How Do I Love An Emotionally Broken Man The Right Way

Here’s what you can do if you want to be there for your man

By Melissa L.
How Do I Love An Emotionally Broken Man The Right Way

What Are The Characteristics Of A Broken Man?

Sometimes, it would be easier if people came with a sign that read: “Broken! Careful when handling”, wouldn’t it? Unfortunately, real life isn’t that easy, and realizing someone you love has been damaged in the past might be difficult for some. On the outside, he might look like the perfect man: gorgeous, intelligent, and gets along wonderfully with everyone in your family. He might have gotten the seal of approval from all your closest friends, co-workers, and relatives. And still… You might feel like there’s something missing. 

Maybe he’s been like this from the start of the relationship, or maybe it started to show once you were finally getting to know each other a bit more and what you two had become more serious. Whatever the reason, his coldness and inability to honestly express his feelings might stem from previous experiences that left him emotionally damaged. There are many reasons why your man could’ve been deeply scarred in the past, and those wounds can manifest themselves in the present and in how he treats his current relationship with you. Here are some of the signs you might want to keep an eye out for. 

1. He has some (or a lot of) trust issues

You’ve already told your guy everything there is to know about you, but he hasn’t been reciprocating. You feel as if he isn’t as open or as willing to share as you are. This lack of trust might also manifest itself in jealousy or controlling behavior from his part.

2. He rarely ever makes the first move

Be it your first date, your first kiss, your first deep conversation, or more, it was rarely ever initiated by him. Advancing in a relationship might bring him harsh memories from whatever hurt him in the past, and that might be a reason why he’s hesitant to move forward with you, regardless of how much he likes you.

3. Your relationship is yet to be determined

A consequence of your guy not wanting to make the first move on anything related to your relationship is that it usually puts it in uncertain territory. Maybe he hasn’t officially asked you to be his girlfriend yet, even though you’ve spent plenty of time together, or maybe it’s all about him avoiding having “the talk” with you. Whichever it is, you wish you could label your relationship ASAP, but he doesn’t seem to care about the subject as much.

4. He never talks about his past

One of the reasons why you can’t really tell if your man is emotionally damaged is because he’s never talked about the subject before. You barely know anything about his previous relationships or his dating history, and whenever you bring it up, he changes the subject.

5. He suffers from a lack of self-esteem

Emotional damage can deeply affect a person in many different areas of their life. One of the areas that are most affected is self-esteem. He might feel like he’s lacking or that he’s not enough for the people he loves. The difficult part about self-esteem issues is that they’re deeply rooted in the psychology of the individual and they affect all areas of their life, not just their romantic relationships.

How Do I Love An Emotionally Broken Man The Right Way?

It is always important to remember that, although your man might be having some trouble in realizing his own emotional flaws, that doesn’t mean he can’t feel as much and as strongly as you do. He probably loves you in the same way that you do, but his emotional damage prevents him from showing it to you the way he might truly want to. Maybe you feel like his past emotional scars are getting in the way of you two having a fulfilling relationship, but don’t fret it. Here are some ways in which you can show him your love and respect his healing process:

1. Recognize and cherish his efforts

It’s true that his past is getting in the way of him fulfilling his potential as a partner, but he’s probably trying his best with whatever he can do right now. Make sure you celebrate and value anything he does for you. Even though it might not seem like much, it probably cost him a lot of effort and time to find the right way to express his feelings.

2. Constantly build him up

We’ve already talked about how self-esteem issues are a complicated subject when it comes to emotionally damaged men. Make sure to always compliment him, build him up, and help him feel better about himself.

3. Give him time and space to heal

We’ll get to this in a while, but in order for you two to have a meaningful relationship, he must get help first. He has to heal, and the best thing you can do is to give him the time and space to do so.

What Not To Do When In A Relationship With An Emotionally Broken Man?

The most important thing NOT to do if you’re in a relationship with an emotionally broken man is to pressure him in any way. Emotional healing is a long and arduous process, and it’s probably taking him a long time to recognize his current situation and find the right way to heal. It’s important that you’re there for support and acts as a strong pillar of understanding, but you must keep in mind that healing is a long journey and he deserves the time to heal in peace.

You should also be very careful not to bring up his past issues or relationships. If he’s trusted you enough to confide in you the reason why he’s been hurt before, you should never ever use this information against him. Make sure you respect his history and understand him in the best possible way. You should also never mock him for being hurt, or you will only deepen the wound he already has.

How Can I Be Of Help To My Partner Without Negatively Affecting My Own Emotional Well-Being?

It is probably quite likely that nobody knows about his emotional struggles as well as you do. That’s why your main role in helping your man get better is to offer him unending, unconditional, and selfless support. Your constant presence will reassure him and help him feel like he’s understood by somebody. 

You must remember, however, that it is not your duty or your responsibility to heal him. If you need some time apart to process your feelings, make sure you talk to him and take as much time as you need. Don’t fall into the trap of becoming his personal nanny. Give each other a healthy amount of space and remember to have a life outside of your relationship. It’s important that you both take charge of your own emotional well-being. 

Can We “Fix” A Broken Man?

This one has an easy answer: no. We can’t single-handedly ‘fix’ a broken man, and it’s not our job to do so, either. Women aren’t responsible for the emotional, mental, and physical well-being of the men they date. With that being said, there are some things that you can do in order to help your man get back on track and regain his emotional health. Before you keep reading, keep in mind that he’s the only one who is absolutely responsible about getting better. If he wants to fix himself, chances are he will. 

A good way to start off together is to help him find useful resources. Maybe he doesn’t want to admit he needs help, but the first step is to realize he needs it, so it’s crucial that you support your man in this endeavor. Once he realizes that he actually has a problem and wishes to work on it, you can be of help by researching good therapists in your area, finding good books on the subject for him to read, or to hook him up with a support group. You know him well enough to know what will work for him, so use that in his favor.

Related Article: Dating an emotionally broken man: How to love him more?
Dating an emotionally broken man: How to love him more?

You cannot “fix” your man, but here is how to be there for him.


Every human being has a complicated history and carries different baggage, and your guy is no different. Just because he has been emotionally hurt in the past doesn’t mean that he is unable to love you in the present or future. It is important, however, that for both his sake and the sake of your relationship, he takes active responsibility in healing and getting better.

Strong, healthy relationships need two adults that are determined to be at their best for themselves and one another. Support him with love and understanding in his journey towards healing, and he’ll probably be healed a lot sooner than either of you can imagine.


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