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The Wandering Eye Gone Overboard: Why Do Some Men Get Married Anyway?

We hear all the time about how men are visual creatures and women overall are more attracted to one's personality. Although both sexes can fall into these categories, I think all humans are a combination of both, which can be good and bad. It is attractive and alluring when a man is subtle and can give a woman an appreciative look, but it is downright disgusting when attached and married men have to flaunt their wandering eye. Who are they kidding really?! There are many men in this world that look, but they are mature enough not to foam at the mouth over it. People may admire a house, a car, or a new dress, but do you talk about it 24/7? Most likely not. The bottom line is most people do not find it mature or savvy to hear married folks flaunt their wandering eye. It may seem cute or make you sound hip in the moment, but what kind of message are you sending to the world? It comes across as slightly egotistical and not very respectful towards your significant other. Subltey is far more sexy than the blatant chatter about how every blonde in the room makes you want to swoon.

There is a fine line between the subtlety of an appreciate look, and the overt wandering eye.  The former can be alluring, and the other is just plain sleazy when practiced by married/coupled people.

There is a fine line between the subtlety of an appreciate look, and the overt wandering eye. The former can be alluring, and the other is just plain sleazy when practiced by married/coupled people.

Been There, Done That

Once a few years ago I dated a guy with the wandering eye gone overboard. Obviously I am dark haired, but when we were out and about he constantly talked about beautiful blonds in the room. One particular time he was drooling over the waitress, how cliché, and his friend's wife called him on his comments. Well Sweetiepie is not a blond she pointed out, but he just scowled when she called him on his bad behavior. In his narcissistic and sarcastic tone he said "I know, but I am free to look everywhere". I was so disgusted with his immaturity and confronted him with it after we left the restaurant.

I told him point blank we really should not be together if he felt this way about blonds and wanted to desperately be with someone who looked Nordic. He made the flimsy comment about how loved blonds very much, but that he also loved me too. At this point I realized he was lying through his teeth because his friends were there and he did not want to look like a jerk.

Obviously after that day we really did not spend much time together and the Christmas season was very strained. This situation taught me something very important about the type of behavior I will and will not accept from men. Women are guilty of the same things, but I am writing from my experience as a woman.

I think being single is a beautiful thing in a world where many have made a sham and a mockery of marriage. So wow you got married when you wanted to just talk about other people?! Well maybe we should just hand these gentlemen and ladies and award for acting worse than high schoolers when it comes to controlling their hormones. Ironically, many teenagers are better at controlling the thoughts that pop in their head.

So what is one to think about married people who openly and blatantly talk about cheating or looking at other people besides their spouse? Can I be blunt: I think they are hypocrites! Why did you marry this person unless you wanted to spend the rest of your life with them? If a joke of a marriage is fun and being married in name only is so appealing, why bother?! Maybe you should consider being a single person so you can openly date others if you have an extreme need to be around other people and flirt with them. You know, this makes really good sense actually.

One guy I knew constantly talked about other women in front of his then wife. Well folks it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out why his wife left him. So even though he may not have had a physical affair on her, his constant remarks about women in her presence where a mark of disrespect and infidelity.

When it comes down to it, I actually respect the men who remain single because they are mature and savvy enough to admit they have a wandering eye. I may not want to date these guys, but I have far more respect for them than the men who are married and flaunt their extramarital escapades. Even overt flirting is a sign of disrespect towards your spouse, and yes, others do pick up on this. If you have to constantly flirt with others then maybe you should figure out why you need to do this. Are you looking for validation? Are you too insecure to be happy with yourself, and need constant affirmations as to whether you are attractive? At this juncture it might be good to put some more time into your own relationship and to stop flirting with people who are not in it.

When women cheat is is usually because they have a connection with a man, not just because he looked super sexy in that suit. However, many men have confessed to having one night stands with a woman they thought looked stunning at the moment. Both sexes are guilty of long term physical and emotional affairs, but both of these types of trists are degrading and disrespectful. At the end of the day it is a couples' business whether they want to flirt with others and have an open relationship, but does that mean the world wants to hear about it?! As they said back in high school: get a room!


Sid Kemp from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach) on May 20, 2013:

Again, we agree. My wife and I both, much more often, appreciate a person's style, wit, intelligence, or spiritual energy.

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on May 20, 2013:

Women look, and there is a difference between appreciating beauty, and flaunting a wandering eye. It just seems people are so focused on physicality that they bypass a lot of amazing people who go unnoticed. I still think men who overtly flirt need to have it brought to their attention from time to time. Women do it as well, but there is still a prevalence for men to do it, and to justify it by pointing out they are visual creatures. I just find men and women such as these so boring.

Sid Kemp from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach) on May 20, 2013:

I agree with you. I never chat up an attractive woman, and I have plenty of other hobbies. My wife likes looking as much as I do, and acknowledging beauty with a quiet nod, that's all.

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on May 11, 2013:

Well men can do whatever they want, but there are some of us women who have no interest in a guy who needs that much outside stimulation. We are not saying you can never look, but some men seem to have no interests or hobbies in life beyond chatting up other women whilst married, and that is just not attractive. I say take up a hobby like painting or bike riding, and balance things out.

Sid Kemp from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach) on May 09, 2013:

Thanks. I largely agree with your perspective. But I do think that a man can have a wandering eye as a fact of his nature, then bring all his arousal home to his wife, and make a good marriage. We don't need to eliminate our wandering eye, we just need to be respectful, keep hands off, and love and appreciate our wives above all others. (It helps, I think, if both members of the couple have a wandering eye. Then they can appreciate the beauty, get hot, and take it home behind closed doors.)

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SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on June 22, 2012:

Hi Lovelyxox,

You should do whatever makes you happy. I am not one to judge about the open marriage thing, but I just think it is kind of a bit of bunk as it usually turns out one partner wants it more than the other. Sometimes there is more to live than just flirting and looking for a new conquest. Does your husband have any hobbies like painting, hiking, or anything outside of extra-curricular paramours? I would suggest to him finding other ways to put excitement in the marriage rather than just bringing other people into it. It sounds like he might not be the type he can stay committed to just one person, and I just think you might be happier away from this.

lovelyxox on June 22, 2012:

What perfect timing for me to come across this discussion.

Wandering eye....I know it well, perhaps too well... 24 years worth (at this point). He's always said it's "biological" and you can't fight that can you? I appreciate the comment made, likening the wandering eye to the same as seeing a nice car, a nice dress, nice skirt, pretty girl, hot guy, gorgeous flowers.....and wanting to keep looking but there comes a time when it's about having respect for your partner. It's really so very obvious when his eyes will wander (he does it so often that I know when it will happen before he does)...Even his entire head swivels...and he will stop on the street to look in a dress shop window with me (pretending he is interested when I know darned well that he isn't)...and then attempting to be sneaky (I am not stupid, I know what he is doing and most of the time, so does the other woman)...sometimes it's just down right blatant....(more blatant now after so many years....though that may be because after years and years of begging...we are now living an open marriage...that's a whole other story)... Open marriage or not....there MUST be respect. I don't do it to him and would feel so much better if he didn't do it to least not so "Odie" like....(as in Garfield and Odie...Odie being the one with the huge eyes and the drooling mouth!!!) We are only human after all, and I cannot ask him never to look and certainly don't expect it, but use discretion and/or restraint. I would never want him to feel the way it makes me feel...

Perhaps I am just over sensitive because even though I agreed to trying an open marriage years ago (and have lived happily and unhappily in the "lifestyle"), I have never been fully 100% happy and comfortable with it. My own fault for agreeing but thinking I was agreeing to having a little "fun" once in awhile...once in awhile has turned to more, more, more. He hunts ALL the time and constantly "begs" and pushes me to be with other men...with him (3some...he is straight!) and alone (if he has met them so I am safe). I have never truly wanted or perhaps even understood what an open marriage was, but I tried it for him. He has always told me that guys cannot have girls as friends (because they are just trying to get in their pants) and all men cheat....(interesting because he is a man....and has some friends who are he would like as a girlfriend for us....I am not interested in having a 3rd in our marriage...) He is and has told me in no uncertain terms, how disappointed he is that I won't do that for him. He resents me. Well, he's not respectful enough. I married him young and had no idea what he wanted. I have never been a "quantity" person...He appears to be. I don't "need" to have sex with other...he does. I have stepped away and told him so and he is very angry because it appears I am now ruining his life. It is very hard knowing that he resents me so. He was very sexual in University and cheated on every girl he dated. What in the world would make me any different? Since it is "biological", I am supposed to be ok with it...if we do it together, it's not cheating.... I swear I live everyday with him wanting to go "hunting"....because we are getting older and uglier(lol).... I have been feeling like arm candy for too many years. He is a good man and I love and care for him deeply, but perhaps I am just not the woman who can give him what he feels he wants and needs in life.

I have struggled with jealousy from the beginning. I guess I am one of the people who just cannot understand why my husband would so desperately want to live an open marriage....why it turns him on so much to push me to be with other men...when I really could care less. (now anyway)....I would be a hypocrite if I said I never had any fun at all in an open marriage (we were always together, btw...did not play separately)...but the times that I am being pushed too hard to do things when I don't want to, or to be made to feel guilty because of the feelings I have. I have always been totally happy just to come home after a party and be with my husband....but he cannot say the same. I have taken a huge step back because I am feeling very disconnected. I only wish he would step back with me....for our marriage... I always, always wished that he would just once...walk away from a situation because he truly did not want to hurt me (especially when he I tell him it bothers me and he just likens it to my insecurity).

I apologies

Biological or not..........WE ARE BORN WITH CHOICE.

Need I say more?

Thank you all for letting me vent...I am in a very awful place right now and am trying to sort out what "I" need and want.

Perhaps I am just plain tired of the wandering eye?


SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on January 30, 2012:


If you are just looking it is one thing, but if you are flirting, that is another. I really do not care if men look, but the married men who flirt with every pretty thing in the room are always leading me to wonder: why are they married? Ultimately, it is between you and your wife, and if she is okay with you checking out other women.

Maverick on January 30, 2012:

This is an interesting hub - I am a fella with a wandering eye and want to fix it... in my case its literal - just the eyes, I don't flirt openly with anyone but my wife. But I do find that when a pretty lady is in the room, I "check her out".. I either look to often, or too long. It's like when I pick up my car from dealer service - there may be a slick sports car in the showroom, and I'll walk around it, take it in, appreciate its fine lines... And when it comes to women, it's like I do the same thing - I don't want to, but can't seem to stop myself. And its not like I am looking and thinking sexual thoughts or desires... and its a problem I am aware of and don't deny, so why is it so hard to stop? If anything its getting worse with age (or maybe just comes across as creepier) Does anyone have suggestions?

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on January 09, 2012:

You just have to get past feeling he is the most important one. You are too! Also, get your own cell phone and give people that number. New friends do not need to meet him, and if this continues to be a problem - maybe it is time to leave him. If your kids are over 13, they can make themselves sandwiches, stay home on their own for a few hours, and clean the dishes once and awhile. Let everyone fend for themselves a couple of night a week, and teach them to miss you a bit. Maybe they will realize what a good deal they all have when you stop doing everything for them. I think the husband needs to grow up a bit, and do some cooking now and then. Give him less time for flirting :).

sapphire77 on January 09, 2012:

Thanks SweetyPie I think you are right, I am going to join a yoga club this evening and start doing things away from the home and give him time to think about himself. For the last 23 years I have totally wrapped my life around him so no wonder he is more in love with himself than anything else. Hopefully I will meet some friends who will see through this sort of behaviour and not encourage him as some so called 'friends' have. Thanks for the advice.

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on January 09, 2012:


You deserve to feel good about yourself, and have your own friends. If his behavior bothers you, I would suggest leaving him for awhile. If he asks why you are leaving, tell him about how he seems more interested in flirting with your friends than showing them how much he loves you.

You need to stop massaging his ego today. If you are not ready to leave him, at least start having some friends of your own on the outside. Take a class or join a club, and tell him this is "your thing". Get a cell phone, and have your friends call you on that. Do not bother talking about your marriage, and then the new friends will not know about it. Not that you should have to hide such things, but I think he needs things shaken up a bit. I think if you either leave, or decide to have your own friends outside of the house, eventually he might realize what he is losing out on. Please do not feel insecure about his behavior. He should be more of a gentleman than making his wife feel this way. When I see a man saying bad things about his wife, I usually call him out on it. If he tries to flirt with me in her presence, he gets shut down immediately. A real friend would do that for you. I believe you can meet some real friends who will have your back.

sapphire77 on January 09, 2012:

I am so glad I found this hub, for 23 years I have had to endure my partner with his endless flirting and wandering eye, this hub has validated some of the reasons and also identified that I am not the only one living with this problem. I have no friends because over the years he has taken them over and flirted with them so much they call around to talk to him rather than me. I feel so insecure and angry that I have wasted so much time with him just to be the platform at home looking after the house and caring for our kids. He has constantly told me it is all my head, I dont think he has cheated on me but I do think he will in the future. He has a huge ego that needs massaging and he will flirt anywhere with anything leading women to get the wrong impression. I want to leave him but have no courage to and then worry I will regret it. I feel so rubbish about myself and think his behaviour has a lot to do with my low self esteem.

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on November 13, 2011:

Hi Romantic Dimples,

I have to be honest with you, but how can you love a guy who is treating you the same as your ex-husband did? It might be good to take a year break from dating until your divorce is finalized. Being single is fun and fulfilling, and loving yourself first is most important. A guy who is looking at other women does not love you, he just wants his cake and to eat it to as you have said. So if I were you I would not see this guy anymore, and find new friends and hobbies. Take a painting or dancing class, and meet people who have interests beyond ogling ladies. You might even meet a nice guy there who is interested in people beyond sex.

SweetDimples on November 12, 2011:

I am legally separated and I am filing for a divorce soon. I know the feeling why husbands having wandering eyes and still wants to hang on with their spouses. They want their cakes and eat it as well. I got sick and tired of him disrespected me,so I had left him. Our marriage went down the drain after we got married and had kids. I told him that he had never loved me in the first place and I was right. He only married me for convience that's all. Also, he told me straight up that he had never loved me so, why did he married me in the first place? Now I am with a new guy and he is doing the same thing, wandering eyes at other women in front of my face and I have been scorn before and I don't want to get hurt again. I love him but I don't want to get hurt again ,so I am keeping up my guard.

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on July 21, 2009:


You can do what you like. This hub is merely my personal opinions on the subject.

R on July 21, 2009:

I just spoke to my mate about the mattter....we'll see what happens. I'll keep you updated.

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on April 29, 2009:


It would be great if all men treated their ladies the way you described, but sometimes I think men who gaze at women 24/7 will not change. I think it comes down to whether you want to put up with a man like this, or date a man who knows how to behave. Personally I do not think it is unreasonable to ask your man not look at other women, but if you continually have to ask him I do not think it is worth it.

meadowmaiden on April 29, 2009:

I am currently in a relationship with a man to whom I am very devoted and wouldn't think of allowing my gaze to linger on other men while we are together. Even when we are apart this doesn't appeal to me. My boyfriend, however, has repeatedly put me in situations where I have to stand next to him in a public place and be humiliated while he gawks longingly at the closest 20 year old blonde he can find. Needless to say, I have expressed to him many times how much this hurts and humiliates me, he says he will control himself then it happens again. He has systematically destroyed my love for him and I'm planning to ask him to move out. Maybe the guys out there can show their mates a loving gesture by ignoring beautiful women while the love of their life is on their arm? Wouldn't that make a BEAUTIFUL statement to their woman!

PLM on November 28, 2008:

Einstein said it best...

"Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character."

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on November 24, 2008:


There are surprisingly people who do say the things I have discussed. Really it is their own business at the end of the day, but I find it amusing they have to share about it. A wise person once told me trust, but validate.

Constant Walker,

Well said!

Constant Walker from Springfield, Oregon on November 24, 2008:

I agree, sweetie. There's no way of controlling the wandering eye, but failure to do so tactfully (even playfully!) when with a significant other sends a clear message of lack of consideration for the other's feelings, and makes the offender look bad.

countrywomen from Washington, USA on November 23, 2008:

SP - To be honest I have never come across anybody who did that to me as you stated " there are married men who brag online about looking at other women and bringing other women into their marriage". But even if someone is proposing no ordinary woman would flirt with a married man (how can we be the worst enemy of a fellow woman). But at the same time not having trust on our partner and suspecting him unnecessarily also spoils the marriage. Marriage is a very important institution which needs to be respected and cherished for a lifetime.

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on November 22, 2008:

Benson Yeung,

Yes I see what you mean about that expression being confusing. To me I think it means someone want to be able to cheat, but also know their partner is always in the right place. I knew this was the case with my ex-boyfriend when he talked about his ex-wife. He would go on and on about how he flirted with other women in front of her and went on trips with out her, but in the end he was upset she left him for another man.

After awhile I could see he was not really over her and subscribed the the think of the Bono song "With or Without You". He wanted to be without her many times, but ultimately he was bitter about her leaving him for another man and could truly not live without her. After that experience I learned that I could not tolerate a man who flirted with other women in my presence. I hear he has a new girlfriend, but I can gurantee things have not changed.

Part of the reason I no longer date is because I refuse to be statistic in the world of people who are always coming and going out of our lives. I may marry one day, but it would have to be an extradionary person who truly wanted to be with me, with no reservations. I see flirting with others as a reservation and evidence that a spouse is not completely satistfied in the relationship.


Your views are the same as mine. I also have the same feeling that marriage is about the union of two souls and it compromises the relationship when one party is constantly challenging that bond. In our modern society we claim there are no boundaries anymore and things can be completely open in relationships, but I like the old values that most traditional societies still abide by.

To me friendly interactions over the web are one thing, but when it starts to get really sexual in nature that is when I draw the line. For instance, there are married men who brag online about looking at other women and bringing other women into their marriage. Yuck, like we really wanted to know that much about their relationship (rolling my eyes). I have not heard women say this often online, but it seems men talk about this more often. That is all fine and good, but I would not want to be their wife, and I wonder if their wives know the extent of their interactions with other women online.

Of course we are all adults here and there are websites that cater to the open relationships of an adult variety, but thankfully HubPages is not really a place where that happens. I think a man or woman is slightly insecure when they have to flaunt their infidelity online for the world to see. They want everyone to know they are irrestsistible and can have their spouse and have another, but I wonder how long the spouse will go along with that. Thus, I think the boundaries traditional societies place on marriage are very valid.

countrywomen from Washington, USA on November 22, 2008:

SP - I answered NO to the poll. I feel awkward when guys eyes wander to other places besides looking in my eyes and talking to me. Yes, it is bad manners to look at other woman when you are with your partner. But I guess an innocent wandering look occasionally can be tolerated. Btw you raise certain good questions: Does having a good friendly interactions over the web with men consist infidelity? As in India they say marriage is two souls united in thought, word and deed (in sanskrit manasa, vacha and karma). Great thought proving hub.

Benson Yeung from Hong Kong on November 22, 2008:


it's interesting that you should use the phrase about having their cake which is a hub I wrote some time ago, about old-fashioned love: They Can Have Their Cake And Eat It Too. Though I have to admit I never figure out what the line means exactly.


SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on November 22, 2008:

Benson Yeung,

I am glad you can see this! So many people today want their cake and to eat it too, but maybe they such just focus on why they intially bought the cake instead. Cheating has been around since the dawn of time, but I actually know some couples who never cheat and live wonderful lives together. There is nothing wrong with being old fashioned in my book :).

Benson Yeung from Hong Kong on November 22, 2008:

so old-fashioned, yet so true. Quality never gets out-dated.

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on November 19, 2008:

Hi PLM, If you are single I do not mind you telling me this :). Just kidding, thanks for your compliment ;). By the way I wear glasses pretty much all the time, so the pic where I do not wear them are just a few. Just happened to like this recent picture. Read my recent hub to see a picture of me with glasses.

PLM on November 19, 2008:

Good hub! I miss the photos of you wearing glasses. I have a "wandering eye" for women and glasses I guess... it's the sophisticated and intellectual look with a hint of naughty.

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on November 16, 2008:

I agree men that cheat are way too into themselves and it seems more often that men then women cheat for the thrill of it. Women cheat to, but in many cases I have heard it is because they had an emotional connection with a guy, not just because they thought he was really attractive. Of course I think cheating is wrong on both counts, but I am really disgusting by those men that think they can have their cake and eat it too. I think it is great you are single and there is nothing wrong with this, in my opinion.

Merle Ann Johnson from NW in the land of the Free on November 16, 2008:

Hummm men that cheat are so much into themselves...My ex thought after I found out he could actually go be with her on the week-ends and with me during the week>>>can you figure that one out? We were together 33 yrs. and he decided he wanted a younger woman..It takes all kinds...He's been gone 2 yrs. now...and i am still alone...loving it though...G-Ma :o) Hugs

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on November 16, 2008:

Thanks for reading and commenting tonymac04.

Tony McGregor from South Africa on November 16, 2008:

Great Hub about a touchy subject for many men. Thanks for your insights and being prepared to share them.

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