How do I stop wanting gorgeous woman who aren't my wife?
July 25, 2011 7:57 AM Subscribe
I'm a mid-thirties man, committed relationship, wonderful kids, good job, great life, but I can not stop chasing attractive women. And it is wreaking havoc. How can I stop this, and why don't I want to?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (69 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
I've been in a "committed" relationship for 8 years. I have great kids and I love my life. I love my wife although there are some issues between us but nothing that I think most in long-term relationships don't face (she nags, or that kind of thing.)
I am basically obsessed with "cracking the code" of women I find attractive. I cycle from one woman to the next, usually not more than one at a time, who I am basically courting secretly, via email/text. It always starts out very innocently, just acquaintances talking, but I always try to get a spark going. It's not about sex, I've never had intercourse with more than a couple of the 20-30 women who I've interacted with in this way. I just love the experience of getting to know these women, and of charming them, and making them feel attractive and loved and "valued" - though never valued enough for me to love them in the open or to leave my family for them - which I make clear from the very beginning.
This was not a problem (well, not as much of one) when it remained a secret, but now my wife knows. We're in therapy, and trying to make it work. I was devastated when it came out, and I do not believe this kind of behavior is worth the loss of my life with my family. I have stopped the behavior for that reason. However, I miss it like hell. It is exciting, challenging, fun and ego-rewarding for me, and when I see a woman who seems accessible to me, interesting and beautiful, I still imagine ways that I might be able to get to know her enough to begin this flirtatious seduction of her.
I was a "late bloomer" as a teen, and looked like a total dweeb/nerd/dork until I was about 14, when I changed my appearance a bit and some women seem to think I'm quite attractive. I think that I have some pretty serious insecurity, and that this behavior is a desperate search to prove to myself that gorgeous, smart, funny and engaging women find me irresistible. The therapy has actually helped me quite a bit in understanding the root of the behavior.
Yet I still find myself longing for this interaction with women. Do all men feel this way? It seems obvious to me that all men would want remarkable women to want them. How does a man take this hardwired desire for the most desirable women and incorporate it into a life that includes an aging wife, children, and the desire for a stable home life that does not include divorce or secrets and deception? I want to be on the no-affair wagon, and that is what I am doing, but what do I do with all of this longing for the chase, the chess game, the ego-stroking, the intellectual and libido stimulation? Is anyone out there fighting this fight and not losing?