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Can they change?(16 Posts)
Hi all, I have a few questions. In short DH and I have had issues, he has been physically violent, not all the time - it's usually a build up of stuff and he lashes out - there is definitely a pattern to it though. This is not me defending him, just trying to give some background.
After every incident there'd be an apology, how he would change/get help and he wouldn't follow through. In between the violence, he could be mean - usually when he was in a bad mood and again, lashing out at me.
Anyway, after the most recent incident I stood up to him and said that we need to split up. This has apparently spurred him into action - he's been to the doctors (been diagnosed with moderate depression), we are going to Relate and both of us are having individual counselling sessions. He's also pulling his weight in the house etc.
So, my questions- are men who have been abusive capable of change? Or will we just go back to the old cycle at some point?
Is it possible for me to move past the resentment over his treatment of me? He's been dismissive of my feelings or has minimised his actions.
First of all well done for drawing the line somewhere. It's a step in the right direction.
It's difficult to say whether someone can change an abusive pattern. It's always possible but I do think the number that change is minimal.
Have you talked about these issues before? Has he said he would change before?
I think a lot of it depends on what's driving him to seek help now. Do you think he is ashamed of his actions or is it because he thinks that's what he needs to do to keep you?
What's your gut feel?
No they don't change , from personal experience . They will make promises and even have counselling but always revert to type.
Like I say though , this is just my experience .
Mild, moderate, or severe depression does not excuse or explain violence,
Relate do not have the expertise to bring about positive change in cases of dv and you should not engage in joint counselling with an abuser.
If, and it is a very big IF, he is serious about changing his ways he can, and should, self-refer himself to a dv perpetrators programme such as this one: www.respectphoneline.org.uk/pages/domestic-violence-prevention-programmes.html
Do you have dc with him? If so, how are old are they?
Short answer- no
Longer answer- sometimes, with intense self reflection and appropriate perpetrators intervention, and only if the perpetrator takes full and total responsibility for his behaviour. Your husband doesn't does he? Minimising your concerns demonstrates that he doesn't take responsibility for his abuse.
How can you get over your resentment? Don't. Don't even try. Leave the bastard and be free.
Agree with above - counselling doesn't change an abuser into a non abuser and relate shouldn't touch you with a bargepole. Do they know he has been violent?
Don't go to relate together if he's been violent that's a no no as it can escalate him after each session. They don't have the resources to help there at all.
He's following the script loving the now till the mask slips and it will. Sorry that might not be what you want to hear but that's what they do.
Ftr no they don't change they get better at being bastards to us. Been there in the past and it wasn't pretty. 3 years verbal, emotional and financial, sexual abuse and then once he'd snared me in feeling worthless and shit with normalising this, then biting began then the punches.
He'd say I made him do like hell I did
He lost it why never my face then if he "lost" it
I was drunk yes right
All the usual shit to shift blame onto us.
I escaped as that's what it was back then an escape.
No. Never. I have had boyfriends that have been shitbags and changed - or some men are better when they meet the right one. But I had a violent boyfriend for a few years when I was younger and as far as I know he is still a cun*. There is a line - some men never cross it. But the ones that do, it is never the same after that and it can never be the same and they will do it always to any partner. That is what I firmly believe. I don't know what it is - but some small (maybe subconscious?) part of them thinks it is ok and that is finale. Also with violent boyf he started small - pushed me against towel rail in bathroom, pushed against wall, grabbed my face and throat scratching me, then started pulling duvet cover off me or smothering me in it - escalated to pushing me backwards down stairs, holding a knife to my throat, cracking my ribs, holding me out over the balcony of 7th floor flat. That's just for starters - it never gets better and it will never be the same. Get the fuck away from him.
And since confiding in people about these at different times after - I can tell you honestly that I have never heard a true story about a man who is violent to women then changing and not doing it again. The potential will always be there. I don't think he has given you a choice - if you stay you accept it so why wouldn't he do it again? This just makes me so angry to hear what he has done - but my advice would be: don't wait to see what he does the next time. I met a lady last year who had to have reconstructive surgery after her previously "mildly' violent partner went batshit crazy and broke her nose and her eye socket for her. She was very beautiful and now she is not. But I suppose that was the intention.
No they don't change.
he'll be good for a while but he'll find a reason to whale on you again.
stay with him if you want - but expect another beating.
its your choice.
he needs to beat up women. that's his thing. if its not you then, he'll find someone else to attack.
he should be in prison, to be honest.
I agree with this - he should be in prison. I know that my violent ex attacked at least one other girl. As selfish as it sounds - I can't go down the road of being the one to put him in prison, after he threatened to pour petrol through my mum's letterbox I decided to stay away I just disappeared and he has never found me since. But he will do it again. Make no mistake.
Also - how can you move past the resentment if he is dismissive? He thinks it is ok to hit you???!!! Ahhhhhh. Yeah ok. That is exactly the problem. He is pulling his weight for a quiet life. For now. He obviously doesn't think he fundamentally did anything wrong. Christ it makes my skin crawl. Men who do this.
He's being nice and pulling his weight because he doesn't want the disruption of you leaving him. He wants his comfortable life to stay the same and he likes the 'status' of being married. You are still in the cycle of abuse. You're just in the 'nice' part. And it's quite a big effort for him to be nice to you. He will expect something in return (this is not love) and when he feels he's not getting 'what he's due' be it sex or dome other domestic service the build up will start and it will end in more violence.
My ex managed to be decent for a whole two years til the mask slipped again.
This is not love. You need to not go to Relate. You need to make plans to leave.
Give Women's Aid a call.
Thanks all, sorry I was busy all weekend so have only just had a chance to read through the replies!
We have no children.
He is taking responsibility, and is ashamed of his behaviour. Relate did an assessment and thought it was safe for us to have sessions together. I have said things in the sessions and there has been no reaction to my comments apart from crying and apologising for putting us in this situation. He fully owns the violence and says it is all his fault, nothing is being blamed on me.
I am cautious, I am not convinced that everything is fine or that it will go back to normal, I am just questioning everything really.
On previous occasions, when he has hit me he has always said that he would get help and never followed through. This is the first time he is getting help (separate to Relate). I feel safe enough at home - I am also not alone, I have family staying (on a long term basis) and there are police officers nearby.
He is dismissive, but not about the violence, sorry that wasn't clear. He is very clear on the violence being a bad thing and has taken full responsibility of it. I do think it's gone from me being on edge, to him. No bad thing from my POV, I just don't know what I am doing.
He knows this is all very wrong, I don't think he hurt his previous girlfriends, sadly I think it's just me...(!)
Disgusting, he has no right to even spend time with you after what he has done, if he was really truly sorry he'd leave you in peace and not attack you and show you by proving to you that he can change, he has not done that, you should not be in counselling together where violence has taken place.
His act won't last OP, the violence is him, it's nothing to do with anything or anybody else, he likes to hit women, simple as that and until he goes away for a long time and re learns how to treat a woman or any other human you are on a hiding to nowhere, yeah, nice now to keep you on your toes and stop you from doing anything sensible.
Sorry but he's disgusting, stop excusing him and get rid.
Nothing is being blamed on you, are you serious, he is hitting you and you are glad he's admitting to it, big fucken deal of him.
If this was your daughter what would you tell her, tough love is needed here.
Be very careful re contraception at this time and think hard about ending the relationship now while you are relatively unemcumberd. No he won't change. As others have said he is currently in the 'nice' part of the cycle and will be using counselling to collect amunition about your weak-points.
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