It’s an age-old question — do some straight-identifying men fool around with other guys because they’re heavily inebriated, or does the alcohol simply allow them to act uninhibited, true desires escaping through pores alongside the distinctly unpleasant smell of boozy sweat. We know which scenario we believe rings true, but we’ll just go ahead and leave it open ended and get to our latest case study in repression:
A justifiably distraught wife wrote in to advice column Dear Coleen with a tale of bachelor party shenanigans run amok. In short, her husband, who is totally not gay or bi or anything other than straight (ha), hooked up with two guys during a weekend-long bachelor party. One of those guys was the groom.
Here it is in her words:
My husband went to Magaluf on a stag week recently and when he got back he confessed that he’d got drunk and slept with another man, blaming the fact that he was “so out of it”.
He told me he woke up and screamed when he realised he was in a hotel bed with this guy lying next to him.
But he also admitted he’d got very drunk on another occasion and slept with the groom (his friend), who surprisingly enough isn’t angry and just said: “It’s just a bunch of stuff that happened. I’m not bothered I slept with you, we did it and that’s it.”
My husband told me he isn’t gay or bi, and that it was simply down to overdoing it on the stag week in terms of drink and drugs, and that he regrets it. We have a four-year-old son and my husband is a very good dad.
He told me he wants to work on our marriage, and I want to be able to forgive him, but it feels hard and I don’t know how I’m going to be able to do it.
His friend’s wedding is in a week’s time and my husband and his friend want to keep what happened secret from the bride, but I’m not sure about that.
What’s your advice?
Here’s what Coleen had to say:
First of all, I don’t think you should tell the bride to be. I think it’s up to her fiance to tell her. The chances are she’ll shoot the messenger and still marry him anyway.
You have enough to deal with, so focus on yourself and your marriage.
It does sound like a big drunken, drug-fuelled mess, but if you want to work on saving your marriage, then that’s your decision.
Of course you’re going to find it hard though. The trouble with confessions is that while they unburden the confessor, the problem is dumped on the other person to deal with – and how do you do that?
In your case the positives are these: he was honest with you about what happened straight away and he’s reassured you that he’s not gay or bisexual (just a drunken fool).
You obviously need to set some boundaries now – number one is that you don’t want him going on any more stag dos because you can’t trust him in that environment, and he shouldn’t mind about that.
He should probably put some distance between himself and the groom to give you the space to work things out.
You might even need some relationship counselling to help you work out whether you can forgive him and move on.
All you can do is give it your best shot and, if you realise you can’t get past what he did, then at least you’ll know you tried your very best before walking away.
Oh Colleen, sweet ignorant Coleen.
While she makes some vaguely valid points, we’re having a bit of trouble with the brush-over of “he’s assured you that he’s not gay or bisexual (just a drunken fool).” Hooking up with one guy during a weekend bender? Maybe, just maybe, a so-called “drunken fool” move.
What Coleen’s advice should be is: Work on your marriage if you love your husband, the father of your son. Go to couple’s counseling, all that. But you may also encourage your husband to go to individual counseling to get help navigating some repressed desires he’s clearly letting loose under the unacceptable umbrella excuse of inebriation. If he doesn’t get honest with himself and you, these behaviors are destined to repeat themselves.
Anything else you’d tell her?