My husband and I went to the store together this morning with our youngest. This is not something we normally do because of COVID, but since my daughter and I had doctor appointments this morning and the store was on the way back, we figured it was best to get this part out of the way rather than make an extra trip. On the way back home my husband was visibly distressed. I asked him what was bothering him and he said he didn't know what to feel or how to feel about anything. He was in a state of turmoil and couldn't bring himself back to the present moment because he was tripped up by all the women in the store. Our shopping patterns are also very different, so this also adds to his distress. He likes to go up and down all the isles one by one and get what is needed on each isle whereas mine is all over the place because I remember things after we've left the isle. Given his OCD tendencies, I drive him crazy by doing this (he never told me this until today). Part of me wanted to shut him out. I dont want to hear about how he looked at, or wanted to look at other women while we were supposed to be doing something together as a family. So I shut my eyes and removed myself from the situation. In this process I thought to myself, "if I didn't know anything about my husband other than what he was telling me right now, what would I consider to be his issue?" Anxiety. I would think he had some form of anxiety. So I'm thinking about all the stuff him and inhad talked about from his childhood, through his teen years, and through his adult years. I started putting the puzzle together in my mind, 1. He was smaller and skinnier than most of his male family members for most of his life. For this reason, he didn't feel like he fit the description of what a man should look like 2. He felt more able to express himself around his female family members than his male ones because he didn't feel pressured to fulfill the stereotypical male role. For this he was teased and felt more inadequate 2a. The introduction of P. 2b. He felt nervous and anxious around women in fear of them seeing his perceived inadequacies. He began to use P more frequently as an escape. He begins to sexualize and objectify every woman he sees. 3. In junior high and high school he was often rejected by girls for one reason or another, which made him feel it had to do with how he looked. He felt inadequate and ashamed. He objectifies them, then escapes into P. 4. As a young adult, he was rejected by women for being too nice and not "manly" enough. He objectifies and escapes. 4a. This continues into college. He begins following women around just to sexualize them. 4b. He starts drinking in hopes of being less nervous around women in social situations. Realizes it doesn't work. 5. When he would be in a relationship, he was unable to perform adequately in the bedroom due to PIED or PE. Again, objectifies and escapes. He turns on them and says all sorts of mean things to them to get them to break up with him. 6. He meets me. For the first few weeks or so into our relationship his only focus is on me. He abstained from P and escaping. 7. He begins to feel inadequate around me, starts to escape into P again. Starts to objectify my friends. Objectifies every woman we come in contact with. Objectifies women in his classes. I believe his main focus, the source of his problem, is he is anxious around women. Why? He is afraid of being judged. He is afraid they will not see him as the "man" he feels he is supposed to be. His coping mechanism to overcome this anxiety when he is around women is to sexualize and objectify them. I coincidentally read a few studies a week or so ago that said that when men sexualize women, they see them as less intelligent and less competent. So if I were to apply this aspect to my husbands anxiety, in his way of coping with perceived inadequacies, it would make sense that he would feel better about himself if he put them below him. There are more layers to this, given how he was raised and taught that women were just objects anyway and that men were supposed to be superior, so this just continued to solidify over the many, many years. So how does he undo it? First, by recognizing that it is anxiety. Second, by somehow coming to the realization that the woman shopping in the next isle isn't going to hurt him in some way. This will take more time to further think about, but his coping mechanisms will need to change to approach this problem from a new angle.