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Is change possible? - Domestic Violence/Emotional Abuse

(82 Posts)
SanitysSake Sun 03-Dec-17 21:13:13

Dear All,

Not wanting to trigger anyone.. I have a question re: the above.

Do you think it's possible for a partner to change after they have been violent and/or emotionally abusive?

If so, how did they do it?

Would greatly appreciate your opinions x

NorksAreMessy Sun 03-Dec-17 21:20:37


Ecclesiastes Sun 03-Dec-17 21:23:05


And it's not like there's a global shortage of men. You can afford to throw back the shit ones.

PsychedelicSheep Sun 03-Dec-17 21:25:50

Maybe but not without lots of extensive therapy. It depends what’s driving it I guess. Genuinely wanting to change is vital, for themselves not just because their partner has threatened to leave. Also the ability to reflect and gain insight into their thoughts, feelings and behaviours, and the motivation to do the painful and difficult work necessary to change.

It’s possible but very tough and most people don’t want to bother, or don’t deep down believe that they should have to.

SomeonesRealName Sun 03-Dec-17 21:26:27

Almost certainly not.

cookie75 Sun 03-Dec-17 21:27:30

Physically abusive. Yes I believe they can stop that.
Mentally & emotionally - no. I speak from personal experience.

AliceWhatsth3Matter Sun 03-Dec-17 21:27:48

Sometimes they stop one kind of abusing but intensify another.

My ex eventually stopped hitting me because he became wary of the police. But he cranked up the verbal, emotional and sexual abuse. It was hell.

Even if there was a shortage of men, you're best off with no man rather than an abusive one. I speak from experience.

MN was a great source of support when I was feeling trapped. We're here for you.

Pandapenguin Sun 03-Dec-17 21:29:37

100000% no. They don’t change, they just find new victims and wait before starting the psycho antics again. Been there, dont that. As have many of my friends.

There’s a difference between a standard dickhead guy and a violent abusive one. FOr instance, some of my male friends have treated ex girlfriends badly but have then met ‘the one’ and been completely different. They just weren’t as bothered about the other women. But violence? Abuse? No that does not change at all. In my experience.

I was thinking about this actually when Mel Gibson was on the Graham Norton show. He was recorded abusing an ex wife. He still had that look about him, something about him I can’t put my finger on it but I often feel like I recognise men like him when i see them. Different name - same psycho personality.

DioneTheDiabolist Sun 03-Dec-17 21:31:48

It is possible, but not easy. And it is almost impossible to do while still in a relationship.

CremeFresh Sun 03-Dec-17 21:39:15

No they don't change.

Koala72 Sun 03-Dec-17 21:41:16

* They don’t change, they just find new victims and wait before starting the psycho antics again.*

You get a dog from the RSPCA.
It's gorgeous. Amazing. Full of joy and life and love. You adore it. You know it's had a difficult background, but you think and hope you will get through to it, and you will be tolerant of its difficulties.
All good, then, one day, it bites your kid.
Your heart feels sad, but another part thinks omg and takes the dog back.
Because now you can't trust it. And too much is at risk.
Does the dog, when it goes to another home, bite someone again?

End of.
They don't change.
Sorry for the dog analogy - but could be any other adopted creature. The point is, they were damaged when you took them on. And they will always be. Sad but true.

They are lucky not to be at the RSPCA.

SanitysSake Sun 03-Dec-17 21:42:59

Thank you for all your kind replies.

In furtherance, do you think that if violence presents itself, it will always escalate?

bluescreen Sun 03-Dec-17 21:57:26

SanitysSake If your questions aren't merely academic, please contact Women's Aid: 0808 2000 247 Freephone 24hr National Domestic Violence Helpline

Hannah1x Sun 03-Dec-17 22:02:59

From experience, nope

My ex was physically abusive to his first girlfriend, then me, the girlfriend after me (a short term relationship) didn't get physically abused because he was scared of her brother BUT he was emotionally abusive. When that brief relationship came to an end he met another girl and before long was hitting her.

Once they start they don't stop, it becomes part of who they are and something they will resort to in order to exercise control

SanitysSake Sun 03-Dec-17 22:04:16

Blue.. They're not academic and I've contacted Womens Aid. They phoned my house phone and guess who answered it?...

Not very clever and put me into a state of anxiety for which there were no words...

PortiaCastis Sun 03-Dec-17 22:05:38

As a victim I'll say no

LineysRunner Sun 03-Dec-17 22:10:02

Look, it's genuinely a tough one. People can and do change through therapy and counselling, where they want to change for a reason, and the therapist is skilled, and they are doing it alone - and not to try to keep an unbalanced relationship ticking along.

For example, I've had bereavement counselling. It effected change.

But I didn't do it to persuade someone to stay with me. It was to sort my own stuff out with myself, so I could be a better me iykwim.

mishfish Sun 03-Dec-17 22:13:37


Even when they’re with someone new, it’s all fake and they’ll revert back to their old ways

bluescreen Sun 03-Dec-17 22:14:36

Blue.. They're not academic and I've contacted Womens Aid. They phoned my house phone and guess who answered it?...

That's awful. It's not supposed to happen that they reveal themselves to your partner. So sorry to hear this. You could try emailing them instead if you have a safe email address. Can you get out of the house to talk to someone?

Pandapenguin Sun 03-Dec-17 22:19:21

@sanitysake sometimes it escalates it depends how it starts. Scratching and pushing leads to harder shoves and hits and dangerous situations. One of my exes used to put pillows over my face in bed when he was drunk, then he started holding me against hot radiator bars in bathroom, and on and on and on. You get the picture. Eventually i woke up in hospital with an orbital and jaw fracture. Last thing i remember was being told how would i like being thrown off a balcony.

Whoever is doing this to you is small. In the real world he doesn’t have power. Knowledge is power - the thing that allows these guys to carry on is the doubt “he might change”. Have no doubt. ANd leave. As soon as you can. Stay and wait if you want, but if you have children especially i say you should leave. Easier said than done i know but men also often don’t know their own strength and there may come a day when you don’t have the option of leaving anymore.

Pandapenguin Sun 03-Dec-17 22:20:52

PS when i said sometimes it escalates i mean they always maintain whatever thing they start enforcing - the level of violence might stay the same / escalate but it never reverts. It’s over once it starts - they know that too.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Sun 03-Dec-17 22:23:47

If he's willing to go to the tremendous effort of changing then why would a call from Women's Aid be a problem? If he's all about the change then he'd be wanting you to get support from as many places as possible.

Or does he want you to keep his abuse secret? Will he be outraged if he finds that you are considering leaving him because of his abuse?

What makes you think he wants to change?

ferriswheel Sun 03-Dec-17 22:25:08

No. No. No. No. No.

No. No. No. No. No.

Been there. Done that.


Get. Rid.

AdoraBell Sun 03-Dec-17 22:25:11

Anyone can change if they want to.

In terms of an abusive partner, they usually have no reason to change. If you ever get rid of them they’ll just move on to the next victim. And if you are asking if your abusive partner will change, no. So don’t waste time waiting for it to happen.

Speak to Wonens Aid and make a plan to leave.

Smellyoulateralligater Sun 03-Dec-17 22:34:08

It will happen again Sanity.

I told myself it wouldn’t. But it did and escalated. Please get out c

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