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. 31
    Mike

    As I see it, when a man and woman get married, there is no social contact with the opposite sex. None. Zero. Business only and then minimize it. I don’t hold conversations with women, except to return a polite courtesy. Likewise my wife with men. Polite and respectful and that’s it. We also make sure we are not secluded with another man or woman, innocent or not. He has no business looking at other women much less hurting his wifes feelings about it. A little self control, please. Let him look at his wife. Let him tell her how attractive she is. Every day. She won’t mind.

  2. 32
    Lance

    Delia, those are terrific comments about the cool guys in the casino. I agree with that. All straight men look and fantasize about other women, or at least the guys with a reasonable sex drive, which ought to be most of us. Doesn’t matter if you’re happily married or the worse perv in the world. If you’re secure, cool, experienced, classy, etc then you can EASILY control your primal urges and not get demonstrative, esp. to your wife.

    This chick’s husband is 38 and she’s 26. Also, is he still an undergrad in college? They go to separate colleges? Umm, hello, red flag. How about transferring? You’re married, fuckwad. WTF?? I’m all about getting a college degree, but the guy is a complete douchebag and she’s naive. He’s almost certainly skeezing around at the other campus, although he’s probably such a utter chode that he can’t close with other women, thus he can’t actually commit adultery. Yuck.

    @EMK: your line: (monogamy being a choice, but not a natural state). I love it. You’re stuff just keeps getting edgier.

  3. 33
    Steve


    Mike Mar 4th 2008 at 10:01 pm 31
    As I see it, when a man and woman get married, there is no social contact with the opposite sex. None. Zero. Business only and then minimize it.

    Married people can’t have friends of the opposite sex?

  4. 34
    JerseyGirl

    Geez Mike, you wouldn’t have a single brother would you?

  5. 35
    Lance

    @Mike: That’s ridiculous. If you’re married and a socialite, you’re going to have to talk to women, and a lot. Same thing if you’re in any position of leadership. Also, isolating yourself from other women? Please. Get out of the house every once and a while and realize that it’s okay to talk to the opposite sex. It’s hardly disrespectful, and they aren’t temptresses. It’s also perfectly okay to talk ABOUT sex with women, just know the bounds.

    The issue isn’t avoiding temptation, but rather having the security and coolness to be around the opposite sex, esp. fairer examples of them, and be easily and unconsciously able to control your longings. And you MUST have longings and fantasies, because it’s a part of your masculinity; a man who doesn’t admit to attraction is the man I fear for being a pervert and sex offender. If you admit to attraction and surround yourself by it, celebrate it, and ultimately control it, then you’ve mastered your masculinity.

    Jazz’s hubby admits to the attraction, but he’s going way overboard and being boorish and vulgar.. There’s a power and respect issue there also, my guess caused by the age and experience difference.

  6. 36
    JuJu

    Both my best friends are male.

    It would be unacceptable if my mate decided he can tell me with whom I can be friends.

  7. 37
    AT

    What Mike says (comment #31) bothers me but I realize that it’s a divisive issue and a personal one. Some people hold that attitude and sometimes a cultural or religious issue.

    Personally, I think it’s healthy to have an opposite sex best friend (along with same sex ones), one that the spouse gets along with. Close opposite sex friends are like siblings. It’s not a sexual thing. Respecting the boundaries of friendship and marriage is something that all parties (friends and spouses) are accountable for. It’s implied in the vows of marriage and implied in the concept of friendship.

    I couldn’t marry anyone who disapproved of me having opposite sex friends. This is non-negotiable. I would think that any man who voiced such disapproval was insecure and controlling with trust issues and even if that wasn’t the case, it would indicate a belief system unlike my own. As well, I would find it strange if the man I married didn’t have close friends of the opposite sex. For one thing, it would make me wonder about his ability to interact and connect with women. I might wonder why women didn’t want to be friends with him.

    There is so much to be learned from friends of the opposite sex. Guy friends help me develop my relationship skills. They help me translate guy-speak and behavior. They tell me what I’m doing wrong when I’m dating. They validate when a guy that I’m dating is being a dick and tell me when the guy isn’t being a dick but I’m misinterpreting. It’s great.

    I want to directly state that this is NOT a judgment on Mike. I am not telling him that he is wrong. These comments reflect my personal opinion and as long as he and his wife share the same views on the matter, I don’t see a problem with it within the context of their marriage.

    Sorry for the long comment. This time I had something of substance to say.

  8. 38
    AT

    Also – I like Lance’s comment from this morning. I missed it before posting mine because I had this page open for hours with an unfinished comment while I went about my work day.
    (Is it 5:00 Eastern time yet?)

  9. 39
    Mike

    Steve,
    There are billions of men for men to choose friends from, billions of women for women to choose friends from. So no shortage of friends for you to make.

    Ju Ju,
    Marriage means not only loyalty, but never giving your partner even a reason to suspect. There are many reasons for this.
    1. Any marriage has its ups and downs. If you are during a down, even “friendly” contact with the opposite sex is going to hurt your spouse.
    2. JuJu, marriage, by definition, is an exclusive relationship. For women, emotional relationships, even talking, really any form of attention from a man, is like sex, only to a lesser degree. So maintaining your attention from other men is disloyal to your husband. If you want to have your male friends, don’t marry.

    AT:
    Marriage is hard enough without adding opposite sex best friends into the mix. Keep things simple. That’s what is really healthy. That’s what really works. Modern ideas about marriage have a terrible track record…

    Lance:
    You bring up many points which I will try to address later. I don’t doubt that my ideas seem strange to you. But they would seem strange to your grandparents or even most people in the world today. Marriage is not a new thing and what I’m saying is not at all new. Your ideas are more modern and it seems to me that they have a poor track record.

  10. 40
    Mike

    Lance,
    Correction “They would not seem strange to your grandparents etc”

  11. 41
    trouble

    I work in a male-dominated field. I often have to travel with the men I work with, and so we will have dinner/drinks. It would be a lonely life if I were in a relationship with someone who prohibited me from having social contact with co-workers just because they happen to have penises.

    I find this topic interesting because I also had an ex who did this. I have since concluded that it was as subtle way of demeaning me. I think he did it to put me slightly off-balance at all times. I wonder if this is passive-aggressive behavior or just cluelessness on the part of Jazz’s husband.

    I don’t think it’s possible to be sure from the information provided.

  12. 42
    Delia

    to Mike & Steve,
    Concerning married people having friends. I think that whatever works for Mike is great. I also think that that doesn’t work for everyone. Some people can have a great marriage or relationship and still have friends that are just friends. And the spouse can be just fine with that. It might depend on how independant and confident the spouse happens to be. I’m a skiier and have been friends with a certain couple and I’d say I’m friends with both of them equally and separately. But they are unique people. And everybodys different! I’ve all kinds and levels of friendships skiing and in my life.

  13. 43
    Delia

    Lance
    I think it definately depends on what is going on at the time. I’m a casino dealer so there is a game going on and often (on my game anyway) interesting conversations going on plus comedy and laughing going on. So unless the guy is Hellbent on skoping women out he wouldn’t have a chance on my game. Because there are interesting things going on on the table.
    Also there are some guys who just want to gamble and don’t want to talk at all, and they certainly aren’t looking around at any babes. They are hellbent on gambling.

  14. 44
    Delia

    With regards to the topic of spouses and friends There is a book called Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics…
    by Sasha Cagen – 2004 – 185 pages
    … and it is about (a certain segment of our society)& they are people who are Creative Independant & Romantic to the point that they will not settle for a rltp just to be in one. They can be single OR married and either way they are happy and independent and do not allow marriage or their spouse to define themselves. They are their own person. Its a very interesting book. And I would have to classify myself as that type of person. Two good examples of Quirkyalones would be: Steve Martin and also Oprah Winfrey. To me its a very healthy way to be. I also think that other ways of being are very healthy as well. Everything isn’t for everybody.

  15. 45
    Mike

    Lance:
    “@Mike: That’s ridiculous. If you’re married and a socialite, you’re going to have to talk to women, and a lot. Same thing if you’re in any position of leadership. Also, isolating yourself from other women? Please. Get out of the house every once and a while and realize that it’s okay to talk to the opposite sex. It’s hardly disrespectful, and they aren’t temptresses. It’s also perfectly okay to talk ABOUT sex with women, just know the bounds. ”

    Not ridiculous at all. Just different than what you are used to.

    “The issue isn’t avoiding temptation, but rather having the security and coolness to be around the opposite sex, esp. fairer examples of them, and be easily and unconsciously able to control your longings. ”

    I am around the opposite sex. My lovely wife and my daughters. Its very cool and I feel very secure. And the best thing is, that with my wife, I don’t have to control my longings, I fulfill them.

    “And you MUST have longings and fantasies, because it’s a part of your masculinity; a man who doesn’t admit to attraction is the man I fear for being a pervert and sex offender. ”
    Pervert? Sex offender? Huh? Like I said, my longings are fulfilled.

    “If you admit to attraction and surround yourself by it, celebrate it, and ultimately control it, then you’ve mastered your masculinity. ”

    I am attracted, to my wife. I admit it. I even celebrate it. Regarding other women, I don’t ask for trouble. Why should I. Everything in its proper time and place.

    “Jazz’s hubby admits to the attraction, but he’s going way overboard and being boorish and vulgar.. There’s a power and respect issue there also, my guess caused by the age and experience difference.”

    Lance, we both agree that there is a line not to cross, we just differ as to where that line is.

  16. 46
    Mike

    Delia,
    I just think your heading down a slippery slope on that one.

  17. 47
    Lance

    @Mike: Well, you make a disarming rebuttal, although I still completely disagree. Nothing personal. I think women are beautiful and I couldn’t imagine any relationship type where I didn’t hang out and interact with them extensively…this does not include my wife and kids (although I’m not married). Also, women aren’t “trouble.” Well, they are, but not in the context we’re talking about. I find even a suggestion of isolating oneself from the opposite sex to be emasculating.

    From your previous comment re: marriage. Marriage is a flawed institution and is in need of a major modernization. I’m not going to wax poetic about that here, but suffice it to say that the VAST MAJORITY of marrieds hang out with members of the opposite sex, and on a more than polite level.

  18. 48
    Steve

    Hey Mike;

    I think this might sound like a sarcastic question so let me ask you to take it at face value. Given that you try to make your marriage the sole source for satisfying your social needs, why are you reading a dating experts blog?

  19. 49
    Justy

    So, Mike,
    Happily married, totally fulfilled, celebrating the attraction, lovely daughters… what are you doing on a singles dating site?
    You wouldn’t, perchance, be looking to make some ‘virtual’ friends of the opposite sex, would you?
    ;)

  20. 50
    Delia

    And you MUST have longings and fantasies, because it’s a part of your masculinity; a man who doesn’t admit to attraction is the man I fear for being a pervert and sex offender.
    Pervert? Sex offender? Huh? Like I said, my longings are fulfilled.

    As a {woman, chick, girl or gal} I certainly do not for one second believe that every or even most men I speak with on a daily basis are having longings and fantasies about me. OR that this IS WHAT proves their masculinity. Being a man can be so many things for example: sticking with wife and family and fulfilling his roles in that way. There are a myriad of ways to define oneself as a man or as a woman besides sexually. Just ask Pope John Paul II. He was an actor a skiier a cyclist and was even engaged to be married before entering the priesthood.

  21. 51
    Delia

    Mike,
    No You would be heading down a slippery slope with that one.

  22. 52
    Delia

    My last two comments were to Mike

  23. 53
    Mike

    Steve,
    I have men friends. And we have couples / families we see together, occastionally. Besides, I don’t have much time for a social life anyway.

    Justy,
    No. I found this by googling an article in Atlantic Monthly about settling for Mr. Good Enough. The article is creating a bit of a stir and I heard of it. I am always observing the society around me and have a keen interest in seeing feminism die, since I feel it does terrible things to people. I care about what’s going on. I want people to get it right. I’m sick of all the nonsense I see and hear around me. I also believe people just accept it becuase its not being challanged. So I am challanging it. Call me Don Quixote.

    Also, I love a good debate. And I love to teach.

    I actually like this site because people listen when they aren’t settled about somthing that matters to them. Singles on this site seem to be unsettled and grappling with these important issues and therefore in a position to appreciate what I have to say.

    But you have a sharp eye. I invite you to watch my posts and see that nothing ever gets personal.

  24. 54
    Mike

    Steve and Justy,
    Not interested in any more women, one is definately enough, sometimes, too much.

  25. 55
    Mike

    Steve and Justy,
    Actually you make a good point. I can’t expect anyone to understand my motives, so, this is my last post. Have a good life.

  26. 56
    Evan Marc Katz

    NOW look what you’ve done. You’ve run Mike off, just like you did Verbosity.

    And regardless of whether I agree with a poster (I happen to think Verbosity is quite logical, if a bit one note), I want this to be a place where everyone’s opinion is respected. The truth generally lies between the two extremes, and just because there are more women reading this than men doesn’t mean that the men don’t have something valuable to offer – even if it disagrees with you. ESPECIALLY if it disagrees with you.

    So, please, let’s try to continue to agree to disagree without all the personal attacks, okay? Married men can read this. Men who see a uniquely male point of view can read this. And if they rub you the wrong way, just present your facts and stay away from the accusations and name-calling.

    I’m proud of this blog and I don’t want it to devolve the way so many other blogs/forums/message boards do.

    You’re too good for that.

    Thanks for staying involved and keeping the place clean.

    The Moderator

  27. 57
    JuJu

    Well… I am all for respecting the differences, but that was some scary sh*t!

  28. 58
    hunter

    to justy,

    Scary? Really?,,,I must have missed it…

  29. 59
    hunter

    To Delia,

    Pope John Paul? Are you sure you want to compare him to the average man?……

  30. 60
    hunter

    To delia,

    You are a dealer in a casino, and you think you are not in the average man’s fantasies?..The dealers I have seen are very attractive, if not, stunning, drop dead gorgeous…I have news for you…..LOL!

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