Dear Ann: I have been married to "Adam" for two years. He never had a bachelor party before our wedding, because he knew I didn't approve of those raunchy affairs. Apparently, he feels he has missed something and now wants to make up for it.
One of Adam's friends is having a bachelor party at a strip club in a few weeks. This particular club has a bad reputation, and the owner has promised "special treatment" for the party. I can only imagine what that means.
I am upset that Adam is so eager to attend this party, but I don't want to say anything. If he stays home on my account, I'm sure he would be resentful. I have no complaints about strip clubs in general, and I would even go with him if he asked me to, but frankly, I'm disappointed that he wants to have a sexually stimulating experience without me. I don't understand why men think bachelor parties are such a great way to end their single lives. How could any bride respect her new husband after that?
Please give me some advice on how to handle the situation so I can stop feeling "excluded." Am I Too Prudish in Arizona?
Dear Arizona: Bachelor parties are no longer the innocent affairs of the past. They have become raunchy, and some are downright disgusting. Most strip clubs, however, have rules that don't allow the patrons to touch the strippers (although that doesn't eliminate other provocative activities).
Your husband is going to find a way to go to this bachelor party, so you may as well deal with it. Tell him you trust him to behave in a way that will not defile your marriage. Consider it his last fling with the guys, and don't ask any questions when he comes home.
Dear Ann: You probably have taken a lot of flak for your response to "Desperate in Kansas," whose husband insisted that his elderly mother come live with them. I was in the same spot with my husband's mother. She was not very pleasant to me, which made our relationship difficult. When Mom needed someone to take care of her, I said she could live with us. My friends were astonished that I would take on this burden, but I knew my husband would be happy knowing his mother was cared for and that he could share her final days.
I took leave from work in order to stay home with my mother-in-law. My children helped out whenever possible, and my husband took over my duties when he came home from work. It put a strain on our lives, but the sacrifices I made had unexpected rewards. I learned to love my mother-in-law. Even with her sharp tongue, she occasionally let a little gratitude slip out. My children came to know her better. They also learned the importance of caring for elderly parents. My mother-in-law was able to die in our home, where she was comfortable and loved. My husband and his family are grateful to me, and they show enormous respect for my decision. Believe it or not, I actually miss her.
I hope "Desperate" will see this as an opportunity to open her heart. Her husband will fall more deeply in love, and her life will be richer for it. A New Jersey Wife
Dear N.J. Wife: Being a successful daughter-in-law is not the easiest role in life. You deserve high praise for the way you handled the part, and the rewards will be never-ending. Trust me. Whether or not you realize it, you have served as a terrific role model for your children. Be proud of yourself. P.S.: I hope your husband appreciates his jewel of a wife.