Men Looking at Other Women?!

I have discovered the Counseling Men Blog: Advice for Men, and the Women Who Love Them! The topic I am focusing on from their site is “Looking at Other Women”.

Before I go into this: I have to confess to feeling completely tired just looking at the title, anticipating what it is about, and discovering that I was completely right. Take a look for yourselves. The usual Christianese formulae are there—in a Q&A, husband admits that though he loves his wife, he can’t stop looking at other women.

When younger I was just another guy who looks at other women, even when with my wife. I meant no harm, but it upset my wife and hurt her. My reaction was to stop looking at other women and avoid dealing with women. I have no interest to meet any one else or look at any one else. I am totally satisfied with my wife.
Like other men looking at other women, I get incidents that happen without control, a glance, that I hate and am not comfortable with and especially if the other woman notices me looking. I do not look again, but just this uncontrolled look makes me awkward and I panic, mostly out of fear of hurting my wife and risk of losing her.
When with my wife, my wife reports that I become a different person and not notice her. I notice that I feel awkward and I am not comfortable when out. I feel as if I have to keep my guard up all the time and if I relax I will fall!
(bold above is on the site)

So that is the fellow’s dilemma as presented. I have to say that I’m a bit puzzled—what exactly is meant by this stuff? What does ‘looking at other women’ mean? Is it a glance? A full on ogle? A Loony Tunes stare with eyes bugging out and train whistles going off and a loud whistle? We don’t know.

What are incidents that happen without control? Is he becoming painfully aroused, is he unable to keep from snapping upskirt shots? Again, we don’t know.

And how exactly is he hurting his wife? How does he become a different person? What does that even mean?

Anyway the author of the article goes on to explain something of why men look at other women.

Why do men look at other women? Most of us first developed the habit of looking at women when we were teenagers. It happens naturally and then we encourage it because of how good it makes us feel. Each time we see a sexually attractive woman our brain rewards us with a chemical high. It’s a minor high compared to other drugs, but it’s still enjoyable and addicting.

This natural reward system is the beginning reason why men look at other women. With the almost constant barrage of attractive women we’re exposed to in our media crazed world, many of us men have developed a regular “habit” of looking at other women. This habit can become so ingrained that our looking becomes like a natural reflex and one that we can feel we have no control over.

Unfortunately, our media exposure has only made this a more and more difficult battle for men. Advertisements by Carl’s Jr., Victoria Secret, car and beer makers all use scantily clad women, in sexually provocative poses to sell their products (are we buying the car, the girl, or does the girl come with the car?) contribute to why men look at other women.

When we get married or in a committed relationship we need to stop being a man who looks at other women. If we don’t, this “habit” can cause us a lot of problems, just as you’ve described.

Before I continue, I must say that while sure, one would expect that there is a need to demonstrate devotion to one’s committed relationship, that again there is this odd phrase: looking at other women. I’m still not sure what this means exactly here. Does he mean notices? Ogles? We still don’t know.

Anyway, here’s some advice he gave on how to control this, barring being so obviously addicted that you need counseling.

1. Recognize that it is a habit that you’ve built, not an uncontrollable reflex.
2. Begin to look for ways you continue to build that habit — such as movies, TV shows, magazines, football games, or internet porn and stop feeding it to your brain (read My Husband Looks At Porn to learn more).
3. Accept and get comfortable with the fact that it is natural to notice attractive women. The goal here is not to eliminate noticing, but rather how often you look and for how long.
Well wait a minute—let’s suppose we accept these three pieces of advice are reasonable. What exactly does ‘how often you look’ mean, and how long is too long?

And in fact, what is the actual goal here? What is this trying to achieve?

I read a bit of the comments section but there was only so much that I could take. A common theme was agreeing with the article which suggests that overwhelming amounts of sexual materials in the media are one of the causes of men being obsessed with sex. Which is interesting—why then are subjects like lust, adultery, falling in love, so common in the writings of the ancients? Were things more moral in the bronze and iron age or something? Doesn’t seem like it if you read the Bible or any ancient history. But one poster said that she felt human beings could be like penguins and mate for life. Um…no, actually they can’t. Human beings just aren’t wired that way. Human beings are naturally opportunistic, it’s one of the reasons why we are a successful species. Faithfulness for human beings is a moral choice, not a natural inclination. And here’s something to consider: one of the first things we are attracted to about anything is appearance. Other things tend to follow after that first impression. That doesn’t magically go away because of a ceremony and signing a piece of paper.

The issue I have with this sort of thing is not that it is trying to encourage moral behaviour—it’s rather that there is no real yardstick for moral behaviour in it; it merely feeds into women’s fears, worries about their looks and self esteem, without offering any real practical advice.

I’m sure that sites like this have the best of intentions, I really do. They see a crisis and want to respond to it. So I am NOT condemning this website in particular—I think that it reflects a generally faulty line of thought in our society, which I think this ignores a real factor in divorce: women generally feel a strong inclination towards letting their morals be guided by their emotions.  You will notice that women who are enjoying being married will often be amused or even arrogant in the face of their man giving a glance to another woman, the “sway your hips if you want honey, he’s going home with ME” attitude I’m sure we’ve all seen. But for the woman who is unhappy about her marriage anyway, everything the guy does will become a suspicious clue as to why she’s unhappy, no matter what it is. Like the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the start of WWI—if conflict and condemnation are wanted, women who want out will find a way that allows them to feel like the wronged party.

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48 thoughts on “Men Looking at Other Women?!

  1. I just have to LOLZZZZZLZZ at this common type of garbage relationship advice. You are right about how a happy wife will not take issue with it, but we know that most wives are not happy to a lesser or greater degree because of articles like this and the unrealistic expectations women generally have.

    I loved you line “women generally feel a strong inclination towards letting their morals be guided by their emotions”. The best part of your post. Women will set aside their morals when it suits them as we know.

  2. Q: “what is the actual goal here?”
    A: “Accept and get comfortable with the fact that it is natural to notice attractive women. The goal here is not to eliminate noticing, but rather how often you look and for how long.

    Well, honestly, no. The actual goal is for men to be more like women.

  3. Confession, usually whatever “lust in my heart” isn’t driven entirely or even mostly visually, but proximity. Like most men I am attracted enough to most women already; it’s a matter of degrees as well as tastes. Hence the only way to mentally survive, since about the first week of puberty, for just about every man IS to try to ignore the fact that the woman near you is attractive enough.

  4. Speaking for myself, if I am open to meeting women because I am on the prowl if you will, being social, flirting, etc. I will look at women and assess them for a possible date or whatever. If I am “content” in my present relationship I largely ignore other women. I may glance at them, but thats about all. This is usually when they flirt with me more and I end up not paying too much attention. Its all about a mans contentedness in his relationship that determines how long he may look and his overall interest level. JF is right though, its about conditioning us to be more like a woman.

  5. I linked to the website that was the subject of Empath’s post and then, through some circuitous path of links that I can no longer remember, ended up here:

    http://kbonikowsky.wordpress.com/2011/07/12/problem-passages-genesis-316/

    And here:

    http://kbonikowsky.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/women-in-the-text-ephesian-marriage/

    And lastly here:

    http://kbonikowsky.wordpress.com/2013/05/22/problem-passages-ephesians-522/

    Which was the final straw for me; I just could not resist pouring some gas on the flames with a comment of my own about the utter unwillingness to accept the plain meaning of scripture and twist it into something that instead just “feels right” to the female soul. My comment to that post is still under moderation as of this writing, so may not be visible yet.

    By the way, Empath, have you been over to the guystuffcounseling.com site and taken the “husband rater quiz”? You’ll be happy to know that there are two versions! One for guys to assess their own crappiness, and one for the ladies to helpfully assess their guy’s crappiness. I got a 78% score and some cheerful hints on how to propel myself to a full 100%! Not sure if I’ll be able to sleep now – what with all the excitement of manning up Oprah-style so that I’ll be “…the man of her dreams.” I am not making this up – check out the upper left column here:

    http://www.guystuffcounseling.com/husband-rater-quiz/?utm_campaign=Blog—Take-a-Quiz

  6. As I surfed the guystuffcounseling.com site, there was some content specifically devoted to how Facebook is impacting (negatively) relationships. Who knew?

    What struck me most in the comments to the “Facebook can be hazardous to your relationship” section was the ratio of male perps to female perps when it came to using social media as a facilitator for an affair. The female perps greatly outnumbered the males. The males by and large seemed genuinely concerned for their children and committed to the relationships they were in. The women? Well, there were TINGLES that had to obeyed, of course. Covenant, shmovenant. Some things are just more important. And HOW DARE he even suggest that I hold myself to the same standard to which I hold him. What’s mine is mine but what’s his is ours, passwords included. Female imperative. Rinse, lather, repeat.

  7. I’m certain women check out other men just as much as men check out other women. In fact a man, especially a Christian man committed to his wife, is far more likely to exercise self-control in this area than the general female populace.

  8. I’d like to emphasize that I’m not saying that women cannot be good wives or be loyal, exercise self restraint, etc. My concern is that they are less and less likely to when they are constantly told that their emotions reflect reality. Furthermore men are less and less likely to make wise decisions about women when they are constantly told that 99% of the time the whole of a relationships success depends on them. The differences between men and women, the challenges life has in store anyway are surely enough without having an ideology with poisonous ideas about relationships getting in the way.

  9. Read the article and about a dozen of the comments, some comments were strictly tl;dr.

    The article is deeply flawed as relationship advice because the problem is stated in such broad and fuzzy terms as to be almost without meaning. Empath hit it : what problem is to be solved, here? By lumping in all sorts of visual behavior into one, catch-all category “looking at other women” the author conflates many different male actions with “bad”.

    Whatever the intent of the author (and I am not so kind as Empath) the effect is to give a blank cheque to women’s demands. No matter how strictly a man may control his eye muscles, from time to time in the Western world he will see a pretty woman, and by declaring the simple act of “looking” to be a crime or a sin, men are set up in the “Nothing you can ever do will be good enough for me” pedestalization trap.

    There is a not very subtle dominence issue in the original article – men are to be accountable to women, period. Oh, and apparently to God as well, but women first. So the standard Churchian hierarchy is reinforced: God > women > men > children.
    Although as always, there is more than a whiff of: women > God > men > children, even though it would be stoutly denied by the original author and the various female commenters. But frankly, “God says you have to do what I say!” does bleed over from the first hierarchy into the second without much effort.

    Empath’s right when he observes this sort of thing feeds women’s fears. It reminds me of the “visual Rolodex” chapter in Feldhahn’s “For Women Only” book (a chapter that I find bemusing and somewhat insulting, because my brain don’t work dat way. Maybe my testosterone is too low?). Nobody in the counseling business would write out a long text on women’s different patterns of manipulation (tears, sex as quid-pro-quo, holding children as hostages, ‘good cop/bad cop’, appeals to bogus authority, etc.) and then claim that all women have these traits, all of them. First because it would give away too much information to men, and second because it would surely arouse a great deal of suspicious anger among men. But arousing suspicion and fear in women? Great idea! More! More! More!

    Even if the author is well meaning, he’s just fanning fears. I’m sure that there are women who will find the article and who were sorta content with their husband / LTR, but who after reading it will find themselves compulsively watching his eyes in order to see what he’s looking at, then taking notes for future reference. So as with so many other “advice” articles, the author is creating trouble in other people’s lives by playing on the fears of women.

    In the end, it’s just another example of how the notion that women must control men, and men must submit to women, has become shot through all aspects of at least US society.

    (When I wear dark glasses, they are always wraparounds. Because I don’t want UV light coming in the sides. And because people can’t easily tell what I’m looking at. Not women, mind you, but other men. Especially those that want to rush up to me on the street asking for the time / a dime / something else…)

    Sigh. Tediously good catch, Empath. Good catch because of reality. Tedious because, weill, you know.

  10. It was I, Sojourner who wrote this one. But thank you.

    The thing is, I don’t think most people can helping talking feminist views. They are a pillar of modern social views on male/female relations, and yet the actual teachings are not presented as feminist, so it is hard to trace their origins unless you study feminism. Feminists frequently use catchphrases like “feminism is the radical notion that women are human” to suggest that their desire is only about equal rights, which further confuses the matter.

    Because this is now part of the way people see things, it is normal conversation. So I’m sure that the author is well meaning. But you are right when you say that this fans the flames. Most people do not see this as a problem.

    And rightly you see that it gives a means of control.

  11. @sojournerscribe re: “My concern is that they are less and less likely to when they are constantly told that their emotions reflect reality.”

    Yes. This validation is THE problem, and THE solution is to demand a woman submit to a (rational) man’s authority.

  12. Oh no!! You didn’t just use that swear word!? Men who are in happy relationships with submissive, pleasant and attractive wives or gf’s will usually not spend too much time looking at other women. However as this article and many like it make plain, it is men who are to submit to women’s often irrational demands and insecurities.

  13. Relevantly, in eye-tracking studies regarding looking at pictures of people for erotic purposes, women are MORE likely to focus on specifically sexual bodily parts (not *just* that one) while men’s eyes look more at everything. Among the dozens and dozens and dozens of studies that have never found any other result, an easily accessible one is

    Rupp, H., and Wallen, K. 2007. Sex differences in viewing sexual stimuli: An eye-tracking
    study in men and women. Hormones and Behavior, 51, 524–533.

    Women tend to look at women as sexual objects more than men do (in sexual contexts); the men tend to look at women more as complete persons sexually. The hypothesis is that the women do so for competitive reasons. Both men and women ignore men’s bodies, besides the genitals, as if the men’s bodies are just part of the background, like a chair or cloud or tree or bedframe. Earlier literature, prom the previous century, emphasized women’s ignoring of men’s bodies but deliberately miinterpreted the result as evidence that women did not objectify bodies.

  14. Btw, the quiz referred to in the first comment? Here is why that’s a problem. When women are planning on bailing from a non abuse or criminal relationship, normal divorce in short, you commonly hear things like this:

    “he’s a good man, I just don’t love him.”

  15. I want to make sure folks know there are two other men who post here. I wish I’d have found and parsed this but I did not. In fact Ive been MIA awhile.

    Mr Teebs:
    Re the links…

    Mutual submission is a nonsensical term anyway. Think of the cartoon chipmunks standing beside a door each saying , “no, after you I insist”.
    The door remains un-breached.

    I wouldn’t pay this write up too much attention. There are hundreds , thousands, just like it.At some point some woman got this babble of pseudo exegesis laid out for her….and Id wager its origin is from a man who was lift seeking…then in typical fashion each women who stumbles across a copy rushes to write her own blog using this new shiny stuff. Look at the comments here from Nonya, all recycled conventional wisdom that “everyone knows”….see also the spread of the fear that the church as a whole is teaching more and harsher forms of male dominance as time passes, therefore there is a dire need for women to write blogs like that one. Meanwhile in my experience of asking women pon large forums if they have ever sat in a church like that, or if they even have just 2nd hand (not 3rd plus) knowledge of a specific one……crickets. For some reason (as if) women hear or read something that buttresses their comfy views and they cling to it as settled science.

  16. The comments at that site are embarrassing, more so than any I can remember anywhere. AR said they were too long, man that’s understates by lotsa zeros. That there are men clinging to a site like that and feeling the need to babble as such is a downer.

  17. Pingback: Sometimes You Just Have to Look | The Reinvention of Man

  18. I’ll bet the majority of those women who complain about husbands checking out other women are only saying it as a justification/excuse so they can do bad-boys behind their husbands’ backs.

  19. I think thats giving them too much credit. I think that #1 they are insecure and 2 they turn their men off. There are a dozen articles on why men don’t want tot have sex with their wives. Oh my the hamsters in the comments. I know there are actual bad husbands out there, I’m not excusing them, but come on. The sites a magnet for the worst offenders it seems.

  20. Empath, agreed. Mutual submission is almost a contradiction in terms because it cannot work in practice. Matrix organizations were all the rage when I left (insert large multi-national corporation here) in favor of something smaller, more hierarchical, and therefore inherently more sane. Mutual submission = strongest personality wins, whether in the workplace or in the home. The idea that there can be two bosses in any organization reflects either extreme ignorance (of which there was much), but more often a truly Machiavellian undercurrent in which the dotted line wanted to exercise all the control while the solid line was saddled with all the responsibility.

    If you are so inclined, you can read my parting comments on her blog post here which pretty much sums up where I stand on the matter of mutual submission and why I think the scriptural “support” for this view is “greatly exaggerated” (in the sense in which Mark Twain used that phrase).

  21. I wonder why the phrase submit to one another in Eph 5:21 is always contorted into submit equally to one another such that there is no leader. Paul takes great pains in verses 22 all the way through 6:9 to give explicit examples of what he means when he says “submit to one another.” He repeats himself again in Col 3:18-4:1, except this time, there is no mention of “submitting to one another.” Hmmm. Methinks maybe mutual submission was perhaps not his intent? Just sayin’. Anyway, my thoughts are more fully expressed in the link above.

  22. Mrteebs:
    “Mutual submission” was a concept widely preached by the now-disgraced male feminist Hugo Schwyzer. He actually went so far as to suggest men adopt (I’m saying this as delicately as possible here) a certain position during sex that women typically prefer. Schwyzer’s premise for this was supposedly so that men could relate to how ‘traumatic’ female submission was.

    Bernard Chapin was probably closer to the truth when he suggested that Schwyzer was a latent homosexual. It wouldn’t surprise me if that were the case among the males on the links you referenced as well.

  23. Mrteebs:
    I couldn’t resist and took the quiz too. I’m not married, but thought back to my ex-g/f’s. I scored a rather lame 63%. I took the woman’s quiz, based on how my ex-g/f’s would have answered and scored an even worse 49%.

    I thought the questions were a bit slanted too. Questions about sharing feelings, for example: since when does any female give two hoots in hell what men think? lol

  24. I was sitting in the mall just this weekend people watching and meditating on this subject. American women are generally a miserable lot. They are joyfully married and Godly (good for them, keep going sister), they are unhappily married for one reason or another or they are unhappily unmarried (for the most part). In the case of the latter two groups you have raging hypergamy as the most likely culprit. My thought is why would I “lust” to be with any of the above? It’s not like I’m going to be adding to a bevy of submissive wives in some kind of happy harem. I’m not like the Biblical patriarch Job who had the ability to make this happen. You have to have some serious damage or delusion to see happiness in the arms of these women. After that I can look my wife in the eye and say in all honesty that I’m have zero interest in any of these physically attractive train wrecks. Can they replace my wife’s loyal submission with their looks? Can they be happy as a part of my life given the likelihood that their princess syndrome is terminal? Would you lust after someone that had HIV/Ebola and drug resistant syphilis/gonorrhea? What you see out there 99.999% of the time is much worse than that. Their souls are sick unto death.

  25. More on point, I think we are getting into the land of what women wish and mostly what women fear. They fear not being able to obtain and maintain the sexual attention of men, whether they are betas or alphas. Their wellbeing is rooted in their ability to draw these attentions, for offspring and for provision. Losing this drawing power is losing their power as women, like a man losing the power to take care of himself and the ones he loves and provides for. Their whole being (flesh) is wrapped in this endeavor. I think that they are also coming to the realization deep down that mere looks aren’t doing the trick as men are starting to identify the disease that these women are infected with and that it is terminal. Feminism makes women ugly in ways that no amount of looks can cover up. The solution CAN’T be the diminution of their options (rejecting the princess virus) do they have to blame the whole problem on men. Men have to be attracted to what the woman herd says. Or else! And they are serious this time! Doubling down just shows anybody who is paying attention that their ploy to redesign human nature has run out of road.

    Jesus gave them an answer. Nail themselves to the Cross. All the rest are inadequate.

  26. They fear not being able to obtain and maintain the sexual attention of men, whether they are betas or alphas. Their wellbeing is rooted in their ability to draw these attentions, for offspring and for provision. Losing this drawing power is losing their power as women, like a man losing the power to take care of himself and the ones he loves and provides for. Their whole being (flesh) is wrapped in this endeavor.

    A sick confirmation of your observation:

    http://thestir.cafemom.com/love_sex/175995/men_not_attracted_old%22

    I think the root of this is really a statement of lack of passion for one’s husband, or at the very least a lack of appreciation for his attentions.

  27. @Elspeth, I agree.
    “he tells me I am beautiful every day. [so] Instead of worrying about my weight …”

    Keep in mind she’s been married for a while and USED to care about other men’s opinions while married. Would it be so great if more women, like you, would care about their husband’s actual opinions, instead of caring about their husband’s kowtowing to the woman’s opinions?

    “he tells me I am beautiful every day. [therefore] I try to watch my weight …”

    I’m sincerely wondering if I should slightly rethink my hardline stance against these things being the husband’s fault with this question: How much of today’s wives’ most typical lack of appreciation for the husbands’ considerateness stem *from* knowing they have considerate husbands?

  28. GIL & Elspeth:
    Most of them simply won’t acknowledge to themselves that they hate men. Women won’t submit to a man they don’t respect, and today they’re taught not to respect men at all.

  29. Keep in mind she’s been married for a while and USED to care about other men’s opinions while married. Would it be so great if more women, like you, would care about their husband’s actual opinions, instead of caring about their husband’s kowtowing to the woman’s opinions?

    What helps me with this is that my husband doesn’t hold back if I let myself go and look like crap. I can look good, and thanks to the magic of melanin, I can even look younger than my 43 years, but I have to work at it because I am 43. When I look good, he compliments me in response. He doesn’t tell me I’m beautiful every day, although he tells me often enough. Of course, I’m not particularly needy in that department.

    But if I drop the ball for 3 days, or a week, and look every day of my 43 years and then some due to neglect (claims of being busy or tired when I’ve spent a combined total of 2 that day hours online), he’ll call me on that: “You’ve been looking worse for wear for a few days now. What’s up with that?”

    The effect of that is two-fold. The first is that I get up, work out and fix myself up whether I’m going anywhere or not. He is very merciful if I am sick or during times of PMS (sorry if that’s TMI) but other than that, I am compelled to give the same level of respect (or more) to his eyes that most wives have conditioned themselves to save for strangers and friends.

    The second is that I don’t find myself dependent on some random guy’s opinion to let me know if I still *have it*. I haven’t the luxury of being able to take my husband’s thoughts for granted, so I have my hands full at home.

    And if you look as closely as is humanly possible to the girl he married, I would guess that other women don’t have the same amount of lure. And some women just think they’re being hit on hen they’re really not. The woman who wrote that article probably wasn’t getting hit on as much as she thinks was. Especially if she had a baby in tow.

    My husband noted yesterday that one of the guys he works with accused him of flirting with a client. He insisted that he wasn’t flirting with her, just being nice. But apparently she was reacting as if he was flirting with her. Vain imaginations…

  30. @Elspeth re: “I would guess that other women don’t have the same amount of lure.”

    You would be correct. And it’s not just the wife goggles effect, although that is important too. I’m going to quote Rollo quoting Rollo:
    “You see, men will very readily cater their physical sexual “preferences” in accordance with what has proven sexually successful for them in past experiences. In other words, men tend to return to the same watering hole they found to be plentiful in the past. These preferences of convenience manifest themselves as ‘fetishes’ for men.”

    In men, familiarity doesn’t breed contempt, it tends to breed fetishization, provided it is “sexually successful”. And it may be true for some women too. All I know is if (depersonalizing, to avoid trespassing personal boundaries too deeply,because I’m feeling exposed), like a Pavlovian response, if a husband tends to be “sexually successful” with his wife, then when he thinks of sex it WILL be of his wife. She is his “thang”, in a good way. Even if he happens to notice something sexy about some other woman somewhere, it will be because “hey, that reminds me of my wife’s …”

  31. So, now I have a new goal for when I grow up: I want to be my wife’s thang.

    Who knows, maybe I am already.

  32. While there is some truth in what is being said above, it’s actually no different from saying that wives whose emotional needs are met are happier…it can be true but it is not generally true enough to apply as a general principle.

    The issue here is in my opinion a lack of ability to discern between admiration and coveting, because the emotional significance is so great. We can easily understand that I admire a wealthy man’s house without wanting to rob him of it, but it seems harder to figure out when a man admires a woman without lusting after her. This is why what jf12 wrote is true, because to be blunt most people let alone men will not consider stealing to get steak and lobster when they already have a hamburger and know they can get another.

    Coveting and envy are what lead to adultery, not admiration. It is simply foolish to believe that the magic of marriage will make a man not notice the attractiveness of other women, or that it is even something to worry about.

  33. I apologize if my post missed the original meaning of your post Sojourner. I appreciated what you were saying and the questions you were asking. Namely, what does most of this nonsense even mean?

    My husband doesn’t feel inclined to be afraid to say that a woman is pretty. It’s not a big deal if he says it (and he has said it to me), and I never think he’s fantasizing about having sex with the woman. It’s very matter of fact. The issue becomes an issue if (and only if) the wife doesn’t trust her husband or if she feels insecure or threatened by other women. Neither of which are things I’m afflicted with.

    oh, I have my share of insecurities, but I don’t fear my husband leaving me for another woman. Ironically, my fear of that was actually greater when I was much younger.

  34. My husband doesn’t feel inclined to be afraid to say that a woman is pretty. It’s not a big deal if he says it (and he has said it to me), and I never think he’s fantasizing about having sex with the woman. It’s very matter of fact. The issue becomes an issue if (and only if) the wife doesn’t trust her husband or if she feels insecure or threatened by other women. Neither of which are things I’m afflicted with.

    oh, I have my share of insecurities, but I don’t fear my husband leaving me for another woman. Ironically, my fear of that was actually greater when I was much younger.

    Elspeth, this is what I had tried to tell the women over there and, stupidly I know, I used logic, facts and science. They still refused to acknowledge that it was their own insecurities that were often causing the conflict. A happy man may admire but it will usually stop there. A man in an unhappy marriage will wonder…

  35. Sojourner & jf12:
    The problem with your analyses is that you’re assuming that the married man had much to start with. Let’s be candid: most men don’t choose the ‘best option’ for a wife, they choose the least objectionable of their options.

    This is because men don’t have a lot of options to choose from. Add into the mix the media culture which encourages men to believe that we are ‘losers’ if we don’t have access to supermodels (then really throws gasoline on the fire by depicting such women with creepy male celebrities)—you have a perfect storm set up in male psychology for adultery and infidelity.

    What Rollo Tomassi said about ‘preferences of convenience’ is nonsense. If what he said was true, most men would prefer masturbation to actual sex. Most men ‘return to the same watering hole’ because they don’t have any choice. It’s not that men don’t want better women, it’s that better women aren’t available. And today’s women are under no obligation to improve; since men are very much at their mercy.

  36. Eric,

    I cannot support, as a general notion, that men choose the least objectionable option. At risk of seeming to elevate my own experience to typical, I pursued my wife with verve. i was all in, she was not the least objectionable.

    However, part of that is because I was young (26). If I were single now, sure, if marriage was something I was bent on having, then yes I may knowing choose the least objectionable. The thing is the red pill is a bit of a curse in that I can find something objectionable in any of them. that is not a good thing. That same type criteria can sort me into a least objectionable category, even if the metrics are vastly different when women choose men, and if women think less linearly about it.

    Its somewhat relevant, and I do not wish to do a post on it, that Ive been observing my in laws for over a week as they are here visiting. My wife went and got them as they are 80 (FIL) and 78 (MIL) and cannot travel independently.

    One thing has jumped out at me. For years I watched as my FIL would choose to go to bed very early as whatever present family group settled in to share a movie or a board game or whatever. I once considered it a little antisocial, and I can be that way sometimes myself choosing to not participate in large groups of family (being an only child of a single mom the large family dynamic can get to me). I now realize he goes to bed because he is a good man.

    That means he knows his wife will subtly berate him, contradict him, reject any show of affection he initiates, and he simple wants peace. The small kerfuffle when he departs is a price worth paying to avoid her meanness. It would have been easy to miss last evening as we settled in to watch a movie that my MIL had just doggedly argued some trivial fact about the birth year of a grandchild, a factoid irrelevant to the actual conversation, and that he saw it as foreshadowing the next 1.5 hours.

    I also am stricken with how she stands firm in things that she doesn’t have even a tiny grasp on. Finally, as I headed out for a business dinner the other night, my MIL asked me, “will there be women there?”.

    My answer was , “why do you ask?’…..she made no response. Suffice to say that buried in that question is an intersection of irony and hypocrisy that should preclude the thought, let alone the asking.

    This is a 54 year marriage that is settled into the worst detente imaginable. These are folks who have been pinnacle Baptists in every town they have called home. Deacon, Elder, teacher of women. If they exchange 3 sentences she has corrected or contradicted him. Ive known them 25 years and this is not a side effect of aging. Its always been the case. I have reason to believe based on something my FIL said that there has been a 100% intimacy drought for at least 25 years.

    If this is the Christian example, the couples who those churches would have come-along-side of the younger ones, its no wonder things persist.

    Finally, one evening when i came home they were watching Courageous, and raving of its wonderful message. I burned my eyes on the last 30 minutes of it. In a coincidence, when it ended there was a story on the news about a soldier returning from war to find his wife had taken the kids and left him. I made a remark. It went unheard.

  37. What Rollo Tomassi said about ‘preferences of convenience’ is nonsense. If what he said was true, most men would prefer masturbation to actual sex. Most men ‘return to the same watering hole’ because they don’t have any choice. It’s not that men don’t want better women, it’s that better women aren’t available. And today’s women are under no obligation to improve; since men are very much at their mercy.

    Men are simply not taught to look for the best deal while women are fanatical about it. More so than normal hypergamy. I was perusing a dating site and a fat girl rudely rejected me for asking her to send a pic proving she was not fat. I’m no Brad Pitt but I am never alone with less than a 7 or 8 if I choose. She got mad because she was fat and only she had a right to choose and I didn’t. This same attitude is prevalent in probably most marriages today. This is the attitude that drives the hamsterbation in the comments to the article.

    Empath, as you mentioned about Christian marriage, it is true that these examples do not inspire men to marry and these marriages are the ones we are told to emulate because the good ones with both spouses happy with good attitudes is rare to find

  38. Id go so far as to say that in the generation ahead of mine, I was born ’62, even those that would be pointed to as wonderful are so because the man was able to find more and more concessions to make, and he adjusted his expectations to being a draft horse. I’m left disillusioned.

  39. This is the tough thing. We are taught by most modern teachings that there should be some kind of gain in the good we do. However nothing in Christianity promises this. It actually promises that in this life we are more likely to receive the opposite. So it’s not really helpful to receive these platitudes from websites like the one I mentioned.

  40. We are taught by most modern teachings that there should be some kind of gain in the good we do. However nothing in Christianity promises this. It actually promises that in this life we are more likely to receive the opposite.

    This. And for some reason no matter how many times I say it, a woman objects. Sometimes more than one. Conversely, I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard the men in my family (starting with my dad) talk about doing what’s right no matter the gain or cost.

  41. Empath:
    I think we’re probably fairly close to the same age; the difference is that you’ve been married and I’ve been single. I can tell you that the overall quality of women has gone WAYYYYY down since we were younger. I don’t think that can be ascribed to simply an age thing either: younger women today are far less attractive, intelligent, moral or generally worthwhile than they were even a few decades ago; and EW just wrote a post about it:

    http://elusivewapiti.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-coming-idiocracy.html

    What I meant to say is that single men today have very little to choose from in the way of options.

  42. Monkeywerks:
    There is no such thing as female hypergamy. Everyone of them on those dating sites puts out the most unrealistic qualities she supposedly wants in man—but the purpose of doing so is NOT because she really wants a man like that. They do it to disqualify all men to prove to themselves that ‘all men are pigs’ and that ‘there are no good men left’ and then they have an excuse to flop into bed with some bad-boy loser.

  43. Eric

    I wont go so far as there is no hypergamy. Yet I still agree about those lists and site profiles. The nature of Hypergamy is not something that would be expressed in lists on dating sites. A lose comparison would be that men wouldnt write in detail our thinking about a woman’s appearance, mentioning extremely specific things and the hows and whys that draw our attention to them. Clicking that we may seek “athletic”, “tall”, etc is not what Im talking about.

    On those goofy lists women make I agree that they are for the purpose you mention.

  44. It’s hard for both men and women to be virtuous, and I think it always has been if you believe the Bible’s teachings. It is especially hard because we are surrounded by sin all the time. I think it only fair to acknowledge this.

    I’m a sinful man. I believe that by the grace of God I am saved through Christ. I think t is a bloody shame that it is so often presented as being degrading for women to admit the same in the Church.

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