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Cathy, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1436
Experience:  Ms, MS.Ed., thirty years clinical practice
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How long should you endure name calling in a relationship

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How long should you endure name calling in a relationship? My boyfriend called me an "asshole" intentionally to hurt me.

Hi and thank you for writing to JA


You do not say how old you are or how long you have been in this relationship and both would matter in my response. Overall I would say never allow anyone to name call you. It is childish and indicates that your boyfriend is probably not a good bet over the long haul.

Let me know if you wish to provide more information so I can better help you on this.

Warm regards,


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for your response. I guess I should have included more information..

I'm 41 and he is 37, we were fighting and I called him a jerk.
Actually, I think this negative interaction carried over from the previous night when I said something that made him mad. (but we didn't argue)

I've never allowed or stayed in a realtionship where I have been called curse word names. We all get mad, but some restraint should be shown towards the other person.

Hi and thank you for writing back.

Some might accuse me of splitting hairs here but I would say jerk
does not quite upset me as much as the word you were called.

This is not to say that I condone calling others any names, but still on a scale of which might be more offensive, hands down the a word wins.

I am glad that you have not allowed anyone to call you curse words in previous relationships. Stick to your guns on this. I would tell him that if he does this again to you, you will leave him. Let him know that you mean business.

You both need to find ways to communicate with each other in a more positive way. One thing that helps a lot is if the focus is taken off the person and onto the behavior, for example instead of saying:
You're such a jerk!
you might think about trying:
or something along those lines. That takes the blame off the person and reduces the level of defense and isolates the behavior.
Instead of a jerk then, you have a nice boyfriend who did a jerky thing.
Think about this. If things again get worse either leave or consider counseling. I like it a lot that you have set boundaries with others before about what they can and cannot say to you and I wish you would continue that practice.
Very best of luck to you.
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