My partner makes me feel bad, what can I do?

If your partner makes you feel bad it is obvious that something is not working. Identify the main harmful attitudes and how to act on them.

Written and verified by the psychologist Elena Sanz.

Last update: December 30, 2021

Your relationship should be your refuge, your safe place; a space where you feel loved, respected and recognized. This is not a utopia or a reflection of high standards. It really is the minimum that should be met in any emotional bond. For this reason, when my partner makes me feel bad constantly or repeatedly, I don’t have to resign myself; on the contrary, I have to analyze why it happens and look for a solution.

It is true that all relationships go through ups and downs. All of us, at one point, have lost our nerves and have raised our voices or have said a hurtful word.

However, when this becomes the general trend of the couple, the psychological and emotional consequences can be devastating. Therefore, we encourage you to assess the seriousness of your situation and to understand what you can do about it.

My partner makes me feel bad

Feel bad it is an ambiguous term, providing little information and offering little room for maneuver. Many people know that their partner makes them feel bad, but they cannot identify exactly what they are feeling or why.

Precisely, this lack of clarity can lead them to downplay their feelings and let it go, allowing the situation to escalate. Thus, a broad emotional vocabulary is essential.

Ask yourself for a moment the following: “When my partner makes me feel bad, how do I feel?”. Here are some of the most common responses.

  • Invalidated: I feel that my emotions are not important, that I exaggerate or that I have no right to express myself.
  • Humiliated: my partner makes me feel ashamed of myself, that I feel inferior and insufficient.
  • Checked: The relationship is suffocating for me because my partner oversees every area of ​​my life and decides for me.
  • Manipulated: I often end up doing things that I don’t want to do so that my partner doesn’t get angry or sad.
  • Scorned: I feel that my partner feels disgust or rejection towards me, that he does not consider me a worthy and valuable person.
  • Ignored: I have to ask and plead with my partner to spend time with me or to take me into account. I am never a priority for her.
Sometimes it is difficult to put a name to the feelings that are perceived in the relationship, but it is key to do so.

How does my partner make me feel bad?

The above are some of the most common feelings that people experience in unhealthy, harmful, and unhealthy relationships. Now, why do these emotions appear?

In most cases they do not appear out of nowhere, but rather stem from inappropriate behavior of the couple. Let’s see more in detail.

Complaints and criticisms

Your partner constantly criticize your way of being, thinking, feeling and acting. Identify and highlight your flaws and does not appreciate your virtues. Finally, it makes you feel that you are not doing anything right, that you must change and that your dedication and yourself are never enough.

Teasing, name calling, or disqualification

Words have great power and can be very hurtful, even if they are pronounced in a supposedly humorous tone. The insults and the disqualifications, the taunts and the sarcasms, they are undermining self-esteem and generating great emotional damage.

Also, if they are spoken in public they create a great feeling of humiliation. This type of psychological violence is one of the most common in adolescent courtships and a flagrant example of the prevailing lack of respect.

Blackmail and emotional manipulation

Emotional manipulation seeks that the couple act as you want, using feelings as a bargaining chip. Thus, your partner can tell you phrases like “If you really loved me, you would do this”. But he can also just get angry or punish you with silence.


The gaslighting It makes the person who suffers it end up doubting their own judgment and criteria and is at the mercy of partner abuse. If your partner makes you feel crazy or exaggeratedIf it denies the obvious, if it confuses you so that you do not trust your instincts and your emotions, do not allow this to continue happening.

Lack of empathy and emotional responsibility

Lastly, if my partner makes me feel bad it may be because she lacks empathy. She probably only cares about herself and when you express your needs, emotions, or requests for change, she disengages. It makes you feel like you are alone in this relationship.

Why does this happen?

If your partner makes you feel bad, you have to take into account that several factors may be converging:

  • Personal characteristics of your partner: You can be a selfish, self-centered, or narcissistic person. You may have an insecure attachment style, lack of social skills, and low emotional intelligence.
  • Dynamics of the relationship: This type of behavior is frequent in relationships that present an imbalance or a very marked hierarchy. Thus, it is possible that your partner takes a higher position in which they have more privileges and you a lower place.
  • Traits of your personality: It is important to emphasize that, if you remain in a relationship of this type, it is likely that you also have aspects to work on. Perhaps you have low self-esteem, a fear of rejection or abandonment, a need to please others, and a low ability to set limits.
The factors that come together in these situations are varied. The psychological work helps to reveal what is found in the base.

What do I do if my partner makes me feel bad?

If you have felt identified with the above, it’s important that you don’t keep letting it go. It begins by setting limits; don’t allow any of these behaviors to keep repeating themselves.

To do this, you will have to learn to communicate assertively and you will have to lose the fear of leaving the relationship. Ultimatums are useless if we are not willing to comply with the consequences.

If your partner is able to recognize their misconduct and their degree of responsibility, professional accompaniment may be of great help. Both at the individual level, so that that person acquires the relational skills that he lacks, as well as as a partner.

Whether you decide to continue the relationship or choose to leave it, It is essential that you work on those aspects that have led you to establish and maintain yourself in a relationship of this type. Healing wounds and fears, enhancing self-esteem and communication skills will be essential in both cases.

Above all, it is important that you remember that your priority is yourself. Be attentive to the signs and in the event of any lack of respect, any abuse or contempt, act and do not seek justification for the actions. If you don’t see yourself able to leave the relationship on your own, seek help.

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