focus on the bigger picture. But that’s just me.

      • lets_be_honest July 16, 2013, 10:28 am

        I feel the same way, but obviously everyone is different. If she’s debating calling off the wedding over it, clearly she is different than us.

      • Bunnycsp July 16, 2013, 10:59 am

        But, maybe he hid it because he was ashamed. Many times, when it comes to intimate things, people feel uncomfortable expressing what they like. He might not be hiding it from her because he is trying to deceive her but rather because he has a hard time admitting it out loud.

      • lets_be_honest July 16, 2013, 11:01 am

        Eh, I could see applying this to something like him dressing up as a bunny before jerking off. Ashamed to admit he’s been to a strip club once? Not buying it.

      • Steph July 16, 2013, 4:26 pm

        I just laughed out loud at work. Thanks for that.

  • ktfran July 16, 2013, 9:32 am

    I kind of disagree with Wendy today on all of these letters.

    LW3 – if this guy is, in fact, a medical student, I would cut him some slack. I recently found out that two of my close friends, who are very happily married, had an unconventional courtship. In that, he was in his residency when they first started dating and they only went on dates every two or three weeks. To top it off, they only chatted once in a great while. So, I wouldn’t forget about him yet.

    LW2 – if you and your ex had an amicable break, I don’t think him wanting to get together for a chat is that off the wall or gives any indication he wants to get back together. Yes, you were intimate, but you were also friends. I actually don’t understand why your current boyfriend has an issue with it. But I know I’m in the minority on this.

    LW1 – I agree with others. Find out why he lied to you. You say you were ok with the strip club, but not ok with him lying about it. If you were truly ok with the strip club, he probably wouldn’t have lied. Either that, or he’s an a hole doing something shady. Only you know which and can act accordingly.

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    • bethany July 16, 2013, 9:37 am

      I’m with you on Letter 2. I don’t think I could be with someone who wouldn’t “let” me be there for someone I was very close with for 6 years.

      My husband has met up with his x-gf a few times since we started dating, and I have no problem with it. He stopped dating her for a reason. She’s not a threat to me at all. And I know he would be fine with me doing the same.

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      • GatorGirl July 16, 2013, 9:41 am

        I actually agree with both of you on this one. So long as there was a clean break, what harm is a coffee or glass of wine here or there going to do?

      • Copa July 16, 2013, 9:44 am

        Agreed! I actually think it’s weird that LW2’s boyfriend feels uncomfortable with them meeting up, even in public for a short period of time.

      • bethany July 16, 2013, 9:57 am

        Yes- about the in public thing. I could see how he might be uncomfortable about them being at his house or something, but I don’t see anything weird about meeting for coffee.

      • Firestar July 16, 2013, 11:13 am

        I agree that meeting in public to reminisce is harmless. As long as it doesn’t turn into what Wendy is envisioning – that she become his rock to get through the process and he constantly reaches out for her support for him to get through his grief. Once or twice every couple of month to catch up or touch base – meh. Constant contact for emotional support – different story.

        I think the reason he is using is a little weak. Because you don’t need someone in your area code to chat. So maybe it just sounds odd to the boyfriend like the guy is looking for a way back in?

        FWIW my husband never knew my grandfather – but that doesn’t stop me from telling my husband stories about Grand-dad though. So if the ex has a new girlfriend this is the perfect time to reach out to her and to let her be there for him.

    • kerrycontrary July 16, 2013, 9:47 am

      I agree with you on LW2–I had a nasty breakup with one of my boyfriends but once I found out his dad had cancer that all went out the window and we had a long chat one night. Nothing romantic occured, he just talked to me about his dad’s health problems. And I could understand my boyfriend talking to his ex if her father died or something. The boyfriend seems pretty insensitive.

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    • mandalee July 16, 2013, 9:56 am

      I’m with you on LW2. My ex of almost 5 years lost his brother, grandmother, and grandfather during a tragic event. My husband and I were married at the time and he was completely comfortable with me reaching out to express my sadness over his loss and remember funny things his grandmother used to say. Grief is so lonely that it’s nice to have someone that understands what that person meant to you and can express some of the same feelings and memories.

      As long as it is a platonic get together, I don’t see the problem at all.

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    • iwannatalktosampson July 16, 2013, 10:31 am

      I think they’re both kind of weird here. The ex-boyfriend really has no one better to reach out too than an ex-girlfriend? He should be closer to any of the following people right now: Girlfriend, Mom, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, friends that knew his Dad, etc. To go out of his way to get in touch with an ex-girlfriend just seems weird to me. On the other hand it’s weird that the boyfriend cares about her going to a public place with an ex. Nothing gets me all hot and bothered like some sexy death talk.

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      • MackenzieLee July 16, 2013, 12:28 pm

        I agree so much. The part that seems the most weird to me is that he wanted her at the funeral. That just seems odd. Am I off base on this one? Unless I had a separate and continued relationship with the father after the break up I would feel that it wa intrusive

      • applescruffs July 16, 2013, 11:30 pm

        I don’t know, my ex’s father has brain cancer, which he was diagnosed with when we were still together, and if the father doesn’t make it I would like to attend his funeral. I liked his dad a lot, and if my ex was ok with it, I would want to be there to pay my respects to his dad. I don’t think I’d be weirded out if any of my exes wanted to attend the funeral of one of my family members.

    • Kate B. July 16, 2013, 10:38 am

      The point is, her boyfriend is uncomfortable with it. HIs feelings are valid. If she respects him, she will respect his feelings and not contact her ex. What would we say if she wrote in as the GF saying, “I made my wishes known to my BF and he went against them and saw her anyway”? I would say he is being dismissive and disrespectful of her feelings. In a committed relationship, you must take the other’s person’s wishes into consideration, even if you don’t agree with them. Now, if, as Bethany says, the LW can’t be with someone who won’t “let” her be there for someone else (and it’s not just someone else, it’s an ex-boyfriend) then she will have to decide if she needs to move on. I would find out exactly what his objection is. Does he have any reason to think this might be more than a meeting to share memories of dad? I myself am prone to jealousy, so I know what a problem it can be. It comes from insecurity, and everyone feels insecure once in a while. The best way to handle it is to sit down and find out why the BF feels insecure about this. If it turns out that this is a more than once in a while thing for him, then that is something for the LW to consider. She is in a relationship with this man now, and in order to respect it, she needs to respect him.

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      • ktfran July 16, 2013, 10:52 am

        But can’t it go the other way? If he respects her, and she is friendly with her ex, why can’t he just let her go have a coffee with him?

        I understand what you’re saying, but I don’t think I would ever date someone who couldn’t trust me and my judgment. That’s just me. And the thought of being constricted due to another’s jealousy or hangs up rubs me the wrong way.

        Respect works both ways.

      • Kate B. July 16, 2013, 11:20 am

        But he’s the one who has the problem with it. That has to be addressed. I wouldn’t want to be restricted by someone else’s jealousy either, but this may be a glitch in road. Maybe after they talk about it, it won’t be an issue anymore. Or maybe she’ll discover he’s a controlling asshole. She won’t know til she asks. I personally would have an issue with this, and would want to be heard. Her current relationship needs to be the focus.

      • Lindsay July 16, 2013, 1:03 pm

        I don’t think it should automatically be seen as him not trusting her or her judgment. Like if my boyfriend had to go on a business trip with his ex, it would make me uncomfortable, even if I didn’t think he’d hook up with her. It’s just how people feel sometimes. Also, if my partner assumed that by expressing discomfort as a feeling that I didn’t trust him, I’d think he was overreacting and being a little paranoid. I think it’s valid to be uncomfortable when your partner is getting so emotionally intimately involved with someone that they had a relationship with for so long. Should he tell her no? No. And it doesn’t seem that he has.

        I’d say if it’s a onetime thing, he should just let it go, but for sure, if the ex wanted to keep meeting up to “talk about his father,” then I’d say that would possibly be inappropriate.

      • ktfran July 16, 2013, 10:56 am

        I do agree that they need to have a conversation about it and figure it out.

      • Grilledcheesecalliope July 16, 2013, 11:45 am

        Are feelings always worth being listened to, and treated as valid. I kind of think if you are have irrational and selfish feelings (like I think telling your gf of 9 mos that she needs to let her ex of 6 years grieve alone because them meeting in a public place makes you uncomfortable is) those feelings should be ignored and you should work on being less insecure. Grief is hard and isolating and sometimes you do want to surround yourself with people who knew and liked your loved one.

      • Kate B. July 16, 2013, 11:56 am

        I feel differently. All feelings are valid. By saying that feelings should be ignored, you are making a judgement that your feelings are better than my feelings and are therefore more valid, and that is unfair. How would you feel if you voiced your feelings to your SO and were told, “You are being selfish and irrational and you need to work on your issues?”

      • LadyinPurpleNotRed July 16, 2013, 11:57 am

        Well if that were true, I would appreciate it. I want to be called out when I’m being irrational and don’t know it.

      • Kate B. July 16, 2013, 12:10 pm

        To me, that is a classic manipulation and control technique. If every person I knew told me that I was being irrational, then maybe they would be right. But if one person says it, I’m not automatically going to assume that they are right and I am wrong. I would say that we had an issue that we need to discuss. But, to dismiss me as being irrational because they disagree with what I’m saying, that is wrong and disrespectful.

      • LadyinPurpleNotRed July 16, 2013, 12:12 pm

        Yeah, but I trust what my significant other tells me. If I’m acting irrational, I trust him when he says I am. When I don’t trust that, it’s time to end things.

      • iwannatalktosampson July 16, 2013, 12:09 pm

        Yeah I gotta go with grilledcheese. Not all feelings are valid and really should be ignored. I had some super ridiculous feelings the other day. I wanted to talk to my boyfrannnnnnd all day at work because I was have a weird emotional day (not that I told him this, that would be way too honest of me) and so was unusually clingy. In my head, I was kind of annoyed at him. Like can’t you read my mind, know that I’m unstable right now, drop everything at work and answer my really important text about what we’re doing tonight? Please tell me you don’t think that’s a rational feeling. Even while I was feeling it I knew it was irrational.

        I just can’t support the thought that all feelings are valid. Or that you have to cater to every feeling your significant other has. If their feelings are dumb, insecure, jealous, high maintenance, etc, you should feel free to ignore them until the other person gets over it.

      • Kate B. July 16, 2013, 12:22 pm

        It may not be rational, but it is valid. You acknowledge that you were unusually clingy. He probably knows that too, and is willing to cut you some slack. (Why wouldn’t you tell him you’re having a weird emotional day? Just curious.) If you think the other person’s feelings are dumb, jealous, high maintenance, etc., (and that’s a subjective judgment on your part) you can choose not to deal with them, i.e. walk away, but I don’t think you can ignore them.

      • ele4phant July 16, 2013, 12:34 pm

        I think maybe you are maybe using a different definition of valid then some of us. Were iwanna’s feelings valid in that they existed and she couldn’t just wave them away at will? I’m sure that was the case.

        Did the fact they existed justify her demanding all of her boyfriend’s time and being super clingy? Erm, I think her point was no, they did not.

        Likewise with LW2 current boyfriend. If he feels threatened by her meeting up with the ex, that’s how he feels, can’t change that. However, if he is a reasonable, rational person after that reflexive rush of emotion subsides a bit, he should realize despite what he feels, it’s not okay to dictate who his girlfriend can and cannot see.

        It’s not okay to put unreasonable demands on your partner because “it’s how i feel, and feelings are valid”. Sure, feel whatever you want but act like a reasonable person, perhaps in spite of those feelings.

      • iwannatalktosampson July 16, 2013, 12:40 pm

        YES! Perfectly worded. That was the distinction I tried to make. Sure, you can technically have them. I can’t stop my own feelings no matter how hard I try. But I can choose to admit they’re crazy, refuse to act on them, and keep them to myself. As should the boyfriend in this case.

      • Kate B. July 16, 2013, 12:42 pm

        I agree that is it not okay to put restrictions on your partner’s movements. A situaiton like this calls for discussion. If he can’t get past his feelings, then maybe it is a dealbreaker. But those feelings are part of who he is and they cannot be ignored. his feelings may change. Telling somebody to just “get over” their feelings minimizes them, and tells them that they, as a person, don’t matter.

      • ele4phant July 16, 2013, 12:56 pm

        I don’t think every feeling needs to be talked through. I feel I am generally a rational introspective person, and in the instances I catch myself going over the rails I can work through things on my own. I don’t always need my bf to hold my hand and help me work through what I already know are irrational feelings.

        Sometimes yes, things are unclear or a mismatch of our expectations and that needs to get hashed out, but I think to be a healthy adult you need to be capable on working on some of your issues on your own.

      • iwannatalktosampson July 16, 2013, 12:37 pm

        Well I’m kind of private about my feelings, which is why I wouldn’t update someone on having a weird emotional day because then they would probably feel like it was their problem to fix, and then I would feel guilty for making it their problem, and blah blah blah. So I have lots of weird feelings that I keep to myself but that’s not really related to why I feel like irrational feelings should be ignored…

        Have you ever heard the saying, “don’t feed the crazy” or “if you give drama a stage it will perform?” I think in some cases, acknowledging, or helping someone walk through their irrational feelings is counter productive. You’re giving them a stage to go through this drama, when really their insecurities should not be fed or given attention. It’s like when little kids throw temper tantrums… the most helpful thing you can do is ignore it.

      • Kate B. July 16, 2013, 12:55 pm

        I’m very private about my feelings as well, so I get that. I feel I am under no obligation to explain myself to anyone. I don’t criticize you at all for handling things the way you do. As I said, I was just curious. But, if my feelings were causing me to do things that impacted my relationship with someone, especially someone who didn’t know me very well, I would probably choose to say something like, “Hey, XYZ is happening today, and that’s why I did what I did.” (If it was even something he noticed.) I don’t think that calling someone’s feelings valid is feeding the crazy necessarily. To me, it’s acknowledging that they have those feelings, and as a human being they are entitled to them. My next step is, do I engage them or walk away? That’s all I’m saying.

      • iwannatalktosampson July 16, 2013, 1:07 pm

        No I get what you’re saying. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer necessarily. But I think for me – part of my personality is withholding freak outs and being really private about things – so I guess the sooner someone finds that out the better. Sure I could tell them – listen I’m having a day – please don’t take my lack of communication personally, there’s nothing you can do too fix it. Or I could just do what I normally do, and they’ll learn on their own that sometimes I have days where I’m in a funk and need space. My needing space normally only lasts an hour, so it’s not like it’s this big drawn out thing. Pretty much it lasts long enough for me to get home, change into yoga pants, and have a beer by myself, haha.

      • Grilledcheesecalliope July 16, 2013, 12:09 pm

        It depends on what the feelings are about. I think this a clear situation where someone is being insecure and selfish. I also think the LW’s boyfriend knows he is being irrational (unless she left some things out) and is choosing to guilt trip her so that he gets his way to the detriment of someone who needs support now.

      • ele4phant July 16, 2013, 12:52 pm

        If you are normally a sane and rational person, do you really need to talk out your feelings and get outside perspective every time to realize when you’re verging into crazy town? I mean sure, in your immediate reaction you’re probably not capable of self assessment, but once you cool down a bit? I’ve definitely had freak outs about something my boyfriend did, but once I calmed down I am capable of working through my feelings myself, I don’t need him to help me thriving that.

        I mean sure, sometimes things aren’t black and white and you need to talk things through, but generally when I’m being unreasonable I have enough introspection to realize it and solve it for myself.

      • ele4phant July 16, 2013, 12:06 pm

        Feelings are valid, but the actions they compell you to may not be.

        You feel how you feel, and certainly you should be able to express them and unpack them with your partner, but ultimately in an instance like this (meet up with an ex one time in a public place) they don’t justify you trying to limit your partner’s actions.

      • ktfran July 16, 2013, 12:24 pm


      • Kate B. July 16, 2013, 12:29 pm

        I agree with this.

      • Lily in NYC July 16, 2013, 12:12 pm

        But not everyone agrees his feelins ARE valid. To me, it would be a complete dealbreaker if my current beau could not handle my friendships with some of my exes.

      • Kate B. July 16, 2013, 12:25 pm

        I think it would be for a lot of people. But I think it’s a separate issue. Are his feelings valid? Yes. Do I have to put up with them? No. (My opinion only.)

      • Lindsay July 16, 2013, 1:05 pm

        I think the key is that it’s a difference in values, not a fault in him. I have no desire to be close to my exes, and for the few that I am still friends with, if a boyfriend wasn’t really cool with certain aspects of our friendship, then I’d be like, eh, OK. Assuming he wasn’t be a jealous creep about it. But I know it’s really important for some people to be friends with their exes.

  • theattack July 16, 2013, 9:32 am

    LW1: Are you upset about strip clubs in general or the fact that he lied about going to them? It’s completely reasonable to be upset about a lie, whatever the lie is about. Canceling a wedding is a lot easier than divorce, but is this something you might be able to work out instead? Think about it (but quickly!) before you make any decisions. You two clearly need to have a big chat.

    LW2: Don’t meet up with your ex.

    LW3: He might be busy, but if so he could have taken time to write you another message. Just move on and reassess the situation if you hear from him in the future.

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  • lemongrass July 16, 2013, 9:37 am

    If you don’t know a person very well and you find yourself saying “ordinarily I’d do X but…” Just do X.

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  • Lindsay July 16, 2013, 9:38 am

    LW1: I get not being happy that your fiance lied, but if you were really just upset about that and not about the strip club, then you wouldn’t be this angry. Otherwise it would be like he lied about going to get ice cream. You’d be like, Oh, that’s weird. And since you got angry about the strip club, he lied again and will do so in the future. So, like Wendy said, decide if it’s a dealbreaker that your fiance goes to strip clubs and lies about it BEFORE the wedding. Just remember, it’s a lot harder to get out of a marriage than a wedding.

    LW2: WWS. There must be other people who have memories of his father besides you. And I also hate when people refer to the years of their relationship as X number of years of friendship. I had a boyfriend who used to do this in order to justify why he was always up his ex-girlfriend’s ass all the time. “We were friends for four years, OK?”

    LW3: If he suddenly frees up, he could contact you on his own. And even if he were too busy to hang out, he could have taken five seconds to write a message.

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    • Miss Terri July 16, 2013, 11:42 am

      LW3: Absolutely true. Yes, medical school can be hectic, but you are not busy EVERY MINUTE of the day! You get down time, when you can eat/sleep/check your emails. She should definitely move on from this one….

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      • Lindsay July 16, 2013, 12:56 pm

        Yes! And if he is THAT busy, then he certainly is not going to have time to date someone.

  • Miss MJ July 16, 2013, 9:41 am

    LW 1: Full disclosure – I honestly don’t understand why women get all up in knots about strip clubs. So
    long as it is all look, no touch or lap dances, I don’t have a problem and think it is kind of like a rite of passage that most guys outgrow. In any event, I’m inclined to give your fiancé a bit of a pass here. It’s a bachelor party, most likely one his friends arranged for him, and it involved strippers. I’m imagining your fiancé kind of just wanted to go along with the fun and not be That Guy who cannot do anything “fun” like his friends (even the engaged, married and committed rrelationshipped ones) can do because his fiancé Just Won’t Tolerate It. Seriously, lighten up. Your attitude is why he didn’t tell you and won’t tell you things in the future. If it were a random Saturday night and he was just going for shits and giggles, sure, be pissed if that’s what is off limits for you, but seriously considering canceling your wedding because he went to a strip club for his bachelor party is either just ridiculous or a sign that this relationship isn’t meant to be.

    LW 2: Your ex is going through an emotional time and is looking to lean emotionally on you. Your current boyfriend is absolutely right to not like it one bit and, frankly, he should be your concern. Unless you’re looking to have a hook up with your ex because that’s so where this is headed.

    LW 3: If he wanted to talk to you, he would, busy or not. The Internet works 24/7. He’s not even interested enough to say “Wow, crazy busy! Let’s aim for getting together next week.” MOA.

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    • lets_be_honest July 16, 2013, 10:30 am

      “Unless you’re looking to have a hook up with your ex because that’s so where this is headed.”

      Its kinda sad to me that anyone would think this. I could totally see reaching out to an ex if a parent died, and having zero thought of it leading to a hookup.

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    • temperance July 16, 2013, 12:50 pm

      Re: LW1: I think I have strip club PTSD because I once heard a call on LoveLine where someone called in because her friend was hit in the eye with a male stripper’s thong, and she developed EYE HERPES from the contact. I know it’s not rational, but that’s my first thought.

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      • lets_be_honest July 16, 2013, 12:52 pm

        Someone once told me a stripper bit their ear and he bugged out thinking he’d get an infection from it.

      • iwannatalktosampson July 16, 2013, 1:11 pm

        See in a way that’s why I think strip clubs are kind of icky. The people that go to them think of the girls as diseased whores and treat them as less than human. Which fine they’re selling their bodies, but it still makes me sad to think that guys can get hard from something they have zero respect for.

      • lets_be_honest July 16, 2013, 1:21 pm

        Such a good point!

  • bagge72 July 16, 2013, 9:49 am

    LW1: It seems like you must have made a big deal about strip clubs in the past, this is why he feels he needs to lie to you, so you he doesn’t have to deal with you judging him about it. If strip clubs are really a big deal to you, you need break it off, because he is going to keep doing it.

    LW2: This guys has a girlfriend, and it must suck for her that her boyfriend is turning to his ex for consoling, instead of her. He clearly is using this as something other than a time to reminisce about his father, because you could do that over the phone or through email. I think you still have feelings for him as well, or you wouldn’t even consider this. You two are being disrespectful to your significant others. If this is truly about sharing memories, then I would suggest to him bringing your significant others with you, that way you know nothing else will be going on, and his current girlfriend, can maybe be allowed to learn a little something about her boyfriend’s dad, and have some of her own memories they can talk about together.

    LW3: He either is making excuses, or really is that busy. Either way, I wouldn’t contact him again, just leave the ball in his court, and start talking to other people.

    Reply Link
  • MaterialsGirl July 16, 2013, 9:53 am


    Reply Link
    • Addie Pray July 16, 2013, 10:02 am

      Ats my girl!!!!!

      Reply Link
  • iwannatalktosampson July 16, 2013, 10:04 am

    For LW3 – even if he is really busy – do you want to be with someone that is that busy? If it’s already bothering you, and you haven’t even gone on a date yet, it doesn’t seem like you’re a good match anyway, so move on.

    Reply Link
  • Addie Pray July 16, 2013, 10:09 am

    LW3, meh, I see no harm in sending him one LAST message, but not a sassy one like that – i.e., don’t say “are you ‘actualy’ going to be free?” If it were me, and I were legitimately busy (which *does* happen sometimes), that tone would piss me off. And if I were actively avoiding meeting you and received that message, then I would definitely continue to… actively avoid you. *But* maybe a “Hey, I know you’re busy but I enjoyed talking to you last week so I thought I’d try once more. Are you up for a quick coffee break this week?” … Voila. No harm in that, right? But that’s it. It’s up to him from there on out.

    Reply Link
  • GatorGirl July 16, 2013, 10:14 am

    Are there any DWers who are “against” strip clubs? Like it would be an issue if your partner went to one? I’m interested in the thought process behind it.

    Reply Link
    • Addie Pray July 16, 2013, 10:17 am

      Well, I can’t imagine adopting a bright line rule “you go to strip club, we break up.” But I think they’re stupid, trashy, and a waste of money, and if my boyfriend enjoyed that scene, then I think we’d have more fundamental issues between us than he entered a strip club. Throwing all that money so some poor girl will strip – and being turned on by that? Gross!

      Reply Link
      • Addie Pray July 16, 2013, 10:19 am

        ^ Especially wanting to go there all while knowing I’d strip for free or at least a splash of red wine?! Not cool.

      • GatorGirl July 16, 2013, 10:21 am

        I agree on the waste of money part…but so are pedicures.

      • Addie Pray July 16, 2013, 10:24 am

        In that they don’t last? Then so are messages and facials and haircuts…. I’m not sure where you’re going with that – but I agree these things are a waste of money in that sense.

        Let me guess – GatorGuy likes strip clubs?

      • GatorGirl July 16, 2013, 10:30 am

        He’s never been and has no interest, but would go if it was a bachelor party situation.

        I wasn’t trying to invalidate the “it’s a waste of money” view, I think it is too. I just think that are A LOT of wastes of money that we all justify.

      • lets_be_honest July 16, 2013, 10:35 am

        I can’t compare my wasting money on pedicures or purses (things!) to wasting money by paying a stranger to get naked and get you hard. One is yucky for many reasons, the other is just a thing.
        (obviously I’m biased toward purses though, haha)

      • GatorGirl July 16, 2013, 10:37 am

        So like porn though- you pay to watch someone/something to arouse you. Same thing right?

      • Addie Pray July 16, 2013, 10:38 am

        GG moves in with the kill!!!!

      • Fabelle July 16, 2013, 10:41 am

        No one pays for porn 😉

      • lets_be_honest July 16, 2013, 10:42 am

        Oh, ha. You beat me to it.

      • lets_be_honest July 16, 2013, 10:41 am

        You pay for porn?

      • Addie Pray July 16, 2013, 10:44 am

        nice save! [i’m playing sports announcer, see?]

      • theattack July 16, 2013, 10:42 am

        Girl, I don’t pay for any of that. There is too much free stuff around to be paying for it.

      • GatorGirl July 16, 2013, 10:45 am

        I have not personally paid for porn, but people do. But I’m also not a big porn fan.

        So, I guess y’all are saying if it’s free it’s not yucky…but if you pay for it, it becomes yucky?

      • lets_be_honest July 16, 2013, 10:49 am

        No, not at all. I see a big difference in sitting on your couch at home watching prerecorded free porn and going to a public place to sit with strangers getting hard while paying a woman to take her clothes off in real time.

      • GatorGirl July 16, 2013, 11:03 am

        Well, unless it’s amateur porn, SOMEONE paid the participants. You might be watching a truncated free version, but money was exchanged hands.

      • lets_be_honest July 16, 2013, 11:07 am

        Yes, I understand, but I wasn’t paying for it. I don’t care if someone else was at some point in history. That’s beside the point though.

        Watching someone in the privacy of your own home is very different than going to a strip club, me paying for it, and sitting with a bunch of strangers, watching a live girl. Do you disagree?

      • lets_be_honest July 16, 2013, 11:08 am

        You asked if its the paying part that makes it yucky, and I’m trying to explain why the paying thing is only a part of why it yucks me out.

      • GatorGirl July 16, 2013, 11:12 am

        Yeah, I do actually disagree. I don’t have any issue with someone choosing to pay to watch an individual strip in a “public” setting of a strip club.

        Do you think the live sex sites, where you pay a person on webcam to strip are equally yucky? You’re in the privacy of your own home, but money is exchanging hands?

        I’m not judging or trying to be rude, I’m genuinely fascinated by the subject.

      • lets_be_honest July 16, 2013, 11:15 am

        I think you’re not understanding my point. I’m not saying I have an issue with anyone doing what they want.
        I’m just trying to point out why I see a difference between porn and strip clubs, because they are two pretty different things, in my mind.

      • lets_be_honest July 16, 2013, 11:17 am

        Ok, maybe this is better…if Gguy went to a strip club every night v. watched porn at home every night. Different?

      • GatorGirl July 16, 2013, 11:27 am

        Nope, I’d be equal uncomfortable with him watching porn nightly or going to a strip club nightly.

        I understand that you think other’s are free to do as they please, I’m just curious the rational behind your stance, and how you apply it.

      • lets_be_honest July 16, 2013, 11:33 am

        How I apply what I see as differences? I feel like I have explained why I see the difference. One is free. One is in the privacy of your home. One is not live. The other isn’t free, you’re with strangers, happening in real time, with a live girl in front of you.
        If Peter watched porn every night, I wouldn’t care. If he went to a strip club every night? I’d care (ftr, once in a blue moon, I wouldn’t care). They’re just very different in my mind.

      • iwannatalktosampson July 16, 2013, 11:39 am

        The money part is a big difference to me because I think even when you’re just dating it feels like you’re spending money on something I don’t value. I know I keep bringing up flowers but it’s so true – I am annoyed equally by the purchase of flowers and the purchase of naked women. Why waste money on that? You can’t use them, they’re immaterial, and in summary a waste of money.

        Free porn is fine because it doesn’t take anything away from our relationship. Spending money on something that I won’t enjoy and find useless (when there are so many free options like porn!) does.

      • GatorGirl July 16, 2013, 11:44 am

        So LBH, what about the live feed porn that you pay for but are in the privacy of your own home?

        I personally am more uncomfortable with the idea of GGuy spending so much time (porn or strip club) watching sex related material (a live dancer or a video). To me the location/money is irrelevant- spending that much time absorbed in it is a problem. It would take away from our sex life, him being so focused on others in a sexual manner. That is my issue with it. IMO, of course.

      • lets_be_honest July 16, 2013, 11:53 am

        Hmm, for starters, I watch porn pretty frequently, and I know he does too, and we have a pretty active sex life and he’s never not been able to perform, so I don’t think it takes away from our sex lives at all. If anything, it enhances it.

        As to live feed porn on the internet, I don’t know. If he were interacting with them, it would be different to me because obviously he’s not interacting with a porn actress on a regular porn movie. And he’d be paying for it, so I’d just think he was dumb since he can get it for free. So yea, I think there are significant differences between a porn movie, a live feed and going to a strip club. Its surprising to me that everyone doesn’t see those differences.

      • lets_be_honest July 16, 2013, 10:51 am

        Also, strip clubs involve a human being. A pedicure or purse? They don’t.

      • iwannatalktosampson July 16, 2013, 10:25 am

        Not in my house – they were considered a medical issue.

      • Addie Pray July 16, 2013, 10:31 am

        And just to be clear, *I* view them as stupid, trashy, and a waste of money — others can certainly disagree. I would never try to stop someone from going. But if my boyfriend liked that scene, I’d wonder if/how we were a good match. If he went to check it out once or went because of some bachelor party, meh, who cares. But if he enjoyed it, wanted to keep going, got turned on by that? Not for me. Same would be true if my boyfriend were religious and wanted me to partake, owned guns, didn’t like or want kids, drank white wine … <— Just not what I like/want, and that's cool.

      • theattack July 16, 2013, 10:40 am

        owned guns… haha!

      • Addie Pray July 16, 2013, 10:53 am

        Yea, having a gun in the house wuold be a dealbreaker. I’m pretty sure it would. I can’t think of a situation where that would be ok. Maybe if I dated a cop? That sounds too scary!

      • theattack July 16, 2013, 10:59 am

        Sorry, but that’s really funny to me. Not to make fun of your dealbreakers. Just observing a cultural difference. I’ve just rarely been in a house that DIDN’T have at least one gun. I feel uncomfortable right now because the only thing we have is a high power rifle (and several large blades), and there are at least two more firearms I want in order to feel more safe. Feelings of safety clearly vary a lot.

      • Addie Pray July 16, 2013, 11:09 am

        Oh no need to apologize – I get that for some people the opposite would be a dealbreaker! It’s funny to hear people’s dealbreakers. The good news is there’s someone out there for everyone – or else that’s what I keep telling myself.

      • Addie Pray July 16, 2013, 11:12 am

        “Feelings of safety clearly vary a lot” <— Yup! A high power rifle and several large blades and two more firearms would scare the shit out of me. SCARE THE SHIT OUT OF ME, I say!

      • theattack July 16, 2013, 11:16 am

        haha, What if someone was a hunter? Or an archer? Or a high-risk fencer using real blades? Or a trail blazer with a hoard of machetes? There are reasons for all of our weapons besides self-defense too. We use them for sport primarily but keep them close by for self-defense. For you, is it just the presence of weapons, or is it the reason for having them?

      • Addie Pray July 16, 2013, 11:25 am

        I don’t know. I think it’s both the presence of the weapons and the reason for having them. Being an archer doesn’t sound like a dealbreaker. Is that were they take their big bows and am at the bullseye off in the distance? Ok, I can handle that. And if he need to store his archery shit in the home, well maybe that would be ok, if there were a locked closet for that stuff, in the basement, maybe. I dunno. I’d have to take it on a case by case basis.

        But a hunter? I don’t think I’d like that.

      • GatorGirl July 16, 2013, 11:31 am

        GGuy’s grandparents have a gun rack above the bed in the spare bedroom. It was very alarming the first night I stayed there. Now I look forward to riding 4 wheelers, drinking cheap beer, and shooting guns when we visit.

      • Fabelle July 16, 2013, 11:31 am

        Yeah, my boyfriend has…a lot…of guns (rifles included). I’m comfortable around them now, but I did actually bring up safety for whenever we move in together. Like, would you keep them locked up? etc. And if we have children? (I was almost afraid he’d be like, “Lock them up? But how would I defend myself against a home intruder?” but he actually was like, “No shit I’d lock them up, are you stupid?” So, that was comforting.)

      • Fabelle July 16, 2013, 11:32 am

        Oh, & he doesn’t hunt. That would be a dealbreaker, I think (although I’ve dated a hunter before. I don’t know where I keep finding these dudes in my liberal, densely populated state?)

      • theattack July 16, 2013, 11:42 am

        Haha, yes AP, archery is shooting an arrow at a target, or bow-hunting. Interesting, interesting. What if he hunted with bows but not firearms? (Sorry, you can shut me up anytime now).

        I completely agree about the storage of weapons. I’ve stayed in homes with guns just laying around before like that, GG, and that’s terrifying. Guns are A-Okay for me, but they have to be safely stored: unloaded, locked away in a gun cabinet or something, most ammunition kept in a different place, etc.

      • Addie Pray July 16, 2013, 12:31 pm

        No, I don’t like hunting whether it’s with guns or arrows or traps or I dunno what.

      • GatorGirl July 16, 2013, 11:14 am

        We’ve talked about getting a gun, I’ll have to FB you if we get serious about the conversation. I didn’t grow up with guns but GGuy did, and I’ve fired one a handful of times. But I live in FL where all the laws are assbackwards so maybe we should wait till we move…

      • Addie Pray July 16, 2013, 11:27 am

        Oh I have been paint balling before and I admittedly enjoyed shooting paint balls at people. I was kind of taken back by how much fun I had.

      • Lindsay July 16, 2013, 4:55 pm

        I wouldn’t be cool with guns in the house. First, it’s very unlikely that I’d be into someone who hunted. Not that I think hunting is bad (I lived in a very hunter-friendly area for a while), but the type of guys I’m attracted to tend not to hunt. They also tend to not like guns. Second, for safety, I guess I don’t really understand how a gun could be stored safely and then be expected to be used for protection. Like if you had an intruder in your home, would you really have time to open up your locked gun cabinet, put bullets in your gun and then do whatever it is you wanted to do? I’m sure there are exceptions, like where you find some sort of a danger and have several minutes to spare and are able to move freely about your home, but it’s not enough of a justification for me to date someone who likes having guns around.

      • Grilledcheesecalliope July 16, 2013, 11:54 am

        Gun ownership is not a dealbreaker for me, but gun enthusiasm is. I would be ok with my bf having a gun at home in case of an emergency, but I wouldn’t want him showing it to people, carrying it or buying more than one. My cousin lives in OK and has a conceal and carry permit and she and her gf have matching pistols. We both think the other is weird.

      • Northern Mermaid July 16, 2013, 4:04 pm

        It’s funny–if someone has a gun in their home all locked up and only taken out for hunting, my thought is “Ok, awesome. hunting=food. one moose=year’s worth of meat. Sustainable living at its best!” But if someone has guns for “safety” or “protection” that would be a dealbreaker for me.

      • Matt A July 16, 2013, 6:20 pm

        You’re kidding, right? Guys like things that go “bang”, whether that’s cars, fireworks, motorcycles, guns, you name it. Owning a gun for any reason isn’t all that abnormal.

        Up until a couple years ago I didn’t know a thing about guns and didn’t care to learn. I have a serious Christian upbringing and a career in IT, live in a nice neighborhood and feel safe everywhere I go. However, as my maturity level rose so did my awareness that bad things happen to good people just like me.

        Now I own a rifle and a pistol; the rifle is for hunting and the pistol is tucked safely away in my night stand. Self-defense? No — life insurance for my loved ones, and I hope and pray that I never have to use it just like every other gun owner I’ve talked to. If someone breaks into my house I’ll take as many options to defend myself and my family as I can get.

        Having a healthy fear of guns is a good thing, but gun ownership for self defense being a deal breaker is just silly. Men who value their loved ones enough to defend them is a serious sign of maturity.

      • Lindsay July 16, 2013, 7:27 pm

        Just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean it’s silly for it to be someone else’s dealbreaker. I’ve known plenty of guys (friends, boyfriends, acquaintances) who had no desire to have a gun. It’s fine if someone does, but something that’s right for one person isn’t necessarily right for everyone else.

      • GatorGirl July 17, 2013, 9:03 am

        Yeah…it’s not cool to try to invalidate someone else’s dealbreaker.

        Also, there are plenty of women who “like things that go “bang”” and “value their loved ones enough to defend them” so please take your gender stereotypes out of it. There are plenty of men who have no interest in guns or cars.

      • Jenny July 16, 2013, 10:23 am

        I agree completely with AP.

      • Addie Pray July 16, 2013, 10:37 am

        ^ now *that* should be on a mug, no? Haha.

      • lets_be_honest July 16, 2013, 10:32 am

        I’m with you.

        I also think there’s a HUGE difference between going to one because of a bachelor party and going to one on a random Saturday night because why not.

      • 6napkinburger July 16, 2013, 12:48 pm

        Totally Agreed.

        I have no dealbreaker problems with strip clubs (like, I don’t think it’s cheating or anything). If my SO goes because that’s what people are doing for a bachelor party, go for it. Because, also, bachelor parties die out (people get older and married, and there aren’t usually/always bachelor parties for second marriages). So it is only an issue for a relatively short amount of time during twenties and thirties.

        But I do have a problem with the idea of my [future] 45 year old husband, father of 3, going to strip clubs and getting lap dances, etc., because he WANTS to. Like, some people golf on the weekends, my husband goes to strip clubs? Um, yuck. Because I can’t imagine a situation that isn’t sad for me. Is he going to the shitty strip club with the aging chain-smoking strippers? Yuck. Is he going to the high-end gentleman’s club with nubile 19 year olds giving lap dances to the CEO? Equal yuck. Is it “just” to entertain clients on any consistent basis? What kind of job does he have that OTHER 45 year old fathers need to be entertained by that, rather than like, a nice steak dinner, a ball game, etc.

        I’m not saying I’d be devestated if my 45 year old husband winds up in a strip club due to whatever random circumstances at the behest of others, but I couldn’t handle being with anyone who “frequents” strip clubs for real, especially in the future. I just can’t imagine my life with someone who feels the need to do that.

      • Christy July 16, 2013, 10:50 am

        Agreed, AP. My friend is a stripper, and she has been for like five years now. I’ve visited her at work–it’s scuzzy. And the dudes there are scuzzy. The strippers are actually quite lovely. (Personality-wise, I mean.)

        Like, I wouldn’t get it, but it’s your money. The pole-dancing part is cool, but the floor-humping (was that just my friend’s club?) and the bar crawl were both gross.

        I keep going back and forth. I think AP’s ultimately right – if you like strip clubs as a sexual thing, we’re going to have bigger issues.

      • Addie Pray July 16, 2013, 10:56 am

        “I think AP’s ultimately right” <– oh them are sexy words, stop talking dirty to me, I'm at work!

    • iwannatalktosampson July 16, 2013, 10:22 am

      I’m not against it per se. I wouldn’t be mad if he went with some friends for a bachelor party or anything. But like AP, I think they’re a huge waste of money. Kind of like flowers ;). I just don’t get the point of them. If my boyfriend wanted to pay someone to strip – well he can pay me – I would love a new kate spade purse.

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      • GatorGirl July 16, 2013, 10:31 am

        That’s pretty much how I feel. Husband, if you want to make it rain…well I’m available.

      • oldie July 16, 2013, 11:17 am

        I think bf was dealing with peer pressure that said ‘bachelor party must include strippers’ and felt embarrassed to tell his friends that his gf wouldn’t permit this. He didn’t tell LW because he knew it would cause a fight and it wasn’t something he would have done without the peer pressure.

    • ktfran July 16, 2013, 10:23 am

      A agree with AP in that I think strip clubs are stupid and trashy. However, it’s not a deal breaker. If my boyfriend or husband went once in a very great while, I wouldn’t care. Like, all his buddies were doing it or something for some party.

      BUT – I don’t think I would ever date a dude who frequented them.

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    • call-me-hobo July 16, 2013, 10:24 am

      I’m not particularly against them, but I don’t see the point. I feel like I’m in better shape than a lot of strippers, AND my boobs are real. So why pay money to see something not quite as good that you can’t even touch? Isn’t touching the fun part of being naked?

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    • theattack July 16, 2013, 10:24 am

      WAPS. Also I’m only okay with strip clubs as long as he’s honest about them. If he lies or fails to tell me about it beforehand, I’m not okay with it. So it’s conditional approval of strip clubs.

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      • theattack July 16, 2013, 10:26 am

        Oh, and there’s a big difference between going to one for a bachelor party or a once every two years kind of occasion, but more frequent than that and I’m going to have a problem.

      • iwannatalktosampson July 16, 2013, 10:28 am

        See that’s interesting to me. You’re kind of like the LW then. I think you’re either okay with them or not. If being okay with them depends on your prior approval – doesn’t that make you not really okay with them? And then make him more likely to lie? I don’t know it kind of seems like a self fulfilling prophecy to me.

      • Addie Pray July 16, 2013, 10:34 am

        I get theattack’s point. If my boyfriend went and hid it from me, I’d be pissed – not because he went but because he felt he couldn’t tell me, as if he was doing something wrong or that he viewed what he was doing was wrong, and so decided to LIE about it… That’s unsettling.

      • lets_be_honest July 16, 2013, 10:37 am

        What about failure to mention because you don’t want to rock the boat over a one time thing?

      • Addie Pray July 16, 2013, 10:39 am

        Well, why would a one time thing rock the boat? It wouldn’t. But lying b/c you *though* it would? Weird!

      • GatorGirl July 16, 2013, 10:42 am

        Yup, I agree with AP. I wouldn’t lie out of fear GGuy wouldn’t like something I was doing. I’d tell him, and if he had a problem we’d talk through it.

      • lets_be_honest July 16, 2013, 10:45 am

        Idk, maybe I’m the shady one, but I could sorta understand just not mentioning it. Why get anyone worked up or worried about something minor that likely won’t happen again.

        But, you’re right that it shouldn’t rock the boat. And I wouldn’t like being lied to. I guess I wouldn’t like being lied to by omission either. Idk. Basically, I have no idea what my argument is being I think I agree with all the conflicting arguments here.

      • lets_be_honest July 16, 2013, 10:54 am

        Probably a dumb comparison, but remember a few days ago on here we were discussing whether you would tell your partner if your ex sent you a friendly message on fb and you replied saying something like hope all is well? Like that, I wouldn’t mention it because its meaningless and not important, and I wouldn’t want to make anyone start worrying about something (I know how people’s brain starts churning over something like that, I read dw, haha). So I guess I’m seeing the omission of a strip club visit a little like that.

        Then again, I likely would mention both of those things and/or don’t think Peter would give a crap.

      • theattack July 16, 2013, 11:06 am

        That makes sense as a reason to skip over it, but I don’t think it justifies it.

        Imagine that someone saw you out at the strip club and told Peter about it. That probably wouldn’t go over as well as it would have if you had been upfront about it, right? About a year and a half ago my husband omitted a strip club in conversation with me, and I found out from someone else that he had gone. I can’t even describe how shitty that feels to find out from someone else something your SO should have told you about. Since then my policy has been that if there’s something I don’t want him to find out elsewhere, I need to tell him about it myself even if it sucks.

      • lets_be_honest July 16, 2013, 11:11 am

        As I’ve read all your comments, including this one, I’ve agreed, so I’m not sure why I keep playing devil’s advocate, haha.

      • theattack July 16, 2013, 11:13 am

        Haha, Because that’s who you are. It’s fun to look at all sides of it though. Like I agree with what you said too, but ultimately I think it’s all a matter of cost-benefit.

      • theattack July 16, 2013, 10:47 am

        I think it goes to the heart of being considerate for your partner. If you think doing something would upset me enough that you wouldn’t want me to know about it, I expect that my SO would decide not to do it at all because our relationship > strip clubs (or whatever else). If you’re unsure about it, we can talk.

        Also lying doesn’t even give me a chance to approve of it, so he’s automatically assuming I’m lame.

      • lets_be_honest July 16, 2013, 10:52 am

        I like this.

      • theattack July 16, 2013, 10:38 am

        Good point! I hadn’t thought of it that way, but that’s definitely how I feel.

      • theattack July 16, 2013, 10:36 am

        I can see why it would seem that way. Really though I just expect complete honesty about everything (except stuff like you described where you lie about what time you leave). I would be pissed if he told me he was definitely not going somehow, did it anyway, and then didn’t correct himself later. That just seems sketchy if he knows that I would have been fine with it in the first place. As long as he’s honest with me, I don’t see much of a reason to worry, and that goes for most everything. Dishonesty drives me crazy no matter what it’s about.

      • iwannatalktosampson July 16, 2013, 10:57 am

        Yeah I guess that makes sense. Otherwise he’s taking your choice to be okay with it away.

    • mandalee July 16, 2013, 10:26 am

      I’m not against them, but not really for them either. My husband has gone to them before and I have gone to them a bunch of times but not with him, but I’m kind of meh about it.

      I’m always skeeved out by the men in the audience, not the dancers. To me, it’s a money thing (we have better things to spend our money on) and a grimy men thing, not a trust/jealousy thing.

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    • lemongrass July 16, 2013, 10:26 am

      I’m sorta. I don’t care if my husband goes for a bachelor party or something like that. But would I be okay with him going to one regularly after work or on a saturday night? No. Not necessarily because of the naked ladies but because that isn’t the kind of lifestyle I want. So I guess it’s a lifestyle objection and not a moral objection.

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    • kerrycontrary July 16, 2013, 10:31 am

      I’m fine with them and he gives me a heads up beforehand. In almost 4 yrs he’s only gone once, and he said “we’re planning on going on this night, is that ok with you?” which I appreciated it. I wouldn’t be confused if he lied about it since I didn’t care last time he went. I would not be ok with habitual visiting though, like if he went more than once in a blue moon I would just think it was weird and a waste of money.

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      • kerrycontrary July 16, 2013, 10:33 am

        *I WOULD be confused if he lied about it. omg my brain is dead today.

      • Christy July 16, 2013, 10:45 am

        I mean, shit, I told gf yesterday “I have a softball game tomorrow night, I’d like to go, is that ok with you?”

        We clear all plans still. I think because we “have plans” to have dinner together. (But we do that every night, pretty much.)

      • kerrycontrary July 16, 2013, 10:59 am

        Yeh that’s true, golf gets cleared with me haha. I think at that point we wouldn’t have been together that night anyways (still LDR), but I appreciated that he made sure I felt Ok with it before he agreed to going.

    • bethany July 16, 2013, 10:34 am

      Not me. I went to one with my husband and some of his friends when we first started dating. It was hilarious.

      If he was going by himself or all the time, maybe, but my husband goes maybe once every 2 years with a bachelor party or something.

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      • Addie Pray July 16, 2013, 10:36 am

        Yea, that wouldn’t be a problem at all, not at all. So I guess to answer GG’s question, no, I guess something what like bethany described is no dealbreaker.

      • GatorGirl July 16, 2013, 10:40 am

        I actually WANT to go with GGuy just to see what all the hype is about. I’m pretty sure I’ll be really uncomfortable that whole time, but I still want to see what it’s all about. There is a place down the highway from us that is a dinner/strip club…we joke about going and getting an omelet and a lap dance.

      • Fabelle July 16, 2013, 10:44 am

        Yeah, although I pretty much agree with everybody else (bachelor party, okay—regular attendee? not okay), my boyfriend & I do plan to go to one together one day. I’ve actually never been?? (Closest I’ve come was at a club in NYC, when there were random strippers in the basement level section. Totally naked too, not like the regular Sexy Club Dancers that are sometimes there)

      • bethany July 16, 2013, 11:01 am

        That sounds hilarious! You should go!
        It’s a little weird as a woman at a strip club. I made Bethano (his new name) walk me to the bathroom, because the first time I went, I was almost assaulted by horny guys. it was kinda icky.

      • GatorGirl July 16, 2013, 11:06 am

        We’ve considered going down to Tampa and hitting up a strip club there. There are some “high end” places (the eggs and lap dance place is a truck stop basically). We probably will never actually go but it’s fun to joke about.

    • temperance July 16, 2013, 12:51 pm

      I think they are gross, so I’m kind of against them. That being said, my husband is a super nerd who has never been, so if he ends up at one at bachelor party, I don’t care that much.

      Although I did comment upthread about my weird fear of strip clubs thanks to LoveLine (a girl called in because her friend developed HERPES IN HER EYE from being smacked with a thong at a male strip club).

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    • Lindsay July 16, 2013, 1:29 pm

      I wouldn’t freak out if my partner went to one as part of a bachelor party or some rare guys’ weekend. But I don’t think I’d choose to be with someone who goes to them regularly just for the hell of it.

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      • snarkymarc July 16, 2013, 4:10 pm

        I’m not buying most of the reasons that have been given for not being okay with regular strip club visits. What the hell is a strip club lifestyle anyways? Is it a waste of money? Sure, but so is golf, football games, and off road vehicles. What is the sleezy, grimey argument? Is it about hygiene? No one said that it is at least partially about insecurity. If my wife was frequent male strip clubs or anything similar, it would make me feel insecure over time. Something about the live flesh, the closeness, and frequency would make me feel shitty over time. But maybe its just me.

      • lets_be_honest July 16, 2013, 4:13 pm

        I think its easy for someone to say ‘I wouldn’t have to worry about cheating or anything like that when it comes to my guy and a stripper’ rather than say ‘yea, over time, I’d wonder why he preferred looking at them over me.’ Both can be true at the same time, one easier to swallow. Great point marc.

      • SpaceySteph July 16, 2013, 9:24 pm

        I agree it is probably a lot about a sort of insecurity. I would wonder why he enjoyed looking at other women so much, and I would worry that I was being compared to hotter (and one day younger) women.

      • GatorGirl July 17, 2013, 8:57 am

        I said above that I would be uncomfortable with it because of the time and intimacy it would take away from our relationship! So basically I agree with you, the other reasons seem like “surface” reasons.

    • HmC July 16, 2013, 9:56 pm

      I’d never be in a long term relationship with someone who would even want to go to strip clubs on any kind of basis other than a handful of freak occurrences, and even then no lap dances whatsoever. I don’t understand how you can claim to be really into physical monogamy (not everyone is, and that’s a different discussion) yet be ok with a naked woman rubbing herself all over your boyfriend/husband getting all aroused by it. It doesn’t make sense to me. Add to that my feminist problems with men ogling women like slabs of beef, and the fact that a lot of sex workers/dancers have some serious emotional baggage from before and during that line of work, and I’m just really not ok with it.

      I’m actually a totally non jealous person in relationships- I think I’ve been lucky in that I’ve never been cheated on, plus I’m attracted to really sensitive men generally who just feel awkward and uncomfortable in strip clubs. So it all works out well for me. But I have to say, I understand not really being into monogamy, or being single, and enjoying a little paid action, but I sincerely don’t see why a dude paying a naked woman makes it 100% A OK for you while the exact same exchange sans money would not be ok. Like if a woman was rubbing her tits and ass on your boyfriend at a club and he was grinning and grinding back? That would be ok with you? I don’t get it.

      And also, another thing that bugs me about this issue is I feel like a lot of girls are kind of brainwashed into thinking they are some kind of prude or harpy if they are bothered by strippers. If you’re genuinely not bothered then cool. But, I get the feeling sometimes they just want to seem like a “cool chick”. I wonder if many of the men who lie to their girlfriends/wives about their stripper activities, or who make them feel like wet blankets if they don’t act cool with it, I wonder how those men would feel with giant sweaty cocks being thrust into their girlfriends’ face? But lucky them, it’s not an issue because women don’t frequent strip clubs anywhere near the frequency as men, and it tends to be a totally different dynamic.

      In a perfect world I think my opinion may be different. In a perfect world, where we didn’t have madonna whore complexes and make sex workers into the fringes of society, maybe they wouldn’t end up being such vulnerable people with histories of drug abuse and other problems. But anyway, the world ain’t perfect.

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    • SpaceySteph July 16, 2013, 9:18 pm

      It would not be an issue if my husband went to one (he has, most recently at his brother’s bachelor party and I’m sure will go again) but it would be an issue if he made a habit of it.
      My best friend and her husband actually frequent them together, and he also goes to them by himself with his friends “because the drinks are cheaper.”
      Um, that would not fly with me. If my husband were going to strip clubs every couple of weeks with his friends and watching women get naked I would not be ok with it. Its hard to explain why, but I feel like the only nudity he should regularly be consuming is mine.

      I give bachelor parties a pass though because… well, because I think that they should do what the groom wants (within safe, legal limits) and if that’s go to a strip club, then that’s ok. But then if I thought my husband was the type to frequent and enjoy strip clubs I might have a different opinion of even special occasion attendance.

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    • demoiselle July 18, 2013, 2:08 am

      My husband and I are in agreement that strip clubs are off the menu. Fortunately, he’s never seemed the least bit interested, so it isn’t a point of tension.

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  • Addie Pray July 16, 2013, 10:14 am

    LW2, I’d be tempted to want to be there for the ex but my instincts are often WRONG WRONG WRONG. I definite WWS for you!

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  • Fabelle July 16, 2013, 10:33 am

    LW1: I get it, I actually wouldn’t be cool with a boyfriend attending a strip club with any regularity (like people have said above, more of a lifestyle issue than a jealousy/trust one) BUT it’s a bachelor party. And strip clubs sometimes happen. I can’t tell from your letter, but, the other 2 times your boyfriend lied to you about going to a strip club—was it also for a bachelor party? I’d either shift your approach to this, or call off the wedding & move on.

    LW2: Why does this letter sound so familiar? Anyway, I’m with Wendy. Normally, I’m lenient with ex-related stuff, but the way this guy is going about things (requesting your presence at the funeral, asking for time alone in person to chat…), it seems less about grief & more about re-kindling. But that’s just me.

    LW3: Yeah, I’d forget this guy.

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  • SasLinna July 16, 2013, 10:45 am

    LW1: I kind of doubt that everything was perfect before you found out he lied about visiting a strip club if that alone made you want to call off the wedding. But anyway, regardless of the stripclub issue, if you have serious doubts about marrying him, don’t go through with the wedding just because postponing or calling off raises logistical issues or may be embarrassing. You should never, ever enter an important commitment just because it would be a logistical hassle to back out! Remember that no one cares as much about whether or not you get married than you (and your fiancé). The practical stuff WILL get sorted out. Your guests might be surprised if you postpone, but in the end it’s a small inconvenience for them and a huge problem for you if you go through with getting married even though you have doubts.

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    • SasLinna July 16, 2013, 10:47 am

      And my immediate advice is to call a friend and talk about this. If you do decide to postpone, you may be able to enlist a friend to help you call people.

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    • Jess July 16, 2013, 4:11 pm

      THIS. I am really late to the party today but this was what I wanted to say to LW1. I was following along about the strip club stuff and I could see how that would bother some women. And the lying is disconcerting (may or may not be sign of a bigger issue). But then when she said she’d call it off if it weren’t so soon?! Whoa! Yeah, that smacks of icy cold feet to me.

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  • TECH July 16, 2013, 10:51 am

    You know what’s funny? I’ve done stupid things when I was younger like go to Chippendale’s with my girlfriends. Many bachelorette parties have male strippers — the cheesy fireman or police officer who shows up “unannounced” at the party. And I have never known a significant other of a female friend to get upset that she saw male strippers. None of my past boyfriends would have been upset either.

    I wonder if it’s because most men view male strippers as “cheesy” and not an actual threat to their relationships? Because that’s how I view female strippers. Never have been a threat to any relationship I’ve been in.

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    • GatorGirl July 16, 2013, 11:08 am

      I totally agree. There is a double standard. (On an amusing note, I know a girl who’s husband hired and paid for a male stripper to surprise her at her bachelorette. Apparently it was hysterical.)

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    • MertleJ July 16, 2013, 11:29 am

      Actually, there was a male stripper at one of my sorority parties back in college (an older male stripper who was past his stripping prime… yikes) and my boyfriend got mad. That response actually colored my views of strip clubs- I would have been furious if he had gone to one, bachelor party or no, because he made such a big deal out of my situation.

      …that boyfriend is now my husband. And he’s still not a fan of male strippers at bachelorette parties, but I still tell him about them in advance, and would expect him to do the same with me.

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  • Older and (hopefully) wiser July 16, 2013, 10:53 am

    LW3: I don’t think you need to send him a message. I think he knows the ball’s in his court. And call me old fashioned but until you’ve looked into someone’s eyes, I don’t really think you know anything about them. I know on-line romances do become real but there are so many people I truly connect with on fb who I barely say hello to in real life. It’s bizarre!

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  • Morgan July 16, 2013, 11:02 am

    LW1: Are you sure all your angry about is the lie, and not the strip club? I guess I’m just confused why your boyfriend would feel the need to lie about going to strip clubs, unless he has reason to believe you’d be upset about his going. Is he straight up telling you “Going out with the boys, don’t worry no strippers?” and then going to the clubs anyway? Because if you’re okay with strip clubs, then he’s just lying…why? Or is a lie by omission, where he doesn’t mention going or not going at all, and then you find out later that he went. Again, weird to not include that if he’s otherwise going over the itinerary. Is he trying to protect your feelings somehow, thinking you’d prefer to just not know about strip club activity. Because unless you’ve explicitly told him “Hey I’m okay with it but keep the deets to yourself,” its kind of shitty to decide to protect your feelings by lying to you. My boyfriend did that to me once, and it was a big issue.

    I guess I just can’t figure out why your boyfriend would be motivated to lie, if you are really as okay with strip clubs as you profess. I think two lines in your letter suggest to me that you may be conveying to your fiance that while you say you’re okay, your tone and attitude and face may convey something else. First you say you confronted him in the first incident. Was that confrontation really just about the lying. Also the line about being the clueless wife while everyone else knows the truth. Would you be embarrassed if other people knew your husband went to strip clubs?

    LW2: So you don’t really mention this in your letter, but let me ask you a question. You say you were close to ex’s dad and went to the funeral. Other than going to the funeral, have you been able to grieve? Because my boyfriend and I have been together for four years, and he knows my parents pretty well. I know his less well because we live close to mine and far from his, but still pretty well. Even if he and I broke up tomorrow, and I had moved on, one of his parents passing would be devastating. When you’re with someone for that long you do get included in the family. And I realize he has a new girlfriend and you have a new boyfriend and you aren’t part of the family, but have you been able to grieve?

    I ask this because I wonder if you want to go, not just to be there for your ex, but to help yourself heal as well. So I’m very torn on this issue. I understand why your new boyfriend is upset by the prospect of you going, and you do need to respect his feelings. But at the same time, I don’t see anything inherently inappropriate in the request, as long as you go in aware of your boundaries and comfortable walking if you feel like the conversation has taken a turn for the not okay. End of the day though, I think you have to respect the relationship you’re in.

    LW3: Don’t contact him again. If you are looking for a guy who is available now, it isn’t this guy, find a new one. If this guy ever does become available, its on him to initiate contact. But he doesn’t get magically more available once he starts residency. Hell, he may end up magically half way across the country for it though. Sorry, bad timing with this one.

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  • j2 July 16, 2013, 11:03 am


    I tried to put the situation to six of my guy friends but could only get to five. Everyone else is on vacation. Tell me again, why am I here?

    Anyway, four said if they did that it would be to explore getting back together. One (he’s normally the most cynical) even guessed the guy could be looking for a sympathy hook-up (Ewwww!).

    The last guy said it depends on just what things LW2 did with the father, and that the guy might have something of his father’s that he wants to offer her.

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    • Lindsay July 16, 2013, 1:31 pm

      That’s very interesting.

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  • Crazy in Love July 16, 2013, 11:18 am

    LW1 – Did he lie to you because you’ve told him you don’t want him going to strip clubs? A lot of women have a fear of this. For the most part, men go there to look at the eye candy and the women are there working TO MAKE MONEY. It is their job and that’s how they look at it. Sex sells. I would just ask him to be up front with you when he goes and who knows… maybe tag along with him sometime.
    LW2 – Your “friend” needs to understand that you are in a relationship now. I’m sure he has other people available to him who can help him mourn the death of his father. Maybe suggest some grief counseling. But you are asking for trouble if you keep communicating with him.
    LW3 – He’s not interested. He’s found someone else who he feels may be more interesting. This happens ALL THE TIME with internet dating. Don’t overthink it. Just move on…

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  • ele4phant July 16, 2013, 11:22 am

    Whoa super disagree with the advice to LW2. He is asking to get together with, one time, to reminisce about his father in a public place. If he starts to call her often or lean on her for ongoing emotional support, that would be inappropriate, but one coffee isn’t over the line.

    And no one found it concerning that the current boyfriend wants to keep her from meeting up with the ex? I understand we all feel jealousy, but that doesn’t make those feelings valid or your partner’s problem. If you want to keep your partner from meeting up with an ex in a public, unromantic place to talk about a dead man, something is wrong.

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    • Lindsay July 16, 2013, 1:36 pm

      I guess I’m confused because everything is talking about him keeping her from meeting up, but she never said that? I mean, I assume he told her that because he hopes she won’t, but I don’t think that’s enough for everybody to decide that he’s super controlling and awful.

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      • ele4phant July 16, 2013, 1:49 pm

        Meh at the least I think telling her he is “extremely uncomfortable” about her meeting an ex for something as innocuous to talk about his deceased father is emotionally manipulative and is an around about way of him telling her she’s not to go.

        I get it, it’s how he “feels” but if he could get some self perspective he should be able to see its not that big a deal. I mean, the intentions seem legit, it’s in a public place, she’s being upfront with him and letting him know beforehand. Oh, and he trusts her right?

      • Lindsay July 16, 2013, 2:03 pm

        True. I think he was obviously trying to get her not to, but I have very different opinions on someone who does that than someone who tries to tell their partner that they aren’t “allowed” to do something. Sometimes saying you’re uncomfortable about something is just a way to look for reassurance. I think it also depends on if she asked him if he was OK with it or if he volunteered the info.

      • ele4phant July 16, 2013, 2:31 pm

        I see your point. I still feel its our job as adults to be self reflective, assess our own feelings, and try to resolve them ourselves whenever possible, instead of dragging our partners into every internal drama we have.

        It’s normal to feel jealous or insecure in our relationships, I have in the past and I am sure I will again in the future. But I like to think that most of the time I am able to identify when my feelings are legitimate, and when they are completely irrational. When they are irrational, I am capable of working them out on my own without making them my partners problem. If you can’t do that, to me that speaks to a lack of emotional maturity.

        Think about other arenas in life, and if its okay to iust hoist your unfounded fears on others
        . What if you are feeling irrationally insecure about your job because of coworker that has been kicking butt? Is if appropriate to unload your feelings on your boss? No, not unless there are legitimate shanigins going on. Unless you’re coworker is actually under cutting you, the fact they threaten you is not your boss’s problem.

        So why would something that you irrationally feel threatening to your relationship be your partner’s problem? It would be exhausting, I think, to be with someone who can’t reassure themselves in the strength of the relationship. Sometimes a perceived problem isn’t a real problem and you need to fix your feelings on your own.

      • Lindsay July 16, 2013, 2:50 pm

        I totally agree. In this case, though, I think it just makes him immature or needy, but I don’t think it warrants villainizing him in the way that a lot of people have in the comments. Controlling, maybe, it depends on how much sway he expects to have and what sort of general boundaries he places on their relationship. One remark about one situation about one ex isn’t enough for me to decide that he’s super jealous and controlling. I’m not really commenting on whether he should say something or not so much as that people just seem to have decided he’s totally awful.

      • ele4phant July 16, 2013, 2:57 pm

        Right, I didn’t mean to villainize this guy. But, if I were her friend and I heard this I’d say something. Whether he’s a controlling abusive asshole, or just someone who is a little bit reactive, insecure and immature, I’d find that problematic.

  • Bittergaymark July 16, 2013, 11:24 am

    LW1). “Help! I’m needy and so pathetic I’m actually threatened by strip clubs! Ooooh, am I pathetic. Wahhhhhhhhh!” Men lie about these things because some women all but demand it. Grow the fuck up, LW.

    LW2). Eh, I disagree with Wendy on this one. The LW knew his father for a significantly longer period of time than his present GF. In fact, it sounds like the current GF may not have even known him at all… that’s a simple fact. The new BF sounds controlling and insecure. So many people are so fucking pathetic about exes… That Wendy is encouraging such silliness is depressing. More, Wendy’s insinuation that her ex is using the death of his father as a ploy to spend time with his ex is absurdly off base…

    LW3). Sadly, just because you find somebody really interesting doesn’t mean they will feel the same…

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    • Grilledcheesecalliope July 16, 2013, 12:00 pm

      Oh dear lord I agree with BGM. The bf in the second letter is being selfish and controlling.

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      • bethany July 16, 2013, 12:22 pm

        I don’t know about controlling, but I think he’s being selfish, for sure. If I were his gf, this would be a deal breaker for me.

      • Lindsay July 16, 2013, 1:09 pm

        I don’t know, without being told that he tried to “forbid” her or something, I think it’s too early to say he’s controlling. Expressing a feeling is a lot different from telling someone they can’t do something.

    • Morgan July 16, 2013, 1:13 pm

      I think I’m with you on all three of these, especially LW 2.

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    • meadowphoenix July 16, 2013, 1:50 pm

      Men lie about these things because some women all but demand it.

      Okay, but this is bullshit. Men lie about these things because they think they are entitled to a relationship on their terms, regardless of anyone else’s terms. If they don’t like that their girlfriend reacts badly when they go to strip clubs, they can find a girl who doesn’t react badly or they can say that’s the price of admission for dating this girl. They can’t say they were forced to lie or that they way their girl reacted demanded that they lie. That’s bullshit.

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  • TMC813 July 16, 2013, 11:28 am

    I wrote the “Clueless” post on the forum about 14 months ago. Odd to see it pop up again! I must say a lot has happened since then!

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    • GatorGirl July 16, 2013, 11:39 am

      I thought it was familiar. Update!?

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      • TMC813 July 16, 2013, 12:02 pm

        Sent to Wendy 🙂

    • Skyblossom July 16, 2013, 12:03 pm

      Please tell!

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    • bethany July 16, 2013, 12:23 pm


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  • Lynn July 16, 2013, 11:52 am

    Yeah I’m with the others and disagree with the advice for LW2. I’m one of those girls who is still friends with all her exes (except one)… like some are in my social circles, hang out/go to dinner with others (even ones who have girlfriends… girlfriends don’t care, I’m friends with the gfs now), etc. So I don’t think I could be with someone who wouldn’t “let” me be there for someone I shared and spent a lot of time with.

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  • Lily in NYC July 16, 2013, 12:10 pm

    I feel bad for the ex whose dad died and actually don’t think it’s a big deal for him to want to lean on his ex for comfort. I was in the same situation recently, but luckily my boyfriend is not jealous or threatened by my friendship with my ex so I was able to spend time with him after his dad died suddenly. I had a great relationship with his family so it just felt natural. To me, a boyfriend that can’t handle the fact that I am friendly with a few of my exes is a complete dealbreaker. Either you trust me or you don’t. I am going to be a lady usher in my ex’s wedding in a few months and I am just not willing to end a friendship because some new guy can’t handle his own jealousy.

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  • You Go Girl July 16, 2013, 12:25 pm

    I have a friend whose husband lied to her about dropping out of engineering school. She found out a month before her wedding, and felt that it was a major breach of trust. Like the LW, she felt a lot of social pressure to continue with the wedding, and she also felt a lot of religious pressure. So she decided to accept his explanation that he meant to tell her and that he would continue with his studies. Soon after the wedding, she was devastated when he lied to her again about continuing his schooling. After 30 years of lies and her husband’s inability to earn a decent living, she is now getting a divorce.

    The LW caught her soon to be husband in two big lies, and probably has felt uneasy about his truthfulness for some time. Her uneasiness is more than just cold feet. Her fiance has put her in a difficult situation, in which she feels considerable social and economic pressure to continue with the wedding. I recommend that she listen to her gut level feeling and postpone the wedding, painful and expensive as it might be. She should also ignore the social pressure of people saying his offense was no big deal. A ceremony will not change the fact that her fiance is a liar. If she goes through with the wedding, she will probably pay a lot more emotionally and financially when her marriage breaks up. By then, she might also have children who would suffer.

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    • Fabelle July 16, 2013, 12:30 pm

      This is a good answer.

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    • Bittergaymark July 16, 2013, 12:48 pm

      Lying about going to a titty bar and lying about becoming a drop out loser are two very, very different things…

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      • GatorGirl July 16, 2013, 12:50 pm

        FFS how can the two things be compared??

      • Fabelle July 16, 2013, 12:53 pm

        But I think You Go Girl’s point is that the LW is going to be bothered by this, & she will remain so even if she clamps her feelings down & marries the dude anyway.

      • Lindsay July 16, 2013, 1:07 pm

        Yeah, I think the gravity of the lies should be taken into consideration. But at the same time, it would make me question what else he lies about if that was his chosen method of handling a situation.

      • Skyblossom July 16, 2013, 1:54 pm

        At the very least it indicates they don’t communicate well and that’s never a good way to start a marriage.

  • Sara July 16, 2013, 1:41 pm

    There is something to be said for reminiscing over a loved one with someone who actually knew the person. Reaching to current gf or other local friends just isn’t the same because they don’t have the same context. Getting emotional comfort over the phone is not the same. Losing a loved one is like having your still-beating heart ripped out of your chest and handed back to you, and the grief can still be very very strong months later. I understand and empathize with LW # 2’s ex need to talk to someone who is both local and knew his father. Perhaps the new boyfriend can be present at the get-together if he is that insecure?

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    • applescruffs July 16, 2013, 11:48 pm

      Absolutely. And if the father was potentially ill for a while, the ex might want to talk with someone who knew him in “the good days,” when he was healthy and happy.

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  • Portia July 16, 2013, 2:52 pm

    So, about LW1, I think I have to disagree with Wendy based on what the LW told us. She already told him not to lie about it, and he did that again. Some people have different levels of wanting to know things about their significant others and this fiance didn’t seem to respect her wishes that she wanted him to tell her about going to strip clubs. It’s ok to have different ideas personally of what you’d want to hear, but you have to respect what the other person wants to hear.

    I had a situation with my boyfriend that involved a lie (of omission) a few years ago and it involved many days of yelling and crying and finally we got to the point where we figured out we had two different levels of wanting to know. Boyfriend would rather not know most things, but I wanted him to err on the side of telling me, and I still do. So perhaps what LW1 should really talk about with your fiance is what are the things you need/want to know and she should make it very clear that she will at least respect that he told her.

    Oh, and my boyfriend tells me if he’s going to a strip club and I’m totally fine with it because I know how he is as a person and how he would act in that situation. If he felt he had to hide it, or hide something else, there’d be a bigger problem.

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  • Wilma Nelson August 12, 2013, 7:51 pm

    My old boyfriend broke my heart with a lie. We were at a summer lakeside dance and he told me that I don’t sweat much for a fat girl. Actually I do sweat a lot. Why would he intentionally pull this whopper and in so doing call attention to my copious sweating? Can I ever trust him again? Maybe he was just trying to be polite. I’m confused. And damp.

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  • MicNikki September 10, 2013, 1:46 pm

    I really feel like a lot of people are overblowing the first letter. My fiancé (now husband) lied to me about going to a strip club at his bachelor party, and then later admitted it. I laughed my ass off when he told me the truth partly because it explained certain things that didn’t make sense before, and partly because I was confused about his lie. I have no idea why he didn’t just tell me the truth, and he doesn’t know eithe.r We joke about it now. We even joke with our parents about it. Going to a strip club for your bachelor party is SO not a big deal for many people. It might be a deal-breaker for some ladies (which I don’t personally understand, but I can respect that people are allowed to set their own relationship boundaries) but the LW explicitly said she’s not mad that he went, only that he lied. So seriously, this seems like such a small thing to cancel a wedding over! Sheesh. Have a laugh about it, make sure he knows that in the future he can be honest with you about this stuff, and carry on.

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