My husband and I are both in our fifties and have been married three years. I am diagnosed with a mood disorder and Schizoid Personality. I also believe I have Asperger’s or dyspraxia. My behavior is stable so I am in no danger of doing anything rash. I have always felt insecure about my appearance.

My husband is very thoughtful and we get along great. He tells me I am beautiful inside and out, which I need to hear but find hard to believe, especially battling obesity. My husband just told me that he saw a pretty young woman stranger in town last week and had been fantasizing about her. He wanted to apologize to me for these thoughts, and said that he told himself “What do I want with this girl, since I have a beautiful wife at home?” I am writing to ask whether a man who truly is very much in love with his wife, body as well as mind, can experience infatuations with other women based on their looks. Thank you very much.

A: Of course he can. And, by the way, I hope you sometimes let yourself appreciate some of the men you see. It’s normal to look. It’s normal to fantasize. What’s important is the decisions we make about who we’re going to make a life with. You might tell your husband, though, that as much as you appreciate his apology, it is more helpful to your self-esteem if he keeps his fantasies to himself and just keeps reminding you of the reality that it is beautiful you he loves.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie