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Can I Ever Change And Fix My Abusive Attitude For Good?

by Marc
(London, UK)

Cycle Of Abuse

Cycle Of Abuse



I can be an angry person and abusive toward the people I love the most. My wife is fantastic and my children are amazing but I criticized them and hurt them emotionally on occasions.

Lately, I have been increasingly tyrannical to my children and my wife — which I generally notice, but I found it hard to apologize or correct my behavior.

My wife and children left me a few days ago. I am now forbidden to see and interact with them. I got issued an urgent "Non Molestation Order,” which forbids any contacts between us. And, I will have to leave the family home.

After hours of agony, I generally now feel a sense of relief. What my wife did is very harsh but I don't think I would have been able to recognize my problem and be able to accept it if she did not throw it at me like that.

Over the years she generally has not been communicative of my excess and like most couples we have issues that need ironing out, but clearly, my behaviors are the main issue.

The books on the subject that she left behind seem to imply that men cannot change. Is that right? I am also worried that she may not think I can change.

I intend to get professional help and work on this hard. But can I ever change and fix my attitude for good, and return to be the good father and husband that they deserve?

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Sep 06, 2017
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An Answer To Your Question
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hi Marc - Thanks for telling your story here. I will try to answer your question for you.

The short answer is yes, you can change...but that's not the whole answer. Here's the rest of the story, which you need to take very seriously.

1) It will not be quick or easy. If you're trying to change to get your family back, you will fail. The only way you can change (in your words) for good, is to change for yourself.

2) It's going to take a lot of professional help, and your wife and children will not be safe with you until you've been in regular therapy sessions for at least a year. Even then the chance that you will return to the abusive patterns is very high...just based on the prospects of recovery for people who have been abusive.

3) I want to encourage you, but I don't want to blow smoke...you've got a tough road ahead. Your beliefs about yourself and other people are distorted and need close and deep evaluation...and the reason I know this is because of what you have written.

4) You need to believe that you're worth it by yourself. You need to be clear that you're going to get help and do the work even if your family never comes back to you.

I've known of very few people who fully heal and get better after they've become abusive...that doesn't mean you can't do it. You just need to bare down hard and make up your mind to do the work no matter what.

In addition to the professional help, you will benefit by doing the exercises on this page.

Really, Marc, the question is not can you change...the question is, will you change? It's up to you.

Believe in yourself and the good man inside you that wants to improve. Keep the faith and do the work.

My best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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