The horrible best friend who threw the bachelor party described in your May 1 column is me! Here’s my side: The bride got a blatant tip-off about the strippers before the event. After the party, she demanded the participants call her to apologize. She responded to the apologies with verbal abuse and revoked my wedding invitation (which was later reinstated). She even sent rude e-mails at bizarre hours. If she had contacted me to express her objection to female entertainment, the whole incident could have been avoided. The show was raunchy, but no prostitution was involved. The groom was clueless about his bride’s opinion of strippers. I think the bride has anger issues. My friend has never been terribly comfortable around women and seems nervous and confused much of the time.
Your friend is not terribly comfortable around women, and you hired strippers for his bachelor party? No wonder he’s nervous and confused. I think tip-offs are a coward’s way of providing information. Be direct. I think it’s too bad the partiers didn’t have the courtesy to apologize without prompting. I think it was abusive to taint a holy union with a raunchy sex show. I think we live in a 24-hour world, so e-mails are acceptable anytime. I think you need to work on your communication skills so you can welcome your friend’s sweetheart into the community no matter what her response. If you cared enough about both of them and about the sanctity of marriage, you would have canceled the raunchy bit; the whole thing could have been avoided. You don’t seem terribly comfortable around his wife, and that is at least 50 percent your responsibility. Remember, every time you point a finger at her, three fingers point at you. So, be grateful that your best friend is in love, admit six wonderful things about his bride, apologize again and move on.
I am a 43-year-old woman who never married and has no children. My grandmother raised me. Since her death four years ago, I have been very alone. When I turned 40, I began wanting very badly to get married and have a life companion. I have tried everything to find a man I could be compatible with, but I can’t find one. I have been forced to lower my standards and fear that, if I continue, I might marry a gorilla! I feel genuine despair. Why isn’t there a special person for me?
It is difficult enough to find someone with whom you share a mutual attraction, strong communication skills and a belief system. That’s what is required for a healthy dating relationship. But you desire a life companion. That means you are searching for someone with the spiritual, mental and emotional maturity to commit to a relationship and to persevere through the inevitable difficulties that arise when two egos have close contact. You yearn for the person who will be your best friend, your partner in both dreams and daily obligations and your beloved. Finding such a man is not impossible, but it requires work.
Let’s look inside your heart. The urge for a life companion arose a year after you lost your grandmother. Perhaps you are trying to fill her space by establishing another singular relationship. Marriage cannot stave off loneliness. You must become comfortable being alone and learn to accept loneliness as a natural human experience. Take solace in your search. If finding your life companion is important, let it take as long as it takes.