Another week, another round of dating, relationship, and breakup questions from readers! In this one, I’m answering a reader who feels concerned about her husband and his frequent online flirtations.

But first, if you’re new to the blog, Welcome! Dear Dating Bitch is a segment where I dole out relationship advice à la Miss Manners (only, you know, not quite as politely.)

So, let’s get to the questions, shall we?

Dear Dating Bitch - Advice to a Reader Concerned about Her Husband's Wandering Eye.

Dear Dating Bitch is my online advice column. Submit to me here (don’t worry, it’s anonymous!)

*Note: questions may have been edited for length/clarity.

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Q: After doing a full 7 months of No Contact, I sent my Ex a message asking if he was OK. He replied saying “Yes,” but then blocked me 5 hours later. What does this mean? I have no intention of getting back with him.

Concerned about being blocked

Dear Concerned about Being Blocked:

I think it means your ex doesn’t want to talk to you.

I’m sure that’s difficult to hear. And I can tell from your letter that you’re hurt by the way you’re racking your brain trying to come up with reasons for why he would do such a thing when all you wanted to do was check that he was OK. But sometimes the simplest answer is the correct one.

In this case, the simple (and likeliest) answer is that he just doesn’t want any further communication with you.

As for why he doesn’t want any further communication, I really can’t answer that. Maybe there’s more to the story that you’re not sharing. (For instance, did you follow up with him multiple times after the initial response? Did you imply that you wanted to continue talking somewhat regularly? Did you press for answers as to whether or not he’s really OK?)

Or maybe you did nothing wrong and he just straight up doesn’t want to talk to his ex. Which, you know, fair.

But, regardless of the reason, there’s no use over-analyzing this one. Your ex blocked you. You didn’t want to get back together with him anyway. All you wanted to do was check in with him. (I’m honestly not sure why, but I’m sure you have your own reasons, so I’ll save that lecture).

Take this as a sign that you’re a kinder person than him and move on.

Related Read: Why It’s So Important to Follow “No Contact” After a Breakup

Q: My husband has been telling girls online that they look “banging hot.” We’re both in our late 30’s/early 40’s. We’ve been married for 8 years now. I’ve caught him many times hitting on other women on social media. He’s telling them that they’re sexy or gorgeous. But he never says these things to me!

When I confront him about this, he gets mad and asks why I’m looking at his profile. It’s on public social media sites, though, where everyone can see. He also sees nothing wrong with what he’s doing, and says it’s “just a comment” to someone he’ll never actually meet.

Am I just being overly jealous here? Is this a sign that he’s getting bored? I need advice please!

Concerned about Husband and His Wandering Eye

Dear Concerned About Husband and His Wandering Eye:

To be honest, I’m less concerned about his wandering eye on Instagram (I’m sure you look at a shirtless Jason Mamoa from time to time) and more concerned about your husband’s response to you in this situation.

But, I’ll address that (somewhat unspoken) part of your question, here first. Your husband looking at and finding other women attractive does not – I repeat, DOES NOT – make him any less attracted to you. You can love someone deeply, find them unbelievably sexy, and still find a way to admire the aesthetically pleasing stranger with rock-hard abs.

Related Read: Dear Dating Bitch: Confidence is Key for This Single Lady

The fact that he doesn’t compliment you as frequently or emphatically as he does these online strangers is a tad more concerning. I say ‘a tad’ because as people start to grow more comfortable with one another in a relationship, they tend to start taking them for granted. Compliments and other bouts of affection naturally decrease over time, which is normal. (Seeing as he’s frequently handing out these affirmations to randos online instead of his wife, it’s also normal for you to feel jealous or unloved.)

Here’s what really has me concerned about husband, though:

The way he’s responded to your complaints about this habit of his. Instead of listening to you or trying to understand why you’re feeling upset about it, he’s turning the situation around on you. Further, he’s asking why you have the nerve to look at his (public!) profile.

He’s either very defensive in general, or he’s hiding something. Or, he’s just a shitty husband and you should think twice about the otherwise happy marriage you think you have.

My advice: try one more time to have a conversation with him about this, but wait until you’re in a relatively calm state of mind (i.e. – NOT when you’ve just seen his utterly ridiculous comment to @ashleymadison69 about that nearly nude Insta pic she’s posted.)

“Dirk, I want to talk to you about something that’s really been bothering me. I know you don’t see anything wrong with telling girls online how attractive they are. But it’s incredibly hurtful and upsetting to me. I don’t want to argue with you about whether or not it’s right or wrong. But I want you to understand how this makes me feel.” (Then explain to him exactly how you feel.)

If his reaction to this is anything other than kind, thoughtful, and attentive, you should seek therapy (either with or without him.)

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Conclusion: Wife Concerned about Husband Has Reason to Worry

It’s normal to find those outside of your relationship attractive. And it’s even normal to occasionally flirt with said strangers. But it’s never OK to ignore how your behavior impacts your partner.

Still, I’m curious to know what you think about this.

Do you agree with my advice to this wife concerned about husband flirting online? Let me know in the comments below!

As always, thanks for reading!

xx
Katie

P.S. – Don’t forget to send in your own questions here!

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32 Comments

  1. avatar

    This reminds me so much of those little sections in magazines where someone would answer peoples questions on relationships and such and it’s giving me LIFE! So much nostalgia came flooding back there lol . Love the advice you’ve given here. We are all guilty of looking at someone else and thinking they are good looking, but the response from the husband gave me red flags immediately. Although, I do think I would be annoyed if my other half was commenting on the girls photos as I wouldn’t cross that line with him but I guess everyone is different in that respect, we all have our own limits and when they are crossed, there’s a problem. I think talking with him is great advice and trying to gauge his reaction and if he continues to turn it around without seeing reason, it’s time to get out gal!

    1. avatar

      That’s so funny – another reader said the same thing about those old magazines! I vaguely remember some of those in Cosmo, but I always loved the advice columns in the newspaper (Dear Abby, Miss Manners, etc.)

      I agree that it was a huge red flag that he reacted the way he did. Hopefully the letter writer can take the advice to heart and understand that his lack of respect has nothing to do with her attractiveness as a partner.

  2. avatar

    Yes, guys checking out insta all the time it’s no surprise and they also do comment. Be it there or YouTube. But real life relationship battles are complicated and require attention. Good suggestions to them. Xx
    Isa A. Blogger

    1. avatar

      It seems like a lot of other readers were surprised – but what surprised me most is that the woman continues to put up with his crap.

  3. avatar

    The story about the husband and his wandering eyes upsets me. There’s nothing wrong with finding a person attractive but leaving comments like that and never talk to her like that is ridiculous to me. He may not be doing anything in secret but it seems disrespectful to her and their relationship. I like this series a lot, great post! xx
    TheQuietGirl

    1. avatar

      Absolutely! Even if he isn’t doing anything “wrong,” he’s not respecting her as his partner and that in itself is cause for concern. Thank you so much for reading! I love that people like reading this series as much as I like writing it!

  4. avatar

    I love this series of yours & I agree with your advice!
    I never checked in on my ex, but if he blocked me then I would take it as he doesn’t want to talk.
    I also agree that it’s normal to find other people attractive when you’re in a relationship, but I wouldn’t comment on their photos telling them they’re sexy. Also, if your partner’s actions are bothering you & they refuse to listen & instead make you seem like the bad person, then seems like something is going on. Is the husband actually talking to the women & is that why he is so defensive? They need to have a serious talk & maybe with a neutral 3rd party like a therapist.

    1. avatar

      I think rationally the first letter-writer knew that, but it can be confusing and upsetting when someone you used to care about suddenly goes to great lengths to cut you out of their life.

      And, yes, I completely agree about the second letter. Refusing to listen when something you’re willingly doing is hurting your partner is a sign that you’re not respecting them or their feelings.

  5. avatar
    Alicia Thompson says:

    Hello! Thanks for sharing this advice. It really reminds of when I would read the juicy sections of magazines (back when I used to buy them) and it was my FAVOURITE thing to do. As for the story, your advice is great but the fact her husband is commenting on other posts… isn’t that cheating? Maybe my perspective is different , I think everyone has a flirt and of course you find other people attractive it’s human nature, but acting upon it and commenting is wrong as there is NO need for it, you can admire from afar! Alicia

    1. avatar

      That’s definitely true, though I think that “cheating” is defined differently in every relationship. One couple might consider only intercourse cheating while another couple might think that outward flirtation or talking with other people is. But in this case, whether or not it’s cheating, it clearly bothers her so he should take her feelings into account. Thanks so much for your kind words!

  6. avatar

    I love this segment! You give really great advice.

    1. avatar

      Thanks! It’s actually my favorite segment to write too and I love getting the letters!

  7. avatar
    Giulia says:

    Good advice, especially regarding wandering eye. That story truly upset me.

    1. avatar

      I’m so sorry that reading it made you upset! But I’m glad you found the advice helpful.

  8. avatar

    Great advice. I think the first one is a bit of a no-brainer really. Block him back and move on, is what I’d do! The second one makes me a little uncomfortable. I guess we all have different ideas of what’s “okay” in a relationship but it’s important that the communication is there.

    1. avatar

      That’s definitely true – I think the letter writer is uncomfortable about his actions, but it seemed like there was a deeper sense of feeling neglected or unloved.

  9. avatar

    The first one – Is definitely an accurate sort of advice and no other thoughts to be put on into it!
    The second one – I completely agree that people who can compliment others online and care least about the feeling and emotions of their life partner is concerning. Perhaps, the reason behind going into defensive mode rather than answering to the actual question is an indication towards there’s something behind the doors or there might not be! Another view point could here be is insecurity as some people don’t like that their social media profiles to be stalked especially when in a relationship! Also, sometimes ego gets trigger because of a thought like “how come a life partner don’t trust them just because he’s commenting on random posts”!

    Both of the questions I believe have been nicely and brilliantly thought of and concluded! It’s truly an amazing post, Katie! Always great to read your posts!

    1. avatar

      Those are great points about the second letter writer – it definitely could be that he feels like she doesn’t trust him or like his privacy is being violated with her looking at his social media. But, on the flip side, it’s social media! It’s all public! So, from her perspective, their friends and family are also likely to see his comments and that would only add to her insecurity.

      And, oh goodness you’re too kind! thank you for always being so supportive

      1. avatar

        Agreed on the flip side, also apart from public view there could be some personal chats which perhaps would have been the cause behind insecurity for both, I guess!

        It’s always been a pleasure to read your work, I really enjoy reading it! Keep up the great work!

        1. avatar

          True – he could have a history of doing something that unsettles her and that would definitely contribute to extra insecurity.

  10. avatar
    Brianna Stryker says:

    I think your advice is spot-on in both cases. The one about the husband is concerning to me since he is not listening to his wife or respecting her feelings. Most of the time, people get defensive when they are hiding something so it worries me how he is not taking her feelings seriously. Thanks for sharing this!

    1. avatar

      That can definitely be true – some other people have pointed that out too that he might be doing more than just leaving comments. I think it’s certainly possible that he’s hiding something and that’s the reason for his defensiveness – but it could also just be that he’s defensive because she’s wanting him to stop doing something he doesn’t want to stop doing. Either way, I agree that the concerning part is that he’s not listening to her or respecting her feelings.

  11. avatar

    Like others here I think there’s a difference between looking at attractive people on social media and then actually messaging them. If he leaves those sorts of comments publicly what is he saying privately? Does he claim he’ll never meet them because so far he’s been ignored or would he be straight on it if someone returned his interest. Whatever the case I think it’s super disrespectful that he’s doing it and how he responded.

    1. avatar

      I hadn’t actually thought of that! It’s certainly possible that he’s messaging them privately, but I assumed it was only comments on public photos. Even still, that does beg the question – what does he get out of doing that? I agree that it’s disrespectful, but I think it’s more because of the fact that he’s so dismissive of his partner’s feelings.

      1. avatar

        Yeah it just doesn’t seem like something someone in a happy and committed relationship would do. I’m a flirty person and me and my partner are happy discussing people we find attractive but I would never go and leave a spicy comment on a strangers picture because to me that would imply I’m looking for something from them.

        1. avatar

          That’s definitely a good point and I’m totally with you on that one. I think some of it has to do with this new culture of Instagram models and “only fans” and people might be interacting with crushes more than they would otherwise. Personally, I don’t understand either of those things but that’s just me! Lol

  12. avatar

    Spot on advice, like always! I definitely agree that the husband’s response is concerning, and I’m hoping they can take your advice on board and have an honest and open conversation about it! Thanks for sharing x

    1. avatar

      I hope so too, but I have a feeling that he’ll continue to be defensive when she attempts to talk with him. Unless the letter writer left something out of her initial letter, it seems like he isn’t open to hearing her voice her concerns, but I certainly hope my advice could help her!

  13. avatar

    Interesting questions this post. The question about their husband commenting on other women’s posts like that might not be concerning depending on the couple. But, I totally agree that his response and anger towards her concern is out of line. Definitely a little concerning. Thank you for sharing, and for the other people for sharing their questions as well.

    1. avatar

      Yes, that was my thought exactly. It’s not necessarily an issue when someone is flirting with others, but I think the underlying issue with this letter writer was that she felt A) Like her husband wasn’t listening to her concerns and B) Generally neglected (she mentioned that her husband never complimented her, so of course seeing him flirt with others is going to sting a little more)

  14. avatar

    I guess my follow up question to the husband with the wondering eye is, is he just leaving weirdly teenage boy comments on attractive girls photos or is he actually trying to him on them? There’s a big difference. Also, it’s one thing to look at photos of women/men you find attractive and another to constantly leave comments about it online. The latter is more concerning than the former. His reaction to you bringing up your concern shows that the stuff he’s been doing is a concern

    1. avatar

      It wasn’t stated directly, but when I read their question I took it to mean that he was just leaving comments on random photos. I don’t think he was actually trying to establish a relationship – but I completely agree that it’s more concerning that a partner would be so dismissive of your feelings than that they would just flirt with other people.

Let me know your thoughts!

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30ish Lifestyle blogger, relationship "expert," and modern-day agony aunt.
Sometimes humorous, always honest.

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