It’s that sneaky behaviour you’ve just started noticing. You enter the room and your husband quickly shuts the laptop down. Or he’s constantly on his phone in another room.
Of course, it could all be innocent, but what if you suspect your husband is looking at ladies online? Should you be worried or is it just boys being boys?
Do you confront him outright? What does it mean if he’s looking at other women online? Is he bored with you and thinking of having an affair? Are you not good enough for him any more? Or is it simply no big deal, it's human nature and doesn’t mean the marriage is ending?
Before we discuss whether you should be worried about your significant other and what to do about it, let’s examine the reasons why men look at other women online.
When guys look at other women it can feel like a betrayal. There are lots of reasons for a husband looking at females, but the biggest one is simple – they get pleasure from it. Now, there are also lots of different ways you can view females on the internet.
There are the obvious porn sites where a man can watch sex acts. There are also chatrooms where guys can converse with females. In addition, there are social media like Facebook.
So you need to see what kind of woman he is looking at and the extent of his interactions.
If he’s looking at nude or provocative images let’s call it what it is – porn. So, if he’s looking at porn he’s obviously using this as masturbation material. The fact is that the vast majority of us masturbate and guys, in particular, need visual stimulus to get aroused.
If this is what he’s doing it’s perfectly natural, but does it bother you? Do you feel as if you are not good enough because if you were he wouldn’t need to look at porn?
If that’s the case try talking to your husband and asking why he needs additional outlets for his sex drive. It might look like he has a porn addiction to you but it is not necessarily the case.
Some people spend their life on the internet. I’ve got friends that will happily invite me over for a coffee to chat, then they’ll spend the next two hours on their phone. I’m right there in front of them but they are checking emails, answering texts and calls.
I don’t understand it.
So this could just be something that your husband does. He does all of his social interacting on the internet. However, it’s the tone of the conversations you need to pay attention to.
Is he overly flirtatious? Does he ever suggest meeting in the real world? Does he send and receive nude and explicit photographs?
That’s when you should worry.
If it’s just normal banter amongst friends and acquaintances you needn’t worry. This goes for social media too. If your husband is constantly looking through Facebook or Instagram, check to see whether he knows them and it is just everyday social contact.
Now, if your husband is simply skimming through the internet searching for sexy pictures to ogle, he may purely like the shape of the female body.
And let’s face it, he, like most other guys, are programmed to like the female body. Otherwise, we’d never procreate.
You have to decide whether this searching is fairly innocent and taps into his biological need, or if he’s becoming obsessive.
Remember, a man can’t help noticing beautiful and sexy ladies; it’s in their nature. Just like we can’t help but notice a handsome man in a film or TV show. It’s a natural and healthy reaction to the opposite sex.
Studies show that males and females are biologically wired differently when it comes to sex and arousal. Not only do men have this primal reaction to visual stimuli, but they also attracted to novelty and new sights.
On the other hand, females prefer the familiar; they are attracted over time. They need to get to know someone. And this plays into our evolutionary background.
It was crucial for our male ancestors to impregnate as many women as they could to ensure the survival of their genes. Therefore it was in a man’s best interest to be attracted to many women, instantly, and to new and different body types and looks.
However, women could not do the same. If they got pregnant it was in their best interest to have found a good father figure to their child. Preferably one who would stay around and help raise it.
Instant attraction and multiple sex partners didn’t work for women. Actually, women would have a better chance of finding a good father for their kids if they spent time and got to know them first. Then they could make an informed decision about whether to have sex or not.
So a man is hardwired to search for attractive females; it’s a natural instinct. The fact he is my husband and in love and has every intention of being faithful is meaningless when compared to this biological impulse.
And there are even more differences between men and women.
Men don’t have to have an emotional connection with a woman in order to feel aroused. When men see a sexy woman they react instantly and instinctively.
Their brains are flooded with hormones and chemicals that give them a pleasurable feeling. It’s this instinct that overrides their feelings for their partner.
Men will have an immediate physical response to sexy images way before their moral code has a chance to kick in. Their brains are already in arousal mode before the slower decision-making part can react.
I’m saying that men can’t help but feel this primitive reaction. Of course, they can help what they do with these feelings. So there are two things to be worried about:
No caring husband wants to cause his wife hurt or distress. So if everything is perfectly legit and he’s just using these images of women like a little light porn to get him aroused, don’t beat him up about it.
Just because he’s looking doesn’t mean he’s looking for them offline too.
So, how do you know if your husband is simply viewing females as an innocent sexual release or there’s more to it?
It’s one thing to admit 'my boyfriend looks at other girls', or that 'my husband looks at other females on Facebook' but it’s quite another for these men to engage with them. So, is your husband in actual contact with any of these women? And by contact I mean ‘liking’ or commenting on their pictures, chatting to them or exchanging phone numbers?
It’s that you can look but don’t touch kind of advice. Looking can be innocent but when a man begins to chat, send texts, meet up, or Facetime this can lead to problems.
Indeed, some men do have a lot of female friends and we all tend to keep in touch via the internet. But is this so-called friend is being kept a secret? Does your husband mind you listening in on the conversations he has with her?
Is he happy for you to view his text messages? His call logs? His internet history? If he is, I would suggest you have little to worry about.
It’s when the behaviour becomes secretive or obsessive there could be a problem. Does he make inappropriate comments to her? Is he always on the internet these days, preferring to spend time on his phone rather than with you?
These signs could be an indication that he is falling in love with another woman. Or that he’s about to cheat on you. So what can you do about it?
Has the honeymoon period ended and those first intense bursts of passion changed into something else? When we first fall in love our brains emit these powerful hormones that help to bond us.
For men, these hormones can help to stop their biological instincts to procreate with as many other different women as possible.
It is during this early falling-in-love process that we become infatuated with one another. We might ignore our partner’s blatant and irritating habits as we tend to idolise them in our mind’s eye. And for a while, all is well.
Then after a few years, we become more comfortable with each other. We stop putting on our best behaviour and we act more naturally. We let our bad habits show. We might not even have much time to spend with our partners due to the arrival of children.
As such, men can feel neglected and this is when that hardwiring kicks in again.
So how can you make your husband fall in love with you after the initial passion has worn off? Don't worry, there is more than one way.
Communication is key here. Being able to tell your husband honestly how you feel about his wandering eye and listening to his responses.
However, it’s equally important to talk through your feeling without attributing blame or making someone feel ashamed because of what they are doing.
Show empathy and understanding by opening up about how you feel vulnerable and unloved is a better way forward than pointing the finger at someone.
Men are going to masturbate, it’s a fact. And whether you like it or not, they are going to want to look at something sexy while they do it.
You can accept this as part of a normal sex life (which it is) or you can act like Mary Poppins and have a coronary. You can, however, ask him to be honest and upfront about his internet viewing.
And while you’re at it, why not set some realistic and healthy boundaries together?
For example, it would be perfectly reasonable to agree that he doesn’t look too much or interact with the women he is viewing.
It can be shocking to discover your husband is looking at other women online, but it doesn’t have to be a disaster.
If both parties are willing to talk and respect one another’s feelings you should be able to work it out.