So now we're sitting in seperate rooms having just got back from our local store, where my boyfriend spotted a pretty blonde - and as usual stands there staring at her, completely oblivious to anything around him - including me glaring at him for a good 20 seconds before he saw me out of the corner of his eye and looked away.
It drives me insane, but I can't talk to him about this because he'll say it's all in my head and then we'll have a massive row over me not believing him. He is very sweet and loving in every other way and is always saying he loves me etc.
I understand that men can't help themselves, and as much as I hate it I tolerate the "glances" at pretty girls, but when he stares like that, am I right to feel upset?
We've had a lot of massive rows lately and I dont't want to spark yet another, and I don't want to push him away by suffocating him, but it makes me feel ugly and insecure and generally not what he wants. I really believe that he doesn't even realise he's doing it, and although he has cheated once before (when we first got together 3 years ago) I don't think he would do it again.
Is it just me being insecure? And if not, how do I talk to him about it when he won't even admit it?
I had an ex who always did that, and yes, it's disrespectful. We all know that guys look at girls, that's no secret. But to stare is absolutely uncalled for and disrespectful. When my ex did it, it made me feel worthless. We had many fights over it and I had many nights of crying myself to sleep. It really does a number on your self esteem. So yes, I think you have every right to talk to him. You don't have to be attacking, just tell him how it makes you feel. Tell him it's disrespectful and it hurts you. If he tries to turn it around on you, don't let him. That's a defense mechanism (and the one I hate the absolute worst by the way!). If he tries to turn it around on you, don't defend yourself, just keep telling him how you feel so you get your point across. Don't let him try to make you look weak or insecure, because you're not. You're just not letting him disrespect you and hurt your feelings.
It is very disrespectful. I had an ex that did this and although I told him, he didn't change. I still remember having lunch with him in a restaurant and he spent the entire lunch staring at women. I regret now that I didn't excuse myself, saying that i need to use the restroom and just drove away letting him stay in the restaurant and stare. I felt very humiliated.
I do think that men look at women as women look at men, but if you have any class and respect for your partner, you do it discretely. I have never seen my husband openly look at other women, although he probably does. That kind of behavior is a deal breaker for me.
My ex-H used to do this, even going so far as to comment on the women (especially if they were college age). I got very upset with the behavior, and tried over and over (to no avail) to explain why it hurt me and made me feel disrespected. That was not the only issue that led to our divorce, but it was certainly one of the worst! You need to try to calmly talk to him about how this makes you feel, ask him to work on creating a new habit of not staring while he is with you. That you have no control over what he does when not with you, nor would you want to control him in that way, but that if he loves and respects you, he will take control of something that would in no way emasculate him. No tears, and DO NOT let him turn it over onto you, as Mary said. That's a tactic that some people use when they feel attacked, and it often works.
My current b/f has never, ever stared at another woman when we're together. He sees them, I'm very aware of that, but he never, ever stares. I've complimented him on this, and he said that he'd never even consider staring; it's disrespectful not only to me but to the "other" woman. It's a difference in attitudes. It's refreshing to me to know that not all men are alike in this manner and that some do have consideration for our feelings!
He used to comment too BigRed, but not on how hot they were - about the size/shape of their breasts! He soon stopped after a few times I told him I didn't like it, but I'm sure he still looks.
When I've pulled him up in the past about the staring, he said that he's just watching people, that he does it with everyone and that it's all in my head that it's only pretty blonde (usually college age) girls. This has happened 3 times that I remember, and everytime it went down the same way and ended up with me believing it's just me being insecure.
I've let it go this time because I didn't want to sit here all day waiting for some input. I told him my mood was because I just felt down. But for next time, what should I accept as an admiring glance, and what is going too far?
-I feel I should mention that I am usually very insecure and I actually DO always expect/fear the worst from him as he often points out. I've tried to casually observe if he does genuinely watch random people, I can't say that I've noticed him doing it, although that's not to say he definately doesn't. Could it actually just be me only noticing when he looks at a pretty girl? I hope it is me because if it isn't, bang goes the trust thing again
Last edited by JoMichelle; 04-16-2009 at 07:58 PM.
Reason: Additional info
Ditto..... Many men don't get "it" until you do it to them. Sadly, the excuse that "all men do it" has given license to many men thinking they can lear at other women and we are supposed to accept it's simply biology.
BIg difference between a "look" and a lear. I dated a man that would sit in a resturant with me and spend the entire time learing at any woman that came in with big breasts.
So go ahead and lear at men and when he notices it... and when he gets riled up about it (which he will), tell him you just made your point. If he doesn't get it then - then hes a hopeless case. This isn't about you, although being insecure doesn't help.... hes' being insenstive and rude.
All the ideas from the ladies are quite good - as always. I just feel like adding two tips:
a) Are you praising your boy-friend enough? You know, men like to be praised for their bodies, too. When was it the last time you said his arms, for instance, "are really much bigger now," though it may be only an overstatement, you know, lol?
b) When you see him looking at a pretty girl, tell him your opinion about her, for instance: "She's really got beautiful b**bs, doesn't she?" Or anything along those lines - even if you don't think she deserves it. This will hopefully disarm your boy-friend, and he'll probably have to look away.
It is rude to stare at women in general but especally when he is with you. Makes him seem unseemly. If he doesn't learn to control this behavior, he will end up a dirty old man, being gross by constantly learing at young women. Next time he does it I would come at it from this angle. Not only is he disrespecting you which is far bad enough, but he is disrespecting women in general which makes him grotesque.
I would be inclined to give him a taste of his own medicine, by pointing out cute guys (if and when you see them) as saying 'wow he's cute ' or something like that! I am pretty sure he will stop real quick...
Funny I told my husband last night that a cute guy in the liquor store said 'hi sexy!" to me you should have seen the look on his face!
A lot of men do this. I've had men look at me when with their partners and it use to make me sick. Then my ex started doing it....it is so sickly.
It has now become a deal breaker for me...I often wonder if that is too harsh? But then I think no, it is ok to look once in a while, but not all the time and staring.
I am worth so much more than that. The guy is lucky enough to have me, he should at least respect me in front of others.
I see a lot of men look at me when they're with their girlfriends/wives as well. And I see the women see him do it, and the look on their faces. I always feel so sorry for those women because I can just imagine how they're feeling; the disrespect and disgust and comparisons. That really is a pet peeve of mine when men do that, probably due to my ex doing it all the time. It's just so incredibly disrespectful!
If I commented on another guy, or even a girl I thought was pretty, that would be like me giving him permission to do it ALL the time. I've tried it before.
The thing is, I actually have no interest in any other guy. The most gorgeous guy on the planet could walk past me naked, and I wouldn't even notice him The only person I'm interested in is my man.
I'm ALWAYS paying him compliments, saying he's lost a bit of weight if I know he's been trying, he looks cute blah blah blah.
It's got to the point that I dread going out with him, even just to the shops. I think I am going to have to make a point of paying close attention to who he "watches" and prove to myself once and for all if it is all just me or not, then I can do something about it without doubting myself!
Men that do this feel entitled through gender - and they DO know that it's rude. They simply don't care because of that feeling of entitlement and the "guys all do it" brainwashing that we woman are supposed to accept.
I suggest staring at men for a reaction. If this doesn't provoke a response of anger or disgust from him then you're right about him thinking its ok for both of you to do it... however, I doubt that he will feel it's alright. Guys get VERY insecure when their partners are learing at other men and it would be a great way to get your point across. Some people don't get it until they experience things for themselves. If he doesn't care then you explain that you were trying to get him to see your point. Trying it doesn't mean that you've given him permission it it fails to work.
You sound like you feel powerless in your relationship which is a bigger issue. Just because you're crazy for someone doesn't mean you have to put up with their garbage.
First of all, I'm sorry that you're feeling this way. I relate to your situation and it is not fun!
I had an issue with my boyfriend (now husband) on this topic. I felt as though he was always staring at other women. I confronted him on it and rather than yelling at him OR sounding too hurt, I addressed it as a business problem. I said something in a very calm, even tone like, "Hey I noticed you observing that woman a moment ago. What did you like about her?" That caught his attention and he asked why I was asking and I replied by saying something like, "I think that it is great that you're comfortable enough with me to follow your natural tendencies, but it does bother me a little that you do that when I'm with you. Maybe you could try to focus on me when we're together? I know that you're going to notice other people but it does hurt my self-image a little bit when you do it around me."
That worked famously. He understood why I was asking, what I was asking about and what the result of the action was emotionally for me. I don't think it has happened in about three years! He does deserve to look - I notice attractive men and I am noticed. It bothers him when men notice me in that way, but I think the conversation that we had helps him understand that it is natural, it is okay, but it is necessary to be respectful about it.
If I commented on another guy, or even a girl I thought was pretty, that would be like me giving him permission to do it ALL the time. I've tried it before. Hmm, I'd have thought otherwise. I think you'd intimidate him and show him that you have the same rights as him. I guess he would stop it over time. Why don't you try again?
The thing is, I actually have no interest in any other guy. The most gorgeous guy on the planet could walk past me naked, and I wouldn't even notice him The only person I'm interested in is my man. Well, this makes you very vulnerable. Perhaps you've known him just for a while, and he still standing on a pedestal. Probably you are going to see the real man he is very soon, and the "obsession" will become weaker.
I'm ALWAYS paying him compliments, saying he's lost a bit of weight if I know he's been trying, he looks cute blah blah blah.
It's got to the point that I dread going out with him, even just to the shops. This is terrible and really limits your activities with him. I'm afraid this situation will soon start to feel boring to you. I think I am going to have to make a point of paying close attention to who he "watches" and prove to myself once and for all if it is all just me or not, then I can do something about it without doubting myself! Hope so.
You should seriously question your fiancés behaviour. Men and women both look at the opposite sex if there is some attraction. However, staring for extended periods with you there is completely disrespectful. Both my boyfriend and I may notice other people, but that is it. I am fortunate that way. And if your fiancé cheated once before to be with you what makes you think he will not do it again? Once a cheater always a cheater because people either do it or don’t do it. It is in their makeup to do something like that or its not. Yes - its that simple. To think you are special is somewhat delusional. Sorry. I am a straight shooter.
Ugh I just hate men who do that. However, I noticed something, and before that let me ask you something. Did your fiance have many girlfriends? Is he shy, or self confident in the presence of other women?
So, anyway I noticed that those who stare like that are either a) very inexperienced with women, b) have no respect for themselves or women they are with, or c) both.
They don't realize what they are doing. They don't see how they look when they stare like total idiots. I often catch men looking at me while with their wives/girlfriends and I try my best to show them just how pathetic they are.
No self assured, proud men will ever let himself do that, and believe me there actually are some men who don't do that.