Dear Dr. Bill,
My husband is a great man. He’s a sweet, responsible, loving, and caring. But one thing that bothers me is how he looks at other pretty women. I don’t understand why he does it, and a friend suggested he might have an “intimacy disorder.” He doesn’t stare up and down like some men, and he doesn’t make comments about the women. In fact, he tells me that he isn’t even aware that he’s doing it. But it still bothers me. What should we do about it?
As difficult as it is for many women to understand, men are wired differently when it comes to sexuality. In general, women are more relationally oriented, while men are more visually oriented. This doesn’t have anything to do with an “intimacy disorder.”
Here’s what Dr. James Dobson has to say about this issue, “Virtually all men like to look at women. And if you’ve ever been in a restaurant and you see an attractive woman come into the restaurant before the other men see her, don’t look at her, look at them. Just sit there and watch what happens when she walks by. Even more than women, men are visually oriented and that is a biochemical reaction in your husband that is not necessarily willful. In other words. there are reasons—biochemical reasons—why he notices and is drawn to other women.”
Of course, just because men are wired that way, doesn’t mean they don’t have a responsibility to keep those instincts in check. Noticing an attractive woman is one thing, lust is another. When Jesus talked about lust, he didn’t pull any punches. The Bible is clear about fleeing from sexual temptation, and being accountable to a group of godly men is a great way for a guy to keep his marriage on the right track.
From your description, it sounds like you are very happy with the other aspects of your relationship. But this has really been bothering you, I think it would be wise to see a family counselor before this issue causes a wedge between you.
Thanks for writing, Suzanne.
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