Perhaps you saw him lingering on his colleague’s Instagram profile a little too often or the LinkedIn profile of his HR is always open on his desktop. You may have tried to ignore it at first, but when a dating app notification pops up on his phone, your cries of “my husband looks at other females online” are justifiably upsetting.
A Reddit user shares, “I’ve even asked recently for an early night (quite clearly for a bit of you know what) and was told that he wasn’t in the mood. But it hurts that he’s obviously still in the mood to ogle girls online. Am I being unreasonable? Should I raise it with him? Or just try to forget, work on other issues, and just pass this as just what guys do?”
You may even believe — or are led to believe — that you’re being crazy for suspecting anything. But at the end of the day, what you feel is what you feel. Let’s answer the question, “Why does my husband look at other women?”, and figure out what we can do about it.
What Does It Mean When Your Man Looks At Another Woman?
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Danielle tells us, “My husband looks at other females on Instagram, and it bothered me more than I’d like to admit. At first, I immediately assumed the worst. I struggled with my own bottled-up emotions. When I finally lashed out at him, it came as a complete surprise to him.
“He claimed it “didn’t mean much,” and told me he’d stop. The fact that he stopped did make me feel better, but I didn’t think he’d just be doing it without much really going on in his mind.”
Just like Danielle, you may have a million thoughts racing through your mind, and insecure thoughts about your relationship may be most of them. Before you text your best friend something like, “My boyfriend looks at other females online, he’s definitely bored of me, right?”, take a moment to read about what the possible reasons could be or couldn’t mean. Let’s get into them:
1. It doesn’t necessarily mean your husband is going to cheat on you
Let’s get the big one out of the way first. According to studies, looking at attractive alternatives is normal and not a cause for concern as long as the person looking showcases self-control enough to not act on temptation and pursue a relationship with this person. In other words, if they can take a cold shower and not be pervs, you’re good to go.
However, if your husband looks at other women online and frequently chats them up, you may have some cause for concern there. Does he generally lack self-control? Is he pursuing a relationship with the person? If not, you can breathe a sigh of relief and tell your partner to knock it off.
2. It’s usually a sign of temporary sexual attraction or curiosity
“My boyfriend looks at other females on Instagram, and I can’t figure out why.” “Why does my husband look at other women?” If you’re struggling with questions like these, the answer is simple: your man may have gotten temporarily distracted by them. Sexual attraction toward an attractive individual is normal.
In most cases, your husband or boyfriend would think about the other woman for as long as the glance lasts: a few seconds. Usually, it’s a form of fleeting sexual attraction that fades away once they’ve looked away. Ask him later that night why he stared at that woman, he may not even remember who you’re talking about.
However, if you find your husband making an effort to be able to ogle away at a particular woman on multiple occasions, it’s time to have a conversation. Keep in mind that a momentary glance is fine, but multiple creepy stares are absolutely not.
Related Reading: How To Find Out If Your Partner Is Cheating Online?
3. The theory of objectification
It’s an unfortunate world we live in, but there’s no point escaping the truth that might sometimes influence some of our decisions. According to studies, men (and sometimes even women) may look at other women because they’ve objectified them, reducing their worth to their sexual body parts.
In no way does this signify how a man thinks about women in the long run, and in no way does this make ogling away at women okay. It may be a momentary objectification that one could argue is biologically rooted in the psyche of men. Here are a few reasons why people engage in this objectification online:
- Online anonymity and distance can desensitize watchers to the emotional impact of objectification
- Instant gratification and novelty-seeking tendencies in online environments can exacerbate the objectification of women by men
Men may do so because they’re biologically trying to admire a potential mating partner, women may objectify other women as a form of comparison. However, there is a thin line between doing it out of instinct and doing it out of desire. If that line isn’t crossed, you can let it slide with some communication about how it makes you feel.
4. No, it doesn’t mean he thinks she’s everything he doesn’t have
A fleeting glimpse is just that in most cases — a momentary distraction. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you, it doesn’t mean he thinks that the other woman is more attractive than you are. It doesn’t affect the feelings he has for you.
But if it happens more than you’d like it to, and it doesn’t feel like a normal gaze, it definitely is an extremely immature and insensitive thing to do. In most cases, it’s not a sign of a cheating boyfriend, but it’s something anyone would rather not have to deal with in their relationship.
5. He may just be curious about an ex or an old friend
So, have you ever caught your guy scrolling through social media, checking out pictures of an old flame or a friend from the past? Here are a few things in his behavior you might have noticed:
- More frequent visits and engagement with their social media profiles
- Initiating discussions about past relationships or inquiring about old friends
- Bringing up the ex or old friends in conversations or reminiscing about shared memories
Don’t worry too much—it’s likely just harmless curiosity. We all get a bit nostalgic sometimes, right? Social media makes it easy to catch up with people we haven’t seen in ages. But if it starts to seem like he’s spending way too much time fixated on one particular person, like constantly checking their profile several times a week, that might be a red flag. I mean, it’s one thing to be curious, but if it seems like he’s a bit too interested, it might be worth having a chat about it.
6. It could be a fantasy-driven activity
Married men might look at other women online as a way to indulge in harmless daydreams or fantasies. A Reddit user explains, “The way I point it out is, I might see a McLaren on the street one day and my mind goes, “Oooh, cool car.” And then it’s gone forever from my mind. I don’t try to drive it. It was attractive and mildly interesting for a brief moment. I’m talking not even 5 seconds. Same with seeing attractive people.”
Importantly, this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re unhappy in their marriage or looking to cheat. It’s more about seeking a brief mental escape or a bit of excitement in an otherwise routine day. As long as it stays within the realm of fantasy and doesn’t lead to any inappropriate actions, it can generally be considered harmless.
7. He might be doing it out of habit
Just like any other behavior, spending time on social media or browsing through online content can become ingrained in someone’s routine. For example, if your husband uses social media for work or leisure, he might find himself scrolling through profiles or photos of other women without even consciously thinking about it. Over time, this behavior can become automatic, almost like a reflex, and he might not even realize the implications it could have on his relationship.
In this case, here are a few things you need to keep in mind:
- It’s important for both partners to be aware of their online habits
- Communicate openly about any concerns or boundaries regarding browsing behavior
- If looking at other women online becomes excessive or starts to affect the trust and intimacy in the marriage, it may be necessary to address it and find healthier ways to spend time together
Since saying, “My husband looks at other females online. I don’t know what to do about it anymore”, isn’t the best way to deal with it, let’s talk a bit about what you can do about it.
What To Do About Your Husband Looking At Other Women Online
As we mentioned, in most cases, it’s a normal thing to do. But when it crosses a line and seems disrespectful, acknowledging it and making sure you do something about it is an absolute must. If your partner locks his phone screen immediately upon you entering the room with a squirmy smile on his face, he knows he’s doing something wrong too.
It’s entirely possible you might be left utterly confused by questions like, “My husband looks at other females online, and I don’t even know how to talk to him about it.” Let’s take a look at a few things you should do to not let this molehill leave you with a mountain to climb.
1. Acknowledge your feelings
If it bothers you, it bothers you. If you’d like it to not bother you, the first thing you need to do is not lie to yourself about what you’re feeling. Now that you’ve accepted the fact that when your husband looks at other women online, it makes you want to smash his phone to bits because of the jealousy in your relationship, You can work on how to process those emotions.
Writing down the emotions you’re feeling and why you might possibly be feeling them is a good idea. Is it anger? Are you feeling resentment? Perhaps there’s a lot of insecurity clouding your judgment. Getting to the bottom of either of these emotions has a different process, and you may learn a thing or two about yourself.
2. Express your worries without sounding accusatory
It is a general human tendency to be defensive about our actions when we feel attacked or accused. So if you pour down on your husband with how his behavior is unacceptable or worrisome, he might retaliate, and the conversation can easily turn into an argument. Instead, try using the “I” language.
Using “I” language can really help keep things calm and understanding, rather than making it seem like you’re attacking him. It’s all about sharing how you feel, which is super important. Here are a couple of examples:
- Instead of saying something like, “You don’t even care about me anymore,” you could try saying, “I feel kinda unattractive and ignored when I see you spending so much time looking at those photos”
- Instead of jumping to something like, “You’re cheating on me with those women online,” you might say, “I feel kinda unloved and insecure when I notice you’re spending a lot of time checking out other women online”
3. Communicate but also be open to listening
“My boyfriend looks at other females online, and I kept it to myself for the longest time. I assumed he was cheating on me, but never brought it up. When I finally couldn’t hold it in and lashed out at him, he said he’d been exploring the profiles of influencers his firm was doing marketing for. He sat me down and showed me the Excel sheet where he had input all the data for his research. I wish I had spoken about it sooner” Jen wrote to us.
Sometimes we assume the worst and get caught up in a loop of negativity. While your feelings are valid, it is important to hear the story from the other side. Often the outcome of the discussion will not be as simple as it was for Jen, but it can surely open doors for you to identify the root cause of this behavior.
If you go into the conversation convinced that he’s cheating on you, the conversation will be of no use. Before you make radical claims like, “My husband looks at other females online, I know he’s cheating on me,” try to listen to what he has to say. In effect, you’ll also be improving communication in your relationship.
4. Don’t let him brush it off or manipulate you
“My boyfriend looks at other females on Instagram, and it really bothered me. When I spoke to him about it, he made me feel like I was crazy for even being concerned about it. “Is this how much you trust me? Are you crazy? It doesn’t mean anything, to be honest; you should look at yourself and figure out why you’re feeling this way,” he’d say. This kinda discussion happened multiple times with no changes in his behavior,” Charlotte said, referring to how her boyfriend made her feel invalidated.
What Charlotte experienced is basically a form of gaslighting in a relationship. If it’s something that bothers you and you’re willing to have a civilized conversation around it, don’t let your partner dismiss it outright as nothing. If you’re concerned about something, no matter how minor, the least they can do is validate your feelings and hear you out.
Related Reading: 9 Psychological Facts About Cheating – Busting The Myths
5. Seek professional help
You can only hit your friends up with complaints like, “My husband looks at other females online!” for a limited amount of time before they get annoyed. Moreover, if every conversation you have about it leads to a fight, it’s better to seek help from an impartial third party.
A counselor or a therapist will help you figure out what’s wrong with your dynamic and how you can work through the problems. The counselor will help give you a platform to say your piece about, “My husband looks at other females online”, as well as give your husband and you a chance to have a civil discussion, all directed toward the goal of conflict resolution and harmony.
6. Give him an ultimatum
If he refuses to get help or just brushes off the inputs of the therapists without acknowledging the fact that it’s a problem that is not just affecting you but the relationship too, give him an ultimatum straight up. You need to understand that being stuck with unresolved issues will eventually affect your mental health.
If he’s struggling with a serious issue like excessive pornography use or constantly looking at photos/videos of other women, it’s important to set clear boundaries. You could say something like, “I really care about our relationship, and I need you to get help for this problem. If you’re not willing to make a change, it might be best for us to take a break.” It’s a tough decision, but sometimes it’s necessary to prioritize your own well-being.
7. If nothing helps, be prepared to walk away
Talking about the issue and trying to find a middle ground is important, but if your partner keeps denying or doing nothing about it, it can really damage how much you trust them and how you feel about yourself in the long run. It’s about valuing your feelings and self-respect.
Being prepared to walk away shows you won’t tolerate being ignored. It’s all about prioritizing mutual respect and emotional well-being in a relationship. Here’s how it can affect you:
- Constant feelings of insecurity and inadequacy in the relationship
- Erosion of trust and intimacy due to persistent disregard for concerns
- Increased stress and anxiety from feeling invalidated and unsupported in the relationship
How Can I Check If My Husband Is Looking At Women Online?
If you’re not convinced with the more civil methods of conflict resolution that we listed out, there are still a few things you can do. Bear in mind, however, that effectively stalking or spying on your partner reeks of distrust. There’s nothing a conversation can’t fix, and opting to snoop around in their private lives isn’t the best thing for your relationship or marriage.
If you skipped through the last paragraph like we all collectively skip the terms of service for any software ever, let’s get into answering the question, “How can I see what my husband is looking at on the internet?”
Related Reading: An Expert Tells Us What Goes In The Mind Of A Cheating Man
1. If you’re worried about them being on dating apps, you can fish them out
The best way to catch a cheating spouse on a dating app is by making a fake account of your own. Set preferences, and get to swiping until you stumble upon their profile. By setting the appropriate preferences for their age, location, and other factors, you’ll be limiting the pool of people you see.
2. “How can I see what my husband is looking at on the internet?” Track their internet activity
If you get your hands on the common laptop or phone, there are no limits to what you can do. Track their browsing history, snoop on their email, open up their social media, the whole shebang. When your husband looks at other women, you’re probably fearing the worst. But if snooping for a bit is what’s going to put your mind to rest, perhaps you can keep your morals aside and indulge — just this once.
3. Monitoring apps may be for you
The itch to know things has led us to develop multiple apps, which when installed on your partner’s phone or laptop can help you track their every move. All you need to do is install it on their device, and you can see their activity through the software you’ve installed on your phone or laptop.
4. Get a read on him
Sometimes all you need is to be able to read your spouse like a book. Is he shifty with his phone, all of a sudden? Is his passcode suddenly longer than nuclear launch codes? Does he freak out if you grab his phone to Google something? All these could point to something going on. Once you do have sufficient reason to say, “My husband looks at other females on Instagram” go ahead and have a conversation with him about it.
When your partner looks at another woman, you’re definitely not going to be too thrilled about it. But instead of overthinking and saying, “My husband looks at other females online. Does this mean our relationship is over?” hopefully, this article has given you a better idea of what to do. If you find yourself paranoid about the possible outcomes, make sure you have a conversation about it with your partner.