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stellaf
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My fiancé is often looking at other women.

He claims he doesn't know why he does this and says it is meaningless and harmless.

But it bothers me a lot.

 

It's like I'm competing with so many other women and, if they do look better, it makes me think he would rather do it with them.

He may never act on it, but the sexual desire (or at least attractiveness) is definitely there!

 

I know most of people would tell me to just 'get over it', but it's not that easy.

I tried hard to accept this, I really did.

I tried therapy a few times.

But it keeps lingering in the back of my mind, makes me 'uninterested' and I feel I'm loosing 'joy for life'.

At the end, it actually pushes me away from him.

 

How can I accept this without feeling resentful or discontent?

Any comments will be highly appreciated.

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What did your therapist say to you? Have you tried going to therapy together (you and your fiance)?

 

I'm always torn when giving advice in these types of situations, because if the behaviour is making you uncomfortable, then it should stop. On the other hand, as a guy, I do this, and it's harmless.

 

I appologize in advance if this comes accross as me disregarding your feelings, thats not my intent.

 

For how long does he do this? Is he staring/gawking at them, or is it a casual glance? Gawking is clearly something I would say is disrespectful.

 

Does he ever say something like "Wow she's hot." Thats also something I would say is wrong.

 

How do you know that the sexual desire is there? I might look at a new Bently, but doesnt mean I have any desire to buy a $200,000 car.

 

As a guy, it's just a natural habit to look at women that are attractive. It's just something I do out of instinct. It's almost subconscious. For me, its harmless. I see something catch my eye, I then look to analyze, then I refocus on what I was doing. It really is harmless.

 

When you look at a guy, do you think about having sex with him? Probably not. It's probably the same with your fiance.

 

Here is how I look at this situation. You can't change your fiance's behavior, but you can change how you react to it. If you feel like you're competing with a girl he just checked out, ask him about it. "I noticed you looking at that girl, and I'm feeling like I have to compete with her, that you'd rather be with her. What do you think?"

 

If it becomes too much, then you'll do what you have to do, and possibly end the relationship. Just from personal experience, I know that guys don't become blind once they get into a relationship.

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Do you think Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt (or substitute someone famous) is attractive? You just mentally answered yes. That's all he's doing. Guy's are just not as subtle. It's hardwired into his brain. If he stares into a woman's breasts for 10+ seconds while you are out to dinner and you have to mop up his drool, then yes you have a problem. Or if he makes comments like "Wow, I wonder if she wants fries with that shake!" you have a problem. If it's a quick glance now and then, he's fine.

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How do you know that the sexual desire is there? I might look at a new Bently, but doesnt mean I have any desire to buy a $200,000 car.

This is pretty much what my problem is: you don't have a desire to buy a $200,000 car, but don't you have a desire to drive it?

 

For me, its harmless. I see something catch my eye, I then look to analyze, then I refocus on what I was doing. It really is harmless.

This is exactly what he says!

 

Here is how I look at this situation. You can't change your fiance's behavior, but you can change how you react to it. If you feel like you're competing with a girl he just checked out, ask him about it. "I noticed you looking at that girl, and I'm feeling like I have to compete with her, that you'd rather be with her. What do you think?"

I agree. And I asked that. He said something along the lines: she is better looking, but I'd rather be with you.

 

Define looking at other women. Is this staring - looking them up and down? Or a fairly quick glance?

Well, not exactly staring, but he does check them out up and down, and probably up again… I'm not quite sure actually, once I notice that he is looking I don't look at him any more, I would feel like I'm controlling him…

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Thanks so much everyone for your replies.

 

I am trying to help myself to get over the whole thing.

I don't want to tell him what he is allowed to do and what not. That wouldn't make me happy (even if he stops).

I am trying to control my reaction to that, not what he is doing.

 

Also, at this stage of my life, I am not ready to play any games – I don't believe that playing games can make anyone any happier.

 

We are generally very close and honest to each other and we can talk things over…, but this is something I just can't digest L

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I don't consider myself anything even close to bisexual, but I have to admit that I also look at women. But simply noticing them and "checking them out" I consider two different things. I like to see what people are wearing - if they have on nice boots, new jeans... But I'm not giving anyone a "come hither" look. There are different ways to look at people.

 

If it were one woman that you husband is ALWAYS looking at and can't seem to help himself from looking at - I would consider that a problem.

 

I don't think you really have a problem. No woman can really say she LIKES her man to look at other women. It's insulting. Personally, I think it's insulting that he would tell you "she's better looking" whether it was Cindy Crawford or not. There are certain things you just don't say. And certain things you just don't do, in my book.

 

When a man really "LOOKS" at another woman - or when I catch a man really LOOKING at me, I think he has some interest in me. Especially if he smiles and nods his head yes. It's like he's looking for an opportunity. A friendly chat?

 

I adore men who can appreciate other women and yet still maintain a respectful, trusting relationship with their s.o. It's hard to find a really good man.

 

Would you want to flirt (in some way) with other guys and have your b.f. ignore the situation? If not, then why do you wish to learn how to ignore what he is doing?

 

I think, as someone has already said, you confront him with the things that bother you. No one in a relationship should be doing things that makes the other uncomfortable. If they really care. Some things in life are better suppressed.

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Point them out to him. If a sexy woman walks by, say hey look at her, wow isn't she stunning.

 

I honestly don't feel threatened by any woman, however much he looks. It makes me smile to see his eyes go when a particulary sexy or gorgeous woman walks by and I've pointed them out to him. Obviously if they get carried away and start letching over them, they need a good slap around the head (not literally of course) but it really does take away the jealousy. You should try it.

 

It's something I learned a long, long time ago when I realised I do the same sometimes and it means nothing to me and I will and WANT to go home with him.

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This is pretty much what my problem is: you don't have a desire to buy a $200,000 car, but don't you have a desire to drive it?

 

Not really. I appreciate it for what it is. However, analogies are always a poor way to make an argument...

 

I agree. And I asked that. He said something along the lines: she is better looking, but I'd rather be with you.

 

Now that's just dumb and insensitive on his part. His response was just the typical dumb guy response. The type of response you get from a guy when you ask the question "Does this dress make me look fat?" He shouldn't have said what he said.

 

Well, not exactly staring, but he does check them out up and down, and probably up again… I'm not quite sure actually, once I notice that he is looking I don't look at him any more, I would feel like I'm controlling him…

 

I think it's good that you realize that it is a form of control. Thats pretty wise of you to recognize.

 

Do you think that your problem might stem from self esteem issues? I know as I battle self-esteem issues, I have a tendency to overreact (not implying that you are overreacting...) to certain situations. My hunch is that people with healthy self-esteems would not be necessarily threatened by your fiance's behavior, and even have the attitude of "well he'd be a fool to leave me for some floozy..." One thing my conselor suggests with me, is when I feel threatened, try to go deeper past the initial feelings and see what the issue is. Usually for me, it's feelings that have to do with my self esteem.

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The issue here is respect, not so much whether he would be faithful. If he chooses not to stop the behavior- and of course he can, if he wishes to - why not start checking out other men and see what he thinks.

 

 

I have to disagree. It's not about respect. Saying "If he respects me, he wont look at other women" is setting up a test for your relationship. From what little I know about relationships, those tests are always wrong.

 

Consider this outlandish example. "If he respects me, he won't get an errection when I make him watch porn." An errection is a physiological response to sexual stimulation. Does it mean he wants to have sex with the porn stars and leave his fiance? I doubt it.

 

Looking at someone, isn't necessary a conscious decision. It's almost like a reflex. Just like turning around when someone yells out your name. Something catches your eye, you look.

 

Again I do want to emphasize that the OP does have every right to not feel uncomfortable. However that on the surface, the behavior of the OP's fiance isn't what I would describe as being disrespectful.

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