Must Bachelor Parties Cause Trouble?

Q: My buddies and I are planning a bachelor party weekend in a month and my girlfriend is already complaining. She says my group of guys always gets into trouble, like in the movie "The Hangover." She goes on weekends with her girlfriends all the time, and they go out to bars and stuff. Why is it bad for me to go for a weekend with my buddies? Bachelor parties aren't that bad. We just want to help our buddy blow off some steam before he ties the knot. How can I get her to stop nagging me about it and let it go?-- Justin, 25

Dr. Susan: Could it be that your girlfriend is projecting onto you something her and her pals experience when they spend weekends together? For instance, maybe the girls flirt with strangers outrageously, and she figures you guys will too. And maybe some serious stuff will happen.

Actually, I'm not familiar with young people in committed relationships who go out with their same-sex friends "to bars and stuff" for whole weekends. That truly requires trust on the part of the stay-at-home partner. And that's at the heart of your quandary: your girlfriend doesn't totally trust you. I doubt she minds you having some fun with your guy friends, but she doesn't know what to expect beyond that. Talk before you go. Let her know what the schedule calls for. Reassure her that you will stick to the rules of your relationship even when you're apart, such as no sleeping with other women.

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