Is Your Man Machista?

Not sure if your man is being sexist or just a little insecure? See where six common relationship scenarios rate on the machismo scale!

#1) He says:

“That dress is way too short. Who are you, Snooki?”

He’s really saying:

“I don’t want other guys  looking at you.”

“He may feel threatened. Controlling what you wear is his way of dealing,” says Carmela Pérez, Ph.D., a New York City–based psychologist.

You should say:

“I look hot in this dress. I want to look good for you—enjoy the show.”

Make it clear that you’re not looking  to attract another guy. “Then talk about his concerns,” Pérez says.  “Is he worried that he’ll look foolish because he can’t control his woman? Explore the feelings behind what  he’s saying.”

Rating on Machismo Scale: 3 out of 5

#2) He says:

“The baby needs her diaper changed!”

He’s really saying:

“Diapers are gross.  Plus, changing them is  women’s work.”

Despite the fact that he helped  make that baby, he thinks child care  is strictly your business.

You should say:

“Can you help  me change it?”

You’ll let him know that he can touch a diaper without passing out, and you’ll also knock down his likely argument—“I don’t know how”—by guiding him through the process.

Rating on Machismo Scale: 5 out of 5

#3) He says:

“Your mom is over here in our business way too often.”

He’s really saying:

“I feel like I never get to  make decisions in my own  home because you and  your mom cut me out of  the conversation.”

He wants to feel like the king  of his castle, but your mom’s  presence undermines his autonomy and ability to lead.

You should say:

“I like spending time with my mom, but  I can understand if  you think she’s around  too much. How often  do you feel comfortable with  her visiting?”

It might be annoying to hear your  man talk bad about Mami, but he has a point: You wouldn’t want his  mother butting in all the time. You must respect his wishes, as long  as they are reasonable.

Rating on Machismo Scale: 2 out of 5

#4) He says:

“What do you know about soccer?”

He’s really saying:

“Soccer is a  man’s game.”

He’s holding on to old-school ideas that women and sports don’t mix.

You should say:

“Everything. I’ve  been watching it  since I was 3.”

He needs to know you’re living  proof that girls can love sports just  as much as dudes.

Rating on Machismo Scale: 5 out of 5

He says:

“I don’t need  your money; I can handle this.”

He’s really saying:

“If someone sees you paying  for this, it will seem like I’m not handling my business.”

He thinks he’ll look like less of a man if he lets you pay.

You should say:

“Thanks, I appreciate that. But I’d love to splurge on you too, sometimes.”

Whether you like him paying for stuff or not, it’s important to let him know that there are other ways to show that he cares, Pérez says. Offering to pay sometimes will show you’re not a helpless little woman who needs him to handle everything.

Rating on Machismo Scale: 4 out of 5

#5) He says:

“Who’s that guy who posted on your Facebook page today?”

He’s really saying:

“I’m worried you’re going to  cheat on me with that dude.”

Jealousy is rearing its head.

You should say:

“Are you talking about Miguel? We grew up together. I haven’t heard from him in years; he married my sixth grade BFF last year.”

Fess up—you’ve probably spent your fair share of time reading entries  on his wall too. Fear comes from the unknown. So shine a light on the situation—explain who the guy is and describe your relationship.

Rating on Machismo Scale: 3 out of 5