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Can someone change?

(86 Posts)
sweetassugarhardasnails Sun 15-Jun-14 19:53:56

If in previous relationships a partner had cheated, manipulated, lied, threatened, made gf feel very frightened, got in her face, keyed her car, spat in gfs face, tried to suffocate gf with a pillow whilst she slept and got gf arrested, do you think he can change or will this behaviour slowly start creeping in?

sweetassugarhardasnails Sun 15-Jun-14 19:54:54

* and drove into GF's change on purpose after an argument.

WildBillfemale Sun 15-Jun-14 19:56:22

Probably someone worth avoiding....

wyrdyBird Sun 15-Jun-14 19:56:36

That is extreme behaviour. I wouldn't consider taking the risk for two seconds.

Pinter Sun 15-Jun-14 19:57:02

It depends if they did any work on themselves to address their issues. And even then it would be a big day Approach With Caution

What does your instinct tell you?

sweetassugarhardasnails Sun 15-Jun-14 19:58:40

He's done no work at all but acknowledges that his behaviour is vile.

Honestly, my gut feeling atm is that he can't change

sweetassugarhardasnails Sun 15-Jun-14 20:00:25

Sorry to drip feed, should have added this behaviour wasn't with one GF but several

MrsKCastle Sun 15-Jun-14 20:00:44

I would like to think that some people can change.. a determined few.

But... There is no way on earth that I'd be willing to take the risk with what you describe. I imagine things would be lovely and rosy for a while, maybe a long while. But I think I would always be watching a person like that, wondering if I'd annoyed them, wondering when it would start.

AnyFucker Sun 15-Jun-14 20:01:07

In this circumstance ? No.

Why do you ask ?

Past behaviour is actually a very good indicator of future behaviours. Bad boys are just that, bad.

Why do you even think that such a character can change?. You're going to love him better?!. I suppose all those other women thought they could make him a better person too, they were all wrong. He will treat you the same.

Do not do that to yourself, please. He has more red flags about him than at a Communist Party meeting.

sweetassugarhardasnails Sun 15-Jun-14 20:06:52

Because i've been seen this guy, gut feeling was something wasn't right, too quick to say I love you, talking about future etc, all the red flags, his history came to light and I backed off and he's now done the "I'd never do it to you" line and I just needed some clarity to tell me that I'm not being harsh to walk away. My head is telling me to run but he is very very charming (unsuprisingly)

meditrina Sun 15-Jun-14 20:09:01

I wouldn't go near this.

If someone behaved like a shit in their 20s, but was now in their 40s with unexceptional life in between, then maybe change has bedded in.

But repeated behaviour as you describe - no way. How can you sleep peacefully next to someone with form for attempted smothering?

shoppingfrenzy Sun 15-Jun-14 20:09:51

Run. As fast as you can.

irrationalme Sun 15-Jun-14 20:10:18


AdoraBell Sun 15-Jun-14 20:10:43

How many ex GFs have heard that line? I bet they all drove him to it, all knew exactly how to wind him up blah blah, blah.

Trust your gut, it's telling you the truth.

Hassled Sun 15-Jun-14 20:11:21

Bloody hell - run like the wind. Life is too short to take the risk. Just run.

whitesugar Sun 15-Jun-14 20:13:08

Honestly Sweet, his behaviour will definitely not change. Don't spend any time agonising over it, it will not change and deep down you know it. Just like I knew it when I heard the history and hoped against the odds that he would change. You will get the same treatment, it is jsut a matter of time, trust me. Look after yourself! I hope you will post to say you have got out of this situation because you are worth so so much more. Best of luck. Get the hell away from him as soon as you can.

VitoCorleone Sun 15-Jun-14 20:14:37

Avoid like the plague

sweetassugarhardasnails Sun 15-Jun-14 20:15:52

Thank you all, I knew you'd say this. Just when your in the midst of it it becomes so foggy you start to doubt that gut feeling. I will walk, just slowly and carefully.

BrunoBrookesDinedAlone Sun 15-Jun-14 20:17:18

Yes. Just walk.

MrsKCastle Sun 15-Jun-14 20:19:47

Your instinct is spot on.

As for the 'but I'd never do it to you' line... Yeah, right.

He said that to all his previous gfs as well.

AdoraBell Sun 15-Jun-14 20:20:24

Tell friends and family too that you need to slowly extricate yourself. Might be worth talking to WA or police DV department.

whitesugar Sun 15-Jun-14 20:20:33

Charming = dangerous! Please put yourself first and get as far away from him as you can. Picture yourself in a year's years clawing your way back to normality after he has ruined your life - read your words, spat in gf face, tried to suffocate her - this will happen to you. There are lots of men out there who would never ever ever do this to their gf. Don't treat yourself so badly to put up with this.

Another one saying no, don't risk it. Not worth the risk.

AnyFucker Sun 15-Jun-14 20:23:54

Why do you need to walk "carefully" ? Why "slowly" ? It would be best if you ended it, full stop, immediately.

Has he been threatening towards you already ?

Just tell him you are no longer interested and mean it. If he kicks off, call the police.

sweetassugarhardasnails Sun 15-Jun-14 20:24:12

adorabell do you really think there is that level of risk?

sweetassugarhardasnails Sun 15-Jun-14 20:25:20

I'm thinking carefully and slowly so it does trigger anything, maybe i'm wrong?

Nope, nothing at all, just uber charming

sweetassugarhardasnails Sun 15-Jun-14 20:25:54


AnyFucker Sun 15-Jun-14 20:25:59

OP, you are asking adora why she thinks you need to take such precautions and yet you think you need to walk away "slowly and carefully"

Which is it ?

sweetassugarhardasnails Sun 15-Jun-14 20:29:30

Because in my eyes involving wa and police is serious whereas slowly drifting out of his life makes sense to me to avoid any conflict

"I just needed some clarity to tell me that I'm not being harsh to walk away. My head is telling me to run but he is very very charming (unsuprisingly)"

You will not be harsh to walk away, whatever made you even possibly think otherwise. Listen to the brain in your head, the heart has no brain.

If you yourself have rescuer and or saving tendencies when it comes to relationships, rethink your whole approach to them. As you have already been involved with him on some level I would consider doing Womens Aid Freedom Programme so you do not go on in future to hook up with the same or a different type of abuser again.

Charming men can make for being dangerous lovers and given this bloke's relationship history as well he is red flag central. You will not be the one to change him!!!. Those women all thought that and look what happened to them.

Also you may not realise this but such men often really hate women, all of them.

AnyFucker Sun 15-Jun-14 20:30:38

Well, some of his past behaviour towards women has been pretty "serious" hasn't it ?

Actifizz Sun 15-Jun-14 20:33:30

You don't need to engage in any drifting or game playing. You need to get away very fast before he has any opportunity to entrap you further.

Wadingthroughsoup Sun 15-Jun-14 20:41:11

Extract yourself, asap. Tell him you don't want to see him anymore and then block his number. He sounds very dangerous.

wafflyversatile Sun 15-Jun-14 20:43:24

Women's Aid essentially specialise in how best to extricate oneself from an abusive relationship. contacting them for advice is a good idea.

43percentburnt Sun 15-Jun-14 21:02:04

Sweet run now and do not look back. Text him and tell him it's not the right time in your life for a relationship. Then delete him, including off Facebook etc etc.

hollycomputer Sun 15-Jun-14 21:09:14

Gosh no. Avoid avoid avoid. If someone I'd just started seeing told me they'd done that, I'd think they were testing me to see if they could behave that way with me. I'd run a mile.

Quitelikely Sun 15-Jun-14 21:10:54

I hope you don't let your children near him!

sweetassugarhardasnails Sun 15-Jun-14 21:13:14

Thanks everyone.

Noooo, my children don't see him!!

cozietoesie Sun 15-Jun-14 22:22:15

I believe, in theory, that people should be capable of change if they have sufficient motivation. I've just never met one who has.

AdoraBell Sun 15-Jun-14 23:42:33

It seems to me that you are already afraid. Because of your wording re ending it. That makes me think you should not end it without telling people who can help you if he turns nasty when you do end it.

Selks Sun 15-Jun-14 23:45:51

Jeez, get away from this guy ASAP.

Quitelikely Sun 15-Jun-14 23:51:48

How long have you been seeing him? I hope he hasn't charmed you already. Honestly this is not good behaviour to have around your children. Believe me when I say you'll be next in line for the treatment you have described in your opening post.

A pillow over the head? No doubt he has a criminal record. Do the w

Quitelikely Sun 15-Jun-14 23:52:56

Do these women have his kids? No doubt social services have been involved with all the DV.

I wonder if you're in too deep already? Do you love him?

AndTheBandPlayedOn Sun 15-Jun-14 23:59:41

Imho, I think there is too much at risk to leave to wondering whether or not he has had a personality transplant will be civil and non-violent.

Please understand that any rebuttal to your decision is not about you. He will say anything, guilt you, shame you, manipulate you, promise you the universe, to reel you in. It is a tactic for nothing more than for him to win.

Don't complain, don't explain, and certainly don't apologize.

Zazzles007 Mon 16-Jun-14 00:12:02

I doubt very much that the person you described can change, especially if he has not done any work on himself. The transgressions you describe are really very serious red flags. If you have been backing out of the relationship, then keep on backing out, until you have headed for the hills!

sweetassugarhardasnails Mon 16-Jun-14 07:53:34

Two previous partners have children with him, no SS involvement and no criminal record.

I've been seeing him for about six months, i'm not sure if I love him (yes I know that's stupid I shouldn't have feelings for someone like this)

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Mon 16-Jun-14 08:00:47

He tried to MURDER his ex, and you have been seeing him for six months? This is even a question?

What, out of interest, would someone have to do to make you sure he was less than ideal? If TRYING TO MURDER A PARTNER doesn't get him over the line? Tbh, even if he could'd still be dating someone who ATTEMPTED MURDER.

Fucks sake, no wonder people do this shit, if they can disclose it and still have people wondering if dumping might be a bit extreme.

kaykayblue Mon 16-Jun-14 08:34:36

No they can't. They can change on the short term to try and win someone over or get someone back, but in the long run? No.

Also I find it outrageous that he dared to say "oh I would never do it to you". Firstly, yeah right. And secondly, as if you are going to want to date someone who treated so many other women like utter shit!

Men like that should be put on some sort of "fucking douchebag" register.

Leave, but be careful. He clearly has a screw loose. Make sure you always meet in public places from now on with people around you. Tell him - kindly if at all possible - that you aren't comfortable being with someone who has treated other women so badly, and you aren't willing to take the risk. Be polite but firm and wish him luck addressing his issues.

If he starts harrassing you, never reply to any messages and go straight to the police. It sounds like they might already have him on file anyway.

sweetassugarhardasnails Mon 16-Jun-14 09:08:56

Clearly I'm an idiot then

JohnFarleysRuskin Mon 16-Jun-14 09:14:03

I presumed you've only recently found out and you are reeling from it - so you are certainly not an idiot.

Knowing what you know, it wouldn't be a sensible thing to stay with him. I hope you split up as soon as possible.

AnyFucker Mon 16-Jun-14 09:15:38

Well, love, you would be an idiot to carry on seeing him. Are you going to do that ?

LumpySpacedPrincess Mon 16-Jun-14 09:21:52

How involved with him are you? I think the very fact that you are thinking of backing away slowly and carefully tells you everything you need to know. On some level he scares you. Just stop seeing him, tell him that his past scares you. Then cut off all communication.

JohnFarleysRuskin Mon 16-Jun-14 09:22:55

he's now done the "I'd never do it to you" line

Agree with others that that is a terrible thing to say - I suppose its designed to make you feel special and superior, "Ooh darlin' I love you more than I ever loved them." But it also says, "Those other women were bitches who deserved it."

sweetassugarhardasnails Mon 16-Jun-14 09:40:16

Yes John, so it's still raw and I'm finding it hard to put the guy I though I knew to all this behaviour. But then I know that's typically behaviour and my gut feelings something was off were right.

No AnyFucker, I have no intention of carrying on seeing him.

Lumpy, I've been becoming more involved with him, before all this came out we were talking about having a weekend away together etc. I've back off now and he keeps messaging me saying "I love you".

AndTheBandPlayedOn Mon 16-Jun-14 12:44:06

Sweetsugar, I think his repeatedly saying "I love you" is to perhaps manipulate you into saying it back. Please do not say it. Once you do, it will be used against in "you said you loved me <pout pout pout> you would if you loved me" <anger escalates>.

He told you who he is, you are listening and acting on it. You are not an idiot. To be swayed by the little boy act of love declarations, <any seduction bait "wouldn't do it to you"> would cross the line, as AnyFucker said.

Thinking of you, good luck.

AdoraBell Mon 16-Jun-14 12:58:00

Not an idiot at all.

Anniegetyourgun Mon 16-Jun-14 13:00:14

You can bet your ass he said "I would never do it to you" to the last one as well, and possibly the one before that. Then one day when he did do it to you, he would say, in fury and contempt, "you're just like all the others". (For which read, human being with natural flaws and your own point of view.) Maybe the women he previously dated were universally ghastly, but that does not excuse his behaviour. It's the fact that he's the kind of person who believes this kind of response can ever be justified that is the problem.

Anyway, I don't need to belabour the point, you've done the sensible thing.



Tortoiseonthehalfshell Tue 17-Jun-14 01:55:20

Sorry, sweetassugar. I know you only just found out his history. But honestly, genuinely. Would an attempted murderer not be a deal-breaker even if you could guarantee that he wouldn't do it again? There is so little societal punishment for DV perpetrators out there. It's mind blowing.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Tue 17-Jun-14 01:57:44

I mean, I think I'm talking not just to you, but to everyone who is focusing on the question of whether he'd do it again or not. It doesn't matter! The guy has admitted that he tried to kill his girlfriend and undertook a serious course of physical intimidation and criminal property damage!

And not one person has said, hey, why don't you report this to the police?

What the actual fuck does someone have to do to a woman to experience consequences?

forumdonkey Tue 17-Jun-14 07:36:52

I'm just wondering how you found out OP. If he has admitted or disclosed any of the things he's done, you can bet it was far worse than he's actually telling you. Abusers will always rewrite history, justify and minimise. You need to get away from this man quickly he's dangerous and can you also use Claires Law?

cozietoesie Tue 17-Jun-14 07:46:02

Fair point.

sweetassugarhardasnails Tue 17-Jun-14 09:45:03

Tortoise, I think my problem is I'm finding it hard to put these behaviours with the man in front of me. When you say attempted murder, I know you're right and I know that's exactly what it is, i'm just struggling to process it.

Forumdonkey, his ex sent my a message on fb and I confronted him about it and he admitted it all and told me about the other stuff too.

I'm not sure Claire's Law would be any good because none of his previous partners have reported him.

JohnFarleysRuskin Tue 17-Jun-14 09:51:55

Poor you. I'm glad its only been 6 months and that he hasn't spent time with your kids. That must make it easier to untangle, I imagine.

Stay strong. His violence - but "I wouldn't do it to you" is really off the scale and you would never, ever be able to relax around him.

Hope you are ok.

Thatslife72 Tue 17-Jun-14 10:19:33

Ohhhh sweet, I know were your coming from, be very careful.... I fell for a guy who was soooo charming I met him through a friend who said I've not known him that long but I don't know why he is single ! Anyway started to get to know him, he'd never been married, his mum was a selfish bitch apparently, he hated his sister his ex gf reported him to the police for abh, but she was apparently a liar, and a cheat, everyone had cheated on him etc etc, at first I was sympathetic with him as he seemed so charming, but my gut was hmmm run run now. I still remember him saying 'let me treat you how you should be treated' huh never forget that!

The red flags were there, told me he loved me very early on, talking about moving in, he seemed to care were I was about how my day was but it soon turned into controlling abusive behaviour, yet it turned out he was the one who was chatting to other women arranging to meet them, so he was the liar, he was abusive angry and all the things you don't want in a man. I pussy footed around tried to get rid of him gently it didn't work, I was constantly in tears in the end due to his behaviour. He threatened me, he threatened my children, it took police and the domestic violence team to get rid of him in the end and that was not easy cos at first they did very little! I really thought he was gong to kill me!!!! It was the relationship from hell, The worst relationship ever and the worst year of my life. I wish I listened to my gut which was run for the hills, I posted on here a few times, people told me to run but in the end it was down to me. Listen to your gut sweet it's usually spot on!! I've learned to listen to my gut now, I was right right from the start but I thought stupidly I would give him a chance and even help him to yes we've all been an idiot at some point !!!

kaykayblue Tue 17-Jun-14 14:49:58

To the OP - I'm actually not surprised that you are struggling to put those actions to the man you thought you knew. If you've seen some of the other threads, even wives say the same thing about their abusive husbands. They experience hell at the hands of their husband, but because of the other times when he is charming/not trying to kill them, it's almost like their brains split the person into two.

It was really good of that woman to message you by the way. Did you thank her? It takes a lot of courage to do something like that, when there is always the possibility that the person you are trying to warn will turn on you.

Dump him NOW. His crows are coming home to roost. This is exactly the reason why women should do things like this - forewarn new girlfriends of abusive men so they have the opportunity to cut and run before they get hurt. Meanwhile abusive shitbags suddenly find that women are much less interested in being with him. Hmm funny that...

AdoraBell Tue 17-Jun-14 14:54:20

Sweet the man you see is the facade he presents.

My father was a true gentleman, he really was, outside of the home. Everyone he met thought he was a good man, good husband, good father because that was his facade. At home he didn't need to need to keep up the pretence so that was where he used his fists, feet and on one ocasión a bottle.

Can you imagine explaining to your DCs why mummy's boy friend hits them? Or why Mummy is using make up To hide the bruises?

Miggsie Tue 17-Jun-14 14:57:11

Lundy Bancroft's book "why does he do that?" explains very well how seemingly lovely, charming men can be extremely violent the minute you step out of line (generally by doing something they don't approve of). He has worked with abusive men for over 15 years - he reckons they rarely change, despite everything they say. And they have all told each GF they will be different with them.

If you read Lundy's book it will help you understand how even the most violent relationships start off just great - then you are sucked in and have made the emotional commitment the real violent, controlling person emerges and the persona of niceness fades.

Most abusive relationships start off just fine - also, there is no such thing as a lovely person who is occasionally horrible, there are only horrible people who cover it up for most of the time - until the facade slips.

Try disagreeing with him - see what he does.

Lundy's book lists a few of the trigger points.

sweetassugarhardasnails Wed 18-Jun-14 14:46:31

Cut contact with him. I got a message earlier say "I need my queen back", I've ignored it. I'm feeling relived that I've cut contact. My best friend knows what is going on and is checking on me (calls, texts) to check that i'm okay.

Thatslife72 Wed 18-Jun-14 15:51:06

Well done , though from experience it will become harder and if he continues the more likely hood of you replying or responding in some way! Keep strong sweet, you'll be fine and eventually meet someone better x

bourgoin Wed 18-Jun-14 16:42:03

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

wafflyversatile Wed 18-Jun-14 16:49:08

It's all about the spellcasters when it comes to spam these days.

I'm glad you are cutting contact.
Just make sure you keep safe and dial 999 if you feel even slightly threatened by him.
If he does anything at all to you or your property report him.
How he has got away with so much is beyond me.
This man should be in prison.

brokenhearted55a Wed 18-Jun-14 17:13:25

I hope my ex doesnt change. And that his new gf gwts.treated the same way I did.

that'll teach her to go.after a man who has a gf.

sweetassugarhardasnails Wed 18-Jun-14 17:19:12

Brokenhearted, I understand you are in a bad place atm but that is a terrible thing to say

sweetassugarhardasnails Wed 18-Jun-14 17:20:50

Thanks hellsbells. It feels that he is like teflon

brokenhearted55a Wed 18-Jun-14 17:23:45

No it isnt.

she went out with a man when she knew he had a gf.

he lied he cheated and blamed me for the break up to leave lookinh like tbe good guy.

I eventually discovered tbe truth.

He cheated with her so I.hope he cheats on her.

sweetassugarhardasnails Fri 20-Jun-14 18:27:22

Just gone out to my car and found a big bunch of flowers on them, thought he had gone too quietly.

LumpySpacedPrincess Fri 20-Jun-14 19:58:17

Ignore ignore ignore. Stand firm. My ex sent me so many flowers that I can't stand them now.

theywillgrowup Fri 20-Jun-14 20:49:43

I hope my ex doesnt change. And that his new gf gwts.treated the same way I did.

Brokenhearted, I understand you are in a bad place atm but that is a terrible thing to say

i kind of agree with the first quote,same happened to me in a abussive relationship for 6 years,had all the spitting in your face in public,hitting,strangleing,cheating etc etc

ended when i found him dating somebody from a dateing site while with me,she knew all about us,gossips have said he's changed i bloody hope not let her have the misery and minipulation i stupidly put up with

deep down i dont think they change just put on an act in the beginning,ive heard (my ex and gf) are always arguing in public now (he was a big drinker) as they have been together a year so he is showing his true colours,and yes i hope they make each other as miserable as possible

op dont feel bad about finishing it,one thing i can guarantee men like this find a replacement super fast if they havent already been playing about,that i will bet money on

but reading your post's i dont think you will finish it,and in a few months will be looking for advice again,leave him now while you still have strength before it's all sucked out of you

all the best

Wadingthroughsoup Fri 20-Jun-14 21:06:32

I can understand that being hurt can make us think irrationally, but wishing abuse on a subsequent gf is a really awful thing to say. I might be inclined to suggest counselling to anyone harbouring such feelings, because I don't think it's at all healthy.

My horrible ex went on to marry some poor woman. I still worry about her now, and I split up with him nearly 20 years ago.

OP, It was lovely of his ex to message you. I was given a warning about my ex but unfortunately didn't heed it at the time. I was in a nightclub with him when a woman I'd never seen before walked closed to me and hissed in my ear: 'Be careful. He hits women'. I followed her and asked her to clarify what she'd said. She told me she was a good friend of his ex, and that he'd been quite brutal towards her. Sadly, I was young and very naïve and the bf managed to convince me she was lying. (I should've questioned what possible motive she could have had in saying such a thing, unless it were true!)

Anyhow. I'm glad you've told him where to go. Ignore the flowers!

theywillgrowup Fri 20-Jun-14 21:19:54

thats your opinion and yes it is a tad unhealthy but thats how i feel,and both didnt mind when they were both being abbussive to me and my children and also doing things to hurt us all,making sure that they turned up to places together where he knew we would be and there was no need for him to be there

so no i dont give a monkeys what she may go through,the same as i dont care what he may go through,but dont expect my view to feel for her,she was aware of him and his actions to a degree,thats her problem now and by accounts the first flush of romance is fading

what i do find difficult is that people will come up to you and tell me what their up to,im tired of this and now just as the person is about to tell me i tell them im not intrested and dont want to here about them,this has happened a few times,why do people feel the need to tell,its starting to work and now people are less likley to mention them to me,which i find much better
anyway enough of me back to you op smile

sweetassugarhardasnails Sat 21-Jun-14 17:44:11

The flowers didn't even come inside, I threw them straight in the bin. Had a couple of texts since which I have also ignored. I miss him which is stupid, I mean I miss the good stuff from before I knew who he really was. I have no intentions of texting him or anything, just feeling a bit sad about it all

PoundingTheStreets Sat 21-Jun-14 23:34:10

People can and do change. But those who do are a very small minority and it normally follows a significant, usually traumatic, life-changing event.

When it comes to abusers, it seems something like only 5% change following extended rehabilitation through perpetrator programmes.

A serial abuser who claims to have changed without any of those factors mentioned above is almost certainly guilty of wishful thinking at best and downright lies at worst. He has as much chance of having changed as I have at winning the lottery (which I don't play).

Telling you that he won't be like that with you or that you're 'different' is abuser tactics 101 I'm afraid - because it immediately sets up the idea that the presence of abuse is down to your behaviour, not his.

JohnFarleysRuskin Sun 22-Jun-14 07:59:11

His persistent chasing of you after you've said no IS awful. He didn't listen to you, he thinks he knows better than you. Be strong op...

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