What to do when your man's eyes linger a little too long on other women ...
Are you sick and tired of being out with your boyfriend and having to watch him watch other women the whole time? You've tried to ignore it. You've glared at him, pursed your lips and sighed dramatically. You've even tried talking to him about this disrespectful habit of his ... and he still does it!
His gaze lingers on the backside of your server when you're out to eat together. He stares at the woman walking down the street wearing a low cut top and when you angrily demand that he stop, he claims he can’t help it. "It's just what guys do!"
He might even accuse you of making it all up. According to him, he's only innocently looking around the room and doing nothing wrong—you're just being jealous.
When your partner has a wandering eye, it's upsetting. It feels like he's neglecting you or that he'd rather look at another (presumably more attractive) woman than focus on you. It can be a big trigger if you get jealous easily and it can definitely drive a wedge between you and your partner.
But what can you do about it?
Is this behavior something your man just can't help, as he protests? The attitude that men can't control themselves when they're turned on—whether by their partners or a complete stranger—has been around for a long time and it's just not true. While there are biological (including hormonal) differences between men and women, there is nothing inherent in a man that makes him incapable of making conscious decisions about his actions and where he focuses his attention.
Does this mean he's a jerk or a sleaze because he looks at other women? Not necessarily.
It is natural and normal for anyone—a man or a woman—to notice another person who is attractive. Just because your partner looks, it doesn't mean he (or she) wants to or is going to cheat. It also doesn't mean that your partner thinks you are ugly or lacking in some way.
At the same time, there is a difference between admiring another person and gawking, leering or staring, especially staring at particular parts of the other person's body. When your guy seems to be looking at another woman, question what you think you see. Is he truly just looking or is he crossing a line?
Stop the excuses.
First and foremost, when your partner is looking "too long" or inappropriately at another woman, don't let excuses take over (from him or in your mind). Don't use this as a reason for you to feel worse about what you believe are your "ugly" features or unattractive body size. And don't accept your partner's (or your own) rationalization that he "can't help it" or is "just being a guy."
The more you focus on specifics and the less you launch into blame and accusations the better. Yes, do talk with your partner about his staring, but don't condemn him or assume to know what his intentions are. You don't.
Identify his observable behaviors that you believe compromise trust. Say something like, "Yesterday, when we were at the pool together and you watched a woman in a bikini for several minutes, I felt angry and ignored." Let him know exactly what you are talking about and steer clear of generalizations such as, "You always check out other women!"
Try to talk more about what you do want and less on what you don't. Follow up your observation of his specific behavior with, "I like it when I know you’re listening to me." or "I feel more connected with you when you make eye contact with me."
If he is confused about what constitutes looking "too long" or inappropriately at other women, create some agreements. Talk about your expectations and listen to his. Come up with some ground rules you both can be okay with.
Choose what's best for you.
If you've repeatedly told your partner how you feel and asked him to stop behaving in ways that damage trust and your connection and he still has a wandering eye, consider whether you will stay in or leave the relationship.
Ending your marriage or love relationship can be a very difficult decision to make so take the time to make sure your choice is based on facts and on what’s in alignment with what’s most important to you.
Still not sure what to do about your man who looks "too long" at other women? Get help with your jealousy and this tricky situation in our "Wandering Eyes" audio. www.nomorejealousy.com/WanderingEyes.