Signs That He or She Has Changed and Will Stop Abuse

Couple not talking angry stop abuse Dollar photoDo you truly want to stop abuse in your life? If so, you have a lot to learn so you can discern truth and false promises.

You want to believe with every fiber of your being that your spouse will never hurt you again. You’re hearing so many promises 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 it’s important to know that this 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.

How do you know?

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. There are some signs, however, that you can look for, which may help you.

Before we lead you to the articles to help you with this issue, we preface all of this by saying that the information we’ve found is addressed to wives who are in abusive situations. But please know that in many homes it is the wife who is the abuser. We truly get that.

We keep searching for articles to 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. We haven’t been able to find many articles to help you. It is not for lack of trying to find them (and we will continue to keep trying). If this is true for you, please reverse the “he’s” and “she’s” in the linked articles below. Pray, read, and glean through them, and apply what you can use for your situation.

Helpful Linked Articles to Stop Abuse

With that said, below is a link to an article written by Brenda Branson. She put together a “Pastors Guide to Domestic Violence.” But actually, this list can be used by anyone. (Again, you can change the pronouns, if it applies to your situation.) Here are two things Brenda points out:

He Has Not Changed If . . .

• He blames her or others for his behavior.

• He uses guilt to manipulate her into dropping charges or keeping silent.

There are several more “signs” that will point out the seriousness of the “change” that is claimed. We highly recommend that you read the list linked below to learn:


And then Barbara Roberts came up with a great list that points to whether or not a person is truly sorry. Here are two of them:

“If they are genuinely repentant, abusers will:

• Stop all blame shifting. Stop blaming their spouse, and stop making excuses.
• Commit to going to a professionally run Behavior Change Group for spouse-abusers.”

But there are more. You can learn more by reading:


ALSO… to Stop Abuse:

In another article, written by Brenda Branson, posted on the Focus Ministries web site, she discusses whether the abuser is truly repentant or is temporarily regretful. In this article, she gives you biblical insight to help you discern the difference and truly stop abuse:

The Difference Between True Repentance and Temporary Regret

The following blog is written by Leslie Vernick. She makes a few additional comments on subjects, other than this issue. But when you read the “Question” posed in her blog, and then the “Answer” she gives, we believe you will find some very good information. Please pray, read, glean and apply what you can use:

•  He Said He’s a New Man. Now What?

And finally, below is a link to an article (author unknown) that gives additional points to consider. It is posted on the web site. The author gives quite an extensive list. Here are a few of the points given:

“Beware of the temptation to gauge change by means of the perpetrator’s church-going or therapy-acquiring behavior. Going to church or seeing a therapist is not good enough . . . does not prove that (s)he is no longer going to hurt his/her partner any longer.”

(S)He Has Not Changed If…

• (S)He pressures the partner to let her/him move back in before partner is ready.

• (S)He continues to use sarcasm or verbal abuse, talk over his/her partner, and shows disrespect or superiority.

You’ll want to read this list in its entirety. It’s a good one! To help you to stop abuse read the following:


We pray you have found all of this info helpful so you can make wise decisions to keep yourself as safe as it’s possible.

If you have additional tips you can share, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.

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

  1. I was so amazed to come across this site. My husband of 8 yrs says that’s just who he is.

  2. I’ve been abusive. And I equate it to being like a drug addict. You know it’s wrong. You know it’ll destroy your life, but you do it anyway because until you admit you have a problem your helpless to it. Admitting you have a problem is the first step.

    1. I agree. I was abusive to my girlfriend whom I love with all my heart. When I met her I had never had someone show me so much love so I became jealous, controlling and did not want her to talk to other people. I was so scared that I was going to lose her love that I pushed her away and I found out she was talking to another man. I flipped out and hit her, breaking her cheekbone I went to prison for 2 years for what I did. And you are right.

      You’ve got to admit you have a problem and you can’t blame the other person because I know she didn’t make me do what I did – I made me do it. Now I’m trying to get the trust and love back. I don’t know if I will. This has torn not only my life apart but hers too. I just hope I can rebuild our relationship.

    2. Have things changed for you, and if so what made you change? I want to believe the man I love finally has awakened, but I don’t know how I can believe him.

  3. I recently abused my wife of 6 years. I’ve never laid a hand on her till that night. And when I did it I got so scared and called the cops on myself. Since there were no marks or witnesses theres was nothing they could do. I apologized but that means absolutely nothing since sometimes my apologies aren’t real. Just me saying I’m sorry and I love you. I don’t believe in hitting women so this scared me. What should I do?

    1. First off, what is your wife’s reaction to all of this? Is she still in the marriage, or is she out? And where are you both spiritually? Be truthful… this is not to judge you one way or another. We just need to know so we can better guide you.

  4. Hi. I was recently married. It’s been 6 months and my husband has been abusive to me. The last time he slammed me into a wall and I hit my head very bad. He turned himself in and he wants to change and fix things. I really want to give him another chance. I could really use some advice or something.

    1. Hello, I’m seeking advice as well. I have been with a man he keeps saying he wants to get help, but hasn’t truly committed to it yet. I’m having a hard time believing myself. Has he promised you this before, and what kind of actions has he made for change. If he seeks professional help and is dedicated to that process, if he can see a root to why he has treated you bad with a game plan to view you differently as his baby, and not blame you for actions, I would like to say those are good steps. He has to want to help himself. Maybe then theres a chance.

  5. I used to be verbally abusive. I grew up like that. I changed and I have been good. I read articles that say abusers won’t ever chage and that scares me. What about me? I am insecure now and I am afraid I will lose my gf. She says she loves me BUT she says I doesn’t accept her love. I think I am angry at myself so I don’t understand why she loves me after all my mistakes. I am still afraid to lose her but I don’t want to wreck my relationship over insecurity.

  6. Thanks for this site. There is just some things that I, as the abused, dont yet know….Can I ever trust him emotionally again…Can I even try to forgive….Is he really really going to change even after being for help…he was admitted to a mental hospital with Bipolar, PTSD, OCDP and narcissm…yes he is on is it the meds that make him feel sorry or really him?…I dont want him to come close to me…will that change….is it worthwile for me to try and get him angry so I can see his reaction? Help

  7. I have been in a relationship for a year plus and had abused my girlfriend and I sincerely apologized and keep struggling hard to make sure I am so changed not being abusive anymore. I travelled for a month and she is with another guy. I really love my woman and I’m ready to give up anything just to be with her. I have pleaded but she strongly refuses; please, I want her back and really want to grow up and be responsible.

  8. I have been in an emotionally abusive/manipulative marriage for 10 years. I’ve been personally religious my entire life and my children are also naturally deeply religious. My husband, realizing that we are nearing a breaking point during an argument after threatening to leave over and over again, asked me to pray with him for the first time. I would typically be ecstatic that he was coming around, but instead it felt manipulative from him, because he was using it to “make up” after he’d just been threatening to leave. Many things he says are hurtful, but it was the first time he tried to use my faith to control me; it felt awful, very icky.

  9. After the abuse and we split up. My husband is starting to see what I have done. Which my own husband always had some excuse as to why he did not want to do what me and the children were doing at that time. Also when my daughter chewed him out. My daughter started chewing her dad out at age 5 years old. My daughter would come in the room that me and her father was in, and she heard her dad yelling at me. My daughter told her own father to stop talking to mommy that way you are, the one that has turned your back and walked away from us. You need to stop treating mommy bad.

    Then once my own husband started to notice me and the children my own husband wants to be more involved. I am glad that my husband wants to be more involved but it would have been better from the start of the marriage. Now that my husband wants to help more I wish he would open up and tell the truth. Yes, I know things will take time. All I hear is all in due time. But here is the thing my own husband is falling more in love with me when I am no longer in love with him and can’t tell him. So I leave it in God’s hand’s and whatever may come of it, so be it.

  10. I have been with my boyfriend for 2 years. He has been physically and verbally abusive towards me. He is an alcoholic and has anger issues. He is very good at times and takes good care of me, but he has a side of him that I hate. I never know day by day what kind of mood he will be in when he gets home from work and I’m always walking on eggshells. His last abuse was we were in bed and he grabbed both sides of my hair and was pulling where I could feel my baiting ripping out. He held me down and was calling me nasty names..saying I never show him attention. I was scared so I lID there with tears rolling down my cheeks hoping a drop wouldn’t hit his hand. The next day the always came and promises. I told him I was done. I will no longer deal with it and we needed to separate. But he keeps living in our house day by day acting like nothing happened and ignoring my feelings. I don’t know what to do…PLEASE HELP.

    1. Tammy, I’m so sorry that you have found yourself in this place in your relationship. It’s good that you see this now, in the earlier part of your relationship, but it’s horrible that he has given himself permission to do this to you. Tammy, I hate to tell you this, but the behavior you describe is typical of an abuser. Sadly, the typical behavior of an abuser is that this abuse will escalate. Please read through the articles we posted in the abuse topic at: They will tell you a lot of the things that you need to know, even though they are written about spouses. Particularly the quotes and also this article: But read all you can. Your life may very well depend upon it. Also read: Again, this is addressed to spouses, but you can glean a lot of good info from it.

      Yes, your boyfriend WILL be apologetic. That is quite a typical profile for an abuser. And I have no doubt that he is sorry. Some abusers aren’t… they justify it in their minds that it’s the victim’s “fault” which it never is. Abuse is wrong, no matter what. But despite the times of sorrow afterward, the abuse with your boyfriend will escalate and the sorrow will grow less and less as he works this out in his mind. Trust me, you are on a very dangerous path. Most times the abuse escalates –growing worse and worse until it’s very dangerous. But sometimes it zooms right to dangerous really quickly.

      Tammy, your boyfriend is showing dangerous, abusive tendencies. IF he can ever stop this abusive behavior, it would only happen because he gets the help he needs for anger management. Without it, you truly need to leave or MAKE him leave. You will have a horrible future ahead of you if you don’t. He has already crossed the line as far as being a safe person to be around. He has given himself permission to abuse you, even though he wouldn’t do this with anyone else. That is a dangerous precedent.

      I can tell you that it would be a miracle if an alcoholic would work on his anger issues. Many, many alcoholics are what is called, “mean drunks.” The alcohol seems to numb them so they make horrible choices to not control themselves when things irritate them. Trust me when I say this… YOU aren’t the problem. He is. He is making horrible choices in drinking to the point where he is an alcoholic. And he is continuing to do this even though it leads him to make other horrible choices –seeing you as an object he can abuse.

      Please read the articles and quotes and such that we have posted. Be proactive in stopping yourself from being in a place where you can be abused. Honestly, as much as you may love this guy… you will find that eventually your love will grow cold. He is not your husband. I would get out now. It would be sad for you, but at least you would be leaving before it gets tragic for you. The next abuse could be one where he seriously maims you or kills you. Believe me when I say this… we see it happen all too frequently.

      You have no idea the hurt that you can be in store for if you keep living with an abuser. He abuses alcohol, AND, even worse, he abuses you. This is not about you. It is about him. Please prayerfully consider what I am saying and warning you about here. I am writing this because of the experience I have with abusers (I have relatives that abused their spouses), and what we have learned in this ministry… so, so much we have learned. You are on a very dangerous path right now. Please don’t take this lightly. I beg you. And PLEASE don’t have children with this guy. You will regret it for the rest of your life (however long he decides to let you live). I’m very sincere here… this is no drama. It is the truth. Read, educate yourself, protect yourself… he won’t.

  11. I am very unsure of chance of the ” change.” I have made every excuse for my my boyfriend. Truth is… it is only getting worse. Last night he almost killed me. If his mother had not been there, I may not be typing this today. I am the idiot though; I have ignored all the signs making those excuses and protecting him. If you see any signs, male or female, do not continue. No matter how much love, or what the connection is that you to share, it matters none!

    I am from Florida, and took off to be by his side, at his grandfather’s funeral. While standing by his side, I find out that my brother died. He is only concerned with himself and all to do with him. Again, thank God his mother was with us, because I WOULD NOT BE HERE. The heartache is going to hurt leaving him, because as I said our connection is like no other, but I dont want my family to have to worry about my funeral arrangements. So let me say it and please take it from someone who has dealt with this for over a year – he or she is never going to change. If you have your signs take them and run.

  12. I have been married to the love of my life for around 2 years and dating 1 year prior to getting married. We married in the Catholic Church (very important to me). Not too long after we were married my husband and I picked up an old addiction from our past, Methamphetamines. We were both taking prescription pain pills and became sick without them so we used Meth to help the sickness. We became obsessed with the love making that took place while using and it became more and more common for us to use. Every time we did the first 2 days were great then the next I could count on him to go crazy on me and also I became jumpy and would yell a lot.

    My Husband and I have a deep deep connection. We absolutely are in love with each other. Part of us knows that this has become so dysfunctional that we wonder if it can ever be worked out because we both have high tempers. We have both been physically abusive. After 3 years I have my second black eye. Drinking plays a large factor here as well. I wonder if we can stop drinking and stop abusing if we can save our marriage. I do not want to ever be with another. He does not trust me much and it seems we can’t stop arguing. Pray for us please. I want to give this another try. Will this stop if I can stop fighting too?

  13. I’ve been with my husband since I was 19 and we’ve been together almost 8 yrs. I love him very much! Our relationship has not been without our issues. We have had two separations and we recently 3 weeks ago got back together after being separated for 9 months. After a year and a half of being married and having a baby that was 6 months at the time, we got pregnant again and I lost the baby. We were going through a rough patch and 5 minutes before I lost the baby we were fighting and I said something horrible, then lost the baby. He’s always blamed me. That’s when everything intensified and became worse. He became abusive mentally and emotionally. After so many yrs I couldn’t take it. I was an addict when we met and became sober before we married. Well, I relapsed because I couldn’t take it anymore. Well, we fought and he’d back me into corners, punch the wall right by my face, punch holes in the wall, break my stuff, say unforgivable things.

    Needless to say I have ended up twice hitting him while he came at me scaring me thinking he’d hurt me, two separate times. He graduated to hitting me not often. When we fight it’s horrible and he crosses the line. One time he was driving and we were fighting and I took my seat belt off and turned to him crying and he slammed the brakes almost putting me through the windshield. I always try to fix it and beg him and everything. I hate him being mad at me and being mean. This last time he left me he was very horrible to me, did things to me and his mom did too as well. She is a major issue in our relationship, but I never did anything back to him. We have 3 little girls and I just wanted to fix things. By the way he left me the day I got out of rehab … I was in 60 days.

    But we got back together 3 weeks ago and the first week he was great and I thought things would change; but one night we were arguing he picked me up and slammed me down and choked me. He realized what he was doing and stopped. Well last night I slapped him and he busted me in the mouth with blood everywhere. He busted my teeth, bruised my head, thigh and busted up my arm and it was bleeding. All he did was punch me three times. Hes 6ft, 180lbs mostly muscle and I’m 5’5″, 145lbs. My bottom lip has 6 cuts and is swollen to the point you can’t even see my upper lip. He wouldn’t stop trying to come at me and saying terrible things. I just kept apologizing and he always tells me everything is my fault. I’m conflicted and don’t know what to do. My two youngest saw everything last night. I want my family to work and I know I don’t deserve this but I’ve not made it easy for him these last 3 weeks. Help….advice please no cruelness please.

    1. I know its harder said than done, especially with children. But that environment is not healthy for you but most of all your children. Yes, you have made things difficult, but where did it stem from? Has he always been this way? Have you chosen to police yourself through his anger; and have you just had enough? Neither of you should hurt each other. Its sounds like you two just can’t seem to have a peaceful loving life that you should and deserve to have together.

      He does not have to be your “drug” of choice. Find healthy ways to cope with life’s struggles. I know its tempting to drink or find something else, but that will only hurt you and your children. I would suggest journaling, painting or art, and finding some kind of yoga or physical activity that helps clear your mind. Find confidence in yourself and your emotions so you can think more clearly. I know these things are easier said than done. Only you can help yourself, and him, himself. You both need to choose. He will need to choose to seek professional help and find why he is able to treat you this way, and if he can view you differently, and stop blaming you for everything. You both need to police yourselves not each other, and ones action doesn’t excuse another. If he can’t start to see those things alone then he’s not ready to help himself.

  14. I have been with an emotionally, and physically abusive partner going on 4 years. I have stupidly left and returned many times. I have defended him to the police. He has promised me change, but when it happens it is only temporary. My life has no peace, and I don’t trust him. As I am distant when he is trying to move forward he says he can’t grow with me when I am. The police were called again recently. He has been working on staying calm; I do see it. He has pinpointed what he thinks makes him view me differently and how he will choose to view me, and “said” he will seek professional treatment.

    This is also recent though. As much as I would like to believe him, I don’t know how to trust these will be lasting things. I have little faith. I know the right thing to do is leave, but part of me just wants the chance to see if he will change to the man I met, and have a happy life. I have sacrificed family and friends for this relationship, and have chosen him. I know he can be capable of being better, but I also know that everything about him is the “A- typical” abuser, and I can’t continue life this way. I feel I somehow need to find strength to try to move forward and see if we can grow with his changes, or find the strength to truly be done. I have to stop trying to change him; I know only he can help himself.

  15. I have been an abusive wife for years. I don’t understand why. I love my husband but I have hurt him so many times. Even though I regret it later, I kept controlling him. He is the most caring, compassionate, adorable person in the world. He just took it for years and never said anything. Last month, he decided to leave the house and stay at a hotel. I was completely wrong. He says he loves me but he’s not in love with me. He doesn’t love me as his wife anymore. I have been crying every day, cannot eat, unable to do things because of my guilt and shame.