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Can he change?

(30 Posts)
H4dEnough Sun 27-Sep-15 15:51:29

H has been emotionally and financial abusive. I've seen the light.

H is now, finally, making an effort. He's even apologised. The trouble is, I don't care any more.

He says he never knew how unhappy I was; I say I tried to tell him over and over again and he chose not to listen. He says I could have made more of an effort to communicate; I say that if he had any regard for me whatsoever I wouldn't have had to.

He says he's been merely thoughtless and complacent; I say he may not have been actively malicious but there's only so long that anyone can play that card before it collectively becomes more than thoughtless complacency.

It seems to me that either he's fundamentally not a very nice person, and the effort to be kind and respectful will slip in time or he's perfectly capable of being pleasant and chose not to for the best part of a decade.

Neither is an attractive proposition. Even if he promises to treat me well forever, I'll spend my whole life looking for how he's playing me now, or resentful of past shit.

If he'd had an affair (he hasn't) and I said that as a result the trust was irretrievably gone, people would accept that. But because my trust has been eroded by a decade of disrespect, lies and financial abuse people in RL say I owe it to him to try again. We have small children.

So I need to ask, before I take the final plunge and leave - is it possible that he could change? And is it possible I could trust him again?

MrsEvadneCake Sun 27-Sep-15 15:56:18

You answered yourself when you said I no longer care. He might change but you do not owe him that chance. You deserve to move on and live how you want to. Like you said he chose to treat you this way. Ignorantly or intentionally makes no difference when you no longer want to wonder constantly about his choices.

Have the life you want, without him and the worry. Well done for being strong enough to make the change and best wishes for your new life.

Imflabulous Sun 27-Sep-15 15:57:08

flowers no words of wisdom im afraid, as I have a thread on this myself which I started last week. The general consensus is to leave and not look back.

Just plucking up the courage to say the words now.

cozietoesie Sun 27-Sep-15 15:59:53

... Even if he promises to treat me well forever, I'll spend my whole life looking for how he's playing me now, or resentful of past shit...

If that is true for you, can you ever be happy in this relationship again?

(Ignore the other people in RL. Your understanding of what they might - and that's very much a 'might' - say is largely down to you yourself, I suspect.)

Anniegetyourgun Sun 27-Sep-15 16:14:43

Doesn't matter what people say. They haven't been, and won't have to go on, living with him; you will. They've got a bit of a nerve deciding your future for you. On what basis do you "owe" this man another decade of your precious one-time-only life anyway? You've given him 10 years, he's given you some sperm. From where I'm standing it's not you who owes anyone anything.

brokenhearted55a Sun 27-Sep-15 16:15:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cozietoesie Sun 27-Sep-15 16:26:59

...He says he never knew how unhappy I was; I say I tried to tell him over and over again and he chose not to listen. He says I could have made more of an effort to communicate; I say that if he had any regard for me whatsoever I wouldn't have had to...

I suppose he hasn't quite said that it's all your fault. Not quite.

Is that really an apology to you? And what has he actually said about change - is he proposing counselling for himself, for example?

goddessofsmallthings Sun 27-Sep-15 16:27:01

What deeds has he done to accompany his fine words?

Has he given you a lump sum to compensate for 10 years of financial abuse?

Anniegetyourgun Sun 27-Sep-15 16:29:03

I'll tell you another thing: a person can change if they really want to. It starts with admitting what they've done wrong and a genuine wish to do things differently. Claiming he didn't know and putting the onus on you to have communicated better is not admitting much at all; it's just a politer version of the abusive behaviour that you've called time on, where everything he does is your fault. Or, as the saying goes, "sorry but" isn't sorry at all.

Got all that "I never realised" and "you should have told me" from XH too. Reminds me of a story my mother used to tell about the old-school fire-and-brimstone Scottish preacher booming from the pulpit: And when the grrreat Day of Judgement comes, the unrighteous will cry "Lord, we dinna ken, we dinna ken!" And the Lorrrd in his infinite justice and mercy will say, "Wull, ye ken noo".

Anniegetyourgun Sun 27-Sep-15 16:30:41

Or, what cozietoesie said in fewer words.

cozietoesie Sun 27-Sep-15 16:31:14

Ye ken noo. I know that well.

ScaredyCat42 Sun 27-Sep-15 16:52:25

You could be me typing that. I'm in exactly the same position, except H never claimed surprise or argued otherwise when I went over all the issues I've had over the years. He is trying to change but I am no longer sure if I want to stay with him. I am almost angry that he knows he's been horrible to live with and yet, I don't want to upset him or hurt his feelings by leaving him as he is trying to change. I am scared things will go back to how they were and it will take me a while to wake up to it again, it creeps up on you without you realising it. Really sorry, I have no advice but wanted you to know you are not alone in this position. It's crap isn't it? But at least you're doing something about it now.

Joysmum Sun 27-Sep-15 18:33:28

He says he's been merely thoughtless and complacent

What does it say about him that he's admitting he has to think in order to treat you in a minimum standard required for a marriage?

In that case by his own admission he's naturally a nasty control freak who will have to make an effort to change.

This means when he's not having a day when he can be bothered to think about being nice, he'll be nasty and controlling.

Frecklesandspecs Sun 27-Sep-15 19:21:49

OP, could have written this myself word for word. (3 small children too)

I'm leaving at the end of this month as I've had enough.

They change for a bit to keep you sweet. It won't last.
Tried it for 7 years. flowers

Frecklesandspecs Sun 27-Sep-15 19:24:43

OP and scaredy-cat, I've come to the conclusion that our brains can only take so much of it then we put up a wall to block it out subconsciously.
It's at this time, I think, any feelings disappear and then, there's nothing apart resentment perhaps.

MairzyDoats Sun 27-Sep-15 19:55:54

DH made a massive effort to change last year (including taking anti-Ds as he swore this was the reason he was so unpleasant to live with, although it doesn't explain the anger issues imho) and for a while things were great. I was astonished at the change in him. Sadly they seem to be slipping again. Watch this space...

H4dEnough Sun 27-Sep-15 20:01:53

He's away today, and I can't tell you how happy I am at home with just the children, without him here.

H4dEnough Sun 27-Sep-15 20:06:13

Mairzy, I'm sorry your DH is slipping back into his old ways.

RandomMess Sun 27-Sep-15 20:09:13

DH has generally been a good husband and fab father. I have not always been easy to live with. He really let me down over a period of 3-4 years (mainly caused by his anxiety that he wouldn't try and deal with), we are trying again after I said I was leaving.

It is bloody hard, it really hurts, we both slip back into old patterns. Little things happen and I'm in floods of tears over what happened despite wanting to move on regardless.

10 years of emotional and financial abuse, no remorse, no apology. Why are you wasting your time and emotional energy?

H4dEnough Sun 27-Sep-15 20:17:27

Why are you wasting your time and emotional energy?

All the usual reasons. There have been good times. I used to love him, once. We have small children, who he loves and who love him.

The thing is, we've only been together for ten years, and he's never really treated me well. He did something huge, 8.5 years ago, which he only told me the truth about last month. Our entire relationship has been based on untruths.

RandomMess Sun 27-Sep-15 20:19:32

So when were these good times?

This huge thing can you see a time where you'll ever forgive him?

H4dEnough Sun 27-Sep-15 20:26:00

I think I could possibly forgive him, but I can't forget about it.

Not least because he doesn't think he did anything wrong. He said that he thought he was unlucky to get caught.

RandomMess Sun 27-Sep-15 20:29:21


Erm he's not redeeming himself here...

So no remorse or apology there then!

H4dEnough Sun 27-Sep-15 20:33:46

No. He thought if he blagged for long enough he'd get away with it.

There have been subsequent lies, all smaller but all designed to preserve his comfort and none of them took account of the fact that I might have differing views and opinions.

H4dEnough Mon 28-Sep-15 17:07:48

So - the consensus is - it's over?

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