My Boyfriend Lied To Me About Going To a Booby Bar !!?

Dear Couch,

I've been dating my boyfriend for almost 5 years. We have a fairly good and honest relationship. A year and a half ago he and his brother in-law and some friends went to Montreal for the weekend for the race, and to a stag party for his brother in-law (this was the first time in our relationship that he went away with his friends). When my boyfriend came back I could tell something was bothering him. I asked him numerous times (aprox. 10 ) what was wrong, and if he was hiding something from me, he kept on saying " no why do you keep hassling me do you want me to make something up" .

At this point I was almost certain he was hiding something from me, because he would get so defensive. I even asked him if he went to a strip club and was hiding that from me, he said no. Finally After about 2 months of hassling him I decided to give it a rest and let if go. This became a problem for me, I would constantly think, what could he be hiding from me. About a month ago, again I started to get bothered by the Montreal incident. I was talking to my boyfriend one night and told him that I would like for him to be honest with me. I told him to tell me if he was hiding something from me. He finally admitted, that while in Montreal, him and the guys had gone to a strip club.

I am very disappointed with him.
  1. He lied to me
  2. He kept it from me for so long
  3. He promised me he would not go to a strip club while in Montreal 
    (this was his decision to promise me this, I did not ask him not to go to one)
  4. We had been together for 3 yr. when this happened
    (it's not like I would have freaked out if he told me that he went to a strip club)
  5. I had to drag it out of him

Up to this point he had never lied to me before so I am hurt. I have not talked to anyone about this because I am embarrassed. People seem to think we have such a wonderful relationship, and they see him without flaws towards me. I just couldn't bring myself to tell anybody. I asked my boyfriend if he was ever planning to tell me, he said yes after he purposed he would have told me. Am I over reacting for feeling the way I do? What should I do? Should I leave it be? Should I hold a grudge? Can and should I trust him again? Please help me out here, I could really use somebody's opinion and advice. One more thing we haven't slept together since I found this out, I do want him but, I guess I want to punish him.

Thank you dearly,
" Victoria"

Dear Victoria,

Come on. 'Stag Party' is synonymous with 'Hang out with a bunch of guys, drink, and watch women strip'. For him to promise not to do so was probably pretty stupid on his part. He apparently felt it was something that would really bother you or he wouldn't have said anything in the first place. The biggest problem we see here is not a lack of honesty, although that is the symptom in this case. The problem here is a relationship that is perceived by one or both of you as so fragile, one of you has to lie about something like going to a booby bar. Withholding sex as a ' punishment' isn't too healthy either. These should all be very big red flags that your relationship is screwed up.

Our advice to you will sound simple but, in practice, is what actually defines a romantic relationship that will last. Honesty is the biggest part of a relationship yes, but, lying doesn't happen spontaneously. People lie in relationships for basic reasons, the most common being, ' If I tell the truth he/she might leave me.' If one or both of the partners approach the other with this attitude, the game is over before it starts. If you can't say to your partner, ' I'm going out with my friends and we'll probably go to a male/female strip show but don't worry I love and want only you.' then you've got issues. Even if you know something is going to piss of your partner but it's something you feel strongly about, you should do it and be honest about it. For example, if your boyfriend has become increasingly jealous of your high school buddy whom you've always hung out with in a purely platonic way, Ya gotta say, ' Honey, I love you and you're the man I want to be with but I'm going bowling with Scott on Tuesday like I have for the past seven years.' You don't lie and you don't sneak. It might cause some minor friction at the time, but as you've experienced, far less than dishonesty will.

Lastly, we gotta again point out that withholding sex is purely dysfunctional. Of course when you're mad at someone you don't want to fool around or even snuggle for that matter. This is normal, and after you've had some time to cool off and work things out with each other, sexual feelings should return to normal. If things don't resolve with your own efforts, it's counseling time. Yes, a couples therapist. Sounds goofy, but eventually any long term relationship can be helped by a little third party sounding wall. So don't be hesitant to seek one out. Here's a brief page on choosing a counselor and another site where you can search by state for a therapist. Good Luck.

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