3 Patriarchal Beliefs I Had to Unlearn Before Finding My Equal Partner

Growing up in a patriarchal society, I learned from a young age a few things:

  1. The man has the most power in the house.

  2. The man’s ability to provide is the most important to his manhood.

  3. Therefore, his job is the most important thing in the world to him.

How did I learn them? I was shown on a daily basis.

My father was always busy with work, and when he was at home, he would spend all day sleeping or using the computer. I was scared to disturb him because he might lose his temper. Over time, I accepted that his work and his sleep were more important than me.

This belief deeply affected my romantic relationships later in my early 20s.

I was particularly drawn to busy men like my father.

Part of me wanted them to make all the time for me while the other part expected that they would eventually put their jobs before me.

As it turned out, through these relationships, I was trying to heal my childhood wounds and ultimately for the familiar pain caused by my father.

Wallowing in it was comforting.

At least I already knew the outcome and it didn’t require any effort to change from me.

I repeated this pattern into my mid-20s when it finally hit me that it might ruin my future for real. I was terrified. So I admitted myself into therapy and started to dive into feminism.

Those patriarchal beliefs weren’t easy to unlearn.

I had to constantly hype myself up through exceptionally loving emails to myself and consciously create a healthy lifestyle, so my brain would internalise a new mindset that I was indeed important and I deserved a man who prioritised me.

It was real work.

I didn’t just need to believe in my power as a woman but I also needed to dismantle toxic masculinity in my dating requirements.

Meanwhile, I had to keep in mind the differences between how men and women are still treated in society today to make sure I’m not selling myself short and my needs are met.

After therapy and tons of self-work, I believed that:

1. I am powerful as a woman.

2. The ability to provide isn’t the defining factor for any gender.

3. I deserve to be the number one priority to my partner.

So, if a guy didn’t respect me as an equal, tried to claim power over me, didn’t support my career because he’s intimidated by my potential earning power, put his job or anything else before me, I would immediately next him.

It’s still a learning journey, but I know one thing: no more patriarchal bullshit in my life.

That’s how I knew my now-fiance was the one when I met him.

He showed all these green flags very early on in our relationship.

Granted, he’s a successful man and has a busy job, but he has never made me feel like I have to compete with anything in his life. I know I’m the centre of his universe because he shows me that all the time.

For example, when I told him about my anxiety at night, he asked me to wake him up if I felt bad even though he had to wake up early. When I texted him I felt down while he was at work, he would immediately call me.

Yesterday, when I came home after having my first dose of vaccine, he stopped his work call to open the door for me and comfort me. He then took care of me the whole evening when I experienced the side effects.

At night, he uses earplugs and t-shirts to cover his eyes because I sleep late and have the light on. He never asks me to change a thing while always accommodating me. Being with him, I have learned that my needs matter and they will be met.

I feel seen by him, and I see him as a human being that isn’t defined by any gender role. I love him as the person he is, which has really humbled me.

Does it sound amazing to you? The thing is, this is what everyone deserves and this is what everyone can get when we embrace every part of ourselves and let others be.

My message to you

If you relate to my past experience and are now at that phase where you want to change your beliefs and have a healthy relationship with balanced power dynamic, start with changing how you see others and treat yourself.

Do you unknowingly buy into toxic masculinity? Do you have internalised sexism? Challenge yourself.

Claim your power.

There are good, healthy men out there who respect and love women. Don’t give up on them. One day, you might be raising the next generation of men as well —make sure you show them good examples.

If you’re a man, please get into intersectional feminism. Read feminist books. Listen to women. Heal yourself. A different world will open up to you.

Similar Posts


Leave a Reply