Relationship expert Jo Lamble answers many prickly questions in her book, Answers to Everyday Questions about Relationships. This week she has advice on how Paula can stop her husband leering at younger women.
Q. My husband constantly leers at younger women, some of them young enough to be his daughter. I find this embarrassing and distasteful but when I confront him, he just laughs it off. How can I get him to stop?
A. The trick is to own the problem. By that I mean that your husband’s behavior is upsetting you. He obviously doesn’t have a problem with looking at younger women, and so he has no incentive to change. If you accuse him of being sleazy or unfaithful in some way, it won’t resonate with him because he thinks it’s harmless. It’s important that you try not to take his behaviour personally, despite how uncomfortable you feel. Then if you own the problem, the way you confront him will change. It will sound something like this: I have a real problem with you leering at younger women. It makes me feel really uncomfortable and I get embarrassed. I know you think it’s harmless, but would you please help me by not doing it in my presence. If he still laughs off your request, then you have another issue – his lack of empathy for your problem. Ask him again for empathy and support and hopefully he will try very hard to curb his behavior.