DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: A friend of mine stumbled upon some bachelor party plans her boyfriend and his friends were planning for one of the guys in their group who was getting married. These plans involved strip clubs and strippers -- two things that make my friend very uncomfortable. Is she wrong in asking her boyfriend not to attend this event, or should she just let him go, despite her feelings? -- Worried For My Friend, Winnipeg
Dear Worried: This is her husband-to-be? He has hidden these plans from her, which is more worrisome than the act of going down to a strip club with friends. Strip clubs are not as big a worry as a private party with women who are paid to perform, and sometimes it's not all about dancing. Your girlfriend should set the tone for her upcoming marriage by being completely open and a tigress about things that are detrimental to her respect for this guy. There are guys who say "My wife would kill me if I did that" and guys who say "I hide things from my wife and she never finds out." The worst situations are marriages where the guy sneaks off to do something the wife knows, and she doesn't say a word because she's afraid to rock the boat. Encourage your friend to start rocking the boat now because her fiancé appears to be of the sneaky variety. She needs to know who she's really dealing with. He seems to be pulling a fast one -- and she's keeping quiet. Not a wise thing to do!
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I found out something that has me crying like a little girl. My mother has been having an affair on my father for more than 20 years. I house-sat my parents place when they were away and was bored out of my mind, so I did a little snooping. Then man in question is my mother's former boyfriend from college days. My dad is a great guy but not an intellectual. My mother loves him because he's so down to earth ( and he makes so much money). This other guy says in her collection of copied computer messages (printed mostly on her hot pink computer paper, no less) that he loves her for her "mind and brilliant discussions" as much as for her body. I wanted to puke. I've seen this guy at parties at our house. Who should I tell? I'm 32 and as upset as a kid of 13 at what my mom is doing to my sweet under-educated dad. Please help me. -- Broken Up, Winnipeg
Dear Broken: "Kids" of any age should not have to walk around carrying heavy secrets to protect their parents. Speak to your mother first about this, and tell her everything you've found out. She's the one who needs to do the explaining, not you. Yes, you snooped, but that's the lesser of two wrongs. If your mother comes down on you hard for that, it's an attempt at a distraction. You must say steadfastly, "And I'm sorry you had anything like this to hide." Ask her why she's carrying on this affair -- the all-important information you need for knowing what to do next, if anything. You may be surprised to find out she's not the only one (or the first one) in the marriage to cheat. Or, she may be doing your dad wrong in secret because she's lonely, and misses intellectual-plus sexual companionship. Perhaps your dad and she stopped having sex way back when, for some reason. He may be impotent -- or she may have turned off him long ago. Or, she simply wants two loves because she can have them. It could also be your dad and she have an open marriage, which allows other partners. Steel yourself to listen to this information after you asked for it. That's what 32 -year-olds can do and 13-year-olds can't.
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