In this article, we answer the question “Is It Okay For My Boyfriend To Hit Me?” we will look at an overview and signs of domestic violence, emotional abuse, and what you can do if you are in an abusive relationship.
The simple answer is NO, It is never okay for your boyfriend or anyone to hit you. Relationships have many challenges, and sometimes they result in domestic violence.
Many times people justify their partner’s actions. “If I didn’t say that, he couldn’t have hit me.” It does not matter what you said or did; it is never okay for your boyfriend to hit you.
If there are problems in your relationship, you should approach each other politely and without judgment and talk about the problems you may be experiencing.
It is never okay to raise your hand against someone else to put your point across. Hitting someone for whatever reason is abusive and wrong behavior, and you should nip it in the bud.
An Overview Of Domestic Violence
If you are here, you may be experiencing domestic violence or know someone going through it. Maybe you suspect that your boyfriend is abusive.
The United Nations defines domestic violence and abuse as any behavior used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.
The United Nations website says, “The abuse can be physical, economic, sexual, emotional or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person.
This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure, or wound someone.”
Moreover, domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of race, age, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.
It can also happen to people of all socioeconomic and education levels, whether married, dating, or living together.
Domestic violence is rampant in our society today; recent research shows that 13 to 61% of women aged 15-49 have been hit by their partners at least once.
Moreover, domestic abuse can happen to children, relatives, or anyone in the household.
In most cases, when a person is going through domestic violence, the abusive partner isolates them from their family and friends so no one will notice the abuse.
The abuser ensures the victim depends on them completely, emotionally, financially, and socially.
Victims lose their right to do what they want and only do what the abuser wants; they lose their purpose in life and ambitions.
When you notice early warning signs of domestic abuse, it is best to get out of the situation before developing battered woman syndrome.
When you develop battered person syndrome, you will make excuses for your abuser and continue staying in the relationship for the good times, forgetting the bad times.
Signs Of Domestic Abuse In A Relationship
There are many signs of domestic abuse in relationships. But unfortunately, many people tend to miss the signs when it happens to them or people close to them.
But, you know, the thing about domestic violence is that you never think it will happen to you until it does.
If you feel like you are in an abusive relationship, these are the signs you should look out for.
1. You Are Isolated
When you get into a relationship with an abuser, they want your life to revolve around them. So they will isolate you from your family and friends.
They want to keep tabs on you when you go to meet anyone. They want to know where and whom you are going with.
When you need to see your friends or family, you have to ask them for permission, which they often deny.
Moreover, some abusers will criticize and embarrass you in front of your friends to lower your esteem and keep you from seeing them.
After all, when you are embarrassed in front of someone, you will want to avoid them.
2. You Have Bruises and Injuries
This is one of the major signs of domestic violence in abusive relationships. If your boyfriend hits you, they will leave bruises, and you may have black eyes or broken bones.
It is quite unfortunate that many victims of domestic violence have gotten very good at covering the bruises with makeup and layers of clothing to protect themselves. Moreover, some abusers are careful not to hit you where the bruise will show.
If you are friends with someone going through domestic violence, they will always have injuries and bruises and make excuses for the injuries.
For instance, if the boyfriend hits someone and needs to go to the hospital, they will lie about their injuries. They may have a broken arm, and when asked, they will say they slipped and fell.
In most cases, the abuser will take you to the hospital to ensure you do not open up and speak to anyone about what is happening at home.
3. The Abuser Controls You
Domestic abuse does not always have to be physical; sometimes, your boyfriend will try to control and manipulate you.
If you live together, you will do what they want, when and how they want. You do not have a voice in the relationship.
Your boyfriend will often yell at you, criticize and make you feel less, affecting your self-esteem.
Your boyfriend knows when your self-esteem goes down, he has a better chance of controlling you, and you will not be able to leave them.
Moreover, a domestic abuser will control your finances. For instance, when you get together, they will ask you to leave your job with promises of taking care of you.
After you leave the job, they will control you financially; they will monitor all the credit cards and money, and when they give you the money, you have to account for up to the last dime. In severe cases, they may not give you any money at all.
4. They Financially Abuse You
If you are in a relationship with an abuser, they will financially abuse you and deny you financial help to control you. After all, who will you run to? He cut you off from all your friends and family.
For instance, I have a friend who was in an unhealthy relationship. The husband was working a good job, but the lady didn’t have a good job; she could barely make ends meet.
The husband would not care whether the house had food if the rent or the kid’s school fees were paid.
He would waste all this money drinking and doing God knows what. At the end of the month, there is no money for rent or other basic needs. My friend had to go into debt to pay rent and cater to the house’s needs.
5. Blames You For Everything
When your boyfriend won’t take responsibility for anything and blames you for everything, he is an abuser.
For instance, he will sleep around and cheat on you, and when you ask, he will say he cheated because of something you did or didn’t do.
This is emotional abuse and gaslighting. An abuser will make you believe it is your own behavior and fault that he is doing what he is doing.
If he hits you, he will tell you he hit you because you talked back at him. No matter what he does, the blame is always yours.
6. Sexual abuse
Sexual abuse in unhealthy relationships is a serious issue that can manifest in various ways, and unfortunately, it’s not uncommon.
One way that your boyfriend may sexually abuse you is by hitting you so as to coerce you into having sex.
Your boyfriend could coerce you by using threats, manipulation, emotional blackmail or hitting you to make you feel like you have no choice but to engage in sexual activity.
Sexual abuse can be a particularly insidious form of abuse, as it can leave you feeling confused, violated, and powerless.
Another way that your boyfriend may sexually abuse you is by making you watch pornographic movies, or perform sexual fetish you do not approve of.
Making you watch pornographic movies can be a way of exerting control over you, as well as introducing unrealistic expectations into your sexual relationship.
Additionally, it can be a way of desensitizing you to sexual content that you may not be comfortable with, and can be a form of emotional manipulation.
Related Readings: 15 Signs God Is Showing You Someone Is Not Right For You
Characteristic Of An Abusive Boyfriend.
If you think you are living with an abusive boyfriend, you may want to know what to look out for. Here are a few common characteristics of an abusive boyfriend.
1. He is Extremely Jealous
A little jealousy is good in a healthy relationship; it shows your partner is afraid to lose you. However, if your partner is extremely jealous and does not want you to talk to other people or see you around your friends, it may cause concern.
An extremely jealous partner will snoop through your phone and monitor who you talk to, who you visit, or who visits you. They will even monitor what clothes you wear.
2. He Gets Angry Quickly
Does your boyfriend get angry with you quickly? Does he get annoyed with you for no reason? If this is the case, your boyfriend may be an abuser or has anger management issues.
Most domestic abusers go from cold to hot in a matter of seconds; you may be laughing one minute, and the next, he is throwing things.
3. He Denies the Violence Occurred
According to The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one of the most common traits of abusers is denying the abuse or minimizing the seriousness of the violence.
For instance, if it’s the first time your boyfriend hits you, he will say he didn’t hit you that hard or did not mean to hit you.
4. He Externalizes The Cause Of The Actions
When an abuser hits you or subjects you to any other form of abuse, including sexual abuse, they will often blame it on something other than themselves. “I hit you because I was drunk.” or worse, “I forced myself on you because I was high.”
It is always something else; they will never take responsibility for their actions. Instead, they blame it on stress, alcohol, drugs, having a bad day, or anything else.
For instance, a friend’s husband would come home drunk and beat her black and blue. He always said it was the alcohol that made him do it.
5. He Loves Bomb You
An abuser will often love-bomb you between the abuse sections. For example, I am sure you have heard of situations where someone hits their wife or girlfriend, and the following day he takes her on a shopping spree or buys them an expensive gift. This is love bombing.
An abuser will love bomb you to hide his abuse. After all, someone who buys you stuff and treats you well is not an abuser. And you keep hoping he has changed until it happens again.
Additionally, when you are around other people, they are friendly and show you off to their friends and family. They will also treat them so well that when you tell someone he is an abuser, no one believes you.
How to stop your boyfriend from hitting you
1. Discuss the abuse
Help your boyfriend identify and understand what abuse is. Clearly explain to him that hitting you is physical abuse that you do not condone.
Focus on the serious harm it causes you and the possible consequences to him if you decide to take the legal route.
2. Don’t allow justifications
Do not participate in, or allow, justifications for your boyfriend’s abusive behavior of hitting you. The only person responsible for the abuse is your boyfriend.
Be firm: Tell your boyfriend that he is the only person responsible for their behavior and that they CAN control their actions in any situation, whether drunk or intoxicated.
4. Address their behavior
Focus on their abusive actions, not their whole person. Realize that he has other qualities that are good, you may have good memories and positive moments with your partner.
It’s crucial to recognize these positive experiences of the relationship and solve the abusive behavior.
5. Don’t turn the other cheek
Don’t ignore the abusive behavior of your boyfriend hitting you, do not be afraid to call it out. Your silence helps the abuser pretend there is nothing wrong with their behavior. Ignoring the behavior may encourage him to hit you again in the future.
6. Connect to resources
Encourage your boyfriend to seek professional help. Help your boyfriend locate a certified batterer’s program that focuses on intimate partner violence.
7. Stay in touch
This isn’t a one-time conversation, and your boyfriend will not change overnight. Keep supporting nonviolent behavior by staying in touch, offering encouragement, and keeping the topic alive in your relationship.
8. Speak out
Set an example of compassion and non violence. Speak out against abuse when you see it in any form in your daily activities.
What To Do If You Are In An Abusive Relationship
Most people say that it is the first time he has hit me. Whether it is the first, second, or third time does not matter. It is physical abuse.
According to Patricia Farrell, psychologist and author of How to Be Your Own Therapist: A Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Competent, Confident Life, people go through many different types of abuse before physical abuse. So, if he hit you, go through your history together and look for other signs of abuse.
If you are in an abusive relationship, here is what you should do.
1. Set Boundaries
Setting boundaries is a crucial step in preventing intimate partner violence in healthy relationships. Healthy boundaries allow individuals to maintain their self-esteem, self-respect, and emotional and physical well-being.
Boundaries are guidelines, rules, or limits that individuals set for themselves to identify what is reasonable, safe, and acceptable for others to behave around them.
Physical boundaries provide a barrier between an individual and an intruding force, while emotional and intellectual boundaries protect an individual’s sense of self-esteem and ability to separate their feelings from others.
Individuals should practice self-care, communicate their needs in a relationship, and make time and space for positive interactions especially when dealing with anger management issues.
Setup boundaries with your partner to avoid aggressive behavior in the relationship. An example of a boundary is sleeping in different rooms when your boyfriend is angry.
2. Know It’s Not Your Fault
First, you need to know that it is NOT YOUR FAULT. No matter how many times your abuser has told you, it is it. I am telling you it is not your fault. This entirely falls on the abuser’s shoulders.
There is nothing you did or did not do to provoke him to hit you. Your boyfriend hitting you is due to his anger issues and not your fault.
3. Call 911
When you are in an abusive relationship, you can always call 911 or the emergency number in your country. The police will come to your rescue.
4. Call A Friend Or Family
When you are in an abusive relationship, your abuser may have isolated you, and you feel like you have nowhere to turn, but you are never alone. Call a trusted friend or family member; they will listen and come to your rescue.
If you have no one you feel safe calling, call your country’s National Domestic Violence Hotline, and someone will come to your aid. No matter how much your abuser has isolated you, know you are never alone.
When you are in an abusive relationship, you may find it hard to leave, especially if you have developed battered person syndrome. You need a plan; plan how you will survive in the relationship if you decide to stay.
For instance, you can have a code word that you can use with your kids, family, or friends in case of an emergency to let them know you are in danger.
5. Make An Emergency Exit Plan
You need an emergency exit plan if your boyfriend hits you. Your boyfriend hitting you is a huge red flag.
You do not know when your abuser will strike, and you may need to move fast to save your life and maybe your children’s lives.
Make an emergency exit plan.
- You can hide an extra set of keys.
- Always have a bag packed and ready to go. Ensure the bag has all your essentials; keys, clothes, money, important documents, and medicines if you are on any.
- Have a plan to call for help. If you have kids, you can have a code word; when you say the word, they will know to call the police and then family and friends.
- Know where you will go when you get out and how you will get there.
I know leaving is hard, but it is better to be single or divorced than dead. So please run while you still have feet.
Final Thoughts On Is It Okay For My Boyfriend To Hit Me?
It is never okay for your boyfriend to hit you. Your boyfriend hitting you is domestic violence and physical abuse; it doesn’t matter if it is the first time he has hit you unless he was acting in self-defense.
An abuser will often repeat the abuse. Moreover, if your boyfriend hit you, it may not be the first time he abused you. Physical violence and abuse often come after other forms of abuse.
Many survivors of domestic abuse are often unable to get out of the abusive relationship due to battered person syndrome, so if your boyfriend hits you, it is time to RUN because he will most likely do it again, and you may start making excuses for them.
There are many forms of domestic abuse, including financial, emotional, sexual, and physical abuse.
Signs of domestic abuse include; the abuser isolates you, you have bruises and injuries, they control you, and blame you for everything.
Abusers have common traits such as extreme jealousy; they are quick to anger, love bomb you, and externalize the cause of their actions.
If you are in an abusive relationship, LEAVE. The only way to win over an abuser is to leave the relationship. Call your family and friends for help, and in case of an emergency, call 911.
There are also organizations in every country ready to help when you are in an abusive relationship. Always remember IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com
Sarah Williams is an author at CandidHaven.com she is an expert in human psychology having graduated with an M.S. in Psychology.
Sarah has extensive experience in relationships and dating therapy having worked for over 6 years with different groups of people including teens, dating couples, and married people.
She is a lover of life, and self-development and believes everyone deserves to be in a fulfilling relationship. Sarah loves reading self-help books and doing research on human psychology.