To most dudes, marriage signals the end of having frequent nights out with the guys. Or even just an occasional drink while watching a game at the bar. Throw kids into the mix and the final nail is pretty much pounded into the guy fun coffin. Don’t stress out, though, and certainly don’t call off your upcoming wedding. We don’t want to be responsible for that. Being a shut-in doesn’t have to be the case after you enter into a long-lasting relationship. With some smart moves, you can have that night out with the guys — and not have a pissed off wife tapping her foot at the door when you drag your ass home at three in the morning.

Take Early Action

Talking it through and trying to rationalize your night of fun with the lady will never work. Women are not rational creatures. You tell them you just need some time to kick back and have a drink with the guys and she hears you and your friends are trolling for prostitutes. You explain that your friends are getting together to play pool, and she interprets that as you are meeting with a divorce lawyer. You have to make her want to let you go out and hang with the guys. As if she is rewarding you for being you…and it was all her idea in the first place.

Plan days — weeks, even — in advance. Cleaning the house, doing dishes, cooking, generally not being you, will help. You can’t do these things the day before because then she will know what’s up. You want to pile on the charms, but not too much at once. As soon as she knows you want something you’re dead in the water. Start several days out by simply cooking for her or taking her out to dinner during the week. Something you normally do not do. Insist she let you do the dishes. Clean up after yourself and put the toilet seat back down. Pick her some flowers, but don’t buy her flowers. That just screams desperation and she’ll be on to you.

Bonus Advice: Sit the first one out. Claim there is a get-together, but you’d rather stay in and watch “Jersey Shore with her. Then when the real hangout comes up, you’ll be due and she’ll oblige.

Be Good

There is a difference in taking early action by doing nice things and being good. This could be many things, like the way you talk to her or the way you listen to her boring stories. She might drone on and on about what some other chick did at work that day and you’d rather plunge a sharp object through your eye socket, but you had better suck it up. Listening and not coming back with a sarcastic comment will earn you bonus points that you can cash in for when you want to go out. This applies to every conversation you have leading up to your night out.

Being good can also include other things like not getting black-out drunk on a Tuesday night and peeing on the fax machine. Or tolerating the three hours she spends on the phone with her mom and not making a comment about it. One slip up in the nice department and you could find yourself getting the stink-eye glare as you leave for your night with the boys. And no one enjoys the stink-eye.

Bonus Advice: Act like every day is her birthday, so you kind of have to be nice.

Lay Out The Plans for Her

She may not say it, but she will want the details surrounding the evening. They always do. Maybe it’s legit and they want to be able to find us in an emergency. Or maybe they want to check a map and see where the closest strip club is and if there’s a chance we might try and make a visit. Just lay out all your plans before you go. And a timeline also helps put them at ease. If you are leaving at six, tell her what time you plan on being at your first destination. If there will be more places to go to after your initial stop, tell her about it — even if you fudge the times a bit (or a lot).

We’re not saying swallowing any sense of man-pride is easy, but when you are married or have a serious live-in lady, you gotta’ do what you gotta’ do to survive and cling to some fun. You will also probably be forced to give her a call at some point during the night — not that she’s nagging you for it, but it will continue to earn you points for the next time you want to go out. Stick to some semblance of the details you gave her and it’ll make it easier to get another guy’s night out very soon.

Bonus: Advice When you call her, act like you are having a lousy time.

Go with Guys She Trusts

It’s not advisable that you go out with a guy named Spike who once did a stint in the slammer and has a hooked up with your wife’s co-worker. If he is on your guest list, your wife’s head is likely to explode. Save the nights with the sketchy guys for when your lady is out-of-town or in a coma. When you are getting together with the boys, she is going to want peace of mind that they aren’t going to coerce you into doing something she won’t approve of — like dropping your pants and doing the Macarena on the bar.

Even if your friends aren’t trustworthy enough to pass the test, make sure they appear that way to your wife/girlfriend. You might have to rehearse them before they come over or are introduced to her, but it will pay off in the long run. If she trusts them, she’ll trust you. So make sure to leave out stories about any of your friends’ exploits that might cast doubt on them. You need her to like them and trust them.

Bonus Advice: Pretend one of your friends does charity work every weekend. How could she not trust him?

Get Other Wives On-Board

At least some of your boys will probably be in the same pickle — just trying to sneak away for some guy bonding time. And hopefully there will be one or two guys in your group that has an understanding wife. Get to know her and make sure your wife knows her, too. She will be your greatest weapon when you are trying to get a night out. If she is on-board, then your wife/girlfriend will have a difficult time coming up with reasons for you to stay home with her and talk about your day. If you can sway more than one wife to the pro-boy’s night camp, your battle will be all downhill.

Remember that other guys you are to meet up with are trying to find a cool wife to be on their side, too. Put your heads together and help one another out. If all the wives/girlfriends start hearing the other ones are cool with a guy’s night out, they will nag a little less. No one wants to be the lone killjoy. And women know that other women talk about them and vice versa. Having your wife want to be the cool one in order to minimize the talking behind her back is a good thing. Twisted, yes. But also good.

Bonus Advice: Try and arrange a girl’s night out for them, then they’ll be out of the way and you can party guilt-free.

Have Plans With Her the Next Day

One of the most important things to do even before you make your own plans, is to map out something to do with her — or the whole family, if you have kids. It can be a simple thing, but if she is focused on those plans, she will be less concerned about your plans for the night before. And since you have a schedule, she will assume you won’t get crazy drunk and fall asleep on the front lawn — unless you have made a habit of doing this in the past regardless of the next day’s plans.

Definitely make sure the plans with her have been made well in advance. A week or more. And also make sure they involve something she would actually want to do. We’re not suggesting you buy tickets to the ballet, but also make sure your outing with her doesn’t consist of going to your friend’s house and playing video games all afternoon. Unless she likes doing that. If that is the case, drop to your knees now and thank God for sending you that woman.

Bonus Advice: Schedule the date with her later in the day…just to give yourself some time to recoup from time with the boys the night before.