How To Stop Your Wandering Eye: Every Man’s Battle
What do you do if you find someone attractive—other than your spouse?
If you find someone attractive, your first line of defense is a proper mind-set, which is this: This attraction threatens everything I hold dear.
It may not appear threatening early in the attraction, when everything seems innocent. Remember, though, that attractions grow quickly and can destroy your marriage. Even if your marriage manages to survive, at the very least the lurking will weaken the foundation of your marriage and rob your wife of your full captivation.
Your second line of defense is to declare, I have no right to think these things. State this to yourself clearly, decisively, and often. You don’t even know this woman; who are you to be attracted to her? Didn’t your Master give you your wife?
The third line of defense is to heighten your alert. What do you normally do when you feel threatened? You take off your jacket and breathe deeply. You ready yourself for what’s coming.
Suppose you’re a bouncer at a dance club, checking I.D.s and tickets, joking with the customers. One night, five men in black leather loudly roar up on motorcycle, looking surly and arrogant. Would you relax and back away from the door? Not on your life. Without hesitation, you’d step up to the door and stand erect, ready to confront the threat.
Consider the old Star Trek television series. What did Captain Kirk do when danger approached? He cried out: Red alert! Shields up!
With your mind-set transformed, you won’t let her near the corral. The attraction will begin to starve, and she’ll drift back toward the horizon. How can you make sure this will happen?
BOUNCE YOUR EYES. You saw her passing your corral, and you were physically attracted to her. Starve this attraction by bouncing your eyes (which means to “build a reflex action by training your eyes to immediately bounce away from the sexual, like the jerk of your hand away from the hot stove”). Don’t dwell on her beauty by stealing glances. Do this with zeal.
AVOID HER. Sometimes this isn’t possible, but do it when you can. If she works with you, and the two of you are assigned to the same project, don’t ask her to eat lunch with you or offer her a ride home. Avoid opportunities that create positive experiences with her until the attraction phase dies. If she asks you to do something with her, excuse yourself.
WHEN YOU’RE IN HER COMPANY, PLAY THE DWEEB. Our hero, Dweebman, steps into a nearby public rest room and emerges as the polyester-clad enemy of all things flirtatious and hip. Dull, mild-mannered Dweebman—pocket protector shielding his heart and hair slightly askew—wages his quiet, thankless war of boring interchange. Our once-threatening Amazon withdraws to undefended sectors, leaving Dweebman victorious again in his never-ending good fight to stave off the hip and the impure in his galactic empire!
Okay, there’s not that much glory in playing the dweeb. There’ll be no comic-book deals no endorsement deals, no 20/20 interviews with Barbara Walters, but you’ll be a hero to your wife and kids.
A dweeb is the opposite of a player. In relationships, players send and receive social signals smoothly. Dweebs do not. When a player wants to send attraction signals, there are certain things he’ll do. He’ll flirt. He’ll banter. He’ll smile with a knowing look. He’ll talk about hip things. In short, he’ll be cool. You were a player at one time. You knew how to feed attractions. You spent your whole adolescence learning how.
As a married man, however, a little social suicide is very much in order. Always play the dweeb. Players flirt… learn to un-flirt. Players banter… learn to un-banter. If a woman smiles with a knowing look, learn to smile with a slightly confused look, to un-smile. If she talks about things that are hip, talk about things are un-hip to her, like your wife and kids. She’ll find you pleasant enough but rather bland and uninteresting. Perfect.
Sometimes a woman’s attractiveness to you will be mental rather than physical. This is common in work environments as you work with women on projects that interest you both. In business it’s common to spend more hours per day with female coworkers than with your wife. You talk with them about common goals and achieving success, while all you and your wife talk about are the kids’ discipline problems, who’s going to change the dirty diapers, and bills, bills, bills.
As with physically attractive women, you must understand that if your shields aren’t up, and if you don’t recognize the threat to your marriage, you’re flirting with danger.
To summarize: If you’re attracted to a woman, it doesn’t mean you may never again have any sort of relationship or friendship with her. It only means you must enact your defense perimeters. Once you’ve starved the attractions and she’s a safe distance away, you can have a proper relationship, one that is honoring to your wife and to the Lord.
The above article can be found in the excellent book, Every Man’s Battle: Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time (The Every Man Series) by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker, published by WaterBrook Press.
This book shares the stories of dozens who have escaped the trap of sexual immorality and presents a practical, detailed plan for any man who desires sexual purity—perfect for men who have fallen in the past, those who want to remain strong today, and all who want to overcome temptation in the future. We can’t recommend this book highly enough! It’s powerful!
You can also visit the web site that goes along with this book, Everymansbattle.com. They have some great articles on this web site that could minister to your needs in tremendous ways.