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Do you believe he can change? 

This debate really interests me. Mainly because i have such an unpopular opinion :P 

I believe ANYONE can change. 

I do believe there are people out there who will not and cannot change. 

But I dont agree when i see people say 'Abusive men cant change' 

Because that is not true, they can and have. not all certainly. And probably not even most. 

but to say that ALL abusive men are doomed to escalate and become a killer, is just extremist, and not true IMO

What are your thoughts? 

by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 7:30 PM
Replies (171-180):
by Member on Feb. 11, 2013 at 11:35 AM

     your  2nd  sentence  perfectly  describes  my  (bio)father  !

by Silver Member on Feb. 11, 2013 at 12:09 PM
Aw... Thank you, too!! :)

Quoting JP-StrongForTwo:

*hugs* you are very brave for sharing this. thank you! 

Quoting IandLoveandYou:

While my opinion is probably biased.. I do have one lol.

I don't think that all abusive men are doomed to escalate and become a killer, but I think that a lot of abusive men have the potential to become a killer.. even accidentally. Not all abusers are going to take a gun and shoot their victim, but when my ex-husband tried to strangle me he couldn't.. but internal swelling can lead to death up to 3 days later. And even though he never did try anything like it before.. I never went to divorce hearings alone because of a terrible fear I had of him shooting me on my way inside of something of that nature. Okay I'm side tracking..

Abusive men may be able to get better with enough counseling and therapy.. they would need to be willing to work on it for the rest of their lives.. much like people who suffer from addiction have to be aware of that their entire lives, even years after recovery. That alone is hard enough.. most if not all abusive men are extremely narcissistic, which makes it nearly impossible for them to grasp the fact that there is something wrong with them that they need to consciously work on forever.

Abuse isn't just punching a woman in the face, and it's not just calling her a stupid bitch. It's about power, manipulation, and control. Men have gotten through counseling and come out with the kind of discipline they need to never physically harm a woman again, or maybe even call her a name. But to be completely truly CHANGED they would have to:

  • Admit fully to everything they have done. (this alone is very difficult, as even the most remorseful abusers can find justification for his actions "I should never have called her a bitch and punched the wall, but if she hadn't...)
  • Stopping excuses
  • Stop all of blaming victim
  • Make amends (meaning saying, and staying "sorry" regardless of whether those you hurt want to repair their relationship with you or not).
  • Accepting responsibility (recognizing that abusing is a CHOICE not blaming it on a loss of self-control)
  • Identify patterns of controlling behavior, admitting their wrongness
  • Identify the attitudes that drive his abuse
  • Accepting that changing abuse will take DECADES.. and not declaring themself "cured" after a year or so of treatment.
  • Not starting to say "Now it's your turn to do the work"/ not using his change as a bargaining chip.
  • Not treating change as a chip or voucher to be spent on occasional acts of abuse (ie. "I haven't done anything like this in a long time, so why are you making a big deal about it?)
  • Developing kind, respectful, supportive behaviors
  • Carrying his weight
  • Sharing power
  • Changing how he is highly heated in conflicts
  • Changing how he responds to his partner (or former partners) anger or grievances.
  • Changing his parenting
  • Changing his treatment of her as a parent
  • Changing his attitude towards females in general
  • Accepting the consequences of his actions (Including not feeling sorry for himself about those consequences and not blaming her or the children for them.)

(I got this list from a book I have: "Why Does He Do That?" By Lundy Bancroft Ph.D, who has spent his career counseling and holding work shops for hundreds of abusive men - - I should add that he remarks several times in his book that he has never seen an abusive man be 100% successful in his treatment without relapsing back into his old ways.. even if they are a "lighter version" of the behaviors.)

Most abusers don't make it all the way through this process because they feel after a few months they have changed enough, the remorsful "stage" for an abuser doesn't last very long. Also.... it's easy to be abusive.. they get to hold the power, they get their way (because others are afraid of him), they always have someone to take their anger and frustration out on, being the center of attention, financial control, double standards that already are set (for example.. men "have needs" but women are "whores")...the list goes on.

Sad but true enough.. I don't think that abusive men change.

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by Member on Feb. 14, 2013 at 1:11 PM

A big old Amen Sister!! Also thank you for posting those things to watch out for. It is amazing how many people see the signs yet pay them no mind. If you see any of these things RUN, run far and run fast. I also find it heartbreaking when the abuser is arrested and the victim fails to press charges or won't testify. Thankfully some states have taken a large step when it comes to domestic abuse and  now don't need the victim to file charges, the state will do it. Sisters if you know or suspect someone is being abused don't stick your head in the sand, speak up and stand up.

by Silver Member on Feb. 14, 2013 at 1:16 PM

There is a possibility that an abuser may be able to change, but if my husband raised his hand to me or my children, I would not be sticking around to find out.  Abuse would be the #1 deal breaker in our marriage.

by Bronze Member on Feb. 14, 2013 at 5:11 PM

I don't think that a man who could hold a much smaller woman down on the kitchen floor and threaten to stab her in the neck with a screwdriver could ever "change". JMO

****Happened to a GF, not to me and she finally (thank God) got away from him***

by on Apr. 11, 2013 at 10:55 AM

They might change, but need to accept help doing it.  My ex has a Personality disorder and needed medication to help his explosive out bursts, lack of remorse and empathy for anything living. He got the prescription and took them for about 3 weeks.  Then I noticed he was being an a$$hole and called him on it. After i told him I counted his pills he admitted to quitting taking them because he didnt like to take medication.  He wouldnt go to counseling and I left finally.  His new wife of 2 years figured out about his anger issues and as bad as this sounds I finally felt like a decent human because my failed marriage wasnt my faullt! I hate it for her but dang!  Anyways, they need help to change and have to accept that help. Not sure if a person would or should go back to the abuser because or the dynamics that have alreaady been set in that relationship- as in it is easy to fall back to old ways.

by New Member on Apr. 11, 2013 at 11:04 AM

I think a man can change if he is Willing to. If he really does care and loves someone enough in order for that person(s) to stay in his life.

I just left my husband because he was being abusive by trying to control me. He use to hit his First Girlfriend but after seeing what he was doing didnt want to hit anymore. After 10-15 years later he mets me, he still has some abusive behaviours. I kept trying to tell him that he has some problems. That i dont like being treated this way. he didnt listen. After a year of this i said i can't do this anymore. Said once your ready to listen to me i will come back. I got a feeling thats going to be awhile. Not as soon as i hope.

by New Member on May. 18, 2013 at 10:33 PM
1 mom liked this

I live with a hot head and he hasn;t yet.I think some men can change others just need a xanax

by on May. 18, 2013 at 10:39 PM

 It's a pointless question to debate.  In all practicality, the only question that matters is "why bother with an abusive man?" 

by on May. 18, 2013 at 10:40 PM

This post is almost 4 months old! 

Quoting Bieg9093:

 It's a pointless question to debate.  In all practicality, the only question that matters is "why bother with an abusive man?" 

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