My Husband is at a Strip Club and I Can't Stop Crying

Really? How many times does it have to be said that the issue isn’t the strip club per se, or even what he did there, but the fact that his wife perceived him as knowingly choosing to hurt her. Some people have responded that what he did at his bachelor’s party qualifies as cheating, and therefore it was wrong and DoperChic is justified in her emotions. Others have responded that what he did would not qualify as cheating in their relationships (including mine) but since it qualifies as cheating in their relationship, DoperChic is justified in her emotions. In any case, THAT’S NOT THE POINT. What is permissible in anyone else’s relationship is completely irrelevant to DoperChic and her husband. If they’ve agreed that they are not allowed to have orgasms with other people, then having an orgasm via lapdance constitutes cheating within their relationship.

I get the feeling, though, that they had never explicitly discussed what was and wasn’t permissible, and that’s a big part of what lead to this drama. What CrazyCatLady said about the differences between how men and women think (especially about emotions and relationships) rings true to me, as did what Stranger On A Train said about the differences between male and female sexuality. Bridging those gaps to create a happy, sustainable, long-term relationship takes a lot of communication. It also requires each partner to respect those differences, not judge them or try to change the way they think and feel.

DoperChic’s husband may never understand on an emotional level why she was so upset by his behavior at his bachelor party, or why she was upset when he went to another strip club for his friend’s bachelor party, but he should try to understand on a logical level and respect her feelings. And DoperChic may never understand how he can have sexual feelings without attaching emotions to them, but she should respect that it’s so and not see it as something that needs to be fixed. (Not that DoperChic necessarily sees it that way, but a lot of women seem to.) In any case, I think both DoperChic and her husband need to work on discussing their expectations and feelings openly with each other.

That’s it, exactly. My husband thought that what he received was a normal, acceptable lap dance. But I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I would have to be so explicit as to say no kissing, no nipples in/on your mouth, no 20 minute sessions that lead to orgasm, etc. I had an image in my mind of him in front of his friends in the public area with some chick wiggling her butt on his lap for a few minutes. To me, kissing of any kind is cheating. He says her lips barely touched his. But they TOUCHED!! Her nipple barely grazed his lips. But it touched. The fact that he didn’t immediately stand up after the first kiss and end it hurt and pissed me off.

Hubby completely separated the sexual acts from any sort of emotion. I clearly cannot.

And both of those are okay, it just means that you’ll have to work harder to bridge the gap.

DoperChic, I’ve just read your responses, and I want to commend you on your willingness and desire to improve yourself and your relationship, as well as your cool head in dealing with (or ignoring) some of the more inflammatory posts in this thread. Personally, I don’t think your relationship is in any way doomed. I think you’re just going through the rough patch that a lot of us (especially us younger types) hit in a relationship when we realize that our partner doesn’t always perceive things in the same way we do. If your husband is half as willing to work on the relationship as you are, I think you’ll do well.

[counseling hijack]As has been posted OP, I think you’ll learn from counseling that not everybody thinks or communicates the same way you do. I also think you can learn never to jump to black-and-white conclusions, e.g., “This is 100% his fault or mine.” Work on really and truly forgiving each other and when it gets tough, remember that you have a child who deserves two parents if at all possible. [/counseling hijack]

I have heard other guys say that at the bachelor party, it’s the best man’s job to get the groom laid. “Tomorrow you get married…last chance!” I’m not saying I condone it but playing Devil’s Advocate, he may think he stopped short of what the guys were offering him.

I rarely get invited to stag parties, which is probably a good thing. There’s a woman I work with who I think is pretty terrific. Hard to explain; when we met we just took a shine to each other. Had she been available, maybe we would have dated, but I still think she’s cool and it’s mutual. There’s a big brother/little sister dynamic at times, mentor/protegée at others maybe…we just get along great.

Anyway, she’s getting married. I don’t even know the groom-to-be, so I’m not invited to the stag party (if there is one). But if something like that happened at his stag party and I witnessed it, I’d_have_one_serious_ethical_dilemma.

Reading this thread has made me realize that I would never dare to touch a stripper at a club, let alone put my mouth on her–I mean, just think how many pathogens must be communicated that way! What a totally unsanitary profession! No way! Lesson to the ladies: marry a man with a disease phobia. :slight_smile:

On a more serious note, I would say that the ability to separate sexual acts from any sort of emotion is pretty normal for males. To us, as Stranger on a Train noted, orgasm is not much more inherently “personal” and “intimate” than urinating. That’s why the fact that a man has sex with you doesn’t mean he loves you, or even likes you. And it’s why a man can do what DoperChic’s husband did and not feel that he is being unfaithful.

It seems many women feel very differently about these matters. Whenever there’s a profound difference of opinion, it isn’t wise to assume that the other person understands your point of view. Both partners in this marriage seem to have made some naive assumptions about the other’s perspective. Without being able to hear both sides in the dispute, that’s all I can really say.

As for what is normal and/or acceptable behavior for men, I suspect that those who say many or most men aren’t really “wired” for sexual monogamy are right. But the nice thing about our liberal society is that you aren’t expected to promise yourself exclusively to someone if you don’t want to. A man who marries a woman and promises to forsake all others should be held to that promise as long as the marriage lasts. Honoring a solemn oath even if it’s hard is right in line with my concept of masculinity, and I would hope with most people’s.

DoperChic:

Your husband is not doing this in spite of the fact that it hurts you. He is doing this BECAUSE it hurts you. He is cheating on you for similar reasons that I cheated on one of my exes: because doing so in such a way, humiliating you in such a way, and then getting you to stay with him afterwards gives him a feeling of power over you. Well, it’s not just a feeling, actually: he DOES have power over you, power that you have ceded by your acquiescence.

Take your power back.

I really think that we have come to somewhat of a wall regarding how my husband and I interpret what he did. Neither of us is really willing to budge. And maybe it does just needs to be OK. I need to stop trying to change him and how he views what he did. Until that happens, we’ll just be going around in endless needless emotional circles.

Thank you. I just wish I had had that cool head Saturday night as well. That one phone call he made that night set off some old emotions that I thought were dealt with but obviously were not and I snapped. My husband is very willing to work on this with me. He has been there for me through all of my highs and lows for the past 8 years. I have no doubt that he will continue to be there for me and will work with me to overcome this.

Now you tell me this! :slight_smile:

I had my husband read this post and he agreed with you. It’s really hard for me to understand this point of view, but I think I need to accept it in order to forgive him and be able to move on.

I have been in counseling before and this is one of the things we worked on. I tend to get very focused on how I perceive something and become convinced that my way is the way things are. For example, my husband going to a strip club means that I’m not doing enough for him, that my body isn’t good enough, and he has to then get his needs met elsewhere. Rationally, I know this isn’t true. Hubby tells me that this isn’t true. But that nagging thought in the back of my mind just won’t let go.

Yes, some men cheat because they are sick and twisted. My husband is not. I’m not sure where you are getting this based on what I’ve told you, but it’s not true. Our relationship is not a constant power struggle. I’m sorry that yours was.

You need to remember, though, that power can corrupt—even otherwise decent people can be susceptible. IMO/IME if person A does something he/she shouldn’t, that person B allows, the respect can start to suffer. I’ve been on both sides of that equation.

Ridiculously extrapolated example: the Nazis. When bullies have success, they become bolder and bolder in part because they lose all respect for those who won’t stand up to them. It’s a lot subtler in marriages, but it’s there nonetheless.

Probably I’m over-identifying because of my own issues. That said, lobotomyboy63 nailed it with his bully analogy. When I cheated, I knew exactly what I was doing, and getting my girlfriend to stay with me as I took advantage was part of the point.

@skald: I’d bet it’s a gradual process, isn’t it? You lose a little more respect each time until it turns you into a tyrant.

I’d also add that the process doesn’t require you to be a genius. A related story: doctors told my sister that she couldn’t get pregnant. She’d always wanted one, but it just wasn’t in the cards for her. And then, somehow, without really “trying,” she became pregnant.

Well, talk about a joyful moment! And when she had the baby, she was supermom. That kid couldn’t get out a second whimper before she was right there with a bottle, fresh diaper, etc.

But eventually, my sister pushed herself SOOOO hard that she ended up with pneumonia.

My point is that you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to manipulate people. Understanding a little cause-and-effect can go a long way. If a newborn baby can manipulate my sister…

So why not just move on? Why the need for counseling? :confused:

It wasn’t with that girlfriend. I went into the relationship intending to be as cruel as I could without being physically abusive. But it was a gradual process that led me to that point, and I’m hyper-vigilant about avoiding such patterns with my wife.

Because the root of the issue is a problem with communication, not a problem with fidelity. DoperChic and her husband failed to communicate their expectations of each other with regards to sexual fidelity, and so he cheated without realizing that what he was doing constituted cheating. Now that they’ve finally talked through this issue, he knows that kissing and orgasms with any other person is off limits, so he won’t do it again. Nonetheless, that doesn’t solve the underlying problem of communication, so there could be a similar blowout over another issue. Counseling, ideally, should help both DoperChic and her husband communicate better and strengthen their relationship.

I know a guy who launched his own vendetta against womankind. His fiancée had cheated on him, broken off the engagement, yadda, while he was at sea with the USN. He spent the next couple years destroying women everywhere he went.

Now that time has passed, I would think that he’d realize that he was punishing innocents; I’m not sure much guilt has caught up to his psyche yet, however.

I think we’re hijacking the thread, so I’ll shut up.

No, we aren’t.

ETA: Well, yes, we are, but for good reasons, like wanting healthy relationships.

He got a quasi-hand job while she was pregnant?
He thought the stripper ‘liked’ him so much she was going to let him pay her for sex?
The OP needs to get to a male strip club and go to town.

NOOOOO!!!

I’m anxiously awaiting your reply and I get this?!

Now I know you have a mean streak, but please satisfy my (and maybe others’) curiosity about why you would intentionally go into a relationship trying to hurt someone and what you mean by intentionally. I’ll even start a new thread if you’d like.

I haven’t read the whole threat yet (up to page 3 so far) but so far no one has said, or they’ve brushed over, a few of the things I’d like to point out.

  1. What the hubby did this time is not the same as what the hubby did last time. The first incident, he did what he thought was OK and got heat for it. He said “I don’t get why, but I understand that it’s wrong.” Then he went to a club again. At no point were we told that he once again sucked a stripper’s tit or came from a dance. For all we know, he just got drunk and watched. He was unknowingly wrong the first time and this time, he’s perfectly OK until you tell me he got off again.

  2. A male orgasm is NOT a personal, sexual experience all the time. Physical stimulation can do that even if the brain isn’t into it. Broomstick and DoperChic, you need to understand that there IS a difference. When hubby is screaming “But it was from the 20 minute dance!!”, you need to understand that what he really means is “My brain wasn’t even in it! It’s the same as if I had a wet dream!” Then you need to understand that he’s telling the truth. I feel you’re not really respecting this biological difference between the sexes. Put another way, cum!=orgasm.

  3. I think we can sum up the argument thusly:
    Dc: “I don’t want you to go to a strip club because if you cheated on me once, you’ll cheat on me again!”
    Hu: “But the first time, I don’t think I cheated on you. I can’t imagine holding your viewpoint on this issue, but I respect your position on it and won’t do it again.”
    Dc: “Then why are you going? Going means you’ll cheat again, especially since you don’t understand what you did wrong last time.”
    Hu: “It’s my duty as a guy friend to go. This is not as big a deal as you’re making it.”
    Again, I think the whole problem is that DoperChic is saying that going again=first time incident. Evidence: He doesn’t think he was wrong. Hubby is saying that it’s OK because going again!=first time. Evidence: He knows you don’t like it.

Resolve that and you’ll have it all patched up.