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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What can I do about trust issues when my boyfriend looking at other women?

    Hello I have been through a sting of wrong and horrible relationships with partners where they either ogled or betrayed me. I am 31 and have never been in a healthy relationship. Now for 5 months I met someone. My partner has a curiosity in looking around and noticing every movement and person passing by.

    I started to accuse him by doing it while talking to me. he distracts his gaze when a woman passes by. I feel very overwhelmed and paralysed by him doing it. He reassures me (for very long) that there is nothing behind that, that there is no period of admiration, no ogling not sexual fantasies or anything that he deeply loves me and that is pure curiosity in the world.

    Me on the other side struggling to cope with it. I was thinking to break up with him and find another partner who is less interested in the people around him, I am the same, I don't care who is passing by, my full attention is on him. But he always needs to see who is passing by, particularly if there is a woman (or do I think so). I am not sure.

    I lost my job due to it, I suffer from insomnia and depression. I love him, but sometimes love is not enough, I just cant understand why is he so interested in people (unlike me).

    He told me if I don't cure it, he wont be longer in this relationship, I know he loves me deeply and does everything for me but I tell him that it is not enough, I have high standards of loyalty and there is also looking part in it, I don't look at men and expect him not to do it. It is a deal breaker for me. he agrees on it too and says that he feels the same, and that he doesn't look around it is ALL MY IMAGINATION and I do interpret too much into it.

    Is he right and I need healing? Or do I basically need to find someone else who is like me more decent and not that aware of surroundings. Or maybe he just denies his instincts? I want to know if I need healing or it is him who triggers it? He says that he doesn't stare, and I know that that he doesn't stare but the need to notice women, I just cant cope with it. Am I wrong and my past is the reason?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 2


    My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease … View Profile

    It sounds to me that you and your partner have a lot of things to try to work through together.

    It might help if you (together or separately, whichever you feel is best) saw a professional (eg, a counsellor or psychologist) who has experience of working with people who have relationship issues.

    Often such professionals, because they are not emotionally involved in the relationship, can offer insights and suggestions which may not have occurred to the people in the relationship.

    With care.

  • 5


    I have been working in Eltham, Melbourne as a relationship and family counsellor for over twelve years. I draw on current theory and research about … View Profile

    It sounds like this is a deal-breaker for you. You need to be in a relationship where your partner is willing to change his habit of looking at other women when you are out together because it matters to you. Perhaps your distress is also driven by the fear of what it will mean to hold your ground. Your partner has already let you know that he is not willing to change, and that if you do continue to let him know that what he's doing is not OK for you, then he will leave.
    You have a difficult choice - hold your ground and continue to courageously ask for what you need to feel secure, which may mean you lose your boyfriend, or suppress your needs and wishes in order to stay with him.
    Simon is right - going to relationship counselling together may provide the extra support you need to stand your ground and be heard. Counselling can also provide a space for you both to talk through what is most important to you in a relationship, and to develop a shared vision for how you would like your life together to be.

  • 7


    Ralph Graham


    Ralph Graham, Counsellor, Psychotherapist, helping those who are affected by:grief, loss, anxiety, phobias, panic attack.And those who have been traumatised by:crime, assault, sexual abuse and … View Profile

    If you are talking to someone and their eyes wander onto others like someone walking into a room, the lessened focus is naturally invalidating, especially if it happens a lot. Once you show that you feel it happens too much and how it makes you feel a loving partner will want to work on stopping it or to bring it under control.  

    Don’t let him make you feel it is not important. If it persists, or he is intransigent, see a couples counsellor. If he won't then I suspect there might be other troubles in the relationship. If improving the partnership by mutual communication and cooperation is no longer a factor in the relationship, you may begin to question if you still want to be a part of it.

    To ask a question in private or to have me recommend someone in your area
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    My very best to you,
    Ralph Graham

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