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How do I deal when my boyfriend stares at women in front of me and his boss and his wife

Tagged as: Dating, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (12 August 2013) 3 Answers - (Newest, 12 August 2013)
A female United States age 41-50, anonymous writes:

My boyfriend is a high ranking executive with a juvenile behavior towards women I am finding out.

We have dated for a couple of years. A couple times a year he has to go to a conference with the director of the board and his wife. They are elderly people in their early 80's. I sometimes accompany my boyfriend to these conferences.

The first time, we met his boss and wife at the bar of a hotel. I was nervous enough since I was meeting his boss for the first time too. We had traveled far, just got there and I wasn't dressed for a bar scene, just worn out and tired. There were other women there at the bar dressed to the nines of course and one woman was seated at a table close to us and she was with a group of people and my boyfriend kept glancing over at this one particular woman several, several times completely turning his head, then he would relax his body and stretch out his legs like he was trying to communicate with her, much to my embarassment. He was doing this while his boss and wife were seated with us at our table.

At the ending of another conference with an awards ceremony--totally long and boring for me, there was a dinner and we were seated with some other people. My boyfriend turned his head several times to look at another woman at another table wearing a dress suit, who had her legs crossed, and outwardly turned towards the ceremony, much to my chagrin. By that time I wanted to walk out of the room.

This last time, we met his boss and his wife at a restaurant for breakfast. It was crowded and my boyfriend, right in front of all us at our booth, kept glancing over at a young blonde woman in glasses across the room. One couldn't help but notice and I am sure his boss or wife noticed it too.

How do I really deal with this "when it is happening" right in front of his boss and his wife? I don't know what to do. I've stayed silent so far "because" his boss is present. I don't want to make a scene.

Privately, I have told him I don't like the staring, my one pet peeve, but he continues to do it. It's like an addiction or something with him. I feel like I don't do it for him and that maybe I should move on if he is so interested in these other women. I am starting not to want to go out with him in public places anymore.

It's humilating to me or am I being thin skinned about this behavior and should I just let it slide?

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A female reader, llifton United States + , writes (12 August 2013):

llifton agony auntit's rude, obnoxious, and extremely disrespectful. who wants to be the girlfriend of the dude who is blatantly staring and checking out every other woman in the room? when you see men do this with their wives or girlfriends sitting right next to them, you usually pity the woman. it's humiliating. it shows that your boyfriend doesn't respect you. how would men feel if their girlfriends blatantly stared at and tried to get the attention of other men while with their boyfriends? it would make them feel dumb, too.

you're not in the wrong at all. this is something i would break up with someone over. extreme? maybe. maybe not. i just will NOT tolerate being disrespected like that. if he wants to stare and get attention from other women, he can be single and do so.

you've already calmly and maturely communicated with him about how this makes you feel, after his boss and wife were gone. he's lucky you were respectful enough to wait. you can only say the same thing so many times. i would give him maybe one more chance. communicate this issue once more, and if he still refuses, then break up with him. that'll give him the clear message that it's NOT OKAY to stare like that. no man would appreciate their girlfriend oogling other men in their presence. so why should you tolerate it?

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (12 August 2013):

You really shouldn't attend these conferences with your boyfriend. They seem to be a traumatic experience; yet you've attended three of them. Such is the life of the executive-mate, or spouse.

His behavior around his boss, and his wife, are tolerated; because of his high position on the executive scale. His boss sees your boyfriend as a reflection of himself in his prime. He has been to three conferences, with you present;

yet he hasn't been demoted nor fired. Take note of this.

Successful executives (male and female) often have huge egos; and that comes as no surprise to his boss, or his wife. It isn't necessarily condoned behavior by the company; however, the higher you are on the food chain; the less you are scrutinized. You become infamous for your egotistical tirades and exploits.

In fact; your boyfriend is putting on a big act; because he isn't married and he wants to come across as a big-time playboy. He's trying to be a part of the "good-ole-boy" network; and that is part of his initiation.

My dear, welcome to corporate life.

Imagine if you were his wife.

His boss's wife could tell you stories that would curl your hair; and send you running, and screaming, with your hands over your head.

You are an elegant lady, and you've maintained your composure through all these antics. I commend you.

Stand your ground. You're swimming with the big fish. Take no nonsense; or show yourself out with your dignity.

He has no right to trash you publicly by degradation, and humiliation. When it happens, politely excuse yourself to the lady's room. Go cool off, and freshen your lipstick.

You may even extend a cordial-invitation to his boss's wife to join you. That way, you will establish a respectable bond between ladies. He will be thrown a little off kilter, and remember there are ladies present. Don't you dare say a word to that woman in complaint. Everything she sees and hears, she takes it back to him. They are of the old-school.

He is behaving like a frat-boy, and trying to show off his virility and machismo. That is inappropriate with a lady at your side. So the lady has to steal his attention back with finesse. "Sweetie, would you like to get a fresh round of drinks for the table?" Then his attention is turned to finding a server to accommodate the table.

Just remember, this man was not picked to chaperone the Director of the Board for nothing. There is some role-playing going on here. He is vying for a promotion, and he knows that old fart's history and reputation. He wants to fill his shoes. It's sickening watching from the outside in. You're an innocent by-stander.

Never tell a narcissist your "pet-peeves." Then you give him a way to push your buttons. Tell him straight out what you will not tolerate. Tell him why. Spell it out logically first; then emotionally.

Look for an apology when he offends you.

Girlfriend, I've dated the type; and you have to be on your best game. You are a strong woman; or he wouldn't have chosen you in the first place.

Flirting with women to his way of saying he is still available. No shackles on this old-boy.

Oh, really?

He likes stroking his own ego and strutting his feathers.

You should never get bitchy, or undignified in public. He's pushing the envelope, and you need to take his hand and gently squeeze it, to calm his behavior. When he looks at you, just give him a fake-smile and a cold stare. Make sure it isn't visible to his colleagues.

If he persists, clear your throat; and ask to speak to him a moment in private.

Smile and excuse yourself from your guests. Never let em see you sweat. Do it all dignified.

Tell him you're uncomfortable. He has probably downed a couple of scotches by this time; and he's showing off.

When you get back to the hotel suite, inform him that you would appreciate respect and acknowledgement of your presence as his girlfriend and escort. Remind that peacock he isn't the only one that has pride and self-respect.

Repeat this later in the evening, each and every-time you witness this bold public display to other women. Wait until you get him alone. Never lose your cool in front of his colleagues.

In general public, when he acts like an ass; fire away Sister!!!

It's hard; but it shows how tough you are. You demand his respect; don't beg for it. Never let any man feel he's doing you a favor by being with you; even if he was the

"Director of the Board." You've seen his wiener. You know exactly what size it is.

If this man generally treats you lovingly, respectfully, and caters to your femininity; then he is a keeper. He is a major flirt, that requires some handling to tame the wild stallion. Being too whiny will just get you ignored; or written off as a petty female. Show strength and dignity and you'll gain respect. Find books and read up on it.

You don't live in the shadows of any guy's success. He will run you over, and replace you when he is done. You keep communication direct and logical. No over-emotionalizing, men of his caliber don't listen; so you have to make him think.

You sound like a pretty smart woman. If you feel his ego is totally out of control, you should not stick around to be walked over like a doormat. Don't let him ruin you for someone in your future, more deserving.

You just have to learn to effectively communicate, be assertive about the things he does that hurts you; and learn to allow him some space to flaunt his manhood in-front of his (perceived) competitors. It's his game when you're on corporate turf.

Eventually; he has to come home to you, and down to earth. That's when you two talk, and work things out. Don't let him wear you down; because he's some big-shot.

He challenges everyone around him. That includes you.

Sweetie, walk away when enough is enough.

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A female reader, eyeswideopen United States +, writes (12 August 2013):

eyeswideopen agony auntNo you are not being thin-skinned. He's being rude. Tell him to gawk on his own time, but when he's out with you he needs to show you some respect and keep his eyes to himself. Also tell him that the other women don't appreciate his ogling them either. Then tell him if he can't comply you won't be going out in public with him. And most importantly, DO NOT LET THIS AFFECT YOUR SELF-ESTEEM. He is the one with the problem. You may also want to weigh the pros of the relationship with this very large con and see if it's all worth it in the long run.

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