Why Does My Husband Flirt With Other Women?

Someone wrote to us at TMF*, “In all other ways, he is a great husband. He is a good man and doesn’t cheat on me. Also, he is a good father to our children. But when we are at Starbucks or a restaurant, he always flirts with the girls who take our order.”

*ask a counselor

why does my husband flirt

“I pretend it doesn’t bother me, but it makes me feel like I’m on a date with someone who is always looking for a better catch. It’s humiliating, as I stand there trying to smile. Why does my husband flirt?”

“I have read about standing up to my husband and telling him how I feel, but I know him. I don’t think it would work. He would get angry and call me insecure. Then he would tell me something like, ‘I married you, didn’t I?'”

Our counselor Responded

Being humiliated, embarrassed, and frustrated are ‘normal’ reactions but emotions don’t expose the truth of what is happening, or ‘not’ happening in your marriage so putting emotions aside you should probably see his actions as a wake-up call to improve your marriage instead of an excuse to blame him (though, of course, he should not be so crude).

You might do fine learning about marriage with one of our books, or you might consider the course for women if this is just the tip of the iceberg and your marriage is getting worse in other areas, too… The counselor gave good advice and I will add to it.

it’s wise that you didn’t say anything to your husband. Husbands are simply not equipped to handle confrontation or the “you made me feel” attacks so often promoted by mainstream “experts”. The techniques promoted by most are as destructive as atom bombs and you have already tried them because they are everywhere, even though they don’t work. So let’s do what will work. And, by the way, you too should take the advice from the counselor. It is important to make your marriage the highest priority in your life.

Go back to the basics and back to your vows. You promised your husband that you would love him in ways that knocked his socks off and instead of sticking with that rough ‘plan’ your marriage has gone the way of so many because we are simply not doing what we promised. No blame, we are not taught.

Every one of us gets married for two primary and overriding reasons.

We want to be happy and we want to feel love. Simple stuff until you allow your mundane thinking to get in the way of opening your heart. So, let’s talk about what to do.

Knowing what won’t work is as useful as knowing what will

There are lessons to be learned. First, we must learn how to be married but that is a very broad topic and covers who and what we are, what love is, and how to experience it (it is not just “increased like” or emotion as the mainstream thinks}. Then there are the realities of gender’s impact on our thinking, the way to master our minds, the way we communicate … and so forth. We will hit the big points here.

Confrontation. Nobody does well when they are confronted, especially when confronted by the person they married; who they rightfully expect to be sweet. What you can expect from your husband if you confront him are the following

  • Evasiveness
  • Lies
  • Being called overly sensitive and unreasonable
  • Blaming you for his misbehavior
  • Being called a b*** or controlling or etc.

Standing up to your husband. That will get the same results as disciplining a cat. They will just get mad at YOU, no matter how wrong it is.

Doing “nothing” is wrong, too. You are not obligated to remain in a space that is offensive. Some women just smile. It’s better to walk away; just don’t make a scene.

We get occasional comments from offended individuals who think I put it all on the wives. That is not true.I am clear about right and wrong but we want better marriages, not win a debate.

I want you to recapture and re-build the happiness in your marriage, not just complain. We at TMF can guide you (you cannot do this yourself) to have a GREAT, not just good, marriage.

What your husband does is neither nice nor respectful. But in and of itself, in the range of marriage problems, it is “smallish”, not a def-con 10 warning.

You may see it as a small thing, too. Just something you would like to know how to get him to stop, or, how you can “accept” it.

Or, maybe you are using this as an example. Maybe the happiness in your marriage is less than ideal, and this is a tangible example.

However you see it, you should consider it motivation to get your marriage really on track. Why settle for an average marriage? Marriages should be nothing short of spectacular. Really, don’t you agree?

If you had an ideal marriage your husband would never look at another woman; much less, flirt!

What does his flirting “mean”?

Sure, you can analyze your husband’s motives. You can, if you want to, blame him, put it on your husband to change his ways, or force the issue in one of a million ways. But those approaches, where you “analyze” NEVER work; ever!

Obviously,  your husband is doing something that works against your mutual and individual happiness. But there should is a clear message you should be getting; that your marriage is not the ideal marriage you should have.

Putting aside the “issue” for a moment, here are the signs of a great marriage

  • You feel love all the time
  • You love being with each other
  • Your home is filled with smiles and laughter
  • Your kids are secure and happy, doing well in everything
  • You want to be with each other
  • Your communication is near perfect
  • Your intimacy is soulful
  • You are both happy, glowing, and a joy to be with

Men flirt when they are not well connected to their wives on the highest level of love. So they either see no problem with it, or want to rub their marital dissatisfaction in their wife’s nose. A happily married man would NEVER humiliate his wife.

Let’s turn this around, so you see what he is dealing with. Then I’ll share things YOU can do, without even telling him, that he will notice!

Your husband’s point of view

Remember, your husband wants a great marriage as much as you.  

Both men and women think they are the only one who has a complaint. But think about it. If you’re unhappy enough to point out your spouse’s flaws, and criticize him, I guarantee he is doing the same thing; but maybe not necessarily out loud. He may keep his mouth shut, but still have complaints. Don’t you think?

How do you react if he says something that seems critical? Do you sit down and ask him to go on, as a good listener should?

Just by asking what to do if your husband flirts you describe poor communication between you

A man who appreciates his wife wants her to know how much he loves her. He won’t flirt or even look at other women

Modern, or I should say “civilized” men, override their drive to procreate (sex drive) once they find their soulmate. They don’t “hunt” or need the imaginative recognition of other women; because their wife is a living reminder of how fortunate they are to have an amazing wife.

Are you an amazing wife?

Some ‘wiser’ men who don’t get what they need from their wife made it a habit to divert that constant energy to other, more beneficial, creative endeavors. It is, after all, essentially energy. So men can learn how to divert it. But that’s not what marriage is meant to be.

In your case, his openness about flirting sends a hidden message of trust, in a weird sort of way. I think he trusts you enough to get your attention in this way. So, instead of condemning him for flirting, you might want to be looking at your marriage; it is not performing as it should.

Get away from criticizing and blaming him. Instead of pouring those negatives into your marriage, see what you can do to create the most amazing marital connection ever. You DO have the power!

Don’t think “oh, we just need to get through this one little thing”‘. Nonsense!!! You absolutely can and should have a super happy marriage. Don’t settle!

Three things will work

  1. You write to our TMF trained counselors.
    Regular therapists create long term relationships with clients for more money; that is not us. We are here to help you fast, and then get out of your life. That’s why we do everything online. You take a course, and access our counselors “as needed”. They are always here for you.
  2. Read one of my books. These are not enough for marriages in serious trouble. But hopefully, you didn’t forget to mention a serious problem, like cheating. If you are not drowning in problems one of my books will work just fine.

Either Lessons For A Happy Marriage, which is not very technical, or Breaking The Cycle, which is quite technical, and could be called a marriage manual.

My books get all positive reviews because they represent a fulfilling and doable way of looking at marriage. Everything is common sense and practical. You can easily implement what you learn.

Because Breaking The Cycle is in book stores all over the country and is promoted by couples counselors (even though I recommend against couples counseling), it sells better. But either one will work.

3. If your marriage is in more trouble than you let on, you need to go all the way to our online courses. The courses are step-by-step ladders to happiness.

Only the one who is complaining should start the course for themselves (there are two different courses; one is for women, and one is for men).
Half our sales are to couples, who both take their course. So, either way, is okay. You can use this link to look at what all comes with the courses.

Here are suggestions you can use right now

Is it okay that he flirts? No, of course not. But that isn’t the problem

There is no perfection in the world. But when you know what you are doing, maritally speaking, marriage comes as close to perfection as anything I have ever heard of.

Is your marriage off the charts? No, obviously not! So, why just work on this one teeny weeny part of your marriage, when you can make your whole marriage amazing? Trust me. The effort you will put in is nothing compared to the results you will realize.

I have to add this. She describes some qualities he has in very positive ways. “He is a great dad and a great husband”. Also, he clearly is not hiding something. I wouldn’t say a word to him, nor express the desire for him to change. This is far from a marriage buster.

Get yourself up to speed! Make your marriage great! …How?

Go back to the above advice.

Remember, if you are not telling me something, and your marriage really is all over the place or absolutely collapsing, then you need to go all the way. Use this link to look at what all comes with the courses.

Some things that will help put you at ease for now

  1. Re-frame his behavior in your own mind. Instead of judging him—which is uncalled for—consider this “silly” behavior. Refuse to let your mind convince you you’re threatened. Try to smile at him when he is flirting like he is being “silly”. Walk away if he persists.
  2. Engage right along with him. If you jump into the conversation with your own compliments for the servers, it will change the dynamic from flirtatious to friendly. The addition of “loving energy towards him” will lighten things up.
  3. Disallow negative thoughts about your husband. It’s your mind, and you can make it think and feel how you want. Your habits are also under your control. You can create all kinds of positive thinking in your mind. That will bring you happiness. That happiness you feel will be a wonderful part of your marriage.

Your husband is a great treasure in life. Love him, show him you love him, and everything will be OK…but don’t ignore this. Working on the underlying dynamics will really make all the difference in the world.

If you’re not sure, I know things can be confusing, feel free to reach out to our counselors. They are super caring people who know our systems inside and out. They will help you.

Paul Friedman
Paul Friedman
Founder, The Marriage Foundation
Paul devised an entirely new approach to marriage that empowers individuals to finally understand and cultivate expanding happiness and love in their marriages.

He has written two books, produced several video educational programs, regularly speaks on marriage, and founded The Marriage Foundation as a non-profit organization.

Our mission is to end divorce by spreading Paul's revolutionary marriage system around the world. We have helped thousands of individuals and couples for nearly 20 years and in over 45 countries.

157 thoughts on “Why Does My Husband Flirt With Other Women?

  1. Todd Reply

    I for one find it TOTALLY DISRESPECTFUL for a man to flirt with another woman right there in front of his wife!!! And I don’t care what reasons are given for his doing so because the bottom line is that he’s married and supposed to be FULLY COMMITED to his wife and have eyes for her ONLY!!!!!!!!!!

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      I agree with you Todd; 100%…However, we deal with what is real, not what is imagined to be. None of us are perfect, and acceptance of your spouses flaws, and how THEY deal with them, is essential for happiness.

    • Chandni Reply

      If I have to work on keeping my husband from flirting with women then it means there is no marriage. If he believes that flirting is healthy and it’s a way of life..then he shouldn’t have been married in the first place. Leave that man- that would’ve been the right advise because here I see only one spouse working to mend things. Not fair.

      • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

        My suggestions, which are based on adherence to principles, common sense, and over 20 years of experience are offered with love and respect to those who want to gain the wonderful joys of marriage. Naturally, there are plenty of people who simply want to complain and are looking for confirmation for their resentment. Unfortunately, they could be helped but only if they are helped in a way that pleases them so my advice is seen as an affront. Sad, but true.

  2. Debra Reply

    I’m dealing with my 63 yo husband( 12 yrs older than me) being inappropriate with the. Opposite sex also he never compliments me/ Men if you want to be married you wouldn’t be flirting with and complimenting other women and giving your wife zero attention- ladies move on don’t settle for that crap there’s a man who would appreciate you and have eyes only for you or st least enough respect for you to control there eyes and actions in your presence- imagine what he’s doing when your not around- he’s testing the waters and one day opportunity will come knocking snd lets face it his actions show the extent of his loyalty- trust me I’ve been there and I deserve better as do all of you😞

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      So often I hear this kind of think coming from women, but they never tell the other side of the coin. Of course your husband should not be inappropriate with anyone, ever. But are we to trust that you are a loving wife who lures your husband in with love and smiles? Men are no more perfect than women. Unless you learn how to create the love in your home that your husband married you for you will not have it, and you will have him pulling away from you…
      Work on your own behaviors first. Then, when you are perfect, complain about your husband.

  3. Mitch Reply

    When love is true, a spouse doesn’t need to flirt. Both of you are supposed to protect each other from unnecessary hurt.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      That is true. But the same can be said about other “shoulds”..Best to learn how to be married, and avoid the 3 C’s

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      easy to say, Mitch. People need more than you should this, or you should do that

      • Sarah Reply

        My boyfriend of 2 years has always loved me well. He understands me, he’s romantic. I’m crazy about him. But over the last year, he told me he has a sharing fetish and he wanted me to “cheat” on him. Eventually he convinced me to do it, and then showered me with even more love and affection. So it was ok, but it felt weird. I told him that I wouldn’t want him to do the same and he said he was fine with that, and only wanted me. However, he has started to talk alot about other women in a sexual way, as he gawks at them In front of me. He has even gotten phone numbers and tells me about his flirting when I’m not with him. He tells me this is just for entertainment, but it hurts and confuses me. If I’m the love of his life, why is he doing this? He did cheat on his ex wife multiple times but he said it was because they had no connection. He tells me he will never cheat on me, he just likes to flirt/gawk/fantasize. Sometimes I break down and I tell him I can’t deal with him doing this, and he says he’s sorry and he will work on focusing on our relationship. But there is some cognitive dissonance going on, because I also feel like that if he loved me, he wouldn’t do this. He always assures me that he only wants me. I don’t know what to think. The other thing is that he never posts about me on Facebook, but I post about him and tag him in it.

        • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

          Sarah has not been realistic about her boyfriend’s intentions. I did a video on this and you can watch it here https://youtu.be/k-73CZgNHbo but let’s look at this in the contexts of how the world sees sex and marriage and what her boyfriend is really all about.
          The world has reduced sexual intimacy to a form of entertainment. It has become an “achievement” for some and for others it is a heightened sensual experience that is measured against other mundane exercises, like eating a good meal. This attitude towards sex is fine for “advanced animals” but we are not part of the animal kingdom spiritually. We are souls! As such we should respect the ability to fixate on sex as a trap that brings us down…in that context.
          In the higher context of marriage, and we can agree that a committed relationship is also meaningful, sexual intimacy is a wonderful way to connect without awkwardness. We are able to open our hearts completely during the act, safely and passionately. It is a way to express love and loyalty. But, clearly, Sarah and her boyfriend have no knowledge of this blessed context. In fact, her boyfriend, like most men, has no clue about opening his heart to the degree of deep meaning and Sarah has accepted what he is willing to offer, and she would benefit by asking herself if she should not demand more from herself and seek true intimacy and love.

      • M Reply

        We had a dinner party. My husband flirted with my friend the whole evening. He was making eye contact with her, teasing her, being playful, engaging in exciting conversation… All the things I wish he did with me as his wife. By the end of the night I felt incredibly embarrassed and intensely angry. We rarely have sex anymore, maybe once a month or not even. I am the opposite of the body type and women he usually goes after. At this point I truly don’t know why we are married. His friend even said that my husband treats him better than me. I feel like a complete joke at this point. I don’t want to fight for my marriage. I want to walk away. But I feel trapped. I don’t think this man will ever love me the way I desire and I think I am wasting my time. I don’t know why we got married and I regret it. I thought I was being led by God or some divine appointment. But now I think I was being idealistic and stupid. I hate him so much. I am crying as I write this. I know I have a stressful job and I am constantly moody, grumpy and snappy because of how stressful my work is. I know he always says that if I going to keep being grumpy then he wants a divorce. I guess tonight was a wake up call that he really means it. He clearly craves something that I don’t think I can give him. At this point I am not even sure I am willing to try anymore. I am exhausted: emotionally, spiritually and physically.

        • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

          You wrote, “I am constantly moody, grumpy and snappy …” but expect your husband to be loving, desire you, and effectively transcend your off-putting behaviors. Why would you think he should do so? You have free will and know what you need to do, so do it.

  4. Lynn Reply

    Open flirting only hurts and humiliates, not to mention is embarrassing when your spouse is so immature and insecure that he needs the attention (sometimes not welcomed) from wait staff, friends (sometimes welcomed). It’s not just the spouse who doesn’t flirt with others who feels insecure, it’s that “drive” or need for the flirt to feel like he’s desired. Apparently respect is out the window. I am of the opinion that flirting in front of the spouse is only indicative that it doesn’t stop there. It will lead to other things. Been there, done that.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Your husband should not be flirting, obviously. But you are so hard on him, and although it is easy to measure one flaw against the other, and think it is objective, it is still negatively impacting your husband… as I am sure this is not the only judgment you put on him. If you start to see him as “challenged” in this area, and treat him with love, and change your thoughts to positive ones, you will see big changes.

      • Anita Reply

        Hi Paul,

        I have tried your suggestions, but my husband has a favor restaurant he always goes to after working late for dinner…he flirts we have talked about it, I do think it is for attention….about two weeks ago my husband and I were working at a fundraiser, when the “girls” saw him they came running and they all hugged…meanwhile one of them saw me and looked like a deer in headlights….hence I’m not feeling too good…

        • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

          Respectfully, PLEASE don’t use these suggestions with the hope of everything working itself out!!
          The suggestions are pieces of a puzzle until you get the whole picture. It would help you a great deal to read one of my books… then, if that is not enough (sometimes it is) you can begin the course… which is effective nearly 100% of the time.

      • Rosalyn Reply

        A woman walked up behind my husband in front of me and kissed him so hard on his cheek she almost had his whole right cheek in her mouth. He just sits there. She looks at me and asks.was she disrespecting me?

        • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

          What did you say to her?…
          Do you know her?
          Does your husband know her?
          What did you say, if anything, to your husband?

  5. Sue Reply

    I have been married for 37 years. I was living a dream until three years ago. I found out my husband was telling lies about me to the women in the offices we worked for. This was for attention. He enjoyed playing the martyr. Because of the treatment I received from the women in the offices I had to stop going. This isn’t just about men it is about women to. What happened to your brain? It is the oldest trick men play. “My wife doesn’t understand me,” or doesn’t appreciate me……. Why would any women feel flattered by a man who is with his wife and is clearly being a party to a hurtful situation they would not want to find themselves in. Women aren’t very nice to women when a husband is acting like a dog. And you men if you know what you are doing is hurting your wife then the pain you cause is intentional. Two yrs of counselling little has changed.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Everything you say is true (in most cases), including you wasting money on counseling..2 years?? Get our program, for God’s sake!

  6. Joan Reply

    When hubby is with you, flirt with the bag boy, paper boy, mechanic, repairer, roadside service guy, etc… At the least you find balance; at best he reforms. But do not fight about it. Whoever is most civil wins and if you act upset he will probably become unfair and punitive.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      No Joan… all you do is start a war. It is better to learn how to be married, and be happy; always!

  7. Mila Reply

    If joan’s husband does not flirt, and she’s the one who flirts with the bag boy in front of the husband, would it start a war? I would have believed you were it not for your reply to joan. Still double standard?

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Mila.. I don’t get the double standard comment. Every person is going to “pay” when they break the laws of morality, so it should not matter what they do from your ‘how does this affect me’ perspective; other than you, as a spouse, should feel loving compassion for them, knowing they will suffer. You see, marriage is not a competition. If you turn it into one both of you lose. if you stay true to your vows both win.

  8. KC Reply

    All of those replies seem to me like “A man can’t help himself, be this or that way to make yourself feel better about it.” Doesn’t jive with me. How funny that in this world a man can’t put in the effort to be in the emotional equivalent of a woman, as we fight to be the societal equivalent of man. Disrespect and lack of concern for your SO’s emotions are nothing other than that.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      The problem is not that a man “should” do this or that. The problem is that women do not understand the biological influences on themselves or their men, so they have unrealistic expectations. The reverse is also true, about men. Our efforts are to explain things scientifically without judgment.
      Of course respect is a vital part of a healthy marriage; vital! But where do people learn that? From parents? Movies? TV sitcoms? Or how about politics?
      Our efforts to teach marital happiness will hopefully have a great benefit on those who read our books and take our courses. Its the best we can do.

  9. Abby Reply

    My husband sends texts to other women. I comb through his phone and always find something inappropriate he’s sent. He says he’s not cheating and that he doesn’t know why he sends them…what should I do?

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Men who are confronted will never fess up; nor will women, for that matter. But, clearly you have problems with your marriage that are underlying his desire to seek “something” elsewhere. I would start by asking what is missing in your marriage.

  10. Wiera ( Vera) Kelly Reply

    Obviously flirting means” still looking!”
    Why does the woman always have to make sure he’s feeling loved?
    If he’s flirting with other women, he’s taking time away from our relationship.
    Maybe if he’d flirt with his wife,”oh sorry all flirted out for the day!” Though you could be my mattress pad for me to work out my desires for others on!
    So “her feelings do not matter?”
    Just as long as his urges are met and you’re loving him at home he has a great life.
    You are alone and will remain alone.
    No, sorry I do not think a man feels anything after immoral behavior except; victory!
    I get everyone is different though the sentiment is the same; if you’re in a committed relationship, then commit. If you want to spread your love juice for the urge of procreation, them hit a sperm bank, not the alter for marriage!

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Yes, you are correct, pretty much all the way. But the problem is that being angry with your husband, or letting him know he is immoral (he already knows) is a non-starter for healing your marriage.
      You have to begin at a place that is not doing more harm than good. That place is self examination. That does not mean its your fault, but if you think a husband is operating like a saint, you have to get into reality.

      Our efforts are to heal marriages, to take advantage of this wake up call, and get couples into a marriage that is joy filled and well oiled. If all you want to do is bash your husband for doing things poorly you might as well already be in divorce court.

  11. Wiera ( Vera) Kelly Reply

    It’s hard not to put one down. When feelings are already hurt and trust destroyed, it naturally comes out of the one that’s hurt. After all, we are only human. Maybe one wants the other to have a little empathy for their feelings. Then, their refusal to acknowledge their part in hurting the other one, makes one even more angry.
    Insecure? Well what has the other done to make them feel secure. Hitting on anything 98.6° sure would not make the other one feel good, eh?
    I can not fathom anyone wanting to just give up.
    Though I can not fathom it being something that can be fixed.
    Maybe one can not get past all the hurt feelings. Feelings of inadequacies, never being good enough.
    Even after vows were stated in front of God and all. That you were the one for the other and they’ll be faithful and devoted.
    Don’t say it unless you mean it. Some of us take our vows seriously and would not fathom even looking. Lead me not into temptation. They are not black letters on white paper. They are to have meaning and consequences.
    To which, making the abuser feel secure and happy after all is said and done, does not seem appropriate to me. It like rewarding bad behavior. Which we all know is to actually encourage it.
    I actually heard one say to the other well you stayed, so you obviously have accepted it. That’s narcissist. No regard for the other.

    Divorce sounds good compared to never being good enough for the one you devoted your life to.
    It’s degrading to the one that has taken their vows seriously.

    Beside if they’re looking, shouldn’t one just let them go?
    If they truly cared for the one they were with, they would have flirted with them and not the new interest?

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      I discovered that dwelling on all you propose, though quite correct, is like wiggling your body in quicksand. All you do is speed up inevitable death to your marriage, and yourself. Unfortunately this kind of thinking is literally promoted. Why? It does no good. Not for you, or for your marriage!

      My thinking is that if you want to save your marriage, which I have proven is realistic, countless times, you need to have a realistic and practical approach that ultimately produces happiness.
      I suggest you look at the website more, maybe read one of my books, or, if you wish, take the course (which is honestly the best course of action for you).

  12. Carol Channing Reply

    I was with a man who flirted with other women, (smiled openly across the room the entire time we were seated in a restaurant, smiled in passing, touched them in conversation, aggressively sought to make eye contact) in my presence for a year. I told him repeatedly how bad it always made me feel. BUT he claimed that I was insecure and he was just a “friendly” guy. I know that all men “look” looking is fine. You “look” and you’re done. His behavior was something else again. I related to him on five different occasions that his behavior really hurt my feelings, but he continued. Bottom line is he didn’t respect me in the least.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      In all my years I have never heard of a man responding to his wife’s ‘complaints’ in a positive way (unless he took our program, of course). I would think you would try to reason out why that does not work, as you have been trying and trying. But more important, for your marriage, is to learn what the underlying factors are that makes him so rude to you… I think if you read one of my books your marriage will improve a great deal…

  13. Erica Reply

    Me and my husband has been married for a few weeks.. I still see him as a bf … not so a husband. And we work at the same place, which I absolutely hate because all I see him do is flirt with women.. he’s extra nice to them.. and goes out his way to help them through the door. He’s never that sweet to me. I told him I hate it and he calls me jelly. He still does it no matter what… I find it unattractive we’re 12 years apart. I feel like me saying yes was a huge mistake

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      If you wrote before you married we would have suggested a longer engagement, to see what he is like. Because you have only been married a short time, and see him only as a boyfriend, you still can safely and ethically get un-married. “Divorce” is not what you are doing, though technically it is.

    • Anonymous Reply

      20 years of marriage husband never tried to hug or say anything like he loves me. Loves to party and invite office colleagues women. Or young girls. And loves to drink and chat with them. And me I have to be a great host always.which I always did knowingly and foolishly.
      He has phone locked . He sleeps alone. And never makes any gestures of love. Even when we sleep together I feel like I am pressuring him. We have two sons 19 and 14. His friends wife’s always look at me with sympathy I try and show them as if everything is right. But it’s weird. I always tried my best to not make the situation worse. Now he openly rejects me by his looks words and hands.feel worthless. I don’t speak to him as I know it’s waste of words with such a person who never loved me. Ism no value for him.

      • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

        Erica’s case is clearly extreme and is obviously the result of her never addressing the earliest signs of a non-marriage marriage. Because is it truly a marriage when one of them does not consider it so, when their actions speak of a total disregard for the other or the marriage, itself?

        Is it too late for her? Yes, and no. The chances for a true recovery are much smaller now because of all the habits that have taken root on both sides but ONCE A PERSON DECIDES TO CHANGE THEMSELVES AND THEN STICKS TO A PROCESS THAT WORKS THEY WILL, BY VIRTUE OF FREE-WILL, ACHIEVE THEIR GOAL.

        The idea of free-will is just an untried conceptual ideal for most people because they do not use scientific methods like the SEW technique to make their choices permanent. However, those who begin the process of reclaiming dominance over their own mind, their emotions, anger, and other inner reactions, will discover freedom from what most consider “normal”. Those who rise to the challenge of overturning the mind, and conquering it, will live in happiness no matter what outer circumstance they face and they will be victorious.

        Being a victim is not a natural state for a human being. Joy is the natural state because we are essentially souls!
        Giving up is not natural for human beings. Tenacious effort is natural because we are essentially souls.
        Love by loving is our birthright and it must be the basis of all our actions. Then we will know joy, not otherwise.

  14. Juvy Reply

    I am on the same situation right now. Always feeling awkward, humiliated and hurt every time my husband is flirting. Worse is, he seems to be enjoying telling me stories of what he’s been doing if i’m not with him. Though i am for saving our marriage, just letting him be won’t do anything to save it. Respect is the issue here. Marriage is for husband and wife to work it out. Not just by the wife alone. I respected him for not embarrasing him in public. He should have respected me for not hurting my felings. It seems I owe something to him because he’s honest? Duhh!

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      You have the attitude of one who does not want their marriage to work, or might go for it if her husband does “his part”.
      This kind of thinking puts one nail in the coffin after another. If you hold on to this point of view your marriage was already over.

      I offer solutions that work out for both of you. There is nothing wrong with the wife taking the lead…

      • Jamie Reply

        Juvy I am married to a self proclaimed sex addict. He told me it starts with flirting and then slowly goes from there. In his case he cannot flirt if he wants to avoid the next step. I have stuck by him and worked on our marriage but really there is only one glory for me. What I get out of it is I get to keep the man I fell in love with.

        Clearly he cheated on me, aside from his addiction, because I was not fulfilling certain needs. Are those needs which I can fulfill? I don’t know since he cannot actually put into words what those needs are. He has said that when I disagree with something, like where to live or what to buy etc, he punishes me by cheating. AKA uses it as an excuse. He swears he loves me. I know he has a sickness but do I keep agreeing with all his wants and needs just so he won’t cheat? Is that even possible? We will see.

        One rule is since he was honest (prior to that he was taking me to priests and psychiatrists and putting me on medication because i was delusional. But thank god for the one friend who decided not to cover for him anymore), when he could’ve lied, I should not bring it up and not cry or be upset about it. I need to let it go out of fairness to him for being so honest. So that’s what I do. My needs and feelings are not important right now and if I want our marriage to work I have to respect his wishes. (I guess he forgets that originally he did lie about it).

        Anyway what I am trying to say is that unfortunately it is up to us. If we want to be with them. And the reverse if the wife is the one with the issue of course They can’t help it. It is in their evolutionary make up. So we either support them and work on ourselves (or just ignore it) or we leave.

        • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

          I am so glad you reached out and shared your story (without anyone knowing who you are). You are right in everything but one important thing.
          Your efforts to be the ideal wife are not working because the role models of society do not understand marriage, so we do not learn from them.
          So your efforts are missing the underlying powerful unconditional love to be not only the motivator, but you need to understand how to always manifest your actions to exhibit it. You are on the right track, sort of, but have become fatalistic. Thats not quite right for either of you.
          The changes are only going to be subtle nuances for you, but either of my books and courses will change things for you, and him.

      • TB Reply

        I agree its an trust issue, but its not as so just flirting but how he looks at women when he’s flirting that disturbing and frustrating. Thats causing insecurity.

        • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

          The fact remains and requires your attention, that your marriage is not performing as it should or he would not look at anyone but you. Put your attention on remaking your marriage into the loving soulmate home you promised him. That is the key.

  15. Mia Z Reply

    Do you mean men want children? I am confused. Children are social life enders. Chidlren are money in the bank enders whose little lives need to be selflessly taken care of. I doubt a guy who is interested in flirting or cheating is subconsciously thinking, “Gee, I want to procreate “right now”. What am I missing?

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Good question
      Men are driven by the biological drive, and most men are able to temper the inner drive for moral and social purposes. But, no, men do not consciously connect the dots. Nature, meaning biology, does not “care” about anything but the reproduction aspect.
      Does that clear it up?

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Its funny that you say that… yes, children shift a couples social life dramatically, but they are not “enders”.
      Do they need to be selflessly taken care of? Well, I would like to see more of that attitude!
      But the drive to procreate is not about “thinking” about children. It is a biological drive. If people were able to recognize sensations nd drives for what they are, rather than be slaves to them, the world would not be the way it is today… would it?

  16. Audrey Reply

    If Your married , you should not flirt with other women, it’s disrespectful and hurtful, but on the other hand women should not flirt back with marrried men ,if they didn’t , perhaps that would make men think it’s not fair on their wife’s , and of course the opposite applies

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Marriage is intended to be a venue in which you cherish one another and do all you can to make each other feel special. We don’t take a “I’ll show them” tack, or it undermines the whole ideal… instead we show love as our only response, and that will “show them” we are sincere in our love and loyalty… that goes for both!

  17. Sangeeta Reply

    My husband flirts with most of the girls and women. It hurts me when he does. He loves me but still his does even in front of me. I tried to take it easily but when you see your husband flirting and getting involved I just can’t control.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Of course it is not right for him to do so. But he is doing it for reasons which reflect his own weaknesses. Those could be anything; from suppressed anger to insecurities about his manliness, to childish acts of showing off. …the point is that it should be seen as his own burden.

      That means that you should seek the ideal of feeling compassion for him, not reacting to his behaviors.

      Further, as his wife, you can help him through this without addressing his lack (it is rude to point out his flaws to him).
      Become such a lover to him (I am not talking about sex) that he would never consider such immodest and self deprecating behavior.

      By all means, read one of my books so you have a validation of what marriage should be like. Then you will see how easy it is to find the joy that is currently veiled by misunderstanding.

  18. Laura Reply

    I wonder if the same advice would be given to a man whose wife was constantly flirting with other men in front of him. Somehow, I expect not.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      The goal here is to help those who come for help, not pretend men and women are the same, and the cures are the same. Women who marry flirtatious men usually knew it when they got married. The same is true for men who marry flirtatious women… but the cures are not that much different.

  19. Susan Reply

    You say women usually know when they get married that he’s a flirtatious man well I have been married forty years and my husband is retired now he’s seventy and his flirtations only started a couple of years ago ……… and there I am stood or sitting right next to him feeling humiliated used and unloved.

    Paul Friedman writes: I have reduced the content of this comment because Susan began to use the space to vent her grievances, rather than ask for a suggestion.

    I started the foundation to HELP couples, not provide a forum for discussion. The advice in the article is not applicable 100% of the time, but demonstrates our positive approach and confidence, that most marriages can be turned around. Happiness IS marriage, when you know how to do it.

  20. JK Reply

    Well I sincerely liked reading it. This information provided by you is very helpful Thank you.

    • Pearl Reply

      This is the most open conversation about this touchy subject. The last time my husband and I went out I left my ego at home and danced like a maniac while he did his flirting. It appears to me that a few things are going on because I give him tons of love. Last year I accessed that he tries to make most people feel better about themselves. He needs the reassurance, attention and approval like so many. This behavior still stings but my perspective has broadened and he has been the most wonderfully loving man that I’ve ever known. I’ll be okay as long as I leave the ego behind.

  21. Sandra Reply

    Mr. Friedman, thank you for this forum. To read about other women experiencing the same disrespect from their husbands is somewhat comforting … I’m not on an island! However, I feel sad at the same time as I can identify with the feeling of shame, hurt, and poking at one’s self esteem. I am a strong woman and very confident. But this type of behavior tends to cut to the core of a wife’s heart. It certainly is NOT Godly. And, you are correct, I have shared my discontent with my husband over and over and over again, and he has NOT stopped. It’s just something in him … it then becomes another struggle as I want to be loving and kind to him and the lurking women in waiting for an opportunity to gain a weekly smile, nod of approval or wink from my husband, but it is tough. By the way, this mostly happens in church!!! EVERY SUNDAY!

    Again, you are correct, he ALWAYS denies it when I confront him out of frustration. And this time, he has chosen to sleep in the guest room (which I’m very comfortable with at this time!) I’m just tired of the blatant disrespect. I also agree, that these actions are indicative of some type of hurt from past relationships …especially from the mother. Yes, LOVE is the answer, but it is truly difficult to provide this solution when the wife has been neglected and abused. I’m choosing to LOVE myself at this point as I prepare to move forward. God tells us to LOVE our neighbor as we LOVE ourselves. Our husbands, at some point, must take the responsibility to take heed to their wives comments and adjust their behavior accordingly. I cannot continue to give love to someone who is not at least meeting me half way. After 10 years of marriage, I’m just about worn out. There are many more issues, but this continual disrespectful behavior is tipping the straw. I have strong faith in the Word of God, which by the way has kept us together this long, but will turn this over to Him as I continue to focus more on me. I refuse to allow this ungodly behavior to overtake me!!!

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      You are not at the end, but you are creating the end, and you don’t have to.
      I urge you to, at the very minimum, read one of my books. That way you will have a fuller context, and not have to cherry pick “what to do” for this, or that.
      You are Christian? So, Jesus did give the top commandments. But that does not mean you can live without all the other scripture! You need the context.
      Your marriage does not have to be this way, trust me. You have so much opportunity to make it great.

  22. Sandra Reply

    Wow! Thank you kindly for such a quick response. I will check out one of your books. God Bless you for this forum. Certainly, it is a source for many of spouses to vent. After praying and rereading the posts (especially your responses), I began to GET IT!!

    We Women have the POWER! We’ve been equipped with the power and authority to LOVE (pray) for our husbands’ success. And, yes, we do this through love. I feel one does not have to be a doormat, but love and rest in the power. We must speak TRUTH in love. This process would be easier as one has a “relationship” with God as then we’d become equipped with another tool … PEACE — which would save many sets of broken dishes😂! Thanks again Mr. Friedman … you ROCK!

    • Watina Reply

      My husbands flirts in church, grocery stores, bank etc…. I have learned to have power over it today.

      Thanks for your post!!! It was spot on

    • Watina Reply

      Also, my husbands issue can’t be fixed after years of counseling. He has wonderful qualities otherwise,

  23. Maria Reply

    My husband met this womanonline (pal talk) . They were all from the same country. He made the woman to believe that he wasn’t married. She found out and stopped flirting with him. Then he found her again. Until today him and I happily married for 20 years. During the 20 years I have confronted him many times still flirting with her via text. Unfortunately it’s the same repeating habit each time. He lives in a fantasy world believing he could have 2 wives. He knows I hate it and totally against it. I think there is a problem with him and I cannot seem to work it out. Self esteem, insecurity, not loving me?? I don’t know. Please help me. Oh he also believes he’s responsible for her wellbeing because he lied to her in the beginning.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Hi Maria
      Typically, these are the kinds of questions our counselors respond to, and it is still free. I will send this question to them so they can help you. But basically your marriage can only be taken seriously when both of you are “in” it. You have a lot of power to change yours, so there is a great future for you IF you, individually, put in the correct kind of effort.
      For those who would like to ask a question of a counselor, please use the link in the menu.

  24. Jess Reply

    Here is m issue..I’m married to a wonderful man, husband and father. The past few months, he has been openly flirting and making inappropriate comments in front of me to other women. We both are Christians and go to church. I have brought up and of course, somehow, I’m the one that ends up apologizing. It’s guilt o. His part, I get that. I love my husband more than I have ever loved anyone else, he is my rock. No doubt about that. I was raised to be respected as I should respect my husband. I have mentioned it to him a zillion times..I thought we had a break through but just happened again tonight. What in the world!!?? Are you kidding me:..I have friends that look at me and say, really?? I think for him is all about sex..every day. Guess what? I would love to give you that but not when make me feel like I’m a piece of crap and worth enough. Just venting….

  25. Jess Reply

    Btw-we had the best message at church this past Sunday about marriage but he didn’t get to hear it. ……we got into an -argement about his flirting Saturday night and left me at church and went home.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      I wonder if you actually read the article, or just wanted to vent in the comments section, because it honestly looks like you didn’t read it.
      So, how can i help you? If you wish, you can go back, and you will see I directly address your issues…
      and to your btw, I have a btw, too. We don’t believe in just talking the talk. We are the real deal for marriage help.

  26. Speechless Reply

    In a marriage going on 10 years. My spouse had an affair with one of his siblings ex girlfriend and maybe some in between and probably still having…even if it’s just flirting. All of them in his job place. I went through his phone and it made me sick to my stomach plus all the tears I bottled. He denied it alI until I gave him names and the pictures he saved. To date I recently found more text messages and all of them indicating I am the one with trust issues while he is the one asking if that person is mad and is missing him. Telling that other job person that she is numero uno. He doesn’t work with these females any longer but still keeps contact with them. He gave them his work email address. And now tells them that there is a female at his present job that looks like one of the ones he worked before. In his texts obviously makes me look like the bad person. He forwards them pictures of the Grand babies but only with him in the photos. He makes lunch dates with them and apologizes and accuses me for him not keeping those secret rendevous, which why does he do that anyway. He strikes up conversations about what kind of sexual toys lesbians use. Then he sends nasty videos or pics about what his co worker looks like. He even has a what’s ap group of nothing but sexual videos. I haven’t even gotten over him having this first affair…he was staying at my parents home because of his job being out of town…smh! Years ago we tried counseling but he threw everything at me. His female workers judging me without knowing me!

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      I wouldn’t call you speechless! You have spoken out. Now, the question is what do you want to do?
      The two overriding questions are
      Do you stay in the marriage?
      Do you get out of the marriage?

      Everything you say confirms everything I say, from what happens when you confront to the ineffectiveness of traditional marriage counseling.

      Now, you must decide, without any help from others, what you are going to do.

      If you choose to stay in your marriage I would suggest the courses we have. If your husband is willing to participate all the better. But although your husband has gone to extremes in his adventures, because we don’t know him we don’t know if his chronic philandering is pathological, or a reaction to your marriage being terrible. If it is a reaction then you can still have a happy marriage; by recreating the underlying dynamics. If he is pathological you will not be able to change him, and can only hope he sees the light once you have made your changes.

      I like to pray for both of you.

  27. christelle Reply

    why want to save a marriage? when it becomes an effort it can only be temporary changes. Why want to stay in a marriage that requires effort all the time?

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      That is a great question, one that I dealt with MANY times, because most of us are used to temporary changes because of how psychologists approach marriage; by the problem or issue, instead of going after the underlying dynamics of the marriage; which is exactly what we do in our courses.

      Before you give up, try our course. You can start with the 5 day free trial, and then go on to the guaranteed part. But the first section, alone, which is how I deal with making changes permanently, will probably hook you.

  28. Insecure. Reply

    Hi Mr. Friedman. We have the same exact problem/issue for quite sometime now. We are married for almost 8years now, but we keep on fighting for the same exact reason. I always find out that he is flirting with other woman via fb tru chat or text. He is having an affair with different woman. I am not sure if they have gone physical because i was not able to read the entire conversation but it is seems like that. It seems that we are ok.. but there is something wrong. He is always telling me that he wanted a whole and happy family. That he does not to get separated but he always does the same thing. He is texting, chatting with other woman. What else can i do? I do not understand, why?

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      It is very frustrating to know your husband is unfaithful. And, no matter what I tell you in a brief response will not help you get to the other side of this
      For this reason, we have started to offer a free trial of the complete course, so you can start to see the light of day without feeling “sold” on the course we offer. I genuinely hope you take this offer to heart, as a sincere way to show you what will work, rather than just talk about it… please, stay in touch.

  29. Pearl Reply

    Hi Paul, a flirting partner makes one to feel like he/She is worthless and makes one think that one 8s not happy.

    Last year …. I was in a serious shock after I found out he was flirting with this other lady,…. apparently he was going to meet this lady. I have been so faithful …. since we got married in 2005. I have never been so hurt in my entire life, I felt unloved and unappreciated.
    I confronted him and he denied even though I could hear their conversations.

    This month again …. we talked and it has passed but I’m still hurting a lot. We have 2 boys together and I’m 8m pregnant now. I can’t cope at all.

    I’m trying to be the best wife ever and I support him in everything he does, we talk and laugh together in the house like everything is well. But deep down I’m broken.

    Do u think I should let him know how I feel? Cause I don’t even know if I still trust him even now. I love him so so much but I feel betrayed.

    My family is my everything, but I’m starting to doubt what we have for each other. Everytime when I think about this things I don’t stop crying. I think u can be able to help me. I’m so angry inside.

    (much removed by Paul)

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      It is not too late, but you have to make every effort because you deserve to have a happy marriage and a happy family.
      Please, don’t tell anyone about what you are going through, and don’t confront him again; those will only damage what is still there.
      But you NEED TO take the course, so you can get grounded and have clear direction.
      It would be wonderful if he also took the course for men, but I doubt he will.
      You have my prayers for your success. Don’t give up!!!

  30. Fafa Gables. Reply

    I’m going to answer this multi-part comment in parts

    It’s all very confusing and disturbing when a woman is the one to work real hard to make the man happy so that both of them can have a happy relationship.

    The idea of “working hard” is a throwback to Western psychological ideas which have no place in the world of marriage. If you have psychological “issues” that make you behave in a way that causes problems between you and your husband; work on them. But most marriage destructive behaviors are remedied by knowledge and the SEW technique I include in the courses.

    I do understand that any person trying to analyze any trouble in a relationship needs to understand both sides to better advise or implement some type of therapy.

    Your understanding is simply inaccurate. Analyzing problems is quicksand that keeps you in them. The correct actions are not therapy, but understanding, which will define how to interact, so the current issues are transcended by deep connection, and true marital friendship.

    But what we fail to understand is how badly a certain bad behavior Can tear you apart.

    “We certainly do understand! However, unless you wish to stay the same, and live in and with your current marriage dynamics, you CAN rise above the emotional pain caused by the past errors.

    What would a man do if his wife was acting this way; that is, blatantly flirting with other men in his presence?
    Men are individuals. So it is impossible to give a general answer to this hypothetical question. HOWEVER, asking this question defines the wrong kind of thinking…do you want to heal your marriage? Or, do you want to prove something?

    Would it be ok for the man to walk away from the woman or would the man seek help to try and get the message across to his wife that her behavior is disheartening?

    What is okay in one context may not be okay in a different context.

    I honestly disagree that any man or woman who flirts around the significant other can change that behavior if they have been doing it for a long time,

    Your opinion, and I respect your “honesty” is based on what?? We see, all the time, women make specific changes that “converts” their husband… I am offended by those who would discourage others from trying to heal their marriage because of their opinion. You are neither an expert on marriage or on will power and habits. I am, and I KNOW the sought-after changes are not merely ‘possible’.

    I’m sorry to say that. My boy friend and I broke up due to a behavior like that. One can say that, he was dissatisfied with me so he was still shopping around.

    You were not married, which makes a huge difference, on every level.

    The sad thing is that, I noticed his flirting on our very first date. Didn’t think or read much into it. Of course in the first few weeks or months, you can tell yourself you are not that well invested in the relationship so you try your best to be loving and more appealing (big mistake!) or you walk away not leaving too big a piece of yourself behind.

    In my course for dating (available at our sister site, Premarital Academy, I make it clear that a date doing that is a red flag. You should have dumped him.

    A man should love you for who you are not what or who he expects you to be.

    Exactly! And vice versa!

    I pointed it out nicely, almost playfully the first couple of times and he flat out denied it. It is unreasonable to imagine pointing out a flaw will ever cause a person to either acknowledge it, or wish to change it.
    After being with him for 3 years( what a waste of my time!) I broke it off 2 weeks after we were engaged. It was painful for me and him but I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life being the crazy woman he said I was. I don’t want to marry a flirt and he shouldn’t have to marry crazy either. I don’t think he disliked me or didn’t love me. I believe he just could not control himself no matter what. I see cute guys and I glance not stare and flirt, but he would see an attractive woman and at that moment I don’t exist.

    Neither of you are mature enough for marriage. You are both lucky to remain single.

    For me it was hard to deal with, and I only speak for myself. To me I don’t think any man or woman has to live with a behavior like that if you have tried everything to accept his or her flaws but you still feel miserable. I say move on. It will only break you than make you.
    My parents have been married for 46 years. For the first 35 years, my father treated my mother very badly. He flirted, cheated, belittled and disregarded my mother. Why did my mom stay with him all these years? Because she couldn’t financially provide for herself and she didn’t want me to grow up without a father, so she felt trapped.

    Your mother did it for you and your siblings. God bless her!

    Many women will stay with a man due to his looks, financial stability, kids they have together, and many other reasons. No need for either partner to feel overly betrayed if things don’t work out and you have to go your separate ways. But my advice is that who ever decides to walk must try their best first to work on the relationship and if all fails, make your decision.

    You have no business giving advice.

    Your partner is not responsible for your happiness,

    This is correct!

    you are both equally responsible

    This is not correct.

    You can decide to work things out or move on if it hurts too much and you have tried all you got. Sometimes it has nothing to do with disrespect, but everything to do with old habit.

    Anyone who throws away their marriage due to flirting or cheating, without trying my system is making a very bad life changing decision.

  31. Katheryn Reply

    Hi Paul, its a great article, he is a great husband and father, he is friendly too with people but when there are girls or women he is more friendly or start conversations in front of me, i feel humiliated, but the truth is our marriage is not ideal and far from perfect, we tell things to each other that hurt and difficult to forget and we only are married for one year. Im not doing so much to keep positive too and i want to focus on what i can do because i will not change his behaviour, but i do not want to be submissive and lower my head or turn it over. what other advice could you give me

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Only one year! You know, that’s a big sign that you are not “educated” for marriage.
      I would suggest you could do well by reading one of my books together. Or, if you prefer, you can still take the premarital courses which are on the Premarital Academy site.
      If he is not interested, and thinks “everything is fine” then get the woman’s course for yourself, so you can lead by example. But clearly the underlying dynamics of your marriage need to shift.
      Stay in touch.

  32. Susan Reply

    Paul, when a person is flirting, it is not always just the marriage. The person himself may have an emotional problem that they need to deal with. Low self esteem, what ever the case. I do agree try to handle the situation in a positive way.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Susan, you are almost right.
      The man who flirts even though he is married most certainly has individual “issues”.
      HOWEVER, wives are not expected to be psychologists or clergy.
      They ARE expected to be compassionate, patient, supportive, and loving.
      The exact expectation is on husbands!
      But marriage is not a business deal in which one holds back because the other doesn’t do enough.
      Each must learn the cause and effects of marriage, so they can get the happiness they seek.

  33. Blanca S Reply

    Why do we women have to keep “luring” our husbands with smiles and love when he’s diverted those smiles and love towards other women? Why do we have to try to ease their flirtation towards others by stepping in? What makes that the better way and not doing the exact same thing he does. Maybe he doesn’t appreciate us and neither do we, maybe we do need to walk away, take time off from each other and see if we really do want to stay in that disrespectful relationship or if we are better off just being roommates

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      You are not alone in your thinking. The divorce courts are filled with women who think like you, and are egged on by lawyers who want them to get a divorce.
      Marriage is not about “fair” or “just”. It is about happiness. Are you happy? Of course not! And with your current convictions you never will be.
      If all you want is a roommate, that is all you will have. But if you want to have a happiness producing marriage you have to adhere to deep spiritual principles of love. Not submission! But love.

    • Charlotte S Reply

      My husband looks blatantly st other women. He is a very good father, and grandfather. He buys me gifts and holds my hand. I get a kiss in the morning when he goes to work snd a kiss brfore going to sleep. I think it goes both ways, and I am a very positive person. My husband had tripple bypass surgery 8 years ago and our skin has not touched since . I am very open minded snd feel I know why he is not touching, I have tried to warm up to him, but he turns ice cold. I have told him I am open snd can accept anything, if he can just talk to me. He is a quiet person snd just refuses to respond. I hate it , but I am giving up with tears in my eyes.

      • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

        The surgery may have initiated, but your “fixed” ideas of intimacy have engrained his reluctance to show physical affection.
        In order to get around this all you need are more ‘general’ insights into marriage, easily garnered from either of my books.
        Because there is so much information in them you will be able to choose to experiment with what feels good to you, knowing all of it is based on true principles of unconditional love.

    • Michelle Reply

      I agree. As one who has given my all to my husband and refuses to be disrespectful to him in that manner. To me, no other man exists. I’m not going to give any other man even the slightest notion that I am flirting with him. I find it disrespectful to my husband. However, he doesn’t see, or refuses to realize, that when he is flirting and winking at other women, it hurts me. I often ask myself why I am not good enough. To him, he just being nice. If it gives someone else hope that there could be something there, why do it? Just because a man (or woman) thinks they are simply being nice. The person on the other end may see it in a whole different way.
      After seeing my husband winking, complimenting with enthusiasm, and using terms of endearment with other women, those things just don’t seem to mean anything to me now when he directs them at me. It breaks my heart because a man that I adored is taking those feelings away from me with his actions. 😔

      • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

        Dear Michelle,
        Many agree with you, but I ask you to look at another approach because complaining about what you see as your burden is self-imposed.

        It is the greatest folly to make yourself miserable when things that happen that are out of your control happen, and the greatest folly to base your own happiness on what others do.

        Who does not know that we all have free-will?
        Who does not know that we have no control over the free-will of our spouse?
        Who does not know that we married a person with flaws? That we all vowed to accept them for better or worse because we know they are imperfect?

        This particular condition, in the light of marriage as a whole, should be seen by the wife as “his” problem, not something that must be addressed to save the marriage.

        The key problem is not in his actions but rather that you throw away your own happiness by taking his immature actions as a personal affront.

      • Michelle Reply

        I have decided to purchase your books. Obviously, what I am doing and thinking is not working. I am open to anything that will help my marriage be what it once was. Thank you for your response.

        • Paul Friedman Post authorReply


          I’m glad, and you will only need one of them. The second one, Breaking The Cycle, goes deeper into the reasons, which helps those who are more naturally skeptical, but they both contain the same principles-based knowledge.
          The mind chapter will be the most helpful, I think, for your situation.
          Write to the counselors if you need anything clarified. They are hand-picked and ready to help if you need.

  34. Eileen Reply

    How much more can a husband be loved and cared for: People have always told me I am a beautiful woman, I always keep my self looking nice, I keep a clean house, I have never deprived him of exciting sex, I always have a good meal fixed when he comes home from work, I have an up and happy attitude, yet he still flirts with all females as long as they flirt back. I asked him one day why he needed to flirt and he said “I don’t flirt It is my personality I can’t help it”. We now have been married almost 50 years. Now he admits he did flirt all those years. But can’t tell me why. His flirting has caused me to feel so unloved by him and so much inter turmoil, fear and anger. We are both Christians so I just kept praying for a turn around. He is 77 years old now. I finally feel safe and loved deeply. It is a wonderful feeling. But I would love to know why he needed to flirt all those years.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      What a beautiful woman you are! Your husband is fortunate, and so are you. You didn’t allow his flirting to derail your love for him, but kept up loving him and remaining faithful to your heart and vows. I am so glad you wrote!

      You don’t need much from me, as you naturally followed your heart and did what you are supposed to do. But it would be an honor for me to show you how to clean the little smudge from your finger that you describe.

      His flirting is not an act of inner disloyalty, but the male drive-to-survive pushing him to procreative positioning. That you remained constant allowed him to grow out of it, or not. But his love for you and trust in you shows how connected at the heart you are… so, what I offer is this; your mind is trying to make you feel like there is something wrong, and this tiny thing is all it has to play with; laugh at it! You don’t have a need to alter anything else… you are blessed!

      Where you and your husband are is where we get couples who have to make a mighty effort with our courses and books.I am so happy for you.

  35. Jeanne Reply

    Been married nearly 50 years and husband started flirting with a couple of female friends (of both of us) in front of me about 12 years into our marriage. Constant flirty conversation every time we saw them like I disappeared off the planet. Sometimes he would kiss other women at the end of a sporting match and when I complained he just said everybody does it – NOT SO!. All of my complaints were treated as though I was nagging. He never acknowledged the hurt I suffered. I was working at the time and could push the hurt and humiliation out of my mind.
    Finally two years ago things came to a head. He kissed yet another women in a restaurant and hoped I didn’t see – but I did. Couldn’t believe he was still doing it after all these years. Everything blew up and came tumbling out. Neither of us are working anymore and nowhere to hide. Many many conversations about the past but you can’t turn the clock back. I think he only really finally got it when we went on a weekend trip and I ended up talking to our tennis pro host who’s wife did not come on the trip My husband said he felt I was flirting he felt ignored. What do you know, it took the shoe being on the other foot for him to finally understand. But you know what, it just too late. Too much pain, too many memories. Not we will just live our our days as pleasantly a possible but there is no way to really restore lost love if it was ever there. Life is short. If you don’t have what you need get out and look around and then look around again. Don’t stay and be miserable you might just get luckey.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      You can take this approach if you want to, but I would never want to, or suggest it. Life should be filled with love and joy, not compromise in effort and expectations. If you have time to spare I suggest you grab one of my books to see what a positive approach looks like, and how you can shift everything. I think you’ll like it.

  36. Beth Reply

    I honestly can’t believe some of your responses to these poor women. They come to you asking for help, and you tell them they aren’t good enough wives, but if they buy your crap they will be. Any woman seeking advice from a stranger on the internet is desperate for help, and probably trying hard in her marriage. We are smart and know our faults and we wouldn’t be asking for help if we weren’t sure most was right on our side. She’s also obviously trying to have some anonymity with respect to her husband. A lot of husbands these days aren’t like you; they are lazy, flirty, video game playing “men” that sleep on the couch after drinking all night. All the clean homes, good food, good sex, fun conversations in the world aren’t enough to satisfy someone who feels like they are too good for you. And we’re not Jesus, we are human beings that can only take so much. Girls in general want to be happy and sweet.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      You take a lot for granted, and that is not unusual these days, and is exactly what gets wives in trouble.
      You do not have to be Jesus to be an amazing wife, but what you describe as an amazing wife is just the surface; not what works.
      All the “good” behavior in the world is no substitute for being heart centered, always striving to be unconditionally loving…its not so easy if you do not know how, and that is what I teach; how to control your emotions, your thoughts, your anger, and your impatience with yourself and your husband. How to channel your heart into your marriage, so your husband feels the love he married you for.
      Do you really believe men are so pathetic? They are not. Men and women are designed to fulfill each other in ways that make you both float, but you just don’t know how.

      • Beth Reply

        Hello.. I’ve been reading through your website and have heard great things about your program so I’m going to try it. It was really nice of you to respond.

        I don’t mean to argue and I know you don’t have time for a free therapy session but I don’t take things for granted actually – even my parents used to comment about how thankful and hardworking I can be haha. My problem is that we got married young willingly, not pregnant or anything and it’s been a little heartbreaking ever since. My husband has deep issues with his parents, but sees them every day for the company they all run. He comes home and drinks all night while staring at his phone and falls asleep on the couch. We have beautiful kids and a nice home and i worked really hard to get his “ducks in a row” so we could buy it. I practiced unconditional love for a long time. He used tell me his friends envied him. Then he started withdrawing and drinking, etc at night and now we don’t see friends a lot. He expects to be left alone. It’s been going on for years and years. He wants short conversations and sexual connections very infrequently. Even my 15 year old daughter, our oldest has started saying stuff about her dad and how he “treats” me. I’m a Christian (I don’t throw that word around) and i have an over abundance of pride so I try to act like everything is constantly perfect and I am really sweet to my husband. I truly don’t get it.

        A few years ago, he started flirting with girls in our local supermarket or other places. Or restaurants. Or anywhere. Usually. Always blondes with long hair. I’m an attractive, fit long haired brunette. And I mean, the same girls, repeatedly. It’s hunuliating. And confusing. I cried once and asked him why he does it and that i couldn’t take it anymore. He promised to stop but still does it to this day. It’s a small town; it’s humiliating!

        I haven’t said a word about it in years. I actually figured out the “walking away” thing years back. Now we’re stuck in a weird place. He has made it clear that he doesn’t want to leave us, but he won’t talk, only accepts sexual favors, sleeps alone some nights.. it’s just small slaps in the face all day long. I don’t say much there’s always a child present haha. Is he trying to break up with me? Should I just take a damn hint? I am 35 years old and I sleep alone every night despite nothing behind wrong. He just needs his beer and alone time? He’s training our only son that’s 14 to be the same. He said once years back he won’t go to counseling. I don’t know what to do. He seems okay being roommates.

        He does things that are downright mean and childish. Like we both agreed that our 14 year old shouldn’t hang out with a kid down the Riss, just got kicked out of the county school system with some pretty serious offenses. Well I’m picking up dinner (and his beer haha) and a Redbox and I find home to my son and that kid waiting in my yard to ask if they could go have a sleepover at the kids house. Didn’t what to stay at our house. I say no nicely. I’m always alone. My husband was watching tv and knew they were waiting. In fact had just called to check on where I was but didn’t mention the kids waiting. That’s one example but it’s all the time. I’m the only “bad” guy. I am the only one that limits screen time and junk food. My son would never leave his room if allowed. They both love the tv so much. I haven’t handed out cells yet to the teens because I know what will happen. Huge arguments and I’m the only one policing anything. They are great kids but naturally growing up and curious about everything.

        Again though.. I don’t mean to repeat but I try really hard. My heart is in the right place. I love him and our family. I greet him every morning with a smile and iced coffee. I don’t know. But after so many flirtations and comments coupled with all the other stuff, it’s physically impossible to feel joyful or sexy sometimes. I just stay quiet and clean haha.

        Do men prefer a wife that works? I used to and will again in a heartbeat if need be. I’m still far from lazy. He says he wanted a stay at home mom like we had. I have young kids and daycare is expensive. And I’m very frugal, I own about 2 pairs of shoes Haha and I don’t like debts. I cook cheap meals. I teach the kids to respect him constantly ( he doesnt bother.) But if his problem is the work thing I can reconsider and try to get back into the workforce. I’ve been studying for my real estate license and trying to come up with other stuff too.

        Sorry this got so long. My hubby is a great man but I don’t know what else I can do. He seems to want a different woman altogether. Once he said I should just change my hair color. And I have really pretty brow hair. This is after watching him flirt with the blonds. How do I compete with that? How do I want to be intimate with someone who clearly has no respect or desire for me? The couple of times he’s gotten worried that I’m pulling away he tries hard for a day or so. And again, I know it’s my job to be the one trying hard to be a good wife. But if he deliberately treats he with disrespect and rebellion like I’m his mom or something How do I fix that? How is that my fault?

      • Beth Reply

        Also, I meant that I think he thinks he’s too good for me, not the other way around. I’ve always felt that I’m lucky to have him. He works hard and is a great dad.

        • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

          Dear Beth
          Clearly there is “something” missing and it would be impossible for anyone but you to determine what it is. Your husband probably can’t articulate what it is either. You might try reading Breaking The Cycle. It may be enough for your marriage.
          Stay in touch when you discover the “missing” piece. I would like to know. But, I would be very surprised if you didn’t find it, do something about it and have a great marriage… which you never had before.

          • Beth

            I’ll definitely get that book and looking forward to trying the counseling too, And I’m sorry for my harsh words on the first message. Definitely right on the money with me and anger issues. Only developed recently and I’ve been praying about it a lot. I appreciate the kind words and I appreciate the advice from a males point of view. Thank you.

          • Paul Friedman Post author

            My discoveries are not gender oriented, but based on established biological, psychological, and spiritual science. In fact I get more push back from men who do not easily “get” principles of love.

            We don’t have normal counseling, but anytime you have a question just reach out. We do not charge for that service.

          • Beth

            You are 100% right about not saying anything to your husband about flirting.. i only wish I had read that advice sooner! Not only is it really not my place to criticize but it only made matters worse. I haven’t since. It also helps a lot to point out that it’s “his” burden or sin, just as I have plenty of my own. Thanks again.

  37. Audrey Reply

    Hi I think flirting with other people is wrong on both sides if your married,the hurt you cause can lead to mistrust in a marriage, if your commited, you should respect each other and , work on your marriage .
    It’s to easy to take your partner for granted in this day and age , but let’s get one thing right , flirting with other people in marriage is definitely wrong, if you can’t help yourself, then I guess you need to be single .

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Right and wrong are besides the point of holding your marriage together. I don’t think I know anyone who has not sinned. Ending a marriage, becoming single as you say, is more wrong than flirting. Let’s heal marriages and get them on the right track rather than point fingers.

  38. Stacie Reply

    I agree with everything you said Paul, but what do you do if you (like myself) did all of those things you mentioned, stuffing the pain and anger down deep until in a weak moment you loose it! Embarrassing yourself and your spouse. This has happened several times in our 24 years of marriage. How do I make the cycle stop? It’s obviously not going to change. I’ll always be jealous and he will always be a flirt. When does one decide to walk away from the madness.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Dear Stacie…
      the part you miss is where instead of stuffing, which is better than blurting, you redirect your inner triggers to have a loving reaction. You make a new habit.
      In your case, because you have strong will, you can do this by paying attention. People who come to us with huge and many problems, and take the course, learn the SEW technique to do that (Not shareable in a blog, unfortunately)

  39. The 10% Reply

    Most of the time the assumption is made that the woman does not fulfill the husband’s sexual needs in some way and the husband- totally sexually frustrated turns towards other means. I personally get this. I am a woman and I get how much it hurts and how damn frustrating it is when your spouse rarely wants sex. But then when you see your husband looking, and doing many ” look at me” attention seeking things, the hurt is even more. I respect him, care for him, love him and pray for him. Our relationship is good except for this pretty huge thing. Worse yet my love language is physical touch and affection. He is not affectionate at all. He has given 4 compliments in 18 months of marriage. I on the other hand tell him every day how handsome or sexy he is. I touch, I kiss, I hug, I affirm, I thank, I tell him how proud I am of him, how smart he is. I have sought out what his love language is and try to do it every chance I get. ( Helping him) I don’t talk about it or complain about it to him anymore.(yes I did at first but it didn’t help) He knows it is hurtful to me and I feel like sex is obligatory. I think he does try. But then when he gets around a woman he finds attractive he suddenly wants sex. It hurts like you can’t imagine. I am certain he isn’t having an affair. I just don’t know what to do.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Dear One,
      It sounds like you are reading the wrong books about marriage. Even though your marriage is only 18 months in the making it is headed in the wrong direction. You can live with this until it crashes, of course. But I suggest you obtain Breaking The Cycle so you have a realistic and fun model of marriage, with methods and techniques to help you get there.
      Your notion about men and sex is only partially true. The real attraction for men is intimacy, and heart connection. But you need to understand it in order to grow it.
      I’m sure the book will help you, as I wrote it as a complete “how-to”. But if there are things you do not understand feel free to write to our counselors. We are here for you.

  40. Natalie Reply

    I’ve caught my husband sexting with other women(my friends). & although it hurts me terribly to know that he had done this on more then one occasion this i can forgive him for after all he is only human. I am sure that like so many others its due to something lacking in our marriage. I don’t believe that it is sex that’s lacking in our marriage due to the fact that we are very sexually active at the very least once a day but usually more we are still intimate even after 19 yrs of being together (although he tells the other women that he doesn’t get it from me. & that i don’t show him affection or love )
    The issue I’m having the most difficulties with is communication I’ve tried to talk to him ask him whats the reasons for his behavior is there anything that I’m not doing. That he would like me to do . he never wants to talk to me about anything. Is it wrong for me to want to know every detail of what was said to each other during this time frame . because ive tried to just let it go the first time it happened although the not knowing. Was tearing me up inside this time. However i want some answers not only of the most recent incidents but from the previous ones as well. What would be the best way for my husband to open up to me and tell me everything.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Ironically you hit the nail on the head when you said “…he tells the other women that he doesn’t get it from me. & that i don’t show him affection or love”. The difference between love and sex is the difference between material and spiritual, Love is spiritual.
      At this point I would ask you to watch a video I just put up that will show you how i approach marriage fixing and building. There you will hopefully get deeper understanding Here is the link https://youtu.be/WdJ6a_6_FSU

  41. Jeannie Reply

    Men want to be head of household then lead by example. You want to flirt for what purpose. Basicly to self justify their own insecurities. I compliment my husband long hair tell him his body is sexy.. So we are at Waffle House he wants to sit at counter and then tells waitress he is going to cut his hair and me his wife does not know about it. Well this tells me he wanted her to comment about his hair which at the time was a total mess and he had on jogging pants and house shoes.. And plus demanded I pay for the meal. But when waitress was in front of us he pulled out $20 bill and I shoved it back to him just to let waitress see who pays the bills. He mentioned he frequented this place on Saturday Morning when we were separated he claims to be bashful he is full of crap.. Mexican man hates white wife and very jealous of wife.. I am faithful and a good woman and he never compliments me oh well his loss.. Him trying to make me jealous his loss again.. Afterwards I kindly spoke to a man sitting next to me and his eyes sent me straight to hell.. Yep just what I expected. No excuses for men or women Flirting when in a relationship is UNACCEPTABLE
    To include texting.. Video chat or just plain ass bringing up conversation is a sign of flirting.. Stop your SHIT or I will replace your naughty ass and your mental impairment.. Yep.. Just stay True to Yourself and God..

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Its hard to read your comment because all you did was use our platform to vent and rag on any man with a flaw. Then, for good measure you took God’s name in vain by making Him your second love, after self.
      I do not know if you can be reached. Your anger is so thick that all you will do is argue.

  42. Betty Reply

    My husband is always on his phone flirting with different women at one time he was flirting with 3at the same time I went through his phone and confronted him he said it was nothing and he loved me and those women didn’t mean a thing to him. But he gets right back to it with another set of women and always asking them out on dates…. He just doesn’t care about how I feel about this and he won’t stop.. I don’t see how he will ever change

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Dear Betty
      As I say in the article, no man will change if you confront him, or if he promises to change. You will do well to re-read the article, then do what works to save your marriage.
      Here is a link to a video that will show you how I approach the problem you have… my system is second to none. It will work for you https://youtu.be/WdJ6a_6_FSU

  43. Chelsea Reply

    I approved this comment because it is an excellent example of the thinking that ruins marriages and people’s lives

    I agree with some of your advice. I do not agree that is the only way to “fix” your situation. I believe your advice only accounts for the women or men who are trying only to fix their marriage, and are not necessarily putting their feelings on the matter first. As you can see by most comments this can be a touchy subject for women (or men) who have been hurt by their SO. In many cases, it is important to realize that hurt cannot be undone. Not everyone is able to move on from that type of hurt and betrayal. So people should also consider that fixing what ‘you’ can may mean being ready to leave the relationship, unless the other person is willing to help undo that hurt. If it is causing you pain, it is your pain and you have to power to fix it how you feel you deserve it needs to be fixed. That includes making your SO accountable.

  44. Paul Friedman Post authorReply

    I will use the above to point out common misunderstandings that have caused so much pain and needless suffering divorce

    1. Fixing situations is like building a house in a flood plain. You need to move your marriage to higher ground.
    2. Putting one’s feelings ahead of their marriage is just plain stupid. A sound marriage delivers the only “feeling” you want- happiness
    3. Hurt does not have to be “undone”. Its a personal thing that has to be risen above. It’s a subjective self-pity reaction.
    4. Only an idiot would leave a marriage because of flirting
    5. Only an idiot would expect the other to change, instead of fixing themselves. One cannot be done, the other needs to be done.
    6. What is this SO nonsense?? Marriage is no SOish, its marriage.
    My guess is our visiting “expert” is a family therapist; such nonsense!

  45. Kathryn W Reply

    You are very unkind, Paul Friedman. Dismissing the husband’s flirting as something that is “biological and that he just can’t help it” is degrading. Husbands do this to spark excitement and to feel desirable. It is degrading and embarrassing for the spouse. He knows it, he does it because he wants to make her feel that way. Where is the loving kindness in that? That is how unconditional love is shown to his long time partner and mother of his children? It is just apathetic act to bolster his sagging ego at the expense of the woman who loves him.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Its a shame you cannot get past your feelings. If you did, and viewed your situation with compassion and objectivity you would recognize the solution I present will make you both whole, and help your marriage get back on track.

      It is so sad that so many are caught up in being a victim to the degree that they cannot see the causes that are the true culprits.

      Go, Katheryn, with my good will and prayers. Find those who will pander to your sensitivities and outrage. But when you are ready to heal your marriage, come back. I will give you what you need, not what you think you want.

  46. Unknown Reply

    One sentence i like in this article that there is no perfection in the world 🌍… so my all lovely sisters just chill man and enjoy your life and ignore by saying that this all about silly mens’ behavior

    Stay positive ❤️

  47. Rachael Ireland Reply

    This was hard to read. I know I need to change. I want my husband to be happy with me and reading this made me have to look at my own flaws first. Thankfully, I believe God showed me that my husband does so out of insecurity. I want to and need to step back and look at him from a perspective of compassion but it sure is tough. I too feel crushed and humiliated. Not good enough. I know I need to swallow my pride and forgive and be who God created me to be regardless of his attitudes and actions. This takes letting go. It hurts, but I believe it will hurt more if I don’t. Someone needs to be willing to change first.

  48. Charlotte kerry Reply

    This is the nuttiest thing I’ve ever read. The rude behavior and lack of basic pre-school manners of one grown adult person cannot be the fault of another irregardless of how the other person handles it. That is Very similar to blaming a victim of a bully for getting pushed down because they were not positive enough.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      On one count you are correct, obviously. One person is never to blame for another’s behavior.
      I will add to that. Circumstances never can be blamed for how a person behaves. A person behaves according to their character and, more accurately, their usually untrained habits and unregulated instincts.

      Now, if you reread the title and understand that I’m trying to help women stop the slide into blame and divorce you might recognize that harmony begins with compassionate understanding. That it is easy to find fault, but fault finding will not help you restore your marriage to love and dignity.

  49. Sammy Reply

    I am in the awkward situation of being the woman the married man flirts with in front of the wife. I started a new job last autumn at a law firm and the manager and I hit it off from the second we met due to being so similar. He wasn’t wearing a wedding ring (I am always careful to check, having seen other women get played by married men) and having dated (single) men at work in the past without any drama I was keen to get to know him as we were a great match in every sense and those are incredibly rare to find.

    I was given a lot of information about him via other colleagues when I joined, but no one mentioned that he was married. Only that he had two daughters from his ex wife and divorced her two years ago. So I assumed that meant he was divorced and now single, hence his open flirting, and I was free to respond. I was ecstatic, as he literally ticked every single box on the list for me and conversation between us was effortless.At our Christmas party, someone casually mentioned his wife and when I replied ‘oh, his ex’ they corrected me and explained he had remarried in 2017.

    Obviously, I was pissed off! Not only because he’s married and wasting my time, but also because he’s been married less than two years and it’s really unfair on his new wife. I’m not interested in causing a row, as it took me a long time to find the job I have and I can’t afford in any way to just leave. He is also my manager, so I can’t be brutally honest and shut him down the way I would otherwise. Fortunately, I work in a different part of the office, so I can mainly avoid him. But I still have to be friendly and polite and keep interaction ‘good enough’ that it doesn’t adversely affect my job. I am mostly angry, but also absolutely despondent, as I really thought after years of dating incompatible guys I had finally found the right person. If he was single, he’d be perfect, but he’s not and I have zero interest in wasting my energy on a married guy that is clearly happy to emotionally cheat on his very new wife! So now I just try my best to avoid him and keep any interaction on purely professional subjects, despite him wanting to tell me his life story every time.
    But to make it worse, I have now met his wife a couple of times when she has visited the office. When he is there too, he has made it obvious that he is interested in me, while she was right there! I had no idea what to do, so I just laughed and brushed it off and focused on my work. But I could tell she felt unhinged by it, and I would too. The last two times she has made a big effort to dress up when she visited, and part of me wants to say something to her and point out I’m not flirting with him, am doing my best to avoid him other than group meetings or professional emails/conversation, and this is now entirely on him. But that would likely make things even worse.
    To any married guys flirting with coworkers who are reading this… stop fucking around with single women while you have a wife at home! A lot of us want a serious relationship with someone and dating is hard enough without unavailable men playing with our emotions too! If you’re so unhappy at home that you are chasing after other women, then at least have enough respect for your wife to break up and let her find someone else instead of lying about the relationship and wasting everyone’s time.
    I wasn’t married but had one very long term relationship with an ex that cheated on me behind my back while pretending everything was great. He wasted years of my life that I could have spent with someone else because he refused to be honest with me about how he felt and break it off before it got out of hand. You’re either married and have taken yourself off the market OR you are available to flirt and date. Pick one!
    * It goes without saying, but the same thing goes for women (although I have no direct experience with married women chasing me). If you want to be single again and date, then let your husband move on and find someone else. Don’t do things behind people’s backs.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Thank you Sammy. I want to add that if your husband is cheating on you, and hitting on other women is cheating, you cannot truly understand what is going on unless you have a better understanding of men, and how different they are from you, as a woman.

      Don’t allow your visceral reactions to dictate what you will do. Get some knowledgeable help! This is not the end of your marriage. It is a wake-up call. You haave too much invested in your marriage to just hit the panic button. Let’s turn it around.

  50. Melissa Reply

    If a person committed a traffic infraction they would have to pay a fine. A flirting spouse is more significant, in my opinion, than a traffic violation. They are flirting with your goodwill. The only proper response is an appropriate fine.
    It should be a fine that punishes the offender and redeems the victim. This should apply to either gender.
    There is a reason why our courts give out fines and that is to guide behavior. This gobbledigook about forgiveness does NOT work because our court system would be always forgiving our violations and misdemeanors if it did.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Dear Melissa
      Love and forgiveness are not “gobbledegook”. The rules that hold society together are inappropriate for marriage and have nearly zero correlation. In fact, it is an ‘atheistic’ approach, your business approach to marriage that undermines the essence of individuals and the essence of marriage.
      Marriage is Holy. It’s a framework for individual expression of unconditional love, which defines Holiness, which includes forgiveness AND compassion above self-interest. If you cannot bring your soul and its qualities of love into your marriage you cannot have a successful one.
      One of the 3 killers of marriage is what I call the business approach to marriage, so may very well be why your husband isn’t finding what he needs with you.

  51. Sivaranjani Reply

    Yes I also faced this same problem. My husband in front of me went closer to his friends wife. I asked Him why you did this? He said am doing in front of you only, am not doing without you, what’s wrong in this. We are newly wed couples , one year of marriage also didn’t happen .He look at other women in public.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      You need newlywed help and so please go to our sister organization https://premaritaledu.org/ but basically you have a lot to learn about being married and how to reap the benefits.

  52. Maureen L Anderson Reply

    Hi, this might not be the right way to communicate this but I drive for my income – do you have audio in lieu of tbe reading material ?

  53. crystal hawkins Reply

    I hope that you are giving the same advice to husbands whose wives are flirting…lol! wife is in the army and flirting with the soldiers at work. When the husband visited he felt hurt and has started wearing muscle shirts in hopes that if he looked sexier, his wife would start looking at him the way she looks at the soldiers. The husband is clearly feeling sub par and it is noticeable. Should the husband follow your advice and try to find out if she has any complaints about him? I have a Masters degree in Human behavior and I’m currently working on my PH.D in Criminal justice- behavior management. This is the most barbaric advice I have seen in a long time from a website. We all know right from wrong no matter what is happening. We are responsible for our behavior and cannot just decide to disrespect our spouse just because we are afraid to talk things out. I expected your type of advice from a clueless male chauvinist…lol! Marriage is a covenant. If you cant respect your other half , God or the covenant then get out of the marriage. No one is going to accept torture. A spouse is a gift from God! Tolerate NO respect. Im not saying give up , but under no circumstances do you tolerate flirting or disrespect of any kind. WE MUST HAVE BOUNDARIES!!!

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      You are a woman? You’re a husband? I really cannot tell what you are trying to say or where you are coming from. I am sorry.
      If you need some help it would be better to ask than to condemn and challenge. I am certainly not here to hurt anyone, and our help has been utilized by many with great results. It is based on principles that carry no judgments or condemnations. I just want for you the best marriage has to offer.

  54. crystal hawkins Reply

    …… continued.
    Yes I am married. Have been for 26 years. I would never let my husband run over me and flirt in front of my face. What goes around comes back around. My husband doesn’t satisfy me sexually and is clueless about how women tick, but I dont flirt in front of his face. You have to take the good with the bad. For better or for worse, remember?

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Crystal …continued
      You are angry and it is understandable. But I am clear that you are only seeing your marriage and relationship with your husband from ONLY your point of view. Blaming, condemning, and allowing bitterness to take over your mind is no substitute for understanding and loving behavior. If you ask for advice or guidance perhaps we can help you find happiness. It would be our honor to do so.

  55. Paul Friedman Post authorReply

    Biblical? The first biblical advice is to love your husband with all your heart, mind, and soul, not condemn him, which only makes you pure only in your own eyes but will not heal any rift between you and your husband.
    The advice for women who want a better marriage is not the same advice one would give to a wife who wants to end her marriage by judging her husband.
    There is a choice here, only you as an individual can make.
    1. Do you want a happy marriage even though your husband is imperfect?
    2. Do you throw away your marriage because your husband is imperfect?
    I am not here to spread the gospel or any other scripture. I am here to explain the whats, whys, and hows of marriage.

  56. Lily Reply

    I have been working with many many godly Christian women in this situation. Almost all of them have turned themselves inside out for years following exactly this sort of advice. In fact, we have a ‘hopeium’ addiction, that if we could just be sexy enough, loving enough, you-name-it-enough, our husbands would actually care a little bit. Adam said, “This woman you gave me. It’s her fault. If she would only…” and the demands get more and bigger and it’s never enough. Why? Because he is an entitled man. You are telling us to enable sin. You are using the ‘be nice to someone and they will be nice to you’ theory. It didn’t work for God or Jesus so why would it work for wives? This is a personality problem, not a marriage problem. I’ve done everything you say and then some, and I’ve only gotten mocked, condescended to, and treated with contempt. Only as I have grown in my own personal power and learned how God thinks of me, have I been able to detach and become somewhat happy. He is angrier than ever because he doesn’t have control anymore, but that is entirely his problem.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      I get these types of responses all the time and it breaks my heart. Respectfully, Lily, you completely miss the point, and it is usual in our materialistic world for truly good and “Godly” people to miss the point. After all, we live in a world that is not in tune with true love. So it is not easy to recognize the power of its transcendent magic.

      Love in marriage means unconditional…. not based on reciprocation, adherence to values and actions, or any measurement you may think of.

      Is your love unconditional? Are your clients’ learning to love unconditionally? NO! You speak of the husband’s behaviors, not your inner opening of the heart. Instead, you speak of outer behaviors in order to manipulate the husband into what you want him to be.

      Reread the article. It is right on. Learn to open your heart with total compassion.

  57. KK Reply

    I’ve been married to my husband for almost 5 years. We have 2 beautiful children. I lived with him before we were married. During that time, I ended up seeing some facebook conversations he was having with other women. Telling them they were cute or beautiful, etc. I decided to confront him, but instead of him admitting it. He said he let his friend use his account, because he couldn’t get into his own facebook and it was his friend talking with those other girls. Presently, I saw some comments he had made to other women through TikTok, who were showing some cleavage or wearing booty shorts. They were definitely prettier than me, which just made me feel insecure. I broke down in tears. I was and am so hurt. I confronted him, but only because I wanted to talk things through and understand why he would do this. He told me they were just comments and its not like he wants to f*** them. I’m not sure what to do, so I thought rather than tell a family member or friends who would just judge him or give bias opinions about what I should do. I thought I would get it off my chest and share it with random people here. :)

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      It is good you did not share this with others KK because that would make things worse, as confronting him did. Unfortunately many think like you and just want to get things out in the open not realizing that is going to force him to either get mad or lie or both. What is certain is that your marriage is not delivering for your husband. He is looking elsewhere for that “something” that he is not getting from you.
      You now have a choice to make that will determine whether your marriage will slide further or get healed. You can see these incidences as a wake-up call that your marriage needs some examination and re-working, or you can think ill of him and push everything you have off the ledge. Just keep in mind that you have never learned how to be married, either of you, so whatever you do don’t condemn either of you for your marriage not being awesome, most are far from awesome simply due to a lack of education.

      My suggestion is that you start with either of my books, but definitely do not do something you come up with on your own. In fact, read this article https://themarriagefoundation.org/husband-on-dating-sites/ which is more appropriate than the one you just read.

  58. TIRED of the BS Reply

    Why is it always the woman who has to do all the work in the marriage to make the man stay. I feel it should be mutual. I have been a loving, caring wife and have always been there for him. But I am tired of it and I don’t trust him anymore. Why woman would want to have something to do with a man that deliberately wants to hurt her. My husband has done this for 30 years and no matter what I say or do it continues. I am not taking the blame for his behavior. This is just one of the selfish things he does to me. I feel manipulated and depressed. Why would I want to love a man who enjoys hurting me and not taking his vows seriously? I love him, but I don’t like him. I am only in this marriage because I don’t make enough to make it on my own. He changes for a little while to make me think everything is going to be ok and then boom. Here we go again. I pretend everyday I am happy but deep down inside I am not.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      “Tired of the BS” says… “she pretends to be happy”
      All marriages have flaws here and there because we are human and so live imperfectly. But that does not mean we should have our attention on the negatives in our marriage and cause ourselves unhappiness. No one can “make” you unhappy. We are responsible for our own happiness and should infuse our marriage with that happiness. That is, in fact, a way of building our soul’s connection with each other because joy is the soul. When you are happy it is infectious. When you are happy (sincere, not just a display) in your marriage your partner will respond positively and a cycle of love will occur.

      “Tired’s” problem is not her husband and it is not my helping women to see things with an open mind. Her mistaken perspective is so normal, unfortunately, due to world training whose ideas that we would ‘fine’ if others were perfect just don’t work out to be true.

  59. DeAnn Reply

    The things my husband requires to be “happy” require a lot of work and effort, i.e., the type of meals he wants to eat, the house looking just how he wants it to look, his shirts ironed the way he wants them ironed, myself looking how he desires me to look…I could go on and on and on. He is never fully satisfied, no matter how much work I do. On the other hand, the things I most want from him, i.e., not flirting with other women online or in person, require ZERO effort on his part. DO NO HARM- that’s all I ask. I see it as selfishness on his part, an unwillingness to stretch himself or grow beyond his ego. It’s emotional and spiritual immaturity. He does it to feel good about himself, my feelings be damned, because he’s misidentified what being a real man means, and the godly purpose of a relationship. If he cared more about feeling good before God, about respecting himself and others, about protecting the safety and security of his wife and children, he wouldn’t engage in such embarrassing behavior. If more women recognized that when a married man is flirting with them, she’s likely the third or fourth woman that day alone, that it doesn’t mean they are singled out or anything special, maybe they’d step up and give him negative feedback he needs rather than feel flattered.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      I cannot emphasize enough how much DeAnn avoided the point of the article, which is not about pleasing your husband on the material plane by ironing his shirts just so etc, but by infusing your marriage, and more importantly your husband, with unconditional love.
      Talking about the material aspects of marriage reduces a sacred experience down to a video game.
      Her marriage is hurting because she is not experiencing, trying to experience unconditional love. It is not too late for her but needs to get beyond the materialistic thinking. She needs to learn to LOVE, not just express some of its indicators.

      • DeAnn Reply

        I’m only responding to what HE says he needs to be happy, to feel loved. Actually, I think he believes those things show my “worth” and he’s made it clear I need to prove my worth, earn my keep so to speak. But other women just need to be breathing to have worth. I was once in that category too. And those material things were never MY idea of love. Are you ignoring personality disorders or just plain character deficiencies, a poor upbringing and bad examples, as reasons why men treat their wives poorly but lay it on thick, at least temporarily, for all others?

        • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

          DeAnn questions my perspective and it is not with malice but is sincere as she wants to find the truth and is not ready to just denounce the “teachings” I discovered.
          Obviously, I have done research into areas of marriage left untouched by most so she is merely using a technique of communication that will help her understand that which does not ‘fit’ her earlier contexts, which is fine.
          Firstly, one should look for motives. Why would I, who wants only to be in service, choose to “defend” or otherwise shield men from their responsibilities to their wives? I want, after all, both husbands and wives to experience the joys of marriage because marriage is better experienced ‘together’. I am not here to settle disputes but to help people experience the amazing state of love marriage is built to offer.
          So I share principles that both can use to achieve those blissful experiences, ones that never cease. However, when one comes to us for marriage help it would be ignorant to condemn the actions of the other spouse to the one who is seeking help as that would only push them apart. Instead, I help the one seeking to understand what they might do to improve the whole marriage even though they need to act independently.
          Of course, certain conditions can make marital evolution more difficult. But those are generally not insurmountable.
          Love is an amazing panacea and my suggestions are always centered around learning how to love.

  60. Paul Friedman Post authorReply

    Although I prefer to not address political movements because they are contrived to promote an agenda rather than actually heal anyone and bring happiness, I will say from what I have seen of DeAnn’s caustic blaming that her motives are reflective of one who needs more soulsearching about herself and marriage.
    If she would focus on herself as the only one she has power over there is limitless joy on the other side.
    Politics has no place in an individual marriage.
    Cultural trends and mass reactions have no place in an individual marriage.
    Blame and spousal “instruction” have no place in an individual marriage.


  61. Mandy Reply

    Thank you. After first being mortified that I should take a look at myself as to why my husband of 18 years is flirting, I looked honestly and deeply at our relationship and my role in it. That in itself was an eye opener. We have a deep love for each other that had got piled under resentment, hurt, judgement, lack of sex, lack of communication, lack of attention in general towards each other among other life issues.
    I sure as heck wasn’t showing him love, smiles, wanting, sexual interest, even when he was attempting to do so, I was too busy being grumpy at him. We’ve had a big shake up and addressed quite a few issues purely from me taking a deep dive into how I have been. I love the fact that my husband is so friendly with literally everyone he meets (thank you for the reminder that that may be something I found attractive about him in the beginning, it sure was and is). I realize his friendliness is not all flirting but I definitely started to chose to see it as such when I started feeling insecure about our relationship due to the lack of everything. My husband and I have had some beautiful heart wrenching talks about our relationship and the turn around is amazing, my ‘happy’ has come back and so has his, that has opened the doors on so many levels. I have ordered two of your books, if we can gain so much from your comments section I am sure there is a wealth of information in those pages. Thank you again.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Good job, and kudos to Mandy who is willing to look at herself more honestly.
      The only point I wish to make is that either one of the books would have served the purpose just fine, I know some like to get both but one is enough. They are loaded with principles-based marital knowledge and plenty of useable ideas that will seem so “obvious” as you read. It is, unfortunately, normal to forget that we get married to be happy and experience unconditional love. Now is the BEST time to learn how to bring those promises of marriage back to the foreground.

  62. Phyllis Reply

    Something I’m seriously having a problem with. I recently married a man who promised to never hurt me especially all the different forms of abuse I had all ready suffered for years cheating, lying, deceit, giving the other woman money out of our account and beatings. Well my perfect world shattered we were in Home Depot and talking face to face when this blonde woman walks by (I’m brunette) and he stops talking to me and turns all the way around with his back to me staring at her then picks up some squeeze clamps in his hand and squeezes it numerous times still staring. I didn’t say anything. I’m not a confrontational woman nor an arguer. Then after sex once he rubbed my side trying to talk under his breath saying I’d be perfect if I was blonde!! That hurt. Well now I find out he’s been on dating sites messaging women saying to message him on that site for awhile and he misses texting with her then he messages one saying god Morning babe which is what he calls me!!! I asked him why if he’s so attracted to blondes why Marry me? Why hurt me when I’ve done nothing but be a good wife. I cook bake clean work go to church and sex almost daily. So what’s happening here??!! He said those were only words on those texts and he just wanted them to feel good great and make me feel like crap!! What to do?

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Phyllis gives a good accounting of her husband being a total jerk and also gives an account of what a great wife she is, which may or may not be the case.
      His actions are immature, obviously, and she cannot change him; that is a fact. Men, women, most people do not change. The few people who do change have to work at it, and we can help them do so with our courses, but most will not make the effort thinking they are fine and the spouse is the problem.
      The best thing Phyllis can do is take the course just so she can learn how to not be impacted by his immaturity and she would be able to draw him back into their marriage which he already is not taking seriously by becoming more loving. Unfortunately, if she wants to keep her marriage it all falls on her to do something.

  63. Lisa Edmond Reply

    Some husbands have this habit of flirting with other ladies even if they are married to beautiful and caring wives . It is their basic character I know husband with high moral values or wives with high moral values do not do it . It shows your basic character. It is easy to blame others . Each one is responsible for their own character. Conquer the evil with good

  64. Jinx Reed Reply

    Married 63 years, threats with guns to head, killing my babies and you have to remember 50 years ago there was no help. I knew he would track me down and either kill or take my kids. Describing what he wants do sexually to adult family members, raved about dress of other women, each time we moved it would be a new woman, would not let me have money for nice clothes, always yelling screaming but it was the talking to me, staring at other women that I’m grieving about.
    Such a wonderful one month after marriage.
    There is no excuse for putting others above your wife or husband.
    My husband literally dropped dead a year ago and I grieve for the might have been.
    So if your going to humiliate your wife or husband, just walk away, give them peace.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      This comment doesn’t fit the search but I think it is instructive of what can happen when you do not understand marriage, yourself, and each other. Marital education of the right sort is a must for happiness.

  65. julia Reply

    My husband is having an affair. Someone told me and he is denying it. I want a divorce and I don’t know how to go about it.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Julia may feel humiliated by her husband’s affair but divorce is probably not the right next step. Go to our website, Julia, and write to our counselors for suggestions about making your marriage work, even after this.

  66. Nicole Reply

    I just say “Ouch” and walk away. No need to tell them all your feelings on the matter. Even a toddler understands the word “Ouch”. Or say something like “I know you only have eyes for me and love me very much.”.

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