In this day and age, it’s becoming more common for women in relationships to seek equality and stand up for their rights within the relationship. However, some women may find themselves with a partner that seems not to respect them. They may notice signs of a misogynistic relationship.
In some instances, it may even seem as if your man doesn’t respect women in general. If you get the feeling your man doesn’t respect you, it may be time to look out for signs of a misogynistic relationship.
What is a misogynistic relationship?
If you notice that your husband or boyfriend frequently disrespects you, you may be in a misogynist relationship without realizing it. So, what does misogynistic mean?
Research has described it as involving hatred, dislike, and prejudice toward women. If you are dating a misogynist, he may have an aversion toward women in general, meaning he wouldn’t respect them or value them as being equal to men.
Being in a misogynistic relationship means an unbalanced power dynamic, in which your partner has all the control in the relationship, does not consider your opinion, and views you as being his inferior.
If misogynist behavior characteristics pop up in your relationship, you may be in for problems.
When red flags begin to pop up, you should start looking for some signs of misogyny that you might’ve previously ignored. If you’re feeling disrespected and like you are not equal in your relationship, some of the following telltale signs may point to a misogynistic relationship:
1. He sees women in black and white terms
A misogynist man cannot forgive flaws or mistakes in women because he simply dislikes women. Those seen as imperfect are immediately labeled as evil or “sluts.”
If your man constantly talks about other women being horrible, or he finds fault with all of your friends, this is one of the signs of a misogynistic relationship.
Another one of the clear signs of a misogynistic man is that he is incredibly controlling in the relationship. Since misogynistic men don’t see women as having value, he thinks he can dictate things like how you dress, who you speak to, where you go, and what you do.
He may even belittle you or make degrading comments to you to exert control and get you to do what he wants you to do.
3. He’ll blame you for everything
When you’re dating a misogynistic person, you’ll notice that he blames you for everything. If he has a bad day or something doesn’t go his way, he’ll be quick to let you know that it’s your fault.
Perhaps you didn’t do a good enough job cooking, which is why he didn’t meet his weight loss goal, or maybe his stocks didn’t do well this month because you were stressing him out, and he didn’t make good investments. Whatever it is, you’ll always be at fault.
Another one of the obvious signs of a misogynistic man is that he ensures that you say sorry to him all the time. Since everything is always your fault, you’ll be the one to apologize, whereas he can never bring himself to say sorry.
A man who demonstrates constant hatred for women probably isn’t going to get a woman to date him. This means that at times, and especially in the early stages of a relationship, even the most misogynistic of men will come across as sweet and charming.
As the relationship progresses, it might seem like he has two personalities. When he is angry, his hatred for women may come out, so he may be incredibly volatile and cruel during arguments, only to seem like a different person after his anger subsides.
6. He treats men and women differently
You might notice that your man is okay with being late for dates with you, or he may cancel plans with you, but he would never do that to one of his male friends. This is because he truly values the opinion of his friends, whereas he sees you as being less important.
Treating men and women differently is one of the more significant signs of a misogynistic relationship, as it hints at an inherent assumption regarding one’s superiority over the other.
It is clearly one of the signs of a misogynistic relationship if your man never wants to please you in bed and is only fixated on his own needs. He will be sexually controlling, demanding that you perform sexually for him whenever he asks, and he will only care about his preferences.
8. He’ll have no trouble cheating
Remember, one of the characteristics of a misogynistic man relationship is his general dislike for women. This means that he doesn’t feel that he owes you any loyalty, and he will be more than willing to cheat if another woman catches his eye.
One of the signs of a misogynistic relationship is that your partner may even think he is entitled to whatever woman he wants, even when he’s already dating you because he views himself as superior.
If you’re in a misogynistic relationship, your man may routinely make promises to you but fail to follow through with them.
He may promise a fancy vacation or make plans to take you out for your birthday, but then never make good on those plans. This is because he doesn’t see you as being worthy enough. He may even appear shocked when you are upset that he fails to follow through with promises.
10. He isn’t happy about your success
He may become upset about the successes in your career or even suggest that you quit your job. If you’re successful in your job, especially if you make more money than he does, a misogynistic partner may become upset or even angry.
In his mind, men are superior and should always be more successful than their female partners. He may even sabotage your career or suggest you stay at home and take care of the household instead of working.
A man who views women as inferior is likely to expect his partner to care for him. This means you will be expected to cook, clean, and pick up after him. He views you as a servant since you don’t have much value beyond doing whatever he asks.
It is one of the clear signs of a misogynistic relationship when you feel subservient to your partner and are expected to do everything for him.
12. The relationship may become violent
A misogynistic man who truly hates women and views them as inferior may resort to physical violence. Because he doesn’t value women, he will see no problem in becoming violent if it helps him get his way.
Five ways to spot a misogynist
Once you notice that you’re dating a misogynist, you’re probably already pretty deep into the relationship. This is why it can be helpful to know the early warning signs to save yourself from heartbreak.
A man who routinely refers to women as weak or “too emotional” is likely a misogynist. He might always have something wrong to say about women in the office, or he may complain about women being bad drivers, for example.
2. He holds women to different standards
Since a misogynist has a general distaste for women, he is likely to expect them to live up to nearly impossible standards. He may excuse certain behavior from men but be appalled by the same behavior from women because he links it to their inherent inferiority to men.
If he becomes agitated when a woman is successful or seems offended if a woman surpasses him in some area, it’s a pretty clear sign of a misogynist. They can’t control their reaction as he can’t tolerate a woman being more successful than him.
4. He frequently uses the term “female”
Using the word “female” as a descriptor, such as when talking about a female athlete, isn’t necessarily problematic. Still, a man who frequently refers to women as “females” often speaks in a dehumanizing and non-personalized manner.
Check out this video to learn more about the misogynistic microaggressions that can affect a relationship:
How to deal with a misogynist in a relationship
When you find yourself realizing, “My husband is a misogynist,” you’re probably left wondering what you can do. Perhaps the first step you can take is to call him out on his behavior.
If he’s gotten away with being disrespectful and refusing to treat you as an equal, the behavior will continue if you’re allowing it. Call him out on his nonsense, and set boundaries around the behavior.
For example, you may have to tell him you’re not going to have a conversation with him when he’s calling you names, putting you down, or making you feel inferior. You might also consider talking to your husband about counseling.
In many cases, signs of a misogynistic relationship stems from childhood trauma. For instance, your husband or partner may have been the victim of abuse from his mother, which may have led him to develop negative opinions of women.
Working through any underlying trauma or childhood issues may help him overcome some of his prejudice against women. Eventually, you and your partner may consider going to couple’s counseling to learn about healthy communication and boundary setting.
If these strategies do not work, or the relationship becomes violent, you may have to walk away to ensure safety for yourself. Remember, no one is deserving of emotional abuse, and you have a right to seek a relationship that is free from misogynist characteristics.
Suppose your husband or boyfriend frequently blames you for problems, controls your behavior, and makes you feel less valuable than he is. In that case, these are some pretty clear signs of a misogynistic relationship.
These behaviors come from the fact that a misogynistic person dislikes women and views them as inferior. If you’re in a relationship with a misogynist, you do have a right to stand up for yourself.
If the behavior doesn’t change, you may have to consider if the relationship is worth a lifetime of feeling as if your partner doesn’t value and respect you.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Jenni Jacobsen is a licensed social worker with a master's degree in social work from The Ohio State University, and she is in the process of completing her dissertation for a Doctorate of Philosophy in Psychology. She has worked in the social work field for 8 years and is currently a professor at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. She writes website content about mental health, addiction, and fitness.
Licensed as both a social worker through Ohio Board of Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage/Family Therapists and school social worker through Ohio Department of Education as well as a personal trainer through American Council on Exercise.