3 Steps to Breaking Up With A Bullying Boyfriend

Evaluating your situation and making healthy choices

Girl crying with boyfriend in background
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If your boyfriend regularly humiliates you, manipulates you into doing things you do not want to do or intimidates you in any way, then he is abusive and a bully. Slowly, his actions will drain the trust and security from your relationship. And if you stay, you will begin to doubt yourself and may withdraw from family and friends. Some girls even report feeling trapped and afraid.

Even though your boyfriend may never hit you, push you, or even squeeze your arm, you still are experiencing bullying behavior.

And ignoring your feelings or trying harder in the relationship will not make the bullying stop. As a result, it may be time to consider ending the relationship. Here are the first three steps to breaking up with your bullying boyfriend.

Evaluate Your Relationship

A healthy relationship features mutual respect, healthy communication and equality.  What’s more, healthy people are supportive and caring. If your boyfriend does not support your interests, makes you choose between spending time with friends and him, or criticizes you on a regular basis, then he is bullying you.

Other signs of bullying and abusive behavior include displaying a lot of jealousy, texting or calling a lot, checking up on you, having mood swings, acting entitled and lacking empathy. Bullies also make snide remarks, engage in name-calling and use nasty putdowns. It is easy to miss these signs in the beginning, but if you are noticing an increase in these behaviors, it is time to pay attention.

Remember, everything a bully does is an attempt to gain control over you and make you do what he wants you to do. And putting up with this type of treatment is damaging. Not only will you doubt yourself and your sense of reality but you also may struggle with anxiety and stress much of the time.

Devise a Plan to Leave

If you are dating a bully, it is best to get out of the relationship early. Hoping that things will get better if you just try harder is never the answer. Remember, you should not have to earn respect in a relationship it should simply exist. You also cannot change your partner. The only one you have the power to change is you. And, it is time to leave when the cost of staying outweighs the cost of leaving.

The idea of breaking up with your boyfriend may feel overwhelming at first. This is normal. But do not let your fears about being alone keep you from taking care of yourself. No one should have to walk on eggshells or feel emotionally unsafe. Remember, no one deserves to be bullied. Everyone has a right to be cared for including you.

Begin by talking with a parent, a school counselor or another trusted adult. Explain your situation and ask for help. If the first person you talk with does not take you seriously, then ask someone else. Not everyone is equipped in helping with these types of situations, but it is does not mean you should give up.

Also, be sure that your support person allows you the freedom to set your own timetable for breaking up. You should make your own decisions. Only you can decide the exact timing. Learning to trust yourself and your instincts will serve you well once you break up.

Make a Clean Break

Once you decide to break up with your bullying boyfriend, you need to stay committed to your decision. It is does not help you in any way to cave in or to stay with him. Most bullying boyfriends will beg their partners to stay by promising to do better or try harder. Some even threaten to kill themselves if the relationship ends. Be prepared for these types of responses, but do not stay in the relationship. These are attempts to control you.

If your boyfriend does threaten to commit suicide, let someone know. Call his parents, a counselor or the police, but do not try to save him by staying in the relationship. You are not responsible for his choices and you need to take care of yourself. If he is considering suicide, he needs professional help.

You also need to realize that breaking up with a bully can be dangerous, even if your boyfriend has never hit you. Your safety should be a top concern. Take precautions and develop a safety plan. For instance, it may be safest to break up with your boyfriend over the phone. If you meet with him in person, he may try to restrain you or hurt you in some way.

What’s more, make sure you are in a safe place with your parents or other trusted adults when you do break up. Do not break up when you are home alone or at a friend’s house. And if he shows up later, do not try to reason with him or help him understand. His goal is to get you to change your mind and you need to stick to your decision for your own safety.

Also, be prepared for the days that will follow. If your boyfriend threatens you, stalks you, cyberbullies or scares you in any way, you need to keep the adults in your life informed. Do not try to handle this on your own. There are things that can be done to protect you such as class changes, schedule changes, locker changes and even restraining orders.

Stay in contact with others about your whereabouts and do not agree to meet your ex-boyfriend privately. Remember bullies are unpredictable. Even if he has never physically hurt you, does not mean that you are safe from harm. When you break up, he is losing control and he may do just about anything to regain it.

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