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Is it normal for people to change really long standing behaviour when they realise that divorce is really on the cards?

(27 Posts)
WHATISTHISNIGHTMARE Sun 15-Oct-17 12:54:52

Just that really. And how long will the change in behaviour last?

Am beyond confused.

Ineedmorelemonpledge Sun 15-Oct-17 14:06:59

IME it was when my STBXH realised I wasn’t going to roll over and give him everything. Then when he realised what he had to lose he wasn’t prepared to blame himself for anything of it, it was all my fault and he got nasty, really nasty.

It’s taken three years of me refusing to bow down and engage at his level, and we’ve finally reached an impasse. He’s still go an undercurrent if nastiness though so I’m always on my guard.

I think it was there all along, this dark behaviour, but as long as he got everything his own way, it never really came to the surface.

WHATISTHISNIGHTMARE Sun 15-Oct-17 14:17:18

Are you now separated Ineed?

In my case H is being a lot nicer. Since about a day and a half.

He is very upset about Form E and says I can have what I want (not sure I believe this) rather than him fill it in. He says I know everything that there is.

My point is that in order for things to be fair of course both our financial positions and needs have to be explained and clear.

Offred Sun 15-Oct-17 14:45:52


IMO people only change really long standing behaviour when they really put in a lot of effort and seek help.

This comes from an internal realisation that they have an issue. A divorce may precipitate a realisation that they have issues, but usually people think superficially about how to keep the relationship not how to change themselves.

This is why the change is usually short lived.

Offred Sun 15-Oct-17 14:47:00

Coming to a realisation you need to change yourself usually comes only after a number of losses have already occurred.

FrizzyNoodles Sun 15-Oct-17 14:49:56

It sounds like you don't know everything that there is and you can have what you want out of what you know about. In my experience they change for the better until you let your guard down and it gradually creeps back.

NinonDeLenclos Sun 15-Oct-17 14:58:16

The behaviour will last until he thinks the divorce threat has blown over.

WHATISTHISNIGHTMARE Sun 15-Oct-17 15:02:34

Sadly that is what I think. Don't know what to do though as this has made things really hard.

Yourarejokingme Sun 15-Oct-17 15:04:58

hes only being nicer so you'll drop the divorce action when he sees you won't he may become nasty.

WHATISTHISNIGHTMARE Sun 15-Oct-17 15:06:13

He has experienced losses yes. He is still blaming though and I am sure would go back to the other behaviours as well.

Ineedmorelemonpledge Sun 15-Oct-17 15:06:30

Yea sounds like. Crocodile smile of sorts.

Yes I’m separated, final court day next month.

Offred Sun 15-Oct-17 15:09:54

If he has experienced losses without self reflection then no whatever he is doing now is likely to be manipulative rather than actual change.

WHATISTHISNIGHTMARE Sun 15-Oct-17 15:13:03

It was easy (or easier) to think we were headed for divorce when we were estranged (but in the same house). Now that he is being a tiny bit of the person I would have wanted, and also showing how upset he is (tears), it is devastating and hard.

Offred Sun 15-Oct-17 15:15:30

Yes, separating is hard.

When I left it had got so bad for me that it literally didn’t matter what he did or who he was I just didn’t care anymore... but that basically meant i’d stayed so long the effort of just living was making me suicidal...

Rainybo Sun 15-Oct-17 15:17:00

My ex-H went like this in the period immediately before we separated. When I still left he became a nasty shit. 2 years on, he still is if anyone dares challenge him instead of falling for the ‘niceness’.

Leaving was the best thing I have ever done. Don’t get suckered in.

Offred Sun 15-Oct-17 15:20:33

He cried when i said I wanted to split up and I just felt absolutely nothing... maybe some irritation at having to deal with it...

That’s it.

But i’d spent years and years communicating desperately and being miserable to the point where living with him, looking at him, cooking for him, speaking to him, him breathing etc was causing me almost a physical pain and I was finding myself whistfully considering how everything would be better if he got into an accident on the way home from work...

I HATED being that person so much it just became a straight choice between me surviving or our relationship...

It would have been infinitely better to have got out earlier before I became that person!

WHATISTHISNIGHTMARE Sun 15-Oct-17 15:25:43

I am sorry about all that you have all been through.

In my case I don't think it is me that he would miss. It's the associated loss and the court hearings which are terrifying him.

RandomMess Sun 15-Oct-17 15:26:47

So tears over you potentially finding out the financial truths?? Strange thing to be cry over...

WHATISTHISNIGHTMARE Sun 15-Oct-17 15:30:12

I don't know. His last divorce was very hard.

The form is also overwhelming. And he is being forced to do it. Not easy for a for a fiercely independent self-starter who does not really share information or need anyone.

Offred Sun 15-Oct-17 15:34:31

I think the important thing is for you to see that actually no matter how he feels about the whole thing and what emotions he is displaying the reasons for wanting to split still exist.

WHATISTHISNIGHTMARE Sun 15-Oct-17 15:36:29

Yes they do Offred. We could split and if he wants to date me afterwards I would consider it grin. Because I would be independent and would not be affected by his behaviour. This is probably not what he wants though.

HerOtherHalf Sun 15-Oct-17 15:36:34

Can I suggest another way to consider it? If you do give him the benefit of the doubt, and a second chance in the hope that he will change permanently, how confident are you in being able to go back through the emotional process of instigating divorce all over again? How sure are you he won't take advantage of the second chance to quietly get his ducks in a row and make sure he's better placed (eg hiding assets, diverting income) if you do finally go through with divorce? I expect it's taken you a lot to get to this stage. Don't rush to back down for the sake of a few crocodile tears and false promises.

WHATISTHISNIGHTMARE Sun 15-Oct-17 16:34:54

Yes it has really taken a lot. Courage, pain, money, help from other people, and fear.

Plus once he thinks all is okay, he might hold it over me.

NinonDeLenclos Sun 15-Oct-17 17:24:58

This could go on for years. He chirps up & behaves himself until divorce seems off the menu, then he goes back to his old ways and you pull the divorce card again. It depends how long you want to continue on this roundabout.

donners312 Sun 15-Oct-17 18:04:24

google narcissists and hoovering - see if it rings a few bells.

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