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Apologies from my abuser

(7 Posts)
frieda909 Tue 07-Jun-16 18:28:17

About six months after we broke up, my ex sent me a series of very heartfelt emails where he apologised pretty unreservedly for his abusive treatment of me. We spoke on the phone a few months later and he repeated his apologies all over again, and wouldn't accept any of my attempts to brush any of it aside or take any responsibility for any of it myself. He never actually used the word 'abusive', but he acknowledged most of his behaviour and apologised for it over and over again.

These definitely weren't attempts to win me back, as we were both in new relationships by the time of the phonecall, and I had moved far away to a different country.

Since joining these boards and realising just how many people have been in similarly abusive relationships, I've been wondering whether anyone else has ever had an apology like this from their abuser? And if you have, how did you feel about it? Did it help? Did you believe it? Can people truly 'change' if they face up to their mistakes? For me, while I appreciated the apologies, I still don't think I can ever forgive him and I do wonder whether he'll eventually slip back into old habits in his new relationship.

The abuse was mostly verbal and emotional, with a lot of threats of violence ('if you keep pushing me you'll make me do something I'll regret' type of thing). Without wanting to sound like I'm making excuses for him (I'm still deeply angry with him for so many thing), I believe he is/was an incredibly unhappy and insecure person who had a pretty dysfunctional upbringing. I think he was spoiled in a lot of material ways, without getting much in the way of real affection from his parents. Just my very amateur bit of armchair analysis!

I think that after the split, he realised that he had relied on me for literally everything, not just in terms of me doing constant chores and errands for him, but also as basically an emotional punch-bag who he could pour out all his unfiltered rage and misery to.

RiceCrispieTreats Tue 07-Jun-16 19:07:33

I cannot imagine my abusive exH ever acknowledging that he was ever wrong about anything, no.

But I have stopped being angry, so I wouldn't need any apologies now anyway. What he did was bad and wrong, I've accepted that, and, with time, I've moved on.

If his apologies help you to move on, good.
If they rekindle your upset, then make sure he can't contact you again.
And if they don't matter to you one way or another, then keep looking within yourself for healing, and trusting that time will do the rest.

All the best!

Yeahthatwasme Tue 07-Jun-16 20:36:07

Is he getting counselling/having therapy? If so, it's just about possible he's seen the error of his ways and the apology was genuine. It's more likely to be a sophisticated hoover attempt whatever you say about him being in a relationship/different countries. He's just keeping communication channels open with you so he can call on you when he feels ready for sex.

BeckyMcDonald Tue 07-Jun-16 20:40:27

It's probably therapy-fuelled. Hopefully if he's big enough to apologise he's realised the triggers for his behaviour and will change his ways. I think abusive people can change, in very rare circumstances. An ex apologised to me a few years after we'd split. He was genuinely remorseful and recognised abusive behaviour that I had completely forgotten about. I suspected he'd been to some kind of abusive partner counselling or something. It was nice to hear an apology, actually, and we're on good terms now.

wonderingsoul Tue 07-Jun-16 21:18:43

My ex husband has in a sort of round about way.

He has mentioned the times that he spiked my food with drugs.
Kicked,pinned and spat on me
Spent all our money and abandonded me and two dc some where in the middle of no where for 48 hours with no food money or phone.

But he has apogised to our children when theve asked why we arnt together no nore. He has tool the blame and said that he had a problem with alcohol and wasnt very nice to mummy. Which is the best well get

wonderingsoul Tue 07-Jun-16 21:19:12


frieda909 Tue 07-Jun-16 22:26:00

Thanks, everyone. Some very interesting and helpful responses.

I'm confident he wasn't trying to get back together with me, even though I'm sure I'd suspect exactly the same if I heard this situation from someone else.

I'm not sure about therapy. I suspect not, he was always very scathing about me going to therapy myself when we were together. I suggested he look into it for himself so many times, but he was very dismissive. He might have changed his mind, but I'm not sure.

From what I've gathered, I think something happened in his new relationship which caused some kind of turning point. He seems to have felt some real guilt and been trying to find ways to make himself feel better. I was quite proud of myself for not simply telling him that everything was fine. I told him that I appreciated the apologies and the recognition of everything at last, but that he had done some real damage that I couldn't just forget about.

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