Fiance went to strip club


#1

My fiance had his bachelor party this past weekend. Most of the day was innocent fun…paintball, pizza, poker. He drank way too much, but he was around his family, and I trusted that everything would be fine. Late in the evening, he, his brother, his friend, and his sister’s fiance went out for some burgers. Somehow they ended up at a strip club (apparently he didn’t put up too much of a fight when they drove him there). He told me about it the next day and admitted that they had bought each other lap dances. He apologized profusely, believes that it was wrong, and wants to use this as a springboard to make changes in his life in regards to alcohol. I don’t know what to do now.

Some background…we’re both almost 30 years old, we’re getting married at the beginning of July, we’ve been together almost two years, we’re both practicing Catholics, we don’t cohabitate or have premarital sex (although he had sexual relationships before he met me), we’ve already gone through all of our marriage preparation classes and retreat, and we’ve voluntarily taken Theology of the Body courses twice. Basically, we’re what people would call a “good Catholic couple.”

My fiance rarely drinks, but there have been a few times in the past when he has drunk too much when out with friends and started saying “jerky” things (calling people gay, making fun of people of other races, etc.). When I let him know that I was not okay with that, he made changes, and the behaviors stopped (not just because of me-he thought it was wrong too). I just don’t want responses where people say he’s an alcoholic, because he’s definitely not. He knows that on those rare times when he does drink, it has the potential to cause him to be a person he doesn’t want to be…that’s why he wants to make changes now (like not drinking at all).

Obviously I’m angry, disappointed, and disgusted. I’m also embarrassed that I’m engaged to someone who would treat me in this way. He knew how I felt about strip clubs, and I thought he felt the same way. I consider this a form of cheating on me. I don’t know how to forgive him, or even if I should. I truly do believe he is sorry and will make changes because of this; I just don’t know if I can ever move past this and trust him again.

To throw another kink in it all, he currently flies out of town on Sunday evenings and back into town late Thursday nights for work, so we only are together in person on the weekends. Otherwise, our relationship consists of phone calls and e-mails (this new position only started in November-we haven’t always been long-distance). So I haven’t even seen him since this happened, and I won’t see him until Thursday night.

Postponing the wedding is not an option. I don’t think not marrying him is the answer either. I do love him. I just need to know how to forgive him (if it’s possible) and how to rebuild the trust we once had. How do I move past the anger and hurt? Please help.


#2

Hm…
I dont know what to say dear sister in Jesus.
You have a right to be sad …
did you tell him all these things you just told us about just how
broken you feel when he treats you like this? and that you feel you
have been betrayed and that you cant help but look down on
him and think him less of a man when he does things like that?
I think… if someone that I loved immensely made known he had the feelings about me that you just wrote in the post after a blunder of mine that would be a huge punishment for me in itself and make me really wanna clean up my act.
So I think you should tell him exatcly what you have told us and see how he takes it… If you sense a really sincere response and intent on avoiding alcohol and other near occasions of sin from now on then I think you should readily forgive him.
If you have never disappointed him until now in anything you are very blessed… but most people skrew up some time(s) and then we really need love and patience so we can get up on our feet again. You too are in need forgiveness and salvation… and it probably wont be the last time you both have to ask each other forgiveness… love makes us ever so fragile… thats why love and cross are so tightly linked. You carry the other like he carries you… not because he is perfect but because you love.

Ask Jesus to help you forgive… abandon the sin like God does to each of us every day of our lives.

Hugs to you :thumbsup:


#3

Hi
Based on what you are saying here, you DO sound like a great Catholic couple and it really sounds to me that he made a mistake ( we all backslide to some degree don’t we? ) and he fell to peer pressure. In secular society, going to a strip club for a bachelors party is almost a guarantee ( ok at least with the people I know :rolleyes: ). He was sorry about it… and he was honest about it. It doesn’t sound like it was intentionally planned behind your back.

I will say a prayer for you and your upcoming wedding.

ETA: I don’t mean to discount at ALL how you feel about the whole situation because you have the right to feel however you do about it and I hope you feel better soon and have a good talk with your fiancé.


#4

I am not a proponent of defending people who make bad choices, ‘because they were drunk, etc…’ BUT–in this case, I think that your fiance recognizing that being under the influence of alcohol, (drunk) really inhibited his judgement–is a good outcome, despite what happened. I think alcohol, when drinking excessively, can really impair our judgement, our response skills, motor skills–I would imagine if he was drinking, others were–and someone drinking, probably drove them to this place? Thankfully, he is ok. I think that he looks as this as an opportunity to grow is wonderful. He is saddened by his behavior, and as a wife, you will encounter moments in your marriage, that require great mercy, understanding, and devotion. (We are to be mirrors of Jesus–in our vocations) I don’t dismiss or excuse his behavior–but I think his apology is heart felt, and really–his main problem is excessively drinking to the point of making poor decisions. I am sorry this happened–I hate these types of parties. I never understood them. I think they really create a lot of problems for soon to be married couples, and it’s a shame. If he cheated, I’d have a different response–perhaps, to delay the wedding, etc…but, this clearly is someone whose judgement was impaired due to over drinking. I think that is where the problem lies, and hopefully, you both will find ways to get past this.

I will keep you in my prayers. My advice would be to try to understand and help him to become a better person for it. That’s what marriage is ultimately about–helping each other to heaven. God bless!


#5

Yes, I definitely have told him all of the things I have written above and more. We’ve had numerous phone conversations already, and it really does sound like he’s hurting…maybe even as much as I am. He’s agreed to throw away the clothes he wore that night, and he plans on putting a Bible verse on his mirror to help him remember what is important in life and his commitment to God and me. I guess he also sent flowers to my work (I didn’t have the heart to go in today).

I know we all mistakes, and he admits he made a big one. Going to strip clubs for bachelor parties may be the “norm” in secular society, but I never pictured myself marrying the type of person who thought that was an acceptable thing to do (not that he thinks it was acceptable). I also know that I will make mistakes in our marriage, and we’ll both hurt each other at times and will need to work through that.

I guess the heart of my question is how can he show me that I can trust him again? How do I get over my anger and hurt, or is it just a matter of time? Will this be something that I will always have in the back of my mind?


#6

He shows you that you can trust him by being trustworthy. That means it is behavior, not words, that are required. There is no way to know what will happen in the future except to see how he behaves going forward.


#7

I understand your feelings, AM. I really do. Earlier in my marriage, I was very liberal minded. My husband went to a strip club for a friend’s bachelor party, and back then, I didn’t mind. Over the years, as he and I immersed ourselves in the faith, I couldn’t imagine him going to a club like this–or me going to a Chip and Dale show. (not that I ever did that–yuck personally)

I think that should you decide to move forward, you will somehow find ways to put this behind you. Believe it or not, should nothing like this happen again, you will not think about it, like you are now. You’ll remember it, but you won’t think about it with an aching heart the way it is hurting you, now. It truly seems like he made a bad judgement call, and a lot of it had to do with being intoxicated. I don’t dismiss it–please know that–but he seems like a good man, who made a terrible mistake. I think that it’s important to tell him that it will take you some time to ‘recover’ from this. It is important for him to know that forgiveness doesn’t mean dismissing or instantly forgetting–but forgiveness, on your part, will also take a certain leap of faith, for you to be able to trust him in the future. You will be able to do it, only thought God’s grace–open your heart up to it, and it will heal. (of course, this is if you choose to stay with him) If you choose to leave him–that is also an understandable choice. I’m just speaking from the point of view if you choose to stay–forgiveness is a choice, and will take time for you to trust and heal.

I think things will work out–I’m a hopeless optimist, however.:smiley:


#8

He made a dumb mistake…perhaps the most disturbing aspect of which is that he caved to peer pressure and the (known) effects of alcohol to do someting he KNEW would be repugnant to you. In other words he was willing to throw your feelings under the bus, but not to stand up to the pressure or possible disapproval of his friends. That he came to you and was honest and remorseful is very important.

It’s not so much what he did, but why he did it that would be a starting point for a conversation. For most of the world, and certainly most guys, the strip club/lap dance is seen as a (meaningless) right of passage, a symbolic wave good-bye to the final days of bachelorhood. We as Catholics attach more significance and perhaps disgust to it because we view the sexuality between husband and wife as sacred~not just another romp in the hay.

It sounds like you two have the important basics down. But I would discuss this disappointment with him-- seriously–particularly since he is and will be away from you with such frequency. What happens when he’s encouraged by co-workers to flirt with some girl at a bar out of town on a business trip? Will he have the moral backbone to stand up to that pressure and refuse to indulge the image of being a “player” even if it’s the popular, common path? He needs your help and suppport to find some strategies to be mature, honorable, moral and honest (without seeming pious or overbearing) and to earn your trust and confidence–just as he would expect you to do in managing your conduct AND image/reputation as his wife.


#9

This made me giggle - Chip and Dale are cartoon chipmunks, I think you mean Chippendale shows :wink:

To the OP, my two cents, you mention that you only see each other on weekends - will that remain the case after your are married? My concern, it seems that the friends and family who are there with him are not exactly friends of high moral fiber. Getting him a different group of friends would be an important step toward trusting again.

The other thing that makes me go hmmmmmmm, I can get my head around friends have him in the car and drive him to the club. Maybe even say “he was pressure to walk in”, okay. Have a beer, giggle and leave.

Buying each other lap dances :eek: to me, that crosses the line into time to go to a marriage counselor.

Prayers for you.


#10

Christopher West said this at one of his seminars:

" If a groom goes to a strip club before (perhaps he said the day before) his wedding, I would seriously question the validity of that marriage."

I know Christopher West is not a canon lawyer, but he does understand the church’s view of marriage. This is a very very weighty statement.

I don’t know your situation, but the fact that you said “postponing is not an option” raises a flag to me. How free are you to say “yes” to your vows if you can’t postpone, or can’t say no to them?

I’m glad to hear that you’ve done such good marriage prep, and are chaste. That definately is a big help. But these are serious issues that could possibly lead to disaster later.


#11

:rotfl: hahahahahaha (I have no words)


#12

Your fiancé sound a lot like what I was like when I was engaged to my now wife. The last time I went to a strip club was at my bachelor party. However, unlike your fiancé I acted like a total jerk when she confronted me about it. Even though, I have never forgotten how much it hurt her and have NEVER stepped foot in another one. That was almost 13 years ago.

Since then I have made a lot of changes in my life. I used to be a firefighter and it was common for the guys at the station to go out and have a few beers after drill and then hit the strip clubs. I would occasionally go and have a drink with them, but never gave in and went to the strip clubs, even though I knew they would all make fun of me.

We can all change, and perhaps this incident could be God’s way of giving him a wakeup call to “leave his childish ways behind”.

Peace.


#13

You have every right to feel the way you do

I told my fiance the situation and this is his response

“hanging out and having a good time with the guys = what’s the deal?”

I do not agree

he knows I despise strip clubs…and I do NOT want him going but I also know that whenever he has his bachelor deal his friends will take him. I will not be happy…All i can say is that your guy was open and honest with you from the get go. He told you right after it happened…and as long as he didn’t pay for anything “extra” I think this mistake is forgivable. He at least is willing to work with you and admit it is a mistake. I’m not sure how to deal with my situation.

Personally I’m not against guys hanging out and having fun but you can do that outside of watching naked/half naked women gyrating on poles!!! Just makes me angry. I actually asked my fiance how he would feel if I went to a male strip club that women go to and he got upset and jealous just by asking!! DOUBLE STANDARD! He said he would like for me to go with him to a strip club but i’m disgusted by them.

Prayer really does help sooth the soul, mind and heart. There are some saints out there for women who are cheated on…I think either St. Monica or St. Rita are one.


#14

To answer a few questions that have come up…

Yes, my fiance will still be working out of town for about six months after we get married. The brother and friend he went out with this weekend are not located near his city of employment, so I’m not worried about them influencing him again. The brother thinks it was wrong too; I’m not the hugest fan of his childhood friend! My fiance and I have already started talking about how I will need actions from him instead of just words to rebuild our trust, and how I am scared of what could happen with him away so much. I do know those fears are unfounded because all he does is sometimes hang out with some coworkers, and when I met them, they told me all he does is talk about me. As far as postponing the wedding, the reason that is “not an option” is because of the thousands of dollars in deposits that would be lost. And because it is out of town for both of our families, numerous flights and reservations have already been purchased. I know people will say that it’s worth losing all that for the sake of this sacrament, but I don’t think postponement is the answer…I think getting help to find a way to work through this before then is.

The things people have been saying so far have been very helpful, and I can already feel myself losing a bit of my anger (not my hurt though), so keep 'em coming. Thanks.


#15

I strongly believe this is something you CAN work out and you still have time before the wedding to do so.

All the best to you.


#16

Do you remember the Beverly Hillbillies?

I think a lot of guys have a Jethro Bodine quality about them. Me included, Sometimes I’m just so dense.

The reason I bring this up is because I see a lot of you dear ladies getting all bent out of shape over things, that, while serious and sinful, don’t seem to rise to the level of “the world has ended” that is being professed.

Okay, the finance went to a strip club, got drunk, looked at naked women and had a lap dance. Does he do this often? Ever before? Is this acknowledged as sinful?

Since this was for a Bachelor Party, and it seems he hasn’t done it before, how can his financee’s trust be regained? No more strip clubs? No more Bachelor parties? No more Bachelor Parties in strip clubs? Seems like the wedding would take care of that - no bachelor parties after that.

I guess my question is how can a marriage be successful if one partner is withholding giving totally to the other because they require the other to have to ‘earn back’ trust. Either you trust them and you want to become one with them or you don’t.

This man was the same person the night before the party as he was the day after the party.


#17

You’re on your own with this one buddy. Good luck:D


#18

Boy, I hate to be the almost loner voice here, but I hate it when people use alcohol as an excuse even more.

Puhlease I know people who aren’t Catholic or even holy who have been drunk as a skunk and still able to turn down a jaunt at the local club and a lap dance.

Has he been tested yet? You mention a past of sexual activity, did he get tested for that, too?

I guess I am not a nice person. If my fiance had fessed up that he went to a strip club drunk and got a lap dance, I would have called off the engagement until some further change, which would be in great detail and over a long period of time.

Were they driving drunk, too?

Did you show any sign of anger when he told you this? Are you normally the one in the relationship who accepts?

And I must add that hitting 30 years old really makes it even worse. It’s not as if you two are college-almost-alcoholics-still-learning-about-the-real-world or some other lame excuse of youth.

A 30yr old drinking and driving with buddies to a strip joint, buying lap dances…how long were you going to wait to have kids?


#19

But now more is known about man’s character and it is good reason to reconsider marrying him.


#20

I think you have to let this one slide if he is a good guy.

It’s an isolated incident, and he seems truly repentent.

To me, this does not rise to the level of breaking an engagement.

IMHO it was stupid of him to tell you. He should have gone to Confession and forgot about it. Even Husband and Wife do not need to know each others sins.

It also worries me a little that you know of his past sex life, you really shouldn’t know anymore then that he had one, and is disease free. For you own sake, don’t ask any more detail. This was very good advice I got in Confession during our Pre Cana.

God Bless


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