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Temptation at the bachelor party

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  July 30, 2013 08:43 AM

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Q: Hi Meredith,

I'm engaged to a man I love deeply. We bring out good things in one another and he is easily the person that I could spend my life with, which is why we're getting married. That said, we both took equally exciting yet very different roads to get us to where we are today. My adventures have been more wanderlust-y in nature; I have an insatiable curiosity for people, places, and travel, and although I've gotten myself into some interesting situations, I've never harmed myself or anyone/anything else.

When I met my fiance, he was very forthcoming about his past. He was 33 when we met, and he revealed that up until he was 31, he'd been a functioning, serious drug user. He had worked hard to overcome it. He didn't attend rehab as far as I know, but attended Narcotics Anonymous meetings here and there.

When we met, he'd been clean for two years and that was critical to me, as I have never used drugs. I would've never knowingly become involved with someone that was actively using and hadn't worked to overcome it. I'm sure readers will say that it's something that is never "overcome," but more of an itch that hopefully fades over time. And honestly, that's what I was hoping for -- that with two years under his belt and his pride in his recovery, it would be in our past, and that this amazing person would be resolved of the demons.

Things were great for about 1.5 years until he developed a "curiosity" (his word) about meth after finding an easy way to get it. He kept this secret for about 15 months until one day I came home and he was acting strange -- just really odd, and although I've never been around someone on meth, I knew in my heart that something wasn't right about his behavior. I started pushing for answers until I found the drugs under the sink in his bathroom in our house. I didn't know what it was so I had to ask and he told me.

Naturally, I was devastated. I felt that every moment and embrace and smile that we'd shared over the last 15 months had been a lie -- tainted with drugs. Who knows when he was sober? Who knows when he wasn't? I demanded that he go to rehab, submit to random drug testing for an indeterminate period of time, and acknowledge that if this were to ever happen again, he would know our marriage was over. No questions asked.

He attended rehab, he knows that any future drug use is a no-questions-asked deal-breaker, and I have not yet asked him to submit to random testing (it's been 4 months.) And this is why I write to you. He is leaving for California on Wednesday for his bachelor party, and obviously I won't be there. His friends there are all wonderful people, but they were all part of the partying behavior that played into his 10 years of drug use.

His best man/best friend is a wonderful guy, and although he infrequently will use at a party (to my knowledge), it's not at all a way of life for him and I really want to connect and ask him to keep any drugs out of the scene for the four-day bachelor party. My fiance never revealed what happened with the meth issue to any of his friends, and I'm left carrying the weight of this knowledge alone. I feel that if the best man knew high-level details of what happened, he would be sympathetic to my request and do his best to keep it out of the scene.

I know that everyone will tell me that if I have to contact that best man, it means I don't trust my fiance and that I shouldn't be marrying him. To that I would say that my trust was damaged once and first time, shame on him. Second time, shame on me. My trust is something that he'll have back eventually, but it's going to be a slow ascent. In the meantime, I'm trying to help him succeed and not fall back into old patterns with old friends he misses in California, and to help him enjoy the time he spends there -- without someone unknowingly tempting him to use and break his commitment to our marriage.

– The Bachelor Party, Boston


A: Not surprisingly, I have serious concerns about why you're getting married right now. You're in the thick of figuring out whether you can really trust your partner. Why are you so focused on making this commitment during such a shaky time?

You seem committed to this wedding for whatever reason, so I'll focus on the bachelor party question. Don't make calls behind his back. Instead, talk to your fiance about whether he should confront his best man about the plans. Your fiance is a grownup and should be accountable for his own actions. You can help him with these decisions, but you can't arrange his life on his behalf. Ask him about his concerns about the weekend, and maybe you'll come up with some ideas together.

And as you move forward, please get some help for yourself. You've had to spend a lot of time thinking about his choices, his addiction, and his ability to break bad habits. You need to have a place where you can talk about your own needs and patterns.

Again, I don't know why marriage is a priority right now. But if you're going to do it, make sure you have the professional help you need. Because these questions don't end with the bachelor party.

Readers, should she call the best man? Would that be a betrayal? How should she ask her partner about the bachelor party? Thoughts on how they can move forward from this? Help.

– Meredith



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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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