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Why do men seek attention from other women?

Tagged as: Marriage problems, Three is a crowd<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (7 October 2007) 12 Answers - (Newest, 5 June 2016)
A female United States age 51-59, *lantgarden writes:

Hi there, I recently read some of your response and would like to ask you the following.

I have a wonderful man. Treats me with respect, love, loving words, very complimentary, we wake in the morning and he holds me and tells me I'm beautiful. He makes me feel loved and appreciated.

However, when we are at an event, baseball game, birthday party, etc.. he always will notice the most attractive girl (ok, I can handle that) BUT he will look again and again. And keep going back to her. Albiet subtle, I really think he keeps looking back until she will notice him. Waiting for that validation from her. And I see him making those glances and then he will reach over and stroke my leg or look at me and tell me he loves me.

I honestly don't know that he consciously realizes he is doing this, but how can he not know? When I have questioned him about this behavior he says I am imagining it and gets defensive saying it hurts his feelings. He says "why can't you see that I love you, I go home with you, I clean your car, do things for YOU not anyone else". And yes that is all true. BUT I think does he NOT get it? I have tried to tell him when he pays attention to another woman the message she is receiving is

1. He's available.

2. He's interested in her.

3. He's unhappy with me

As wonderful as he is with me and all that he does for me, I don't know how much more of this I can take. When we are out and he does this I feel so ugly and unloved. I tried to explain my feelings but he does not get it. I know he loves me. But this behavior. It may be just an ego stroke but to me it is an ego blow.

View related questions: I love you, unloved

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A female reader, brigidb United States +, writes (5 June 2016):

Please don't kid yourself.......there are A LOT of men out there who do not do this. It seems like most of the guys who are saying "all men are going to look" are older. If you will notice, younger men usually do not do this while they are with the women they love. They respect women more. However, there are many, many, many older and middle aged men who do not flirt and look at other women while they are on dates. I have dated them. They exist. And it is a wonderful experience to be with them. You feel great about yourself during and after the event. These are the guys who know how to show the women they love a good time.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (8 January 2008):

judging by experience i think that all men are going to look at other women other to who they are going out with, however if he strokes u on ur leg and i had that the other night and me and this guy were'nt going out but i set him straight cos my friend liked him and i won'thave that at all,i would say he loves u but is attractedto others.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (27 October 2007):

it's a natural male instinct to look at other women, and it most likely has nothing to do with you. I have a great wife, she is beautiful, loves me, great sex, a little naggy sometimes but it's for the best. I look, and it has nothing to do with me wanting to leave my wife, but if she's pretty, sexy, has great feet, or a great body, or something that attracts me then fine. I'll tell you what is unattractive... Insecurity, if he is doing all that you describe then let it be. As a matter of fact when he is doing what you describe, go to the bathroom or something, let him have a good time. You'll be the recipient of all that comes from his excitement.

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A female reader, bemused Canada +, writes (7 October 2007):

bemused agony auntYou mentioned it in your post. He needs validation. Men or women who seek others outside the primary relationship are often looking for validation. The fact that he is doing this when you are with him is a tad disrespectful...don't you think? Has he done this throughout your marriage. I am assuming it has gone no further than looking. I work with a married man who does all of this...and more when he gets the chance. I am not throwing out a positive case scenerio here but telling how it might be. I agree with the other posters...that..within the realms of your him up a little more. If this has been a long marriage and this has been his pattern I do not think this will change overnight. Could be a case that at least he does not do it when you are with him

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A male reader, Steve911 United States +, writes (7 October 2007):

It's a guy thing that we have. We don't appreciate what we have until we are very close to losing it.

He feels that you are nagging him and he already does know that he is at fault. Most man are so egoist that they don't like to be corrected and be told that they are wrong. I feel that both of you are to be blamed in this. Him for doing what he is doing and you for sticking by with the disrespect he is showing you. It's not the words that counts but the actions and respect in the word "I love you".

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A reader, anonymous, writes (7 October 2007):

He's insecure and looking for an ego boost. He wants to feel like he could get any girl he wanted, he's looking to see if these women will give him some attention so that he can feel attractive and wanted.

Make sure he knows that you want him and that you find him attractive.

If he does not stop doing this, tell him forcefully not to. If that doesn't work then do it right back to him and let him see how it feels.

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A female reader, i might be a girl but i can help United Kingdom +, writes (7 October 2007):

i might be a girl but i can help agony aunti agree with flower girl, when your out any where look at other men see how he likes it. they way guys minds work is its ok i can look but when the wife/girlfriend looks at someone its realy hard for them.

Its good that you wouldn't get too jelious if he looked at another women just for a glance and thats it but if its for a long period of time that is harsh.

give him a taste of his own treatment and see how he likes it, it normally works to help get them to reliase.

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A male reader, Tommy7 United States +, writes (7 October 2007):

It is the nature of a male. He could learn not to do it but it may be hard. He has fantasies, but if he does act on them you should be content.

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A female reader, JackieR United Kingdom +, writes (7 October 2007):

JackieR agony auntYou are going to have to understand that men will look at attractive women, it is just the way they are. I know this is not what you wanted to hear, but men are only human.

If a really sexy man walked passed you, would you not look??? be honest!!!

You seem to have a great relationship so why are you letting this spoil things, if you keep hastling him one day you will lose him.

You want him to just have eyes for you because it makes you feel good, and when he looks at another woman it makes you feel unattractive and that your not enough for your man, can you see that this is how you feel about yourself, and you are making him responsible for your problem.

You have issues with yourself, if you want to be happy with him, you have to be happy and accept yourself, he can't do that for you, no matter how much he loves you. Please remember this, no one can complete you, only you can do this.

Remember you are not with Mr perfect, he doesn't exist, but this guy sounds like a keeper so please do yourself a favour and hang on to him and start to value yourself the way he does, and the next time you catch him looking at women just make a joke out of it, believe me he will thank you for it.

He sees you as a smart, sexy, beautiful woman who he is proud to be with, which is why he sticks around, you have to start believing that too!!

Good luck.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (7 October 2007):

I agree with Flower Girl. I dont do tit for tat but lets face it, how would he feel if it was you doing that to him, pretty miffed off i bet. The next time you go to a game, give the best looking guy a good look over. Have a long lingering look at his bum. If this doesnt do the trick then tell him again that you think it is disrespectful for his to gawk at other women. One look is enough, but after that it is gawking and you dont like it. Tell him!!!

take care


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A female reader, anneon Canada +, writes (7 October 2007):

anneon agony auntPeople like to feel attractive and wanted... even if they have no real interest in the other person. It doesn't mean he likes these women more than you or that he wants to sleep with them....

But you're right, it does send signals to those women that reflect badly on you and your relationship, and it's not fair for him to do that to you.

Maybe show him how it feels... scope out the most attractive guy in a room and do it right back.

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A female reader, flower girl United Kingdom +, writes (7 October 2007):

flower girl agony auntTaste of his own medicine maybe in order, i'm not usually a fan of playing games but on the odd occasion it's what's needed to get through to someone.

Take care.xx.

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