Dear Beth

Newlyweds at war over strip bars

Happiness is: gorgeous wild flowers adorn Ontario meadow

Dear Beth:
I recently found out that my husband of one year has been to strip bars not once but on many occasions. It has totally broke my trust of him and I am having a hard time letting him touch me. He knew how strongly I felt about this sort of thing and yet he went behind my back and did it anyhow. No one seems to understand me, I am hoping you can help with some advice ....
Thanks for your help.

Beth answers: I see that you feel really hurt about this, and when nobody seems to take it seriously you feel really unsupported and like your feelings don't matter. Strip bars often cause conflict in relationships for different reasons, so I would recommend couple counseling to help you sort it out.

However, I will mention two issues that played a part in similar conflicts that I have seen.

Being in a relationship entails some degree of tension between the human needs for closeness and freedom. One of the tasks in the early stages of a relationship is to find a way of balancing togetherness and separateness, and of settling related power struggles and issues about commitment and trust. Strip bars can be the terrain on which these issues are fought out.

Conflicts over strip bars can also reflect a tug-of-war between the man's buddies and his wife or girlfriend for his time and his loyalty.

I will add that if you do not feel like letting your husband touch you right now it is probably a good idea not to, as you could end up with a sexual problem that might be harder to resolve than the strip bar problem.