30 Mean Ways Your Boyfriend Could Hurt You Emotionally & How to React

Relationships aren’t easy for a lot of people. So, here are the deal-breakers when your boyfriend hurts you emotionally, and what to do about it.

boyfriend hurts you emotionally

What do you do when your boyfriend hurts you emotionally? Do you cry? Do you ignore him for a couple of days as you wait for an apology? We all have our tactics.

But if you want to grow from the situation, there are a couple of things you can do to learn from the disagreement and improve the relationship.

But if he’s emotionally hurting you constantly, then look beyond this. If he knows what he’s doing but isn’t changing, he’ll never change. Anyways, here’s what to do when your boyfriend hurts you emotionally. [Read: Please don’t overlook these signs of emotional abuse]

Deal-breakers when your boyfriend hurts you emotionally

In a relationship, it’s not uncommon for the partners to accidentally hurt each other from time to time. No one is perfect. But if your boyfriend hurts you emotionally on a regular basis, then that is a huge problem.

There are also a lot of things that should be absolute deal-breakers in a relationship. So, the chances are, that if your boyfriend hurts you emotionally, he may be doing at least one of these – if not most of them.

Let’s take a look.

1. Disrespect

Every human being alive deserves respect. Whether you are king, CEO of a company, a janitor, or homeless, it doesn’t matter. People are people and they all deserve to be treated with respect.

So, if you find that your boyfriend is disrespecting you on a regular basis, it’s time that you re-think this relationship. [Read: 17 signs of disrespect in a relationship that reveal a lack of love]

2. Selfishness

It’s natural for most people to be a least a little bit selfish. It’s actually a survival instinct that dates way back to the dawn of human beings.

But when it comes to romantic relationships, there is no room for selfishness. One person cannot always have their way. Being in a partnership is a two-way street, so extreme selfishness should not be allowed.

3. Emotional or mental abuse

Abuse comes in many forms – and they’re all devastating. Emotional and mental abuse are horrible because it destroys someone’s self-esteem and self-worth.

When you are called worthless, ugly, fat, no-good, and more, then that is something that should not be tolerated. And remember, just because someone says something bad about you doesn’t make it true!

4. Physical abuse

As we said, all kinds of abuse are unacceptable. But if your boyfriend hurts you emotionally by laying his hands on you, that is a crime.

No one has the right to physically hurt another person. And no, you don’t deserve it regardless of what you did. So, physical abuse of any kind should be stopped immediately. [Read: Narcissistic abuse – 16 subtle signs a narcissist is abusing you]

5. Withholding sex or affection

In a healthy relationship, there is plenty of sexual intimacy and affection between the two people. Although some people have different needs and drives in those categories, there should be some present.

So, if you find that he is purposely withholding intimacy or affection from you, then that is just cruel.

6. The silent treatment

Although we discussed how awful any kind of abuse is, the silent treatment is also a horrible thing to do to another person.

In fact, it is also a form of abuse too – just not as obvious. If he’s ignoring you by giving you the silent treatment for any reason, then he is practically denying your existence. That is not something anyone should do to anyone.

7. Not listening to you

Not everyone has good listening skills. However, some are just downright disrespectful. It could be anything from not looking up from the football game that he’s watching or the video games that he’s playing. Or, it could just be that he doesn’t listen to your needs whenever you express them.

A lack of listening skills in a relationship will not make it successful, and is a clear sign that your boyfriend hurts you emotionally and is just being a bad human being in general. [Read: Immature men – 27 manchild signs and why you should stay away from him]

8. Doesn’t care about your needs

Maybe you do express your needs to him, but it falls on deaf ears.

Whether you need more emotional or sexual intimacy or just for him to help out with the household chores, he should take your needs seriously. He might even agree to change and pay more attention to what you need, but may he is all talk and no action.

9. Not putting in any effort

If you feel like your relationship is a one-way street, then that is a deal-breaker. It takes two people putting in equal effort to make a partnership work.

So, if you feel like you’re in a relationship with a brick wall *because brick walls just sit there and don’t do anything*, then you can’t go on holding up both sides of this relationship.

10. Doesn’t take “no” for an answer

If he’s overly selfish, then he probably won’t take no for an answer. For example, if he wants to have sex but you’re not in the mood, he might badger you until you give in.

Or, if he wants you to do his laundry, but you’re exhausted, he might make you do it. If he doesn’t respect you when you tell him “no,” then you have a big problem on your hands, and is a clear sign your boyfriend hurts you emotionally, and probably intentionally as well. [Read: How to say no – 15 ways to reason politely, stop pleasing, and feel kick ass]

11. Isolation

Guys who abuse their girlfriends or wives often isolate them from their friends, families, and even the outside world in general.

If he’s not letting you talk to or see the loved ones in your life, then he is doing it on purpose. He doesn’t want you to tell them how horrible of a partner he is. Keeping you isolated helps him control you.

12. Financial abuse

If he is controlling and isolating you, he might also be engaging in financial abuse too. Maybe he won’t allow you to work, and he won’t give you any money for gas to get to work or to get some food. Or, if you work, he demands your money and that you pay more than your share. He could also be caught up in bad habits like gambling his money away.

13. Gaslighting

Gaslighting is something that people do when they want to make the other person question their sanity.

For example, maybe you caught him texting another woman. You bring it to his attention, and not only does he deny it, but he also makes you feel crazy for even thinking about it. [Read: Gaslighting – what it is, how it works, and 22 signs to spot it ASAP]

14. Keeping score

Yes, a relationship should be balanced. Both people should put in equal effort. But if you know he’s either secretly or not-so-secretly keeping score of everything you do, that’s not right. He probably uses this against you too.

15. Threats

Threats come in a lot of different forms. It could be threatening to break up with you, hit you, cut you off from money, or anything else.

Regardless of the threats he makes, it’s clear that your boyfriend is emotionally hurting you. Threats are unacceptable.

16. One-upping you

Maybe you had a bad day at work, and all you want to do is come home and tell your boyfriend. You want him to listen and comfort you and tell you things will be better.

But instead, he one-ups you and tells you how his day was worse. Or that your day was no big deal because his life is more difficult than yours. [Read: 15 types of toxic relationships, what causes them, and how to get out]

17. Refusal to resolve problems

You probably know that you have problems in your relationship, and he probably does too. But you are the only one who is trying to work through any of your issues.

Whenever you bring something up for discussion, he never changes his behavior to make anything better.

18. Invades your privacy

If you caught on to the fact that he knows your passwords to your phone or laptop, then he is invading your privacy.

Whether he demanded that you give them to him or he secretly figured them out, he should let your information be your own.

19. Not a priority

In a relationship, you need to make your partner a top priority. So, if it feels like his friends, drinking, video games, sleeping, work, or anything else is more important to him than you, then of course it’s going to hurt you emotionally. You need to be top on his list. If you’re not, then it’s not much of a relationship. [Read: Never make someone a priority when you’re only an option]

What to do when your boyfriend hurts you emotionally

Now that you know some of the deal-breakers, let’s look at what to do when your boyfriend hurts you emotionally.

In relationships, it’s normal for couples to disagree. Of course, there’s a limit. If you argue on an hourly basis, maybe you should reconsider the relationship itself. But aside from that, arguing is actually a sign of a healthy relationship.

During those disagreements, there’s a chance one of you will say the wrong thing or unintentionally hurt your partner’s feelings. Does this mean the relationship is over? In most cases, no. It may take a couple of days, but the relationship usually bounces back.

1. Tell him your feelings were hurt

If you don’t express your feelings, he won’t know how you feel. You probably think he should be able to figure it out, but he’s not a mind reader. And if he does realize it, it’ll take him days to do that.

Sit your boyfriend down and talk to him about him hurting you emotionally. Tell him your feelings were hurt and explain why. How can he improve if he doesn’t know what he did? [Read: 23 dos and don’ts for when you argue in your relationship]

2. Explain your feelings

Though you may tell him that your feelings were hurt, it doesn’t mean he’ll understand why. His perspective on certain situations may differ from your own.

So, when you finish telling him your feelings were hurt, go into detail as to why they were hurt. He needs to put himself in your shoes.

3. Don’t act passive-aggressive

You probably want him to pay for what he did, but acting passive-aggressive doesn’t resolve the situation.

Instead, the emotions fester inside of you until you snap. You don’t want to get to the point where you snap at him. It’s not fair to anyone. [Read: The steps to take when you want to stop being passive-aggressive]

4. Let him apologize

After telling him how you feel and explaining to him why you feel that way, give him the chance to apologize.

If he genuinely feels bad, he’ll understand what he did and say sorry for hurting you. Then, forgive him and move on from the situation together.

5. Let him talk

You should let him say what’s on his mind. Maybe it was a giant miscommunication or perhaps he really doesn’t understand how he hurt you.

By letting him talk, you’ll understand where you differ and how you need to work on communication.

6. Does this happen often?

Couples argue all the time; this isn’t anything new. But how often does this happen? Is it the same argument over and over again?

If it’s to the point where it’s getting ridiculous, see if you should change your approach to the discussion. Or see if he even cares. [Read: Why you keep having the same fight and how to break this cycle]

7. Don’t yell

If you want to resolve an issue, becoming angrier isn’t going to solve it.

Be calm. Sure, it’s a challenge when you’re emotionally worked up, but if you yell and scream, there’s very little chance of discussing the actual problem. [Read: The real reasons people have a fear of confrontation]

8 Allow him to ask questions

He probably has some questions he wants to ask you. And maybe he’s nervous it’ll start a fight. But that’s why you need to stay level-headed. Those questions could be the ticket to solving the problem, so listen.

9. Solutions, anyone?

Talking about the argument is great, but you should come up with a solution. If not, then the discussion was pointless.

Sit down together and think about how you can work on the problem together. Involve him in problem-solving; it takes two people to be in a relationship. It can’t be dumped all on you.

10. Evaluate your relationship

If you’ve done everything on this list one thousand times, then look at your relationship. If they’re not learning from their mistakes or doing this intentionally, is this someone you really want as a partner? Your boyfriend hurting you emotionally is a form of abuse, and no one deserves that. [Read: How to compromise in relationships without feeling like you lost something]

11. Give yourself space

If you live with your partner or see him on a daily basis, give yourself some space. Sometimes when you’re with someone too much, it becomes overwhelming.

If he hurt you, take some time to be alone and really reflect on the situation. Maybe there’s something you could have done to have helped.

[Read: 27 mature ways to grow up and behave like an adult]

Come out of an argument as a stronger couple. If your boyfriend hurts you emotionally, use these tips, and make something positive out of the situation.

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