bachelor parties

Hey Will,

Here’s my question!  My fiancée Steve is preparing for his bachelor party in Vegas.

I trust my fiancée – but not his friends, who I don’t really like (most of them are single and still playing the field).

Can I get him to cancel the party and do something more appropriate instead? I don’t understand why he needs to go on a night out like this!

Carrie, Minnesota

Hi Carrie:

“I trust my fiancée – but…” I’ve heard this or some variation of it more times than I can count, but seldom is it completely true and it doesn’t sound completely true here either. If you really trust him, then the sentence would have read, “I trust my fiancée- and…” and this party would be no big deal.

Steve’s friends can’t make him do anything that he doesn’t want to do. If they could, Steve probably wouldn’t be getting married. His friends are a pack of wolves; you don’t have to trust them or like them, but Steve loves them. I’m betting that he has known some of these friends longer than he’s known you. He’s partied with them, chased women with them, fought for them, and probably even fought WITH them a few times. But since Steve met you his friends have watched him change. He doesn’t go out as often as he used to or stay out half as late. He’s been dressing better, showering more often. Hell, he even flosses now, the poor bastard!

Steve’s friends all know that this is the beginning of the end. He isn’t the first soldier they’ve lost. They all know the drill. Soon, anytime they call his house, Steve’s WIFE will answer the phone. He won’t be able to go out drinking anymore at least not without permission. When he does go out, all of his old stories will have been forgotten, and all of his new stories will start with, “The other night, my wife and I….”

Steve loves you and you love him. You both are going to make some big changes in the very near future and the road may get rocky, but I for one can tell you; when a marriage is good, there’s nothing better! But, Carrie, you need to understand that, in the eyes of his old wolf pack, Steve is dying! The only way for you two to start your new life together is for his old way of life to die. And, as a man, I flatly REFUSE to tell you how to keep his friends from giving the old Steve a proper burial!

HERE’S WHAT THEY WILL DO: they will drink waaaaaay too much! They will act as ignorant as the most ignorant one in the group (I’m sure you can name which of Steve’s friends that is!). They will, more than likely, go to see women in various stages of undress at some “gentleman’s club” (the same thing he’d see at home on cable TV except with worse lighting, more stretch marks, and glitter.) They’ll curse and laugh a lot, probably smoke cigars, maybe gamble a little and slap Steve on the back, telling him that this will be his last night like this (Steve’s banking on that fact). I can promise you, at some point during the night, he’ll be thinking that he’s really glad to be giving up this lifestyle. That’s when the old Steve dies.

HERE’S WHAT YOU SHOULD DO: Let him go. Ask if they have a designated driver or if they’ll be in cabs all night (just being safe). The night before he leaves, give him a really good “reminder” as to what he’ll be coming home to (this step isn’t really necessary, but I didn’t have time to shop, so telling you this is MY bachelor party gift to Steve!) And the day of the trip, as you kiss him good-bye, tell him not to do anything he doesn’t want you doing while you’re here alone (that’s the one my wife used on me… and it still works!) There are probably things you could say or do to make him cancel his party, but if the shoe was on the other foot, would you want him to cancel YOUR party… or just trust you?

In your marriage, things will come up that will make this issue seem like a first grade spelling test. The ONLY recipe that will make it last is equal parts of LOVE, TRUST, COMMUNICATION, and RESPECT. He knows that you love him, and I’m sure that you’ve already communicated your feeling about his friends and this party. Now, respect his right to make his own decisions, and trust that he’ll make good ones, now and in the future.

Oh, yeah… Congratulations and the best of luck to both of you!

William Jones is originally from the tiny town of Alton, Illinois, and now lives in the tinier town of Reisterstown, Maryland. He is a happy husband and a proud father of three, and writes as a hobby, in those few, spare moments he finds between husbanding and daddy-ing.