Relationships are hard. Sometimes they can feel downright impossible.
But no matter how hard or easy a relationship is, certain lines should never be crossed.
Hitting, shoving, slapping, or other forms of physical violence are all things that cross a serious line in any relationship.
It doesn’t matter who does it.
And you don’t need to land in the hospital for it to be serious.
Is it normal for my girlfriend to hit me?
No, it’s not normal. It’s also not okay.
Domestic violence is wrong, no matter who does it. Unfortunately, as a society, we tend to focus more on men who abuse women. But women can also be abusive towards men, and that’s not okay either.
It happens more than you might think Here are some staggering statistics by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:
- 1 in 4 men experiences some physical violence from an intimate partner. This includes behavior like slapping, shoving, and pushing.
- 1 in 25 men has been injured by an intimate partner.
- 1 in 7 men has been a victim of severe physical violence (ex: burning, beating, strangulation) by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
Men can be victims of abuse, just like women. However, men are often reluctant to report this abuse because they feel embarrassed.
Even if you are physically stronger than your partner, it’s no excuse for them to hit you. There are healthier ways to express frustration and anger.
Lesbian Partner Violence
Abusive girlfriends do not only hurt men. Women can experience intimate partner violence from their girlfriends, too.
A study by the University of Missouri at St. Louis found that 17-45% of lesbians report having been victims of at least one act of physical violence by a female partner.
The bottom line is that women also perpetuate violence and abuse against their partners, and we need to discuss it more.
How do you get your girlfriend to stop hitting you?
The best, most surefire way to get your girlfriend to stop hitting you is to leave the relationship.
Her physical abuse is likely accompanied by emotional abuse, so even if you get her to stop hitting, the abuse will continue in different forms.
This relationship is bad for you. Full stop.
If the physical violence is more serious, leading to injury, it’s important to record the abuse, especially if children are involved. Keep any evidence you may have, police reports, etc. Also, keep track of these incidents in a journal, including dates and details.
Why does my girlfriend get mad so easily?
If your girlfriend gets angry easily, which sometimes leads to hitting, there is a clear anger issue at play.
Anger issues are complicated. Here’s what might be happening on her end that causes them:
- She lacks awareness of her emotions
- She doesn’t know how to communicate feelings in healthy ways.
- She has a distorted view of situations that leads to emotional outbursts.
- She can’t regulate her emotions properly.
- She’s accustomed to using angry outbursts to get her way.
- She is acting out unresolved abuse or trauma from her own life.
Regardless of why it’s happening, your girlfriend needs psychological counseling and support to work through these anger issues.
I think it’s also important to note that you aren’t causing her anger issues. This is not something you can fix for her.
If you are guilty of similar behavior, it’s a sign that you also have work to do. But you’re not responsible for her angry outbursts.
Why do people hit each other in relationships?
People hit each other for a lot of reasons. Sometimes they do it because they grew up in a family that hit, so it is learned behavior.
People hit because they want to control someone else and demonstrate their power. Other times, they hit out of uncontrolled anger.
Regardless of the reason, the behavior is not okay.
Should you stay with a girlfriend who hits you?
No, you shouldn’t. If a girlfriend hits you, leave the relationship. Even if it’s the first time and she seems remorseful, this is not a good situation for you.
She needs help with her anger, and you are not obligated to be there for that process.
If you insist on giving her a second chance, make sure there are clear boundaries and expectations for your continuing relationship.
Here are a few non-negotiables I recommend. To stay, she needs to:
- Stop hitting you immediately.
- Agree to get counseling for her anger and/or couples counseling.
Whatever you decide, your emotional and physical safety should be the top priority. There’s nothing wrong with a man establishing boundaries like this; you should stand confidently in yours.
How do you know if your girlfriend is toxic?
Beyond hitting, there are some telltale signs that your girlfriend is abusive. HelpGuide has a great list. Do any of these sound familiar to you? An abusive partner might:
- Verbally abuse, belittle, or humiliate you in front of friends, colleagues, family, or social media.
- Be possessive, act jealous, or harass you with accusations of being unfaithful.
- Take away your car keys or medications.
- Try to control where you go and who you see.
- Try to control how you spend money or deliberately default on joint financial obligations.
- Make false allegations about you to your friends, employer, or the police, or find other ways to manipulate and isolate you.
- Threaten to leave you and prevent you from seeing your kids if you report the abuse.
All these are signs you need to leave your relationship and seek help for abuse.
Being the victim of this type of relationship takes its toll on you. This is true for men and women alike. There’s no shame in reaching out for help to get out of the situation and heal from it.
Bottom Line On A Girlfriend Who Hits You
Physical abuse is not somehow acceptable if the victim is physically stronger than the abuser. Intimate partner violence is wrong no matter who does it. Hitting, slapping, pushing, and shoving are wrong, even if you are not physically injured by it.
Whatever reason you’ve given yourself for thinking a girlfriend who hits you is normal or no big deal – let that go.
You don’t deserve to be abused by anyone. If you’re struggling to leave your relationship or have difficulty processing what’s happened, don’t be afraid to reach out.
You’re not alone, and there are people who can help you get past this.