My husband’s flirting is getting the best of me

My husband flirts with women nearly every time we are out together. He will find some reason to chat with an attractive woman who is not always in our company. At times, he gets up close and personal with them, mainly when dancing. They do not pull away because he is handsome and a very good dancer.

Over the years I have handled it in different ways but mostly anger and not talking to him for days. Then everything goes back to normal for a while. He rarely apologizes and he says he is not doing any harm. He generally does not want to discuss it. In fact, he never talks about "us" and does not seem able to express his feelings to his children or me.

He is a good man otherwise and it is the only problem in our home but a huge one for me. We are married a long time and I would like some advice. I have tried talking and telling him how I feel using feeling words and not blame but nothing changes.

Response:

Situations where your husband’s actions are repeatedly causing you harm can put a lot of strain on your relationship.

And as you know, dealing with the issue with anger or ignoring it does not work.

In addition to explaining how the situation makes you feel by describing your feelings without assigning blame (see talk about problems), there are several more things you can do.

To begin with, when it happens again talk to your husband about how it makes you feel (like you’ve been doing). Then tell him how much pain it causes you—to the point where you’re no longer enjoying yourself. Tell him that you would like to come up with a solution where this doesn’t happen. Don’t try to control the outcome, but tell him that you would like to talk about ways of solving this issue together.

Also ask him to take your perspective into account. Ask him to put himself in your shoes for a minute. Ask your husband how he would feel if you gave your attention to other attractive men when you were out together.

It also helps to encourage him to explain his side of the story. Ask him to share how he feels about the situation. When your husband is describing his perspective listen to him. You don’t have to agree with what he says, but if you can try to understand his perspective, he’ll be more likely to take your feelings into account.

When couples take the time to listen to each other—both sides get the chance to talk about their point of view—couples tend to become more mindful and considerate.

 husband flirts

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