Suffering from DH's looking


#1

Hi,

I’m really feeling depressed and inadequate!

My husband and I have been married for ten years. We have a “good” marriage, at least I thought. I don’t know for sure anymore.

I have been thrown for a loop lately. It feels like being cheated on but I know that is overly dramatic…out of respect for those who have been cheated on…

My husband has been looking at other women. I’ve noticed it in the past and commented on it. We periodically have been in heated discussions about it. He said he wasn’t. I saw differently. Then once he told me he went to Confession for looking at women because of their, “different shapes”. I wish he hadn’t told me that because I have never forgot it. I’m thinking, “Greatttt. You lied to me all those times before and now it is so bad you have to confess it!” He said the priest told him it was natural for men to look and it is good that he knows it is wrong. HUH?

Anyway, all through our marriage, I am the one begging for sex! He is too tired, too whatever…bloated, gassy,…etc. This is really hard to hear men complain about their wives not wanting them etc. when I deal with it in the opposite way.

I don’t think he looks at porn. I’ve never caught him. But, he does have a computer at work so…I don’t think he “relieves” himself either.

I just don’t get it. He could look at me whenever he wanted but he doesn’t want to do so…not that I’m that great. I do have scars from c-sections, loose skin and I am about 30lbs overweight from a chronic thyroid issue. But, nothing changed afoter losing weight either…I look pretty good or else the other bad husbands and boyrfriends wouldn’t be oogling me, which they do. Stupid dumb-heads.

Well, I am shaken and physically ill from all of this. I feel so…unattractive. I’ve tried to talk to him about this but it ends up in a fight. He gets so mad and says, “Drop it.” and “Why should I have to deal with your insecurities?” He says he loves me and that I am making a big deal out of “nothing”. How can my feelings be considered “nothing” to him?

I am a great wife, he says.:crying: I take good care of him, I am a stay at home wife and homeschooling mother. I am an awesome cook. I keep the home decorated wonderfully and clean. I support him emotionally and pump his low self esteem whenever I can. I give him frequent compliments because I think the world of him and he deserves them. I am the one who initiates and gets shot down a lot. If I try and wait him out it is usually once a month on his schedule. And he is too “quick” then I go unfulfilled for another month which is no big deal compared to the emotional and spiritual suffering I undergo in the mean time-feeling unwanted. :crying::crying: :crying: :crying:


#2

Hi Mograce,
It sounds like you are in a very difficult situation. I feel for you. A couple of things come to mind:

  1. Yes, it is natural for men to look. We have been genetically wired to be motivated and led by our senses. While that is the case, it is also our duty, as men, to learn to control ourselves.

  2. I would suggest making some time to sit down and talk about this with your husband. Maybe 1 night after the kids go to bed. I think you are going to have to prepare for this night as well. The conversation needs to be very mellow, very loving, and it needs to not seem like an accusation of him or his actions. Men’s natural reaction when attacked is to attack back. So the conversation needs to focus more on you. Present his looking in terms of how you feel, how you love him. Not in terms of “you do this and it upsets me”. You need to explain to your husband how important it is to you and to your relationship that you have this conversation and really work through it.

  3. It may be a good idea to see a counselor. It’s possible there is more going on than you have shared or than you know about. I would suggest a good Catholic counselor.

Hope that helps.


#3

Will your husband speak to a priest? If so, I would go with him and discuss this issue as a couple with your priest. I’m sure that this won’t be the first time the priest has dealt with this issue and the issue is fundamental to the strength of your marriage.

Melanie


#4

** Men are visual creatures and some have a harder time controlling their eyes than others. The fact that he went to confession for this speaks volumes about how he feels. He knows it’s not right and knows it hurts you. But it seems like the bigger problem is your sex life. You two are not on the same page and it hurts.**


I know from expereince that the more insecure I act, the less my husband desires me. Physical appearance is only so important to our husbands. They can overlook scars, a few extra pounds, our hair being a mess, no make up etc if they know that we are happy with them.


Men take it extremely personally when we are insecure. They feel like it is their job to make us happy. If we are not happy they feel like failures. When a man feel like a failure it’s hard to “get in the mood”.


I am in no way saying that this is your fault. I’m just trying to point out a different perspective. From the things you say in your post, it sounds like you two love eachother very much and respect eachother. You just got a little off track and may need a little help getting back on it. What about a Marriage Encounter or Retrouvaille weekend? I hear they work wonders.


Even though my marriage is doing alright, i think that hubby and I could benefit from a weekend of just focusing on us and finding out what the other truly needs. It’s so easy to get sidetracked by life.


Malia


#5

Malia, you are wise beyond your years:) I was trying to find the words to express exactly what you said. Mograce, I think you are a bit insecure in your relationship and I have been where you are. I have been blessed with a patient and understanding husband who knew me for 10 years before he married me and fully understands the source of my insecurity, otherwise, I’m not sure where we would be today. It has taken me many years to understand what Malia has expressed so well and to feel secure in my marriage and I deeply regret the hurt I have caused my husband while he waited for me to get up to speed:blush: I think Retrouvaille is a great idea if your husband is agreeable.


#6

What Malia and Humblemom are saying sounds very nice and charitable… but I’m having a hard time understanding. I mean, yes, a man will feel like a failure when his wife is insecure in this way. But why shouldn’t he? If he has a roving eye, plus he was a big liar about it… it seems to me that it is the husband’s fault that his wife is insecure and it seems natural and just that he should feel like a failure for a bit. (I’m not saying that she shouldn’t help him out of his feelings of failure, but I don’t think she should accept culpability. If all she says is true, it appears he dug this hole all by his lonesome self.)

Beyond that, I think his dismissal of her feelings and refusal to listen to her pain is inexcusable behavior for a Catholic spouse. It’s classical abusive behavior, to hurt someone badly and then tell them not to “complain” about it later. People who are really sorry understand that the people they hurt are still going to be hurt for a while, and they humbly accept this.

If I’m wrong, can someone help me to see this differently?


#7

There are different ways of “looking” at other women. Sometimes I notice my husbands eye’s lingering a little longer on a very pretty woman than they would on someone less attractive. It is not obvious and is not done in a disrespectful way. I think this is something men have a truely hard time with and I don’t think it is something I need to feel bad about. If, on the other hand, he were also meeting her eye and giving her a big smile, I would find this very disrespectful and I would have a few words with him. Mograce said her husband acknowleges what a great wife she is and he is sensitive enough to go to confession about his roving eye. I am not saying he is a perfect husband or that he should not be more sensitive to her needs at all! But I think some of the problem with his lack of interest in sex and his difficulty understanding Mograce’s feelings may be related to his own feelings of inadequacy. I can’t really know what is going on for sure, but in any case, Retrouvaille would help them understand each other better and give them tools to work on their relationship.


#8

Mograce,
I wish I could say I didn’t understand how you felt but the truth is, I had a husband just like that. I almost started crying when I read your post because I remember how horribly alone and unloved I felt towards the end of my marriage. It was not what broke up my marriage, but it was a contributing factor for sure. I know you have heard it before but I am going to point out a few things:
[LIST=1]
*]You are not unattractive
*]You are not unloveable
*]You are above all a beloved child of God
*]Sex does not always mean you are loved
*]No sex does not mean you are unloved either.[/LIST]Now, let me tell you about a few things I learned from my experience. First, and foremost… look at how dh feels about himself. Does he love himself? Is he capable of loving himself? Some men feel that they themselves are unloveable and deny themselves (and their wives right along with them) sexual pleasure. Does you husband have problems with expressing intimacy? Like, does he hold you often? When you are alone watching tv does he snuggle up next to you? I am betting not. My biggest hurt was this more than the sex. My ex had personality disorders that could have been treated, but he chose to self medicate. His feelings about himself and subsequent dissociating behavior is what was to blame for the lack in our marriage. This can be treated. Counseling could have saved my marriage and our sex life, but he was unwilling.

A few more things… never let it get to you when female friends complain that their dh wants sex all the time. Don’t let it make you feel bad. Most people don’t understand what you are going through and how truly frustrating it is. If you want, you can send me a pm or email. Just click on my screen name and you will see those options.


#9

i wasnt sure whether i should respond to this thread as i know i am still very raw from my divorce …

but my STBX (just a few more days to go… God willing!!!) was exactly the same way… in fact he would say that I was insecure… he would openly look at women and flirt with them and have a jolly good time… and then tell me that i was overly sensitive and that was just what men did…

remember my dear… that is what single men do as they have no one to account to… married men do not do that… this blatant looking is disrespectful… i am not talking about someone good looking who just passes by whom u cannot but look… but i would still say that when u find urself looking even if it is Angelina Jolie, u shud catch urself and know that u r sinning!!!

anyways i feel for u… and i understand ur pain… hopefully ur husband understands what u r going through… men who behave this way are just plain immature and i do not at all endorse the fact that they are visual creatures and they need to look… they want to look and they should know that is wrong…

how about we say that we are emotional creatures so have to get emotionally attached to men??? how would they answer that???

again he went to confession but confession becomes void if he is not truly repentant and tries his level best not to do it again… is he planning to do that??? otherwise he is just putting himself into further mortal sin!!!


#10

Oh my. I could have written every single word of this myself.

Why is it that so many women are subjected to this level of deep hurt and neglect?

It’s just so very sad. :frowning:

~Liza


#11

Because they do not know the principle of the THEOLOGY of the BODY. :shrug: I mean men & women need to know why they are men and women. Once they know why, then they know how to be men and women. It’s all the result of the fall. It all goes back to the beginning. I can’t speak for every man but I really am sorry for the pain us men cause. Let’s face it. Some of us men are dumb*****es. Remember that God created us and it was gooood. He never meant to create us the way we are now, damaged goods. It’s because that our first parents bought into Satan’s lie that we’re in this predicament. Also remember that Jesus came to redeem us and he did.

Now, as mentioned in the earlier posts, looking at women is not wrong. Our eyes were created to be attracted to beauty. We men are wired to be more objective and immediate. This is what the devil attacks. Nowadays, beauty isn’t what it should be. We’re being told that beauty, in a woman, is something with round, large, breasts and curves. We’re being sold the lie, people! I for one realized this and I’m struggling to fight back.

Fact of the matter is that men are built the way we are so we can protect. When we lust, we’re no longer protecting beauty… just perverting it.

I know this doesn’t help the situation but I sure hope I gave some insight.


#12

Liza,
I am so sorry you went through this too. I know how badly this affected my self esteem for years, and probably still now a bit!


#13

For 11 years. :frowning: I had horrible, if non-existant, self esteem for years. I finally met someone who was able to build me back up again, but it took a very long time. Now, I’m married to a wonderful man who loves me and is constantly telling me how beautiful I am, but it’s still hard to believe he feels that way truly. And I know that it’s not me, it’s what I’ve lived through that has made me this way. It just stinks.

~Liza


#14

Amen!!! I wasn’t as smart as you… I went through this for 13 years. I guess I’m just a slow learner. But, I was blest enough to meet my dh that sounds much like yours too. We constantly are amazed at the differences in our marriage now (sacramental) as opposed to our previous marriages (not valid or sacramental) and how much more we appreciate it after what we have been through.


#15

Your husband’s behavior, all of it, sounds like a man with something to hide. My husband looks too, but I realize it is natural (I look too!) and that it means nothing if it doesn’t go beyond an appreciative glance. I have even pointed out cute girls to him, with comments like,“oooh, there goes a hot one!” Then we laugh together and move on. He laughs when I notice guys too, though that usually makes me feel like a dirty old woman, as the guys who seem cute to me are usually 10-15 years my junior! In other words, we are both very secure, we know our marriage is good, and we act like it.

Your husband is showing the classic signs of a man who is either cheating or has a porn addiction. He lacks sexual interest in you, his eye roves in more than a casual way (at least, as you see it), and when you try to discuss it to fix the problem, he blames you and tears down your self-esteem. BIG RED FLAGS! The reason he does that to you is because it shuts you up and makes you take the blame on yourself. That way, he doesn’t have to deal with it for a while.

I could be completely wrong, here. He could be depressed or suffering from hormonal problems, too. That would explain the lack of interest in sex, and the roving eye could be an attempt to restore his own self-esteem. But, I think people use psychological excuses way too often these days when they are just plain behaving badly.

As for the “going unfulfilled another month” thing…uh, how do I say this…there are plenty of ways for a man to bring his wife to satisfaction if she doesn’t climax during intercourse. The selfishness of the fact that he doesn’t do that for you again leads me to believe that he is just behaving badly in some way, and you haven’t yet discovered what that is.

I am so sorry that you are going through this, and I heartily agree with the suggestions of Retrouvaille or of finding a counselor who can help. If you can get DH to go…:frowning:


#16

You’re not inadequate because someone else is doing something wrong. :slight_smile:

My husband has been looking at other women. I’ve noticed it in the past and commented on it. We periodically have been in heated discussions about it. He said he wasn’t. I saw differently.

It’s possible there was some level of misunderstanding. I don’t want to play the blame the victim ping pong game, but are you absolutely sure you were never wrong, he was always looking the wrong way, and so on?

Then once he told me he went to Confession for looking at women because of their, “different shapes”.

Whatever he meant by that, it sounds strange.

He said the priest told him it was natural for men to look and it is good that he knows it is wrong. HUH?

Erm. If it’s both natural and wrong, then the priest’s understanding of natural must have been “widely/predominantly occuring in nature” or even simply “occuring in nature” instead of “normal” or “approvable”. Any positive understanding of “natural” is precluded by “wrong”.

Anyway, all through our marriage, I am the one begging for sex! He is too tired, too whatever…bloated, gassy,…etc. This is really hard to hear men complain about their wives not wanting them etc. when I deal with it in the opposite way.

It doesn’t look like he’s suffering from sex drive issues if he keeps looking at other women. Before I say more, you’d better listen to those folks who are married and experienced in that. Your marriage may need therapy.

He says he loves me and that I am making a big deal out of “nothing”. How can my feelings be considered “nothing” to him?

What can you be making a big deal of? About a seemingly small act of his. His act does not equate your feelings. Just because he considers his act or habit negligible or even a nothing, doesn’t mean he thinks the same of your feelings about it - let alone your feelings in general.

I am a great wife, he says.:crying: I take good care of him, I am a stay at home wife and homeschooling mother. I am an awesome cook. I keep the home decorated wonderfully and clean. I support him emotionally and pump his low self esteem whenever I can. I give him frequent compliments because I think the world of him and he deserves them. I am the one who initiates and gets shot down a lot. If I try and wait him out it is usually once a month on his schedule. And he is too “quick” then I go unfulfilled for another month which is no big deal compared to the emotional and spiritual suffering I undergo in the mean time-feeling unwanted. :crying::crying: :crying: :crying:

You may want to talk to him about all this. If he still keeps insisting it’s nothing, then tell him the state of your feelings about this and ask if your feelings are nothing to him. If that doesn’t work and he doesn’t want to talk about things, then it’s probably a good idea to consult some therapist.


#17

#18

Mograce, this is a very contentious issue… men and women are so different here and society encourages men to look, afterall it’s constantly shoved in their faces!
Women dress provocatively, there are posters and billboards all depicting women as objects, no wonder it’s hard for them.
I was similar to Malia with my husband… he only needed to glance and I would have a fit!
It’s not that he found me unattractive, it’s just that they’ve been conditioned from a young age to look at other women with what society offers! It’s everywhere and some of us women really object to it!
Anyway, like Malia, I see it as more my problem. My husband is not one that looks very much… (at least when I’m around!!)
I was very insecure as like two other posters said, my first husband was very much like that. No relations with me but ogling other women, but he also had affairs, so the scars from that would hurt every time I thought my H was looking at other women.

But it does have a lot to do with how you feel about yourself, so maybe you should take some time to pamper yourself. Maybe you should take extra care and time in trying to feel more attractive, and I mean this more for yourself, than your husband. Because if you feel good about yourself, more confident and attractive, he will notice it also.
I know you have young children and you homeschool, but maybe you could take a little time off?

In no way am I saying that it is entirely your responsibility to fix this… he is still culpable for what he does wrong. I don’t believe that if men do the wrong thing it is somehow the women’s fault… like I have heard said many times.

Also a good long chat where he cannot throw it all back at you and say it’s your insecurities is in order. Or like other’s have said, marriage counselling.

Well, I think I haven’t helped at all…it was more of a ramble… sorry


#19

One day my BF and I were walking at the mall when a rather nice looking woman passed us. I watched as my BF turned to watch her pass. Then I told him that I didn’t appreciate his looking when we were together. He laughed and said he likes looking at people. Told him I felt it was disrespectful to me. He didn’t understand where I was coming from. So a little while later, I noticed a rather nice looking man heading in our direction. I stopped, let him pass, watched as he did so and then whistled, just loud enough for my BF to hear.Smiled sweetly at him and said “payback buddy”. He got my point and never did it again.

Trouble with guys, is that they use their whole bodies or at least their “rubber necks” when they look at someone. Women are more discreet and turn their eyes only.

Kathy


#20

Thank you all so much for your interest and comments in this maddening problem!

Last night, I went to Confession and told the priest about my hurt, anger and inability to let this go. I confessed that I had been thinking of dressing inappropriately on purpose, in public, just so men would “look” at me and give my DH a dose of his our behavior. He told me to pay more attention to my husband and see if that doesn’t help things along to my satisfaction. He said, “As a man, I want to tell you, that we are all basically just insecure with ourselves and need reassurance.” That led me to believe that he thinks that my DH may be doing it to get the hotties to “look” at him. I look at him all the time but a lot of good that does him.

Is it possible that he feels so badly about himself that I am being punished for loving him? You know, like:I am worthless, so she must be even more icky because she loves me…and wants me.

Why can’t men be more normal and simple?

I’m simple:
I want love, attention, sex and to be supported financially & otherwise by my husband, whom I love & cherish dearly.

He is not simple:
I want sex, but not from my wife. I want to be served but by a more worthier woman. I want a hot wife but not this one. I want to be looked at by the person/s I want to look at, but I don’t want my wife to object or notice except if it makes her jealous then that is good unless she blames me for it, in which case I want to make it her problem, which it is, because she loves me for some reason. I don’t want a divorce, that’s wrong. I love my wife. I think she’s beautiful although I don’t want her sexually nor do I prefer to look at her. She’s awesome though. I’n lucky to have her.

You know, it is very good that I have morality from the Catholic Faith. I can see how this kind of game playing would drive someone out to the bars or elsewhere for some attention! I would never do such a thing because no man is worth hell. But, I no longer judge those women who become desperate and leave their husbands for love that they crave. My sister was married to a man who treated her like garbage. He ignored her totally, put her down, yelled at her…intimidated her…and now he is gone and she is remarried in the Catholic Church to a guy who treats her good. Funny thing-her ex, when asked for a divorce, totally tried to become a nicer guy and showered her with everything she should have had before-alas it was too late. Why not treat her good before? He claimed he loved her…

Well, women are the ones who usually file for divorce, they say. I think men should take a hard look at how they treat the wives they have. It is stupid to believe that the woman you married is less valuable now that you “got” her. For the most part, I would say that all the women I know are simple too. They want their husbands. The men in their lives, however, are not quite so simple. One of my Catholic girlfriends has a serial cheater for a husband who refuses to go to Church with her and the 6 kids. He’s mad the preist won’t let him give out Communion…another friend has a husband who is addicted to the computer games and hardly helps out with the handicapped child they have…then there’s the change:She may have cancer so he is treating her much better and paying attention to her now. Great-but why not sooner? Because, “you don’t know what’ve got until it’s gone.”

Well, as a Catholic wife, I am determined to hang in there and be attractive despite the glaring evidence that he doesn’t see it. I will continue to serve him, take care of him, notice him, and allow him to “call the shots” as to frequency so at least I don’t have to get shot down. I will take more time for myself and exercise more to get rid of any remaining weight that may be offending his sensibilities. I will be pleasant and ignore his “looking”. Deep inside, I’ll be crying and he will never see the hurt because a guilty man will run away from the person “causing” him to feel that way. Perhaps, he would be happy to know he was powerful enough to take a woman who actually enjoys sex and turn her frigid-which is what I will be after he gets done with me. I know that when we numb ourselves to some feelings, we numb ourselves to joy as well. I will offer all this up for his sake because I am a Catholic and that is what we do-be sacrificial. Maybe this will all go away. I hope so! I want to be able to be normal again with my DH.

Thank you so much for listening to me and being a sounding board as well as giving good advice. I will ask about whether he would go to Retrovaille again. Maybe this time he will say yes.


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