In your lifetime, you will do many things that you would love. Being with an emotionally broken man isn’t one of those things. This is because loving a broken man is complicated, painful, and has what it takes to leave you broken as well.
The sad part is that there are many signs of an emotionally broken man. You would notice these signs of a broken man when he first comes into your life. The challenge is that someone will still fall in love with an emotionally broken man despite the warning bells.
This is what this article seeks to guard against.
In this article, you will learn what it truly means to be a broken man, 15 signs a man is emotionally broken, and you will also learn how the broken man’s love will eventually affect your life if you let it.
What does being emotionally broken mean?
“What does being broken mean?” This is one question that is mainly misunderstood because there are little or no indices to measure precisely what emotional brokenness truly is.
Many times, “emotionally broken” and “broken heart” are used interchangeably. It can be defined as a metaphor for the intense emotional stress or pain one feels from deep longing. If taken further, being emotionally broken can also be expressed as emotional abuse, psychological abuse/violence, or mental abuse.
With this in mind, being emotionally broken is a state of low mental health or deep-seated mental/emotional trauma that usually follows a period of intense and prolonged emotional abuse. Some signs of being emotionally broken include low self-esteem, PTSD, anxiety, depression, and in some cases, suicidal tendencies.
To clear the air, just anyone can be emotionally broken; men, women, and even children. Anybody who undergoes the pain of being subjected to humiliating experiences that qualify to be called emotional abuse can come out the other end of the experience emotionally broken.
But studies point out that men might experience pain silently due to societal pressures associated with masculinity. That is why they might not be able to identify and acknowledge their emotional distress.
This has little or nothing to do with a person’s gender. As you would see later on in this article, men also get emotionally broken.
Traits of an emotionally broken man
Here are some characteristics that the emotionally broken man will put up at different times.
1. Hates everything they can’t have
So the couple next door are having a good time and maybe dancing to a great song playing over the radio? An emotionally abused man would, for no reason, take offense to what they are doing. You’d notice this as him trying to find faults with them.
He may complain that they are being too loud or even walk over to their place to tell them to keep it down. However, a closer look at him will show that it is not about the music. There is something about the couple’s intimacy that rubs him the wrong way.
2. Everyone else is always wrong
Try having a conversation about their past relationships with them, and the emotionally abused man will launch into a long tirade about how all their exes and their friends were total jerks to them. One clear characteristic of an emotionally damaged man is that they are never wrong in their eyes.
3. Give back what they have gotten
At some point in their life, the emotionally abused man will end up returning the favors they have been given. They would abuse their partner, gaslight them, stonewall them, or just do anything to make that partner feel the same pain and bitterness they have felt.
4. Been told that they are toxic and need help
But true to type, the emotionally broken man would take it as an act of treason. They would never see the need to pay special attention to those words, but their cycles of toxicity will only continue.
15 signs of an emotionally broken man
These are the signs a man is hurt emotionally. Before getting into your next relationship, please take some time to look out for these signs.
If you find them, there is every possibility that you are about to get involved with an emotionally broken man.
1. He still lives in his past
Since he may not want you to see it, an emotionally broken man would usually deal with distrust issues rooted in his past experiences. He may mask these trust issues with a burly facade, but you would find the pain from his past resurfacing in the present at intervals.
This could include anger, pain, fear of abandonment, and a tendency to lash out at other people and things when he feels threatened.
2. Withholds investing in the present relationship
One of the most apparent signs of a broken-hearted man is that he finds it exceedingly challenging to commit himself to present relationships. This is simply a result of his past experiences and the nagging feeling that whatever he dealt with in the past will only resurface with time.
The emotionally broken man believes that he is better off holding back to keep from spiraling down the rabbit hole of pain twice.
One second he is on top of the world, being the life of the party and making you have fun. The next second, he hits rock bottom and even you can’t admit that this is the same guy from just a few minutes ago.
Research has looked at mood swings’ characteristics and has noted various reasons for these mood swings, including emotional distress.
If your man has multiple inexplicable mood swings, you may want to determine if he has had any emotionally jolting experiences in his past.
4. Consider expressing his love as being ‘weak’ or ‘needy.’
He loves you; you know it, and he knows it as well. However, suppose he finds it difficult to express his love and attraction toward you but believes (for some reason) that you should be able to put two and two together. In that case, you may just be dealing with an emotionally broken man.
5. Self-esteem is always low
It is okay to feel shy sometimes, but if your man has an acute case of low self-esteem (especially at those times when he should act and feel confident), you may want to double-check if he is emotionally broken.
Emotionally broken men deal with low self-esteem, and most times, this low self-esteem stems from the experiences they have had in the past.
6. Unhealthy quest for success
Everyone wants to be a success, who receives the award for team member or entrepreneur of the year. However, an emotionally broken man resorts to pursuing career goals (and smashing them) because he seeks the highs that come from knowing that he isn’t completely good for nothing.
More often than not, the emotionally broken man will indulge in common vices that men go after. If he cheats on you, uses drugs, clubs incessantly, and spends his time indulging in other vices that negatively affect the relationship, it could be because he is trying to hide the real challenge he is facing.
His engagement in those vices wouldn’t be because he is a bad person. It may just be his way of letting go of his past.
8. Doesn’t appreciate your efforts but is terrified of losing you
This is arguably one of the most dangerous signs of an emotionally broken man. He puts up a front like he doesn’t see and appreciate your efforts in the relationship. If you don’t know better, you will assume that he doesn’t want to make things work.
However, the day you work up the courage to talk to him about it, you will notice a side of him you never knew existed. If he ever suspects that you are about to end the relationship, you will find him on his knees, begging and pleading with you not to go.
Your man’s horror at the prospect of losing you could be a result of many things. However, you would notice from this that despite what a broken man would want you to believe, the emotionally broken man understands your role in his life.
9. Always touchy about his past
Innocently ask him a question about his past (especially about the experiences that are traumatizing in his past), and you may be positively shocked at the way he would respond.
In the best-case scenario, the emotionally damaged man will find a diplomatic (but not so unnoticeable) way of changing the subject. In the worst-case scenario, he may burst out or lash out at you and make you feel as though you are prying.
Research has shown that relationship satisfaction and open communication are interrelated. It is because of this connection that relationships flourish when your partner discusses past experiences with you openly and honestly.
These reactions are simply his mind’s way of protecting itself from reliving bad experiences from the past.
10. Never takes responsibility for his mistakes
When he messes up in the relationship and you call him out, he always looks for a way to explain away what he has done. He may try to manipulate you, intimidate you, or even play down on your feelings/emotions just to evade taking responsibility for the mess he has made.
When you have seen him avoiding taking responsibility for his actions for a while, you may want to take some time to assess the relationship and the direction it is headed critically. Resist the urge to try learning how to fix a broken man. That may do more harm to you than you ever imagined.
As much as you may want to believe that the people in your life do not know what’s up with your relationship, that may not be a complete truth.
If you have ever taken part in your relationship with people close to you, like your close friends/family (even if it was just for dinner with the siblings), you may be surprised to know what they gleaned from the short time they spent with you.
If at any point, someone in your life (who you trust their decisions/judgment) has hinted that he is an emotionally broken man, you may want to pay closer attention to their words.
If possible, find out what sponsored that comment and listen to what they have to say. You may just end up positively shocked.
12. No emotional intimacy, but always down for sex
If your man is quick to jump into bed with you and quick to jump out immediately after the deed is done, you may want to take things slowly.
Take a critical look at the relationship. Is sex all that your man wants from you? Does he spend time trying to connect emotionally with you? Do you even talk about the things that matter?
No? You may just be dealing with a broken man.
13. Always appears perfect
The keyword here is ‘appear.’
If you suspect something off and ask him about it, he would most likely tell you that it is all good. The emotionally broken man does his best never to admit mistakes or flaws. This could be because he was taught not to.
14. Unaffected by your emotions
Even if you break down in tears over something, he is most likely going to keep staring at you without any impact of your feelings on his face. One thing you should know about an emotionally broken man is that empathy isn’t his strongest forte.
It is difficult to let down your guard when you are with him because it feels that you perpetually have to walk on eggshells. He may take jokes too seriously, even if they are jokes he used on you earlier. To him, questioning his actions may be interpreted as defamation of character.
Does the emotionally broken man love differently?
As much as we have discussed 15 signs that he is emotionally broken, here’s how his emotional state may cause him to express love differently.
1. With him, emotional intimacy is a battle
Because of the things he has been through in the past, he may find it difficult to be emotionally open with his partner. This, however, does not negate the fact that he would still want his partner to reach out to him and satisfy his emotional needs.
He just isn’t cut out for returning the favor.
2. Saying that he is stoic wouldn’t be a complete lie
Have you ever tried reaching out to him, only to meet with a brick wall so tricky to breakthrough? No matter what he feels, the emotionally broken man will never show his emotions.
On the flip side, some emotionally broken men may end up becoming overly dramatic. This group of men becomes extremely sensitive and touchy.
3. He believes everyone is out to harm him
As a result, he would rather keep people at arm’s length than allow them close to his heart again. As far as he is concerned, there isn’t any need to live through the pain again.
So, he protects himself by creating an emotional world of his own. He would never let anyone into that world, not even a romantic partner.
If you have ever wondered what it means to be a broken man, this article has shed light on who the emotionally broken man is.
Before committing to your next relationship (or, even if you are in a committed relationship now), take out some time to examine the relationship. If you discover that you are with an emotionally damaged man, you may want to break from the relationship, so you don’t become emotionally traumatized.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.