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Is It Normal for My Girlfriend to Hit Me? Let’s Unpack That

is it normal for my girlfriend to hit me

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You’ve had a great night out with the boys, maybe had a few too many, and stumble in at 5 a.m., waking your girl. In a clouded moment of frustration, you lose your cool and slap her. Before you can even process what’s just happened, she’s on the phone with the police.

Now what do you think would happen next?

If you’re imagining some Hollywood action scene, you’re not far off. The police alarms are BLARING, and they’ve probably got John Wick on speed dial, ready to drag your ass to jail faster than you can mutter a regretful “I’m sorry babe”

There’s a HUGE misconception that domestic violence is a one-way street, with men always in the wrong. But what about when the roles are reversed?1 Society often scoffs at the idea, with many guys feeling too embarrassed or “macho” to admit they’ve been hit. 

Many think, “She’s smaller than me, it doesn’t hurt that bad,” or “I can’t tell my friends she hit me; they’ll laugh.”

So now you are here, googling, “Is it normal for my girlfriend to hit me?”

Well, buckle up, buddy. As an experienced dating coach who’s seen it all, I’ve dived deep into this topic, and you might just be shocked at what I’ve uncovered… 🕵️‍♂️📚

key takeaways

  • Violence is not OK. No matter who gets hit.
  • If your girlfriend hits you, stay calm and don’t hit back.
  • It is highly recommended to talk to someone if your girlfriend hits you.

What is Domestic Violence?

angry red haired girlfriend

Domestic violence,2 sometimes called intimate partner violence, is when a person in a close relationship with you uses patterns of behavior to maintain control or exert power. 

It’s not just about physical abuse or hitting – it’s a broader umbrella that includes emotional, financial, and even sexual abuse.3

“Hey, why’s this guy going all deep on relationship stuff?” you might wonder…

Well, I’ve processed terabytes of data and information, and trust me when I say domestic abuse is a subject I’m familiar with. It doesn’t discriminate based on gender or age. We guys might be hesitant to talk about it because of societal expectations and macho pride, but a punch is a punch. 🥊
Herman the German
Dating Coach | Menprovement

So Is It Normal For Your Girlfriend To Hit You?

girlfriend hitting me

To answer your question head-on: No, it’s not normal for your girlfriend, or anyone for that matter, to hit you.

Now, let’s break out some scientific jazz for a second. Studies on domestic violence and intimate partner violence consistently show that such behavior is about power and control, rather than the sort of occasional disagreement everyone experiences in relationships. 4

It doesn’t matter how many bench presses you can do or how much you think you can “handle it” – being subjected to physical abuse is harmful, both physically and psychologically.5

That said, it’s found that men often don’t report such incidents due to shame or societal expectations. But that doesn’t make it any less real or any less harmful.6

A healthy relationship should make you feel like you’ve aced your life game, not like you’re stuck in the boxing ring without gloves…
Herman the German
Dating Coach | Menprovement

What to Do If My Girlfriend Is Hitting Me?!

There are multiple things you need to do if your girlfriend is hitting you. That’s why you must read every step below. 👇🏼

Step 1: Resist the Urge – Don’t Strike Back

A couple in a boxing match

First and foremost, even if your instinct screams otherwise, you’ve GOT to keep those guns (I mean your biceps, not actual guns) holstered. 

Hitting her back won’t solve the issue, and it could escalate the situation or even land you in legal trouble. It’s like trying to put out a fire with gasoline – not the brightest idea! 

Stay calm, take a deep breath, and put some distance between the two of you if possible.

Step 2: Voice Out: “This Isn’t Cool!”

Once you’ve got some space, channel your inner Zen master. With a calm demeanor, firmly (but not aggressively) let her know that her behavior isn’t acceptable. 

Use “I” statements to express how you feel, like 

I don’t feel safe when you hit me” 


“I can’t accept this behavior NAME, this isn’t a healthy relationship.” 

Remember, it’s not about being confrontational but about expressing your boundaries clearly. Plus, a dash of assertiveness goes a long way in getting your point across without things spiraling out of control.

Step 3: Dial-In: The Lifesaving Domestic Violence Hotline

Imagine you’re about to tackle a home renovation project for the first time. Would you rather go in swinging a hammer with blind optimism or first chat with a pro who’s been through the ups and downs of drywall? I’d bet on the latter.

That’s where the National Domestic Violence Hotline comes in. These folks are the pros when it comes to relationship abuse. If your girlfriend hits you, it’s vital to reach out and speak to someone who knows the ropes of such situations. 

They’re trained to provide guidance, resources, and a listening ear to men like you who might be facing intimate partner abuse. 

domestic violence hotline

All you’ve got to do is dial-up, spill the beans, and let them guide you. It’s like having a personal coach in your corner during the toughest of rounds. 

Step 4: Dive Deep: Unearthing Her Reasons

Why is she not happy? Is she’s grappling with anger issues or perhaps mental health issues that manifest as physical aggression.

I’m not saying this to justify her actions—let’s be clear, tolerating physical aggression in a relationship is entirely unacceptable. 

However, understanding the root of her anger issues can help in addressing the problem. It’s a bit like knowing you’ve got a leaky roof; you can keep placing buckets everywhere, or you can find out where it’s dripping from and fix it for good.

I am going more in-depth on why your girlfriend hit you in the next chapter, so stick with me.
Herman the German
Dating Coach | Menprovement

Step 5: Relationship Red Flags: To Stay or Not to Stay?

Imagine you’ve got a sweet ride, let’s say a classic muscle car. 🚗💨 

You’re proud of it, but you notice it’s started making a weird noise. You wouldn’t just turn up the radio to drown it out; you’d want to get under the hood and figure out the issue. Similarly, when your girlfriend hits you, it’s a glaring sign that something’s not right.

Relationships, much like that classic car, need regular maintenance and checks.7 If you’re facing physical aggression or intimate partner abuse, you’ve got to ask yourself a hard question: “Is this the kind of journey I signed up for?” 

It’s completely unacceptable to tolerate physical aggression, no matter how many memories or good times you’ve shared.

If she’s dealing with mental health issues or anger problems, it might be a call for professional help (more on that later). But always remember: you’re not her therapist or savior. Your well-being, both mentally and physically, is paramount. 

Lay out the facts, consider the impact of this abusive relationship on your life, and make an informed decision. You owe it to yourself.

Step 6: Draw That Line: Setting Solid Boundaries

If you’ve ever had a neighbor who thought it was cool to crank up death metal at 3 a.m., you’ll know what I mean. Boundaries, my friend.

Credits: Wind Rose

If you decide to give your relationship another shot, it’s essential to be as clear as crystal about what’s okay and what’s not. 

This means sitting down and having a frank conversation about what led to the physical aggression, understanding why your girlfriend hits, and laying down the law about what you won’t tolerate.

Maybe you’ve set some boundaries in the past, but they’ve been crossed. This time, be firm. Ensure that both of you know that intimate partner abuse is a no-fly zone. 

And if those boundaries are violated? Well, it’s time to consider if this relationship is worth the air traffic…

Step 7: Speak Out: Trusty Allies You Can Lean On

epic image of a guy texting his friends

In the realm of abusive relationships, especially when mental abuse lurks in the shadows, it’s crucial to bring someone into your confidence. Reaching out to someone you trust about what’s happening can be a game-changer. It’s not just about venting; it’s about gaining perspective.

By discussing the ups and downs of your intimate relationship, you’re doing a couple of things:

  • Offloading that mental weight you’ve been lugging around.
  • Getting a different view on things can be enlightening.

Now, I know it’s tough as nails… 

There’s a certain stigma when it comes to male victims. But according to the Centers for Disease Control, you’re not alone in this. A whole lot of guys are out there, feeling the same way.8 So, find your mate, your mentor, or anyone you can trust, and let them in on what’s going down.

Step 8: Hold Up, Man! It’s Not on You

If it’s raining outside, you wouldn’t blame yourself, would you? 🌧️ 

Then why, oh why, would you blame yourself for someone else’s behavior in a relationship?

Mental health issues, like mental illness, can muddy the waters of healthy relationships. Sometimes, it might feel like she’s punishing you for her own battles. 

But remember this:

Her actions, no matter how interwoven with personal challenges, are not your fault.
Herman the German
Dating Coach | Menprovement

It’s all too common to think, “Maybe if I did this differently” or “Perhaps it’s because of that one thing I said.” Stop right there, partner. 

Those are slippery slopes that can lead you down a path of self-doubt and misplaced guilt.

Step 9: Expert Chat: Seek a Mental Health Pro

a doctor giving advice

The right tool makes a difference. And in the context of a toxic relationship or any deep emotional turbulence, a mental health professional is the tool you need.

When your female partner starts resembling an abusive parent more than a loving partner, it’s a HUGE sign you might need to chat with someone with a few extra letters after their name. 

They’re not just there to nod and pass you tissues; they’re equipped to spot warning signs, offer coping strategies, and provide insights that might just blow your mind. 

It’s not about being a punching bag for anyone. You’re worth more than that.

Step 10: The Exit Door: Leave If Nothing Changes

Finally, if your female partner isn’t making efforts to change or remains dismissive of your feelings, it might be time to reconsider your duet. Relationships are about growth, love, and understanding. 

If she’s unwilling to grow or understand, then you’ve got a decision to make. Remember to remain calm and clear in your communication. And if you decide to end things, be sure you’re safe, especially if the relationship has been…  volatile…

Why does my Girlfriend hit me?

close up of a gorgeous woman looking angry

Man, that’s a tough question. But you’re in the right place because we’re about to deep dive into some of the reasons behind it.

Just like trying to figure out why your car’s making that weird noise, sometimes you gotta pop the hood and take a good look underneath. 🚗🔧

#1 Childhood Echoes: Her Abusive Parent Past

First off, I’ve got to be honest. Growing up with an abusive parent can be like living with a perpetually leaky roof – it might be “normal” for the household, but it’s certainly not ideal. 

Studies have shown that children who experience abuse are more likely to repeat these behaviors in their adult relationships. It’s a gnarly cycle. Picture it as learning to ride a bike from someone who keeps falling over – you’re likely to adopt the same wobbly techniques.9

Now, this doesn’t mean it’s “normal for my girlfriend to hit me”. Far from it. But understanding her background might give you some perspective on why she’s behaving this way. It’s emotionally difficult for anyone who’s experienced abuse to break free from learned behaviors without individual therapy or intervention.

#2 Scars of the Past: Victim of Physical Violence

Have you ever heard the saying, 

“Hurt people hurt people”? 

Sometimes, when someone’s been on the receiving end of a fist, they might (ironically) use their own in retaliation in a different setting. 

A study published in the Journal of Family Psychology found that women who’ve been victims of intimate partner violence in the past may resort to physical violence in their subsequent relationships. It’s like that old trusty pair of jeans you keep wearing even though they’re worn out, simply because they’re familiar.10

If your girlfriend’s hitting you, it could be an ill-advised coping mechanism from her past traumas. Helpful resources and professional guidance are crucial for breaking this cycle. And remember, just because she’s experienced it doesn’t make it right to do it.

#3 Temper Tornado: Her Battle with Anger

Think about the Hulk for a second.

Big, green, and very angry.

But beneath that rage is a guy just trying to keep it together. Anger can be a sneaky beast. A report in the journal Behavioral Sciences stated that individuals with anger management issues often have difficulty processing emotions in a healthy way. Instead of communicating their feelings, they might lash out physically.11

A lot of people talk about toxic masculinity but have you ever thought about toxic femininity? Of course not, you are probably thinking; “It’s just a girl; how hard can she hit?” 

But it’s not about the physical pain; it’s about firm boundaries and mutual respect. If she’s frequently turning into the “Incredible Hulk-ette” every time she’s frustrated, it’s a sign she needs to work on managing her anger before it’s directed at you (or anyone else).

#4 When Control Takes Over…

The Journal of Family Violence has shown that some women, just like men, may enter an abusive relationship as a means to maintain dominance. 12

The desire to control can be deeply ingrained, often stemming from past traumas or insecurities. However, tackling this issue requires open communication. 

But let’s make one thing clear: want to control the TV remote? Fine. 

Want to control your life and behavior? A HELL NO!!!

#5 The Antisocial Disorder Dilemma

Going deep into the psychology rabbit hole here, but stick with me. 

Individuals with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD13) struggle with understanding right from wrong. They’re the folks who might return a stolen bike because they got bored, not because it’s the right thing to do. 

Studies from the World Psychiatry journal have found that people with ASPD14 can be impulsive, reckless, and yes, sometimes violent. If your girlfriend displays these traits, couples therapy and individual treatment are absolutely necessary

#6 Strategy or Manipulation? Hitting as a Tool

pretty woman looking serious

Sometimes, negative behavior is simply reinforced by positive outcomes. It’s like giving a dog a treat every time it barks – soon, you’ll have a very noisy pup. 🐶

If every time she resorts to physical violence, she gets what she desires, she’s learned that this behavior works. 

Sadly, this is a learned pattern seen in many abusive relationships. Your girlfriend hitting you now and then might be because you taught her it helps her get what she wants… 

Re-establishing boundaries is crucial. Healthy relationships operate on respect, not fear.

#7 Her Regulation Challenges

You know when you shake a soda, and it explodes when you open it? That’s emotional dysregulation in a nutshell.

A study from the Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment15 found that people with these challenges tend to act on their immediate feelings without filtering them. Instead of talking it out, the cap blows off, and things get sticky. 

For them, managing emotions in a healthy way is like trying to keep that fizzy drink from erupting. But with the right support and therapy, they can learn to unscrew that cap slowly.

#8 Is She an Abuse Victim Too?

This one’s heavy, gents. In some cases, women who resort to physical violence in their relationships might be responding to the domestic abuse they’re facing themselves. 

Whether it’s mental, emotional, or physical, the Journal of Interpersonal Violence16 reveals that abused individuals sometimes believe they need to strike first for self-preservation. If you’re thinking, 

“Wait, is she being abused?”, 

It’s time to have a heart-to-heart, look into counseling, and maybe even set up a safety plan. Your safety, and hers, are paramount. 

#9 Toxic Escape: Substance Abuse Woes?

a couple fighting

Remember that mate of yours who becomes a different person after a few drinks? The one you never wanted to invite over because he’d spill his beer on your white couch? 

Yeah, something similar is at play here…

Research from the Journal of Family Violence17 has shown that substance abuse can be like Jekyll and Hyde behind closed doors. 

One moment everything’s fine; the next, things have gone south real fast. Substances, be they alcohol or drugs, can significantly impair judgment, leading to increased aggression. 

Now, let’s make it clear: I’m not saying every person who enjoys a drink will turn abusive. But there’s a difference between enjoying a glass of wine and drowning in bottles to cope with problems. 
Herman the German
Dating Coach | Menprovement

When your girlfriend is under the influence, her behavior might become unpredictable, and violence can sadly become a part of it. This doesn’t mean she doesn’t love or respect you, but it does mean there’s a severe issue that she needs help with. 

The Final Bell: Time to Reflect

Abuse, regardless of who dishes it out, isn’t about love or passion. It’s wrong. PERIOD.

If you’re on the receiving end, man or woman, it’s not about being ‘macho’ or ‘toughing it out.’ It’s about self-respect. Stand your ground, demand respect, and if it’s not coming your way, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate that relationship. 

The bottom line? 

No one deserves abuse. Seek help, make a change, and prioritize your well-being. 

You got this. 👊🏼


No, it’s not OK to get hit by a girlfriend.

Hitting is not acceptable in a relationship.

A girlfriend could be irritable due to various personal, emotional, or external factors.

A toxic relationship is one where there’s consistent negativity, disrespect, and harmful behaviors.

Dishonesty, lack of trust, and poor communication can ruin a relationship.

While some relationships might recover after incidents of violence, it often indicates deeper issues and can lead to repeated harm.

[su_tooltip title=”Menprovement Source” text=”At Menprovement, we ensure every source is double-checked by an expert for accuracy, relevance, and trustworthiness. This way, you always receive information that’s not only correct but also reliable and useful.” background=”#030303″ text_align=”center” radius=”8″ shadow=”yes”]Sources[/su_tooltip]

  1. Why I Hit Him: Women’s Reasons for Intimate Partner Violence. NCBI ↩︎
  2. Wikipedia contributors. (2024h, February 19). Domestic violence. Wikipedia. ↩︎
  3. Healthdirect Australia. (n.d.). Domestic violence and abusive relationships. Signs, Effects and Support | Healthdirect. ↩︎
  4. Rakovec-Felser, Z. (2014). Domestic violence and abuse in intimate relationship from public health perspective. Health Psychology Research, 2(3). ↩︎
  5. World Health Organization: WHO. (2021, November 23). Corporal punishment and health. ↩︎
  6. Why Men Who Are Domestic Violence Victims Don’t Report. Psychology Today. ↩︎
  7. Your Relationship Maintenance Plan. Psychology Today. ↩︎
  8. Intimate Partner Violence, Sexual Violence, and Stalking Among Men. Center For Disease Control and Prevention. ↩︎
  9. Lebow, H. I. (2021, June 10). How childhood trauma may affect adult relationships. Psych Central. ↩︎
  10. World Health Organization: WHO. (2021a, March 9). Violence against women. ↩︎
  11. Richard, Y., Tazi, N., Frydecka, D., Hamid, M. S., & Moustafa, A. A. (2022). A systematic review of neural, cognitive, and clinical studies of anger and aggression. Current Psychology, 42(20), 17174–17186. ↩︎
  12. Swan, S. C., Gambone, L., Caldwell, J. E., Sullivan, T. P., & Snow, D. L. (2008). A review of research on women’s use of violence with male intimate partners. Violence & Victims, 23(3), 301–314. ↩︎
  13. Website, N. (2022, June 14). Antisocial personality disorder. nhs.uk. ↩︎
  14. Psychological interventions for antisocial personality disorder. NCBI ↩︎
  15. Mitchell, J. T., Robertson, C., Anastopolous, A. D., Nelson‐Gray, R. O., & Kollins, S. H. (2012). Emotion Dysregulation and Emotional Impulsivity among Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Results of a Preliminary Study. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 34(4), 510–519. ↩︎
  16. Differences in Frequency of Violence and Reported Injury Between Relationships With Reciprocal and Nonreciprocal Intimate Partner Violence. nCBI. ↩︎
  17. Smith, C. A., Elwyn, L., Ireland, T. O., & Thornberry, T. P. (2010b). Impact of adolescent exposure to intimate partner violence on substance use in early adulthood. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 71(2), 219–230. ↩︎

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