15 Tell-Tale Signs You Really Hurt Him And What To Do

Suffering and Healing | | , Intimacy & Relationship Writer
Updated On: May 6, 2024
Passive-aggressive behavior is a common sign that you really hurt him

When you intentionally or unintentionally hurt your man, you will notice a gradual shift in his behavior. You may spot some verbal and non-verbal signs you really hurt him, but sometimes, it’s hard to tell what a man is going through.

According to research, men are more emotionally affected than women when it comes to the ups and downs of a relationship. Every relationship will experience these problems. But hurting your partner is the last thing you want to do when you love him so much. This is why we are here to help you recognize the signs he’s upset so you can apologize, make amends, and kiss and make up.

15 Tell-Tale Signs You Really Hurt Him

When we care about someone, we want to ensure that we never cause them pain. However, it is inevitable that we will hurt the people we love at some point in our relationships. Whether it is a misunderstanding, a mistake, or a deliberate action, causing them emotional harm can have serious consequences for the health and well-being of your relationship. How do you know if a man is hurt? For starters, he will begin to exhibit behavior that ranges from physically avoiding you to becoming emotionally distant. If you are worried that you may have hurt your partner, it is important to pay attention to the following signs:

1. He hardly talks to you

When a man is hurt by a woman he loves, he generally stops talking or communicating in the previously familiar manner, which is one of the many signs you really hurt him in some way. This type of communication problem show itself in a number of ways, such as:

  • Avoiding conversations with you
  • Not interacting with you as much as he usually does
  • Not sharing his routine with you – what happened on his way back from work, the jokes his friends cracked, the silly things the boss said today, etc.
  • Not asking you about your routine

If he no longer seems interested in talking to you, this may indicate that your partner is hurt and needs some time to process his feelings.

Related Reading: Here Are 11 Ways To Figure Out If Your Guy Is Avoiding You

2. He avoids eye contact

Making eye contact with others is crucial for connecting and communicating. Avoiding eye contact is one of the major signs a guy is upset with you. According to research, avoiding eye contact denotes a desire to escape. This can be a result of his lack of confidence in you or his fear of opening up to you. It’s crucial to try and have an honest dialogue with your partner about how he’s feeling if you notice that he’s been avoiding eye contact with you.

3. He distances himself from you

Some guys distance themselves in hurtful situations, so If he is distancing himself from you, then it is one of the key signs a guy is upset with you. When a man is hurt by a woman he loves, he might spend more time alone, be less interested in spending time with her or come up with excuses to not be with her. The continuity of this pattern indicates that your actions really hurt him. He could need some space to process his emotions, or he could be acting out of hurt or rage.

Some very obvious signs you really hurt him and he is avoiding you are given below:

  • Not replying to your texts as much as he used to or as sincerely/expressively as he used to
  • Not picking up your calls
  • Canceling plans with you

It’s crucial to respect your partner’s limits and give him the space he requires if he is withdrawing from you. Attempting to have an honest chat with him about how he is feeling and what you can do to help him is equally vital at the same time.

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4. He becomes passive-aggressive

If your partner begins to act in a passive-aggressive manner, then it is possibly a sign that you may have harmed him. This may take the form of insulting remarks, pouting, or small-scale actions that are intended to harm you. People frequently use passive-aggressive digs at family members as a way to vent their rage or frustration without actually confronting the problem. If your partner is behaving in this way, it may be an indication that he is upset and may require your support to process his feelings.

Related Reading: Passive-Aggressive Behavior In Relationship: Signs & Examples

5. He starts ignoring your needs

It is in human nature to want to address and take care of someone’s needs when we care about them. If your partner begins to disregard your needs, this may indicate that he is hurt and may not be as committed to the relationship as he once was. He doesn’t care about your welfare like he used to. Here are a few ways he ignores you and your needs:

  • He prioritizes his own needs/wants over yours every time
  • He becomes distant or disengaged when you bring up your needs or concerns
  • He makes you feel guilty or selfish for expressing your needs
  • He doesn’t make an effort to compromise or find solutions to address your needs

Have an open and sincere discussion with your partner about how you are feeling and what you require from the relationship if he is not addressing your basic needs.

6. You can’t get him to return your calls or messages

It’s totally natural and nothing to be worried about if he doesn’t answer your calls or messages during business hours on a weekday. However, if he constantly ignores them for days on end, it can be a sign that you have seriously hurt him. According to research, men initially may not miss you during their ‘no-contact rule’ phase; but hang tight, they will come back to you eventually. Give him some space.

dating problem

7. He never appreciates or compliments you anymore

One of the tell-tale signs that you may have hurt him is the absence of any form of appreciation or compliments from him. If you can’t recall the last time he acknowledged you for something you did or told you how good you look when you got dressed up or gave you a sincere compliment for anything at all, it may be a sign that he is feeling hurt or resentful toward you. This could be the result of a recent argument or disagreement, or it could be a deeper issue that has been brewing for a while.
In order to fix the relationship, listen to his perspective and apologize if necessary, and work together to find a solution and move forward in a positive direction.

8. He becomes more critical of you

If your partner starts to criticize you more, it can be a sign that he is angry and wounded. If your partner is criticizing you, it’s probable that he is attempting to deal with his own suffering by focusing it on you. Constant criticism is one of the signs you broke his heart. Here’s a list of the ways he may criticize you:

  • He starts to point out your flaws and mistakes more frequently and becomes less supportive of you
  • He finds fault in things that he previously overlooked or accepted
  • He starts to compare you unfavorably to others
  • He starts to use sarcasm or passive-aggressive comments to criticize you

An overly critical attitude frequently arises from a place of sorrow. Instead of defending yourself, it’s crucial to listen to your partner’s critique and make an effort to comprehend where it’s coming from. But if it turns abusive, please don’t hesitate to stand up for yourself and seek outside help.

Related Reading: 9 ways to cope if your partner criticises you in public. #4 is our favourite

9. He becomes more emotionally distant

A sign that you have unintentionally hurt your partner is when he grows more emotionally distant. Emotional distance can appear in a variety of ways:

  • Lack of communication
  • A loss of interest in spending time together
  • A lack of caring words and gestures
  • A general lack of presence in the relationship even when you’re in the same room or talking to each other
  • Being defensive
  • A lack of intimacy and emotional availability
  • Avoiding commitments

Have an honest conversation about what’s happening if your partner seems to be emotionally drifting away from you, and try to resolve these difficulties together.

10. He stops showing you platonic affection

If your partner stops expressing his affection, this can indicate that he is angry and hurt with you. Every relationship needs affection. Therefore, it might be a warning sign when it starts to wane. This isn’t about sexual intimacy, but about platonic physical affection and light, comforting touches that keep a relationship going.

11. He starts spending more time with family and less time with you

When someone is emotionally struggling, they frequently seek help from their closest friends and family members. It may be a sign that you have seriously upset him. He might be looking to his loved ones for support and direction, or he might simply be looking to distract himself by spending time with friends or others who make him feel comfortable.

When a guy confides in his family members or his loved ones instead of you, when all his quality time is going toward them and hardly any of it is coming your way, it’s one of the signs you really hurt him.

12. He becomes more distant in the bedroom

You may have hurt your partner emotionally if he starts to physically distance himself from you. Showing disinterest in the bedroom is one of the most common signs you hurt his pride in some manner. According to research, sex, intimacy, and emotions have a deeper link than most people think.

When someone is emotionally hurt or angry, they frequently lose interest in intimacy, and this can be especially true if the incident that triggered them occurred in the bedroom. It’s vital to pay attention to any changes in your partner’s behavior, especially if he starts to avoid physical contact or seems uninterested in sex.

Related Reading: 15 Real Reasons Your Wife Avoids Intimacy

13. On the other hand, he might start withdrawing from social activities

According to research, if someone is hurting emotionally, then they usually withdraw from social events or cancel arrangements with friends and relatives. It’s possible that he is merely attempting to avoid encounters with you in social settings, or perhaps he is finding it difficult to manage his emotions publicly. A list of possible reasons behind his withdrawal:

  • He may be feeling emotionally overwhelmed and needs time alone to process and heal
  • He may be avoiding social situations where he may see you or where memories of the hurtful event may be triggered
  • He may be feeling shame or embarrassment about the situation and doesn’t want to be around others where he’ll have to explain himself
  • He may be struggling to cope with the emotional pain caused by your actions and is withdrawing as a form of self-protection
  • He may be experiencing anxiety or depression and is withdrawing as a coping mechanism

14. He becomes more sensitive

There is a difference between dating a sensitive man and a man who suddenly becomes sensitive. If your partner is suddenly very sensitive or emotional regarding the most random incidents, then it could be one of the signs you hurt his pride. He can find it difficult to manage his own emotions, or he might be feeling overpowered by the circumstances. In either case, it’s crucial to be sympathetic at this time. Some common ways he may express his increased sensitivity are:

  • He may express feelings of disappointment, hurt, or frustration more frequently
  • He may become more easily offended or irritable with you, even though he seems to be his usual self in front of others
  • He may become more tearful or show a greater range of emotions
  • He may become more withdrawn or distant
  • He may become more critical or resentful toward you
  • He may become more defensive or argumentative

15. He starts lashing out at you

It may be an indication that your partner is wounded or resentful if he starts yelling at you or becomes furious more frequently. This is one of the subtle signs you really hurt him. His anger is rooted in pain and he might be attempting to emotionally remove himself from you. Be careful if this turns abusive in any form. He needs to find a way to express his hurt in a way that’s healthy, and which doesn’t scar you.

Related Reading: 11 Signs Your Man Has Anger Issues

What To Do After You Have Hurt Him?

This section will provide you with tips on how to fix your relationship after hurting someone. Co-authors of Sorry, Sorry, Sorry: The Case for Good Apologies, researchers Marjorie Ingall and Susan McCarthy, break down the six (and a half) steps to great apologies.

They are: a) Say you’re sorry. Not that you “regret,” not that you are “devastated.” b) Say what it is that you’re apologizing for. Be specific. c) Show you understand why it was bad, take ownership, and show that you understand why you caused hurt. d) Don’t make excuses. e) Say why it won’t happen again. What steps are you taking? f) If it’s relevant, make reparations. And six-and-a-half is ‘listen.’ People want to be heard, let the person have their say.

Now that you’ve recognized the signs you really hurt him, here are some more things you can do to fix the situation:

1. Recognize and validate his emotions

All he really wants is for you to show him that you truly understand him. If someone is hurting emotionally, even if you don’t agree with what they are saying, understanding their emotions should still be your priority. This can help you not only understand them better but understand your relationship better as well. The point is not to come to an agreement. Simply acknowledging their damaged sentiments is the key.
The three main points on recognition of emotions are stated below:

  • Identify: Identify the cause of his emotional distress
  • Acknowledge: Acknowledge his emotions by listening to him
  • Validate: Whether you like his response initially or not, validate it before having a discussion about the issue

2. Be accountable for your mistake(s)

McCarthy, the author of the book mentioned above, mentions here that “a bad apology can make things worse.” You don’t want your partner to think you are being irresponsible by trying to shift the blame for your behavior on him or someone else.

Although accepting complete responsibility can be difficult and ego-damaging, doing so will enhance your mutual connection right away. After all, your partner wants reassurance that he’s with someone who can accept responsibility for their mistakes.

3. Show that you are committed to improving yourself

Start making a conscious effort to demonstrate to your partner that you are improving. Once you’ve identified the original reason for the conflict, tell him that you will try not to repeat your mistakes. Some ways that you can improve yourself for your partner are stated below:

  • To fix a relationship after hurting someone, you must put in all your effort to rectify your mistakes
  • Apologize where required. Don’t let it be a blanket apology – make it specific
  • Acknowledge the impact of your actions
  • Research ways to improve communication in your relationship
  • Make amends according to what he needs from you, and not what ‘you’ think should be the next step
  • For the future, watch out for situations or conversations that might lead to emotional distress for him

4. Ask him what he needs after you’ve hurt him

Every problem has an unmet need underneath it. Ask your partner what he needs instead of assuming it. What must you do to convince him that your regret is sincere? How can you make the relationship better in the future?
Inform him that he may be entirely honest with you and that you would make every effort to listen, understand, and make things right.

Related Reading: 9 Sincere Ways To Apologize To Someone You Hurt

5. Include more people who can help you make amends with him

You could occasionally require outside help to fix the problem. Think about talking to your closest friends or most reliable relatives. If your partner agrees, you might also want to try relationship counseling.
This can assist you in identifying the source of any relationship/marital difficulty you may be having and seek long-term remedies. Including more people will also let your partner see that you’re truly committed to these amends.

Key Pointers

  • Guys frequently avoid contact with you when they are hurt because they don’t want you to notice them when they are vulnerable or because they need space from you
  • It is usually best to give your hurt partner some time alone so he can assess his emotions
  • Identify, validate, and acknowledge his emotions when the time comes for a conversation
  • His silence is one of the main signs you really hurt him
    Communication and apologies go a long way in making amends

By the end of this article, you should be able to spot the signs you broke his heart, as well as gather some insights on how to take responsibility for your actions and work to repair the relationship. This may involve apologizing, making amends, and working together to rebuild trust and connection.

FAQs

1. Can a man walk away from a woman he loves?

A. How do you know if a man is hurt beyond repair? When he walks away. Yes, a man can walk away from a woman even if he loves her because love is not everything in a relationship. Factors like disrespect, insecurity, and unhappiness can play a vital role when he decides to walk out. If you keep hurting him continuously, love may not be enough to save the relationship.

2. How do you get a man back after you hurt him?

A. Some easy ways to get your man back after hurting him are by giving him a genuine apology, acknowledging the ways you hurt him and what you could have done instead, giving him some space to think about stuff, working on preventing mistakes in the future, making amends, and assuring him that you will not repeat your mistakes.


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