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Can an EA man change?

(58 Posts)
TabbyT Fri 15-Apr-16 15:43:34

Does anyone have any examples of an emotionally abusive man who has actually made fundamental changes?

I have told DH that we need to divorce (married 17 years, together 20, 3 DC). He realises I am serious and he is now being super nice. He has even asked if he can read the Lundy Bancroft book and admits he is like Jekyll and Hyde. Whilst this is good I can't help but feel that it will be impossible for him to fundamentally change. I am so worn down by him I don't want to live like this any more.

Any stories of someone who has actually become a great partner after being abusive for years?

AnyFucker Fri 15-Apr-16 15:45:16

Temporarily, when it suits him ? You betcha

Once he gets his own way...back to default he goes. The time that takes is variable but that it will happen is pretty much a safe bet.

mum2mum99 Fri 15-Apr-16 15:48:25

Change? It won't be my story. In fact being super nice and promising to change is part of the cycle of abuse. if he reads Lundy Bancroft he will be able to manipulate you in an even more subtle way.
Do the Freedom program and that might answer your question.

MatrixReloaded Fri 15-Apr-16 15:51:13

No , they can't change.

Jan45 Fri 15-Apr-16 15:58:42

So what if he is super nice, you know in the general day to day sense he isn't so what's the point in wasting more years on a horrible man.

FinallyHere Fri 15-Apr-16 16:03:50

Endlessly waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Not good. Sorry.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 15-Apr-16 16:05:10

Such men do not change, they feel entitled to act like this and feel they are doing nothing wrong. Its deeply ingrained within their own psyche; he likely learnt how to exert power and control over another from one if not both of his own parents. That stuff does not get unlearnt easily if at all even after years of therapy.

You do not want to live like this anymore; that is a good enough reason to continue with divorce proceedings.

Men like this often do such tactics to blindside their victim and keep her in check; its all part of their nice and nasty cycle which is a continuous one. He has already done a bang up job on you as it is; he has managed to wear yow down.

Your own recovery from him (which I warn you now could take years) will only start properly when you have completely separated from him. Such men too do not let go of their victim easily and this could be another reason for his comments now. You will see again his true nature soon enough when you do not comply with his myriad of demands.

You certainly need to enrol on Womens Aid Freedom Programme as a matter of course; it will help you immensely going forward.

DO NOT give him the Lundy Bancroft book to read.

mum2mum99 Fri 15-Apr-16 16:13:11

Read this poem:

I got Flowers today

I got flowers today. It wasn't my birthday or any other special day. We had our first argument last night. He said a lot of cruel things that really hurt me. I know he was sorry and didn't mean the things he said. Because I got flowers today.

I got flowers today. It wasn't our anniversary or any other special day. Last night, he threw me into a wall and started to choke me. It seemed like a nightmare. I couldn't believe it was real. I woke up this morning sore and bruised all over. I know he must be sorry Because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today. It wasn't Mother's Day or any other special day. Last night, he beat me up again. And it was much worse than all other times. If I leave him, what will I do? How will I take care of my kids? What about money? I' m afraid of him and scared to leave. But I know he must be sorry Because he sent me flowers today.
I got flowers today. Today was a very special day. It was the day of my funeral. Last night he finally killed me. He beat me to death.
If only I had gathered enough courage and strength to leave him, I would not have gotten flowers today.

This poem is dedicated to all the victims and survivors of Domestic Violence

nicenewdusters Fri 15-Apr-16 16:15:37

No. He won't change and you can't change him.

iknowimcoming Fri 15-Apr-16 16:16:06

I know that my example is not really the one that is useful and I was reluctant to post this in some ways but mine has, just over two years ago I came on here asking for advice and took it, told him to leave etc etc. he had therapy straight away for about 3-4 months every week, then I saw the same therapist, we also had one session together. It hasn't been easy and I still feel cautious sometimes but we are a very different couple and family now and he hasn't ever once shown his old self, so he's either playing a really good game or its permanent. Fwiw it would only take one incident for this to change, I'm a much much stronger person now. Just wish I'd been brave much much sooner.

mum2mum99 Fri 15-Apr-16 16:17:00

In the poem you can change the bit where he knocks her about by he insult and manipulates you. You do not end up in a grave but in a mental hospital.

Whatshebuildinginthere Fri 15-Apr-16 16:28:33

I don't have the wisdom or experience of other posters here, but I wonder if the question is almost academic - in that you are feeling so worn down. I mean, if he could change, if he did everything perfectly from now on, would it be enough to undo the hurt you feel? Is your heart in it? After so long, is changing now enough?

I hope you work things out - as in what's right for you.

expatinscotland Fri 15-Apr-16 16:32:38

No, they don't change. You need to leave.

Kr1stina Fri 15-Apr-16 16:46:12

The others are right, you need to seperate for your own sanity. That will give him a chance to work on his issues and for you to recover mentally and emotionally .

You will see how much he has changed by how he treats you and his children during the separation and divorce. If he is truly a reformed character, he will act reasonably and fairly over the financial settlement.

He will volunteer to pay maintenance for his children, over and above the legal minimum . He will fulfill all his responsibilities as a father and keep to all his access with the children and any other agreements you have.

He will accept full responsibility for how he had behaved and the ending of your marriage . He will respect your right to space to heal . He will always speak respectfully about you and to you .

Once he has acted like this for a couple of years, you might them consider that he has changed and you might be safe for think about dating again.

lottielou7 Fri 15-Apr-16 16:47:41

I think that usually, people don't change. And they go through the same dance, over and over and over. Many abusers don't even have any self awareness.

TabbyT Fri 15-Apr-16 16:56:25

This is what I had suspected. Thanks for all the responses.

Things came to a head last weekend he started saying we should separate, which he does from time to time. On Monday evening after work I told him very calmly that I agreed with him, that I had thought it through and that I think it is for the best. Since then he had admitted that he is horrible to me and says he is sorry. In some ways it makes it worse that he was aware of what he was doing.

For 20 years he has made me feel that I am a bad person and I have tried to please him and never managed to. In October I posted here after yet another ruined weekend and I was amazed when you all pointed out that he was emotionally abusive. Now I realise it is not me and to you all I am so grateful.

I am going to be in and out a bit now with DC so will check back in later.

Hissy Fri 15-Apr-16 16:59:42

Categorically, no.

Even if they did, you'd be on tenterhooks the whole time waiting for them to slip, the trust is eaten up and long gone.

Abusive men are one of the worst things to inflict on a child. Children either grow to repeat what they learn and continue his abuse of you or of their partners. Or they will learn how to put up with abuse and repeat your side of the equation.

Hissy Fri 15-Apr-16 17:06:34

He has "invested" 20 years in wearing you down to make himself feel powerful and all mighty.

He will do and say anything now to pull you back in, because he knows he's going to have to start the process all over again if he ends up dumped and with a new partner.

You can't change him -and actually you shouldn't try. He is who he is.

You However are a shadow of your former self. But your former self is still there. All she needs is space, time, and love from within to grow back again.

Read the book where it says about Can He Change. The odds on it are infinitesimally small. Unless you are a customary winner of the euro millions, you have no chance of him changing.

In any event for him to see that he's an arse, he has to lose literally everything. Everyone and everything. Even then, it's highly unlikely he'll give up the emotional hard on that he gets through belittling you.

Write him off, get rid and don't look back until he's long gone.

WhereYouLeftIt Fri 15-Apr-16 17:19:00

I don't believe an EA perpetrator can change. I just don't. But even if they could, I don't think it makes one jot of difference.

Imagine EA perpetrator did change (which I don't believe can happen). But let's just imagine they could and did. Couple gets back together. EA perpetrator happy. EA victim walking on eggshells and living on tenterhooks, expecting the mask to slip and EA to resume. Now if EA perpetrator is still EA - that's a happy ending for them. If EA perpetrator not still EA - they would be devastated at the unhappiness and stress they are causing their partner, and realise the only way to stop this torture is to end the relationship. So even if they can change, resuming the relationship would be a very bad idea.

Sometimes, when things are broken, they just can't be mended. This is one of those times.

And I agree with earlier posters - him being super-nice now is just part of the EA cycle.

TabbyT Fri 15-Apr-16 17:34:57

Thank you everyone. I had lunch today with a very wise and lovely friend. I hadn't intended to tell her about this but it all came out and I realise how bad it sounds.

I don't get to make choices about so many things in our lives - how we spend money, what car we drive, where we live, what we eat for supper, what we watch on TV. I am the frog in boiling water I can see that now.

The only thing is that I am not a shadow of my former self, at the beginning I can see that I was complicit in the abuse as I thought I deserved it. My childhood was abusive, though my dad used to hit me and DH has never done that. Somehow I have got myself together, have worked really hard and I have a good professional job now 4 days a week, which means I know I can survive as I can support myself. DD1 is taking GCSEs next month so we can't do anything until after that but I have told him that he needs to move out then.

FinallyHere Fri 15-Apr-16 18:56:33

{{{{{hugs}}}}} or a friendly hand on your shoulder, which ever works for you.

Wishing you all the very best.

wizzywig Fri 15-Apr-16 18:59:16

My husband had no idea he was being ea. After 9 months of therapy he is starting to see it. He said that if i had left him prior to starting therapy he wouldnt have been able to understand why. Now he can. Yes old habits die hard and i can see his gut reaction to event is the old him but now he can take a step back and analyse it. We are so much happier

Hissy Fri 15-Apr-16 19:09:39

Your h has never hit you because he didn't need to.

Your dad did the training, he made use of it.

Now can you see why an abusive parent is the worst thing for a child?

I know you feel you aren't a shadow, and I dare say you are formidable and totally bloody lovely...

Just imagine where you would be if you hadn't had this poisonous atmosphere to survive all this time?

You will see just what I mean about growth and happiness when you finally get free. It's almost evangelical in terms of magnitude!

You have the most wonderful future ahead of you, but for one thing. HIM.

He is actively going to fight your strength And happiness if you allow him space in your life.

The children will rise, you can see it in days! Let nothing or nobody Stand in the way of your freedom/happiness!

TabbyT Fri 15-Apr-16 20:03:59

Thank you all so much. Something has definitely shifted in me and life will never be the same now. The DC and I have done something very subversive tonight. We have had a takeaway pizza! DH doesn't approve of takeaways so we have literally never ever had one. I bought a ready meal once (he doesn't approve of those either) when I had just given birth to DD3 and friends were coming to lunch. It was from Cook so good quality, he was livid.

My biggest worry is of course my DC. They love their dad and he is nice to them, though I can see that living in this environment has been damaging for them until I posted in October I had no idea that he was abusive. I kept trying to find ways to appease him. And I thought that keeping the family intact would be better for the children. Whilst I now know this is not necessarily true I think they will be devastated. How do I approach this? What if they blame me?

TabbyT Fri 15-Apr-16 20:26:13

I love your posts Hissy. I think you are right. I don't think I am formidable but I think I could be...thank you.

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