These situations are always difficult to resolve, especially when multiple lies have been told and others are enabling your husband’s behavior and deception.
In all relationships, it’s important to make one’s expectations clear. Unfortunately, we’re all full of biases and some of those biases make our relationships more complicated. Specifically, we tend to think our partner’s understand our expectations and feelings more than they typically do. Because of this bias, it’s important to have very detailed and explicit conversations regarding your husband’s behavior.
Exactly what do you think is permissible or not? Early in your relationship you gave your blessing and thought going to a strip club would be harmless and a onetime event. It’s possible that your husband decided to interpret your stance in the most lenient way possible. And rather than give you the chance to set clear expectations, he hid his behavior from you. People often exploit such ambiguity to their advantage. This doesn’t mean your husband is a horrible person (many people have biases that lead them to behave this way).
At this point, it may help to make your expectations exceedingly clear. What do you expect of your husband in such situations? It may help to think through the following issues:
- Is it OK for your husband to go to strip clubs?
- Do you mind who he goes to strip clubs with? Do you trust all of his friends?
- Are you comfortable with your husband tipping the strippers?
- How many drinks is it appropriate for him to have?
In addition to making your expectations clear, also tell him how you feel when he violates your expectations. Do you feel disrespected, less loved, and less cared for? If so, tell him how his behavior makes you feel. Ask him to put himself in your shoes? How would your husband feel if you went to strip clubs and touched a male dancers’ private parts. Would this type of behavior be acceptable to him?
It doesn’t help to attack or blame your husband for what he’s done. It helps to make your feelings and expectations clear and ask your husband to see your point of view. Problems in relationships get solved when couples understand each other and take each other’s feelings into account.
Hope this helps.