Why Does My Husband Flirt With Other Women?

A reader asks, “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.”

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?'”

My Response

Being humiliated, embarrassed, and frustrated; those are normal.
But, if you want to improve the situation with your husband, which is why you wrote to us, those ‘feelings’ have to be handled by your own efforts.

Bringing your emotional reactions into the mix will absolutely make it nearly impossible to find good solutions. So it’s wise that you have not shared your feelings with your husband.
Emotional reactions will inhibit your ability to solve this problem

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

Confrontation. Nobody does well when they are confronted, especially when confronted by the person they married; who they want to be sweet. What you should 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. Its better to walk away; just don’t make a scene.

We get occasional comments from sincere, but incensed, individuals who think I let men off the hook. Its not true.

I write for people who want to recapture and re-build the happiness in their marriage, not commiserate. I don't trash or condemn either of the couple. 

Our specialty is to help!  With our guidance, (you cannot do this yourself), you can have a GREAT, not just good, marriage.

In this case, what he is doing is neither nice or respectful. But in and of itself, in the range of marriage problems, it is “smallish” , not a def-con 10 warning.

You may see this 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, but this is a tangible example.

We are marriage experts. So, we want to help you get to the cause. We want this to go away and never come back.

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. 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 can meet with me, or one of my TMF trained counselors. But that way is very slow, tedious, and we won’t do it.
    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 persisits.
  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, by all means feel free to reach out to our counselors. They are super caring people who know our systems inside and out. They will help you.

If you are pretty sure you would benefit from our system you can go to this page to get your free 5 day free trial.

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Paul Friedman
Paul Friedman
Founder & Executive Director
Paul has written two books, produced several video programs, regularly speaks on marriage, and continues to guide the growth of The Marriage Foundation to help enrich the marriages of as many couples as possible around the world.

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

  1. ToddReply

    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.

  2. DebraReply

    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.

      • Blanca Lucero De Luna SosaReply

        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.

  3. MitchReply

    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

  4. LynnReply

    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.

      • AnitaReply

        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.

  5. SueReply

    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. JoanReply

    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. MilaReply

    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. KCReply

    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. AbbyReply

    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) KellyReply

    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) KellyReply

    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). Here is an article which I recently wrote.. https://themarriagefoundation.org/differences-between-the-marriage-foundation-and-fake-marriage-professionals/

  12. Carol ChanningReply

    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. EricaReply

    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.

  14. JuvyReply

    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…

      • JamieReply

        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.

  15. Mia ZReply

    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. AudreyReply

    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. SangeetaReply

    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. LauraReply

    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. SusanReply

    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. JKReply

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

    • PearlReply

      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. SandraReply

    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. SandraReply

    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!

    • WatinaReply

      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

    • WatinaReply

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

  23. MariaReply

    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 you may use this link.

  24. JessReply

    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. JessReply

    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. SpeechlessReply

    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. christelleReply

    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. PearlReply

    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. KatherynReply

    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. SusanReply

    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. EileenReply

    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.

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