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Can they ever change?

(32 Posts)
worthmore Thu 05-Nov-09 10:26:55

Clutching at straws maybe... but has anyone ever had their DH/DP change his ways for the better. More tolerant, less angry etc. I know one man who did, for the sake of his wife and children... looking for more hopeful stories!

anonymous85 Thu 05-Nov-09 11:45:25

lol not many posts hmm

NicknameTaken Thu 05-Nov-09 13:16:08

Temporarily, yes.
Permanently? I haven't come across it myself.

LuluSkipToMyLou Thu 05-Nov-09 13:20:38

Yes. But his problems were down to anxiety/mental health issues, which were dealt with (and we still keep an eye on them). It was tough going though and it's only because I have family with similar problems that I was able to cope.

Awhowcutewhentheysleep Thu 05-Nov-09 14:22:49

No they change for 5 minutes til they think its safe enough to go back to arsehole behaviour. Power. Although if it is a genuine mental issue and not just that he's a total shit, I suppose they could with medical or councelling intervention.

My ex was nasty and controlling exactly the same as his older sister, yet their half brothers and sister were the most placid and wonderful people ever.

mollybob Thu 05-Nov-09 14:45:28

If there's a treatable reason for the bad behaviour and this isn't that common IME and they weren't badly behaved beforehand (not just including the best behaviour during the seduction stage of the relationship) or with previous partners, family and friends then it's possible

My husband showed signs of emotionally abusive behaviour when he was ill with bipolar but he was never like that before and he isn't now

Possible but unlikely would be my summary

selsworld Thu 05-Nov-09 14:50:49

Ive never known a male to change for the better!

HappyWoman Thu 05-Nov-09 15:06:39

I do think anyone can change - but only if they want to.

I think too often we 'allow' bad behaviour - not just individuals but society.

I dont think anyone man or woman wants to be a 'bad' person but until they are faced with the truth about how it effects others i dont think they know.

Sometimes there needs to be a lot of work on themselves to make them see.
That is why members of the same family can turn out very differently - some copy, others see the pain and are determined to change themselves.

worthmore Thu 05-Nov-09 15:52:03

how about if certain things in their past, ie. child abuse and things he saw while on active duty are the "causes".. how tolerant can you be. if they want to change, but have never been helped.

HappyWoman Thu 05-Nov-09 16:02:36

there can be lots of reasons and i do think that with work on themselves it can happen. There can be many causes such as child abuse - but there are just as many 'lesser' reasons that can be explored and may have some bearing and once they are understood it can help to learn to change.

My h was brought up as an only child (had a brother but was seperated from him) and a lot of his 'selfish' behaviour can be explained by his upbringing. Now that he sees that he can choose to change the way he treats people,

HappyWoman Thu 05-Nov-09 16:03:47

there is help out there - anyone can 'blame' the past if they dont want to change.

cestlavielife Thu 05-Nov-09 16:06:00

the causes can expplain but they can never justify - he has the choice to seek help and address them or not.

if there are specific "causes" and they are addressed then yes maybe the person can change.

if the person uses the cause as an excuse then they wont change.

many people have gone thru same issues and dont behave in bad ways.

LuluSkipToMyLou Thu 05-Nov-09 16:08:10

To turn it around, I have changed. Things have happened in my past that have led to me behaving in a childish and selfish manner. Thank goodness someone had faith in me and I have been able to get back on track, and leave my past where it belongs. Will I ever go back? There are no guarantees in life, but I'm damn well trying my hardest to STAY changed.

HappyWoman Thu 05-Nov-09 16:18:37

Thats how my h sees it. There were lots of 'excuses' for why he was the way he was but eventually he decided to face those 'demons' and not be held to the past.

In his own selfish way he wanted to change so he did (getting what he wants againgrin.)hmm. So has he really changed????

Yes he has - he is far calmer and able to see others pov. He does still have his moments but there has been a huge improvement and he is back to the man i knew he always could be.

I does take courage though to seek to change.

NicknameTaken Thu 05-Nov-09 16:20:47

The problem is that abusive men will often cite lousy childhoods etc as a reason.

If he's looking at you with doe eyes and asking you to help sort him out, run a mile.

If he has made a determined effort on his own bat, eg. set up counselling or whatever, you can proceed with caution.

verytellytubby Thu 05-Nov-09 16:22:37

My DH has changed massively this year. He was a selfish addict who was emotionally bullying me. Conselling has helped. I look back at this time last year and I can't believe the change in us and our relationship.

worthmore Thu 05-Nov-09 16:40:17

no, he's not asking me to help sort him, I am insisting he gets help. I think upbringing and life experiences can only explain/excuse who you are/what you do to a certain degree. There has to be a point when you take responsibility for your own actions? And what does it take for them to change... do I have to leave... I don't think that's the answer.... I think I have to help him. Don't want to sound like the pathetic sad wife, but I married him.. do I not have an obligation to help him? Where does that responsibility stop?
We are only at the beginning of this, I think it will be a long haul. He is a very complex man!

HappyWoman Sat 07-Nov-09 07:57:30

He will only change if he wants to - that may mean the threat of you saying you will leave.

Just as with any character trait it can be explained by past experiences but it does not have to be in the form of appauling behaviour now.

Good luck

I dont think you have to stay with someone who has angry outbust just because of your vows - was he totally honest with you about how it would affect your life at the time??

NanaNina Sat 07-Nov-09 19:03:01

Worthmore - people can change or at least modify their behaviour to the point where it is more acceptable but ONLY if they are motivated for themselves. No one else can really motivate someone to change. So I think the first thing is to consider whether he is motivated to change/modify/develop his behaviour so that he is less angry/intolerant/whatever. If he is motivated, then you really would need to find a good counsellor/therapist who did "couple counselling" - change takes motivation, time and a good counsellor. Relate are quite good but usually have a long waiting list. Incidentally if you were going to try Relate I would try now, as there is usually a huge rush for their services in January, after couples enduring an awful Christmas together!

I do firmly believe that behaviour is a product of experience and our personalities are formed in our early lives. I wonder if your H had a controlling/domineering parent (its usually a father) who was overly critical of him, or something similar. Behaviour can be learned from a parent and some people are not even aware of how their behaviour affects others.

Incidentally you don't sound like a pathetic sad wife at all. You sound like a very level headed person who wants to get things on a better footing and has insisted that things much change.

I wish you well and hope that you can find the help that you both need.

worthmore Sun 08-Nov-09 13:00:53

thanks for your help and support
Will see if he gets any help.
Sometimes he acknowledges that his behaviour is unreasonable and sometimes he is just so angry at everything.

NanaNina Sun 08-Nov-09 19:31:56

Worthmore - I am a bit confused. Are you posting on another thread saying that you know you are going to leave your H?

worthmore Mon 09-Nov-09 09:14:53

Yes Nananina, that me.
I posted saying it was inevitable, and then posted this, as I said clutching at straws maybe. It has been a very confusing week.
He needs to change, and I have a responsibility to help him, to a certain degree. I am hoping he can sort himself out, and there are flashes of hope, which I am hanging on to. But TBH I'm not sure he can do it... so I will be figuring out what to do if it doesn't work.

I hope this doesn't sound devious,ultimately I want to help him, but if he can't change then the situation is intolerable.

EndangeredSpecies Mon 09-Nov-09 09:27:05

Yes, mine has changed. He used to be massively controlling and now just has controlling tendencies.

Does yours admit his behaviour is causing problems?

worthmore Mon 09-Nov-09 09:36:46

Yes he knows, and he knows he will lose me if he cant change. He is just so angry at everything, and has no patience or tolerance. Just sees his own blinkered point of view. He is a very intelligent, high achiever and doesn't have time for those who aren't. He cannot for one second put himself in someone else's shoes. And he has problems admitting when he is wrong.
i think I am just getting more and more confused !

HappyWoman Mon 09-Nov-09 10:27:38

That is what professional therapy is for.

Once he knows he has to change his behavior he should want to seek out the answers.

And actually i dont think it is highly intelligent to not be able to see someone elses pov or admit when you are wrong. - in what way is he intelligent??

My h is a high achiever too - but i think that is because he is actually quite selfish (we have both learnt to accept that about him).

Anyway good luck - i hope he has the sense to at least seek some help.

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