Why would a guy say awful and hurtful things to his girlfriend and then say he didn’t mean it?

I have been dating a guy for four years and we live together. Recently he has developed a habit of verbally attacking me with no provocation. I ask what is wrong and he will tell me nothing but will still be very mean and make nasty comments to me.

On my birthday he was mean, snippy and rude to me all day. I asked him what his problem with me was since he was only like this to me and he told me he did not have a problem. This continued all day and by the evening he had retired to just watching TV and making the occasional mean comment to me from across the room as I did some work on the computer. One of these comments went too far and I walked across the room and turned the TV off and said to him” Either you can tell me what’s wrong and we can talk about it or stop talking to me like that”. He said “I have nothing to say to you, move out of the way of the TV”. I then said “I can’t understand why you are being like this to me today, we haven’t been fighting lately but on my birthday you treat me like this? What is going on with you”

He then began to just flip out and he attacked everything about me like my physical appearance, my personality and my sexual skills. These comments were personal and detailed like he had been coming up with them for a while although he had never said anything like that before in three years of our relationship.

I said “well why are you with me then” and he said that he was with me because he felt sorry for me since I have kids and my husband left me right before we met.

He later said he did not mean these things but offered no reason as to why he said them. It has also happened a few times after my birthday where he becomes withdrawn, mean and unresponsive. Then in a day or so he is loving, kind and himself again. After he has done something to hurt me he will be mean to ME for a few days afterward telling me he feels bad about it. Why be mean to me if you are the one who was wrong? It drives me crazy.

I can’t figure out if he is really telling me how he feels and then chickens out or if he is secretly angry with me and this is way of dealing with it. I have tried to breakup with him but he says he loves me and asks me not to leave. I do love him very much and that is why I have not left yet but I would love to understand what is going on with him. Any comments, advice or insight into this behavior would be very much appreciated.


Most Helpful Girl

  • Is he cheating on you? Is he bipolar? There is something very wrong here. He is not treating you respectfully and doesn't even care to on special days like your birthday. That is unacceptable.

    When you have tried to break up with him - have you really truly meant it. There is a difference between wanting to shake someone into submission and really being through with it - no matter what. They could give you a million dollars and if you are really done with this jerk - he is out - no exceptions.

    I friend of mine was married to a physical and verbal abuser. He stopped the physical abuse after she threatened him but still called her names all the time. She told me that she finally starting writing it down on her calendar. There came a night that he did it again and she confronted him and said - you know for the last so many days (I think it was something like 30 out of 35 days) you have called me names. He was shocked and of course denied it all and got even angrier at her. She said she went and took a bath. In the tub she finally realized after being married to him for 4 years and putting up with this (this man even called her a bitch on their wedding night) that she was done. She got out of the tub, told him she was filing for divorce and nothing he could do or say would make her change her mind. He knew she meant it this time.

    The best part of her story is that the next day at work one of her friends who didn't know what she had done the night before said to her - what's up with you today? you are so happy and you seem like a different person. She told her then that she was getting a divorce from the jerk and her life has been better since.

    Just know that you don't have to put up with this. Even if he is bipolar (which I don't think would be every other day or so - but I'm not sure). You deserve respect everyday and not to be walking on eggshells wondering if this guy is going to go off.

    Best of luck to you! Take care of yourself!


Have an opinion?

What Guys Said 3

  • Maybe he has PMS:)

    It may just be a personality quirk, but from what you have said my guess is there is an underlying dissatisfaction with the relationship. He probably wants to make it work and be happy so he keeps convincing himself that things will improve, but gradually the tension and dissatisfaction build because things don't change and he explodes. This is a big tension release and he probably feels really bad, but its just the start of another cycle.

    BTW: Feeling sorry for you is a really bad reason to be with you.

    • I appreciate your taking the time to reply. I told him I do not need him to feel sorry for because I will be just fine and that if he is only with me for that I want to leave. That is when he says he did not mean it and doesn't want me to leave. So would you say that you think he meant what he said?

    • I think he means it at the time. Guys have this funny way of wanting to be protective at the same time covering up their unhappiness. He probably is unwilling or unable to talk to you about what really bothers him so he lashes out. Again, there is some underlying issue that needs to be coaxed out of him or this will just keep happening, and probably more frequently.

    • Thank you. I don't think I will ever get the reason out of him because I have tried and tried and I never even get close to an answer. The more I persist that something is wrong the angrier he gets. Maybe I just need to be the grown up and leave. I love him enough not to want him to stay with me and be unhappy. If you love something set it free...

  • Sounds like he has deep issues that are consuming him bit by bit everyday. Maybe something from his past triggers his outbursts.

    On the other hand, he could be controlling and gets off by saying the things he says, and begs for you to stay in order to keep his control. I knew a few people that did that. That's a whole other set of issues.

    Idk. I'm not a psychiatrist, but it sounds like he needs counseling either way. I hope things get better. Seriously, though, for the sake of yourself (and your children since it could eventually lead towards them), you may want to distance yourself from him. Any dude that treats you that way and is not trying to stop doesn't care about you enough, therefore, he's not enough for you to stick around for.

  • I have done the same before and it is just moments we get from being in the house all day or frustrating moments and it just comes out that way and then we think and apologize


What Girls Said 2

  • Girl if I was you I would have left is sorry ass a long time ago. Yeah you may love him and he may say you love him,but how are you sure if he really does if he's going around treating you like that. You said you have kids and how do you know if he won't start doing that to your children and then having your kids see that and think oh maybe that's just how adults are. Hun just tell him how it hurts you so and if he doesn't change your leaving him with no ifs,ands, or buts about weather he really loves you or not. DOn't stick around cause who knows what more could happen, he could really hurt you. Plus you shouldn't be with a guy who feels sorry for you and your kids.Hopes this helps

  • You need to get away from this "man" as fast as you can! A man is more than that. I was sad to read this. I understand it acutely. This man is psychologically abusive and a nightmare. Group your resources and get out while you still can. Why is he this way? I suspect he's making other people pay for his problems, which is never alright. His own psychological lesions may have come from his socialization, conditioning or even a rejection experienced in early life - the point is he didn't heal it and now he's going to live the pain vicariously through his victims. It's not okay. He needs to get well, you can not heal him. To sum it up, his awful treatment of you ( on your bday?!) is not reflection of you, abusers make it work this way... Abusers thrive on a victim blaming themselves instead of them - so tragic. His bad behavior is ALL ABOUT HIM, he eats it, he's breathes it, he moves with it. His behavior is because of his limitations and fears. Leave this loser, please.

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