I Hit My Boyfriend: Seeing Abuse From A Different Perspective

By ReGain Editorial Team|Updated June 20, 2022

Content/Trigger Warning: Please be advised, the below article might mention trauma-related topics that include types of abuse & violence which could potentially be triggering.

”Hitting a partner is never acceptable, and it is often part of a larger challenge within and often as well as outside the relationship. Therapy can provide an opportunity to learn and practice coping skills, identify the underlying issues contributing to the domestic violence, and work on more appropriate expressions of feelings within the relationship." - Nicholas DeFazio, MRC, LPCC-S, LICDC

Domestic violence is a serious issue that continues to plague society. No situation of domestic violence is an excusable offense. There is, however, something of a misconception when it comes to the perception of domestic abuse.

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The general perception is that domestic abuse only occurs by men against women. The numbers certainly support the notion that women are abused on a more consistent basis. One in every four women experiences severe intimate physical violence, sexual violence, or stalking in the United States.

But the misconception that women are the only ones facing this abuse is just that: a misconception. Men are abused far more than general perception would have you believe. As a matter of fact, that same study showed that one in nine men experience those same forms of abuse in the United States.

This means more than 10 million women and men are experiencing physical violence or sexual abuse in a relationship each year in a given year. But it is important to understand that the pendulum swings both ways.

I Hit My Boyfriend

This is a phrase that gets uttered far more than one would think. Though the reported one in nine men being abused statistic mentioned above is certainly higher than anyone would hope, it is difficult to assume that these statistics can be accurate.

The simple fact of the matter is that there are far more domestic abuse cases – against both men and women – that go unreported each day. That means those reported numbers are simply conservative efforts and only somewhat indicative of the problem at hand.

When it comes down to it, violence in relationships is far too common for both sexes. “I hit my boyfriend” is a phrase that has been said more than a few times, often in regret, in stories that have gone ignored.

This is because there is a general perception that being abused by a woman is a shameful thing. Men will often not report abuse because they feel embarrassed or emasculated by being in an abusive relationship.

Because of this perception, these men often do not seek help. The abuse persists, and both parties try to find reasons why it happened and why it is okay to ignore it and move forward. In reality, the problem persists, and the stigma remains.

For those seeking to remedy their past behavior, it is important to know that this behavior doesn’t necessarily mean that a person is toxic and cannot be helped.

The fact of the matter is that people make mistakes. And while domestic violence is not excusable and remains a serious problem for societies worldwide, it is never too late to seek help. Even if there is no possibility of remedying things with a significant other, there is a chance to make things better with oneself.

Identifying Abuse

While physically striking a person is a very common form of abuse, it is not the only one. Here are a few other signs that a person has caused or is causing abuse:

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  • The threat of harm with a weapon
  • Threatened with bodily harm
  • Pulling hair
  • Throwing objects
  • Grabbing, dragging, pushing, or tripping
  • Scratching, slapping, kicking, biting, pinching, or punching
  • Forced sex
  • Prevention of escape

None of these are okay. It is important to know what constitutes abuse, even those that are not direct acts of violence, and what you do not have to tolerate in a relationship.

Why These Cases Occur

There are many common instances where domestic violence occurs, either in boyfriend or girlfriends or husbands and wives. The most common instance occurs with a separation. “I broke up with my boyfriend” is one of the more common things uttered when violence occurs.

This is because emotions can run high when a breakup occurs. People can feel betrayed or hurt, emotions escalate to unhealthy levels, and people do things they wish they had not. While it certainly is not excusable to be violent with your significant other in any situation, recognizing what you have done can be the important first step towards resolving the situation.

Unfortunately, situations like these require self-reflection. Many do not wish to have this kind of inner perspective. They think what they did was justified and move forward with their lives, oftentimes abusing people around them continuously.

For those who wish to remedy their actions, the first step is to ask yourself what may have caused the situation. Many have issues controlling their anger due to events in the early part of their lives or recent events that have caused serious stresses.

If anger is the case, then it may be time to look into taking anger management classes. Those types of courses can teach a person how to deal with upsetting situations without resorting to violence. Some cannot handle the unpleasantries that a disagreement can bring; having anger management classes can better handle those situations.

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Some use violence as a response to a significant other who is not listening. “I hit my boyfriend because he won’t listen” happens far too often. Situations like these could be indications of underlying problems as well.

Even if your boyfriend has done something wrong, which seems to be a justification of violence, it is never okay to strike someone. Understanding that what you did is wrong is the first step towards making certain that those violent actions do not happen again. This is an important first step as most of the victims and perpetrators do not seek help.

Now What?

“I hit my boyfriend. What do I do now?” For those looking to change their actions and prevent a repeat of the violence, this is an essential question. It shows regret and a desire for change. Far too many perpetrators think that the violence they have committed is okay, that they have not done anything wrong.

Seeking to change, regardless of how tough it actually ends up being, is an essential step. Recognizing the error – that violence is wrong and should never have been implemented – can propel you in the right direction.

Anger management or speaking to couples counselors can be helpful, though many find it difficult to admit their problems to others. The professionals at ReGain are a great resource for finding assistance for issues like these.

These intervention types can help recognize where the errors in judgment were, why they occurred and provide methods for managing angry and violent behavior before it can manifest.

Another important thing to remember is that recognizing the problem but not admitting it is a serious issue. Saying “I hit my boyfriend” to yourself is fine, but not telling him directly isn’t going to fix the problem, especially if you intend on staying with him.

Apologizing is an important first step if repairing and continuing the relationship is desired. It has to be sincere and the priority in the wake of hitting a boyfriend. Far too many apologies happen that aren’t completely sincere, and it winds up leading to further damage to the relationship as well as further violence.

Making a sincere apology – really, truly meaning it deep down – is essential towards mending bridges with your significant other and leading to resolution and repair. Without it, there cannot be growth, and without growth, there cannot be a commitment to non-violence.

The Commitment To Non-Violence

This can be something of a tricky step as many boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, and wives have committed to going back on it. “I know in my heart I can change” is a great thing to say and to want to mean. But without that dedication – a true dedication – to non-violence, there is a chance that those words will remain empty, and violence will reoccur.

The goal for not committing violence again has to be a personal mission. The goal has to be clear: never again. Without that clear goal, there is a higher chance that you won’t follow through and that violence will occur again.

Part of this commitment involves being more aware of emotions and their impact. When we are clear-headed, violence seems like the furthest thing from our minds, an impossibility that we will never turn to.

But when emotions run high, it can make a person unstable. Not only that, unstable emotions can lead to violent urges. Whether or not you mean to be violent becomes irrelevant as emotions take hold.

It is important to recognize these rising emotions, these violent urges, and know that triggers cause violent behavior. Identifying the emotions that cause these violent outbursts plays an important key in ensuring that those violent tendencies do not light again.

It takes a lot of work, but if you have hit your boyfriend, there is a way to make things right. You can’t take back those violent actions, but taking steps to prevent them from ever occurring again can be crucial.

“Sessions with Natalie are very insightful and give practical advice on implementing new habits and changes. Be prepared to engage and be challenged to think in a different way. I know that my partner and I can already see improvements in our relationship and feel more positive about working through our issues together.”

“Austa has been wonderful thus far. She has helped my partner and I during an unimaginably difficult time... She has also guided us in communicating effectively and setting appropriate boundaries in our relationship. I was hesitant to pursue counseling at the beginning, but I truly believe that it is making a difference for our relationship. Austa is easy to talk to and she is a great listener. I would wholeheartedly recommend her as a counselor.”

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