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Male input requested - either BH or WH views welcome

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MartlArts posted 7/16/2013 21:07 PM

Not wanting to generalize too much here, I realize everyone is different - but I guess I've kind of understood most of my adult life that most hetero men really like looking at attractive women. Their responses are all over the map of course, from the crude guys who make rude remarks and wolf whistle to the ones who just do discreet glances, but is it a fair statement to say that MOST guys welcome an opportunity to view women they find attractive?

My H, when we first met, fit somewhere in the middle of the extreme with his reactions. He used to turn a little too obviously to follow the progress of a female - (if he enjoyed the front view he wanted to also check out the rear), but with a few elbows to the ribs early on he became more discreet.

He subscribed to Playboy for decades, and I never really objected to that. It was a different matter, however, if I caught him peering out the window at the sunbathing neighbor. Do you guys see the difference, and why this bothered me? (No A with the neighbor, thank goodness.) I believe he subscribed to the theory that it was acceptable to look but not touch, which I agreed with to a point. That also probably enabled him in falling into an OEA - he knew he was never going to be near this person or touch her - but that's a t/j for another day.

Another thing he used to do that bothered me was if he was out somewhere in public - say a fair, or at the races, etc., and saw a young woman in revealing clothing that he could discreetly photograph, he would. I also saw that as being very different from the Playboy thing - somehow intruding on these women's privacy, even though they chose to dress that way in public. I didn't like it.

Post d-day, I became much less 'understanding' - any female photos were destroyed. I believe his attitude about that type of thing has changed also - he's not a good actor, never has been. I think he is much less likely to just snap a photo of any pretty girl he sees.

FWIW, when we met I was an aerobics instructor and did swimsuit modelling for the first several years of our marriage. So it's not as if I suffered from self-esteem issues about my appearance.

I'm rambling all over the place here, sorry. Just got to thinking and wondering where most guys stand with regard to making the most of opportunities to look at women they find attractive. Thanks for bearing with me!

KBeguile posted 7/16/2013 22:14 PM

I don't want to steer the course of this thread, necessarily, but one of the most important lessons I've learned is that it's not JUST about having firm boundaries for yourself -- it's that other people have boundaries, too, and those boundaries and the other people themselves deserve just as much consideration as anyone.

While my boundaries might make it "okay" to look -- or strike up a conversation, or have some sort of minimal physical contact -- it might not be permissible within their boundary structure ... which makes it wrong.

I get that this is something most people don't actively think about. I know I didn't for a very long time, and it's something I definitely spend time thinking about now.

Ixion posted 7/17/2013 02:04 AM

I kind of went the other way with trust and jealousy. After my wife had an affair, I saw no point in getting jealous of the guys that she was looking at in magazines or in movies. If she can do that to me, then its clear that no amount of attempted control or reasoning would have any affect.

Guys do like to look. Its a natural drive. I consider myself fairly conservative and considerate, and even I like to look. That said, there is a difference between what is 'acceptable' and what is 'considerate'. I would never buy Playboy and certainly never photograph neighbours! Its about not only what I think is 'ok', but what my partner thinks is ok and not upsetting her, and in that respect is a very individual thing, I think.

Bare in mind that whatever boundaries you set, he will bend them by about 10% anyway, so account for that too.

[This message edited by Ixion at 2:06 AM, July 17th (Wednesday)]

stronger08 posted 7/17/2013 03:45 AM

Lets face it, all people like to look at what they find attractive. Its natural and healthy. If I see an attractive woman walking my way I look and may even say hello. But not to the extreme and I certainly would not say anything vulgar to her. From what you have posted your WH goes way beyond looking. And his peering at the neighbor and photographing women is down right creepy. That's Peeping Tom territory IMO. Sounds like he has a voyeur complex. The Playboy thing is normal. While I'm not a subscriber I see nothing wrong with it. But coupled with his other habits I'd say the man has some issues. He really shows some signs of SA. Which of course is not healthy. What's concerning me is that he has you thinking this is normal behavior. It certainly is not normal, nor should it be accepted given the circumstances. I think he has some underlying issues that need to be dealt with professionally. You cant fix him and don't even try. To be perfectly honest with you I don't see your M working out unless he gets his urges under control. Most guys like that escalate their behaviors. And its never a good ending when that happens. I think you need to really think about what's been going on. And think about if you really want to be with a guy like him. Unless he seeks professional help things will never get better, only worse.

blakesteele posted 7/17/2013 04:01 AM

My views on how I view and deal with natural male urges has changed dramatically since my wifes decision to have an affair.

I have been in counseling and read numerous books.

Pre-A I would notice and look at other real life as well as pornography. My wife and I had very regular sex...I would say more then most couples we know...and I would masturbate wife had almost full knowledge of this and she would view porn with me some too...I didn't sneak around but I didn't always tell her every time I did it either. I saw no harm in it then.

Again, I thought this is a normal guy thing.

Since the affair I have done what is recommended...I have worked on the only person I can change...ME!

I have specifically concentrated on what intimacy is and how it is nurtured or destroyed.

Most of the time I am 180 degrees different on this topic now. I say most of the time because it is a natural urge within me to still look.

But just because it is a natural urge does not make it healthy...and certainly does not make it harmless.

Maybe too much info following...but feel the need to explain how I have changed.

I have masturbated exactly 7 times since DD (10 months ago)...each time it has felt less fulfilling. This is in the face of decreasing sex with my wife. So here I am...having less sex with my wife and spending less time masturbating too.

I am literally shocked to find out that I can go days...weeks without sex. There was a point in my life that I literally thought a man HAS to have that release to be healthy. Even now I wonder sometimes if I will be able to do it after not doing it for weeks. I cant explain this crazy thought...just telling you it was such a part of me for decades that a part of me still gets concerned....

Now, in real life, I find myself bouncing my eyes more. I still have a strong desire to soak in the beauty of most women...not just Barbie types...but am getting pretty good at stopping myself.

I am not taking credit for my wifes decision to have an affair...but I plainly see how my actions pre-A hurt intimacy in my marriage. And if it didn't always hurt never helped nurture it.

NOTE: Pre-A anytime I viewed an attractive woman in real life and thought inappropriate thoughts about was all in a fantasy bubble. Since the A...I have had moments where I would view an attractive woman and see it as a real possibility...and that feeling scares the hell out of me! This is when I really started to focus on this aspect of ME...and what I was and am willing to do for myself and my wife.

This entire experience is life-altering.

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 4:09 AM, July 17th (Wednesday)]

blakesteele posted 7/17/2013 04:12 AM

I also wanted to add that the line between normal and SA is blurry....and someone does not become a SA is from looking a little longer each time, pushing the limits...

I think it is only through conscious decisions that men will move in the unnatural direction of healthy intimacy and away from the natural, primal sex drive they have inside them. that's my honest perception.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 4:15 AM, July 17th (Wednesday)]

MartlArts posted 7/17/2013 10:03 AM

I appreciate all of the input, thank you. Just to clarify, the behavior has NOT escalated. Over the years (decades), the behaviors actually moved in the opposite direction. I attributed it to his maturing both emotionally and physically. I think Blakesteel's comment about moving towards healthy intimacy and away from natural primal seems to fit.

Just was pondering on the things he used to do and how I felt about it at the time. In the aftermath of the OEA I started to pick at old scabs and dig up issues that weren't fully dealt with back in the day. "You did THAT 20 yrs ago and it really hurt!"

And of course we could start a whole other thread on how healthy it is for me to dig up old grudges on behaviors that haven't been an issue for years.

StillGoing posted 7/17/2013 10:53 AM

I will occasionally check someone out but generally feel embarrassed because I assume everyone CAN SEE MY BRAIN. Not, like, the mushy parts but the stuff the thought police eavesdrop on. That's why I immediately think about small dinosaurs the size of a telephone receiver that only I can see, and how if anybody fucks with me they will eat the world.

Nah I don't think that last part. The dinosaurs thing. That part, I made that up.

Taking pics or peeping on someone seems violating. Creepy level violating. Like, a few steps away from a wall filled criminal evidence kind of creepy.

MartlArts posted 7/17/2013 12:32 PM

Stillgoing, I was getting a bit worried about you & your dinosaurs! Glad you cleared that up!

My H now seems embarrassed if I bring up his old behaviors. But I was also reminded of this topic not long ago when a co-worker was sharing that her H came back from a trip with his buddies with lots of Girls Gone Wild type photos - wet t-shirt contests, that type of thing. This lady didn't seem to mind her H doing that, seemed to think it was funny. Another coworker chimed in that she would NOT be happy if her own H did that. I kept quiet, didn't really want to share that my H used to be like that too.

StillGoing posted 7/17/2013 12:40 PM

It's totally cool, that guy who yells at trees can see them also.

solus sto posted 7/17/2013 14:26 PM

StillGoing, you earned the first laugh of the day. Thank you.

MartlArts, you said you could open another thread to discuss whether it's healthy to bring up "old grudges." I'll just address it in this thread.

Examining patterns post d-day is really important. It's not fun, and it can hurt, but it helps you understand what's happened so that you can ensure it doesn't happen again.

I have to add: photographing people without their consent is a HUGE breach of boundary, and I would have a real problem with it. As you turn things over in your mind, please be honest about their significance. This is a biggie. You went from being concerned to defending your husband, who's gone from worrisome WS to "getting better over the years." How did that happen? How did a man who's cheated in the very recent past graduate to "much better over the years?"

Don't betray yourself by being dishonest while examining your life together. Trust me on this---there is NO worse betrayal to overcome than self-betrayal.

MartlArts posted 7/17/2013 15:23 PM

Solus - my story is in my profile. I'll try to summarize: H was contacted via FB from an ex hs gf. He told me about it as soon as she 'friended' him. They went back and forth with FB messaging and emailing for awhile, then he went NC on her. He was open about the fact that they were in touch and I had no issues with it. She was geographically far away, and for other reasons as well I just didn't feel threatened. A few months later I got a weird gut feeling and checked computer history and files. I am an IT professional and more tech savvy than he. I read pretty much the entire history of their communications. She got more and more agressive and he was treating it as a joke.

Then she finally pushed too far, and he apparently had an OMG She's serious moment, and went NC after that. He didn't go so far as to block her, just stopped responding. The more he ignored the more desperate she got. At the time I got that weird gut feeling it had been several months since he'd responded to her and she was stepping up the campaign to recapture his attention, but not succeeding. I got in touch with her and let her know I had the ammunition to blow up her life, and that was that.

And yes, I'm confident the above is accurate. I have filters on that H is unaware of. I also have cyberstalked her a bit and have indications she set her sights elsewhere.

So cheating - yes, there was an EA, and it hurt that he gave that attention to someone else. He did not "get" the slippery slope he was on until she really got blatant. Then he thought he'd dodged a bullet by NC-ing her. We've now been through the Not Just Friends and other reading, and he understands and does NOT want to be part of that again.

So - long answer to the very valid question you asked, sorry. But the fact is that it has been many years since the asshat behavior of ogling females. The OEA was a new type of stupid asshat behavior.

He did not seem to get - in both those instances - that there were other types of cheating besides PA. He gets it now, I believe. But my mind was wondering about how the guys on here react, hence my question.

MartlArts posted 7/17/2013 15:24 PM

Oops, double post!

[This message edited by MartlArts at 3:42 PM, July 17th (Wednesday)]

solus sto posted 7/17/2013 15:54 PM

I'd read your profile, MA---but your explanation helps me understand a lot, too.

The EA? Yeah. I can see how he sort of got clobbered by that. And it seems as though he has owned that, as well---which is often a real hurdle.

sisoon posted 7/17/2013 16:02 PM

Thanks, SG. ... but now I'm wondering if the thought police can see inside my brain.

I can't turn off my eyes, though sometimes I wish I could. I figure I'm wired to notice women, and I do - but my W didn't worry about it until her mid 50s. She's OK with it now, too, since I think she realizes I like seeing women, but I really like looking at her, if you see the diff.

Playboy is pictures ... not real. Real people are real. I see a big diff there. Real people are entitled to some privacy. OTOH, if a neighbor is exhibiting herself inappropriately, I do my best not to buy into her game.

Snapping photos surreptitiously is a violation of the subjects, IMO. The subject owns her image. A secret photo, even in a public place, seems a lot like stealing to me. (Besides, I'd much rather look at my W IRL than a pic of any random woman I fleetingly saw, so I really don't see the point. Except maybe if it's Salma Hayek or Megan Fox or someone like that.)

Anyway, I look. I enjoy. I pass on. Seeing a sexy woman on the street is great, but it's only a fleeting pleasure for me.

T/J - Strange thing, though...we go to an outdoor dance every Summer week. It starts with a lesson, and there's always a (different) woman who almost mesmerizes me. But when the dancing starts, if it's swing, there's a guy who draws my eye - I sure wish I could dance like he does.

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