Many of us are familiar with emotional needs and how they relate to our spouses. In fact, given the opportunity, those of us with the most dysfunctional relationships could likely give a lecture about meeting emotional needs and their importance in a relationship. Who could disagree that meeting the needs of your spouse is important? Unfortunately, for the amount of work that is done meeting needs, we still hear countless stories of affairs and couples plainly misunderstanding each other. Lack of self-esteem may be the culprit.
Self-esteem and Your Relationship
Self-esteem plays a large role in how you relate to your partner. Think back to when you met your spouse. Chances are, you asked the question “I wonder if he/she likes me?” While it seems like an innocent enough question, the truth is that it indicates a lack of self-esteem. More often than not, people tend to question how they are perceived by their partner (and others) and that insecurity causes great stress in their marriage. Many never evolve beyond this mentality and spend their marriage wondering if they measure up. This internal questioning of ourselves often causes issues in the relationship that may not have existed if we had simply sat back and realized that we are good enough.
We all know individuals who feel insecure about their relatives, friends, neighbours, colleagues and even acquaintances. We often hear about “triggers” and phrases like “pushing my buttons” and “hot button issues.” Someone may identify an issue that makes you feel sensitive, and your defenses are immediately up and you’re ready to pounce with a counter attack to protect the part of you that you feel is inadequate. While some realize that these “triggers” exist, how many consider the long term affects that the related defensiveness has on their marriage?
Smoke from Another Fire
When your spouse is directly affected by your insecurities, much anger may arise from triggers that aren’t even related to your relationship. They can be leftovers from past relationships that haven’t been resolved, or even family of origin issues that have been swept under the rug and assert themselves when certain triggers crop up. Frustration, confusion and resentment are all by-products of low self-esteem and can be detrimental to your marriage.
Ideally, your spouse understands and accepts your weaknesses, but as we have all likely realized, we don’t live in such an ideal world. Our spouses are as vulnerable to attacks of defensiveness as we are, albeit in different areas. Building a strong self image and practicing the methods of good self-esteem may help to eliminate these weaknesses in marriage and avoid some of the catastrophic issues that may arise like cheating, emotional affairs and divorce.
Some well known triggers are those that individuals don’t always associate with insecurity. For instance, while it is generally understood that men are visual creatures and enjoy the beauty of other women, it’s widely known that most wives dislike their husbands admiring other women. We often hear: “This is not ok. I’m his wife. His eyes are only for me.”
Many women feel that it is a part of their marriage vows or a tacit agreement when they decide to marry that men no longer admire other women. So, why do women feel threatened when their men simply enjoy the visual feast that is omnipresent? While it is no different than admiring the Mona Lisa or a beautiful work by Monet, the thought of your spouse admiring a living, breathing human being seems to set your retinas on fire and unleashes a raging she-beast, full of anger. This feeling of insecurity may be a primal urge to secure property and protect it from being stolen. While it sounds dramatic, on a base level, this is EXACTLY what drives the feeling of jealousy.
Spouses ARE NOT property. Truly loving another person implies that you trust the person will not run off with what appears to be “the bigger, better deal.” Having healthy self-esteem allows you to trust in your spouse’s love and understand the difference between fleeting physical admiration and profound love. Physical admiration involves the eyes; profound love involves everything else.
Are you aware of what your spouse loves about you? Unfortunately, many of us are so hung up on the question “am I good enough?” that we forget our own wonderful attributes. Asking your spouse about your great attributes along with the not-so-great ones is a good way to evaluate your own self-esteem. Spouses should feel comfortable discussing their good and bad qualities. If either of you immediately feel defensive, it may be time to re-evaluate your self-esteem and examine the issue more closely.
“Honey, do these jeans make me look fat?”
What man hasn’t cringed when asked this question and felt the pressure of knowing that the wrong answer could land him in the doghouse? It’s a sad state of affairs when the person we love is stuck between telling the truth and feeling pressured to find the “correct” response.
A man in this situation may feel very insecure—he may feel torn between being honest and being perceived as hurtful. He may feel resentful for having been forced into this situation where unintentional hurt feelings may be the result. Faced with this, a man may want to remind himself that a hug, a compliment and a kiss go a long way in reminding your spouse that she is your chosen one. While you may not be able to lessen your spouse’s insecurities, if you are aware, you can make different choices that will strengthen your marriage, rather than weaken it.
How Tone Affects the Insecure
I know married people who are so insecure that huge blowups can start with the TONE that they use with one another. Each one imagines cryptic messages and haughty attitudes that don’t exist. Neither one understands that they suffer from deep insecurities that keep them on their guard, constantly looking for that hidden “offense” that they can “capitalize” on at the right moment. This is no way to live out your marriage.
When someone uses an angry tone, it’s best to assume they’ve had a bad day, regardless of what the reality of the situation may be. Give them some time to decompress and then attempt to discuss. Never assume that their answer had anything to do with you. Your feelings, although important, might not enter into this. The other person is likely dealing with something that is affecting their feelings far more deeply than you know. Do not make it about YOU.
When one of you is having a bad day and uses an angry tone, it’s not code for “I’m angry at you.” Often, it helps to give a hug to show your support and then speak about your feelings later on. Remember—while your feelings are important, a truly confident individual doesn’t assume that their spouse is targeting their feelings.
A nasty or haughty tone is sometimes a verbal wall that insecure individuals erect in order to protect themselves. Beware — “tone” can be real or imagined, depending on the self-esteem of the listener. By all means, CONFIRM with the person if you think they are using a rude or insensitive tone, but never ASSUME.
Building Better Self-Esteem
One of the first steps in improving your self-esteem is to eliminate the recorded messages that play over and over in your head. We all have different messages, likely originating from our family of origin. They are easily identifiable, often reminding us that we’re not good enough, we’re not smart enough or we’re not visually pleasing enough. When you hear the messages, my suggestion is to hit the ERASE button. No one is allowed to tell us who we are, or dictate who we should be. When one of those negative messages pops into your head, replace it with a positive affirmation. Do NOT give negative thoughts any of your valuable mental real estate.
Allowing your spouse the freedom to speak his/her mind is liberating. If your spouse feels safe enough to discuss how sexy another person is, for instance, he/she is sharing his/her intimate thoughts with you. Don’t squander that opportunity! Realize that your spouse is your best friend, and best friends should be able to share their thoughts with immunity. I’ve yet to hear of a couple who divorced after being 100% honest about everything. If affairs are born out of secrecy, it makes sense to keep the lines of communication OPEN.
While I have learned that for some public compliments boost self-esteem, I’m not sold on this concept. While it may be an ego boost to hear that your spouse speaks highly of you in public, your ultimate goal should be the knowledge that what your spouse is saying is TRUE, rather than his/her validation of you. Validation, although legitimate, is unnecessary when one is secure in themself.
Keeping Up with the Joneses
We often become involved in the cultural zeitgeist that is built on the low self-esteem of others. Many of us can identify with “keeping up with the Joneses,” but the reality is that keeping up with neighbours is a testament to one’s self-esteem. Be content with what you can afford and be proud of what you have accomplished. Always question why you want something — does it appeal to you, or does it appeal to how you’d like others to view you?
Financial responsibility can interfere with family time, leading to feelings of inadequacy. The eventual diminished family time can result in overcompensating and overindulging children, which leads to even greater family issues. It’s important to remember that loving your children and being a good role model is commendable. Providing them with a loving home, shelter and food is far more important than keeping up with other parents and overstimulating them with many activities. Never let others dictate what being a great parent means to your family.
The Value of Healthy Self-esteem
Having healthy self-esteem arms you with the confidence required to defend your position without appearing defensive, to protect yourself without anger, and relate to others without feeling hurt or slighted. Self-confidence rids you of the burden of jealousy, which can literally drive your partner away. Once these goals have been achieved in marriage, we love effectively, protecting our relationships from external dangers.
I just found this article and have to say I’m impressed. It has given me some things to think about. I completely understand your message regarding men looking at other women. Some men do look at women with lust, but not all men. It does not bother me when my husband notices a beautiful woman because I know he loves me. We have been married for 23 years and he has never once been tempted to cheat. Just because we are married doesn’t mean he lost his eyesight! I would be stupid to think otherwise. He is my best friend and our marriage has taken a lot of work over the past 23 years. We face many up hill battles still today. His insecurities are the root of most of them. I have asked him why he is so insecure but he really cannot tell me why. I have tried very hard over the past several years to help him but I am becoming very frustrated with it. Your article has given me several things to think about and then talk about with him. For that, I thank you.
I have a problem with my husband. He is 11 years older than me, I met him when I was doing my final year at university and we were best friends. I now have a job and already earn more money than him and I think that is where the problem started. He doesn’t want me to talk to any guy even if its a colleague. He gets mad at me if a guy emails me any work related issue. I am honestly not cheating on him and not even thinking about it. He has cheated on me before but asked for forgiveness and i did.
My problem is that, what ever mistake i do (eg forgetting to clean the kitchen counter) he always says that its because I now have money and i am disrespecting him. I dont have a problem with him making less money but when he blames every silly mistake I make on the fact that he makes less money it becomes annoying and I dont know how to deal with it. When I try to explain things to him he then says I am answering back.
I honestly love him and would like to make things work since we have a 2 year old brilliant baby together and i want us to be a happy family.
I m happily married we love each other alot bt recently I ve started feeling insecure bcos theree is a woman….she is frm a different country, my husband meet her wen she came on tour to our country n she like my husband n she knows he is married….she planned a holiday with him n my husband ve decided to go…..I ve confronted my husband abt it n he said there is nothing between them…. bt I m inn delimma cos I dnt know wat to beilve……ii trust my husband bt still I dnt trust my husband going wit some other woman…..pls I need advice
Rose, I’m sorry this is happening, and you are wise to understand the threat to your marriage. There is no way your husband’s involvement with this woman can be good.
We can’t have a long conversation here, but I hope you will come to our website, where there are people you can talk to for support and advice. It costs nothing to join. Just go to marriageadvocates.com, sign up and post your story. We’ll try to help.
I suffer from severe deppression and insecurity everyttime my wife leaves the house i cant help but to concentrate on how she is cheating on me and with who. I have problems with self confidence because i am an injured person and can not work anymore so i have gained wait and become overweight while she has lost weight and become more self confident
Plese advise me on excersises i can do to help me deal with this or thought process I should avoid
I think your issues are more involved than a case of low self-esteem.
May I suggest that you see your family doctor as soon as possible? Medication, coupled with individual therapy and group therapy will change your outlook and make a big change in the way you view yourself and how you relate to your wife.
You don’t have to feel badly about yourself just because you’ve had some setbacks. Help is out there.
Please don’t hesitate to join Marriage Advocates–there are many people there (including me!) who have dealt with depression and anxiety either personally or with a spouse.
Wishing you all the best……
this has really been so much help..my problem was that my husband had an affire and impregnated the women..i chose to forgive him because i love him.i know that he no longer sees the woman now but fact is they now have something bonding them 4 a life time…ever since then though iv been terribly insecure and lost all self confidence…i check his calls,sms’s..and when he gets home late..i panic..iv tryed so hard to forgive and forget..but instead i feel traped in the past..im hoping that by reading this il find inner peace ….its great sweety
You’ve been through a lot, Zanele, and it’s not something anyone could get over quickly. It doesn’t sound like you’ve recovered from the trauma, and of course your self esteem has taken a hit! I hope you will join us on the forums, where others (some who have been through what you have) can support you and share how they got past the things that ripped their self esteem (and their marriages) apart. No one can be fine after something like this without some help.
If you haven’t, please see a counselor. We can help too, at https://www.marriageadvocates.com. Hope to see you of the forums.
I hope you find inner peace, as well.
Please try to build your self-confidence—don’t allow your husband’s mistake to draw you down. You’ve already shown great strength in your choice to forgive him….draw your confidence from that. Many women wouldn’t be able to do that.
Wishing you all the best…..
I found this article because I was looking for advice on this topic. I know that my insecurity puts tremendous stress on my marriage. My husband and I have a great marriage otherwise. We really enjoy being together; his is my best friend. I know that my husband is loyal, but sometimes I wonder if that is only because he is a good person and would stay with me just because it is the “right” thing to do. “He made his bed, now he has to sleep in it.” I think he cares about me and he tries very hard to convince me that he thinks I’m beautiful. And I want to believe him, but nothing short of drastic plastic surgery can change the fact that I look nothing like the women I see him look at. I exercise regularly and I am not overweight anymore, but I will never look like them; I was just never built well at all, and years of weight fluctuations until I recently resolved a thyroid issue have left me looking worse than when I was 30 pounds overweight (how is that fair?!?!). I’m not saying he’s an ogler or is constantly looking or drooling or flirting, and the rational part of me realizes that the occasional look is going to happen. Yet even just reading the article, I get a huge knot in my stomach reading that a secure woman would be okay with hearing her husband comment about an attractive woman. My first thought is, “Well, if she’s secure and confident, it’s probably because she looks just as good as the women he’s talking about, so of course she’s okay with it.” I could not even imagine feeling okay with that.
It makes me feel even worse that it suggests that I am treating him as my “property” when it bothers me. I fully admit that I don’t want him to be attracted to anyone else. I want to feel like he has enough respect and love for me that he doesn’t notice others, at least no more than a fleeting glance. The idea that the thought of a sexy woman may stay with him after the fact gnaws at me, and I know exactly how bad that sounds…which then makes me feel worse for being so selfish. I am fully aware that men are visually stimulated…and that is what bothers me. No matter how strong our relationship is, he’ll still be turned on by other women. Just great.
I think my husband loves me in spite of my flaws, so I feel when he looks at other women, he’s satisfying some need that I cannot satisfy, and that I am supposed to just accept it because it’s only fair that he should get to look at attractive women, since he is a good husband to me. I feel certain that he is comparing me to her. I worry for days that he’s picturing her when he’s intimate with me. I often feel that he settled for me because he didn’t think he could do any better and that he just tolerates me and my flaws. And it is a vicious cycle because I know he filters what he says and does around me because he does not want to “set me off” so that just makes me wonder what else he “censors”. And I HATE that he has to do that. I want us to be able to be honest with each other, and I know that I have completely ruined that.
It has always been an issue for us that I wish he would talk to me about things that bother him. I often find out about things from other people that he talks to, like his father or a friend, when it gets mentioned in passing. When I ask about it, he says he enjoys coming home to me and doesn’t want to ruin the time we spend together thinking about work or things that are stressful. Does that make sense? He’s the first person I want to talk to when stressed… then of course I worry that he is trying to tell me he doesn’t want me to bother him with my stress.
I get that I have serious issues here, and I want to fix them. I want him to talk to me, but I know that he feels he can’t because of the way I am, and I really don’t want to hear about how hot his friend’s wife is, that’s for sure. He works second shift so we only see each other before I go to work and after he comes home late at night. So we text all the time and we do put a lot of effort into the time we spend together. Yet then I worry that he finds it exhausting to “maintain” me. Even in the bedroom I drive myself crazy. If he leaves the light on, I feel insecure about the way I look; if he turns the light out I can’t stop wondering if he’s thinking about someone else to get through having sex with me.
I guess my point is, in everything I read on this subject, I feel like it is suggesting that I am supposed to just accept that my husband is going to be attracted to other women and that when I am jealous I am being controlling, trying to dominate his thoughts and feelings, which I really don’t want to do, but I seriously cannot fathom the thought of being okay with it. These articles also always seem to suggest that to fix my self-esteem issues, I am supposed to list my own strengths and focus on them. I am an intelligent person, I work hard to help support our family, and I am a good mom to his children. Umm, how does that change the fact that I am not attractive naked? I’m joking here, I get the point, but it just doesn’t make me feel any better. I know it would make fellow feminists cringe, but I want my husband to be physically attracted to me; sorry but that’s what it comes down to. We have a good relationship, as a bit of an perfectionist, I hate the idea that that “makes up for” my shortcomings in the physical department.
I just registered here, and was wondering if you could give some pointers on where to start with this. What is something specific I can do to start working through this before my insecurity ruins my marriage, because at this point I am sure he is either going to give up or figure, “Well, she seems to think I’m a womanizer, so I might as well…” Which I know he is not, but I know that is what is sounds like I am thinking when I get offended. It is driving me crazy that I can read all of this that makes perfect sense and I realize it is my problem not his, and I want to fix it, and yet it does not change how I feel in the least. In fact it all makes me feel worse that now, not only am I not sexy, but I’m an emotional bully too. Great. Please help!
K, you’re not on the forum here–this is just a place to comment on our articles. I hope you will post where our members will respond to your request for help. Go to http://www.marriageadvocates.com and click on “Forums,” or just use this link: https://www.marriageadvocates.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php/forum_summary
Click the flashing white envelope at the top of the page after you sign in. I’ve left you a message.
I do hope you will join us there. You are right to be concerned that your downward spiral will damage your marriage. You seem to have forgotten that your husband CHOSE YOU. We all find the one we love terribly attractive. Not fair to him to decide for him what he’s thinking.
Let us help you work through this stuff.
I know exactly how you feel. I read your article and felt like I was reading my own thoughts and feelings.
Oh my, I know this is several years old now but I started crying when I read this. For years I have had the EXACT same struggle; as I read, it was as if I wrote this comment about myself. It can feel so very lonely to read article after article about how those of us who are insecure are to just “deal” with our husbands drooling over an attractive woman. That we are just supposed to be okay with it because it’s in his DNA and that’s what men do. If I’m being 100% honest, I wouldn’t have gotten married 19 years ago had I known that this was part of the package deal. The hurt is so great it can outweigh all the good. I can never imagine in my wildest dreams ever being okay with that kind of disrespectful behavior. I feel trapped. As suggested I’ll check out the forum in hopes of finding some help. (Still crying…)
Indeed, you will find “quality posts” on our forums. Some of them might well be yours.
I’ve heard stories similar to yours before. I agree that your husband’s behaviour likely stems from his own self-esteem issues but there might be something else going on that you’re not aware of.
I suggest that you become a member of Marriage Advocates. It’s completely free and there are SO many smart people that have either experienced exactly what you’re experiencing or have expertise in how to cope with it. Your marriage doesn’t have to suffer because of this.
You can copy and paste what you’ve written here and start a thread–you’re sure to get many responses and great advice on how to deal with your husband’s issues. I’m not an expert, but I suspect that with the proper knowledge you could turn this around in your favour.
I hope to see you at Marriage Advocates, soon!
So, I myself am a confident, self secure person. I have my areas in my appearance that may not be exactly the way I would like them to be. But nobody is perfect & it doesn’t affect the way I live my life.
Having said that, it seems that my high self esteem & confidence make my husband unhappy at times. It is very frustrating to me since we have all the tools that are needed to have a long happy marriage. I don’t see any reason for us to argue the way we do or for him to become so frustrated or angry with me in the blink of an eye.
My husband is well liked by others, handsome, charming, & witty. (That is, around other people) but when it is just the two of us talking, he is VERY controlling, immature, stubborn, & hurtful. I don’t mean to imply that this is how he always is. We enjoy eachother, & love eachother very much. But, the issue that I have with him is getting to be more than I can stand anymore. We have been married for 9 years now. I am good to him, I treat him very well, & always tell him how sexy I think he is.
The issue only arises with how he is when it comes to me. I don’t have a lot of close friends. Honestly I know a lot of people but I am not close with anyone. My friends all got sick of asking me to go do things with them & me always saying “I can’t”.
My husband does not let me do anything that doesn’t include him or our children. I am never allowed to go have a girls night or go to the gym, or even to a family event that he won’t be able to attend. Not only does he not let me go places without him, but he never pays me any compliments or makes me feel special in any way. He will however, tell me everything he does not like about me. Is is quick to tell me when he doesn’t like my outfit, if he doesn’t like my hair, or if I’m putting on couple pounds. This is very irritating to me since I am not an ugly women. I am pretty, thin, & I dress well. But, my husband will pick me apart down to the tiniest thing & then not let me do anything to fix it. Like he tells me he doesn’t like the color I did my hair, but he won’t tell me what color he would like or allow me to go have my hair done at a salon. He will complain about my flabby areas, but won’t let me go to the gym. It seems to bother him when I like how I look or enjoy things that don’t include him. I miss being told I am pretty. I will admit that I am the kind of person that enjoys being told good things about myself. Not because I need the praise to feel good about myself. I just like hearing good things about myself. (I’m a leo through & through) So not receiving complements or getting good feedback if any kind from my husband hurts my feelings.
I also really enjoy spending time with girlfriends & I miss having relationships with women. I hate always being afraid to do things because I will make him angry. I hate that even asking him if I can do something causes a huge fight. Not only a fight… The most aggravating fight u can imagine. I know that the things I ask to do are innocent & completely healthy, normal things that people all over the planet do. Bit he tries to argue his side without any explanations or reasons for not letting me.
I know this all comes from him being insecure. I know he isn’t a tall or manly looking as he desires. He is 5’6 & can’t grow a beard to save his life. It bothers him. We don’t have tons of money or the biggest house & I know it eats at him. But the thing is, that we have a nice house to live in (we rent, but still) we have two nice vehicles. Our kids have everything there hearts desire, we take wonderful family vacations, & we have some money in the bank. He might not be the tallest guy in the world, but he is handsome & I mean VERY good looking. I don’t understand why he makes himself miserable, hates when I am happy. (Unless he is happy. Then I had better be happy)
Anyways, I was just hoping for advise from someone who might have some experience with a simmaler type of person. Trying to make up for his insecurities & negativity on top of being so limited on what I can do, reviving not one compliment on anything EVER, is making me think I shouldn’t stay married to him. I hate feeling this way. I didn’t get married just to get divorced. I am not the type of person to do something like get married unless I am 100% sure this is the person I want to be with forever. I am still sure I want to be married to him. He is just making it too difficult for me to be his wife. I feel like I want to explode sometimes.
I am a very logical, positive person who can always see someone’s point of view & sympathies with them. But he is so wrong sometimes & irrational, & stubborn. @ I swear, if I here him say “fine, whatever, do what u want, or I don’t care” one more time, I will lose my mind. I just want him to act like an adult when it comes to me & stop acting like a kid who is just being greedy & selfish & who is so obviously wrong but will NEVER ADMITT IT!
So, any advise is appreciated.
Your feelings of insecurity are understandable–women are much more conscious of body image than men, generally speaking. That’s not to say that you should allow those feelings to put a wedge in your marriage.
I can see that you feel that your husband would rather be with a petite woman. Because you have that idea in your mind, every bit of attention that he gives to petite women is suspect and causes you to feel insecure and inadequate.
Unfortunately, you can’t change your husband. If he likes to look at petite women, he will, regardless of your protests. What you must remind yourself is that above all, he decided to marry you. If he wanted another woman, whether it be a generic “petite” woman or the woman that “meant something” to him, he would have married that woman.
I can understand his defensiveness–in his mind, he has done nothing wrong. You are assigning negativity to his actions because you feel insecure about yourself.
The best solution for insecurity is to remind yourself that you have many great attributes. Write them down and remind yourself everyday that you have value, no only to yourself but to him. While your husband may look at the petite girls, he’s WITH YOU. Hold your head high and be proud to be his wife. It’s amazing how much better you feel about yourself when you realize that YOU’RE valuable!
Thanks for taking the time to read my article. I hope you’ll sign up at Marriage Advocates (if you haven’t already).
We’re a friendly bunch and there are more members who have much more knowledge and experience than I do. We have many members that have had the same issues as you. They can help you perfect the techniques to feel better about yourself.
Looking forward to seeing you!
I have a issue we have been married for 21/2 years. Sometime in our early relationship he let me know how much a relation ship that had ment something to him and that she was small in stature..I am not a big women but neither am I petite. so when we are out and I see him look at a petite women it triggers an insecure feeling that I am having trouble dealing with. Such as we went to a wedding and the bride was very petite. So we are standing on the dance floor and he looks across at her and is smiling he is looking at her and talking about breaking out into a dance and it did trigger an insecure feeling as I felt he should have been looking at me and saying that. How do you handle that kind of situation. I do not think he is an immoral person nor do I think he was lusting, however the situation is the same and when it happens about 4 times now I have that same response and then he is defensive and we fight and then we talk and move on……until the next time like I said I realize it is triggering a response and why but how to stop it regardless of how he responds this is my problem and I want to work on it, thank you….Debi
Good communication is a must to develop the healthy relationships in your married life. You should share all your problems and feelings with your partner as well listen to your partner and understand. Make some time for each other to share your emotions. Go for outing with your partner and make some romantic plans for short vacation.`’`;
Until next time
Thanks for taking the time to read my article–I’m sorry that you feel that it’s a “load of crap”.
Perhaps my clarification will assist in your understanding of my point. It is your assertion that men appreciating the beauty of women is lust, but unless you can read the mind of every man who has ever admired your beauty, you really don’t know that as a fact.
The point of my article was to empower wives who feel “hurt” when their husband’s admire other women. Personally, I believe that a woman can avoid feelings of hurt and rejection by recognizing that men don’t look at other women to HURT their wives. Most men look because they hormonally compelled to do so. Women have certain hormonal behaviours, as well—nursing mothers who physically react to crying babies that are not their own—this is a biological reaction, fueled by hormones. How often do we justify our behaviours during PMS because, after all, they are fueled by our hormones? Just as men tend to understand our behaviours, (and generally are not “hurt” by them) I feel that we should afford men the same breadth.
I disagree with your statement: “If you have healthy self esteem you would know that this guy is a creep and get rid of him”. There are many warning signs that men may exhibit to indicate that they are not good relationship material, but simply looking at other women isn’t one of them.
A woman with healthy self-esteem understands that the love that binds her relationship is stronger than her spouse’s sexual desires toward other women. You are free to conduct your own relationship as you see fit, but it is my personal opinion that being strong in your resolve and having a good self-image goes very far in making a relationship happy. This goes both ways, a man with poor self-esteem who is jealous about his wife’s co-workers, friends or even casual acquaintances is just as toxic to a relationship.
To Jemma specifically—I wrote this article as a general guideline. Obviously, a man who is a sex addict has a bigger issue than just “looking”. That is beyond the scope of the article.
I 100% agree with Jemma. This article is a load of crap. Men ogling other women is not about “beauty” like a painting, its about lust. I have been ogled by men my whole life and it is so disrespectful to wives. I see the wives looking at me and I see the hurt in their eyes. It is so sad. I just wish articles that justify this behavior didn’t exist. If you have healthy self esteem you would know that this guy is a creep and to get rid of him.
I just wanted to say thank you for this article! It has truly touched me. It has opened my eyes to what I need to work on, seek help for, and possibly save my marriage!
Thank you so much!
While I understand what this article is trying to accomplish, what it doesn’t state is that their is a level of ogling others that is completely disrespectful to women and the spouse. To those that are married to a sex addict, what is being reinforced in this article is all the rationalizations of the sex addict. All the things we’ve heard over the years… if you have high self esteem this wouldnt bother you, all men do it, it’s completely natural behavior, this behavior is because of the spouses problems, ec. All lies! Any woman with any sort of healthy self-esteem would not accept this behavior. Yes, it’s true you should never let your spouses ogling degrade your self-esteem, but do not let anyone tell you this behavior is normal. I realize not one size fits all when it comes to articles, but I wanted to put it out there that, because a woman finds ogling disrespectful does NOT make her a woman with low self-esteem. The ability to tell someone their behavior is completely disrespectful is a sign of healthy self-esteem. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.
I agree with you 100%. Thank you for saying that!
While I agree with you, I get tired of the hammering on men. This goes both ways. It isn’t always the man. Woman do the same thing and that is as much disrespectful. It is natural but unfortunately can cross the line.
i’m encouraged by the message in this article as i believe i shall brace up my self-esteem for the days to come in marriage
I want to assure you that am one of the many people you have helped out and am very,very grateful. from today, I’ll be a smiling person. not intimidated by anyone or anything, because no-one defines me. God bless you.
Thanks for your nice comment!
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