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Why do married men look at other women?

Tagged as: Marriage problems<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (1 May 2012) 20 Answers - (Newest, 15 October 2012)
A female United States age 41-50, *rande writes:

why do married men look at other women? I have a husband who does this and I'm so upset about it. I don't look at other men because I'm happily married with the man I'm with. He tells me I'm beautiful, sexy, bodacious, the whole nine yards, but when we go places he looks at other women, when driving he looks into the cars at women, when he has to do things for people, like fix their sink, paint, etc., his eyes don't look at their face, instead his eyes check them out, when you are married you don't look, touch, lust, admire, desire, you are suppose to be 100% devoted to your spouse and if there's a problem you should discuss it and find a solution. My husband hurts me whn he looks at other women, it makes me feel like i'm not good enough for him, i'm fat and gross, it totally ruins my self esteem and he shows nothing but disrepect to me. If a married man has to look at other women, then he shouldn't be married.

View related questions: married man, self esteem

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A female reader, noticable United Kingdom +, writes (15 October 2012):

I have experienced this a lot and everytime i confronted him he would always say that i'm paranoid or insecure. To this I say i'm neither I just don't want you to embarass me or the children and neither do I want other females to think your a desperate perv.....

We argued a lot and I gave up and compromised I said to him he can look at any female when I am not around because what I don't know about can't hurt me just not to do it around me. It did work when his with me he doesn't bother because I said I will walk away and pretend I don't know him.

As far as I am concerned if he does it to me i'll do it to him......don't get me wrong I am a loyal wife I don't bother looking at guys they are usually the same atleast it is just a staring problem if it is more than staring then it is totally different. I am sure that all the females on this site are pretty and I am sure there is nothing wrong with you. Men just need to learn how to respect their wifes.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (9 May 2012):

i smack the s*** out of my guy when i see him doing that

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy + , writes (4 May 2012):

CindyCares agony aunt Because they are married, not blind .

What's wrong with looking at people, and finding them attractive. It's normal for both sexes. You see something pleasing, it draws your attention . If you look at a beautiful house does it mean you want to break in ? if you look at a Ferrari, does it mean you want to steal it ?...

Of course there's a difference between looking at and admiting ( tastefully and respectfully ) and drooling over , undressing with your eyes, staring at a person to the point of embarassing him / her . But you seem to mix ALL in a cauldron where touching and copping a feel is on the same level as appreciating a pretty sight, looking at a woman is the same as lusting over her and collecting material for masturbation sessions- etc.

No, it's not all the same, and you are only right IF your husband is constantly and grossly crossing the boundaries of respect , good taste and politeness ( toward you AND the other woman ).

But if he is just noticing that some person is attractive,.. we all do . If you really mean it when you say that since you got married you never saw any other man who was worth even a fleeting glance from you , well...I hope your husband finds it endearing, - some men could find that maniacal.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (3 May 2012):

Sounds like low self asteem u may not like it don't feel bad about urself my man looks at othe4r girls it used 2 bother me I felt the same way u did but as long as he don't touch its not a crime so go ahead look at all the hott guys u see as long as u don't touch it isn't a problem and ya it bothers us wen were down but oviously he married u not any of them so my advice 2 u is work on urself losing weight tanning hair done nails done whatever it is u love 2 do and then after u feel amazing then u won't care cuz u no u look damn good lol do nice things 4 u

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A female reader, So_Very_Confused United States + , writes (2 May 2012):

So_Very_Confused agony auntMy guy looks. Heck I'll look when I see a pretty girl (I"m bisexual) or an attractive man.

there's looking and then there's STARING and commenting... and being stupid about it...

but just looking (even if head turning which is a bit annoying) is not cheating and it's not a comment on how much I rock his world. My man has "permission" to look so he's rather blatant about it. But as I say "I don't care where you get your appetite, as long as you eat at home"

To prevent someone from looking you would have to blind them.. then his brain would still work with memories...

have you told him how you feel?

what does he say?

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A female reader, 1sunshine United States +, writes (2 May 2012):

1sunshine agony auntEvery guy checks out other women. That is life. When my boyfriend and I go out somewhere, I don't "watch" for him to look at anyone( if you know what I mean. ) Just enjoy yourself If you don't stop obsessing over this? You will drive yourself to drink.

If you aren't happy with your body? Join a gym and work out. You need to be confident within yourself. It will show on the outside and you will feel great!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 May 2012):

Does he stare or just gives them a look. Thats different. My husband looks also, but he doesnt stare.I mean, we look at other people, both sexes. but i know men who have a habbit of staring at almost every young woman that passes by. THATS ANNOYING, I AGREE WITH YOU.

i wouldnt feel insecure about it. It could be just a habit, like picking your nose or adjusting your hair.

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A female reader, VSAddict United States +, writes (1 May 2012):

VSAddict agony auntEveryone, whether in relationships or not, looks at others that they find attractive. If your husband is staring, then that's a different problem, but if he's not, then you should accept it. The women he encounters aren't going to disappear when he comes around. Everyone looks and it's a natural habit that would be pretty hard for anyone to break. Your husband married you and chose to spend his life with you, and if he's treating you right and giving you the attention you need, then you shouldn't worry. Your impression of yourself is creating this insecurity. If you're not satisfied with your body, then find ways to embrace it or change it to satisfy your self-esteem.

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A female reader, Foot-In-My-Mouth India +, writes (1 May 2012):

Foot-In-My-Mouth agony auntI don't think it's your fault or that you're over-reacting. There IS a difference between 'looking' or 'glancing' at someone of the opposite sex and 'ogling', 'staring', 'leching' etc. An appreciative glance is one thing but ogling at someone else's body, private parts, breasts or whatever is borderline cheating and extremely disrespectful, to you and to the concerned woman. You have every right to tell him to stay within the boundaries of good taste because no one wants to date a lecherous bastard. Ignore the men who try to make it seem as if you have a problem. It's just their attempt to justify their own habits.

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A male reader, no nonsense Aidan United Kingdom + , writes (1 May 2012):

It’s a perfectly natural and normal thing for people to see other people and find some of them attractive. But surely there’s a world of difference between seeing somebody who happens to be attractive, and cheating? It sounds like you’re not listening to all the compliments he pays you, and instead are getting so preoccupied with the fact that, because he looks at other women, he must find them more desirable than you, or might be thinking of cheating. Is this really about him, or about your own lack of confidence and anxieties about how you look? Is it that because you feel bad about yourself, you’ve switched yourself off to all the good things people (especially your husband) have to say about you? And anyway, doesn’t it say a lot about how attractive you are to him if he does look at other pretty women but remains faithful to you? I think you need to make a real effort not to get so worked up about reading so much in to the fact that he looks at other women (he can’t go around with his eyes closed), and instead be more receptive to his compliments, and his interest in you, his wife!

I wish you all the very best.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 May 2012):

I dont understand why all these comments are completely dumping all the blame on you for being insecure. That is foolish.

A woman has a right to feel loved, just as a man does. Yes, we still notice beautiful people when we are married. But if youre husband is being so obvious about 'window shopping' that you can see his eyes rake up and down a womens body that is crossing the line. And anyone who tells you 'get over it' is full of BS. They would be jealous too.

My advice is this

1)Politely ask your husband is he could be more discrete about how he looks at people. Tell him it makes you uncomfortable.

2) Consider your reaction to his looking. You know he loves you. Ask yourself if you could practice believing in your self worth more if he will alter how he looks at women

This is a two part situation.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 May 2012):

Everyone looks at everyone else. But manners and a need not to be seen as creepy usually comes into play and the looking doesnt normally cross the boundary into gawping, ogling, staring, perving...call it what you will.

If your husband cant keep his eyes off other women and spends a lot of time ogling and mentally undressing them. Then I can understand how this might affect your confidence over time.

It is an irritating and disrespectful habit not only for you but also a lot of the women he is leering at. It is a habit he could break if he wished to. But I guess he doesnt want to stop doing it because he enjoys it too much and maybe he also enjoys your discomfort, jealousy and the attention. I would recommend you ignore him when he is doing it and say nothing...dont feed his ego.

My partner used to be a shocking ogler but I cured him. His habit got so bad it started to affect my confidence and self esteem. It actually began to make ME feel like the loser for being on the arm of a moron that couldnt go anywhere without ogling any female in sight as if he had never seen a woman before. I once caught him checking out the behind of a very elderly lady. And I mean elderly!

So I told him I had a problem, that guys kept staring at me. I dont think the thought had ever entered his head that I might be getting stared at even though he had said I was gorgeous blah blah. So when we went out that afternoon, I told him to walk a little behind me and see what I meant. I dressed provocatively and sashayed around, smiling and fluttering my eye lashes at just about every guy I passed. Guys are lovely! I got tonnes of smiles back, cheeky winks and head turning. My partner was mortified! He said the guys were perverts. He was angry and became very self righteous about how wrong it was of these `weirdo`s` to ogle women. Since then he has been too busy worrying about what I will be wearing when we go out and watching who`s staring at me to worry about scoping out other women to stare at. Try it. It worked a treat for me.

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A male reader, Cerberus Ireland + , writes (1 May 2012):

Cerberus agony auntYou don't look at other men? So I guess you close your eyes when talking to other men or out in public then, or look away when you see a hunky actor topless in a movie?

People look at other people OP, if he's checking out other women blatantly then ask him not to do that while you're around. But this "how can he be 100% committed if he's looking" thing is not his problem it's yours.

I bet you stare at other women far more often than he does out of insecurity. I'm sure you see women who are thinner and what you view as prettier and put far more emotion and thought into them than he does.

We don't stop viewing other people when in relationships OP, no one does. Not even those people who say they never do. Everyone will notice a particularly nice body on a person, or beautiful eyes, it's like seeing a beautiful painting or sunset, it's going to grab our attention.

"it makes me feel like i'm not good enough for him, i'm fat and gross, it totally ruins my self esteem"

You make you feel like that OP not him and frankly it's hard to feel attracted to a woman with very low self-esteem one who views herself as fat and disgusting, eventually that idea grows on us too and we will start to find more confident and secure women are far more appealing.

If you feel fat lose weight. If you want him to stop ogling women ask him to be more discreet but what you're asking of him now is not only impossible it's unreasonable and if you are seriously trying to tell us you never notice other men or women and stare at certain things then you're lying to us and perhaps yourself. You probably look more longingly at women with nice bodies than he does because you wish you had their bodies.

You see in my experience, women with attitudes such as yours are an endless chore. You constantly have to reassure them that they're beautiful but it never works, they never believe you and think so little of themselves that they look for signs that you see them that way too. Nothing is ever enough for girls like that. You tell them they're beautiful they don't believe you. You tell them they're the only one they go crazy if you even talk to another girl. Even if you never left the house, never looked at nor talked to another woman they'd find something else. Maybe you don't initiate sex enough for them to feel desired, or their friend got flowers from their boyfriend and all of a sudden you don't buy them flowers enough. You can never compliment them the right amount, you either do it too little or you do it too much. Nothing is ever enough and that's because it's not the guy who is the blame, how can he fix something he's not responsible for?

OP it's not fun being in a relationship with a woman who thinks so little of herself, we can never win in that situation unless the woman understands that the problem is hers to solve and we're not blame.

Most people, men and women are going to notice a great pair of tits, or a nice set of biceps on a guy, just as we would notice a really nice car, a beautiful dress or a gorgeous looking meal. It's natural and normal but of course there are limits. So tell him to stop being so blatant but you really need to stop putting all of this on him. Even if he cut his eyes out you'd find another reason to doubt his commitment because you doubt yourself so much.

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A female reader, dmartin89 United Kingdom +, writes (1 May 2012):

dmartin89 agony auntThis is a problem with your own self esteem! Nothing to do with your husband - who sounds like a lovely man.

He's human, and as a human he's eyes are attracted to good looking things. Do you really think this intinct dissapears when you sign a legal document and put a ring on his finger?

You need to work on your own lack of confidence and self esteem. He doesn't hurt you when he looks at other women, you are hurting yourself.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 May 2012):

i'm a girl , i'm straight, i'm in a relationship..but i check out men and women alike,if i see a pretty girl or a nice body i can't help but discreetly keep looking.i can't help admiring men who look good and subconsciously feel something like wow..he is a good piece of creation. Admitting to somebody looking good or seeing them for a while does not mean that i don't admire my man. i love him and he is the best. a lot of times i see men and think "he's great but i would feel nothing with him that i feel for my guy". i fought with my boyfriend for referring to some girls as "hot" while talking to me..he would do that purposely to make me jealous.and i too had complex on my body and everything.

but as time passed by , i realized that he was just labeling them as "pretty" "cute" or hot..like i myself do...it has no feelings of lust or thought of sleeping with them...or even comparison.it actually means nothing.in fact when i lost weight , he told me to put it back on..cos he actually loved me the way i am.

we have to stop being adamant and accept that all plants in the garden are beautiful.there are many humans who look beautiful ,models/actresses look perfect.and there's nothing bad if men just end up looking. i myself keep noticing ..not only if a person is pretty but also if something is unique..some are very tall and slender some are stout, some have heavy breast, some have a huge back, some are tiny ,some have perfect hair,or they might have worn something which i want to see, some look weird..with a flat chest or extremely thin waist or funny hair,a different race..i just keep looking. but i make sure i'm not rudely staring and making it obvious.i notice men the same way too..some are so ugly ,i can't take my eyes off.. how ever men do not have the ability to see without keeping it a secret.it has a biological reason.men's brain allows them to only look straight into what they want to see.they cannot notice things in the background..i have read biological reasons for this in a book called "why men don't listen and women can't read maps"

women wrongly expect men to never be nice to, or praise other women .this has to be our inner low self esteem and lack of confidence. which will actually make us less attractive.it's how you think of yourself which matters. a man will find a perfect looking bimbo absolutely unattractive if she doesn't like herself.he may feel pitiful for her..but be less attracted. while even the most ordinary woman who likes herself , but at the same time modest and has a positive vibe around her can keep a man happy forever.

my mother would get annoyed even if my father praised some one else's cooking.but he loves her unconditionally.she doesn't get annoyed if i do the same.when i started reacting to my boyfriend's honest behavior,.. i compared realized i am doing something wrong.having unnecessary insecurities, not trying to improve,thinking that i should be perfect and best at everything. i consciously correct myself and over the time i have learned to be more positive and accepting.you should understand that you are the best to him.but no doubt he should also learn to be more gentlemanly and not make it so obvious. does he look up and down?or keep staring in the wrong place?or just notice and take a look.?are you over reading it because of your low self-esteem?are you expecting too much because only their fulfillment reassures that he loves you?

going by it..if he were that bad as you think..then he should have done something.which he hasn't. then why feel bad?

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A male reader, Hugh.J United Kingdom +, writes (1 May 2012):

Hugh.J agony auntI loved your reply, "chigirl"; men have been saying that for ages, but women take no notice and still complain. perhaps they will listen now?

I loved your shopping analogy, too. But a little dangerous, perhaps? Have you ever known a woman window=shop for shoes and never buy?

Seriously, men are designed by nature to be visual beings, and we cannot go against nature, so I'm sorry, OP, you will just have to accept that he will look - unless you are able to change the design of mankind?

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A female reader, chigirl Norway + , writes (1 May 2012):

chigirl agony auntThen why did you marry him? Or why don't you divorce him if this is such a deal breaker to you? Did you inform him about this "no looking at other women" policy before you married? Did he sign the paperwork?

Look, he married you and by that promised to not touch other women, be faithful to you, love you, stand by you through thick and thin and all of that. But the man didn't promise to carve out his eyes or drink a magic potion that only enables him to see men. He's married alright, but his eyes and mind still function. He hasn't turned into a vegetable. People look at other people. If he looked at other women before he married you, well then what makes you think being married somehow makes him go blind?

I don't agree with married me not being allowed to "check out" other women. Maybe he could be more discrete about it, sure, but window-shopping never emptied your banking account, as long as he has no intention of entering the shop. The deal when getting married was: I will not enter the shop. Not: I wont even look at the window.

If you feel down about this then that says more about your self esteem and your lack of confidence in yourself, and also about a need to control your husband and his eyes, than it says anything about him somehow disrespecting you. You need to draw the line somewhere without pushing your husband up in a corner. How much is too much? We can all agree sex or kissing can be crossing the line. But not being allowed to look? How do you react when he hugs other women then? You need to draw the line somewhere for how far you can push this, and be a bit more critical of your demands.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (1 May 2012):

Married or Not Married ..Its no different , men are Hunters , they basically Act as animals , they want to see if they can Sew their Wild Oats . Its important to make sure you are in Shape ..keep yourself looking good , Toned ..ready for action ... Create a Scenario where some other guys are checking you out ...

Play upto it a Bit ..Watch him come running . But always remember men are MEN ..thats the great thing about them .

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (1 May 2012):

I'm afraid it is something that is very difficult for men to control. While some may see it as "cheating with your eyes" I see it as a consequence of male hormones.

If he is checking out every woman in the street, I would suggest you talk to your husband about it. Tell him you don't like it. That should shed some light if there are problems in your relationship.

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A female reader, doppleganger United Kingdom +, writes (1 May 2012):

I know right! I think if a man answers this question it will say - we can't help it, its in our genes, its nature. I think its just an excuse..but don't let him bring you down, especially since he gives you compliments and attention himself. Next time he looks at someone else, think about when you turn someone else's head.

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