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Married Bachelor Boy?

Irene wrote:

I have been married to my highschool sweetheart for 15 years. We dated for 8 years prior to marriage - more on than off. Our marriage has been good - no cheating, no abuse - we're very close friends and prefer each other's company to pretty much anyone else's. Sure, sex has become less frequent over the years.... but is still pretty good when it happens, even if its not all that inventive or crazy in content. My husband is an honest man, sort of shy, and fairly straight laced - he is a miserable liar.

Recently he was included in a good friend's wedding as a groomsman. The bachelor party involved about a dozen guys - a big steak dinner, and a night at a "gentleman's club." My husband was nervous leading up to the event.... He said he'd never been to a bar like that before (though I know he's seen strippers - rarely - at other parties), and knew his buddies would try to embarrass him. I assured him it was no big deal - just go have fun - be a guy.....

The day of the event, he went shopping and bought a new outfit - pants, shirt - even underwear.... He has never done this for any event that I am aware of in the entire span of our 23 year relationship. I'll admit I was a bit put off - but only joked about it.

The morning after the event, I deliberately didn't bring it up - no questions, nothing..... I really didn't want to be the overbearing wife. But he blurted a bunch of stuff out - maybe out of nervousness? Maybe out of guilt?? I don't know. He said he was uncomfortable - and that he was happy it was over. He said he found the whole thing "weird." But he told me about the 3 lap dances his friends purchased for him - and the pros and cons of the various "techniques" the dancers used - and the details of their physiques - and which ones successfully aroused him (two of three, I learned). That is when I told him that maybe he shouldn't share all the nitty gritty with me.... Inside I felt sick to my stomach.

I didn't expect I'd be bothered. I really thought it wouldn't be any big deal. I was never a jealous person - he has never acted inclined to stray. Why is this bothering me so much? Why can't I let it go? I want to avoid sex with him.... I don't want to think about sex at all. How can I compete with women half my age, and 3 times my bra size?? How can I not think of him getting aroused by strangers squirming in his lap? Maybe he'll be thinking of them when he's with boring old me. I certainly can't perform the feats of flexibility, etc. that he described they could.

I don't feel right sharing my feelings with him, since I gave him the green light to go have fun. He can't undo it anyway. So far he seems pretty clueless about how this has affected me - should I keep it that way?? The problem is my low self esteem and my fear of inadequacy and aging.... I just need to get over it, right? But how? Help.

Dear Irene

I suspect you are being a little tough on him.

Neither of you knew exactly what he would be faced with that evening, and so you both made assumptions. You positively encouraged him to go, and now you are annoyed that he 'entered into the spirit of the thing' - while he was nervous about going, and your advice not to show himself up in front of the others may have encouraged him to go further than he otherwise might.

It is a common failing of women to expect men to 'know' what they expect - and a common failing of men that they do not deliver on that.

You may have overreacted- and he may have overreacted to your overreaction.

I'm not convinced that any lasting damage has been done, and I suspect the whole thing is best put behind you - one more of life's lessons!

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