Reminder: A Guy’s Crappy Actions Speak Way Louder Than His Pretty Words

Have you ever been in a relationship with a guy who tells you that he “didn’t mean to hurt you” after he did something super selfish and hurtful? Maybe he talks extensively about how he intends to be a better guy because you deserve it and then he continues to fall short by doing things completely contrary to that. If this sounds familiar, read on.

  1. If a guy is only as good as his word, why doesn’t he follow through? The old expression “a man is only as good as his word” is supposed to mean that we should be able to rely on people to live up to the promises they make to someone. If this is the case, why don’t more men actually abide by it and follow through? Why do we have to question their actions and compare them to their statements of good intent? The bottom line is that we shouldn’t. Guys should just do better.
  2. So-called good intentions don’t soften the blow when he does something really hurtful. I despise when guys say, “I didn’t mean to hurt you” as if that’s going to make you feel better. The bottom line is that he acted in a manner that caused you to feel pain. What he meant and what he did are two different things. In my opinion, it makes it worse when guys say that they didn’t mean to do something hurtful because it means they were being careless and thoughtless with your heart.
  3. You weren’t hurt by his intentions, you were hurt by the act itself. He can mean to give you the world but it’s what he actually delivers that makes all the difference. If he says he’ll come to your work party and then doesn’t turn up because he got caught up in the office, you’re not mad at him because he really did intend to come, you’re mad because he didn’t in the end. What’s so hard to understand about that?
  4. Very few excuses can mitigate the damage. Like I said, there are very few excuses that will outweigh bad behavior. Call me crazy, but anything short of serious bodily harm or certain death is not going to make me feel better if my guy treats me poorly. Nowadays it’s just so easy to avoid some of the behaviors that are hurtful. Charge your phone. Communicate about your plans. Don’t get drunk and hit on or sleep with other women. It’s easy! We need to stop letting guys blame crappy behavior on the alcohol or an uncharged phone. They’re not acceptable excuses.
  5. The bad behavior still happened and he should be held accountable for it. Accountability is key! When he hurts you, regardless of his intentions, he should apologize for the action itself and not rely on his intentions to free him from what he did to make you feel like crap. In my opinion, accountability and trust go hand in hand. If he doesn’t take responsibility for his actions then how can you trust him with your heart? And furthermore, if you can’t trust him, how can you love him?
  6. Actions always speak louder than words. Words and intentions go hand in hand, and one of the only things I remember from my kindergarten teacher was that words hurt but actions always speak louder. I think the same applies to romantic relationships. If he tells you that he loves you and that you’re his everything but then he goes and sleeps with another woman, does he really love you? If you’re convinced that he does love you despite this action, what does that action say about how he prioritizes you in his life?
  7. The benefit of the doubt is earned. In my own relationships, I’ve had boyfriends ask me why I wasn’t giving them the benefit of the doubt after they did something hurtful. They claimed that because they loved me, they deserved it. They claimed it was only the first or second time it happened so they deserved a break. Uh, hello faulty logic! For me, the benefit of the doubt is just that. It’s a benefit that is accrued, like vacation time at work. It’s earned. If you cause me to doubt you, then that counts against you.
  8. I know people make mistakes but the heart isn’t a toy. I know we’re all human and that mistakes will happen from time to time and I’ve built up a tolerance for that. But a complete disregard for my heart and feelings is never okay in my book and it shouldn’t be okay for you. I’ve learned that actions have a direct effect on people, especially the people who are the closest to you. As a result, we should take care of each other, be accountable and expect to be treated with respect.
  9. He should aim to back up his good intentions with meaningful actions. If he says he’s a good guy with good intentions, make him prove it! Don’t believe him until he backs up his rhetoric with meaningful action and truly shows up for you.
  10. The best apology for bad behavior is demonstrating good behavior. And demonstrating good behavior doesn’t just mean bringing you flowers or buying you a meal. Demonstrating good behavior is following through on his word all of the time. Like I said, everyone is entitled to a mistake, but I feel like as women, we can parse out a mistake from a careless disregard of our hearts. We should demand more because we are worth it.
Marie is an ambitious millennial woman, leading a corporate life by day and doing her best to live, laugh and love.