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Can emotionally abusive relationships fix themselves?

(44 Posts)
Namechange58632 Fri 15-Jul-16 18:28:21

I think I'm in an emotionally abusive relationship. I'm staying with him because I keep hoping it'll get better but I can't talk to him about it and fix things that way because he'll get angry. Do these things ever just get better with time?

Redisthenewblack Fri 15-Jul-16 18:38:15

No. Never.

He doesn't see what he's doing as wrong. You can't approach him because he'll become angry. There's no way this can get better. It will only get worse.

holdontoyourbutts Fri 15-Jul-16 19:11:37

No they can't.

I'm 8 months out of a 6 year emotionally abusive relationship and life, even with its ups and downs, is so much better on the other side.

VestalVirgin Fri 15-Jul-16 19:17:50

Okay, in theory, those things do get better with time - wait about 60 years and he might die before you, and then you will be free and happy.

... on the other hand, just getting out of the relationship now is probably the better idea.

jayho Fri 15-Jul-16 19:18:57

no, you modify and modify your behaviour until you lose yourself. Then you have some awful lightbulb moment and spend ages hating yourself for having been such a fool.

bitter, much, sorry.

bluecashmere Fri 15-Jul-16 19:48:01

Just to repeat was all PPs have said, no, it won't get better. He won't see your reasoning EVER. Why would you rationally want to hold on to a relationship with someone like this? Been there and done that so I completely understand but cut your loses and get out now.

bluecashmere Fri 15-Jul-16 19:48:24


ScarletForYa Fri 15-Jul-16 19:48:51


MagnifiMad Fri 15-Jul-16 19:49:46

Yes, I echo the others - if you can't even talk about it, it can't get better.

For those who can talk about it, it would take a lot of work and effort on both sides to get better.

Hope you can find your way out.

MilicentKing Fri 15-Jul-16 19:50:56

No. They get worse. Slowly. You may not even realise. Then the box gets smaller and smaller, the bar higher and higher. Get out while you've still got the strength.

I am 18 months into trying to get rid of him ( he won't leave until I buy him out) and he's just sour broken me.

CharlotteCollins Fri 15-Jul-16 19:52:41

How would it?

You keep on trying for years to predict what will make him happy each day and some day you finally manage it? No, because you are not him and even if you were it would irritate him some days!

Or he decides to stop being abusive one day and treat you like someone equal to him? Again, not going to happen. He treats you bad because he thinks you're doing something wrong.

In short, no. But I'm interested in why you think it might.

rememberthetime Fri 15-Jul-16 19:58:35

My husband had two years of counselling and only then did he see his behaviour for what it was. I also needed counseling to recover. I dint recommend that approach early in a relationship. Just move on while it is easy to do so. He had to be willing to change and getting to that point took far too long. For us it was 16 years. I am a changed person and not for the better.

Resilience16 Fri 15-Jul-16 21:19:59

I tried for 4years to "fix" my emotionally abusive relationship. Bottom line is you can't change someone else's behaviour, and if they won't discuss it or refuse to accept there is a problem , or if they blame you , then it ain't never going to get fixed.
And all the time this is going on you are walking on eggshells, waiting for the next blow up. You start to doubt yourself, start to believe maybe it is all your fault. Your self esteem is crushed into dust...
Been there, done that.
I'm 6 months out of that relationship now. I look back and wonder why I endured all the crap for so long. Yes it was hard and painful getting out, but now the peace and lack of drama is just so nice, just wish I had seen sense earlier.
So no it won't fix itself, in the same way if the wheels fall off a bus they don't miraculously fall back on again.
So you can either stay and suck it up, and the abuse will become your normality , and will probably escalate until you don't know which way is up, or you can be brave and get out. Your choice.
Bit of a no brainer, hey?
You deserve better. Good luck x

FreeFromHarm Fri 15-Jul-16 22:18:04

Resillence is right

MilicentKing Fri 15-Jul-16 22:43:33

OP. The replies are quite alarming if you're only starting to recognise you are in an EA relationship. It takes most people many years to make to find the courage to accept it, face it and decide what to do.

Be gentle with yourself.

Mine has been abusive for about 8 years (not all bad).

Namechange58632 Fri 15-Jul-16 23:05:04

Thank you for the replies. I think I know deep down that it's not going to get better but I love him and don't know how I'd cope without him, he's all I've got as I've got no friends. I feel like it could be my fault and that eventually I won't make him hate me anymore. Nobody else would love me so I'm scared to break up with him.

Charlotte that's exactly what I think, that I'll be able to predict what's going to set him off and that I won't be upset about the things he says anymore because I'll get used to it. And sometimes he can be lovely and makes me really happy, so I'm holding out hope that it'll be like that more often.

Summerlovinf Fri 15-Jul-16 23:40:02 others have says, they tend to get worse.

Resilience16 Sat 16-Jul-16 06:11:26

Oh I am so sorry you feel like you are to blame here.He really has done a good job of wrecking your head.
Just because you love him it doesn't mean you have to put up with him treating you like crap.
If he loved and respected you he wouldn't be treating you like crap.
What ever it is he is saying, or whatever it is he is doing,it is NOT your fault. Please believe that.
You are never going to be able to "predict" what it is that sets him off, but you will tie yourself in knots trying to do so.
Yes there may be some good times, most abusers make sure there are a sprinkling of them as if it was relentlessly bad why would anyone stay?
I found it helpful to write down all the bad things that happened. It's easy to minimise the horrible things that happen when you are living with them in a daily basis, but if you write them down you can see them in black and white.
The thought of separating may be scary, but you WOULD be able to cope. I look back now and think why on earth did I put up with that for so long? But I totally get that when you are living through it your view of normality becomes totally skewed.
Do you have any friends or family who could support you in real life? Or have you been isolated from them?
You can contact Women's aid to discuss practical ways to start considering extracating yourself. Do you have children?
Finally if you only take one thing away from this it is that you are someone who deserves to be loved and treated well. Please believe that you deserve better than this. Keep repeating that to yourself til you start to believe it.
Hug for you x

ThumbWitchesAbroad Sat 16-Jul-16 06:18:15

Oh dear OP - your posts are so sad. sad
The bits of love he metes out to you, to make you happy - they're like crumbs off his table when he feels like you need a bit of goodness, in among the shit.
Why settle for crumbs? Why be happy with just crumbs, when with the RIGHT person, you could have the whole cake? Even if that right person is yourself - then you'd definitely get the whole cake. smile

A lot of what you're saying isn't real - it's what your H has made you think about yourself.

Are you happy to settle for crumbs? bearing in mind that the longer this goes on, the fewer and farther between the crumbs will become, until you might not get any at all?

myownperson Sat 16-Jul-16 06:47:41

OP I'm really sorry you are feeling like this. It's really difficult to get from where you are to feeling strong enough to do anything but you are stronger than you know. I promise you. I know the feeling that leaving isn't even an option. I know how much the idea might scare you. But maybe try and do what Resilience suggests and write things down. Once you write things down its more difficult to pretend everything is ok.
You deserve to be happy. You do not deserve to ever be treated badly.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 16-Jul-16 06:49:10

All of your words are those written by an abused woman.

He is and will destroy you systematically from the inside out if you were to remain within this. You probably have no friends precisely because he has been able to isolate you from them; these men do actively seek to cut off their victims support. However, you have MN and that is a great asset to you.

Do you have children; if so they are seeing all this as well. You cannot protect them fully from his abuse of you (and in turn them also).

His "niceness" is all part of the cycle of abuse (its the calm before the storm) but its a continuous one. He will not stay nice for long but will revert to type. Such men do not change and infact hate women, all of them.

What did you yourself learn about relationships when growing up, what sort of an example did your parents set you?. You state you love him; are you really confusing love here with co-dependency?. His actions towards you are not loving ones towards you. He has also done a bang up job here of messing with your head, this is precisely what abusive men do to their intended target.

Womens Aid would be of great help to you here also.

user1467709068 Sat 16-Jul-16 09:16:59

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

maggiethemagpie Sat 16-Jul-16 13:33:01

Reading with interest as my friend is in an EA relationship and it appears to the outside eye to have got better. For example I saw her stand up to him for the first time and he 'appears' to be treating her better. No idea what goes on behind closed doors of course. It may be that she has become 'better' at doing what he says/being what he wants. I do think leopards can change their spots but only if the leopard is aware and willing to work on themselves which I don't think many EA man are. Maybe the odd one?

gingerbreadmanm Sat 16-Jul-16 13:48:39

in my experience (and i'm still in one) they can change for the better but leave behind a lot of bitterness and regret.

i've stayed with dp as i can see that it's the way he was brought up that have made him like he is. he has changed, slowly. it still rears its head now and again though.

ive changed lots and im not sure how much longer i will put up with it.

MonicaLewinskisFlange Sat 16-Jul-16 14:00:30

27 years in and still there. I'm just beginning to realise I can't fix him, or our relationship, or get back our DCs childhoods. Half my life has gone.

Don't leave it this long. I'm still trying to be brave enough to end it. And I'm someone who stands up to him every time he is abusive, which just ends up with us bickering constantly. My self esteem is shit. I don't care if nobody else loves me ever again. I just want to be by myself now.

Get the courage OP to leave or kick him out. You and me can do it together. flowers

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