How to Address Your Partner's Sexist Behavior or Comments

One of the serious issues women face in life is sexism; sadly, we’re not taught how to see it, react to it, or correct it. For heterosexual women, sexism is a problem they will likely face throughout their relationships. Being raised in a patriarchal society, women are taught that they are inferior to men through countless direct and indirect cultural and societal cues.

Even if you were raised in a feminist household, you still grew up in a society where men are predominantly the ones in power; they are even largely in control of what you can and can’t do with your own body.

As a heterosexual woman, you may sometimes feel unease with your partner’s comments or behavior, and you may wonder how to address these issues without driving a wedge between the two of you.

First, it’s important to note that your partner also grew up in a patriarchal society. More than likely, your partner is not purposely trying to oppress, control, or offend you. For him, this is just “how things are,” it’s neither good nor bad. It’s up to you to identify the specific problems, and articulate how it affects you and your relationship with your partner.

There are several issues in relationships that must be navigated, such as sex, finances, housework, meals, and disagreements, among others. When problems surface that you believe are rooted in antiquated gender roles, for example you are always expected to prepare meals, challenge those expectations. Let them know that cooking and meal preparation needs to be equally divided.

When addressing sexist comments and discussing the issue of sexism, it’s important use a tone and language that your partner will respond best to. You know your partner well, so do your best to remain factual and sincere while being diplomatic. It will be awkward to discuss, but keep in mind that your relationship needs to be a strong and equal partnership. You should both feel comfortable talking to each other about problems in order for your relationship to succeed.

While these discussions are never easy, how your partner reacts to these difficult topics will tell you everything you need to know about their character. It’s vital to the success of your relationship, and to your mental health, that you’re able to negotiate mutual respect and understanding with your partner.


Are you in a relationship and having trouble communicating with your partner? Our specially trained staff can help you find ways to improve communication and better your relationship. Call our office today to set up a time to talk.