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A reader is tired of her husband's wandering eye - Jo Brand gives her advice

Jo Brand / 14 August 2018 ( 05 September 2019 )

Should you say something if your partner looks at other people, and it upsets you even though you believe it to be harmless?

An older man stares at the waitress in front of his annoyed wife

Dilemma: My husband looks at younger women

My 60-something husband has a habit of looking at younger women. He doesn’t ogle them and would never be disloyal. But it is demoralising.

What do I say?

Jo Brand's advice

I’m fairly convinced that a huge percentage of men look at women and I am often sitting in my car at traffic lights and see a very common scenario acted out: an attractive woman passes a group of men, be they builders or just pedestrians, and their eyes very obviously follow the woman as she passes. Almost as if they can’t help themselves.

But for most women it’s still creepy. Given the increasing power of women, a lot of men disguise their gaze now, but the will to look is still there.

I’m presuming you have been married for quite a number of years, so I wonder why you have left it until now to do anything about it. On the other hand, you may have recently married and noticed it, or he may have started doing it only recently.

I think, in any of these situations, you have to grit your teeth and just come out with it. I hope he’s not a difficult person to talk to. I would say something like (because it’s important not to direct criticism straight at him in a personality-disintegrating kind of way), ‘I find you looking at younger women hurtful and upsetting. Please could you try to stop doing it?’ 

If he says he will, but carries on doing it or just ignores your concern, you have a deeper problem in that he does not respect you, which will need another approach. Here’s hoping we won’t have to go into that one.

Saga readers say...

'Point attractive women out to HIM before he has the chance to ogle. It will take the fun out of it. Believe me, he knows it upsets you, and once the fun has gone!' Ann, via Facebook

'I’d be surprised if a man didn’t look at a younger woman. Look - but don’t touch.' Yvonne, via Facebook

'Maybe she should start looking at younger men.' Vicky, via Facebook

'Does she look at younger men? I bet she does.' Anne, via Facebook

'Do dogs chase cars? You can have fun watching how long he holds his belly in for!' Sandra, via Facebook

'I look at younger men. So long as it's only looking it doesn't matter.' Lynne, via Facebook

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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