Why Does My Boyfriend Say Hurtful Things: 5 Reasons Your Man Is Mean to You

WhatToGetMy Instructional Article

Saying hurtful things in a relationship is not a normal thing and it should not happen at all that often. When your partner says mean things to you, they are not only disrespecting you but also disregarding your feelings by deliberately trying to make you feel horrible. This is manipulative and abusive.

Unfortunately, emotional abuse is barely recognized as abuse since it does not leave visible scars and it is also very hard to discern. However, if your partner is always screaming at you, calling you names, or attacking your appearance or intelligence, chances are that he is abusive and you need to leave the relationship before things escalate because it is quite common for verbal abuse to turn into physical abuse.

Detecting an Abusive Relationship: Percentage of Respondents Experiencing Control and Criticism in a Relationship. Source: Mentalhelp.net

Detecting an Abusive Relationship Percentage of Respondents Experiencing Control and Criticism in a Relationship.

1. He does not love you

If you find that your boyfriend says hurtful things about you whether it be to your face or behind your back, the easiest and perhaps most obvious answer to that is he does it because he does not love you. Now the question you may be asking is “why is he with me if he doesn’t love me?”

There are many reasons why someone you are in a relationship with no longer loves you, but the common one is that they may have fallen out of love with you and don’t know how to tell you yet and so they do and say mean things to and about or around you to make you hate them so you can leave them. While this is a cowardly way to inform you that they are no longer interested, if you notice any of these behaviors within your partner, take it as a sign to leave the relationship because it is no longer serving you and they are just going to keep hurting you unless you leave.

Additionally, people who love you do not do or say mean things about you whether intentionally or not. And if someone is going out of their way to make your life miserable and say mean and nasty things about you, then how much could they really love you?

2. He is a narcissist

If you find that your boyfriend says hurtful things when you fight, it might be because he is a narcissist. Now while Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is something that has to be diagnosed by mental health practitioners, there are signs and symptoms that you can see to determine whether or not your boyfriend is a narcissist or may possibly have Narcissistic personality disorder. One of the signs of a narcissist is that they will devalue you – which means say and do mean things to you in order to make you feel inadequate and less than so that they can manipulate you easily. When every time that you argue with your partner and they attack you personally without regard to your emotions, chances are they are putting you down on purpose so that they can break you and you can be easy to manipulate.

Being in a relationship with a narcissist can be very confusing with high-highs and low-lows. If you find yourself confused as to what is happening in the relationship where one minute your partner is cold, distant, and mean, and the next they are open and welcoming and loving. This back and forth is a good indicator that you are in an abusive and mentally taxing relationship with a narcissistic partner.

3. He is abusive

If your boyfriend says mean things when angry, he may be an abusive boyfriend. When we speak of abuse, most people tend to disregard verbal abuse because it does not leave visible scars and wounds. However, verbal abuse is just as bad and as damaging as physical abuse. And if your partner says mean things to you and about you, they are verbally abusing you and you need to get out of that relationship and seek professional help through therapy and counseling to work through your trauma – which is the relationship you are having with him.

Being with someone who undermines you and does not treat you as an equal and is always trying to bring you down can be emotionally taxing – even when you think that you are handling it well. Most times, it is only after you have left the relationship that you realize what kind of trauma you have been enduring and how much baggage you have to unpack and heal from the relationship.

4. He is trying to hurt you back

Unfortunately, saying hurtful things in a relationship is quite common that we even do it without thinking sometimes. It is entirely possible that your boyfriend says hurtful things during argument just so he can get back at you for saying hurtful things to him. It happens to the best of us, in the heat of the moment, we say something that we may or may not intend to be mean. Of course, the other person will want to retaliate by hurting us back, therefore saying hurtful things to us.

This is quite a toxic cycle and if you find yourself in such kind of a relationship – then you should leave. Because it is very clear that the two of you are not compatible and you trigger worse parts of yourselves and each other. The best thing to do for everyone involved would be to leave the relationship – or if you are convinced they are the one then seek couples counseling and get professional help before you both drive each other crazy and eventually, inevitably, begin to resent each other.

Check out this article on what not to do in a relationship with your boyfriend.

5. He wants you to break up with him

As stated in the first point, a good reason why guys say hurtful things to their girlfriends is that they have fallen out of love with their significant other but they do not want to be the bad guy by breaking up the relationship so they just act mean and do mean things to their partner so they can finally break and leave the relationship. When you notice this happening, it is best that you leave the relationship before it breaks you completely. 

Give him what he wants and leave the relationship because if you do not, he will continue to say and do mean things that will only end up hurting you. Relationships are supposed to be fun and enjoyable and if he is making you cry every day on purpose, then he does not love nor deserve you.


1. Talk to your partner

Sometimes, even when your boyfriend says hurtful things when angry with you, you may find that you still want to stay in the relationship and resolve your issues. When this happens, the first person you are going to want to talk to is your boyfriend. Sit them down and let them know that their behavior is affecting you and subsequently the relationship and try to find better ways to communicate with each other as a couple – a way that is constructive and gentle. If your boyfriend wants to save the relationship just as much as you would like to do, he will listen to you and work with you on finding solutions to better communication and how to handle conflict in the relationship.

However, if after you talk to him and he makes you feel bad for bringing the topic up or even tries to convince you that you are crazy and he does not say or do mean things to you (ie gaslights you) – then you know that the relationship is not worth saving and as such you should leave.

2. Get couples therapy

If you find yourself always or often wondering “why does he say mean things to me?” then perhaps it is time that you seek couples counseling or therapy. Now, this can either be done with professionals or a trusted adult or couple that you look up to and admire. Of course, a therapist would be ideal, but in case you cannot afford one, you can always look at other alternatives such as church leaders or older couples.

The aim for this is to have a safe space where you can both share your feelings and misgivings without having the other person jump on your throat about it. When you are in a room with other people, the chances of your boyfriend saying mean things or acting up are lowered considerably as opposed if you were having the conversation with only each other in the room.

This is important because it will help you maneuver and understand your differences and how you can work with each other as opposed to working against each other when it comes to communication in the relationship.

Couples therapy is ideal for couples who are going through problems but still want to preserve the relationship.

3. Leave the relationship

When a person keeps saying hurtful things to someone they love, it is safe to argue that: One, they in fact do not love this person but they like certain aspects of the person which they still feel might be beneficial to their life. Two, they are used to being in toxic relationships and as such have no idea what a healthy relationship looks like and refuse to get help and get better to build more fulfilling relationships. Three, they are narcissistic and enjoy putting the other person down because it makes them feel good about themselves.

Whichever way you look at it, this person is not an ideal person to be in a partnership with. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, they are going to hurt you and your feelings without missing a beat and their behavior will eventually tear you apart.

For the sake of your sanity and good mental health, when you notice these patterns in your partner, the best thing you can do for yourself is to leave the relationship no matter how hard it might be or how crazy in love you may be with them.


1. How does saying hurtful things affect a relationship?

Saying hurtful things in a relationship usually affects the person on the receiving end of the hurtful words. It may affect their self-esteem, sense of self, and even give them trust issues and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Words have a way of tearing up someone and it is best to always be kind when talking to your partner, even when you are fighting.

Words have a way of tearing up someone and it is best to always

Mean words can also be very triggering especially for people who grew up in hostile environments with their family or whoever brought them up. Remember to be kind, always, to the people that are in your life and those you claim to love.

2. How do you respond to hurtful words?

The easiest thing to do when someone says hurtful words to you is to say something equally horrible to make them feel just as bad as they have made you feel. However, that does not solve anything and it only leads to resentment.

The best way to respond to someone who is saying hurtful words to you is to walk away from them – by walking away you are letting them know that you do not appreciate being talked to in that way, and you are also giving yourself time to digest what has been said to you and find better ways to respond to the person. This is a good time to set up boundaries that will let the other person know that you do not care for the way they talk to you so they either stop doing it or you will not have them in your life.


In conclusion, we have talked about why your boyfriend may be saying mean things to you and how you can handle the situation by learning how to get over hurtful words in a relationship. We hope that this article will help you navigate your relationship and that you get the right help for both you and your boyfriend. Good luck.





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