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Parallax - Advice            July 10, 2000

   Strippers create havoc on marital commitments!

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What is the world coming to when a man can't attend his best friend's bachelor party? Find out the nitty-gritty as Conversely's sympathetic advice duo analyzes the pro's and con's of disobeying the wife. Can you guess who's in favor and who's against? Also this week: how does a woman get the attention of a man she shunned before? And is a temporary break-up to enjoy college more a good idea?

Wife won't let him attend buddy's Bachelor party.
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 Date: 07/10/00

She wanted slow, now she wants fast - but he doesn't.
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 Date: 07/10/00

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Wife won't let him attend buddy's Bachelor party

Dear Conversely,

Email to a Friend I've been married for just over two years and my best buddy from college is getting hitched next September. His bachelor party is next month in Vegas and my wife doesn't want me to go. At first I thought she was kidding but now it's become this major argument. I don't understand what or why she doesn't want me to go - she's very evasive and at the same time very firm, she insists I shouldn't go because she has a very bad feeling about the whole thing. I asked her if it's because we'll maybe have strippers or something and she said that was part of it. In any case, I'm all set to go but I don't want to risk my marriage. What can I do to reassure her?

Her view:

Dear Vegas-bound,

It doesn't sound like you can reassure her. If there will be strippers I can understand her concern and embarrassment for the ridiculous behavior that will indubitably be displayed by your little posse. One thing is clear - you can't just go and say 'screw what my wife says.' When it comes down to it, she is more important to you (I hope) than your bachelor party - even if he is your best friend. People understand these situations and they forgive you. After all, pretty soon this guy will have a wife and he too will appreciate your predicament.

I think you should have a very detailed conversation to find out exactly what her issues are, just to be sure. But my guess is they are all the classics and no major insight will be gleaned. Given that, I'm afraid you'll need to forfeit your little soiree. Weeks of her sulking and a rift are not worth a wild weekend with the boys. How would you feel if she were to attend an event you really didn't approve of despite all your misgivings and resistance? What if she wanted to dance around in her bathing suit with a bunch of naked guys? You'd be pretty mad and hurt. So be a nice guy. I don't care what my male counterpart tells you - you're much better off skipping the event.

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His view:

Dear Vegas-bound,

This one sounds pretty cut-and-dried to me. Ask her for a clear, well-articulated reason. If she won't give it to you, then you go. I mean, does she honestly think that she can simply have 'bad feelings' about things and then direct your life on that basis? Next thing you know she'll be reading tarot cards and peering into crystal balls to fix your career moves or your social engagements.

Besides, I don't think your marriage is at risk. If your marriage was so fragile that going to a bachelor party would ruin it, then my guess is it would just as easily fall apart for some other reason. Think about that one - maybe there is some deeper problem behind her ill view of your upcoming Viva Las Vegas.

My esteemed colleague will probably err in her advice here, urging you to pry the real reason out of the wife and put the trip on hold until you do. You do that if you like - but then wife will have you right where she wants you.

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