We've stopped saving daylight, and said bring on the night. That means darkness and cold, but more time for warm love. How can Ask Dad help make it go right?
I noticed my husband staring at my friend's breasts. When I confronted him about it, he said I was nuts. But he totally was! How do I get him to stop? I don’t think he knows he is doing it but it makes me feel slimy ... I can’t imagine what my friend is thinking!
Bless you for thinking that maybe he doesn't know he's doing it. It may seem like wishful thinking, and it's certainly the best thing to assume to keep him from getting defensive, but it may also be true.
Male looking-without-realizing is a serious ailment that can have serious effects on your marriage and friendships. It's something I and a lot of other men desperately fear we may be doing, like some sleazy cousin to sleep-eating. Sadly there are no meds for it yet.
I can't speak directly to the breast-gawking. My own fascination kind of peaked about the same time my interest in Scritti Politti peaked, and I moved on to other favorite parts (the mind, mostly, of course). But my Ask Dad predecessor laid it out beautifully in a well-researched, scientifically rigorous column.
But I'm no stranger to the situation. It happens often when I'm walking down the street behind a woman, especially if we're both alone. I notice they often pull their shirt down to make sure it's covering their butt properly. I immediately break into the following internal dialogue:
"Damn, she thought I was staring at her ass. Wait, was I? No! God, I hope not anyway. But I immediately noticed that she did the shirt thing. Was that just because the motion caught my attention? Or were my eyes unconsciously already there? Oh, God. Now she thinks I'm a creep, at the very least. Well, that's easy to solve, I'll just walk in a non-creepy way, maybe start whistling ... Wait, there's nothing more creepy than someone trying not to look creepy. Especially if there's whistling involved. Aw screw it I'll just go another way."
If he really was looking on purpose, it doesn't necessarily mean he was looking to get a cheap thrill, or mentally downloading an image for later use. Most gawking is just verifying. ("Checking out" is a fitting term.) A man thinks he sees a hot lady or a lovely pair of breasts, but he has to make sure, he can't just assume. It's vital data collection, but not for any particular purpose. We just send the data to the front office where they keep a running worldwide count of hotness.
This is all by way of explaining, not excusing, your husband. No matter his intention or awareness, it's a very sleazy thing to do and he needs to stop. How about you two work out a signal, where you can point out that his eyes are going astray without making a scene? A few suggestions.
If none of that works, you may need to try something more serious.
Image via Flickr/BernardoBorghetti