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Can he change??

Open Discussions About Verbal Abuse.

Can he change??

Postby bbllq » Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:27 pm

Hi all, newcomer to the forums and first time poster. Have spent days scouring the internet to ease our minds. I'm engaged to a generally great guy with one major flaw -- he is verbally abusive. Things came to a head about a week ago. Throughout our three year relationship, there have been blowout fights every few months or so in which he fights dirty -- swearing, poking at my insecurities, shouting and telling me he wants to break up. Every time, we somehow make it through with responses like "I'll work on that but you also have to work on xyz."

I'd had it last fight. Once again he went off, insults getting worse each time and saying he wanted to end things. I agreed. Couldn't do it anymore. We talked it through and he doesn't want to break up anymore, as per usual but I really wasn't sure I could do this anymore.

One big difference this time though --- for the first time he has taken FULL responsibility, called this what it is (verbal abuse) and committed to changing. We both come from difficult backgrounds and neither of us wants to perpetuate a vicious cycle within our own families. He is the most determined person I've ever met so I'm inclined to hope that, with his newfound level of awareness + humility he can change. He's already upped his frequency of meeting w/his therapist and is planning to attend group sessions for effective relationships/anger management (has a pre-screening call with the group leader this week).

We are both wavering between fear and hopefulness. We are both wondering whether or not change is possible and seeking inspiration from others' success stories. I believe he is doing and saying all the right things. But I talked to my best friend about all of this while we were in the thick of things and she does not believe now that he will change. She doesn't really know him well and I feel terrible for having unloaded so much onto her. And I feel terrible bc she is saying all the things that I would be saying to her if roles were reversed (he's not going to change, why can't you realize you don't deserve this, things will only get worse, this makes me angry and sick to my stomach, etc).

I'm having a hard time giving my relationship a full chance knowing that my friend, who is also meant to be a bridesmaid, is this upset with me / us and that I don't have her support (she is the only person I've talked to about this).

I feel inherently sad inside, and am working on scheduling my own therapy sessions so I have another outlet + objective sounding board.

TL;DR -- engaged to someone who is verbally abusive, w/blow out fights every few months. aside from that i love him + his family, we are generally good together we just fight dirty and it takes a toll.
--Looking for success stories of couples / individuals who have worked through this, who have changed. Resources welcome as well. How long did it take, if you're on the other side?
--How do I convince my friend to support me in this decision and to be there for me + give him a chance instead of being sick to her stomach with me??

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Re: Can he change??

Postby Terry E. » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:21 am

Hi, sorry this is so late but missed it over Christmas.

Yep, change can happen if you really want it bad enough. Some of us will be a work in progress until we die. ( I am not abusive but suffer from extreme levels of negativity - something I only just realised - of well. This apparently does not make me much fun to be around at times. So that is my latest hobby, try and catch it before I let it take over)

My solution is to understand why I do it. In my case it was my childhood. You mentioned you both had difficult backgrounds. Not sure what you meant by that, BUT if that is responsible for his outbursts even though they are aimed at you he can change if he can address the fundamental issue. Not as easy as it seems as that anger he expresses may be him dealing with some underlying pain but if he is doing therapy then that is hugely positive.

Guys who abuse and are doing it to manipulate avoid therapy. So if he is doing therapy then that sounds good.

So yes it can happen, but the above contains lots of ifs.

Hope this does not come too late

take care
Terry E.
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