When your husband looks at another woman what is he thinking

April 17, 2024 |Gideon Hanekom

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It’s a scene that happens often—a man in a relationship out and about casually glances at another woman while being with his wife or partner. This is probably more common than not, but it often sparks curiosity (why does he do that if he’s with someone already), discomfort, and sometimes even conflict within relationships. But what is really going on behind those fleeting glances? When your husband looks at another woman, what is he thinking?

I’ll be the first to admit that understanding the psychology behind why men look at other women can be complex, often involving a tapestry of biological impulses, societal norms, and personal emotions.

There’s probably not just one right answer. In fact, there are probably as many correct answers as there are men looking, although I would argue that it probably does come down to a few core things (with many “sub-things”)

Yet, or perhaps because of that, this topic captures our interest because it touches on trust, desire, and the very nature of attraction.

When your husband looks at another woman

We will also consider the role of societal influences and media in shaping perceptions of attractiveness.

Psychological factors such as curiosity and the quest for variety also play a part in this intriguing aspect of human behaviour.

By examining these elements, we aim to shed light on an action that is often misinterpreted and can lead to feelings of insecurity or jealousy.

Our exploration seeks to offer a deeper understanding of the dynamics at play when a husband looks at another woman, providing a foundation for empathy and open communication within relationships.

Some Reasons Why Men Look at Other Women

Evolutionary Theories

The first shot at explaining why your man is looking when your husband looks at another woman involves evolutionary theory.

For instance, have you ever wondered why men seem naturally inclined to notice women other than their partners?

Well, evolutionary theories suggest that males are biologically wired to be attentive to potential mates.

This behaviour, known as mate-seeking, is thought to increase the chances of reproductive success.

From an evolutionary standpoint, spreading one’s genes is a fundamental drive, and noticing fertile partners is part of this process.

In other words, although modern society vastly differs from our ancestors’ environment, these primal instincts seem to be still hardwired and can, therefore, still influence behaviour.

When your husband looks at another woman

It’s an answer and a potential reality that might leave many uncomfortable, the idea that our evolutionary tendencies still influence us, but it is what it is.

Just because we are hardwired a certain way does not mean we are victims of them.

We can still choose; just.

Societal Influences and Media Portrayal

But it’s not all about biology.

Society also plays a significant role in shaping what we perceive as attractive, and that has exploded in recent years with the rise of the Internet and social media in particular.

Social media (and media in general) bombards us with images of beauty and desirability, often setting unrealistic standards for both men and women.

These portrayals can often affect how individuals view others and what they find appealing.

So, when men look at other women, they may respond to ingrained societal messages about attractiveness that have been reinforced over time through movies, advertisements, and social media.

That can often lead to unfair comparisons built on a shaky foundation, so it’s crucial to be watchful of that.

It’s easy to become disgruntled at the mother of your children carrying extra weight after having had kids while comparing her to young adult models or influencers on social media who were just kids a few years ago.

Psychological Factors

Curiosity and variety-seeking can also be key psychological factors and drivers in this type of behaviour.

Humans are naturally curious creatures, and men are no exception.

Moreover, we need variety or novelty (levels differ per person) to maintain interest, excitement, and commitment.

The allure of novelty can be compelling, and the desire to experience variety might explain why some men glance at other women.

It doesn’t necessarily mean the person intends to be unfaithful or is dissatisfied with their current relationship.

Instead, it might be a simple, albeit sometimes unsettling, manifestation of an innate human trait.

The answer is also often very straightforward: a couple needs to work hard to maintain healthy levels of uncertainty, novelty, and unpredictability in their relationship.

If all you have is security and predictable days, you might find stability in your relationship, but not necessarily one filled with fun, excitement, sensuality, and even lust from time to time.

When your husband looks at another woman

And yes, these things are all important in any love relationship.

The same is the other way around, of course; lust without some security (e.g., knowing the bills can be paid) will also run out of steam and turn to nothing.

Coping Mechanisms and Solutions

Now, when your husband looks at another woman, chances are you might experience some emotions ranging from amusement to full-blown jealousy. Every person and situation is different.

Regardless, it’s doubtful that you won’t feel anything.

But not all the emotions you’ll experience will be detrimental to your relationship.

The more nagging ones that linger and cause you to react to rather than handle the situation might be.

So, let’s look at how to deal with things like insecurity and jealousy.

Dealing with Insecurities and Jealousy

Firstly, when feelings of insecurity or jealousy arise, it’s essential to address them head-on.

Now, that doesn’t mean reacting in a fit of jealous rage, everything but.

One effective coping mechanism is practising self-compassion.

The most important skill to develop is self-awareness, which means asking yourself: What is really going on here? especially if it bothers you more than you expected it to when your husband looks at other women.

However, second to that is also practising self-compassion.

Remind yourself that it’s natural to feel this way and that you’re not alone.

Engaging in positive self-talk and looking at facts can help shift your perspective from self-doubt to self-assurance.

Additionally, pursuing personal interests and hobbies can bolster your self-esteem and distract you from unfounded “negative” emotions.

However, if you find that these emotions increase over time rather than subside, it might be worthwhile opening up to a trusted friend for support without judgment or talking to a professional counsellor if feelings become overwhelming.

Building Trust and Open Communication

The second major thing to do is to address the issue of trust because trust is the cornerstone of any healthy relationship.

So, solidifying the trust between you and your spouse will go a long way.

And to build or strengthen trust, start by having open and honest conversations with your partner about your feelings.

It’s important to express your concerns without assigning blame.

Use “I feel” statements to convey your emotions and listen actively when your partner shares theirs.

Additionally, doing regular check-ins can also ensure that both partners feel heard, understood, and valued.

With that in mind, you can use the following guidelines:

  • Set aside time for uninterrupted dialogue about your feelings, and also discuss each other’s needs and expectations. Speak only for yourself but make sure to hear and understand your spouse.
  • Then, work together to establish boundaries that respect both partners’ comfort levels, especially when it comes to openly looking at other people of the opposite sex. Or lay down the boundaries you’re both comfortable with.
  • Thereafter, be transparent about your actions to reassure your partner of your commitment.

Addressing Underlying Issues

Now, there may also be deeper reasons behind why a partner looks at others, such as feeling unsatisfied in the relationship or personal insecurities.

These are probably more serious and more difficult to address.

Sometimes, a couple just needs to adopt new habits to ensure they stay connected, whereas underlying issues can involve emotional or physical disconnection that’s been going on for a while.

In that case, reflecting on the root causes is crucial to addressing these issues.

And once identified, couples can work together to find solutions that strengthen their connection.

Perhaps rekindling romance through dates or shared activities can reignite the spark and redirect attention back to each other.

Other ideas can include:

  • Engaging in couple’s therapy to navigate complex emotions with professional guidance.
  • Reaffirming your commitment by making an effort to appreciate and celebrate one another.

Analyzing the role of external influences and considering reducing exposure to them.

It is vital to address your current level of connection, not by fighting about it, but by talking about it, laying the cards on the table and working towards a plan to fix things.

And sometimes you will need someone with special training to assist you.

Conclusion and Call-to-Action

As we wrap up this brief look at men looking at other women, it’s essential to revisit the key points that lead to this common but complex behaviour.

Understanding the evolutionary, societal, and psychological factors offers a clearer picture of why such behaviours occur.

This insight is crucial as we focus on fostering stronger, more understanding relationships.

Reflect on the Psychology

Recognizing the role of instinct and social conditioning is a vital step in comprehending the intricacies of our partners’ actions.

While it may be wired into human nature to notice others, acknowledging this does not mean condoning hurtful behaviour.

Instead, it serves as a foundation for empathy and nuanced dialogue between partners.

Self-Reflection and Understanding

Encouraging self-reflection is a powerful tool for personal growth and relationship enhancement.

By examining our own insecurities and how we interpret our partners’ actions, we can better understand our emotional responses.

This self-awareness can lead to improved self-esteem and a more resilient bond with your partner.

Actions to Enhance Communication and Respect

Open communication is the cornerstone of a healthy relationship.

And proactive discussions about feelings and boundaries can prevent misunderstandings and foster mutual respect.

Here are some actionable steps you can take:

  • Initiate regular check-ins with your partner to discuss relationship dynamics openly.
  • Express your feelings without accusation or blame, using “I” statements to convey your emotions.
  • Listen actively to your partner’s perspective and validate their feelings, even if they differ from your own.
  • Work together to establish boundaries that respect both partners’ needs and comfort levels.

Finally, if you find these issues persistently troubling, consider seeking support from a counsellor or therapist who can provide professional guidance tailored to your situation.

In summary, while men looking at other women can stir a myriad of emotions, understanding the underlying psychology can offer solace and direction.

By engaging in self-reflection, fostering open communication, and respecting each other’s boundaries, couples can navigate these challenges and strengthen their partnership.

Embrace these strategies with compassion, and you’ll pave the way for a relationship grounded in trust and mutual respect.

About the author

Gideon Hanekom

Gideon Hanekom is the creator of TheRelationshipGuy.com, a popular relationship blog that ranks among the top 50 relationship blogs in 2024. The website helps couples to create happier, healthier, and more intimate relationships. Gideon is a trained professional counsellor and holds post-graduate degrees in Theology and Psychology. His articles have also been featured on respected platforms such as Marriage.com and The Good Men Project.

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