Female-Led Relationships: Challenges and Benefits

female led relationshipsTraditional gender roles suggest that men should be the breadwinners and the leaders of the household. However, some couples choose to go directly against this idea and place the female in a dominant role; this type of relationship is referred to as a female-led relationship. These two types of relationships make the dynamic between a male and female very different, but both types of relationships can be happy and satisfying. To learn more about creating a positive environment in a relationship, take Udemy’s The Ultimate Relationship Coaching Programme course.


While a female-led relationship generally just means that the female takes the role of the leader in her household, these types of relationships may also have several other specific characteristics, including:

  • The female being the primary breadwinner in the relationship.
  • The female controlling the collective finances in a relationship.
  • The female holding a large part or all of the authority in making major decisions.

A relationship does not to have all of these characteristics to be considered female-led. The relationship may be considered either highly female-led or moderately female led depending on how much control the female has in the relationship. These relationships work well when the female is strong and when the male does not have any issues with her being the dominant force.

Common Difficulties

While female-led relationships can be preferable for some couples, many couples may run into difficulties. These challenges can vary from person-to-person, but some common challenges include:

  • Power struggles

When the man does not truly feel comfortable being in a submissive role, he may become frustrated and struggle to gain power in the relationship and household. In this case, it is probably in the best interest of the man to refrain from being in a female-led relationship; these types of relationships aren’t for everyone, and may require a lot of work and compromise.

  • Abuse

Abuse certainly does not occur in every female-led relationship, but it can be an easy pattern to fall into when one partner has more control than the other. The female may become too dominant and begin physically, mentally, or emotional abusing her partner just because she feels like she has the power to do so. This type of relational behavior is unacceptable and should never be tolerated.

  • Dissatisfied Partners

In female led relationships, either partner may become dissatisfied. The male may become frustrated if he feels like his input is not considered by the female. He also may become frustrated if the woman abuses her power and becomes unnecessarily bossy. The female, on the other hand, may become frustrated if she feels like the man is not taking care of the home while she works to make money for the household; this type of frustration may be especially prevalent when the man does not work at all and/or stays home all day to take care of the children. 

If you are experiencing relationship problems like these, check out Udemy’s 30 Day Journey To Relational Health course for help. Many relationships can be improved by using effective communication skills; if you’d like to improve your communication skills, take Udemy’s Communication Skills: Improve Your Skills In 1 Day course.


When two mature, compatible partners decide to enter into a female-led relationship, there can be many benefits for both parties involved. Although female-led relationships go directly against traditional gender roles, they can be a great option for a strong, ambitious woman and a man who does not mind being a submissive caregiver rather than the primary breadwinner. Some of the benefits of this type of relationship include the following:

  • Satisfied Partners

Some men naturally feel more fulfilled staying home and taking care of children rather than working to make money for their family. For these men, a female-led relationship is a great option; they are able to spend valuable time with their children this way. The female, on the other hand, may be driven to establish a career and work to support her family. In a female-led relationship, the female does not have to sacrifice her career to start a family or conform to traditional gender roles.

  • Reducing the Pressure on the Male

Because of traditional gender roles, men sometimes feel pressured to get high-paying jobs, even if those jobs do not at all interest or appeal to the man. When a man stays at home and the female is the breadwinner, he does not have to deal with the pressure to do something that may be incredibly unappealing to him.

While these benefits can be great for two people who are truly satisfied with a relationship in which the female is dominant, female-led relationships should never be forced. It is important for both parties in a relationship to openly communicate their needs and be honest with their partner. For some people, having one person take a dominant role in the relationship can be completely fulfilling and even relieving.

However, others prefer to be seen as an equal to their partner. For these people, female-led relationships are not advisable because a toxic relationship environment could be created and there is a high chance that one or both partners will become dissatisfied. A person entering a female-led relationship should only do so if it feels natural and makes him or her happy.

Most importantly, both people involved in a relationship should feel happy and fulfilled. No role should be forced on either party. If a person in a relationship feels like either a female-led or a male-led relationship is a good idea, they should discuss their ideas with their partner.

If you need help figuring out how to discuss this issue with your partner, check out Udemy’s blog post, Principles of Effective Communication: Getting Your Message Through. Both the male and the female should agree on what type of relationship is most beneficial. If you aren’t sure what type of relationship will truly satisfy you, take Udemy’s Be True: Find Your Truth And Live It! course to help you discover your values and make better decisions. Take a course at Udemy.com today to discover what type of relationship best meets your needs and how you can better communicate with your partner.