Originally Posted by 3littleangelsmom View Post
Can they change or is it part of their personality?
I personally feel that it's a character defect/issue.
A personality problem" or whatever you want to define it as.
Its rare the abuser that changes. They tend to change for a little bit but what they are is always there. And they also tend to get worse over time. It's sick, really.
I think the ones who do change have an epiphany or something major has to happen for them to realize the damage they have caused and inflicted on their loved ones/people around them. It can and will only change IF they admit/realize there is a problem, get help for the problem, acknowledg ethe problem, apologize to those they have hurt and actually COMMIT to changing the destructive behavior.
My ex was very emotionally abusive and even when I talk to him now, it's still there, that "dark cloud"--lingering in the background.
You can't give in to their tantrums. Stand your ground. You mentioned it's "cyclical," and you are spot on. Abuse IS cyclical. It's one big merry-go-round of terror that never ends. It's is happy, then a conflict, then the blow up, then the calm time, then happy, conflict, a blow up, calm time--over and over again. My ex would be ok for about 2-3 months at most and it would start all over again. And it was horrible. I couldn't live like that anymore. Neverending circle.
You said you lost love/trust/respect for him--this happened with me too. Eventually all the love I had for him was stripped away and nothing was left but resentment. Once that resentment starts in, it is HARD to go back to how you saw them before. For me, it hasn't happened all the way, even after we split.
If he is desperate, I say give it another shot but explain to him what you need from him to start even believing him. Tell him you aren't f-cking around and that talk is cheap. ACTIONS are what counts.