Monday, May 4, 2009

The Bachelor Party - A Survival Guide

Aah the bachelor party. Two rather potent words in their own right, but when use in combination they can strike debilitating terror into the heart in the bride to be, or at the very least really annoy her.

Traditionally, in our society, it is the bachelor party and not the bachelorette party that strikes a note of discord at the heart of even the most harmonious of engagements. We can generate for ourselves so much discomfort and distress over the bachelor party that it casts a shadow over the entire wedding experience for the wife to be. However, her discord with the bachelor party is not so much the fear that her fiancé is going to have sex with someone else during the event, but rather, she feels let down that he would even want to go.

Friends can also contribute the build up of her anxiety around the party by playing up to its mythical naughtiness right in front of her. The greatest fear for women over the bachelor party comes from her fearing what his friends might have in mind for the event. The friends know this and will often play it to the hilt to get a rise out of her. Why?

Well friends, and especially single friends, are feeling some anxiety about the impending change to their relationship with your fiancé. They may not be able to identify it or put it into words, but it’s there. It’s called abandonment. Somewhere deep inside, his friends may be experiencing a sense of abandonment as he moves away from them and towards involvement in a marriage. So, they distract themselves from their own bad feelings by doing a little teasing of someone else, that being you.

A little good natured teasing around the bachelor party, in very small measure, from his friends can be expected. If you experience it, then know that his friends are experiencing some anxiousness about the impending change in their relationship with your fiancé. Their teasing around the bachelor party is an unconscious attempt to get rid of their own uncomfortable abandonment feelings, while giving some of them to you.

If they are doing it to you, then they are most likely doing it to your fiancé as well. Their allusions in front of him about the bachelor party can cause him anxiety as well. And they will tease him to unload their anxieties for the very same reasons.

Good natured taunting about the bachelor party is not intended to injure, but rather it is a way of expressing their unease without having to admit to it. After all, your friends are supposed to be happy for you when you get engaged, right? And most friends are truly happy for you, but it is also possible that way down deep inside they might be experiencing a tinge of jealousy that they don’t understand or can’t express.

So, the bachelor party and its planning becomes the safest vehicle for friends to discharge their anxieties around their feelings of abandonment while helping to reaffirm friendship bonds. It even allows those who were not chosen to be the best man to have a place in the wedding experience that is culturally accepted.

I want you to know that your feelings and fears around the bachelor party are legitimate and may need to be verbalized. If you are having difficulty over the party, let him know how you feel. If there are certain activities you find unacceptable, tell him so. Remember, the shroud of secretiveness around the party is an attempt to cause him some anxiety as well. He may actually feel the same way you do and would welcome your alliance.

Most engaged men do not relish the idea of a raucous bachelor party, however, they don’t want to look like wimp in front of their friends so they will go along with it. Bare in mind that some of the party is still out of his control. What he can control is the amount of alcohol he consumes. Men, limit your drinking. By limiting your drinking you can still enjoy the party while helping to build trust with your fiancé.

Trust is a biggest issue at stake around the bachelor party. If you feel you can’t trust your fiancé at the bachelor party, there may be seriously destructive issues underlying your relationship. If this is the case, you may want to explore these issues together with a licensed therapist before the wedding.

Many men view the bachelor party as a rite of passage among their friends. We live in a society with few remaining rites of passage, so trying to force your fiancé to refuse a bachelor party may very well cause him to feel resentment towards you. Remember, your fiancé has already pledged a commitment to you for building a life together. As silly as the party might seem to you, for him it may hold some meaning. If you decide to give your approval for his party, let go of it and do not punish him later for having attended it.

By all means, men should tell their fiancés about the plans being made for their bachelor party if they are going to have one. Be open. It’s the secretiveness that gets people into trouble. Friends like to tease the fiancé by whispering in front of her to get a reaction. Be the first to let her know about the party and talk out your feelings with each other. You can use this as an opportunity for improving the trust between the two of you.

This brings us to the point of having one last round before marriage. Most couples who have made a commitment to marry never feel that urge. They want to be married to their fiancé and have no interest in anyone else. For these people, the decision for monogamy was made back before the couple decided to get married.

Now, there are a few individuals and they tend to be men, but not always, who do desire to have one last fling before their marriage. In most cases, this desire is a symptom of panicking around a decision that will affect the rest of their life. It comes from the place that questions whether or not they are making the right decision. If you are really that frightened of marriage or are really not that sure, it’s perfectly fine to delay the wedding until a time when you are feeling more comfortable. Just knowing that the wedding can be delayed is enough for many of these panicking individuals to clear their heads to see that they are marring the right person.

However, if you are feeling compelled to have one last fling, you may have to take a look inside and honestly evaluate if you are really ready to make that commitment. Maybe this person is not the right one for you. It’s OK to not be ready and it’s better to know it before you get married.

For information on the history of marriage log onto Dr. Walton on YouTube. For more information log onto or for more information on convenient self-help downloads, or to listen to free samples, log onto the "Dr Walton Series".