Yes, thoughts can be just thoughts. Your hubs trusted you enough to tell you his thoughts...I'm sure that he never anticipated your reaction to his revelations. That's because he loves you and digs you and trusts you. I'm sure he's back pedaling like crazy to try to placate you right now. And he will never open his mouth again.
My gf is very much like your hubs. She really adores me, is totally into me, is a fantastic lover. She is very open about her past and her thoughts. At first, I went a tiny bit off the deep end at some of her revelations, but frankly, she is completely innocent in her motives, as was your hubs.
Please don't shame him. People catch the eye, some catch my eye. Some are way younger than I am. Some are way older than I am. I don't entertain them as legit love interests, it really is a fleeting image/thought. I'm a lesbian with an insanely high sex drive, so I am probably different from a lot of women...but, I feel for the guys. He told you about it FFS, so he wasn't anticipating that you would be angry with him.
He truly loves you, and I know he never imagined that what he revealed to you would upset you.
Please forgive him.
I think how I wrote things makes it seem like I am a fiery raging monster somehow lol. The answers I am getting are similar in the manner of how I reacted. I did not do the best with describing what parts I reacted to out loud and what parts of it are in my head that I disclosed to the post. The fact is, I do not like the underage part. At all and I know it is related to my past. I was trying to get a good pole on whether or not it is valid for someone to feel so hurt by it. Its not the eye catching, its the sexual part. I look at women, I am bisexual. I do not think eye catching is bad, I do not think sexual thoughts are bad, I think staring and having sexual thoughts about underage girls is uncomfortable and inappropriate. I have a bigger sex drive than my husband and he loves it but we do deal with personal insecurities I have and I have been dealing with them from one relationship to another and he is the only one who has ever made me feel good about myself. Which I also believe is why it seems to hurt so much more.
We have not stopped talking about things and this is not the first time him or I have been hurt by the others feelings, thoughts, needs, wants or concerns. This is just the first time its been hard for me to just, move past. I dont like that I cant move past it. I also do not like the discomfort of my husband not understanding age limit and why it would bother me. I am not just sitting here yelling at him about it all day every day. It was a longer argument/talk than normal but it was because I was stuck and going in circles with feeling understanding and grossed out. Hence my screen name, cognitivedissonance. Its when you feel strongly about something in more than one way. I completely accept but I cant dismiss my gut-twisting disgusted feeling as well. He told me he wouldn't stop talking to me because he has never had an honest relationship before and he is willing to take the poopy moments over distance, lies and secrets. I agree. No matter how much this hurts, I am more than thrilled I could talk to him about it and still give him a hug and kiss goodbye this morning. He knows all I feel and I know all he feels about the subject. Its all out, there is not secret time bomb, or the fact we couldnt get everything out because one doesnt listen to each other. We both said our peace in hours of getting loud and calmly discussing.
One of my biggest fears is him closing up because I had a partner that did that to me, and I felt I wasnt allowed to say anything at all ever.
Thank you for your thoughts. I want you to know I have taken responsibility to how I feel and I hope to continue to do so.