My Partner Emasculates Me - How Can I Make It Stop?

By Michael Puskar

Updated March 19, 2020

Being emasculated by someone that you love can be uncomfortable and downright degrading and humiliating, especially if it goes too far and for too long. In this article, you will learn how you can put an end to emasculation in your relationship, and instead create a relationship that is loving and respectful.

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What Is Emasculation & What Are Examples Of It?

Emasculation is a severe problem that can have immediate and long-term negative effects on a relationship.

According to the American Psychological Association, being emasculated refers to "castration or, by extension, the reduction or removal of a man's sense of masculinity, as by depriving him of a culturally sanctioned male role or the exercise of male privilege." [1]

Essentially, the actions from others, such as from a partner, are causing a man to feel like less of one, which is hurts his self-esteem, and it is damaging to the relationship overall.

As the definition suggests, emasculation tends to center around masculinity and the stereotypical roles that come with being a man in a relationship. Here are some examples of how someone can be emasculated:

  • Belittling how he makes a living and his ability to provide
  • Undermining his competence
  • Deliberately asking other men for help
  • Pointing out his flaws and mistakes
  • Avoiding intimacy or making fun of his performance
  • Badmouthing and shaming him in front of others

These are just a few out of many ways that some men can be emasculated, and sometimes it can be very obvious, or it can be subtle or passive-aggressive. For example, if he is asked for help and he struggles to do it, his partner might verbally tell him to stop and that they or someone else will do it, or they might merely roll their eyes and not say anything at all, but it's still degrading.

Emasculation almost always comes from a place of power and wanting to control, and it can be a sign of narcissism, especially in women. Female narcissists are sometimes compared to black widow spiders who will attract mates, but instead of eliminating their male partners, they will resort to emasculation instead. [2]

This is an indicator of a very toxic relationship, and the remainder of this article will show you ways how to get your partner to stop emasculating you.

Sit Down & Have A Talk

Communicating how you feel will be essential to get your partner to stop his or her behaviors that make you feel less masculine. However, doing this can be a bit trickier for men because it's socially engrained to try not to appear emotional, sensitive, and vulnerable to people, especially their partners. [3]

You will need to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your partner, discussing how their comments make you feel, and that it needs to stop immediately. You need to lay down some ground rules because, without them, you will continue to be disrespected and walked over.

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You have every right to be upset and angry, but try to be as civil as possible, but still be upfront and stern, so that you make yourself clear and get your point across.

If your partner doesn't take you seriously or worse, continues to hurt your sense of masculinity, and mock your efforts to make things better, there is a serious problem that goes much deeper than being emasculated.

If this is the case, it is evident that there is no respect in the relationship. Not only is she demonstrating contempt with her behavior, but it will also cause you to feel the same way if things to don't stop very soon.

Attend Therapy

If your partner refuses to listen to you, having a third party involved can certainly be helpful to get to the bottom of the enormous respect issues that are surrounding your relationship.

A counselor or therapist will sit down with both of you and hear what you have to say and work to give you solutions on how you can build trust and respect in your relationship. Keep in mind - their job isn't to take anyone's side, but the therapist will try to figure out why your partner is emasculating you in the first place.

Emasculation can be considered a form of contempt, which, according to The Gottman Method, is the most destructive type of behavior seen in relationships, and it is a significant predictor of divorce. This is something that needs to be addressed by the therapist; otherwise, the unnecessary conflict will continue to occur. [4]

With their help, not only will you both learn strategies to make your relationship as a couple stronger, but even as individuals, you can get valuable advice on how to be better partners by reducing contempt and replacing it with love, trust, and respect.

At ReGain, licensed professionals are available online to help you overcome this rough patch in your relationship. It is convenient and affordable, which makes getting help more accessible than ever.

However, for this to work, both individuals need to be willing to participate. If your partner comes from a place of malice and doesn't intend to make things right, there is only one solution left.

Leave The Relationship

A 100% surefire way to get your partner to stop emasculating you is to call it quits with them and move on. It is something that needs to be considered if you've already tried the previous solutions, but your partner doesn't want to cooperate and has no intention of ever doing so.

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The decision to leave can be a difficult one to make, especially if you love them and have been together for a while, but it is clear that things aren't right, and your partner is not making you happy, and without therapy, things will never improve.

A therapist can also assist you during this time as well, and make your transition easier by giving you the skills to cope with your emotions. Breakups and divorces are never easy, but help is available to make it more bearable.

Eventually, you'll realize that, despite the initial hardships, moving on was the best decision for yourself. Right now, focus on improving yourself now and keep your eyes on the future. [5]

When you're ready to put yourself back out there, you'll probably find someone who loves and respects you, which is something that would have never happened if you didn't leave your previous emasculating relationship.

What Your Partner Needs To Do - If He Or She Wants To Fix Things

The advice mentioned throughout this article is centered on things that you should do if your partner emasculates you, but since he or she is the instigator here, there will be several things that need to happen if they decide to cooperate to make the relationship better.

The first thing that she needs to do is see you for your positive qualities, not the aspects that she dislikes, either real or fictional. It's normal to have shortcomings and to be upset at our partner for the things that they do wrong (after all, you're not happy about their behavior), but he or she is always sweating the small stuff and nitpicking your every move, you have a problem. However, nobody is perfect, and if there are issues on your end, they can also be worked on too.

Secondly, she needs to stop trying to make the relationship into a power struggle. A healthy relationship is all about equality and making compromises. If she is constantly trying to gain the upper hand by trying to put you down, it needs to stop.

Lastly, she needs to accept that she needs you. She can still be independent, but when there's trouble, she has to go to you first. Even if you struggle, she can't resort to someone else, unless it's something that needs to be done by a professional. For example, you shouldn't be expected to fix an appliance if you have no experience doing so.

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These things should help bring your partner back down to earth, and stop trying to control the relationship, instead treat it as a collaboration.

Conclusion

If you're struggling with emasculation in your relationship and it has you feeling down about yourself, hopefully, this article can help you get it back on track. With excellent resources like therapy available to you, even the most toxic relationships can heal and become healthy and strong.

Even if your partner chooses not to work on things with you, it's important to never give up on yourself. You don't need to be with someone who emasculates you, which is a sign that they don't love and respect you. Moving on is an acceptable thing to do if your happiness is on the line.

Deep down, you are not the things that your partner makes you feel, and either he or she needs to realize that, or you have to find someone who does and won't intrude on your sense of masculinity.

References

  1. American Psychological Association. (2019). Emasculation. Retrieved from https://dictionary.apa.org/emasculation.
  2. Hammond, C. (2019, June 27). The Difference Between Male and Female Narcissists. Retrieved from https://pro.psychcentral.com/exhausted-woman/2015/07/the-difference-between-male-and-female-narcissists/.
  3. Gressel, J. (2019, May 1). Seven Lessons I Have Learned in Therapy with Men. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/putting-psyche-back-psychotherapy/201605/seven-lessons-i-have-learned-in-therapy-men.
  4. Lisitsa, E. (2013, May 13). The Four Horsemen: Contempt. Retrieved from https://www.gottman.com/blog/the-four-horsemen-contempt/.
  5. Degges-White, S. (2019, April 19). Break-Up Recovery 101: How to Heal from Heartbreak. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/lifetime-connections/201904/break-recovery-101-how-heal-heartbreak.

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