Monday, 17 May 2010

He'll change

He says he will. He says he'll go to counselling. Then he says it's my fault, that I made him like this. That he wasn't like this before he met me. That he is only like this because he's so scared of losing me. He says all this, and I listen.

Then, thanks to one of my lovely readers, I read this on

It’s possible for abusive people to change their behaviour. However, it’s very difficult to change and so isn’t very common. If your partner has promised to change before and then has resumed his abusive behaviour it’s likely that this pattern will continue to repeat itself.

Unfortunately what usually happens in an abusive relationship is that the abuse increases both in frequency and severity. If your partner is serious about changing his behaviour then he’ll need to seek help either through his GP or through a service specifically for abusive men.

It’s also important to remember that changing this type of behaviour will take time and effort. If he attends a few sessions and then announces that he’s ‘cured’, this is unlikely to really be the case. The best perpetrator programmes provide support for the partners and ex-partners of perpetrators, and they’ll be able to give you further information and support.

You might want to take a break from the relationship while he seeks help. During the time that he’s dealing with the reasons why he’s abusive, many issues will be brought to the surface. This could increase the intensity of the abuse for a period of time. For this reason, you may want to consider how to ensure your own safety, and that of any children you may have, during this period.

If your partner is still in any way blaming you for the abuse, then it’s clear that he hasn’t accepted full responsibility for what has happened, and while he’s still saying this, his behaviour is unlikely to change.

He is still blaming me. Therefore he can't change. What can I do but leave him?


  1. What a horrible situation for you. What are your reasons for staying so far? Do you feel stuck financially, or are you worried what other people will think if you leave? Or are you still holding on to that hope that he'll turn back into the man you fell in love with? It's so hard to reverse a bad relationship - even if the behaviour improves it's really hard to let go of the anger, hurt and resentment that built up during the bad times. I hope your decision becomes clearer soon - you deserve to feel happy, and safe, and loved. A partner should make you feel stronger when you're together, not weaker. Remember you always have choices, and people who care. xx

  2. I have been in a very similar situation, where my husband (now ex) told me he would kill himself if I left. Later I read that this is a typical behaviour for abusive partners. He told me many times that he would change. I believed him. I wanted to believe in a future. I needed to feel optimistic for the sake of our three children. Privately I felt trapped. I often mentally said - I hate my life. I don't want to do this anymore. Whether 'this' was the marriage, or simply 'living' depended on how intense the situation was. In honesty it wasn't always intense. Some days I did stuff with the kids, and sorted out the house, I even made sure he was ok. On reflection I forgot to make sure I was ok. When I think back I realise that not taking care of myself meant I couldn't possibly give out to my husband or kids. I was completely spent. He tried to tell me I was being melodramatic too, and it wasn't until much later in the cold hard light of the lawyer's office that I realised with great shock that it had happened, I wasn't over-dramatising.

    Your husband tried to force control of the car and put you in danger. You can't over-dramatise that hun. Perhaps space would give him the time to help him sort out his problems and time for you to consider on what terms you are prepared to go back and continue the marriage on? xx

  3. Thank you both of you for your genuine honesty and heartfelt advice. I actually feel trapped by my love for him above all else. I've known him since we were both children and he had a very sad childhood that left him abandoned and homeless at only 15. I suppose I feel a responsibility for his wellbeing and his emotional state, and feel in my heart that only I can make him better. However, he has agreed to go to a doctor, and seek counselling, and I've told him he must do this before we try any couples counselling.
    Financially, I'm mostly, though not entirely, dependent on him. I have made it on my own before, and I'm sure I can do again, if necessary. Every episode like this results in another 'new start' and I really don't know whether I can keep on wiping the slate clean. I'm a forgiving person, but not a forgetting one.
    At the moment, I'm just taking one day at a time. I can't tell you how much your support and advice means to me. I can't share this with any of my friends as they would be totally shocked and hate him, or else not believe me. I have very little family, and am too ashamed to tell them. So for now, it's dealing with today. And tomorrow. Let's see how that goes for a while.
    Thank you xxx

  4. The natural human tendency is do something until it nearly destroys them. Until they have everything taken away. And they've lost what they wanted the most.

    It happens all the time.

    For some it's slow, for others it's quick. But most people can not stop themselves. As once something is in motion it can not stop unless there is a force stopping it.

    If we can have friction stop us, then that is a good thing, we can slow down without too much pain, but for most people it's going to take speed bumps, telephone phones, and walls to get them to stop.

    Remember, you are not his punching bag. He has to be accountable for his own actions. Your "love" will never be strong enough to make him better, because he will have to love himself first before he feels the love of another.

    To be honest, your probably lying to yourself that your love is working, and he has probably given you the illusion that your love does help. And to some small degree it probably is, but your love can only scratch the surface, and is only superficial. He is going to have to learn to get over his problems as a youth.

    And really if he focused on loving you and not hating you, then he would probably get over it all.

  5. You have to leave him, but you don't have to stay away forver. If he really loves you, he'll get help, he'll understand why it's best that you're apart while he deals with his issues, and after/if he gets better, you can always explore the option of reconciliation... IF you want that.

  6. He blames you to make you stay with him. My ex-husband used to (and still does) say that it's 'other people' who make him angry. He wouldn't have a problem if it wasn't for 'other people'. Of course he will never take responsibility for his actions because that would be admitting he had a problem wouldn't it?

  7. My ex had type 1 diabetes which he did not manage and which we both lived with for over 17 yrs. He did not watch his diet. He was morbidly obese (in the end) and would have terrible hypos where he was aggressive and abusive. I saved his life four times. I called the emergency services three times. I could not sleep through the night without checking he was still alive. Oh I loved him, I loved him until it hurt me. I thought so much about how hard he had it (forgetting he was doing nothing to help himself), that I forgot that I matter too. One day when I really needed him, after a long complicated surgery, he was cruel and abusive and could only focus on how my sickness was inconveniencing him. I decided to leave him then. As soon as I could walk, I would walk away. I have written about it on my blog, under the Title 'This'll Be the Day that I die'. Hang in there hun. Keep talking. Make plans for your life. Your life!!