Signs That He or She Has Changed and Will Stop Abuse

Dollar Photo Couple not talking after a dispute on the sofaWithin 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.

Filed under: Abuse in Marriage

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117 responses to “Signs That He or She Has Changed and Will Stop Abuse

  1. 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!

    1. Good day. Your story is very insightful. However from the point of view of a mother, I think you are a little harsh on your wife. Do you work and is your wife a stay at home mum? It’s not easy having to raise a family, keep a clean house and then also find your husband finding faults in everything you do.

      Please don’t get me wrong, I’m totally against abuse of children, but have you taken any responsibility for your lack of support towards her? It seems that you’re looking for reasons to criticize your wife and using the children in the process. A satisfied wife will not go to another man for emotional support!

      If you loved your wife the way you claim you do then show it. She needs to feel wanted and cared for. She will reciprocate this not just too but to your children. Hope this helps God bless. Cheryl

      1. Yeah, he drove her away. Can’t broil freak and an emotional abuser who cries “victim” when it’s really him who is the perpetrator. Men like that are called narcissist – very damaging, poor children, handsome is affecting them too.

    2. I pray that she gets help and I mean God help. He’s a healer and he love you all. Thanks for sharing your story. God bless you and your family

  2. I am a recent victim of domestic violence and I’m still very confused. My husband has never had any history of violence in his life. He has always been so kind, loving and sweet to me. We have only been married for 8 months when in a jealous rage, he threw an Ipad on me which landed in my face and gave me a black eye. He also slapped my face. I called the police and he was in jail. I left him and am now staying with my daughter. He has been begging me to come back, to forgive him, that he’ll never do it again; that he loves me very much, that he prays everyday for God to forgive him and bring me back to him. My family is against me going back to him but they will support me if I decide to go back to him. It’s been a month and I am so confused. Should I give him another chance? I want to save my marriage but I don’t trust him. What should I do?

    1. Sweetheart you cannot save your marriage, only God can because only God can change your husband and trust me, this is not his first offense. The fact that you made excuses for his violence shows that he’s slowly manipulating you. It’s good that you rang the cops as this states no tolerance for violence. You actually need some professional Christian counselling to help you in your decision whether to go back or not. Whatever you decide giving it a lot of time and prayer will only be helpful to you and the future of your marriage.

    2. No, he will never change. I gave 3 chances to my abuser husband and he just repeat and repeats the circle of domestic violence. It’s nothing you can do about it until he decides to move on and ask for help. I’ve been in your shoes before. My abuser was disrespecful, he controlled every thing, he decided where we had to go, how much we had to spend… He lied to me, a few times when he was drunk he pushed me and put me in danger while I was driving. He used drugs and he put me around many extreme situations.

      He invented many histories about me to make me look bad around others when I left him. Finally I decided to leave him even when I still loved him, but I deserve somebody who really appreciates my ideas, my heart and my dreams. It’s hard to stay away from your “love” but always remember when he used you as a punching bag or when he ignored your feelings. Don’t go back to your abuser.

      1. I know I may be just the exception to the rule but I disagree. I know my boyfriend has changed. There have been 100s of situations he would have ‘reacted’ to before but he seems to channel his anger differently. I left him for 3 months after being fed up of not only all the ‘punishments’ but his trust issues, and that break seemed to be his wake up call. He had his ups and downs but I knew until he broke down and really realised the effects of what an animal he had become, I knew he deep down he would hate himself for it. I don’t think any person does deep down (if they’re human!)

        He still has some of his paranoia issues but no one’s perfect and I know he’s trying. I am not saying everyone needs to keep trying because sometimes people are toxic but I am saying, don’t let that one man, I mean animal, make up your mind on all people. Sometimes people can change.

  3. I believe emotional abuse is just as devastating as physical abuse. Why is it so hard for us women to believe in ourselves and not the validation of our existence to come from a man? I’ve been dating a man that was raised by an abusive alcoholic mother who says he has worked through all this and is fine. I don’t believe this because he’s nice to everyone else in his life except me. He is controlling, tries to tell me what to do, and he is always right.

    I don’t live with him but is this how someone treats you if they say they love you? He also has time for everyone but me. Very self centered. Domineering. No one controls me except the Father in heaven. After 4 months of this crap, I can’t take it anymore. I’m seeing a counselor to help me stop repeating these situations with abusive men. Yes, this man blames every woman he has been involved with. He has not healed from his mom situation. I know that hurt people hurt people, but I cannot do this anymore. Need to go forward with my life now in a new, refreshing way. One more thing with this guy, actions speak louder than just words.

  4. I need help, I love him but I am afraid that he will repeat the same actions against me. Over and over again as he has already. What should I do? :'( Sincerely, Kyah.

  5. Am a victim of abuse and the most painful aspect is that he was abusive even when I was pregnant. I thought he would change but he hasn’t. His family says I caused the abuse and that I should keep his abusive behavior to myself but I am scared of the impact of violence in my child’s life. He always hits me whenever I try to prove a point! I try to leave him but I keep changing my mind!

    1. It won’t get any better. My husband was the same and ended up neglecting our 2 month old nearly killing him and he has no idea of his actions. If he treats you that way he WILL treat your child the same.

  6. Hi, I have just lost someone who I love because I was mentally abusive. I want to change but I need help. My friends and family are not helping by telling me that it’s not all my fault, but I know it is. I really don’t want to be this way. I have been cheated on in the past and I put my complete trust in that person, but it changed me and now I have trust issues and insecurities.

    I don’t blame her one bit for leaving. I know I don’t want to be like Judas and have temporary regret. This is why my family and friends are not helping because I know what I did wrong and it hurts to know what I put her through. I hope God gives me the strength to change. She will never truly understand how deeply sorry I am, and how bad I want to change it. I have a counseling session later this week and I hope it will help. I’m just asking for prayer.

    1. Charles, Bless you, Brother! I am so sorry you had to hit rock bottom in your relationship for you to come to the realization of what you need to do. But I’m proud of you for the very intentional steps you are taking to make the changes that have needed to be done for many years. I firmly believe God can redeem your past and heal you for your future. It’s not often that we hear from people who say they “know” their friends and family are a bad influence on them. That’s a huge thing in and of itself. Because you have already cleared your mind by dismissing “false messages” you are setting yourself up for better results with your counselor.

      Please keep in mind when you meet with this counselor that they “may” be the best one for you. However, if you feel a check in your spirit after this session, don’t be afraid to look for another counselor. Counselors are not “created equal.” Be very transparent with them from your first meeting. It won’t do you any good to hedge your story. The more open you are, the quicker they can help get to the root of your anger issues and get them out in the open and find a solution that will get your life on track and the tools to deal with it the rest of your life. I also caution you not to pursue this counseling with the goal to win this woman back. Not that it won’t happen, but if your goal is anything other than finding healing and transformation and to be more Christ-like, then you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

      I believe you are already aware that this is not going to be “fun” or easy. The last thing the enemy of our faith wants is for you to be healed of this and he will throw everything he can at you to discourage you and keep you down and convince you that you will never change and that God can never forgive you. All lies from the pit of Hell!

      Stay in God’s word as that’s the true source of comfort. Surround yourself with other Believers who can pray for you and encourage you when you feel the lowest; and as you go through this process come back to this web site often and read articles that can also help and strengthen you for the future. Find a few Bible verses that give you hope, write them down on index cards and post them in obvious places (bathroom mirror, refrigerator, etc.) so you are reminded of God’s promises every day. And every morning pray through the verses in Ephesians 6 that talk about putting on the full armor of God, because you are going into battle.

      One last thing, go back to our web site and on the Prayer Wall post your prayer request for this. Thousands of people come to our home page every day and into the prayer wall to pray for the requests that are posted there. Know that we here at Marriage Missions International are standing with you too, Charles. Blessings! ~Steve Wright, Marriage Missions International

  7. Thanks for the article. I needed to see the lists for both sides. I myself truly miss the good companionship we did have. I tend to forget all the other things that happened when he’s not here. I don’t want to be divorced, if anything he treats me worse than when he was here. Although I’ve been told that it’s not true, my greatest fear is that I made him into who he is.

  8. I was abusive with my wife, verbal and a few times physical. I dropped into depression really bad, when the last episode I threw my lunch bag and water bottle and yelled at her in an argument. My water bottle hit my 7 year old on the arm. I felt so bad I left for the night and slept in my truck at Walmart .
    She left with our 4 girls (blended family) and a week later I was arrested me for pushing her last year and have been on ‘no contact’ conditions for over a month. I found that she doesn’t want anything to do with me, and is happy to be happy. Which I’m glad she is and is safe, I care about her so much. I’ve asked if we can do joint counseling for the sake of this charge and for some rebuilding of our friendship. I know I don’t deserve anything, I know that. She says she is not prepared to do joint counseling at this time, which I understand. It takes time to heal. I care about her heart even if she hates me.
    I miss my family as I’m sure that this is normal. I want change, I don’t want to ever go back to who I was.
    I didn’t like to be like that then ether, but I felt that no one count help me.
    Now I’ve lost all that I hold dear to me. I may never see my wife by my side again and I’m destroyed.
    I keep praying for wisdom and the restoration of our marriage but I feel so hopeless. Some people are telling me to get ready to defend my self because I may loose my kids and everything. I take owner ship for everything and if I have to live in my truck so my wife doesn’t have to go on welfare I’ll do it till I die. I won’t do anything to harm them. Eph 5:25.

  9. My husband was very abusive up until 2012 (we married in 1998). Then he did something so terrible to me but, got caught. He moved out. After 3 months I took him back. He has truly changed. We have 2 children, that is the reason I took him back mostly, plus I was to weak at the time to leave him. I am stronger now, as the abuse stopped 4 years ago. He is nothing but kind and loving. The husband I always wanted and thought I was marrying. The problem is me now. Now that I am back to being strong I can’t stand the sight of him and really want nothing to do with him in any more. I would like to get over my disgust and still have some trust issues with him. How can I truly move past the walls I’ve built around me and now be the kind if wife to him I would really like to be? So we aren’t just room mates but have an intimate living relationship?

  10. In this life he will always have the tendency to go to that place of superiority, that he could have guarded it only by control and fear. Before you remember one of them remember, stress and problems will bring about abusive power. Just be careful.

  11. I’m so confused. I was in an abusive relationship. I divorced my wife almost 2 years ago. It’s been an on off situation since we have two small children. She has 4 others by two different men. Recently she was dating a man; it lasted about a month. Then she started calling me again, and said she can’t replace what she has in me (I think he left her).

    But now she has lost her father, which she was very close to. He pretty much controlled her every move and she is basically exactly like him. I was called as soon as her mother found him. I rushed there beating my exwife to their home. I helped them for several days with anything they needed. After a couple of days she told me she was at such peace with me and the love I had. She didn’t think I loved her I guess, but wants to reconcile. She has a 15 year old daughter that is a problem child, calls her mother awful names and is abusive physically to her. The father won’t help. She doesn’t like me because I made her mind and got on to her when she did these things and her mother needed my help. She told her mother I was not coming around anymore so the mother is now backing away from me.

    I love her and want nothing more than to be with her and my little ones to have both parents in the home but I don’t know if my ex will stop the emotional abuse towards me. It seems like the daughter’s behavior triggers the anger and I get the abuse. She has all the signs of BPD. I feel like I’m being used now. I know she has a lot on her plate with her dad passing but it’s almost like I’m forgotten till she needs something. I do get an I love you text every morning and usually every night but nothing in between.

  12. I was in a verbally abusive relationship where he thought the abuse was funny and it was me who was too sensitive. He would put me down and swear if I confronted him about how it made me feel. He let his friends call me and even told people in our company I was a good woman but he wasn’t in love with me…if I put on a few pounds and I am a size 12…he would prod me and tell me…the worst thing was the shouting and swearing if I wanted his time. Now he says he’s changed and wants me back to prove it. Don’t know what to think!!!! x Confused…

  13. Hi, This is my first time on a social site. My marriage was a love marriage and I always thought that that’s what my wife wanted too and to have a family with me. I was always honest about my culture and my financial position (which is quite good). I met my wife in a different city from where I was born and grew up. I am from India so we usually go back to the place of the guy’s parents to make sure we take care of both our parents and family. However when we got married and moved to my home town, my wife for the first few days was wonderful. But after a month she started crying and hitting me out of rage for ruining her life. I thought it might be because of the new place and a different culture and that this would pass. But it didn’t; it only got worse and she started tearing my shirt, hitting me, calling me a loser and calling my parents names.

    After 2 months she said she will move back to the city we met and she was not comfortable here. I tried to stop her and told her we can move out of our house to a new one where only the both of us can live. She did not agree. I had no choice but to leave my old parents and move to that city cos I was very afraid of losing her. She wanted to me to quit my job and move with her. Luckily I got transferred to her city for a lesser pay.

    I thought this would help us live a happy life. But after some time she started the abuse again, this time threatening me with domestic violence cases, calling my parents names. If I made friends she did not like she would go berserk. She had demands of a diamond necklace one day and another day wanted me to buy a flat. If I said no she would abuse me again. The fights would last for more that 10-15 days.

    After several such instances I told her if this is to work out she would needs to go thru therapy. She refused again. The 10 day separation continues. In time I find out that she has not only been lying to me but to her family as well, that she had a job, she was studying etc., which were all untrue. I felt devastated but I was afraid that if I confronted her she would humiliate and hurt me again. It made me feel helpless and a loser. Every time we had fights she would provoke me to hit her. I just couldn’t do it and she took this as an advantage and abused me physically and verbally till I gave in.

    I went to a psychiatrist to understand if there is something wrong with me. The doctor said I’m normal, but asked me to record these fight to understand what could be the triggers and if I was being reasonable during these fights. On our next fight she found out I was recording and went berserk again and hit me. I took my bag and threatened to walk out. She went to the police and started crying in front of them telling them I was torturing her. I some how convinced her father to make her stop from complaining. After this I just couldn’t go back home. I packed my bags went to a hotel, talked to my boss in the office, and got a transferred back to my hometown.

    We have been away from each other for 3 months now. She started saying that I have to pay rent as it’s my duty as a husband. I did that for 3 months and finally told her that enough is enough; I’m filing for divorce. We can either do it the easy way or the hard way; I’m ready for both.

    Suddenly I see a change in her. Now she is apologetic and says she misses me. She says it was her fault and she realises her mistake. She asks me not to divorce her and requests me to give her another chance. I love her very much, and by very much I mean really very much. Suddenly I can’t make up my mind to divorce her. I feel she deserves another chance. But I’m not sure she will change. What if this happens again? Can my heart take it?

    Sometimes I feel like ending it all to save me the pain and heartache. My life doesn’t make sense anymore. Nothing seems important anymore. I can’t forgive her or forget her. Is there anyway she can work on her issues of lying, anger and manipulation? Is there a way I can make this work? I just dont know what to do.

    1. Kash, bear in mind we are not counselors, but from everything you said your wife has been doing you may want to look at the possibility that she is bi-polar. If she is, there are only two things that can help – medication and counseling. And medication is very tricky because everyone doesn’t respond the same way to the meds. We suggest you make that a non-negotiable condition for you to have her join you back in your home city. If she doesn’t seek help and FOLLOW THROUGH long-term, then there is little hope you would see any difference in her behavior over the long haul. She could “fake it” for a while just to get you to take her back, but just like in the beginning of your marriage she would blow up again and you would wind up the victim of more abuse. We see this happen all the time.

      We are not familiar with the laws or cultural requirements in India for a husband to support his wife so we can’t advise you there regarding IF you should continue to provide for her financially. If she is not an invalid and she has the capability of working then we believe she should be responsible for at least half of her living expenses.

      I wish I could tell you that the chances of her making significant changes are good, but the odds are not in your favor…UNLESS she is fully surrendered to Jesus Christ. You didn’t say what your beliefs are but because we are a Christian web site you need to know we approach things from more than just a human point of view. Humanly there’s not much hope, but God’s word (the Bible) says, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 (New Living Translation) So, Nash, those are our thoughts – for what they are worth. We just want to caution you to move very slowly on reconciling and have very clear, written boundaries that she agrees to before you allow her back in your home.

      1. Thank you for the the response Steve. It has helped me with a path to follow. I pray that the Lord will guide me. I am from a different faith but am very grateful for your advice and would like to tell you that you are doing a wonderful service to humanity via this website. As a token of thanks I will go to a church and light a candle and pray. I hope I find some peace and answers there. Thanks again.

        And my apologies for writing on this site though I am from a different faith. I just didn’t know where to go and I found this site as a place where I could pour my heart out. But you have helped me with your advice and I will be forever grateful for it.

        1. Kash, you are more than welcome. Please feel free to visit and write on this site whenever you’d like. We will be praying for you. May God give you the insight you truly need.

    2. I am from India as well and in my case my husband is abusive. He started with breaking things around the house and then it escalated to him slapping me and grabbing my neck. I moved back to US and he is in India right now. He is going for counseling but I don’t know how much that is going to help. I have been living away from him for a month now.

      I am going to be honest with you.. if she is not ready to go to counseling with you and getting herself checked medically it’s not going to work whatsoever. It’s nearly impossible for abusers to change without professional help. Just be strong and let her know you can’t be with her unless she agrees to get some professional help.

  14. As I was abusive to my ex wife and I didn’t even realize I was abusing her. I looked at abuse as beating or slapping a woman. I would emotionally abuse my wife and grab her inappropriately. My father abused my mother growing up so I said I would never do that to my wife, but I did. Once I realized what I was doing it was too late. We went to counseling in the church we attended by the pastor that married us; neither did that work out. He told us that this deliverance is deliverance from people. I was saddened by hearing him say that. One thing I did take from counseling was him saying we need to seek God and I did but she didn’t.

    She’s strong minded and still wanted the world. I tried to sit in a domestic abuse program but it just didn’t work. A room full of men denying they were wrong. I eventually left because I wanted to fully trust God and I did and he delivered me from my anger, codependency, depression, and much more. I wish I could’ve saved my marriage though. Now my 3yr old won’t get what I said I would give… a home with a loving mother and father. I love reading my Bible and reaching the lost now and I just made 25.

    While my ex wife is definitely not innocent this is about me. Now my daughter will see exactly what her mother and I saw in our homes growing up which is one destroyed with divorce. I pray I can have a second chance at love because before Christ I didn’t know how… None of us do. We just see pictures from others and imitate that but we had no pictures to look at. If the chance comes and she has the Holy Spirit she will be my first wife because im a new creation in Christ. The old me is dead. I ask all you who are saved to join me in praying for my ex wife’s salvation. Please. I worry about the decisions she’s making now even though she’s educated she can’t see she’s in need of a savior.

    I just want my family back…

  15. Hope is a great thing to cling to, and it is very easy to be blinded by the love we have for others, but you should never stick with a person who is abusing you, especially if that person is abusing your children. You should love yourself more than your partner, and you should permanently break away when your partner begins emotionally and physically abusing you.

    This article is harmful to those who are in abusive relationships, because it sends the message that it is okay to hope for the best. It’s okay to stick it out even when, deep down, the victim knows the abuser will never change. This article is telling those victims to cling to their hope that their abuser will suddenly change, and encourages them to keep an eye out for the smallest of changes. Little changes that will keep them with the abuser, until the abuser finally breaks once more. Hopefully, this article hasn’t led to the death of men or women out their who are trapped with physically abusive spouses, victims who hoped and hoped that the monster they loved would change.

    If a victim is reading this, please seek help. Don’t wait it out. Don’t hope for the best, because odds are, things won’t change. These types of people see you as their possession, something for only them to control.

    Get out while you still can.

    1. The one thing you can’t do is speak on other’s behalf. People do change. I did and so did a few other men I know by the power of God. All that can be said is get out of that home and seek help.

  16. I enact physical abuse to the people that I am closest to. I use threats and other types of behaviors also to keep them around and this can cause pains. I want it to end because I’ve seen kindness and love. I just haven’t felt it in a long time and it really does frustrate me. tbh. I think about suicide as the option. I figure that if I end my life that my brain/soul will not have to continue seeing such pains; those being, seeing a close ones fear me or even leave me.

    My heart aches, I do not know what to do. I am trying though; but I can feel the violent heart. I can’t seem to love myself through it; I need help in order to function, I feel. I feel like success isn’t in my path. If I cannot learn/change this then I will continually worry about it. I want a mature and knowledgable life. Suicide is 10% of my topic because it just won’t happen; so I am left with some sort of growth.

    I am with a young lady now who forgives me for my mistakes and I see genuine desire in her eyes; for me… I enjoy this. Maybe we are not right for each other, who cares? I do, but the point is I have to stop my patterns and there must be a way. I’ll consider this a step. Please respond with some guidance.

    1. Kane, thanks for sharing your heart’s desire to break this very destructive pattern in your life. First, I want to assure you that suicide is NEVER the way to resolve any issue in life. Even though your heart aches and breaks for the people you’ve hurt over the years God has a much better plan for you when it comes to getting the kind of help you are looking for.

      The best place we know of to start is a place called Focus On The Family. They have a counseling department where you can connect with someone (FREE) to share your issues and find out what they recommend. They also have a referral network all over the country. So, when you tell them where you live they can probably give you ideas as to where to take your next steps. Here’s the web site to get into Focus On The Family: Once there just click on FAMILY HELP and you’ll see the info on counseling. Kane, let me urge you to not listen to any thoughts you may have about not following through. You rate at a very important crossroads that will shape there rest of your life. We’ll be praying for you!

    2. Kane, if it wasn’t for God I wouldn’t be the man I am today. He changed me. The Bible speaks on abusers. I love you man. Seek God.

  17. I need some advice. I am not proud of myself for what I am about to say. But I do love my wife with every thing I have and all that I am. I was abusive to her physically and verbally. I came from a harsh background or my father was abusive to my mother and me growing up. I was never accepted by him or my ex wife’s family. I was young when in the first marriage and really never knew what true love was so during the separation and divorce I felt no emotion to it. However this marriage she left me due to my selfish ways.

    Ever since her leaving I dedicated to changing my life around, working on patience, controlling my eagerness and anger management. However in her first marriage she was forced into sex, drugs and beaten. I feel like I am no better regardless that I have never forced her to have sex. My patience had grown and I have found my self control by walking and exercising. I have tried to reach out and communicate with her. But her mother has her feeling guilty for leaving due to a abusive but changed step father. My wife told me her mother hates me and tells her that I lack the ability to change. I want to change for myself but also for her. Her love was a God given, one of a kind. What can I do? Please…

    1. Hi, Eric. First, I want you to know that what you have done through your own efforts to change this destructive behavior is remarkable. You represent a very small percentage of men who have been abusers who can actually testify to being able to change their patterns. You need to understand that for your wife, even though she may be seeing signs of change, because she has been hurt so much in the past, it will take a longer time for her to begin to be able to trust you. You also have the problem of her mother “hating” you. That is a huge obstacle to overcome; and in reality it will be harder to change her opinion of you than your wife’s opinion of you.

      All you can do is work on becoming the kind of godly man and husband God wants you to be for your wife. You have already taken a BIG step in the right direction but it will take a lot more than that. I suggest you get into the Celebrate Recovery program in your area. Google it – I know they have them there. CR is a Christian/Bible based approach to a 12 step program. They can provide you with group help in anger management and by doing this with a group you will have accountability and support – even if you don’t get it from your wife right now and/or her mother. You also need to get connected to a good Bible teaching church for support. I’d recommend at least trying the church that hosts the CR program, because that shows they are committed to helping people who have problems.

      We also have a lot of articles and suggested resources on our web site in the For Married Men section as well as other areas of the web site that can help you with different problem areas you had in you marriage beyond the anger issues.

      Because you are a man on a mission now, Eric, wanting God to restore what has been broken, you will need to be patient (not easy to do) and concentrate on your relationship with Him, rebuilding your life and then rebuilding your marriage. As you make progress then just start by dating your wife again and tell her you realize that it will take her time to regain trust in you. Next…Take her mother aside sometime privately and tell her how sorry you are for how you hurt her daughter and her (no mom wants to see her daughter abused) and that you are committed to becoming the kind of husband to her daughter that she can be proud of. I can’t promise this will change your mother-in-law’s heart/opinion about you, but it can’t hurt.

      I hope this helps a bit, Eric. You really need to find good Christian friends, pastor, where you live to help you on this journey. It will be worth all the time and effort you put into it, both for now and eternity.

  18. Thank you for all this information. I see myself in these pages. I’ve gotten pretty good insights about what I need to do again. I have been with him off and on for 16 years. Married him, divorced him, but got along better with him when we were not together. I know from reading this helpful information if he has or has not changed. I got my answer already, again, and what I need to do for myself. And I know why I always get back together.

    I know I am always happier, of course, when I am not with him because I am not taking his verbal abuse. I met him when I was 43 yrs old; now I’m 60 years old. Thank you for your time. From Yolanda

  19. My husband and I are both Christ-centered, and with that being said, a simple question is posed to my husband (when before accepting Christ), he admits to things he did but lied to me at that time about not lying. The kind of questions I ask him are simple yes or no to whether he did something and I explained resoundingly that I would not get angry. I just want to know the truth because no one else lives with us and I believe that I have a good memory. It was simply about tasting a liquid of mine which was below what I remember having left and he said “no” and this has created non-stop fighting along with various other times of asking and always getting told “no”, but remember there is no one else that could have access to the house. Please help and God bless.

    1. Hi Cheryl, Perhaps, would you consider just, letting this thing go? Let’s say he answered finally, “yes.” What then? While I don’t know the details, and I’m not asking for them, does a “yes” answer get you closer to more one-ness with your husband? Or will he feel guilty or trapped, and then the conflict goes on? I get the feeling that you do not believe his “no,” and I am sure he knows you don’t believe him. Is it possible that he is telling the truth? If so, then he may feel forced into telling you what you want to hear, just to stop the conflict. That cannot be a good thing.

      Just an idea. Sometimes you just have to, just let go. WP (Work in Progress) See what you think?

    2. Hi Cheryl,

      Maybe this is the time to “just let go?” Is it possible your husband is telling the truth? I wonder if it is worth the, in your words, “non-stop fighting?” Maybe take a chance and tell him, “Husband, I will choose to believe you… OK.” And then leave it alone. I am a husband married 36 years with 2 adult children. I have made my mistakes, they are in texts in other sections. I do know that when my wife has chosen to trust me, I want to be sure I do not break that trust. That has been a real help for us.

      Just an idea. Take care. WP (Work in Progress)

  20. Hi, I’ve been with my husband for 16 years, married 11. It finally hit rock bottom for me. I realized the abuse I’d survived from my mother, cut her out months ago, and am now fully seeing it in my marriage. I asked for a divorce and told him how he made me feel like a burden, and non-person. Pointless. He is now doing alllll of the things on the list for an honest change. It’s nice, though I’m having trouble trusting. Any little hiccup he admits his part in the wrong, tries to do better and basically does the right thing for someone who means it.

    But when I asked for the divorce, he’d already crossed the like. I frankly don’t love him anymore, then had an emotional affair (which probably saved my life as I was thinking of nothing but dying to get away). I told my husband how far it’d gone and the conversation that followed was the best in our lives on his love and devotion and never wanting to ever hurt me so bad again. We talk about when things aren’t perfect but I slowly started unhardening my heart…but every perceived mistake I shut down again. I’m just too trained to expect the worst. How can I truly give him another try?

    1. Hi Missyk,

      From what you are saying, it certainly looks like your husband is doing virtually everything he can to convince you that he owns his mistakes and wants very much to make this marriage better.

      Perhaps you need to remember that perfection is not possible, and that the occasional mistake is inevitable. When you take “little steps” to open up to him and renew trust… it would certainly encourage him and energize him to minimze mistakes and continue the upward spiral. Let him know that you see his efforts… and come toward him in ways that he recognizes. He needs your love very much now whether you recognize that or not… and as you take steps toward him… and he takes steps toward you… your love may well be renewed. In fact, it very probably will!!

      Isn’t a renewed marriage what you really want? Divorce causes such pain and anguish….
      How do you think he will react if you announce to him that you are withdrawing your request for a divorce, and want to work with him to make your marraige the best possible? That you see his efforts, and that you need time to renew trust- but that this is what you really want?

      Get outside help…. enlist any and all help out there…. so that IF this doesn’t work, you can truly say to yourself that you have left “no stone unturned” in your efforts to put this marriage back together.

      Keep going!! You seems to be doing very well!! Your husband is doing what he can!!
      Don’t give up now when you have come to far….

      I am a husband married 36 years with two adult children.
      WP (Work in Progress)

  21. Hello, I am not looking for anyone to downgrade my feelings. I’m simply looking for some advice. My boyfriend, who is now serving time in prison, has been in occasion very abusive verbally and physically. The only common factors with this rage and abuse are his insecurities and alcohol. Just recently neighbors called the cops because he had blacked out drunk and started having insecurities and was beating me and strangling me outside in the early morning. This of course was not the first time. He had bruised my ribs so bad that they might have been broken and broke my orbatal bone all while under the influence. This last incident has costed him 4 years in prison.

    We have been talking and he knows his wrongs and is getting help and finishing his education while in there. I am not making excuses because I know drinking is no excuse. My family of course hates him and hopes he stays in forever. The only problem is I’m still madly in love with him. I am just wondering if there are things that he can show that he will change while he is in prison or is it just a lost cause. Any constructive help would be amazing. Thank you.

    1. Hi Sarra,

      I am a husband married 36 years with 2 adult children. Our daughter was in a very abusive relationship for 8 years. We, together with her, went through similar questions to yours expressed here.

      In my opinion, your boyfriend can demonstrate his intentions to change by the following:
      – enlisting professional help for his drinking and psychological issues
      – bringing you into the process while under supervision for your own safety
      – showing up for the sessions and doing the work requested
      – continuing to finish his education as you have described
      – demonstrating to the satisfaction of the qualified professional that he is in a position to safely resume a relationship with you

      I assume that he is still in prison from what you are saying.

      When he is released from prison, you should have a qualified professional do a thorough evaluation of his progress. Only with this professional’s OK should you even consider resuming a relationship with him. Even with all these in place, you still proceed with great caution, and a LOT of prayer.

      Our daughter was also very much in love with her abusive boyfriend. When her first child was born, she realized she could not subject her little girl to the real danger of physical harm constantly present. She left, and now, 3 years later, is with a fine young man with whom they have a second daughter. She herself says that leaving was one of the best things she ever did.

      I would say it is not a lost cause. But you are taking a very significant risk.
      WP (Work in Progress)

  22. I have also divorced but I wonder if there was something more I could do. We were married 23 years..even now though if things don’t go his way it seems he finds a way to chastise me.

    1. Hi Marlene, I guess we always wonder if we could have done something more when major developments like this occur. At the end of the day, we need to be transparent before God and allow Him to work His ways with us. The past is behind us now, and cannot be undone. What will we do with our future? That’s the real question. If we can be the best people we know how to be, and trust God to work out the bad in us and encourage the good, then we should be on the right track I should think. Every person, including yourself, is a special and unique creation of God.

      Anyway… I don’t like to spend too much time in the past. The only time I should go there is to learn from my bad choices and resolve to stay away from them in the future. Take care Marlene, WP (Work in Progress)