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When You Bring Out the Worst in Your Boyfriend

Let’s face it – some people just bring out the worst in each other. If your boyfriend says you bring out his worst qualities, then you need to walk away.

Here’s what a reader said on my relationship closure article – it’s a boyfriend talking about his girlfriend:

“We started bickering at each other, then it came down to yelling, then I grabbed a rag and stuffing it in her mouth for a second after telling her to stop yelling at me three times. Another time I slapped her in the shoulder, she claimed she was bruised. She then tells me that we bring out the worst in each other. Well, she brought out a lot of good as well. Does anyone feel this is a lost cause?”

I think this is beyond bringing out the worst in a boyfriend – this is abuse. And yes, this relationship is a lost cause.

If your boyfriend or girlfriend says you bring out the worst in him or her, then you need to walk away! I know walking away is easier said than done, so I wrote 75 Ways to Let Go of Someone You Love. I’ve had to let go of guys I loved, my sister, and my mother. In this book, I reveal the best tips for healing from psychologists, life coaches, counselors, and grief experts. If you feel hopeless and depressed because you bring out the worst in your boyfriend, get that e-book. It’ll help you see that you’re not alone, and it’ll help you move on.

And here are a few tips for girlfriends who bring out the worst in their boyfriends…

When You Bring Out the Worst in Your Boyfriend

First, you need to learn the difference between abuse and bringing out the worst in each other. The girlfriend in the comment above wasn’t bringing out the worst in her boyfriend – he was bringing out the worst in himself.

It’s common for men who abuse to blame their partners, and then to apologize by saying stuff like, “you bring out the best in me, baby.” If you’re confused about your relationship and think you might be abused, read about the abuse dynamic. You’ll see how women stay with men who are mean.

Don’t blame yourself, even if he says it’s your fault

If he yells, shoves, or gives you the silent treatment – it’s not your fault! Even if you bring out the worst in each other for some reason – because people do rub each other the wrong way – it’s not because of a flaw in your personality. You’re not doing anything wrong, and you don’t need to change who you are.

Sometimes people just don’t bring out the best in each other. This is normal! It’s crummy when it happens with someone you love and want to be with, but it’s just the way it is. You have to accept yourself for who you are, and remember that bringing out the worst in your boyfriend isn’t about you. It’s about him.

And it’s about your personality traits – maybe you and he just have wildly different personalities!

Accept that your boyfriend isn’t “the one”

It’s easier said than done, but if you can see your break up from an objective, long-term perspective, it might be easier to accept that the relationship is over. Try to accept that you’re breaking up for a reason — you and he don’t bring out your best selves.  You and your boyfriend aren’t compatible, and your relationship isn’t working.

The sooner you accept that you and he aren’t made for each other, the sooner you can start the process of healing after a breakup.

Make a clean break from your boyfriend

In the comment above, the boyfriend said that he’s been trying to get in touch with his girlfriend but she’s ignoring his calls, emails, and text messages. Good for her! Why would she want to be with a guy who brings out the worst in her – and vice versa?

If you’ve decided that you’re not meant to be with your boyfriend, break up with him. Don’t talk to him on the phone, or text him. Don’t meet for coffee or email him. Don’t talk to his friends, family, or coworkers. Even if you’re thinking of getting back together, make sure you take at least a three month break from the relationship — a clean break!

You need to find your self-identity and figure out who you are apart from your relationship.

Take control — find ways to empower yourself

You can’t change how you feel, but you can control what you focus on. You can control what you do, what you talk about, and what you think about. Instead of obsessing about this guy who blames you for bringing out the worst in him, focus on other aspects of your life.

One of the best tips for breaking free from a bad relationship is to think about where you want your life to go. Where do you want to be in one year, or five years? Also, think about the great things in your life: the people who love you, your hobbies, your pets, your job. If you don’t have enough good things to focus on, now’s the time to make changes in your life.

If you feel insecure and unsure in your relationship, then maybe your boyfriend is bringing out the worst in you.

If you’re not ready to break up, read 10 Tips for Improving a Bad Relationship.

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What do you think – are you ready to leave a guy who is bringing out the worst in you, and vice versa?

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8 thoughts on “When You Bring Out the Worst in Your Boyfriend”

  1. I notice that Laurie hasn’t responded to any further comments that I’ve made therefore I’m not alone in my feelings or thoughts of what happened.Granted one doesn’t know the whole story of someone elses dealings in life unless they’re part of the situation.I intially asked for a helpful regard to the situation in making a statement of what happened in this article only to come back months later to find out you were refering me as a monster that all men are wicked.

    I realize you have to stick to your feminist guns in this situation even though you may have second thoughts or your hiding embarrassment that I found your comments months later or there may be no regret or second thoughts at all.Just be careful what you say or you could end up with “your foot in our mouth” …..Have a nice day…..

  2. Thank you Kelly for your comments.I’m just checking emails so I was notified of any responses to this article.It may be a “tripe situation” of what happened yet I reflect upon these things as a person.People must realize that it is rarely a one sided at fault situation in all such cases like mine or anyone on this website or in general.One thing was found out was my reaction to the gal I’m speaking about having the fights with she reminded me of a gal in grade school that I couldn’t stand for the life of me.That was a reason of what triggered me off with her.Just came to that conclusion a few days ago .I don’t know how I’d act in front of her if I’d see her today.Funny how things like that come back to people.

  3. I ran across this as a girlfriend of mine told me that “I get her all p****d off whenever we talk on the phone about things that happen.I then notice about the comment Craig made about “spilling the milk” my ex-husband used to be sloppy by spilling coffee,juice beer on the floor when he open a can or pour something in a cup.I was tired of cleaning up after him then one day he just laughed about it so I poured a glass of water over his head.He was mad,yet he never did it again.That’s where I saw the part about Craig putting a rag in her mouth as she kept screaming at him after she made her point. I probably would’ve done the same thing with the rag in her mouth.Wrong it may be to react like it yet it made all that stop.The other thing that I’ve notice about your opinions on your site Laurie is just like what Craig said “so-bias to women you don’t give a fair shake in your opinions” I myself as a women have to agree with him in most of these statements I’ve read or commented you put down men like they’re always the problem it’s like he is always the abuser not the woman.While 3 out of 4 cases may have the man as the abuser in domestic violence cases ,not all men are bad.On Penneys’ comment you tell her “glad you work things thru” when she’s fighting throwing things at with her friend” then Craig says” he did good things for this lady that she never had during her 17 years of marriage with the other man (ex-husband).yet you put him down after he’s seeing a psychiatrist she must’ve caused emotional abuse in this case.There are a lot of psychotic women in this world that I’ve had the displeasure to have known myself.

  4. Thanks Penney for the remark just saw it on my email.While agree people shouldn’t have to change I feel people can make adjustments it’s called compremise or taking a different approach.I don’t feel that changing someone is the solution it’s communication that’s a factor then understanding.When Laurie mentions that she was just being herself that she shouldn’t change well that’s like saying “Well my daddy used to whip me with a belt anytime I accidently spilled milk on the floor”The dad is responsible for his actions yet he is just being himself he shouldn’t change that kind of behavior it’s acceptable.I feel react to what is deemed appropiate for the situation.In general I’m not an abusive person it was more like telling this other person that she made her point telling her to stop it already.When trying to walk away then someone keeps yelling in your ear because you didn’t get up for breakfast when I’m a sound sleeper.She could be dismayed about it yet does she have to scream at me about it getting on someones last nerve.Thus my point taking a different approach to the situation TO WHAT IS DEEMED APPROPRIATE.She had no right to yell at me for what the situation was over breakfast,she had a right to be dismayed yet it wasn’t anything personal to her.A different approach would’ve helped.Whatever it takes to work is what has to be done.It’s like now she tells everyone that I’m a violent person who stalks her that has beaten her so many times which is absolute nonsense.It’s deflemation of character is what I call it.What if the women was in my position as a guy then she did to me in reverse is that alright because she’s a women???

  5. Hi Penney,

    You’re right: the person doing the abusing is wrong, whether it’s a male or female. We are all responsible for our actions. But, with regard to the specific example of the girlfriend bringing out the worst in the boyfriend – if she is just being herself, then she is still responsible for her actions but shouldn’t have to change herself. I guess I need a specific example to work with, to make it easier to understand!

    It sounds like you and your platonic friend are very close, like brother and sister, to have such extreme fights! I’m glad that you’re working through it, and not giving up on your friendship.

    Family sometimes brings out the worst in us, because they know us so well and know what buttons to push. Friends who are as close as family can do the same thing, can’t they?

  6. I have a question I’ve just commented on a few of your other articles.How is it that the gal mentioned in the “bring out worst”story is not responsible for her actions yet the fellow is for his actions?? I’ve been close friends (platonic)with a guy for six years not proud to admit we have had some terrible fights where I have thrown things at him in which he has to me as well.On the other hand there’s nothing that I wouldn’t do for him and HE has given me moral support so many times that he would do just about anything to help me as a best friend.My thing is any abuse is wrong it can happen to the best of us,we’ve made mistakes but to have disposed my friendship with this person that I know would’ve been a mistake.I feel people take things much too personally while all these so-called experts online telling you mis-leading information just to get your money.I think that a couple should sit down in a public enviorment to reassure there’s no fighting then seriously write things down to the pros & cons.When one party slips or both slip make it aware if it continues then it will be mutual to just break it off in a civil mannered, logical minded resolution.Apply it as it shall work, it’s not about “luck” as that is just a residue of design.

  7. Hi Craig,

    Thank you for your comments! I really appreciate it. I admire and respect you for getting help from a psychiatrist, and hope that it brings about the changes you want to see in your life.


  8. Laurie,
    In regards to the “When you bring out the worst in your boyfriend”.I feel honored that you wrote my comment dated May 28,2012 then changed it to more or less as a “Another Bad Example of a Male Person”.You’re so bias to the gals that it’s obvious that you’re not giving a fair shake in your opinions.I’ve known a few guys whom were chased out of their houses by a wife with the “Rolling Pin”.

    There was a time not long ago that I was a great guy now I’ve seriously question that.Right now who needs a relationship when there are issues to be dealt upon wouldn’t wish what happened between us on anyone else that comes across in my life.Even though there were so many wonderful things that were presented to her that she didn’t have in her 17 years of marriage with her ex-husband.Generally speaking I’m not an abusive person.

    There were so many kind things that happened between us then felt that more communication would’ve helped out. In your opinion everything was my fault that everything she does is justified.I feel terrible about what happened,have even owned up to what I’ve done wrong.Well it’s not her …it’s me!

    It has affected me to the point where I’m seeing a psychiatrist once again.That says something that a lot of Men will not do….afterall women do no wrong they walk around with a halo over their head.Well its time that some people get there heads out of the sand to see what’s really going on in the “big picture”.

    This is by no means a written attack on you or your website,it’s merely my honest opinion that was thought out before writing it on your website.Regards,