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Hi, I've never posted here before, but I found this site seeking just such a forum. I hope somebody can help with perspective. Many perspectives is what I'm looking for. Anyway, I spent the whole morning trying to sort it out at the keyboard. I'm afraid it's 2 full pages long. thanks to anybody who has time to take a look and give me feedback. So here it is, my entire exploration.

Okay, how do I deal with this: internally, externally, in situ? when I go in public with my partner, he's eying women. In particular, young women. We can be in conversation or anything, and the head turns. I feel all of his attention drain away. Then, if the situation persists in a public place with optional seating, he'll sometimes "find himself" sitting next to the woman he's been ogling. He claims no awareness of this tendency. Observing it, it looks like he becomes magnetized, following. Where the eyes go, the body seems to want to follow. He does it in a way that's pretty unobtrusive, and women love it. I know I did. His energy gets so completely pulled. It really makes ya feel open to him. He gets all indignant and completely denies it. When we were getting to know each other in community, I would often find him in my path. It was so endearing at the time. Now I see it's just how he behaves with certain women. I feel like a fool. And it's all a mystery to him? I can't fathom that he's so clueless. I can't really believe that. I think it's a tender spot, a dearly held habit that he'd rather not look at. This woman watching/following makes me feel truly uncomfortable. Mind you, he's not out there getting phone numbers when I'm with him at least, although I did run across one phone number left in his pocket when I was doing laundry. He said he threw it away because he couldn't even remember who it was. I just wish I knew what I was dealing with, so I could relax and figure out how to deal. When he tells me it's NOTHING and gets so pissed off and in denial at me even bringing it up, I feel like there's a big shrouded something too scary to even mention. And obviously very valuable to him because he seems to protect it with alot of force. He doesn't seem to want to be aware of it. A big lesson in my life as a human has been that people who aren't aware of themselves are the most dangerous. I've certainly been one, and hurt people, and been hurt by them. And I do know that one thing as annoying as being told you don't see what you see, is being told you're doing something that you don't want to know you're doing. Or don't want to be seen doing. See, I can't tell from the secrecy shroud around it. What I do see makes me question.

For all my 12 years as a lesbian, I cut men alot of slack about their carnal nature. Meaning, I viewed them as brainwashed by a society that objectifies women. that encourages them to see themselves as having overwhelming NEEDS. It makes them excellent consumers. Same society that brainwashes/encourages women to see themselves as something that men need. there's plenty of money in that too. The whole thing seems so disrespectful of the human beings involved in life....

Now I feel face to face with the whole dance. I stepped right into it myself. Now I want to protect myself. I don't like it. I'm not a habitually suspicious partner. I don't have much experience with flirty partners or infidelity. I've never been with someone, male or female, who ogles women when we're together at least. Not to the level where I would notice it anyway. I don't know how to interpret it. all I know is that it bugs the hell out of me, and coupled with his tendency to situate himself near women he's been eying, it's a worry. And I want to talk about it.

From where we are (not talking about it. defence and denial) my options are limited. 1. Brace myself when we go out, try to laugh it off. Oh well, that was plan A, and it's not going so great. 2. Don't go out with him. 2a. Watch our relationship ebb away. 3. Try to show him what it looks like, but afraid he might be too busy watching women to notice. 4. Tell him he's perfect just how he is and it's been real nice.

Then there's that he acts so beat up that it feels like I'm victimizing him. Yeah, that makes it really hard to move toward honest dialogue. I'm asking myself if I'm being controlling. Well, I want to know what I'm dealing with. I don't trust what I'm hearing about what I see. I'm hearing back that I'm imagining stuff. I do trust my senses. I know that emotions can distort things. that is why I'm attempting to obtain clear information. I do not think I want to control him. I want to know what stuff means, and when he claims total ignorance about what he's even doing, I get worried. But yeah, even so, I can say real clear that I just don't like it. Would I like it to stop? Absolutely. So I guess I have to admit that I would like to control it. I would like it to stop. But then once a person gives over control of some part of themselves like that, it starts a fungus. If I felt like I understood, there's a chance I could accept it.... I don't know. I couldn't promise that. Could I agree to just endure the discomfort of it and try to practice pretendng I don't feel how I feel or see what I see.... ? Honestly, probably not. No, I think my best shot is accepting it as somethng his energy does. but I really don't like how it goes. Okay, not like, but could I accept it? Again, maybe, no promises. I could agree to try to understand and accept. But probably not without some honest clear and fearless communication aimed at a genuine understanding. Okay, now I know what I would agree to from myself. What I would do to see us be more truly intimate partners. To be able to commit. Shoot, after a year and a half these are genuine questions. I want to know what my commitment is, I imagine he'd want to know that too. Or maybe he prefers to feel a bit insecure. The truth may set you free, but it can make you feel insecure too. I feel pretty insecure from what appears to be the unspoken truth. The spoken truth will not likely improve matters much. Yet I insist on going there. And Jay's kinda telling me I don't wanna go there. Keeping it hidden. Wait, I remember, I made some agreement with God about trying to understand and love what is true... which I guess is a joke on me cos the apparatus is so stilted it's hard to navigate in a straight line. (Besides that ain't how the wind blows.) What is true? Jay likes to watch women, and is brazenly obvious with it. They notice, sometimes respond. And he's steered by his eyes like any cyclist or driver. Or man. What could be true? This could lead to situations. Red flag. I feel scared. I feel disappointed at thinking "men are just that way". and yet... here I am. Wow, the woman sitting at the table with the man while you feel the man looking at you up and down, has never been me til Jay. while it made me feel powerful, I always felt sorry for the woman, sitting there pretending it wasn't happening. and no respect whatsoever for the man. NONE. but it was kinduv a ride. I'm not gonna pretend I don't know anything about this. Maybe what he knows is different from what I know, but all I'm getting is a brick wall. And I am not that woman sitting there pretending it isn't happening.

Wow, you made it to the bottom. So what do you think? Should I be concerned? Do I have the right to ask him not to do that? Should I run?

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