I dunno, I think they must. My ex seems to be much nicer to new gf than he was to me- even on issues that were supposed to be a problem to him, e.g. she's fatter than me and he doesn't hassle her about it, although he did hassle me about needing to lose weight/what I ate, even though I'm not technically overweight. Either I'm just not seeing it (and she seems happy, they've just moved in together, etc.) or it's just me who sets off men to be horrible. Probably the latter. I think though, if the partner is hitting you or something obvious like that then they probably won't stop unless you leave.
I'm almost scared to post this but perhaps we are the exception that proves the rule. DH was fairly abusive at one stage. I didn't realise it for a long time as I was blaming myself which as you know is very common. I genuinely thought that my behaviour (and then dc's) was causing his outbursts. However I used to have this recurring thought that 'can I really be in the wrong ALL the time?'. Eventually his horrible behaviour peaked, (it was associated most of the time with heavy drinking), and he threatened our little dc. Then I realised that he really had stepped over a line (to me it was a 'proof'). I posted here and got very strong confirmation. I challenged DH about it (several times over a few months - this was extremely stressful) and eventually he sought help via therapy. He admits now this was only done to placate me, but after a few sessions he was fully committed. He's still going (nearly 2 years) and I am also going separately (I started just after him). He has since apologised (many times) and admitted that he had no consideration whatsoever for my feelings. He is ashamed of how he behaved. I'm also relearning my own personal boundries which helps enormously. It's not a straight line to the top (contentment) but rather a series of leaps and plateaus. We still have hurdles every now and then where we have to check that we are not falling into our old patterns of behaviour. It's still a learning experience for both of us. Luckily when something crops up we can go off and talk to our own individual therapists about the issue, and things are actually resolved now rather than sweeping everything under the carpet. The biggest difference for me is that I bottled up everything and pretended it wasn't happening. This meant that I spent many years depressed and anxious. I really understand now how unhealthy this is, and the only way out of it is to be able to talk about what is bothering me. Before I was afraid to do so as DH would act as though he was being attacked and he would aggressively fight back. This has very much changed. We're not perfect, but we've come a long way.
Even St Lundy says that it is possible for abusers to reform. BUT in very, very, very, very rare circumstances.
Some men are shits and do treat their partners abysmally, but when you tell them how hurt you are, how sad you are and how you really can't take it a second longer, these men can realise and change.
If you tell an abuser all of the above, he will not stop, he will actually intensify it somehow.
If a man is genuinely abusive, then NO, barring a miracle, they will not change.
The best way is to treat them as if they won't, kick them out, and remove all forms of support from them, ideally their own family will side with you to, then, in these rare circumstances some men who abuse their P's may change.
The longer you leave it, the more you will be trapped. Get out and see how you feel. With a small baby, it'll be easier tbh, Please? do this for yourself? for your baby?
<slight hi-jack> I don't think it's 25% of all relationships, but 25% of all women who experience DV, at some point in the course of their lifetime. Which makes it a smaller percentage of relationships. Which is a bit more comforting for those of us willing to try again.
It is very very unlikely that someone that has a pattern of abusive behaviour will just switch it off.
On the rare occasions that they do change, such a shift in personality can only be achieved by intensive therapy and counselling which must be accomplished alone. You cannot stay with them whilst they are being treated.
If it helps, it is better to leave whilst baby is young enough not to impact on them. DD was 10 weeks when we left and is unharmed. DS was 4 and he remembers so much of what went on it is soul destroying. He is very much affected by it all.
If you are very lucky you will leave/make him leave. He will get treatment and work through whatever it is that causes this behaviour. Then you can consider building a life together. But until then, it is safest for all concerned to separate.
No they do not change and (with reference to wibblybibble's post) even if they seem to be treating their next victim better, they probably aren't. They might be on their best behavior at first, but will soon or eventually revert to their abusive ways. They also may use the next woman to try to show you and others that you were wrong, i.e he he is trying to show (it is very important to him what he looks like to other people) that apparantly the next woman does not think he is abusive, so you must be wrong that he is/was abusive.
Read Lundy Bancroft's book. Hopefully someone else can remember the title)