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Do suspicious and insecure men ever change?

(16 Posts)
superconfused10 Mon 09-Dec-13 09:26:37

I'm looking for advice for my sister. She is very unhappy with her husband they have only been married since March this year. He basically does not trust her. was checking her phone within first few weeks of marriage. checks her Facebook for who has commented on her profile pics etc. He saw a comment an old male friend of hers made 2 years ago and started asking questions. Always calling if she is slightly late home. I think you get the picture of how he is. They were engaged for about a year before they married and dating or living together before marriage not acceptable in our culture. There were signs of his insecurities beforehand but no one bought it up as an issue. apart from the insecurity issues she says they dont have things in common as he doesn't have any interests other than his work. She says they have very little to chat about. She has spoken to him about this many times since they've been married, and he says he'll change but then something will happen again. He also goes in moods with her and most of the time she doesn't even know why.

So basically I just want to know if anyone has had experience in this kind of relationship and can he change? He is not willing to go and talk to any professionals but I was going to suggest couples counselling? Not sure if it will help or how much it can cost?

Any advice appreciated.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 09-Dec-13 09:40:23

I'm sorry your sister has chosen to marry a man that has turned out to be a bully. Bullies often are insecure people but, rather than taking responsibility for this failing on themselves, they prefer to make groundless accusations about others, upsetting and frightening them as a way of controlling them. Of course he makes false promises and then gets in inexplicable bad moods. Of course he won't talk to anyone about it..... NOT HIS PROBLEM. In his eyes, he's perfect and it's everyone else at fault!!! It's classic emotionally abusive behaviour and it's disgusting, damaging & wholly unacceptable.

I expect your 'culture' expects her to put up and shut up as well.... hmm

HotDAMNlifeisgood Mon 09-Dec-13 09:44:52

Change is difficult. People only embark on personal change if they really, really feel the necessity of it -- usually as the result of some kind of personal trauma that makes them re-examine their own behaviour.

So, it's possible, but the chances are slim.

From what you describe, this man sounds far from believing that he needs to change, and is definitely not taking any action to change.

You say you come from a conservative culture. Would your sister consider leaving him? If the marriage doesn't suit her, and her husband can't change, then the only option she has left is to cease to be part of the marriage (...or suck it up and remain unhappily married.)

MistAllChuckingFrighty Mon 09-Dec-13 09:49:00

From what you have said about him ?

I would expect things to get worse, not better, no matter what your sis says or does

This shit so early on looks like he is laying the foundations to justify becoming physically, as well as emotionally, abusive

superconfused10 Mon 09-Dec-13 09:50:18

It's not a really that she's expected to put and shut up. I am willing to support her no matter what and but it's just not as easy to walk away from a marriage.

I just wanted to know if it is worth her putting in the effort to try and make this work or will his behaviour never change?

Simly put NO!!!!

Simply not simly
Im afraid from my experience and seeing friends in similar situations that youve described this only leads to misery, unless your brother in law is willing to admit he has a problem and seek help to deal with his issues

HotDAMNlifeisgood Mon 09-Dec-13 10:11:02

I just wanted to know if it is worth her putting in the effort to try and make this work or will his behaviour never change?

There's nothing she can do to make him change. Only he can do that. If he wants to. And he clearly doesn't want to.

So the answer is no: there is no amount of effort she can put in that will turn this situation around. She should focus her energies on leaving the marriage. That too is difficult, but ultimately rewarding. Trying to change a bully is an energy drain, and ultimately fruitless.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 09-Dec-13 10:45:34

This is how it goes....

1. He has no intention of changing. He'll promise to change if he thinks she might leave but, given that ending a marriage seems to be far harder than starting one, he'll gamble that he has time to work on her, crush her spirit and get her nicely under control
2. He'll rally behaviour briefly... usually just long enough for her to think it's worth sticking around and there is hope of happiness. She'll now be in a destructive pattern of thinking his behaviour is her responsibility to fix. It isn't
3. She'll get pregnant during one of these hopeful phases. DISASTER. (If you do nothing else, get her to make sure her contraception is bullet-proof)
4. He'll now realise that ending a marriage where there is a DC involved is even more difficult - culturally, emotionally - for your DSis and the bullying will go into serious overdrive.
5. He will (if he hasn't already) discourage her from having friends, being in contact with family and anyone else he regards as a bad influence.
6. He has not changed.

MistAllChuckingFrighty Mon 09-Dec-13 10:53:12

7. He will escalate if any of the above isn't quite achieving the control he desires, because he feels entitled to act like she is a slightly recalcitrant dog and he is her owner.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 09-Dec-13 10:56:31

Definitely escalation. If he's already bad and they've only been married since March then this is actually him on best behaviour... confused

Your sister needs to leave her abusive H before he does her severe physical harm. He is already mentally hurting her and such abuse can and does take YEARS to recover from.

No he will not change and his abuse of her will further escalate. It already has and he was the same prior to her marrying him as well.

Abuse cuts across all classes and creeds; it truly is no respecter of persons. He does this to her as well because he can. I have to ask as well why actually she went onto marry him; he has done a real number on her hasn't he?. I sincerely hope she does not get pregnant by him in one of his "nice" stages of the abuse cycle. Such nice/nasty from him too is typical abusive behaviour and its a continuous cycle.

Couples counselling as well is truly of neither no use or benefit when it comes to abuse; also no decent counsellor would see them together anyway due to the ongoing abuse that is being meted out by him to her. He has already admitted as much that he does not want to talk to anyone therefore it is not his "problem" but his wife's. Such abusive men too never accept any responsibility for THEIR actions.

He may well start trying to isolate her further from her friends and family including yourself if this has not already happened. He may well deny her access to money and work as well.

superconfused10 Mon 09-Dec-13 11:26:19

Thanks for the advice. Just reconfirmed what I was thinking. Deep down inside I know he won't change and it will get worse. Leaving a marriage is hard, but staying may be even harder.

Staying as well could end up with her being a complete shadow of her own former self.

Keep talking to her. Do not let her H isolate you from her.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 09-Dec-13 11:53:43

Of course the crunch question is what does she want to do? Those of us with some experience of abusive relationships, either directly or indirectly, know that there can be a distressing gap between knowing there is a big problem and having the courage or enthusiasm to get out.

Damnautocorrect Mon 09-Dec-13 12:35:06

Life is short, she shouldn't waste time on a man who can treat her with such disregard let alone so quickly.
I was with someone like that for 6 years, wasted years I'll never get back. He was like it with his ex, and like it with the girl after me. They don't change.
Make sure your sister knows the support is there for her when she needs it, no matter what or how long it takes.
It's easy to just plod, but life is for living not plodding

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