A healthy romance is built upon affection, empathy, and mutual respect. When your man truly loves you, it will reflect in his speech and actions.
Although humor can spice up a relationship, it can become uncomfortable when you are constantly being made the butt of his jokes.
There is a thin line between jokes and verbal abuse. When your guy crosses that line, you might wonder, “Why does my boyfriend always jokingly insults me?
If you experience such with your boyfriend, there is no need to worry any longer; you’ll be equipped with the reasons for his actions and how to handle the situation as you read on.
Verbal abuse is one of the most common forms of psychological abuse. It encompasses every form of word attack, from insults, put-downs, or demeaning remarks done to hurt or gain control over another.
Statistics show that psychological abuse is the most common among couples in intimate relationships.
Understanding the reasons for your guy’s behavior is critical to finding a solution to your problem.
A breakup might seem like the best solution to frequent verbal abuse. However, research has revealed that breakups negatively affect women, but they recover more fully.
So, before you consider dissolving your romance, read on to find reasons for your boyfriend’s behavior and ways you can handle it.
Reasons your boyfriend jokingly insults you
Knowing why your boyfriend insults you will help you determine how to approach the behavior. The reasons for his actions may vary.
They may be a residue of negative childhood experiences, low self-esteem, lack of control, or just plain disrespect.
Below are some reasons why your boyfriend jokingly insults you.
1. As a form of control
Men like to be in utmost control of things. A weak man will feel threatened by your high self-esteem, confidence, and independence.
These qualities can make your boyfriend feel out of your reach.
Your boyfriend might make it a habit to insult you, rattle you, and force a reaction jokingly. This will give him the satisfaction of feeling that he wields some power over you.
Your boyfriend might be struggling with insecurity. Putting someone down with his sly jokes is his way of deflecting attention from his insecurity.
This is also tied to self-esteem issues. Your boyfriend will target using insulting comments at you to damage your self-esteem and make you feel unsure of yourself if he feels threatened by you.
He might be worried that you will dump him when you realize he lacks substance, and this is his way of achieving that.
3. He thinks he is funny
Your man might be aiming for humor. Some people enjoy playing the clown and doing things to earn laughs.
If this is the case, then there is no ulterior motive. Nevertheless, it is still wrong.
Making you the butt of his jokes is unfair, but he probably doesn’t realize he has crossed that line.
4. He is tired of the relationship
Ending a relationship is a responsibility that some guys do not like to bear. So, instead of being brave to communicate his desire to opt out of the relationship, he might make cynical jokes to annoy you and get you to pull out by yourself.
He may be trying to stretch you to your limit if he persists in insulting jokes even after you have told him several that you do not appreciate them.
5. Emotional immaturity
Some men are adult babies, and your lover might be one. They are childish and lack the bandwidth to navigate complex adult relationships.
They cannot read the room or tell when a joke has crossed the line of play into an insult. Your boyfriend might also struggle to handle reproach and resort to snide jokes to resolve every issue.
6. He is trying to fit into a group
It is common to hear misogynistic comments when sitting in a circle of men. If your boyfriend keeps the company of such men, he might be trying to fit into the group.
He wants to prove that he can talk down on women. You would notice this if he only seems to talk down on you when his friends are present.
7. Unresolved conflicts
Your boyfriend is probably using playfully served insults to get back at you for a recent fight or conflict you recently had.
He might be nursing some resentment towards you and can only express that via insulting remarks. Some men lack the emotional range to pursue resolution with calm and objectivity.
8. He is going through a difficult phase
People tend to be cynical and snappy when going through tough times.
If your boyfriend is going through an episode of depression or feeling down, he might likely resort to such jokes to cheer himself up.
Other times, he might selfishly do it to hurt you and make you feel just as sad as he feels. As people say, misery loves company.
9. He is seeking attention
Your boyfriend might just be seeking your attention.
If you have spent some time apart or your relationship has become emotionally distant, making wicked, sarcastic comments like that can be his way of getting your reaction.
He wants you to react and consider him. Getting attention from your lover is vital in forging emotional bonds, and your partner might be desperate to catch yours.
10. Childhood upbringing
Analyzing a man’s upbringing can provide clear insight into his attributes.
If your man grew up in a home where one of the parents was consistently verbally abusive, he might become a man who believes that insulting jokes are part of relationships.
His perspective is skewed, of course, but he has been conditioned to think in such a manner.
That mindset is hard to change, and he will struggle even if he wants to stop.
ALSO READ: Clear Signs The Relationship Is Over For Him
My boyfriend always jokingly insults me: what to do
Being at the receiving end of your boyfriend’s jokes can be humiliating, especially since the humiliation comes from someone who should respect and protect your identity and interests.
Here are ways to handle the situation.
1. Be exemplary
If you do not appreciate your boyfriend’s snide comments and rude jokes, you can show him how you would like to communicate by avoiding insulting jokes yourself.
Sometimes, the easiest way to enforce a behavior is by exhibiting it yourself. If you make insulting comments, you are simply enabling the behavior.
2. Register your displeasure calmly
Talk to your boyfriend when he makes insulting comments towards you.
You can start by refraining from laughing at his silly jokes. You should spell it out for him if he still does not get the message from your body language.
3. Be straightforward
Ensure that you are straightforward when talking to him about your displeasure. Don’t go beating around the bush.
You want him to know that you do not appreciate his comments and think it is unhealthy for your mental space.
Having worries he might take offense at you when you label your discomfort in his speech is a sign that you are in a toxic relationship.
4. Avoid confrontation
Although you should be vocal about your displeasure with his jokes, you should avoid confrontation. Keep your voice level. Be firm, not combative.
If you push too hard, he might be tempted to hit you with more sly jokes. Try to have a constructive, level-headed conversation.
If it gets too heated, you will lose hold of the plot, and the relationship will become more strained.
5. Use ‘I’ in statements
Let him know you don’t like his jokes by using ‘I’ in statements.
Here’s an example: “I was not happy when you made those jokes about me.” The good thing about such statements is that they center you as a victim rather than point an accusing finger.
If you shuffle the sentence and start with “You,” he would feel implicated and might become defensive or try to deny that he made such jokes.
6. Seek to understand his intentions
Finding out the intentions behind his jokes will give you an understanding of whether the statements are malicious.
Although some of his jokes may be insulting, there is a slim chance that he does not intend to hurt you.
However, the intent does not invalidate your feelings. You can tell him you are uncomfortable with such jokes if he doesn’t plan it.
You can ascertain his intentions by observing if he makes similar jokes with other people or singles you out alone.
7. Find the root cause
Finding the root cause of his actions is different from understanding his intentions. The root causes are the factors that make him act the way he does.
You can observe to see if he is going through a rough phase, tired of the relationship, or just carrying remnants of negative childhood experiences.
Whichever one it is, you can proceed to tackle the underlying cause.
8. Set boundaries
There is a thin line between jokes and insults; your boyfriend might cross that line many times without knowing.
Now that you have registered your displeasure, it is time to set clear boundaries. Make that line thicker.
Let him know exactly the kind of jokes you do not appreciate. Let him know specific topics are off-limits.
You can suggest alternative issues that you consider non-offensive. Firmly state the behavior you expect of him and observe him closely.
9. Try therapy
It might be challenging to unravel the real cause of his actions. Your boyfriend might be evasive and unwilling to talk to you. If this is your situation, consider going for couples therapy.
A therapist can get to the root of the matter and help with actionable steps to guide you in navigating your feelings and your man’s behavior.
10. Evaluate the relationship
After trying a few of these methods, you must remain patient and observe if the frequency of insults has reduced.
What was his reaction when you told him to stop the jokes? Was he remorseful, or did he persist in his behavior?
You can continue with the relationship if he respects your boundaries and person; otherwise, consider parting ways before it worsens into physical abuse.
Research has shown that verbal insults register as much pain as a slap on the face.
A romantic relationship where your boyfriend frequently insults you should not be tolerated.
Although verbal abuse does not leave physical scars, it takes a toll on your confidence and self-esteem and makes you feel unworthy of good things.
You must act if you constantly feel hurt by your partner’s choice of words.
You can start by finding out the reasons for his actions and follow the steps in the article to resolve them.