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Can People Change?

by Rae
(Canada)


My boyfriend and I have been together for only 9 months. A love so rare. So strong. Best friends. Inseparable.

But when he drinks, his mind gets warped and he creates issues that aren't there, or over analyzes a current situation. As a result, he calls me horrible names, kicks me out of his place, and when I fight back (I sometime retaliate and tell him he's such an asshole), he gets angry and grabs me by my clothes and picks me up and tosses me.

Either he grabs me by my shirt and pushes me back and I fall on the floor, or he grabs me and pushes/tosses me out the door. These explosive fights happen about 3-4 times a month and the physical part happens about 1-2 times a month.

He's got a loud voice and a temper so put together it's quite shattering. This last occurrence was the last straw and I permanently left.

After he realized I left and actually wasn't coming back, he's vowed to change. He's been reading articles online on his behaviour and has finally been realizing he's been controlling and abusive and wants to fix it with me.

I've been in an abusive relationship before and left after I no longer loved the guy. My dilemma is I’m so head over heels in love with my current guy, but I don't want to make a mistake and stay, and regret it months or even years from now.


He's trying everything to show me how much he's sorry, but can people change? It's been a week now and my heart wants to be with him but my head says no, be smart and leave.

I know I can find love again, but I'm confident that I will never find a love so strong. Not like this.

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Apr 02, 2018
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You May Be Asking The Wrong Question
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hello Rae, and thanks for telling your story here.

I realize it's been a while since you submitted here to this site, but I thought I'd respond in case you're still struggling with this, and also so that others might benefit. I hope you are out of that relationship.

You ask if people can change. The answer is yes, but in the case of an abusive alcoholic, the chances are slim and nonexistent if he doesn't stop drinking. He'd need to be sober for a couple of years, and get intensive therapy before you could possibly be safe with him.

But the more important questions for you are about your own safety and your decision making processes that led you to this type of situation.

You say that you're head over heels in love with this man...after saying that he has been verbally, emotionally and physically abusive to you on numerous occasions.

This means you don't need to be looking at him and asking if he can change, you need to be looking at yourself, and asking why would I think I love someone who has done these things to me?

You are deep in a battered woman syndrome, and you need to get help for yourself to break your own patterns of seeking out abusive partners and staying after the abuse starts...before you even consider getting into another relationship.

Please take care of yourself. You're the only one who can insure your safety.

I wish you all the best,

Dr. DeFoore

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