Question: For what it’s worth, I have been messing around with a married man. My friends and I go to this bar, and when I’m there, I always catch him looking at me. If I don’t talk to him, he makes it to where I know he is there. He’s nice to me, and I don’t see why he keeps coming back. It’s not just for sex because it doesn’t happen all that often. I know I’m not going to get anywhere with this, but I think I’m falling in love with him. I don’t want to tell him that I love him because I’m afraid I’ll scare him away. He has five children with his wife, and I have two sons. Is there any easy way to stop this or to make it easier?
Dr. ZZ: Almost everyone wants love in their lives. What blocks many from ending up in a happy, long-term relationship is that they look only at today and the next day and fail to see the big picture. The big picture includes how you will feel next month, a year from now, and even 10 years from now. It includes who you chose, why you chose them, and the circumstances under which you get involved.
Step back from whatever immediate feelings you are having, and look at where you are headed. If you cannot see that, you risk thinking that you’re going to the supermarket and ending up instead at the river. The choices you make today determine where you end up later. Choosing to get involved with a married man says, “It is perfectly okay that a husband cheats on his wife.” It sanctions that behavior for him, the world and yourself. If you fall more deeply in love with this guy, chances are you will want more from him than he will be willing to give. If he dumps you, you stand to get hurt and to become cynical.
Worst yet, what happens if he decides to leave his family and you end up getting married? Your actions will have sanctioned the fact that it is okay for a husband to cheat on his wife. So, next he will leave you at home and go back out to the bar.
The choice is yours. You are the actor and director in your own movie. The easiest way to write a happy ending for yourself is to tell this fellow the next time you talk to him to take his sexual interest in you and put it back home with his wife where it belongs. Tell him you realized that you made a mistake by being flattered by his interest, that you woke up and saw the big picture, and that you did not like what you were doing. Then simply stop interacting with him; stop going to the bar. You are in charge. You call the shots. Stick up for yourself and redefine your boundaries; you will remake your destiny and send a message to yourself and the world that you are interested only in a genuine relationship with a man who is free and available to commit.
Question: I know my boyfriend loves me, as I love him, but sometimes he gets on the Internet and looks up pictures of nude women and women in bikinis. It makes me really jealous, and he knows it. When I ask him why he does it, he just says it’s because he is a guy. I totally trust him, but it still makes me jealous. It makes me feel like I’m ugly to look at. He tells me that’s not it, that I am the most beautiful woman he’s ever met, and he gets upset when I say stuff like that. But, he still searches out those women on the Internet. Why? Why do guys have to look at other women?
Dr. ZZ: Men are indeed inclined to browse erotic pictures and, at the risk of stating the obvious, they have a strong natural urge to find women attractive. Studies of primal sexual behavior show that guys are more visually receptive to sexual signals (i.e., nude pictures) than women, and women are more influenced by verbal signals (i.e., sweet talk, romance novels, etc.). Drawing occasional harmless excitement from any of these stimuli is apt to have no bearing on relationships. Your boyfriend is not necessarily longing for a better girlfriend or attaching any emotional significance to the images he is admiring when he looks at women. Nor is he expressing disappointment in your appearance. He is just, well, looking at other women.
The Internet offers an exciting new and safe way to browse that didn’t exist before. The novelty will most likely fade. Your best strategy is to work on your own jealousy and to realize that he is not actually dating other women. At the same time, since this is just a base activity that has no real meaning, your boyfriend would do well to be responsive to your behavioral requests and to stop browsing if it is that upsetting to you. The excuse of looking because he is a guy only goes so far. He can choose to be a mature guy with a handle on his own actions. There is also a vague possibility that he may be doing this to annoy you. If so, that would suggest a whole other question.
Disclaimer: All information provided in this article is intended as general information only and is not to be misconstrued as medical or psychological advice or as diagnosis, treatment or cure for any condition or ailment. Send queries or comments to askDrZZ@yahoo.com and listen to her on www.ahstation.com/drzz. All published information is kept strictly confidential.
Dr. ZZ’s bold, upfront, directive style plays an inspirational role in the lives of people she touches. Drawing on a non-traditional Ph.D. in counseling and natural healing, ZZ works with shaman elder Jack Alexander (“Golden Feather”), who offers land blessings, shamanic training, Life Purpose readings, and all-faith spiritual guidance. This forum proposes potential solutions on health, emotional, and personal matters.