We’re well aware that men are expected to behave by certain standards. It’s deeply rooted in our societal norms what a guy should be seen doing and what he should avoid at any cost.
That’s why you won’t be surprised to hear someone joking that if a guy wears a pink shirt, he must be gay, because those are the views we grew up hearing.
Of course, times have changed and gender roles followed those changes too. But still, there are some guys who are faced with high expectations of being a tough man, no matter what.
Don’t cry, don’t show your emotions, and for goodness’ sake, don’t be too much in love, because you’re a man.
Once again, thankfully, times have changed for the better. We’re starting to play around with the roles that have been assigned either to women only or men only.
But somehow, the traces of our upbringing still creeps through our minds.
It doesn’t come as a shock that some men still believe that they must be the head of the family. He’s the one who’s supposed to provide for the family; end of story.
If a woman earns more money than he does, the chances are that he’ll feel threatened and start doubting himself. But the real question is when does a man cross boundaries.
When does he turn his masculinity into something toxic, something that hurts the people around him? How would a man who’s filled with toxic masculinity behave in a relationship?
Let’s look at the answers to these questions, and let’s see toxic masculinity in action.
1. He ALWAYS controls his emotions
Of course, men don’t feel at the top of their game the whole time. That’s simply impossible.
But if your guy keeps acting that everything’s fine all the time even though you can see that something’s bothering him, he’s probably suffering from toxic masculinity.
All of the stories he has heard has made him feel that he has no right to show his emotions.
He can’t be seen as weak or vulnerable because they are seen as flaws and not what men should show.
So, even if he’s going through the worst phase of his life, a man who suffers from toxic masculinity will keep smiling, while on the inside, he’s falling apart.
You won’t be allowed to comfort him, and you most certainly won’t ever see him crying. “Men don’t do that,” would be his response.
2. He isn’t interested in ‘feminine things’
When I say ‘feminine things’, I mean the following:
You want to choose a movie that the two of you can watch, but he strictly says that he doesn’t want anything romantic because it’s girly.
“And men don’t watch girly things.”
His hands are rough because of the work he does.
However, the moment you offer him cream to moisturize them, he tells you that he’s not a woman who pampers herself.
He’s a man and men don’t do skincare.
Or you see him struggling with his keys, wallet, and phone because they don’t fit in his pocket.
To help him out, you grab him a man-bag on your way home so he can keep his belongings in one place.
When he sees it, he throws it away because men don’t use bags.
These are some of the ways men who are filled with toxic masculinity stay away from ‘feminine things‘ that aren’t actually feminine at all and should be socially acceptable.
3. He has to win EVERY SINGLE argument
Men who suffer from toxic masculinity don’t keep the phrases, “I’m sorry,” or, “You’re right,” in their vocabulary.
Instead, they have to win every argument because that’s the only way to go.
If he feels that he’s lost, he might think that he’s not good enough of a man. He might think that he’s committing the sin of all sins.
He doesn’t care about working on your relationship and solving disagreements.
The only thing that matters is that he’s the one who wins every fight.
4. He thinks that the way to solve issues is through anger and violence
A man who’s deeply into toxic masculinity believes that he’s stronger than a woman.
He thinks that he’s supposed to solve all your problems through anger and violence.
Let’s say that you’re having dinner in a restaurant and a waiter brings you the wrong order.
Instead of pleasantly telling the waiter that he made a mistake and asking him to get you what you ordered, your guy starts yelling at him.
He thinks that the louder his words are, the tougher a man he is.
I know that it doesn’t make sense but toxic masculinity makes him act all macho, which is wrong on so many levels.
5. He’s the one who’s in control of the finances
He tells you that you shouldn’t worry about money because it’s his part of the job.
It may seem cute at first but later on, you realize that you feel excluded from the life you live together.
He distributes the money, pays the bills, and buys himself the things he wants.
If you ask for something, he first needs to see whether you have everything you need for the house and enough food and that there’s enough money left for the mortgage.
He’s the one who holds all of your shared money and has control over it, no matter whether you earned a part of it.
6. He tells you that you’re supposed to do the housework (even though both of you have a job)
Another sign that your man suffers from toxic masculinity is if he makes it clear that he takes care of the family while you do all of the housework.
It makes no difference whether you have a job, the same way he does.
When you get home from work, you’re supposed to make dinner, clean the house, and put the kids to bed (if you have any).
If you have found your man in any of these signs, you better have a talk with him.
If this is a guy you’re planning your future with, you don’t want him to suffer from toxic masculinity because it’ll have a direct effect on your life as well.
Let your man see that there’s no need to fight for strict gender roles.
Help him understand that it’s better for both of you to be equal in the relationship.
Otherwise, he might lose you and every other girl who comes after you because his toxic masculinity will keep pulling him down.