My ex-wife was attractive, so it’s natural that when she used to go out, guys will notice. But I noticed that she seemed to enjoy it, and it made me wonder, why does my wife like attention from other guys?
All wives enjoy feeling attractive, and getting attention from other guys is an innocent way of boosting their ego. However, if her desire for attention has increased or is recent, that can be a red flag.
But really, who doesn’t enjoy being lavished with a little praise and attention now and then?
There’s nothing better than being told through someone’s affection you’re valuable, attractive, and you’re doing just fine.
In a committed relationship or marriage, that nice little boost usually comes from our spouse. But what if it didn’t? What if your wife likes attention from other guys all of a sudden?
In this article, you’ll learn about attention-seeking behavior, what it means for you and your marriage, and what to do about it.
What does it mean when your wife flirts with other guys?
Flirting with other guys may mean three things. One, she is looking for approval outside of her relationship because she’s not getting it at home. Two, she has a lack of respect for her husband and is hoping he steps up to the plate. Or three, she is displaying one of the five main traits which predict infidelity.
Let’s look at each one more closely.
1. Her needs are unmet in your marriage
Have you been distant yourself?
Giving less time and affection than usual? It may be a response to feeling undesired or low self-esteem since her partner has, seemingly, lost interest. If you’re not making your wife feel loved and cared about, there are a line of guys out there who can and will.
Ironically, in my marriage, in the early days, I was a lot more affectionate.
But my wife really isn’t that affectionate. At first, I was hurt by what I perceived as aloofness and indifference. I was lonely sometimes too. I even had an affair at one point.
But in the end, I cast aside my expectations of who and what I thought she should be based on my expectations, and I just appreciated her for who she is.
But ironically, that sometimes means I don’t show her as much attention as she wishes I would.
2. A lack of respect for you
If you’re a loving and caring man, but it never seems like enough for her, maybe your wife falls under this category.
If your wife engages in attention-seeking behavior with you presently or even intentionally tries to push your buttons, it’s a plain lack of respect.
But what she really probably wants is for you to step up to the plate.
Most women like a man who is confident. Not arrogant, but not meek or too compromising either. The feminist movement may have brought women a lot of things. But it’s also confused the hell out of well-meaning guys who aren’t as sure of their own masculinity as their dads and grandfathers were before them.
So don’t be a jerk. But do be confident, clear, and well . . . a real man.
3. Displaying patterns of infidelity
According to a 2005 study on cheating, personality plays a huge role in determining what kind of people are most likely to be unfaithful.
If you and your partner score oppositely in scores like neuroticism, narcissism, or extroversion traits were among those most likely to cheat.
Attention-seeking is also one of the most common reasons that people cheat in the first place.
And sometimes, what starts off as innocent flirting, turns into something more. Luckily, there are things you can do to fend off a possible affair. And even if an affair has already happened, it is possible to save your marriage after the fact.
In a recent article, I detailed exactly how my wife and I saved our marriage after I had an affair in 2013.
Here we are many years later, happier than ever, and with a 3rd child. These are the exact steps we followed, and if an affair has happened, or you suspect it, you can turn your situation around too.
Just click that link to read it on my site.
— MarriageToday (@marriagetoday) April 22, 2020
Should I tell my wife that her flirting makes me uncomfortable?
Tell your wife if her flirting makes you uncomfortable unless the behavior is completely innocent, and the real issue is your own insecurity. Openness and honesty are the cornerstones of any successful relationship.
Without strong communication and trust between you and your wife, there’s little chance of having a thriving marriage. It should be a given that your partner is open to your worries and happy to work on resolving them.
It can be scary to start a hard talk, especially about something we need.
It’s easy to worry about saying the “wrong” thing and hurting your partner. But it’s an act of vulnerability and respect to talk about something that’s bothering you. No one wants to feel demanding or like the bad guy. No one wants to make their partner’s life more difficult.
Starting an argument can feel like you’re difficult or unreasonable.
But, the alternative is worse. Not saying anything at all only builds resentment without giving your wife any way to fix things. Letting your partner know what’s going on is the only way forward.
For some tips on broaching this tricky topic, read on for a method to keeping the discussion centered in love and understanding.
Me as a wife. Clingy wife. Seeking attention. Especially whe kids tryna take away my source of attention. ?????? pic.twitter.com/FGK3Ahvoy4
— Tuti Sutinadewi (@DewiBombom) May 28, 2016
How do you deal with an attention-seeking partner?
If your partner is attention-seeking, first, explain how their behavior makes you feel. Then, try to understand why they are seeking attention. Avoid criticizing them, and also be willing to accept any insecurity issues you may have.
Approaching a conversation about attention-seeking behavior is no different than any other problem in a relationship. Work to resolve the problem together, don’t verbally attack her. Keep two goals in mind while you talk it out.
There’s really no way around it.
Dealing with a problem like this is going to take saying one of the most dreaded lines of all time: We need to talk. You’ll need some patience and respectful communication throughout, too. So be sure to start the conversation from a calm and collected mindset.
The most important thing to remember is don’t throw out unfounded accusations.
If your wife’s behavior is triggering some panic buttons about infidelity, make sure those thoughts are shared without blame about your perspective.
Yes: Your attention-seeking behavior makes me worried because I was cheated on in the past / I tend to get jealous easily, / I’m afraid of losing you.
No: Your behavior makes it seem like you’re sleeping around.
The first way works towards one of our goals: be understood. The second does nothing to accomplish that.
Frame all of your communication with the two goals of being understood and understanding her better, and you’ll be well on your way to sorting this out.
Strong communication like this is the foundation of rekindling a marriage that needs a little care. Read my recent article on the site for even more ways to turn your marriage around.
Just click that link to read it on my site.
Relationships are like gardens. Without attention, they die. Photo: Erda Estremera on @unsplash #marriagetip #relationshipadvice#marriageadvice #datingadvice #podcast #advice #ListenNow #subscribe #marriage #marriagerescue pic.twitter.com/RYoS134p81
— Ten Days & Counting Podcast (@10dayspodcast) July 16, 2019
Is it normal for a married woman to be attracted to another man?
Recognizing another man aside from her husband as being attractive is totally normal for a married woman. Almost everyone occasionally sees someone else they find attractive. However, acting on those impulses is not normal or appropriate.
The only thing being attracted to another person outside of your relationship proves is that your eyes are still working properly.
It can be concerning to imagine your partner is attracted to someone else. It may leave you with some sense of insecurity and questioning your own worth.
But the truth is feeling attracted to other people doesn’t magically stop when you decide to commit to someone. That also doesn’t mean your current partner is worthless nor that they’re anything other than a great match.
Since these feelings never stop, the only thing in you or your wife’s control is how you respond.
Having rogue thoughts about others is inevitable. There’s no sense in trying to fight against them. Instead, making sure your actions don’t entertain or advance those thoughts into reality is what’s most important.
Don’t question whether or not your wife has ever felt attracted to someone else.
She has and will again. And that’s okay! Instead, look at her actions to see if it hints at something more than a fleeting fantasy, like hiding her phone use, an abnormal schedule, or taking off her wedding ring.
I detail all the signs of something more sinister than innocent flirting in a recent article. Just click that link to read all of them on my site.
After almost 17 years of marriage, I can give you one piece of advice: Keep choosing each other. Even when it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard. There will be a million things competing for your attention, but keep choosing each other. ? https://t.co/3v24BrlEWa pic.twitter.com/0lWetmqbsB
— Alysa Bajenaru (@Alysa) December 7, 2018
Does seeking attention outside of the marriage lead to cheating?
Seeking attention outside of marriage doesn’t automatically lead to cheating, especially in a communicative and healthy marriage. But, it is a common symptom when combined with other signs of infidelity.
There are plenty of other signs your wife is thinking of leaving you.
But, attention-seeking behavior is one of the most common predictors of cheating. While that doesn’t make it a guarantee, you can be certain that something is lingering under the surface. It may be her low self-esteem, jealousy, loneliness, or even some kind of personality disorder.
There’s also a scale of severity that goes along with attention-seeking outside of marriage.
Maybe she enjoys dressing well and the compliments that come along with it—innocent enough and not much cause for concern. Actively flirting or stringing men along that are into her is another story.
The last example is extreme, but between the two points exists a whole field of a gray area that’s debatable. It’s up to you and your partner to define where the boundaries lie and make sure neither of you crosses them.
It’s so worrying to think our partner is not getting all they need from us.
A partner’s attention-seeking behavior can feel like taking small steps away from the marriage and towards disastrous pain. But, following the advice in this article can be a big part of the path back to both of you’s satisfaction.
Be brave and talk with your wife. Tell her this bothers you because you love her. Explain the behaviors that trigger you and share the deep dark reasons inside that might cause it. Be vulnerable, seek a mutual understanding, and any invisible wounds will begin to heal.
And if the unthinkable does happen, it’s never too late! Even after cheating, a marriage can be saved. Find out how in my recent article.
Just click that link to read it on my site.
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