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frockdialect's avatar

A very hurtful foul-mouthed boyfriend during fights?

Asked by frockdialect (117 points ) December 3rd, 2012

When me and my guy fight, it gets real bad. While we both provoke each other more and more, he bites where it hurts(not literally!). He can get really nasty with his words and wouldn’t stop although he knows he is hurting me. He is rarely guilty of his actions. I don’t expect an apology most of the time, I just want him to back off and let things cool down naturally but he can’t even do that. He says the name-calling and rudeness is only because of the temper and he doesn’t mean them but they hurt real bad. He has a problem with my past and has called me a s***, when in reality, his past has been 10 times worse.

How do I make him realize his hypocrisy and make him respect me? I don’t give up on relationships easily, I have only had committed partners in the past but is this a lost cause?

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41 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

It is a lost cause, as you surely know. Cut your losses.

And check out your question of a month ago. He was an immature and silly lout then. Age hasn’t improved him.

You just wasted four weeks of “your one wild and precious life.” Mary Oliver: A Summer Day

bob_'s avatar

I agree with @gailcalled. Get a new boyfriend.

Cupcake's avatar

If he won’t get help, it’s a lost cause.

If he will get help, and you are willing to be patient and also learn how to prevent your role in the emotional and verbal escalation, then you have a chance.

You both need to learn communication and respect. And you need to demand respect from others.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Yes, if it’s this bad now, I hope you like abuse. Because that’s chapter two of this book. I have a major temper. It hasn’t seen the light of day since I was 12. If he can’t control his temper and shows you such disrespect it’s only going to get worse. Run.

elbanditoroso's avatar

You can’t MAKE him do anything. If he sees the error of his ways, then he’ll change. If he doesn’t, then he won’t.

But that realization has to come to HIM.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Are you financially able to survive without him? If yes, then drop him now. He is not worth it.
If you don’t have the money to live without him, get busy figuring out how you can be. Visit social services if you must..
You are only one punch away from being a battered woman. Get out before you become a statistic.

Cupcake's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe My husband and I have tempers. We are in family therapy to help us be proactive and lovingly make sure everyone’s needs are met. We always apologize and try to do better. Thank you for pointing out that tempers are not the problem. Not working on your temper and not apologizing and not being loving and supporting are problems.

I think these issues are potentially resolvable, if you both want to work at it… with the exception of his not taking responsibility. That is a huge red flag.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, he is being verbally abusive. Name calling and hitting below the belt is abusive, period, end of story.
Clearly he is a very immature and infantile person, dump him asap and figure out why YOU are willing to put up with this. You are not a victim, you are a willing volunteer.

JLeslie's avatar

If he calls you a slut he doesn’t respect you. The lack of respect trumps everything. Your SO should be your biggest supporter and cheerleader. If it was a matter of just raising voices that can be cultural or personality, and can be worked with, but he sees nothing wrong with his temper and how it affects you.

Leave him, his anger issue is out of control and will get worse. At minimum give him an ultimatum that you will leave if he does not stop that behavior and that you want him to take an anger management class. If he flips out when you threaten to leave then you really do have to leave. His behavior can be an indication of a very controlling personality and could get scary. I do know people who are verbally abusive and never become physically abusive, but a lot of them do. Their spouses hate their lives with them, because of the verbal abuse. They might not be black and blue outside, but they are inside. They begin to believe they are less worthy over time, and they feel like they are walking on egg shells every day trying to please their angry, controlling husbands.

Also, back to the temper and yelling, if you are the type that can not handle a shouting match, then marrying someone who likes to fight out loud will be a tough relationship even if he does respect you. People who like to fight out loud really hate when their SO clams up, the quiet feels abusive.

dabbler's avatar

I was going to write ‘ditch the bastard’, but “we both provoke each other more and more” shows there is more to it. You both need to cut that out now. Never mind hypocrisy, stop the violence (verbal and any other wise).

If you ditch him you still need to cut that out.

“Name-calling and rudeness is only because of the temper” is a lazy reason and no excuse.
Being committed to a relationship is easy when it’s easy, and anyone can do that. Being committed to being respectful whether or not you feed like it is real respect and it’s absolutely necessary for a long term relationship to survive and flourish.

Note that being angry is different from being abusive. Anyone who is angry has a choice how to act on it. You can raise an issue without doing damage. If your (or his) feelings in the moment are more important than the relationship then the relationship is doomed.

syz's avatar

Verbal abuse is abuse (and it sounds as if you both may be guilty). Either actively work to repair your dysfuntional relationship (counseling, couples counseling) or walk away.

frockdialect's avatar

@Cupcake I agree with you. It is normal for both the partners to have tempers but I’m the only that is realizing the situation. He is very much in denial. His famous reply to most issues is : ‘This is who I’m, my way or the highway’.

To others: This is borderline manipulation with words and emotional abuse but I can assure you he would NEVER get physically abusive with me. It has something to do with his past and he feels very strongly about it. He is not all bad, he does have few good, strong characteristics (which made me love him in the first place).

frockdialect's avatar

@dabbler Thank you, I might just copy paste your answer and send it to him. Makes a lot of sense to me, and hopefully it would to him too.

Cupcake's avatar

@frockdialect It seems as though you think emotional abuse is not as serious as physical abuse. I disagree.

frockdialect's avatar

@JLeslie It is not that I’m not a good shouting partner during fights, we both have bad temper like I said. It’s not healthy, I’m realizing it and he isn’t…that is my point.

gailcalled's avatar

@frockdialect: You need to start to develop tools and techniques to take care of you. Copy/pasting tidbits to him about his behavior is a waste of your energy. Look to yourself.

frockdialect's avatar

@Cupcake I’m simply saying it would never get physical with him, as some people wrote that physical abuse is the next thing that awaits. Probably emotional and physical abuse is the same, I do not disagree with you on that.

frockdialect's avatar

@gailcalled Hi Gail, I remember our earlier conversation. I might just cut my losses and back out when I can, thanks! :)

gailcalled's avatar

@frockdialect: Remind yourself that this is not the time to be a slow learner.

You cannot make him back off or realize “his hypocrisy and make him respect” you. You can only change your behavior. (No new news flash there. You know all this already.)

JLeslie's avatar

The point is you are unhappy with the situation and he sees nothing wrong with what he does so he will not change. Trust me, it takes awareness to make changes. You will grow beyond him and have the potential to be in a loving, supportive, relationship, but not if you stay with him. He is immature, insecure, easily hurt, and has a big ego. If he is saying things to put you down, then that is so he can feel better about himself, superior. The healthy things is for him to make you feel better about yourself, not worse. He is probably stunted emotionally for whatever reason.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, to all of the above and….don’t kid yourself, abuse of any kind ALWAYS escalates.
Yelling and name calling, throwing and breaking things, then a “little” push or shove, then a more aggressive assault.
We teach people how to treat us and every time there are no swift and immediate and serious consequences to anothers behaviors you are just waving a green flag that screams ” you can do whatever you want and I’ll stick around.”

The classic empty threats that a lot of parents impose that go in one ear and out the other.
” Next time you’re REALLY going to get it” but they never follow through.
If you don’t take a stand you lose all credibility and the bully knows it!

josie's avatar

Sounds like my ex wife. Key word here is “ex”

KNOWITALL's avatar

Unfortunately, the ‘hitting below the belt’ during fights is his ‘real’ self if you ask me. Things said in anger are often how you’re really feeling, so I wouldn’t dismiss them as just ‘temper’ at this point.

janbb's avatar

Dump him.

dabbler's avatar

Abusive behavior can be changed. Most of us grew up without good examples of conflict resolution. I’ll go so far as to say most of us grew up with lousy examples of conflict resolution. Without good examples most people literally ‘act out’ their emotions.

You can learn new behavior if you want. Plenty of people are resistant to not ‘acting out’ because they feel they are yielding their power by being more calm and collected. But being calm and collected are Not the same as being submissive.
You will be astounded how powerful you feel when you get through a dispute and come out the other end with no hard feelings on either side. Communication is accomplished and everyone is still loving each other. Good conflict skills are a serious power tool in relationships of all kinds (including work, but especially in the home).

Guidelines for good conflict resolution behavior can be found all over the web.
They usually include :
Use “I” statements, own your feelings, don’t project anything onto the other
No name-calling
State how you feel, in terms of basic feelings. (OK: I feel hurt/sad/vulnerable… NotOK: I ‘feel’ like you’re an asshole.)
Be able to state what do you want, what do you need.
Be willing to make an appointment for further discussion if you feel like things might get out of control, when neither of you are upset or busy. (OK: give me twenty minutes to collect my thoughts… NotOK: I’m not going to talk about that now go away).

And quite obviously this does not work unless both parties respect the boundaries.
It’s not unlike a prize fight where the boxers can’t hit below the belt, and they start and stop when the bell rings.

If your partner doesn’t like the idea of learning these skills then definitely dump him. There is no way to get through some life issues without the self-control needed, and resolving a disagreement is just an example.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Great answer, Dabbler, bercause you’re right, everyone deserves a chance to change for the better. She did say she provoked as well, maybe neither of them know how to ‘fight’ correctly.

marinelife's avatar

It sounds like he doesn’t see it as a problem. You do. He will not change. Therefore, you need to break up with him or expect a lifetime of name calling. Temper is no excuse.

CWOTUS's avatar

I doubt if anyone here can possibly give you the answer you want, which is some kind of magic to make him change. There’s no magic.

I doubt also that you’re willing to make the changes in your own life that would be necessary to induce the changes that you want. That is, you have the choice to offer him a choice: seek counseling or break up, and then to follow through with the breakup if he won’t (which is likely, if past performance is any guide, and it always is).

And if you seriously believe that “he’d never be violent”, then that’s the trifecta: You’re living in a fantasy world. It’s more likely than not that he will eventually escalate to violence (or you will).

So, good luck in your fantasy world, until you decide to join those in the real world who
1) have learned to control their tempers to a greater and greater degree over time (as opposed to less and less control over time),
2) have learned to argue / fight / disagree constructively rather than destructively and
3) won’t accept anything else from a partner, and will recognize and flee from such behavior if it can’t be changed (by the person exhibiting the behavior).

Seriously, good luck. You’re going to need it.

sinscriven's avatar

You can’t demand respect. To command respect you must be worth respecting, and that starts with respecting yourself.

Do not put up with abusive behavior and recognize that you are allowing yourself to be dragged into his negative state and it’s bringing out the worst in yourself as well when you’re bickering back and instigating.

This is a toxic situation and you need to walk away from it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

If you don’t leave him now, what is the next step? Marriage? Children? Do you REALLY want to expose your children to such destructive, viscous behavior? Imagine the babies, crying in their room, a pillow over their heads, trying to blot out the rage…. What is your excuse for staying with him?

gorillapaws's avatar

If you stay with him, I expect the next question on fluther a few months/years down the line to be, “How to get my boyfriend/husband to stop hitting me/my child during fights? I love him and he’s great when he’s not angry.”

As others have said, abuse is abuse, verbal, physical, sexual etc. is ultimately all abuse and someone willing to cross the line and become abusive with you in any of these ways shows they have no respect for who you are, and don’t think of you as an equal. If you want to stay with that, you have a really shitty life to look forward to. Or you can do the right thing, leave the fucker, and move on with your life, finding someone who will love and treat you with respect. There are MANY guys out there like this.

Best wishes, and good luck.

Unbroken's avatar

There should be a women’s shelter that have free classes.
After issues with my ex, though much different I said what the heck and went.
The class was a 36 week course, you don’t have to go to all, about changing patterns.
It helps you learn healthy boudaries, deal with conflict resolution, they will help you leave safely if that what is what you think important etc.
I didn’t think I was the right fit for there, and maybe I wasn’t but the group was so hodge podge it didn’t matter. And no one will tell you you need to leave or pressure you if that isn’t what you are looking for.
I am certain there is something similar where ever you are in US check it out, it’s worth a shot.

tranquilsea's avatar

How someone fights says a LOT about that person. Glossing over what one says in a fight with a statement like, “I didn’t mean it I was just angry” is crap. You have control over what you say and do when you’re angry. Period.

It doesn’t sound like your bf is taking proper responsibility for his actions. Part of taking responsibility is changing bad behaviour so it doesn’t continue to happen. Allowing the cycle to continue is crazy and you could be signing yourself up for years of abuse.

Kardamom's avatar

To others: This is borderline manipulation with words and emotional abuse but I can assure you he would NEVER get physically abusive with me. It has something to do with his past and he feels very strongly about it. He is not all bad, he does have few good, strong characteristics (which made me love him in the first place).

^^ That is the type of thinking that keeps many women in abusive relationships.

If you stay with him, it will get worse.

Try to think about this situation as if it were happening to your own mother, or your own daughter or to your best friend? Would you want or expect them to stay with a man who treated them that way? Seriously? Would you? If so, why?

You should leave him immediately and then get into some short term counseling to figure out why you would allow yourself to remain in a situation like this, and what you can do to change your perception (with regards to what is and is not an abusive situation) and how to walk away without regret, and how to recognize the signs of abuse early and not get too deep into new relationships before you realize it. And learn how to seek out and respect men that treat you well.

Don’t let him manipulate you into thinking that whatever you did in your past (even if you believe it was something bad) is something that makes it OK for him to treat you badly, ever or that somehow you deserve to be treated poorly or that you don’t deserve someone who will treat you with respect.

Walk away now, or I suspect we’ll be hearing from you later saying something like he accidentally bumped you and you got injured, and you’ll try to say that it wasn’t really his fault. Or maybe you’ll tell us that you now have a baby and he doesn’t have time to help you care for the child, but it’s not really his fault because he’s so busy and the baby is so fussy that it makes him mad, but it’s not really his fault. And the yelling and the name calling and the disrespect will continue and it will get worse.

tranquilsea's avatar

Emotional abuse is much more insidious than physical. In a lot of ways it’s worse because it is so insidious.

My older sister has been with the same man since she was 16 (she’s 43 now). He is charming, handsome, extremely intelligent and emotionally and sometimes physically abusive. When angry he can belittle anyone into tears. Then he can elegantly apologize for his behaviour. The net result for my my sister has been a gradual degrading of who she was. She lives in an alternate made up world now and it is sad to see.

You want to avoid that.

frockdialect's avatar

I thank everyone for their valuable opinion and answers, I respect your views but I do not agree with many things said.

I agree that this person is not someone that is right for me, and we have reached the end of our relationship. I agree that temper is no excuse to not respect someone or to bring up the past and fight immaturely. I may not be as experienced as many of you with relationships but I cannot imagine why so many are jumping into the physical abuse/wife-beater bandwagon. If I were to answer this question for someone else I would have advised on either making him understand or putting the brakes, abuse would have been the last thing on my mind. I find it too harsh that so many of you are sealing my fate, when in reality none of us can predict it.

Things have ended with that guy for more than one reason, and more peacefully than I would have imagined. He finally realizes everything but I wasn’t ready to give him a second chance for my own reasons. I honestly believe he has learned something and would be a better boyfriend to someone else. Some of us just need to be told things the right way, please don’t be quick to judge and brand people.

Thanks once again, your answers were very helpful!

Kardamom's avatar

@frockdialect I’m glad to hear that you have left this fellow.

I’m sorry to hear that you think some of us are jumping into the physical abuse/wife-beater bandwagon.

The people that took the time to answer this question didn’t do it because they’ve got nothing better to do on a Tuesday. Most of us have either been in a similar situation to yours, had a friend or a loved one in a similar situation or have answered numerous questions about similar situations to yours right here on Fluther. You can delve into some of those threads if you are interested.

Guys like your ex boyfriend are not sweet, misunderstood fellows who just get a little out of hand sometimes they’re abusive, plain and simple.

All physical abuse starts with emotional abuse. You have no idea how many times I and other members of Fluther have had to plead with women, in far worse situations than yours, to get out. They too, thought their guys were just a little bit more angry than the average man, even though they were describing everything you described and then some. If I can find the thread I’ll try to post it, but one of our members had a boyfriend who acted very much like your boyfriend, but then it turned out that he had “accidentally” injured her several times, including once when he helped her to fall down the stairs while she was pregnant. She would not/could not believe that her boyfriend was abusive. She didn’t want to leave him because he wasn’t always like that and she loved him so much and they were having a baby. But her guy started out just like yours with the angry name calling and blaming her for things like pissing him off so that she deserved to get yelled at.

Luckily for us (and you) and Fluther in general, we have a bunch of men on this site that have come onto some of these threads to describe what a decent man is like. Your guy doesn’t fit that description.

I can’t count how many times women have come on this site and described horrific actions committed by their husbands and boyfriends, but then tried to slough it off as minor irritating behavior. That’s how women get trapped in abusive relationships. We don’t want that to happen to you or anyone else. That’s why we answered this question.

Here is the early stages of a Serious Situation that happened to one of our members. Her boyfriend started out like yours, but then it evolved into physical abuse and she kept going back to him and she felt sad and lonely when she wasn’t with him. He ultimately hacked into her computer and she had to get a restraining order against him. This is one of the women who was pregnant by her abuser. Another woman who was also pregnant by her abuser, got pushed down the stairs by him and she tried to justify it as an accident. This is just one of many questions like this that I have read right here on Fluther. And they all started out with their boyfriend getting angry and calling them names. Here is Another Example

By now, it’s pretty easy to spot the signs of abuse. I wish you well friend.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@frockdialect There are a lot of classic signs of a potential abuser. And this guy has a ton of them. The abuser has to win you over first, so they’re great at hiding things, at first. So they show the gentle side. But anyone that calls his loved one a slut is setting off red flags. Mix a little alcohol with that temper and see what you get. We jumped to the abuse because we’ve seen it before in the later stages of a relationship.
Oh and where are my manners: Welcome to fluther. You did an excellent job fielding some tough responses.

CWOTUS's avatar

Any guy (or gal) can slip in the heat of a passionate disagreement / argument / fight and say something mean. I’ve done it more times than I can count. What matters most in that case is what happens next. Does he apologize on the spot? Does he take full responsibility for causing the hurt, or does he dodge it with “See what you made me do?” and such deflections to put the cause for the whole problem on you? Does he own his lack of temper management – and readily, not after you’ve suffered for hours, days, weeks – or is it “all your fault”?

If you accept the excuses for the bad things that are (sometimes) said, and if he realizes that he can get away with saying them, then the rest is just a natural progression.

And assuming you don’t deliberately provoke and goad him relentlessly into committing an inappropriate act or speaking inappropriately – because sometimes the girl really does have to step up to the plate and admit, for whatever reason, “I wanted him to do that and I did make that happen!” – can you see the pain that it causes him to commit a bad act or make a bad speech, or does he derive a certain enjoyment from watching the pain it causes you?

Only you and he can answer those questions honestly, and ask them of each other. No one here can judge or evaluate your responses, and no one can read your and his respective body language and other unspoken communication when the questions are asked and answered. That’s why we suggest to talk – in person, face-to-face – with an experienced and professional counselor.

The “physical abuse / wife-beater bandwagon” is in the same parade as the “train wreck” bandwagon. Not one train driver in a million ever sets out that morning with the idea to cause a train wreck, but if you saw an uncontrollably boiling mad train driver step into the cab, would you get on the train?

Dutchess_III's avatar

No one, in a million years, suspected that This guy could do what he did—Shoot his girlfriend in the head, in front of her mother and their 3 month old daughter.

”“He was the last person in the world you would expect,” Linta said. “Completely out of character for the guy I know. I didn’t have a lot of individual contact with him but this is so out of character for him. Completely out of character. He was charitable, polite, articulate—and something went crazy wrong.” ’’

All that everyone is trying to tell you is that something can…and WILL…go crazy wrong if you were to stay with the guy. It’s inevitable. And it wasn’t what you wanted to hear, I know.

snapdragon24's avatar

@gailcalled is right when she speaks, I can feel the attitude as she types and her certainty about everything she says, she scares me a bit but she’s a good booster haha. Let go of that junk. It is NOT ok to be called a SLUT by your bf who is meant to RESPECT you even when he’s angry. Those words shouldn’t be coming out of his mouth. He is bruising your persona…and your gonna reach a point of sleepless nights and feelings of shame for letting him getaway with sooo much! Tell him ADIOS MUCHACHO.

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