What Should I Do: He Gets Defensive When I tell Him How I Feel

By Last Updated: January 12th, 2023Categories: Relationship Counseling

“This relationship is confusing me. Why is he saying hurtful things to me, let alone slam the door or punch the wall, whenever I tell him he did something wrong? I don’t know what to do anymore. He gets defensive when I tell him how I feel.”

In a relationship, being with a man doesn’t mean you only get all of his good sides. There are times when you also see his negative qualities, like being too defensive when things get rough. And more often than not, it will really test your love and patience to one another.

You see, this is important because you have to understand each other in order to coexist and nurture the relationship even further. However, your man being too defensive can be quite a headache. He may even hurt you and your feelings because of it.

So, if you’re out of options on how to deal with the issue, we have your back! We will discuss with you why your man is being too defensive and how you can effectively and practically deal with it. Stay tuned!

FYI: Why He Gets Defensive When I Tell Him How I Feel

Being defensive when told about the truth can be quite a punch in the gut for some men. And there are various forms and ways on how they communicate their defensiveness:

  • Your man could come up with a laundry list of excuses or get back at you by pointing out your past issues.
  • He may also outright ignore what you feel and just go on being mad towards you.
  • Destroying objects in the house or around him can be another way to express defense.
  • The worst reaction you could get is him being combusting into anger, physically hurting you in the process.

All of these because he felt attacked and hurt with the things you say. It’s important that you understand where he’s coming from, regardless of the severity of his defensive reaction. That way, you’d know what you need to do to manage the issue without damaging the relationship.

Below are some of the useful and effective tips to handle a defensive man.

Tip 1: Ask Questions When He Gets Defensive

Asking questions can be a perfect way to break his being defensive. It will make him feel that you care about what he has to say. Of course, you have to do this calmly, without yelling at him or anything that’s going to provoke him to become defensive.

Couple Holding Hands

You can try getting him to sit down first and breathe deeply to clear some space in his mind. Then, ask him why he is suddenly mad or upset about what you just told him. Try to be with him as he navigates what he feels. Bringing him to a quiet place, like parks at night, can be a great way to set the mood.

You may also try holding his hand when you ask him questions. It adds sincerity and warmth to the conversation, which can help him to calm down.

Tip 2: Think Twice to Prevent Him Getting Defensive

If you think that he would get defensive over the things you’re about to tell him, think twice. Assess if telling him is necessary. Because if you tell him with the intention to make him feel bad about himself, you’d really get a defensive man.

However, if you surmise that the issue is serious and you need to let him know, do it. But refrain from being intimidating. As much as possible approach your man with kindness and gentleness, especially if the thing that you’re about to tell him can negatively affect your relationship or offend his recent actions. You can do this by not yelling or being sarcastic.

Also, it’s important that you talk to him about how you feel when he’s not busy. Try to find a perfect time for it. You can try going for a walk in the neighborhood or go on a date to lighten up the mood before you tell him. But be sensitive, if he’s dealing with a more serious issue such as debts, family loss, and other uncomfortable matters, it would be wise not to open up another issue for the time being. That’s why it’s important to think twice before our mouths.

Tip 3: Choose Your Words when He Gets Defensive

Now, if he’s starting to get defensive, it’s wise to choose your words wisely. Be mindful of the next things that you’re about to say if you don’t want him to erupt like a mad volcano. Sometimes, the things you say to your husband or boyfriend are already overwhelming. Adding more aggressive words can make things go downhill.

Choose Words Wisely

So, avoid expressing yourself to him using curse words and other derogatory terms. And don’t pick on things that he’s insecure about. Just focus on the issue. Most importantly, do not resort to using situations and things that could insult him. Not only will you hurt him, you might also cause more damage to your relationship.

You can prepare for this by practicing the words you need to say in front of a mirror. You may also make an outline of the things you need to discuss. That way, you won’t get distracted and use phrases and words that could trigger him. And if you can’t verbalize your feelings, you may just send it to him in written form. This is best for a man who doesn’t like confrontation.

Control your emotions as much as you can, because you can no longer take back the words once they’re said and heard.

Tip 4: Tell Him that He Gets Defensive Too Much

Sometimes, a wake-up call is the key to practically deal with him when he gets defensive. This is because your man may not be aware he’s being defensive and hurting your feelings in the process.

He may have experiences that led him to become defensive everytime someone’s being honest and open to him. Yes! Being too defensive can be a result of trauma, too. So, gently inform him that he’s being defensive and it’s getting in the way of reason.

All you need to do is calm down and collect your thoughts as you tell him that he’s become defensive. This may sound direct, but for some cases it can work to solve the issue. However, you have to do this when you are both alone together, not with everyone else around as that may embarrass him and get him more defensive.

You can also try hugging him or patting his shoulders when telling him this. Your touch can be an effective way to communicate your love and care toward him.

Tip 5: Remove Yourself When He Gets Defensive

When his defensiveness comes with extreme anger, you may need to step away and let him cool off. Don’t wait for him to hit you. This is the best way to do especially when your man has temper issues. Also, you have to understand that you can’t help him control his defensive mechanisms all the time.

Woman Leaves

Sometimes, the wisest option is to let him feel his emotions and realize that he’s become defensive all by himself. So if things get heated during the conversation, just walk away and give him space and time to figure things out. You can go to the mall or cafe to relax yourself as well.

Tip 6: Stop Being Aggressive when He Gets Defensive

When you share your feelings with him, you may unknowingly become too aggressive to your man. This can make him more and more defensive as he would feel that you are directly attacking him.

Sometimes, the best solution is just to stop sharing your thoughts if you can’t calm down yourself. Because if you don’t, you’d only create more trouble for your relationship.

Moreover, you may not be aggressive by tone or action, but you also have to pay attention to what you are saying to him. You need to refrain from bringing up his past mistakes and issues in the past. Talking about things that make your man comfortable is a subtle way of being aggressive. You have to view certain things from his perspective sometimes.


Dealing with a defensive man is a tough job for any woman. Sometimes, it can make you feel scared or conflicted. But the most important thing is that you try to understand why he gets defensive when you tell him what you feel and how you deal with it.

If you don’t know where to start, the tips we’ve presented above can help you get started. Try them out!


It’s normal to be angry, as it’s a perfectly natural reaction when faced with upsetting or frustrating situations. However, if someone’s anger has become part of their personality and they’d get angry at others for no good reason, then they may need therapy for anger management.

Yes! Most liars get defensive when confronted or caught lying. They’d make more excuses and even go as far as to intimidate you. However, some can remain calm and collected even if they’ve been pressed with an overwhelming amount of evidence against them.