I was guilty of every single one of these things. Instead of owning my feelings, showing him a shred of respect, and communicating with him, I made my ex-husband feel more like a child than a man, I emasculated him. We were still incompatible as a couple, but maybe if I’d communicated with him, our parting would have been more amicable.
If you’re anything like me, you may have been raised with the idea of being an independent woman, never needing a man for anything. We are women. Hear us roar. Right?
There’s nothing wrong with being able to stand on your own two feet, provide for yourself, take care of your family, and be an independent woman. The women who came before us fought long and hard to give us that option in life. And plenty of women are still fighting for it to this day.
But, when you’re in a relationship, it’s a partnership. Equal share, equal responsibility, and on a good day, equal benefits. Sometimes you’ll give more than you receive, and if you’ve got a good partner, he’ll have days when he does the same for you.
The ‘I don’t need a man’ attitude can easily backfire. A good, solid relationship is built on mutual respect and open, honest communication. When we fail to remember that, we emasculate the men in our lives. It’s okay to get angry. It’s not okay to make your partner feel small, unworthy, or emasculated.
Below are 5 Ways in Which Some Women Emasculate Men
1. Pointing out his flaws: I get it. We’re trying to help them become better people and improve themselves. Sometimes, their flaws drive us bat-crap crazy, and we feel compelled to tell them so. I’ve been there, done that, got the divorce papers to prove it. Here’s the deal. As women, we’re painfully aware of many of our perceived flaws – the billions of dollars made by the beauty and health industry is living proof of that. Now imagine that instead of a commercial making you feel fat, ugly, or stupid, it was the person who was supposed to love you forever? That’s not good for anyone’s ego.
2. Badmouthing him to friends: I was a long-standing member of the husband bashing club. He didn’t do this right; he didn’t do that right. He didn’t earn enough money. He was lazy. Part of it was a way to gain support and a sense of camaraderie with other wives. I also needed to let off steam about my own frustrations. If I’d ever heard him bad mouth me to his friends, I would have been livid. The bottom line, though, is that if I demand respect from my partner, I should be willing to show that same respect as well. By taking my complaints to friends – or random people on social media, I was disrespecting him and our marriage.
3. Checking out in the bedroom: I am 100 percent guilty of this one. I can’t imagine how it must feel to find yourself in the throes of passion, look down, and see your wife staring off into space. I may or may not have yawned a time or two. Hard to feel like a stallion in the bedroom if your partner would much rather read a book. How could I have fixed this one? By owning the fact that I didn’t want to have sex with him and then actually talk to him about the problems. Instead, I made him feel unwanted, undesirable and like less of a man.
4. Undermining him: Show of hands. How many times did you ask your partner to do something – clean, make the bed, cook dinner, or get the kids dressed, and then sigh in disgust when you saw him doing it “wrong?” Which was only code for “not your way?” If you told him, “Never mind, I’ll just do it myself” and yanked the task away, you were undermining him. It’s hard for anyone to feel like a full-share partner when they’re not “allowed” to do help in the tasks of your own marriage. Treating him like a child you’ve lost your patience with means you aren’t treating him like a man.
5. Shaming him in public: Let me hang my head in shame over this one. Twelve years together, and I can’t remember how many times we fought in front of others – at Christmas with my family, in the mall in front of strangers. It makes me cringe just thinking about it. Yes, you might come across as a “shrew” in these battles, but a man has even fewer options. He can’t get too loud or aggressive, or he’s labeled an abuser. He can’t walk away or he’s backing down from a fight. If he sits there and takes it, he’s “whipped.” No matter what he does, he’s lost and in the eyes of others and himself, less of a man.
Very few of us would intentionally emasculate our partners. I was guilty of every single one of these things. Instead of owning my feelings, showing him a shred of respect, and communicating with him, I made my ex-husband feel more like a child than a man. We were still incompatible as a couple, but maybe if I’d communicated with him, our parting would have been more amicable.
These days, I’m in a loving relationship with a man who wouldn’t tolerate this behavior from me. Best of all, I won’t tolerate it in myself. We can all change our behaviors; we can all do things differently. If you see yourself in any of these scenarios, it may be time to take a long, hard look at yourself and how you treat the man in your life.