“When he says he’ll change…”

07 May 2013

When an emotionally abusive man says he’ll change, what does it mean?

Two things: it means that he realizes he’s gone too far, this time, and he wants to reel his emotionally abused partner back in.

And it means that an emotionally abused woman is teetering on the brink of calling time on the relationship.  She’s teetering… and she’s looking for a reason, any reason, NOT to.  It means she is still suffering from Hopium Addiction.  She’s hurt – broken, even – but, still, in two minds about the relationship.  She would – still – prefer to give him another chance.

Yet another chance.

So, she asks:

“Can he change?”

The question is misleading.  Insofar as that “can” means: “does he have the psychological and emotional capacity for change”, he probably does.  If someone had him with his back up against a wall, facing a firing squad and knowing his only chance of survival lay in transforming his psychology,  then and there, he probably could.  And probably would.  But that’s not going to happen, is it?  Nor should it.

It’s definitely one of those things NO T  to try at home.

“But if he’s promising, that must means he’s sincere, mustn’t it?”

“Since when was sincerity Mr Nasty’s middle name?”

I can’t speak for your emotionally abusive partner but, with the benefit of hindsight, I know that the wasband’s face always took on its super-convincing looking when he was about to tell a big, fat porkie.  (For non-Brits, that[s cockney rhyming slang for a lie: porkie-pie=lie.)

So, why does he come out with the promise to change in the first place?

Let’s face it, you’re convenient, and you’re cheap – by which I mean you’re low maintenance.  Your exit from his life is likely to be costly, in financial terms.

Besides, in you he has a cook, cleaner, maid, social secretary, child-care professional (you may well be his mother, too), whipping boy, and much, much more.  It will probably take him a fair bit of time and trouble to replace you – though he’s not going to tell you that, is he?

And then there is the lack of face.  If you’ve shown him the door, you’ve seriously dented his ego.  That was never meant to happen.  Remember, his sense of his own importance comes, to a large degree, from putting you down.  You’re upsetting his delicate sense of self.  How could you?  In fact, seen from his point of view, your behaviour is absolutely abysmal: you are not playing by his rules!!!

Remember, we’re talking about Mr Nasty here,  otherwise known as Him-Indoors-Who-Always-Always-Has-To-Have-The-Last-Word.

One more thing, in case you haven’t quite got it yet.  He’s a control freak.  He loves having power over you. Think of a fisherman.  He likes to get his hook into the fish’s mouth.  He loves the thrill of having that fish dangling on his hook.

Most abusive men like to have “their” woman dangling on the end of that hook for ever.

The much, much more important question is:

“Will you  change?”

If you’re ready to get Mr Nasty, and an emotionally abusive relationship out of your system, then you have to move on from wishing and hoping that he’ll change.  You have to start focusing on your own well-being and rebuilding your self-worth.  Nothing will truly change for the better until you put yourself – instead of him – at the heart of your world .  Did you know you can do just that in 90 days or less?


Annie Kaszina, international Emotional Abuse Recovery specialist and award-winning author of 3 books designed to help women recognise and heal from toxic relationships so that they can build healthy, lasting relationships with the perfect partner for them, blogs about all aspects of abuse, understanding Narcissists and how to avoid them and building strong self-worth. To receive Annie’s blog direct to your Inbox just leave your details here.

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