Relationships: Is it a wrong instinct to look at other women, asks Dr Olubusola Ijaduola

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Real questions from Real people; your sincere answers are welcome. And please note that these two people are not married to each other!

Question 1:  I’m happily married and I love my husband very much.  But he drives me crazy when he looks at other women as they walk by on the street or in a restaurant.  I feel so embarrassed going out with him.  Shouldn’t he look just at me?  What’s wrong with him?

My Opinion: I think you should look at other guys too and let him jump on his feet!

What’s wrong with your husband is that he was born a man.  Men are very attracted to the physical.  They’re turned on by sight.  When a beautiful woman who is well put together walks by a man in a restaurant, he’s not thinking, I wonder if she likes literature; he’s just drawn to her physical nature.

If it’s just simply looking at someone of the opposite sex and not gawking at her with lustful intention, that might be a simple rebuke to let him know how you feel about that, especially if you’re with him.

We all look at people of the opposite sex everyday, I might sometimes say something like “you look cute or you look sharp,” and if you’re in the business world, you’re inundated  with them.  It’s important that your husband knows how you feel, this is not his problem but “our problem”, get it solved together.

Question 2: I’m happily married but sometimes when I look at other women, I get aroused.  It just happens.  Is that wrong? How long is too long to look at a woman, I know the Bible talks about lusting in your heart, I just don’t understand.

My Opinion: It’s certainly a normal male physiological response to be aroused by seeing an attractive woman.  Short of having some serious, disfiguring surgery to rid you of sight, that tendency may continue into old age! Lol  But here’s the real issue:  What does a guy do in response to visual arousal?

That’s where lust begins but you can overcome that.  “Wow, didn’t God do well when He designed women?”  That might be a better expression when you look at an attractive woman.  Instead of lusting you can just acknowledge and remember that  your spouse is God’s gift to you and look away.  I just personally feel sorry for men these days with all these unwanted flesh that is out there but you can control it if you want.  That may include walking away or changing channel if you’re watching the TV.

The sense of unity and fulfillment that is so essential to a successful marriage isn’t destroyed by a single act or event.  It erodes gradually in small, barely discernible ways.  Only after months or years do you realize how far you have drifted apart.  You might think you are happily married but personally I think you do not have a fulfilled marriage.  If you are truly in love with your spouse and everything is going on well between you two, I don’t think another woman can arouse you by just looking!

To get a feel for where your marriage is, take a look at these signs of  Marital Erosion: (Marital Erosion means, there is a crack somewhere)

  1. You find it difficult to be with your spouse: Busyness is always a barrier to intimacy, but when your marriage slips into lower priority than the children, work, church, or social events or activities, watch out.  A marriage that provides minimal rewards will get minimal attention.
  2. You are irked by your spouse’s behavior ( everything she does now is annoying):  Normally we adjust to quirks in our mates that we find annoying.  However, when things aren’t going well between us, those habits grate at us.  We may react with put-downs, patronizing sarcasm, or avoidance,  but the effect is the same – wider distance between us.
  3. You depend less on your spouse:  A healthy marriage includes a comfortable balance dependency.  Two partners leaning on each other for support.  When one or both partners are dissatisfied with the marriage, dependency creates quilt or anxiety.  It becomes easier to regress to independence than to ask your mate to meet your needs.
  4. You quit sharing details of your life:  In the daily routines of life, spouses share bits and pieces of information.  When the marriage is slipping, sharing even minor experiences and ordinary schedules feels threatening.
  5. You’re less interested in sex:  A man’s drive for sex and a woman’s need for closeness aren’t enough – when the magic between them is gone, so is sexual desire.  Spouses purposefully avoid each other.  Or they subtly increase the emotional distance between them by voicing physical complaints, arguing prior to bedtime, or going to bed at different times.
  6. You want to spend more time with someone other than your spouse:  Remember that adrenaline surge you felt when you first saw your mate? Whatever that was – hormones, unresolved needs, the competitive urge, or heavenly touch – lovers light up when their beloved appears.  When you find yourself lighting up for someone else, look out!
  7. You get secretive about money:  When marriages begin to fail, partners start looking out for themselves rather than each other.  They stop giving full disclosure about their finances especially if joint account now becomes private account.  Money, like sex, is a powerful barometer of marital health.  Withholding money from each other signals problems.

If you are wondering what it would be like to be married to someone who makes you feel wanted and beautiful  rather than the inattentive, unresponsive person you’re stuck with – you are vulnerable to an affair, watch out.  Someone doesn’t wake up one morning and decide to have an affair, it is gradual.

It begins innocently, you think you can control it or you just think you’re having fun.  Decide that you will not let vulnerability trap you into a compromising situation, and then your status becomes “Complicated”.

Get some help for your marriage, talk to your spouse how unhappy you’ve been and how much you want things to improve.  You can both look into professional counseling or attend a marriage enrichment seminar TOGETHER.

If you think you still can’t but look and get aroused, you might need to operate on your eyes after all, remember the Bible says if your eyes will not cooperate with you, pluck it out?  Or I might recommend you wearing patches on both eyes. (just kidding).  But on a more serious note, when God created Eve for Adam, there was no Jenifer/James for him to compare her with.  You just need to turn up the heat in your bed and save some money on your electric bill, and if you need some ideas on how to turn up that heat…watch out on this page, I’ll be back!!!