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You Asked: He's Attracted to Other Women

You Asked: He's Attracted to Other Women

Dear Sugar,

My common law and I met over the internet six years ago, and we both feel that we have met our soul mates and will be together forever. I love him dearly and we have a good relationship with lots of communication. However, the other day he told me that as he is approaching middle age he has been having urges. He has said that there are women at his work that he's attracted to, and he's been having thoughts about what it would be like to be with someone else.

He swears that he would never act on them or do anything to jeopardize our relationship. We both came from broken families wherein our partners were unfaithful and we have both vowed that we wouldn't do the same to each other but his admission has me concerned. Is this normal?

— Too Much Communication Cara

To see DearSugar's answer


Dear Too Much Communication Cara,

When you've been in a long-term monogamous relationship, it's normal to feel attraction towards other people or even to find yourself with a very small crush. However, even in the most communicative of relationships, disclosing this information is unusual. Typically the attraction is so innocent that it's not worth even worrying about let alone discussing or making the other person uneasy.

I don't know the level of openness between you and your partner so I can't say if this is strange for the both of you, but I do know that if it makes you feel worried or uncomfortable it's definitely not OK to just put aside. I do applaud you for not getting angry with your partner or jumping to any conclusions. I think that says a lot about the trust level in your relationship; however, now it's your turn to disclose. Explain to him how hearing this information made you feel, but make sure he understands that you appreciate his honesty.

More importantly, I think you both need to establish whether or not this disclosure is actually beneficial to your relationship. Discuss his levels of temptation and what that means for your relationship. Ask him to explain why he felt the need to give you this information, and then decide if in the future it's something that's better left unsaid. I'm so glad you both believe in communication, but keep in mind that there's nothing wrong with keeping certain things to yourselves.


Join The Conversation
lvkelly79 lvkelly79 9 years
it's all about trust... if the 2 of you normally confide in eachother, why is this so different? If my bf sees a beautiful woman when he's with me, he'll say so... if we're on the computer together and he sees a hot chick, he'll say so... i do get a lil jealous sometimes, but i know that he's merely making a statement, not trying to get the girl's phone number... It is an exercise in trust because of his admission to being attracted to co-workers, but i think you should really just try to trust him....don't analyze every lil statement to death... if in the 6 yrs you've been together, he hasn't so much as admitted to being attracted to other women, you should cut him some slack... maybe he's just trying to find a way to ask you for a threesome?? :)
flisss flisss 9 years
just want to add to sjj158 about your quote, "If you don't trust your partner then you have a problem." that is entirely untrue. I am not the most trusting person but it's not because i have a problem, it's because i have been betrayed too many times!
MissChita MissChita 9 years
Hello, Its nice that he is so open and honest with you, but for him to go as far to say he wonder what its like to be with them would concern me as well. To me, its one thing for my guy to say he is attracted to another woman (generally speaking), but to say he wonders how the sex would be or whatever would make me think that if he had the opportunity, he would take it. But, tell him how you feel, and how you are concerned, since he has brought these things up to you. It hard to say how the conversation will go from there. But let him know how you feel and really dig in him and if he's open and honest, he will explain why he felt the need to tell you all of that and if in his heart, he has any intentions of going there. This is a hard one, but talk to him first. And most importantly, follow your heart. --Best of luck to you
keencla keencla 9 years
Hi sweetie, I found this website since my boyfriend told me something liket that 3 days ago, I looked myself at the mirror, thought for 2 days and said u think there is someone better than me you will see, ever since my I’ m taking some distance not physically but I’m being reserve given that he hurt me and showing him I pretty inside out :), I’m smart and have a very good friends and people that want to spend time with me. I went to hairdresser and even got a new look he start behaving like a puppy since last night now and I’m going to keep acting like this until I feel he has totally reacted. The point is believe in you, empower you and hopefully we can get the best out of this relationships otherwise it will be their loss.
Karma87 Karma87 9 years
Well, I'd love to be blissfully ignorant on this topic, however I'm all too aware of how attractive my husband finds other women. For a few months when we were starting our relationship, he was so totally focused on me and then one day...not so focused. And I hate it. I don't care what he does when I'm not around and he knows it, I've said so but when I'm with him and he stops in mid-sentence because he's so taken by the sight of a lovely lady, it makes me want to hurl. I do know he'd never go off with another woman and this is what saves his ass. This is a timely post as just this morning we had a round about it, because he tried telling me again that he "never looks anymore." Bullsh*t! And I told him so. We'll work it out, but I'll be dipped in sh*t before I would ever believe that he doesn't ever check out other women, when he does it with me 6 inches away! I want my ignorant bliss back. Really.
workin9to5 workin9to5 9 years
We all agree that everyone has these thoughts. But telling your significant other about them doesn't make sense unless something is wrong in the relationship that he wants to discuss. In that case, I hope they discussed their other issues. But the poster didn't mention that at all, just that he told her this, and now what should she do? She should talk to him about what this means and what he wants to do now. Maybe everything is fine, but she needs to address why he brought this up.
sunshowers83 sunshowers83 9 years
pixiedust1010, I totally agree!! I mean, we all have ridiculous fantasies that don't have any bearing whatsoever on reality. When I walk by a fancy convertible with the top down, I fantasize about jumping in just to see what it's like to sit in it. When my friend falls asleep during a movie, I fantasize about drawing a nice curly French mustache on his face with a sharpie. When I go to a restaurant, I might be tempted to skip the entree and order every desert instead. That doesn't mean I would ever EVER do any of these things in real life! And having these thoughts does not make me a bad person. A decent person isn't someone who has never had an impure thought - you know, unless you're under the delusion that your man is the second coming of Christ, in which case you should really seek some help. A decent person is someone who has human weaknesses but has the care and discipline not to act on their urges.
sunshowers83 sunshowers83 9 years
I think petite42 hit the nail on the head. Everyone has these thoughts, it's only natural. The man is being honest, and he clearly just needs some reassurance that it's okay to have an imagination. Just acknowledge it for what it is, which is harmless fantasy. If you make a huge deal out of it, you'll only reinforce his fears that there's something wrong with the relationship and it'll become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Not to mention the power of reverse psychology. If my boyfriend ever tells me that he doesn't find other women attractive, I'll tell him to stop the BS. In fact, my boyfriend and I have a lot of silly fun discussing the relative hotness of everyone we know, of people we see walking down the street, etc. If I think a guy is hot, I never hesitate to ask my boyfriend's opinion. Often, I'm the one pointing out hot girls to him, and he'll point out guys to me. At the end of the day, we go to bed with smiles on our faces because both of us know that there isn't anyone else we'd rather be cuddled up with. For the women who disagree, the fact is that you'll NEVER find a hot-blooded straight/bi male who truly thinks that you're the only decent looking female on the planet. So you'll either have to spend the rest of your life single or blissfully ignorant. If you honestly believe that your man would never have even a smidgen of a dirty thought about another woman, well... I have a bridge I'd like to sell you...
Leanne1078 Leanne1078 9 years
I'd really like to know where all the women that are posting that those of us who don't think this is a red flag are being naive find their perfect men. Because you all must be alone if you are this careful! If you really don't think that your men don't look at other women and don't fantasize about having sex with other women, then you are naive. I doubt there is any man that wouldn't do that at least once in his life (or once a week more likely!) It is not about what you think about doing, it is what you DO that defines you. Many of your men probably flirt with some coworkers or other girls now and then. They just don't tell you. I really think her man just wanted some reassurance for himself that nothing was wrong with him. If she goes and leaves him for him confessing this, then he will never feel good about himself and will probably end up cheating on his next relationship because he couldn't win when he was honest.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
I think it says a lot about your relationship that he would tell you this instead of acting on it. I also commend you for not getting angry or accusatory. It must be hard to hear that but I'm sure you've had innocent thoughts like this too. I think it's great that you're at that level with each other. While you might not want to hear that he thinks about other women like that at least you know. I'd ask him if there are things he'd like to do with you. These are perfectly normal feelings and if you'd rather not know then you can tell him not to tell you in the future.
AnnaLove AnnaLove 9 years
This grosses me out! I would dump this man as politely as he told me he thinks other women are hot.
petite42 petite42 9 years
Wow, we often say about affairs, "It wasn't the sex so much, it was the lying and dishonesty." We rate honesty as highly important in our relationships. Then when a person *is* honest, we say he shouldn't have been??? What is wrong with that picture?
almost-famous almost-famous 9 years
I believe some people think with their hearts and not minds... It's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. I wish the poster with the problem all the luck!
sjj158 sjj158 9 years
Workin9to5 I agree that he shouldn't have told her. That was, in my opinion, his only mistake. I have a friend who is the mist of marriage counseling and after an "honesty" session my friends husband told her that he'd fantasized about several of her friends. This was completely out of line but he just thought he was being honest. My friend flipped out, of course, and later when I told my husband about it he said, "Great, all that has done is reinforce to him that being honest doesn't really mean being honest. He'll remember that he was punished for that." After talking to my friend she said her husband said the exact same thing. It's not always a case of pending infidelity; especially in marriages. If you don't trust your partner then you have a problem. He made a mistake, I agree but eventually you have to get over it and move on. And AlmostFamous, my logic is to not over react and make a situation something it's not. I can't read his mind, if he says something I have to believe it, otherwise the marriage might end in divorce. My marriage is based on trust and working things out. People get divorced because they aren't willing to work things out and stick out the tough times. I see too many women on this site that immediately jump to the conclusion that every mistake should lead to dumping your partner/SO. If you are truly married for the right reasons then you should be willing to at least *attempt* to work things out.
almost-famous almost-famous 9 years
Thanks, workin9to5 and cvandoorn I don't know what type of logic some women have. This is the very exact reason so many marriages end in a divorce! Stop over looking a potentially bad situation. Beware....ladies!!!!!
workin9to5 workin9to5 9 years
sjj158, I just don't get why he told her. Yes, everyone fantasizes about being with other people from time to time. But what is the purpose of telling your partner that? If everyone knows that everybody fantasizes, then what was the point of telling her this like it's news? Just to "be honest" about it? That doesn't make any sense. It doesn't add up. For me, there are three reasons why he could have brought this up to his "soulmate:" 1. He wants to get the guilt off his chest for even thinking about acting on his urges, which means he almost went for it and he is selfishly using her to feel better 2. He thinks he might slip up and act on his urges and wants to warn her and be able to say later that he did 3. He wants her to do more sexually interesting/fun things, either just the two of them or with some other women because he is bored For me, none of these reasons count as just being open and honest, and for me, none would be acceptable. If others can think of some other valid reason for why he'd tell her this, then I would love to know. But because of these things, I find it to be a red flag for sure.
sjj158 sjj158 9 years
I also meant to say that dreaming or fantasizing about other men doesn't make me love my husband any less or that I am going to go do something with someone else.
sjj158 sjj158 9 years
I don't agree with this being a "red flag" either. While I admit I am a jealous woman and would have a hard time dealing with it inside I would know that it's just his thoughts... If I don't see any other actions suggesting otherwise why shouldn't I trust him? We ALL know men are visual. They think about having sex with other women and have fantasies.. why is this any different, because he told you? Big deal. Don't you ever have dreams about having sex with someone else? If you say no, I don't believe you.. every woman I know has dreams about having sex with other men (and just because you are asleep doesn't mean your subconscious doesn't know what it's doing).
petite42 petite42 9 years
I think the key here is that you view yourselves as soulmates, and that you both come from broken families in which your partners were unfaithful. Some people have a belief that goes like this: "If you are my soulmate, then I would never be attracted or tempted to anyone else but you." Problem with that belief is that when one finds himself attracted to another, the immediate response is "Oh, then you must NOT be my soulmate afterall!! I was wrong all along!!!" Your partner is completely flustered because he's discovering that it is possible to be attracted to someone else. And now it's dawning on him what his ex might've felt. Does that mean he's doomed to cheat too??? He's scared. What makes people not cheat is that they don't act on the attraction. Everyone has attractions. It has no bearing on how much he loves you, and how right the two of you are for each other. Just keep the conversation going, and try to abandon any magical thinking you two might have going on in your heads. This does not mean he's going to cheat, it does not mean you aren't soulmates. P.s. The number one most effective way to nip a potential temptation in the bud is to confide in your partner. This is because affairs flourish in secrecy. It's no longer a secret, so he will probably find that the temptations he's having start to disappear.
geebers geebers 9 years
I think the main thing to do here is to tell him exactly how you feel. Maybe start with: "Everyone is attracted to other people. It makes us human. I don't really understand why you felt the need to tell me this UNLESS you are warning me that you are going to be unfaithful. If you have the urge to cheat and are being honest with me because you want to throw it in my face in the future that at least you were honest, then we need to have a serious discussion about this. If you are being honest because you feel it is the right thing to do, I appreciate it and I think it is perfectly OK for you to feel attracted to someone who is not me. Im attracted to guys who are not you but I love you and I am committed to this relationship." Reword that however you like but it needs to be said.
workin9to5 workin9to5 9 years
This is so selfish. If/when he cheats, he can say "well I told you I was having these feelings" like that will make it better. And if she doesn't "spice things up" and try to be like the other women he's attracted to, it can somehow be partly her fault that he strayed. Ridiculous. But really, what is she supposed to do now? Chain him down? Talk him out of cheating on her? I mean really, how is this openness going to help cure his urges? If he wants to cheat, then he will. It should be HIM that stops HIMSELF from cheating. Her knowing only causes pain for her and relieves a bit of his guilt. He needs to manage his urges on his own. This is the definition of "red flag." All that means is you have to watch out for yourself. Don't just expect that he's been honest and open and that makes him so great, and now everything is okay. It isn't.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
I may be wrong but I am just going to say it. This is not a red flag. A red flag would be if he started changing his attitude towards you, i.e. staying out late, shopping and primping himself, treating you like shi* and then your wonder ohhh, what happen, what is wrong with me. He is being a man and telling you what he is feeling. Most do not. I agree with Berlin. What you should do now is communicate, spice it up, ask him why, what is it about this woman. Now if he went and cheated on her, you all would be calling him out. If you think he is wrong for being honest b/c he hurt her feelings, get over it. You all are adults, he is being a man and now you need to be a woman. You need to let him know cheating will not be tolerated. Now if he goes and does it you need to make the choice kick his a** out and move on or be the rug he walks on.
happiness80 happiness80 9 years
So a man who is communicative and open is now a "red flag"???? So what about men who are closed and keep it all in and dont say what's on their mind and are un-communicative??? perfect boyfriends and men?? It is at least good that you are talking with your man. As long the lines of communication are always open you are on a good foundation.
cvandoorn cvandoorn 9 years
If he cared about her feelings, he wouldn't make her feel worried like this...I agree with almost famous...
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
I have mixed feelings about his admission. It's one thing to be attracted to other women (which I think is normal), but it's another thing to have thoughts about being with someone else. See the difference? I guess I do. If I were the you, I would have some concern. He may not be as dedicated to your relationship as he may intend. Time will tell.
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