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Can a leopard change its spots?

(33 Posts)
BlackGirlAndRobin Sat 09-Jul-16 04:36:27

H has been manipulating me, subtly controlling and sexually coersing me for years. I've been lurking here for a long time and posted under various names but I wasn't ready to accept it. Accept that what was happening was abusive. In the last few weeks I've been honest with my eldest bro, now bro no. 3 knows the ins and outs and he's livid.

Tonight H apologised completely out of the blue for years of hounding me, forcing me to have sex against my will and touching me in my sleep. Apparently he's only just dawned on him how wrong it is. And wanted it all out in the open in the hope that we could address it and strengthen our marriage.

He's promising the earth because he's only just realised what he stands to lose. I've been keeping this dirty secret for too long to the detriment of my mental health and he's finally admitted to himself that it's wrong. I don't have the energy to carry on, but I feel like I have to give him one last chance to sort his shit out. I just want this to be over quickly. I want to move away and have a fresh start with our girls. He's pleaded for a second chance. Wants us to get councelling and go to relate together. He's still minimising it all, calls it everything else but what it is. Sexual Assault.

thestamp Sat 09-Jul-16 04:53:17

It's rape though. Not just sexual assault. This man is a criminal.

You say he's minimizing. That means there's no hope, sorry... he's just making noises in hope that he can keep your around to cook his dinner and fuck your head up enough that he eventually can start to rape you again, only this time he will use therapy language to justify it and confuse you even more.

Get your girls out of there. You can't live with this man. He's shown you what he thinks of you and you'll be teaching the DDs that they should marry and stay with rapists. Please don't do it. Just go.

TheNotoriousPMT Sat 09-Jul-16 04:59:53

He has had years of second chances already.
Get counselling, but not with him.

Blacksheep78 Sat 09-Jul-16 05:01:02

Congratulations on finding your voice and your strength.


Only you can make the decision to go or to give it another shot. Personally, I left mine when he refused to call it what it was. In my opinion, the first step to fixing a problem is admitting that there is one. Sounds like your DH is starting to wake up to himself, but isn't quite ready to admit how bad his behavior has been.

Stay strong!

SandyY2K Sat 09-Jul-16 07:52:17

He apologised out of the blue? Is this when you said you would be leaving him? If so that's not out of the blue.

People can change, but it's how you feel and whether you have any love or desire to make stay.

Sometimes there's been too much water under the bridge to make it work. That's something only you would be able to say.

If I was in your position, having told my brothers, I'd have to leave as they would not be welcoming to him anymore after what he'd done.

Being in the business of trying to fix marriages, I'll try and be objective here rather than your bog standard LTB, because you wouldn't have posted here if you were set on doing that.

If you think he is really genuinely sorry and he realises the magnitude of what he's done and you want to make it work for you, not for your DDs - then you can try.

I'd put conditions on my staying though. One would be apologising to your brothers, then any other poor behaviour such as if he controls money or doesn't pull his weight around the house would all have to change.

He would have to become the man I first met by being as loving and attentive as he was.

He can take it or leave it, but those would be my conditions.

Children are a factor in divorce. I don't know how old your girls are - but a whole fresh marriage with your DH, that is better than before could benefit all of you.

LadyStarkOfWinterfell Sat 09-Jul-16 07:59:55

Being in the business of trying to fix marriages, I'll try and be objective here rather than your bog standard LTB, because you wouldn't have posted here if you were set on doing that

You're not objective if you're in the business of saving marriages!

Op, no. Just no. He's been abusing you and raping you for years, you owe him nothing at all. No second chances.
As to whether abusers can change - there are perpetrators programmes but they are very intense, hard work on the man's part, most men don't complete to the end and of those that do, most reoffend. So can he change overnight by himself with no help? No fucking way. He'll be nice and sweet until he's hooked you right back in then he will revert to type. I'd put money on it.

Theearthmoved Sat 09-Jul-16 08:02:27

So is he only suddenly apologising because your brothers know?

pallasathena Sat 09-Jul-16 08:02:46

No, you need to end it. By telling your brothers what has happened after so many years of silence and hiding the grim truth from everyone including yourself, you've taken the first step forward to recovery. And its a path that needs to go forward not backward.
Your husband has treated you horrifically, you've acknowledged that, disclosed the abuse and the next step is to detach from the life you have with him and make a new one for yourself and your children.
Don't feel you should give him another chance. He's not worth any more of your headspace after what he's done. You need to find some self respect and dignity now after all those years of horrific, damaging, mental and sexual abuse.

SandyY2K Sat 09-Jul-16 08:06:59

I'm objective as I have nothing to gain here and can offer a balanced view, as you'd see if you read everything I wrote.

FreeFromHarm Sat 09-Jul-16 08:13:51

The answer is no he will not change, my xdh raped me in my sleep, broke me until I had no choice but to leave with our dc's . I am so sorry you are going through this, please contact WA and plan an escape route.
I would also get counselling from rape crisis, because that is what it is.
My xdh clouded over it.
I agree with Pallasthenas , you must leave .

VulcanWoman Sat 09-Jul-16 08:18:58

I like this saying: Advice is what you ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't. He's no good.
Try and imagine yourself doing that to another person, no you wouldn't would you, the thing is he's been doing these terrible things for years, over and over again, not just one or two so called 'mistakes' it's been systematic. Put an end to it once and for all. Best wishes.

DorindaJ Sat 09-Jul-16 08:20:43

He has spent a long time behaving in an unacceptable manner, and only has to apologise and promise to change?confused No, no, no. He is unlikely to be able to sustain any changes. Why didn't he realise how despicable his behaviour was ? Personally I think you would be best advised to send this, seek counselling (maybe via Women's Aid)for yourself for the abuse you have suffered.

Sandy2K, I am horrified that you would try to 'fix' what is an unfixable and clearly abusive relationship angry. Seriously, you're a relationship counsellor? Wow.

DorindaJ Sat 09-Jul-16 08:22:35


DoinItFine Sat 09-Jul-16 08:22:44

This is just his latest tactic for continuing to abuse and rape you.

No, you don't have to give him a second chance.

MrsBertBibby Sat 09-Jul-16 08:24:35

It hasn't just dawned on him that his behaviour is wrong. It has dawned on him that he might lose control.

He doesn't rape you because he can't help himself, he rapes you because he likes it. He likes the power.

It doesn't really matter whether he can change, he can't un-rape you, can he?

Don't listen to the rape apologist on here who seems to think he owes your brothers an apology (for what?) Don't give him one more chance to drag you back into the net. Leave, and never look back.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 09-Jul-16 08:31:03

You do not and should not give him one last chance; this is all about him still. Abuse as well thrives on secrecy and you have kept your abuse at his hands secret for many years. You became conditioned to his abuse of you. Now your brothers knows your husband now promises change. I would not believe a single word your husband says. He needs to become your ex husband now.

A person can never act as a rescuer or saviour in any relationship; there is really nothing to so call rescue and or save here.

What do you think your children are learning and have learnt about relationships here; you have already stated you want to move away with your girls and have a fresh start. I would do this and enlist your family's support in doing so

VulcanWoman Sat 09-Jul-16 08:33:26

Sandy It's very concerning you would actually advice someone to give this type of person a second chance.
Anyone having counselling, please, never stop using your common sense and gut instinct.

BlackGirlAndRobin Sat 09-Jul-16 08:56:07

Thanks for your comments. I feel numb after a nights crying. I can't get over how he approached it. I had just come in with the shopping and as I was loading the fridge he came out with it, we had guests due to arrive for lunch this afternoon.

We've been having talks over the last week or so. He knows I'm booked in to start Councelling. Up until last week he wasn't willing to accept his part in the failings of our marriage. He's been unsupportive and disengaged with our girls since they were born. But to the outside world he was the model father. Living with the pretence finally caught up with me when I started having panic attacks.

From what I know his family only know one side of the story. Part of me dealing with all this was being honest with myself and therefore having a frank conversation with my eldest bro. It's only last night when he admitted his wrongdoing was I able to call bro 3 and tell him everything. It's completely floored me.

I feel violated all over again especially as we keep talking about his behaviour and what he's going to do to make amends. He's promised to see a sex therapist. Not even sure what they do! He's pleaded for more time to work on our issues. For me his acknowledgement of this particular behaviour is the death knell for our marriage. How can a man not understand the concept of consent?

flowers Attila. You may recognise me. I have made some progress, I promise. I had meetings with a SHL to discuss my options.

SandyY2K Sat 09-Jul-16 09:08:00

It sounds like you're done and there's no going back. You can't change how you feel and he has to accept that his prolonged actions have caused the demise of your marriage and that's the end for you.

Don't force yourself into giving him a chance. Sometimes it's just too late and the person who inflicted harm onto the marriage needs to accept that.

I know my brothers would be dragging me out of there once they knew what has happened. They would have zero respect or acceptance, which is why I'd probably only tell them when I knew I wasn't going back or staying.

Another thing you said is that his family only know half the story. Well I'd insist he tells them the full story, accepting responsibility.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 09-Jul-16 09:18:41


re your comment:-
"Attila. You may recognise me. I have made some progress, I promise. I had meetings with a SHL to discuss my options".

Am glad to read that you have made some progress. Feel free to PM me if you wish.

HandbagCrazy Sat 09-Jul-16 09:36:16

I don't have any experience with this, but just wanted to point out that you don't owe him a chance here. He had a chance to be a good husband every day that you've been married, and he didnt care enough then to respect you.
And it's very convenient that he's had this revelation now you're no longer keeping it a secret, now you're taking steps to get out and have a happy life.
If I were you I would be insulted that he is basically realising that it will be less effort to apologise and see a therapist than be single and then try and find someone else to put up with him. And furious that even this 'confession' doesn't include full acceptance of the fact that he is a rapist. And that the crime he committed carries a prison sentence. And yet, he really thinks a sorry is enough?
I very much hope that you LTB flowers

LadyStarkOfWinterfell Sat 09-Jul-16 09:40:51

Your agenda is to fix marriages, you said so.
I read your whole post - you advised the op that she could achieve a fresh new marriage with a rapist. That's ridiculous, dangerous and wrong advice.

SandyY2K Sat 09-Jul-16 10:02:41


The OP asked a question 'can a leopard change its spots'

I responded based on my experience with couples. This is a public forum and just like you, I have an opinion.

If you can't see where I offered a balanced view and said there may be too much water under the bridge and other comments, then I can't help you.

The OP didn't call her husband a rapist and I'm not going to do so while she is clearly undecided about staying, otherwise she would not post here.

A good Therapists or Counsellor does not advice, they present views/ options based on what the individual wants to do. They'd be sued if they actually advice a particular course of action and it goes wrong.

The counsellor gets the client to make a choice for themselves.

I won't respond to any other post from you, as I'd be wasting my time, due to your closed mind and blatant rudeness.

SandyY2K Sat 09-Jul-16 10:15:34

BTW one only helps try and fix a marriage if the two parties want to. Otherwise it's pointless.

I also have nothing to gain by offering my views on a public forum.

TheStoic Sat 09-Jul-16 10:42:31

So you told him you'd had enough, and then he 'saw the light'?

What version has he given his family?

It sounds like you've given him years to stop raping you. Why do you think he deserves even one more day?

Why does he understand everything today, but he couldn't understand it last week?

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