How to Get Your Husband to Stop Checking out Other Women

Three Parts:Considering the SituationAddressing Your HusbandWorking on Correcting the Behavior

There are many reasons why a marriage fails, and a husband checking out other women is definitely one of them. If your husband has been checking out other women, then you might feel hurt, angry, or even less attractive as a result. It is possible to get your husband to stop checking out other women as long as he is willing to work on this behavior.

Part 1
Considering the Situation

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    Determine if there is a problem. There is a difference between noticing other people, and actively ogling them. Keep in mind that most men check out women’s bodies without even thinking about it and women check out other women’s bodies as well.[1] Try to be as objective as possible about the situation to determine if there really is something to be concerned about.
    • For example, if your husband is casting a glance around a room and spending as much time looking at the men's suits as he is looking at the women's dresses, then he is not ogling.
    • If your husband makes a comment that someone looks nice, and his comment is reasonable and not inappropriate (that is, he doesn't say she looks "hot" or "sexy"), its likely not an issue to worry about. It is normal to notice when people look nice, especially when they go out of their way to dress up or get a new haircut. Consider, if you made a similar observation about a man, would your husband have cause for concern?
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    Recognize this is not just "what guys do." If your husband is in fact checking out other women-- that is, his gaze is lingering across their breasts, hips, or butt, or he is making inappropriate comments or facial expressions while looking at them, this is not just normal guy behavior.
    • Keep in mind that it is disrespectful for your husband to ogle other women, especially in your presence.
    • Some men who ogle women may do so because they were taught that manly men treat women badly. Therefore, it is possible that your husband is just doing what he thinks is expected of him.
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    Consider the role of hormones. Men have higher levels of testosterone and testosterone controls the male libido, so staring at women’s bodies is something that men are hard-wired to do.[2]
    • Most men who ogle women developed the habit as teenagers, when their hormones were in overdrive. Looking at an attractive woman and feeling a sexual response gives a chemical response in the brain, which reinforces the behavior as pleasurable and contributes to a real habit that is hard to break.[3]
    • Because it is a habit, it might be something that your husband does not even realize he is doing (like nail biting or nose picking). In that case, your husband might become defensive when you point it out, and is likely to shift the blame to you and accuse you of being jealous, insecure, or overly controlling.
    • But luckily, because it is a habit, it is also possible for him to stop, provided he wants to stop. The key is to help him recognize when he is doing it and help him develop strategies to alter his behavior.
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    Try not to take it personally. It is easy to take it personally when your husband checks out other women, such as by feeling that you must not be attractive enough to keep his attention. But most men who behave this way do it no matter what their wives look like.
    • Remind yourself that your husband is not looking at other women because of something you did. You should not feel like you have to be more attractive to keep his attention. Your husband’s behavior is a habit and it has nothing to do with your looks or any other qualities.

Part 2
Addressing Your Husband

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    Let your husband know when it happens. In the moment, point out the behavior you find inappropriate. It is possible that he does not realize when he's doing it, but mentioning it will help solidify your concerns.
    • Simply say something like, "Why are you staring at that woman's breasts?" Because you are likely in public when this happens, it is probably not a good time to go into a lengthy discussion about the behavior, but pointing it out when it happens will give you a reference point for later when you can bring it up and discuss it.
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    Tell him how it makes you feel. It is crucial that he knows how he is making you feel when he checks out another woman.
    • Try framing your discussion in terms of "When you X, I feel Y." Tell him when he looks at women's bodies or makes inappropriate comments, it makes you feel frustrated, jealous, angry, or disrespected.
    • Next, tell your husband what he could do differently in the future. For example, you might say: "When you looked at Janet's breasts today, I felt really embarrassed and disrespected. In the future I would appreciate it if you would try to show more respect for my friends and for me by not starting at them that way."[4]
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    Do not accept any justification to why your husband does this. He may try to justify what he is doing as right, normal, or unavoidable, and he may turn the blame around on you.
    • When people engage in bad behavior and get called on it, it is common for them to gaslight the person that calls them on it. Gaslighting is when someone makes someone else feel like they are imagining the bad behavior, or like they are crazy or overreacting if they are bothered by bad behavior. It's a way of avoiding taking responsibility for behavior.[5]
    • If this happens, try to disengage from the conversation. Once your husband begins to blame you, it can be hard to turn the conversation around to a productive direction.
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    Decide if this behavior is worth fighting over. If it happened one time, it might be best to drop it, but if it is a recurring behavior or if your spouse blames you by saying you are not attractive enough or too jealous, it might be time to consider marriage counseling.
    • Reinforce the fact he is making you uncomfortable. You must really show him he is making you uncomfortable to be sure he knows you are serious and that you consider what he is doing is completely and utterly wrong, and hurtful to you.

Part 3
Working on Correcting the Behavior

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    Bring the relationship into the picture. If he is still justifying what he is doing, then you need to show him how serious you really are. Tell him that you feel your relationship is threatened by what he does.
    • In a healthy marriage, neither partner wants to engage in behavior that harms the other person or the marriage. If your husband is dedicated to the marriage and to you as his partner, your seriousness over this particular issue should convey to him that his behavior is unacceptable and that it has to change or else the marriage will suffer.
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    Help your husband to break his habit. If you husband feels like he is checking out other women without even realizing it, then his behavior may be a deeply ingrained habit. You can help your husband to break his habit if he is willing to do so.
    • One good way to break a habit is to identify the reward that you get out of the habit and find a way to replace that reward with some form of punishment.[6] For example, if your husband feels aroused when he looks at an attractive woman, then you could show him a picture of something ugly or gross as a punishment for checking out another woman.
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    Seek marriage counseling. If your husband's behavior bothers you and is affecting your marriage, it is time to seek counseling. Often it takes a neutral third party to reinforce that your feelings about this type of behavior are not overreactions, and that this type of behavior is destructive.
    • If you're a member of a faith based organization, marriage counseling is often available through your church. Try to find a therapist with certification in marriage counseling.
    • If marriage counseling doesn't help-- that is, if your husband continues to ogle other women and does not want to or try to change-- then you may want to consider a break. You deserve a relationship built on mutual respect.
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    Seek individual counseling. Individual counseling may also be helpful for you and for your husband. Talking to a counselor on your own can give you a chance to talk about how your husband’s behavior makes you feel. Your husband may also have some issues that he needs to work out with a professional counselor.
    • If you can't afford counseling, check out books that can help you to build self-esteem. Consider Brené Brown's The Gifts of Imperfection or Leslie Vernick's The Emotionally Destructive Marriage.


  • Men who view a lot of pornography or sexually explicit material may be more likely to engage in this type of behavior. If your husband fits this description, be sure to have him bring this up with his counselor, who may be able to determine if there is a relationship.[7]

Article Info

Categories: Marriage Issues