What do you think about married men who flirt? What does it mean when a married man flirts? Does that mean he is not happy in his marriage? Does that mean he is having an affair? How to tell if your husband is flirting? These are all questions that need to be answered NOW if you’re married or in a serious relationship and your husband’s flirting is a problem for you or for your relationship.
Flirting has been around since the first human relationships. Let’s define what flirting is today.
If you google, “What is flirting?”, this is what comes up:
“Flirting is lighthearted chatting that involves teasing, physical touching, cracking jokes, giving compliments, and being slightly absurd but not weird. People flirt when they’re attracted to someone but don’t want to come out and say it right away (which is smart because doing so might scare off a potential mate.)” –
Here are some descriptions from Webster’s Dictionary:
“Flirt: – 2a: to behave amorously without serious intent (He flirts with every attractive woman he meets.) 2b: to show superficial or casual interest or liking: 2c: to experiment.
Both Google and Webster seem to be talking about flirting before marriage or maybe flirting when you’re married but you don’t really want to get in bed with the person you’re flirting with (serious intent).
So, is flirting okay if you are married, or not? That depends on how you and your spouse define flirting and what kind of flirting is out-of-bounds for you both.
Some of us are natural flirts. It may be how your husband attracted you. You may be a flirt, yourself. Flirting before marriage is much different than a husband provocatively flirting or sexually suggestive flirting after marriage. Those usually come to no good.
Some therapists say that flirting can be good for your marriage…but only if you’re flirting with your spouse. Flirting is fun! It can keep your marriage interesting and lively. But when a married man flirts with other women either in front of his wife or behind her back, that usually does not make the marriage better.
My ex-husband and I always had a group of fellow travelers along life’s road. We had an active social group for every phase of life. We were close to the couples (and even their kids) in all of these social groups as we grew older. College, Professional school, internships, the military.
We all innocently sort of flirted with everyone in those social groups. There was nothing sexual or secretive about these good natured social exchanges. Maybe that’s not considered flirting at all. We were all friends – loosely connected – travelling along in life. In fact, it kept us on our toes in our own relationships.
All of that changed after three children and 10 years of marriage. I had quit my job at our city’s newspaper after our first child was born and was pretty much in charge of the home front after that. I was mainly at home by myself with our children and a marketing job that I could do from home. There were other wives who were friends at work or at home who had children…all while our husbands were out and about with co-workers, clients, assistants…and nurses.
As life moves on, we may notice that our husband starts drinking more and being away from home more, and at times we may feel left out. But when life is good, and we are following our dreams and settling into a more mature relationship, we sometimes accept things we might not love about our relationship. We were at a place like that when my then husband was sent by his medical department to do a month-long study in his specialty at another hospital a state away.
After he came back, I discovered a note that said something like, “Please come visit. I would love to see you again. I promise to pretend that nothing happened. I miss you.” She was a waitress at a bar in the city where he was studying.
That note changed everything.
He definitely had been doing some flirting on this time away from me and our kids. I was surprised, broken-hearted, and furious. When confronted, he apologized…but seemed to think it was really no big a deal. It was a very big deal to me, but I forgave him and we never spoke of it again.
After that, my husband’s flirting made me nervous. His work environment definitely made flirting (and infidelity) more possible. And believe me, in spite of all of the women’s rights progress and solidarity, some women still think nothing of doing whatever it takes to find a man to marry regardless of whether he is already married or not, no matter what his occupation or profession.
Husband Flirts In Front Of Me
If a married man (or woman) flirts (especially in a secretive or seductive way) with someone other than a spouse, that usually makes the spouse feel insecure, angry, worried plus some other feelings that are much more complicated.
Women ask, “How am I supposed to handle it when my husband flirts in front of me?” Is his flirting light-hearted and innocent or implicitly sexual? Is he disrespectful? Is he making anyone uncomfortable?
When confronted, or when a wife says “I’m not comfortable with your flirting, most husbands brush us off and say things like “It’s nothing! You’re too suspicious! She’s just a friend;” or all too often, “She’s just someone from work who is having trouble in her marriage.” Definite red flag!
As a woman concerned about a husband’s flirting, the more he doesn’t see why his flirting is hurting our relationship, the more his flirting upsets us.
Couples need to set boundaries about flirting early in a relationship. What is acceptable and what is not? After you decide the boundaries, make sure you stick to them.
Husband Flirts Behind My Back
It’s bad enough when my husband flirts in front of me, but when flirting happens when my husband is alone with another woman away from me, his flirting can feel like an assault on me and our relationship.
It’s also an awful realization to hear from friends that your husband is flirting behind your back. Some therapists consider inappropriate flirting to be cheating…in other words an emotional affair.
Most people don’t respect people who cheat…people who have affairs…people who commit adultery. But there is often a “brotherhood of silence” for men doing these things. It’s just as bad for women to allow or encourage inappropriate flirting from a man who is married. Every woman should make sure the man flirting with her is NOT married.
If you find out your husband is going “out-of-bounds” in his flirting with another woman, you need to talk honestly about it, ASAP. It’s wise to talk about it with a counselor if your husband is not willing to answer your questions and won’t explain why he feels he needs to flirt with other women.
Husband Flirts With A Coworker
Since a great majority of affairs start in the workplace, workplace flirting is often more dangerous than flirting in front of you or in a bar. Often our husbands are with co-workers for longer periods of awake-time each day than they spend at home. That leaves a lot of time and space to worry if your husband flirts with coworkers.
Workplace flirting does not have the constrictions of others being around who would not approve of the flirting. Plus, workplace affairs have built-in excuses…like working late, a big project, an unexpected trip out of town or a special team-building happy hour after work. Office get-togethers are breeding grounds for inappropriate flirting and can lead to full blown affairs and divorce.
Husband Flirts On Social Media
Social media is another likely place where flirting (and both emotional and physical affairs) get started. Public social media is not as dangerous as flirting on someone’s private email. Many affairs start with some kind of flirting online.
Often when a husband is on the brink of a social media relationship damaging his marriage, he becomes very protective of his phone. One of the tell-tale signs your husband is flirting and/or having an affair is when he takes his phone with him everywhere. To the gym. In the bathroom. In his home office. When he’s with the kids watching TV. In the garage. Mowing the lawn. Everywhere! Talk to him about it.
My Husband Flirts When He’s Drunk
Almost every social situation these days includes drinking. And it’s often not just a drink or two…but too much drinking (or smoking pot). Alcohol makes flirting easier. Some guys are bolder and think they are more desirable after they have had a few drinks (They’re not!). More drinking often leads to more flirting and then on to more inappropriate actions, too.
This is another place to set clear boundaries in your marriage and stick to them.
Do Happily Married Men Flirt?
Most happily married men do not flirt inappropriately with women other than their wife. Unhappily married men are more likely to both flirt in front of their spouse and flirt behind her back if he sees the marriage as dull or unfulfilling.
Happily married men want to make their wife feel good and safe and secure in their marriage. Happily married men are more likely to flirt with their wife at a party, and then have fun together at home after the party.
Why Do Married Men Flirt?
Sometimes, especially in midlife, men start wondering if they’re still attractive to women. They may flirt to reassure themselves that they’ve still “got it” with women. Women need that reassurance, too. That’s why fun flirting with our spouse can be good for our marriage. We can let our spouse know that they will always be number one with us. The cool thing is, when you flirt with your spouse, you can be a bit naughty with what you say. Then you can go home together and continue the fun!
Married men, like it or not, still like a little bit of a chase, some excitement and even a bit of pushing the limits…especially in their mid and later years. They may think they’ve been responsible and predictable for their whole life and may just want some mystery and intrigue. So sometimes it’s fun to give them that yourself! At a stuffy party, try whispering to your husband, “I forgot to put my panties on.” and see what happens!
Flirting, with someone other than your wife, can set you up for discontentment and can lead to a ruined marriage. Teasing and flirting can make you think you want something else, when what you really want is a good, fun, adventurous relationship with your spouse. Make that happen!
Can A Married Man Compliment Another Woman?
Whether it’s appropriate for a married man to compliment a woman who is not his wife depends on the circumstances and what his mission is. Does he have an ulterior motive? Is she a co-worker? A neighbor? A fellow church member?
When your husband seems to compliment everyone else and never compliments you, that can be troublesome. Compliment him when you can, and if he never reciprocates, talk to him about it.
If things have already gone too far, and your husband’s flirting has done damage to your relationship, and your marriage is on shaky ground; let’s talk and see what’s going on. If you’re already on the separation or divorce road, we can help.