My boyfriend frequently makes jokes about physically hurting me. He "jokingly" says things like "I'll hurt you" or "I'll break your arm" when we are joking around. Sometimes he does do things that hurt me. For example, he has burnt me with a lighter a few times, saying he just wanted to try a little, even though I protested. I told him to stop doing things that hurt me. Once he tickled me so hard that he left bruises, even though I was crying and struggling to get away. He just says he was playing, but I was crying for him to please stop and screaming that it was hurting, and he says I was just being dramatic.
He tells me I have "issues" and that I am overreacting. About a year ago, he did hit me across the face on two occasions. It took me a long time to forgive him and he hasn't hit me since, but he keeps making jokes about how he is gonna hurt me.
He says I am making him angry when I "overreact" and that this is all because I have serious issues, even though I have sat him down and explained to him very explicitly that I am still learning to trust him again, and these kinds of "jokes" are NOT funny to me AT ALL. Whenever he makes these jokes (almost daily) I run away crying in fear. Then he gets mad at me and tells me I have issues.
Am I overreacting? What should I say to him so that he GETS IT and stops thinking this stuff is okay and funny. I DO NOT find it funny at all.
Today he pinned me down to try and bite my finger, and I was screaming that it hurt. As I was trying to pull away, he sprained my wrist because he twisted it so hard to hold me in place. He says it's playing but this kind of play IS NOT okay with me.
How can I make him STOP?
By the way, my instinct is to attack him back. I have slapped him before, but then it just gives him more reason to point out that I am "violent" too, when I am only protecting myself and trying to send a message not to hurt me. I have been holding myself back from fighting back when he does these things, because then he will tell me that he was playing, but then I took things seriously and got violent. I am NOT violent. It's just that when I am screaming and in pain, my instinct is to hit him to make him stop. I try to fight back, because my screaming and crying doesn't stop him.