Marriage Missions International

Signs That He or She Has Changed and Will Stop Abuse

morgue file0001393494881Within your heart, you want to believe with every fiber of your being that your spouse will never hurt you again when promises are made that he or she won’t be abusive to you in the future. He or she may truly be sorry and may promise you everything you would ever want to hear, but that doesn’t mean that he or she will be able to keep those promises. Some abusers won’t and some abusers can’t. They may not have the strength within them (at least not yet, or ever) to stop themselves from giving into their impulses to hurt you when they become enraged.

So how do you know if they really will stop the abuse in the future and if they indeed have changed? The truth is that you can never be completely certain, but there are some signs you can look for, that may help you determine this as best as you can.

Before we lead you to the articles we believe will help you with this issue, we want to preface all of this by saying that the information we’ve been able to find is addressed to wives who are in abusive situations. We acknowledge, however, that in many homes it is the wife who is the abuser. We truly get that.

We try to find articles, which will help those who are being abused. But the majority of articles written address women as being the victims. If you are a man who is being abused, please accept our apology that we aren’t able to find many articles to help you. It’s not for lack of trying to find them (and we will continue to keep trying). If this is the case for you, please reverse the “he’s” and “she’s” in the linked articles below to glean from and apply what you can use for your situation.

With that said, below is a link to an article written by Brenda Branson, posted on the web site, which we recommend you read to help you with this very issue. Please click onto the link to read:


And then from Barbara Roberts, from the web site here are some of the traits you should watch for:


— ALSO —

Another article written by Brenda Branson is posted on the Focus Ministries web site, where she discusses whether the abuser is truly repentant or is temporarily regretful. In this article, she gives you insight, which may help you to be able to discern the difference:

The Difference Between True Repentance and Temporary Regret

And finally, to learn more from an additional article (author unknown) that gives additional points to consider, posted on the web site, please click onto the link below to read:


If you have additional tips you can share to help others in this area of marriage, or you want to share requests for prayer and/or ask others for advice, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.

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73 Responses to “Signs That He or She Has Changed and Will Stop Abuse”
  1. Josh from United States says:

    OMG, this article helped me in ways I cannot describe! I was on the verge of divorcing my wife, but now I have new found reasoning to try and forgive her for her abuse. For many years I believed my wife was this amazing and loving mother and spouse. After having my mother point out several possible abusive marks on my kids I began to keep a close eye on things. One night I came home a bit early from work. My daughter came up to me with a cut and a bruise on her cheek. I asked her what happened and she told me mommy got mad at me and hit me with the back of her hand. I was so upset and dumbfounded I called the cops right away! This sent us into CPS’s “caring” arms.

    After finding out all the massive amount of abuse she admitted to in court I told her she needed to move out. (I don’t want people to think that I couldn’t have been oblivious to all the bruises, so I must have ignored them. That is not the case, she is very manipulative.) Once we got into court, our attorneys suggested she move back in with me so that we look like a family. We had to go to individual counseling, as well as couples counseling. While that work we put in did get our children back, I believe that my wife got away with just a slap on the wrist. In any case, she promised me that she would never abuse the children again. I honestly believed that she loved our kids and wanted to be a family.

    About a month later I see something strange on my wife’s facebook page. Some random guy I’ve never seen buys my wife a pizza because she is feeling down. I thought this was legitimate until I did a bit more prying. Come to find out, she’s been having an emotional relationship with this man for some time. This guy completely freaks out and is blaming me for emotionally abusing my wife by bringing up her abuse. My wife eventually saw that he was crazy and stopped communication with him. It took her a full month for her to finally admit she was emotionally cheating on me.

    About 8 months later I was talking to my daughter Abby and she says that mommy told her that if she ever told anyone about mommy hurting her again that her brother and her would go to foster care with strangers. After prying, I found out that mommy “popped” Abby with a brush on her head a month ago also. By this time I’m just so freaking upset with her again that I am in tears about losing my children to CPS again. She’s then tells me that if CPS gets called we will both lose the kids, because it’s just as much my fault as it is hers. I’m freaking out and fall into her manipulation again. She says it was a slip up and will never happen again.

    I love her very much and want to be a “normal” family again, so I buy into the B.S. and forgive her. Another 6 months go by and I’m talking to my son if mommy has been hurting them. He says yesterday mommy “popped” his mouth for talking back. Here the emotions go again with her. She says she didn’t really hit him, that it was just a slight pop for back talking. I get so upset with her that I tell her I’m leaving with the kids. She says that she will call the cops and report me for kidnapping them. I threaten to divorce her and she begins to realize that I’m serious. She says I’m not doing anything to help the family get better. GOD, why am I so gullible?

    Here we are a year later, she has stopped her physical abuse of our children. Last week I’m talking to my daughter and she says that mommy has been threatening to “beat her bottom if she doesn’t behave.” By now all the emotions I have towards my wife are resentment. I wait till the children are asleep and confront her. She admits to it, but says I’m just upset with them when I say it. I try to explain to her that it causes emotional damage on the children. My daughter believes it’s only a matter of time before mommy hits her again.

    My wife always gets upset if I ever bring up the past abuse, saying that she has changed and doesn’t do that anymore. If I tell her I want to divorce her she insists that I’m just quitting on trying to fix our marriage. Obviously she is trying to guilt trip me. I finally get so upset with my wife that I tell her I want her to move out because she doesn’t seem to care. She says she won’t move out of the state without the children. For the past week, there hasn’t been much communication between me and my wife. I put on a show for our children, because they have already gone through so much.

    But after all this, I feel like I can finally get some kind of closure. I read the article here and it gave me hope. I printed off these articles in hope that I can convince her that she hasn’t changed and still needs help. I told her that I will only continue to be with her if she gets the help she still needs.

    So far, my hardest obstacle to overcome is just forgiving her for lying and hurting the children. I can somewhat forgive her for the emotional cheating, because I don’t regard it as physical cheating. But it is still a process. I will be in contact with a personal counselor in the coming week. I really need some help figuring this stuff out with myself. I need to be there for my children, and I feel like I cannot do that without first figuring out my things.

    I hope my story can somehow help another find peace with their significant other. Stay strong!

Marriage Missions International