Can abusive men change?
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Old 08-24-2013, 01:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Can abusive men change?

This question is more geared toward the ladies, but of course guys can answer, too. Has anyone here ever been in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship where the abusive man was able to change and stop being abusive? If not, do you know of anyone first hand? I'm looking for first hand accounts or at least stories about someone you know well, not something you heard through the grapevine or read on the internet.

The reason I'm asking is because I am afraid for my close friend. She is in her late 20s, and got married to her husband very quickly after meeting him. They have been married for 5 years and he has been physically abusive to her for about 4 of those years. I just found this out recently and I am overwhelmed with shock. I don't know how I didn't know and how she kept it a secret for so long.

During the course of their relationship during arguments, he has slapped her, punched her in the arms and legs, hit her with different objects, choked her, and other things like that. The abuse hasn't been so bad that she has been hospitalized, but obviously any abuse is bad enough!

Last summer, I saw a huge bruise on her arm. It was nearly the size of a softball. She explained it away as a sports injury, which I believed because she is a very physical person who is always running, hiking, playing sports, paint balling, etc. I now know the bruise was from him punching her repeatedly. I never saw anything else. I feel like such a terrible friend for not noticing.

He has promised to stop before and of course hasn't. The most recent promise was 3 weeks ago, and he said he wants to change and go to counseling. He has not been physical with her in the past 3 weeks since the promise and he points to that as evidence that he has changed and is now "cured". However, they have gotten into a few bad arguments where he has been emotionally abusive (calling her stupid, retarded, a b*tch, a w*ore, etc) and where he has threatened to hurt her ("I'm going to slam your head against this counter until your face is covered in blood"). He also spit in her face after she exploded on him and said something nasty after an entire day of being picked on emotionally.

I have personally never heard of a man that was able to stop being abusive. I am hoping to show her this thread so she can get some advice or hear from other people's experiences.

Thanks all.
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Old 08-24-2013, 02:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can abusive men change?

In my opinion,
No.

It is very rare that an abusive man changes whilst in a relationship , because he views his partner as weak and not his equal.

Saying sorry and promising to change is also part of the cycle. Like a pendulum, it goes back and forth.
It goes from point A where things are " normal " then swings through a range of emotions and ends up at point B ,extreme anger and abuse where it goes back to point A.

The only way abusive treatment stops is when the victim leaves . If the abuser seeks professional help, then he might change . But I've never seen it .

A similar dynamic exist with women who are emotionally abusive , and only external, professional help might work.
But these types of personality traits run deep and most times have its roots in early childhood trauma.
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Last edited by Caribbean Man; 01-18-2014 at 07:04 AM.
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Old 08-24-2013, 03:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can abusive men change?

Not unless they're dedicated and totally committed to changing. This entails removing themselves from the abusive relationship and undergoing intensive, lengthy counseling. Even then, apparently the success rate is pretty low. As CM said:-

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But these types of personality traits run deep and most times have its roots in early childhood trauma.

Last edited by Cosmos; 08-24-2013 at 05:43 AM.
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Old 08-24-2013, 03:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can abusive men change?

I used to push my old lady around and I didn't like who I became.

your old man has to change for him self and not for you. get out now.

I can tell you one thing is for sure that it does progress.

I started yelling, that went to faking a punch, to grapping her, to throwing her!!!!

And at the end of the day looking at Mrs. the-guy curled up on the floor with snot running out of her nose I knew this was not me!

My point is you can't do sh1t about what your old man does to you except get out.

You can't chnage him...its up to him!

I suggest you leave and then watch from a far.....you may find that he continues to some other chick or you may find that he take action in fixing his @ss and gets help.

But at the end of the day never let him know your watching he has to do this on his own.

the-guy that *used* to beat his wife.

PS
It took 52 sessions of anger managment to stop fighting not only with my old lady but the @sswipe that pissed me off at the store,gas station,highway, or even at my kids school.

I was not a nice man!

Again this crap will get worse until your old man gets help.
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Old 08-24-2013, 03:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can abusive men change?

My dad used to be one. He was both emotionally and physically abusive to my mom. But he did change overtime, even though it took him about 20 years to become a normal husband, who treats his wife like a partner, rather than a doormat. People are capable of change, but there certainly has to be something to push them towards it, to motivate them, to make them want to change, and i believe it depends on the individual, the kinds of things that would affect them, and make them see things in a different light. For my parents, it had to be my mom walking out on my dad, finding someone else. That made him re-evaluate everything, and he begged for her not to leave him. I'm sure a lot of men wouldn't react that way, some might get even more abusive, some might just go ahead and let a woman go, you need an individual approach in every individual case.
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Old 08-24-2013, 07:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can abusive men change?

I am in a very mentally abusive marriage. It has only gotten worse as time has gone by. I don't see him ever getting better in fact I think he will be physically abusive before long if I don't get out. I don't think it's worth waiting to find out if there is hope he could change.

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Old 08-24-2013, 07:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can abusive men change?

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Originally Posted by txfreespirit View Post
I am in a very mentally abusive marriage. It has only gotten worse as time has gone by. I don't see him ever getting better in fact I think he will be physically abusive before long if I don't get out. I don't think it's worth waiting to find out if there was hope he could change.
I'm sorry to hear that... The only thing that changes in abusive relationships is that they get worse. Don't wait around for it to become physical. You're already feeling the threat that things are escalating, so get out before it does.
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can abusive men change?

Im a Christian, and I try not to be too preachy, but I have seen many men who were abusive, and generaly awful people become wonderful caring men after they gave their life to God.
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:05 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can abusive men change?

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Im a Christian, and I try not to be too preachy, but I have seen many men who were abusive, and generaly awful people become wonderful caring men after they gave their life to God.
That's called an " epiphany."
Outside of that its extremely rare that these men change.
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:10 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Can abusive men change?

I've never seen one change.
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:15 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can abusive men change?

I think it is possible BUT it does have to come from them (they don't want to be that person vs they have to change to get what they want).
While staying in a abusive relationship gives a abuser something/someone to blame and reflect their actions on (if he/she didn't do this I would do that ect) rather than take whole responsibility for their actions, so on the whole abuse gets worse.
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Old 08-25-2013, 11:56 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can abusive men change?

My stbxh is very emotionally abusive. He has only gotten worse with time. I think the only thing that will change him is if a group of really big men beat him within an inch of his life.
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Old 08-25-2013, 12:13 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can abusive men change?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caribbean Man View Post
In my opinion,
No.

It is very rare that an abusive man changes whilst in a relationship , because he views his partner as weak and not his equal.

Saying sorry and promising to change is also part of the cycle. Like a pendulum, the dynamic is " simple harmonic ."
It goes from point A where things are " normal " then swings through a range of emotions and ends up at point B ,extreme anger and abuse where it goes back to point A.

The only way abusive treatment stops is when the victim leaves . If the abuser seeks professional help, then he might change . But I've never seen it .

A similar dynamic exist with women who are emotionally abusive , and only external, professional help might work.
But these types of personality traits run deep and most times have its roots in early childhood trauma.
with CMan.

Abusers are capable of change but rarely when still with the partner they've abused. In this case, your friend has been abused yet is stayed with him. She's marked her price tag really low which is the worse thing she can do if she wanted him to change.

If he's capable of changing then that change won't happen until he's with someone who will not take the abuse. That means she has to change too if they are to do better together.
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Old 08-25-2013, 02:15 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can abusive men change?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltInWound View Post
My stbxh is very emotionally abusive. He has only gotten worse with time. I think the only thing that will change him is if a group of really big men beat him within an inch of his life.
I had the same thought.
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Old 08-25-2013, 02:18 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can abusive men change?

I don't think they can change. My ex was emotionally abusive for many of our 24 years together. I was young when I met him, and had no idea what abuse was. I thought he was just looking out for my best interests all the time, but it was a way of controling me.

Being in a "normal" relationship now, I don't see any evidence of abuse, but it's been hard to feel "ok" even after 9 months, I keep waiting for something to happen, or sometimes over analysing things he says.

Your friend needs to get out, it probably won't change. And it will destroy her self-esteem.
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