My Husband Openly Talks About Other Attractive Women To Me

My Husband Openly Talks About Other Attractive Women To Me

Dear Evan,

I have been married for two years. I am 26 years old and my husband is 12 years older than me. He is very nice to me and always tells me how beautiful I am and how lucky he is to have me. He loves me. He seems to know what to say to me most of the times.

Now, here is the problem… We are both going to separate colleges.  The problem is that at the end of the day when he tells me about his daily class events, he goes on and on about this hot, extremely hot, f#$$g hot, sultry looking girl in one of his classes… His friends tell me how “he is married, but not dead” and “there is nothing wrong with noticing other women”!! He also tells me that he can fantasize about his cute 30 years old teacher… I asked him if he ever found me ‘sultry’? His response was just plain ‘NO’. He told me that I was beautiful and very sexual, but never sultry. 

What is your opinion about this whole mess? I AM a jealous person, but I try to control my jealousy. I try very hard to not show anger, but I really don’t feel loved. I don’t want to tell him that he can’t come talk to me about other females (well, I see other guys too in my school but I don’t go on and on about them when I get home. I desire my husband and no other man)

What do I do?  How do I talk to him about this?

Jazz

Dear Jazz,

Your husband’s biggest problem isn’t that he’s a loser who will most certainly cheat on you one of these days (although an argument can certainly be made). No, your husband’s big problem is that he has an extraordinarily big yap which lands him somewhere in that gray area between insensitive and stupid.

I’m going to take this moment to strike a hard line in defense of LYING. Yes, LYING. Because right now, ladies and gentlemen, you are hearing a first-hand account of the devastation wreaked by a man who can’t help but to TELL THE TRUTH. Because, to be perfectly blunt with you, Jazz, his friends are 100% right. He IS married but not dead. There IS nothing wrong with noticing other women. Where your husband comes up incredibly short – as if he were somewhat autistic – in his ability to HIDE his attraction to other women for your sake.

Where your husband comes up incredibly short – as if he were somewhat autistic – in his ability to HIDE his attraction to other women for your sake.

Now, we’ve tackled this before here. And my sentiments, controversial though they may seem, remain the same. Flirty people flirt. It’s a personality trait, not a choice. Still, there ARE societal boundaries to be maintained, and there are certainly sensitivities that have to be considered. And your husband is failing on every account. Factor in your innate jealousy and your husband going on and on about his f#$$g hot lab partner, well, you’ve got a recipe for disaster on your hands. And it ain’t going away all that soon.

Because what you might be surprised to learn, Jazz, is that your husband probably feels that he just can’t help himself.

Which is why comparing your attraction to other men is irrelevant. Leering is somewhat accepted among men, and, to a degree, even encouraged…. I recall a conversation I had with a close friend. He was raised in a Southern feminist household and was taught ultimate respect for women. (This is a GOOD thing, by the way. I ain’t arguing with it.) But what my friend failed to understand when we were drinking and woman-watching in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina was WHY we did it. “I don’t see why you would alert me to look at a woman’s body from across the room if I didn’t already see it. It’s disrespectful.” My defense: “It’s like a rainbow. If it’s beautiful, I feel it’s my job to point it out to my friends around me.” Hey, it was the best I could do after a dozen beers.

Again, Jazz, I’m not blindly defending lecherous men – nor encouraging this behavior in general. I’m pointing out that it happens, it’s common, and it requires a lot of rewiring to get men to be sensitive to women when they’re accustomed to being boorish around other men.

While he should be letting off steam to his friends exclusively, he’s including you in on his act – possibly to absolve his guilt.

One other point: talking about other women is also your husband’s way of staying sane in a monogamous relationship (monogamy being a choice, but not a natural state). Unfortunately, while he should be letting off steam to his friends exclusively, he’s including you in on his act – possibly to absolve his guilt. It’s foolish, destructive and short-sighted, no doubt about it.

Thus you need to have a conversation with your husband before you boil over. As always, focus on how his words make you FEEL instead of telling him that he’s a psychotic pervert. It may be true, but it accomplishes nothing. If he loves you – and as your husband, I believe he does – he doesn’t want to hurt you, and is open to learning how his visceral reactions to women are actually damaging your relationship.

Please write back and let us know how it goes. We’re pulling for you…

 

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Steve

    Jazz;

    I agree that your husband is “married, not dead”. It is natural and okay for him to find other women attractive. It is also okay for him to tell you that he thinks a woman is attractive. However, it is NOT OKAY for him to go on and on about it. It is disrespectful of you and inconsiderate of your feelings.

    It has nothing to do with being honest or lying . Being honest doesn’t mean telling other people EVERYTHING .

    Your husband is being socially clueless.

    One of the fastest ways to give a social clueless person a profound understanding in how their behavior effects other people is to do unto them as they do unto you.

    For instance, one Sunday while you are sitting around together at home show him a nude beefcake picture you like. Put some emotion into it. Tell him how you REALLY like pretty boy X’s chisled abs. Go on about the shape of his penis and how this model is also RICH.

    I guarantee that you will get your husband’s attention and he will also know exactly how you feel when he ogles women in front of you.

    You do run the risk of upsetting him, so you might want to handle things in a more mature way by sitting him down and talking to him in a non-threatening but 100% honest way.

  2. 2
    sara

    Ah, yes, this sounds very familiar to me. Except for the age difference and marriage factor. My ex behaved in the same way and even admitted he’s opening his mouth a little too much to me. But he never stopped telling me way too much about the women he saw on the street, in class, etc etc. His excuse was that he was a flirt and that he wasn’t going to change his behavior. I always had the belief — I won’t worry about it until he gives me a reason to worry. It never was a problem, but then it became a problem when he started focusing on one woman in particular who had the same school schedule as him. I had to break up with him over it.

    I feel for you and think you should definately tell him how you feel. But in the end, you need to decide what is best for you. If you talk it over and he stands by the “I’m a flirt” opinion……You either stay and accept it or eventually realize that you don’t want to accept it anymore.

    Its a tough call. But listen to your instincts.

  3. 3
    Steve

    I appreciate women so much that I am surprised I have never gotten whiplash in my neck. However, when I am a date, out with a girlfriend or out with a girl-friend I do not rubber neck or obsess about other women with them.

    It is just a matter of self control and courtesy. It isn’t an innate trait that people can’t help. If someone tells you that it is just who they are they are wrong.

  4. 4
    Zann

    Very good points have already been made. I would like to add only:
    1. Barring autism, he DOES have a choice, because he’s an adult.
    2. You are worth any effort it may require of him to comply.
    3. It’s unlikely his behavior will change, regardless of what you do.
    I’ve been in your shoes several times. As has already been said, you can tolerate it and if/when you decide you don’t want to be tolerant anymore, you show his insensitive ass the door. For me, tolerating it eventually changed my opinion of my man’s integrity and sensitivity. And without that, the relationship is a goner. I hope your situation is different. Regardless, you’ll do the right thing for you.

  5. 5
    m

    “Put some emotion into it.”

    LOL

    “It is just a matter of self control and courtesy. It isn’t an innate trait that people can’t help. If someone tells you that it is just who they are they are wrong.”

    Steve, when are you giving your “Social Skills for Guys” mandatory behavioral class? :D

  6. 6
    Steve


    Steve, when are you giving your Social Skills for Guys mandatory behavioral class?

    m;

    As soon as I finish my OWN remedial lessons. Seriously, most men are not like most women think most men are. Is that clear? :)

    If I sound like I have a drum to beat it is because in the last year I have had to put up with some irritating behavior from several people in my circles. Others have defended these people by saying that they could not change their behavior, that it was “their personality”. I’m not a psychologist but I don’t think that is true. I had some obnoxious behaviors when I was younger. They were fairly ingrained habits. I broke them. It wasn’t easy, but I was inspired, which I think was needed. There are some things that can’t change, but they are dwarfed by the number of habits and behaviors that can be changed.

  7. 7
    Li-Ann

    My ex (and the operative word here is ex) used to do that. I quickly understood that there was nothing that I could say or do that would stop in. I had to just try to ignore it.

    Originally he would say that he’s just being “honest”. The problem is that long term hearing about just how “hot” all these other women are eventually erodes your self confidence.

    When you first meet and fall for someone, the first thing that gets you really excited about the relationship is the feeling that he finds you attractive and is thinking about you. If time after time he comes home from work and tells you about the other women he saw that day that are so attractive, it just really kills the mood. Even if it is only natural for him to do so, and even if he says it means nothing, long term it just doesn’t enhance your relationship.

    The others have commented about respect. After all, it is not as if you are asking him to actually do anything for you. All he has to do is to tone it down. If he cannot even do that out of respect to you, or just to make you happy, you have to wonder.

    Maybe now while you are young and beautiful, this doesn’t hurt as much, since you still feel good about yourself. However, one day you will be older and worried about your appearance. But your man’s tastes won’t change and he’ll still be attracted to the same women. It will be even harder to bear hearing day in and day out about all the hot twenty year olds when you are over 30.

    I remember I used to ask myself: “Do I want to be listening to this the rest of my life?”

  8. 8
    downtowngal

    This reminds me of a recent post on this site about a woman who’s boyfriend had this habit of excessively ogling other women. She ended up talking to him in a direct and calm way, and it worked.

    I suggest you use the same approach with your husband. He sounds immature and should know how his actions hurt you. So take the mature approach and call him on it. As I’m sure he loves you, he should respect your feelings.

  9. 9
    JerseyGirl

    Are men ever loyal? It’s very discouraging. I have had this experience as well with boyfriends and it is very discouraging and frustrating. I know it’s natural to be attracted to other women. I am attracted to other men. But I don’t focus on it or obesses about or even feel the need to share that with him.

    If men spent more time giving that kind of attention to their wife or girlfriend and appreciating their beauty in the same way they do with some stranger on the street or some random girl in a movie, you would have many more happy women in return trying to please their man. But men rather give their attention somewhere else. It seems to me that men often have their attention completely mis-directed and the one that suffers for it is the woman, not the man.

    This is one of many reasons why it’s very hard to trust men. Every time you got your back turned, or even not, men are already on the prowl for the next new girl to ogle. It’s very discouraging and makes me wonder why men even have relationship.

    —————————————————————————–One poster said this:
    For me, tolerating it eventually changed my opinion of my man’s integrity and sensitivity.
    ———————————————————————–

    I completely agree with that.

  10. 10
    Michele

    Jazz, I tend to agree with Evan.

    Your husband is exhibiting behavior that is like a psychotic pervert. And how tempted I would be to tell him so. Like shout it from the roof tops until he begs you to stop. That however would serve no useful purpose although very tempting.

    Perhaps his sharing far too much information (with you) could be a source for some of your jealousy and I can relate. Others seem to be of the thought that communication is necessary to correct his insensitivity. And an insensitive man can do remarkable harm to a woman.

    When the time seems right I would approach him in a most delicate manner and tell him how he’s making you feel. Tell him that you want to have positive feelings about the marriage – and when he speaks of his colleagues (with such praise) it is upsetting. Keep it upbeat even if you want to strangle him with your bare hands. By you showing maturity, he will be held liable.

    I was married for a long long time and after the 7 year itch, stopped talking and internalized. Post divorce for almost 10 years, I still tote some ill will and have found that it has prevented me from longer lasting relationships. That said I am aware of it and working on my issues.

    To sum it up Jazz – try to resolve (nip them in the bud) whatever problems the two of you have. Try to prepare yourself for a loving kind relationship with him and tell him that’s what you want. Should he continue perversion, your options may be limited.

    Good Luck!

  11. 11
    Delia

    I am a dealer in a casino for lots of years. I have observed and interacted with many many guys over the years and I can tell you that it is the complete dorks that ogle and make comments about women walking by. Cool guys just never do that. They are interested in the game or talking to me. They just woudn’t to stoop to that kind of dialogue or behavior around a woman. Period.

  12. 12
    Lynn

    One thing I have learned from my lifelong study of men, is that *all* of them are always going to *look.* That seems to be the way they are wired, i.e. from visual cues directly to the penis, so we really can’t blame them for that. However, not all of them talk about it in such a way as to make their partner feel badly. I agree with the rest of the comments that Jazz’s husband ought to work on developing some tact.

  13. 13
    Steve


    Delia Mar 3rd 2008 at 10:18 pm 11
    I am a dealer in a casino for lots of years. I have observed and interacted with many many guys over the years and I can tell you that it is the complete dorks that ogle and make comments about women walking by. Cool guys just never do that. They are interested in the game or talking to me. They just woudn’t to stoop to that kind of dialogue or behavior around a woman. Period.

    Thank you Delia!

    For all of the screaming feminists have done about sexism for the past 40 years in my experience women, as a group, can be pretty bad about making generalizations based on sex and they are opaque to the idea that they can be doing it.

    People don’t go out of their way to tell everyone about what is working in their lives so it is easy for women to get a skewed view of men by hearing nothing but complaints. The downside of that is that they may truly believe that they have to settle for adolescent behavior because that is the norm. It isn’t.

  14. 14
    AT

    My thoughts:
    1. The guy is a tactless douchebag.

    2. Honesty is NOT the best policy. People use “I was being honest!” as a way to vindicate themselves. People don’t always need or want to know.

    3. As Evan said: “while he should be letting off steam to his friends exclusively, he’s including you in on his act possibly to absolve his guilt.” There are things that people should talk to their friends about and not their spouses. A male acquaintance once told his wife specifically that he’s not one of her girlfriends and she should be speaking to them about particular thinsg.

    4. What Steve said in comment #3

    5. See #1. I’d draw a big arrow linking #5 here to #1 above if I could.

  15. 15
    Steve


    Lynn Mar 3rd 2008 at 10:46 pm 12
    That seems to be the way they are wired, i.e. from visual cues directly to the penis

    Hi Lynn, no offense, but is that kind of comment really necessary?

    If I wrote something like if you really want to find the G-SPOT, look for it in your stock portfolio somebody might tell me that was a sexist and debasing remark. They would be right.

    No offense

  16. 16
    JerseyGirl

    To Steve:

    What exatly was so sexist and debasint about her comment considering it is exactly what alot of the men here said is true anyway? You are acting a little hypocritical because it simply came from a woman.

    Ironcially enough as well, you consider her comment to be sexist yet you don’t consider a bunch of men sitting around high fiving each other and checking out other women while having wome nof their own not to be sexist or debasing. News Flash: that isn’t exactly stellar behavior.

  17. 17
    lorelei

    Delia said: “I can tell you that it is the complete dorks that ogle and make comments about women walking by. Cool guys just never do that…”

    That’s totally right. I spent 2 years tending bar in a Hollywood meat market, and I saw lots of reactions of men to hot women. Confident men kept their composure around beautiful girls, and ignored or didn’t notice them half the time because they paid attention to whatever conversation they were having with present company.

  18. 18
    m

    Steve –

    Let’s not all fight.

    You seemed angry at me because I tried to give you a compliment.

    Now you’re angry at Lynn because she

    1) paraphrases something a lot of us have heard men use as an excuse for crass/hurtful behavior (e.g., “It’s just biology *hyuk hyuk*”)

    2) paraphrases something that has actually been documented in biophysical texts, albeit in much more technical language (e.g., “parasympathetic transmissions” and “limbic system” and “neurology” and “vagus nerves” or something)??

    Come on, give her a break.

    Give us a break.

    The way I read it, she was really making the same point you made.

    It is that guys the only ones “permitted” to comment on male behavior patterns now?

    Why are you mad?

    P.S. *no offense* *sigh*

  19. 19
    Steve

    m, Lynn;

    I’m not mad at either of you.

    m; I took your comment as you meant it :)

    Lynn;

    I didn’t take offense at what you wrote. I do think it was sexist. I am a man and I don’t like being stereotyped as a creature who is a life support system for a penis. Do men have more of an affinity for being visually stimulated? I think that is likely. Does it matter how things are said? I think so. Does it matter who says it? I believe so.

  20. 20
    Selena

    I wonder if he is doing this deliberately to get a rise out of Jazz. She wrote she was a jealous person who works to control it. I have a hard time believing a 38 yr. old man would ” go on and on about this hot, extremely hot, f#$$g hot, sultry looking girl” to his wife in any kind of innocense. I suspect he knows exactly what he’s doing when he says these things and gets off on it.

  21. 21
    hunter

    to delia,

    …”cool guys never do that”….these cool guys are most likely institutionalized(married)….probably have someone better looking at home, or tired of quarreling about whether or not they are allowed to ogle…………..

  22. 22
    hunter

    to delia,

    …some men are dogs, but, at the same time, most dogs can be trained….LOL!….

  23. 23
    Steve


    Selena
    I wonder if he is doing this deliberately to get a rise out of Jazz. She wrote she was a jealous person who works to control it. I have a hard time believing a 38 yr. old man would go on and on about this hot, extremely hot, f#$$g hot, sultry looking girl to his wife in any kind of innocense. I suspect he knows exactly what he’s doing when he says these things and gets off on it.

    Men I have encountered who do that sort of thing usually tend to be immature and/or socially clueless. At least I hope that is the case. I think it would be worse for Jazz if that was calculated, don’t you?

  24. 24
    Li-Ann

    It depends upon the personality of the man whether they’ll react positively to a carefully worded and diplomatic request to tone it down.

    If you are dealing with someone who is self-centred or lacks empathy, they often really don’t care about hurting your feelings, so there is no incentive for them to change. A nice guy would of course feel badly about hurting you and take action to improve his conduct.

    Of course, I will point out that the VAST MAJORITY of men are not like this and I have spoken with many friends who have glowing reports about their husbands or boyfriends. So it really is possibly to tone down a natural instinct if you want to. I worked as a waitress once too, and I also recall that the really hot cool guys did not leer openly at women.

    As for the “I can’t help it”, that is not entirely true. You will probably find that a man who can easily criticize his wife or girlfriend is on the other hand unlikely to tell his boss his tie is ugly, or his wife is fat, under the “just being honest” guise. In that case he would suddenly be able to hold his tongue.

    Your husband sounds like a nice guy on other counts, so perhaps it will work for you. I wish you the best.

  25. 25
    Steve


    As for the I can’t help it, that is not entirely true. You will probably find that a man who can easily criticize his wife or girlfriend is on the other hand unlikely to tell his boss his tie is ugly, or his wife is fat, under the just being honest guise.

    My apologies for going off topic, but I just have to tell Li-Ann how insightful that sounds. I think those guys act way with their families because they don’t have guts to face down people out in the world.

  26. 26
    Selena

    Steve,
    It’s the on and on and “f#$$g hot” part that makes me think it might be more than basic immaturity/cluelessness. That kind of *overboard* smacks of antagonizing to me. Maybe the guy is insecure or something and wants to make his young wife jealous, who knows?

  27. 27
    Delia

    Lynn Mar 3rd 2008 at 10:46 pm 12
    That seems to be the way they are wired, i.e. from visual cues directly to the penis

    I feel that if I thought that ALL men acted that way then I really wouldn’t want to have anything to do with any of them! Men that is! I think that a woman who is willing to put up with boorish behavior such as the original letter writer might want to take a look at herself.

  28. 28
    Delia

    to hunter
    these cool guys are most likely institutionalized(married). probably have someone better looking at home, or tired of quarreling about whether or not they are allowed to ogle..

    NOPE has nothing to do with being married or not married. I’ve entertained all of the above as a Casino Dealer countless times. Some people just have CLASS. And others just DON’T!!!* Sometimes I’ve made a comment to the boors. “Are you saying she’s better looking than me”? And they DO get the point, and they do discontinue the behavior because they can see its just Not Cool!

  29. 29
    Delia

    to hunter

    I think you have to be pretty desperate to have to deliberately make comments about women in public places. Once again cool Guys just don’t do it.

  30. 30
    Lynn

    Steve,

    My apologies for for offending your sensibilities. I hold men in high regard, and I want to respect the physiological differences between men and women.

    Was it the word “penis” that bothered you? Or the fact that a woman actually wrote it?

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