Bachelor Party

When a Bride is Nervous About the Bachelor Party

“Hi, so my fiance and I are getting married in 8 months and the big b-party has come up.

Now I love my FH, but he doesn’t always make the best choices. Some would call him the “sheep” because he just follows whatever the others do. Not that he’s ever cheated, but he just doesn’t understand that he CAN say no when he feels uncomfortable.

His best man is NOT the best influence (openly admitting to sleeping with “too many women to count” and asking my FH whether he thought this would ruin his chance at ever having a relationship like ours) and I’m a little worried about the bachelor party.

It has nothing to do with worrying about my FH’s commitment to me. It’s more about what his friends are going to push him to do, my FH rarely drinks (3-5 times a month and not heavily), RARELY parties (he says he doesn’t really enjoy the whole rowdy scene, the only parties we go to are birthday parties) and overall is perfect for me as I’m one of those people who is much happier having a nice dinner with friends…

But I know for a fact that Mark (we’ll just call the best man that) wants to get RIGHT F***ED UP! As he’s already put it. Not even kidding, he said that in front of my FH’s mom and myself.

What should be done in this situation as I know that my FH will go along with whatever the boys have planned, regardless of whether it’s his idea of a fun filled night?”

-Concerned Woman

Concerned Woman,

First order of business. When we launched The Plunge, we were confident that 95% of all women would hate the site, hate us, hate our advice, hate our families.

Shockingly, that number is closer to 90%, and plenty of women have written in, asking our particular brand of advice. No problem. We’re happy to help.

BUT. There need to be a few rules here, okay? And here’s the first one: please, for the love of all that is holy, never, ever, ever write us with the abbreviation “FH.”

See also: She Forbids Strippers – What Do You Do?

FH. We’re not gonna lie to you. We want to guzzle a liter of kerosene, Ted Striker-style, and light the match. FH. We want to shred every wedding invitation in sight. FH. We want to donate our tuxedo to a homeless shelter.

FH. [Shudder.] That’s the sort of abbreviation that festoons the wedding-porn forums, and it makes us feel, frankly, like we’ve turned into our worst nightmare. What does FH even stand for, anyway? Fairly Hopeless? Far-from-a Hero? Feckless Honcho? Ooooohhh! We get it, Future Husband. If only they had a word for that. A specific term, something to designate that he’s more than your boyfriend, that he’s asked your hand in marriage, that you’ve said yes, and that someday he will be your husband, just not quite yet. What about a word like… [slaps forehead]… how about.. fiancé?

[Exhales.] Apologies. You didn’t deserve that. From your letter, we get that you’re a cool chick. And yes, don’t worry, we get plenty of therapy, thank you. But seriously, all Plunge readers, never, ever write to us and mention the FH. Thank you.

What’s that? You said you had a question, something about a bachelor party? Right. Maybe you’d prefer us to address that issue, too.

So the first thing you tell us about your fiancé (glides off the tongue, right?) is that some would call him a … sheep. Let’s pause on that. This is a non-trivial character weakness, no?

It reminds us of an episode of The Simpsons, where Homer goes in for a job interview. He’s asked that old cliché, “What’s your greatest weakness?”

Homer thinks. Then he says, “Well, let’s seeeeee… I’m not very smart. I’m not a good learner. I don’t work very hard…”

See also: How Every Groomsmen Must Behave At The Bachelor Party

You clearly love this guy and plan on marrying him–great–but we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t hear the alarm bells. Marriage isn’t just about love. It’s about trust, commitment, and rock-solid confidence that you will fight for him, and he will fight for you.  There’s a reason wedding vows rarely contain the word “sheep.” We’re not saying you need to ditch this guy. But for the sake of both you and the sheep, you need to ask yourself some tough questions. (More on that–it applies for men and women–here.)

All right. Now that we’ve insulted you, insulted other websites, pissed off our female readers, and questioned the very foundation of your relationship, let’s get to the bachelor party.

The bachelor party sounds complicated. But in a way it’s super-simple. It’s really as easy as these two things:

1) You need to define the parameters.
2) He needs to follow them.

And that’s it.  You’re in control of the former. He’s in control of the latter.

It sounds like you have very good reasons to be nervous about “Mark” and his nefarious plans. So etch the boundaries. Let your fiancé know that you want him to have a good time, it’s okay to get shitfaced (really, it is), but it is NOT okay to do ________, where you fill in the blank.

Is it okay to get a lap dance, but nothing more? Is it okay to go to a strip club, but not get a lap dance? Is it only okay to play a nice game of Parcheesi?  We won’t tell you precisely where you should draw the line–that’s something every couple needs to work out on their own–but the important thing is that you both know where the line is, and he knows you’re serious about it.

After that? The ball’s in his court. You need to trust him to do right by you.  Don’t hire any bachelor party “spies.” Don’t relentlessly call to check in. Don’t give rules to the best man. Just tell him that you love him, that you want him to have a good time, but that it’s very, very important to you that he respects your boundaries.

And if he’s the man you should be with for the next 50+ years, he’ll do just that.

Good luck.

p.s. One quick thing about Mark, the best man. Yes, the “GET RIGHT FU#$KED UP!” line makes him sound a bit douchey. That said, believe it or not, we’ll (at last) say something that should cheer you up.

It’s probably not as bad as you think. Lots of my friends have slept with more women than they can count, and this doesn’t (necessarily) make them monsters, creeps, or even dudes who would disrespect your relationship. In fact, he even says that he one day wants a relationship “like yours,” suggesting that he holds your engagement with a special reverence.  This is a good thing. It’s definitely possible to get “RIGHT FU#$KED UP!” without cheating. (I’ve done it for years.)

Yes, Mark and company will pressure your fiancé to drink more than usual. Yes, they’ll whoop and fist-bump and overall act like assholes. This is all true. But you know what? Unless they’re a special, extremely rare breed of cheesedicks, they’re unlikely to actually put him in harm’s way.

See also: Why Strip Clubs Are Boring (Written By a Straight Dude)

They’re his friends. They know that you mean the world to him. They know that he wants to marry you more than anything else in the world. They know that if they goad him into doing something stupid, they’ll risk losing his friendship forever, and they don’t want that. Paradoxically, their interests are aligned with yours. Yes, they want to get drunk. But they also want your fiancé to get happily married. We can’t blame you for worrying, but, in the context of his friends, you probably have nothing to worry about.

I’ve been to many, many bachelor parties in my day. In almost all of them, I wanted the groom to get so drunk, that 17 states would arrest me for alcohol poisoning and attempted murder. In 100% of those parties, I would slap my buddy silly if he even thought about cheating. (They never did.) That’s not something that friends let friends do. And trust me. There are plenty of wives out there, no doubt, who might describe me as “Mark.”

And we’re rooting for you. If nothing else, we’re rooting for you because, one year from now, the last thing we want to see is you writing us, wondering how to get over your XH.

p.p.s. Remember. The bachelor party is for the bachelor. If he doesn’t want to go to a strip club, he shouldn’t. If he doesn’t want to drink heavily, he shouldn’t. Hell. If he doesn’t even want to go to a bar, he shouldn’t. Remind him that.  If he’s still skeptical? Have him write us.

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