Her Man Stares at Women
Q: I have been in a relationship for over 20 years with a man who is respectful and supportive on a satisfactory level. I am now 65, and he is 59 years of age. However, whenever we go places together, he appears to be staring at women. Usually, he will pick a certain woman, usually an attractive blonde, and fixate his eyes solely on her. It is embarrassing and humiliating for me. When I discuss my feelings about this, he swears he is not staring, but looking at something else entirely. I think I can believe my own instincts as to what I see, but I don't understand how he can lie to me this way, and totally lie about what he is doing. It truly angers me, and I am wondering if you have any ideas as to why he might be doing this? -- Carol, 65
Dr. Susan: If your partner is focusing his gaze on one specific woman, a different blonde, each time you go somewhere together, I suggest you send him on more chores on his own. Hear me out. What I suspect -- and I could be wrong -- is that he's fantasizing about her, or memorizing her features so he can fantasize about her later. (And that would explain why he's lying about it, because it's a private thing.) It's a thing men do (I've been told on good authority). Even in perfectly good relationships, men enjoy visual variety. Of course, it doesn't have to be that big of a deal for him to glance at other women, except that he's staring, not glancing. Tell him again that it makes you very uncomfortable. If he insists he's looking at something else, then just say it LOOKS like he's staring at an attractive woman, and if that's what YOU see, that's what other people probably see, too. He needs to cool it. It's rude, and lying to you just makes it worse.
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Advice for Her
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.