Understanding why love hurts will help you see your boyfriend clearly. These reasons why men abuse will help answer the “why does love hurt?” question. I’ve geared this article towards girlfriends who are being abused by their boyfriends, but these excuses for abuse or apply to marriages as well.
In Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them : When Loving Hurts and You Don’t Know Why, Susan Forward and Joan Torres describe how women get trapped in negative, unhealthy relationships. This book will help you understand your boyfriend’s destructive patterns of abuse and help answer the why does love hurt? question. You’ll learn how to break cycle of abuse, heal the hurt, regain your self-respect, and either rebuild your relationship or find the courage to love a truly loving man.
In 5 Stages of Leaving an Abusive Relationship, Janet writes that it took her a long time to leave her partner because she kept making excuses for his abuse. When she finally left him, he punished her by taking her children, her house, and her identity. She’s working to rebuild herself and believe in miracles again. She wrote about her experience with abuse. Why does love hurt? Janet shares her perspective – and how she healed from her unhealthy relationship – In Tunnel Vision, A Focused Life.
Why Does Love Hurt? 6 Excuses for Abuse
Here are six reasons why men abuse. They’re actually excuses both men and women give for being abusive or tolerating abuse in relationships. These are not valid reasons for abuse! There is NEVER a good reason for abuse, and you do not deserve to be treated badly in your relationship.
These excuses for abuse may not apply to your relationship – it depends on what you’re experiencing and how your boyfriend is hurting you. Feel free to share your perspective on the “why does love hurt?” question in the comments section below. Your experience is unique, which means an article that attempts to explain why love hurts won’t necessarily apply to you.
You may have spent tons of time and energy trying to figure out why your boyfriend behaves the way he does. These six excuses for abuse are the most common reasons why men abuse.
Your boyfriend has anger problems
If your boyfriend has a bad temper and loses control of his emotions, he may have an anger problem. Some men are abusive to their girlfriends or wives, but not their neighbors, coworkers, or other family members. Some men take their anger out on the women closest to them: their girlfriends or wives. If your boyfriend can control his temper at work or out in public, then he should be able to control himself when he’s with you! This is an excuse for abuse. Your boyfriend is using your love to hurt you.
Is your boyfriend often angry and resentful? He is using his anger to intimidate you and regain control over you. Read How to Live With Your Husband’s Anger Problems.
Need marriage help? Get FREE relationship advice from Marriage Coach Mort Fertel.
Your boyfriend is stressed at work or school
Another answer to the ‘why does love hurt’ question is abuse caused by stress. Some men blame their abusive behavior on work stress, unemployment stress, school stress, or even just life stress. If your boyfriend lives with a lot of stress – which most of us do – then he may say stress is why he abuses you.
You live with a lot of stress, don’t you? So do I. Are you abusive to your boyfriend? Probably not. This is a common excuse for abuse in relationships. Just because your boyfriend is stressed does NOT mean he can treat you any way he likes.
Your boyfriend has mental health issues
Some abusive boyfriends have been diagnosed by doctors or counselors as having personality disorders or mental illnesses that lead to abuse. There is nothing wrong with having a mental health issue – but there IS something wrong if your boyfriend abuses you, and you and he use the excuse of depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia as an excuse for abuse.
Here are two questions to help you determine if your boyfriend has a mental health issue: 1) Does he display abnormal behavior around other people, or just you? If he’s only depressed, angry, or out of odd with you but not other people, then his “mental health issue” is just an excuse for abuse. And 2) Does his mental health issue give him permission to abuse you? Of course not! Even if he is sincerely struggling with a serious mental illness, he is NOT given permission to treat you badly.
Why does love hurt? Because your boyfriend was abused as a child
Has your boyfriend suffered childhood abuse? That’s tragic. It’s very sad when a child is abused when he was young, and then repeats the pattern of abuse as an adult. But even childhood abuse – as terrible and sad as it is – is just an excuse for abuse in a relationship. It is your boyfriend’s responsibility to get the help he needs to overcome the pain of his own abusive childhood relationships. Your boyfriend is an adult who is responsible for his behavior and healing now. He is not doomed to repeat the pain of his past by abusing you, his girlfriend. Love does not have to hurt.
To understand about the pattern that many abusive men experience, read The Cycle of Abuse in a Relationship.
Your boyfriend is addicted to drugs or alcohol
If your boyfriend has an addiction problem, then he may not be in control of his abusive behavior. Drugs and alcohol are terrible excuses for abuse because it means your boyfriend has two problems: 1) the addiction, which is a nasty disease to overcome; and 2) the abuse problem, which can be difficult to stop.
Is your boyfriend abusive even after he sobers up? Get help. Call Al-Anon, read books about living with boyfriends who are alcoholic and abusive. Find ways to protect yourself. Tell your friends and family members about your boyfriend’s behavior. Ask your loved ones how they’ve dealt with the “why does love hurt?” question in the past. Open the discussion, even if you feel scared or embarrassed about how your boyfriend treats you.
Your boyfriend has an unhealthy style of conflict resolution
Not knowing how to solve relationship problems is a common excuse for abuse. If you feel attacked by your boyfriend – or intimidated or humiliated – then you and he have not learned how to resolve conflict in your relationship. Your boyfriend may never have learned how to solve problems with people he loves, which is why love is hurting both of you.
Love should never hurt. Love can be painful because it leaves us emotionally vulnerable to loss and grief, but love is not supposed to hurt you. Why does love hurt? Because it isn’t being expressed in healthy ways. The only source of healthy, unconditional love is God. If your main source of love, peace, and joy is your relationship with your Creator, then you are on the right path to building healthy relationships with people here on earth.
I welcome your comments on why men abuse or why love hurts. I can’t offer relationship advice or counseling, but it may help you to share your thoughts.
My prayer is that you find answers to your own questions about why love hurts. May you find peace and healing, and learn how to protect yourself from abusive relationships.