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Will He Ever Change?

by Anonymous

My partner and I have been seeing each other on and off for over 2 years. When I first met him I fell for all these GREAT qualities he portrayed, but as I got to know him, I found he was the complete opposite of what I thought. But by then, I had already fallen for him.

We used to live together but that didn't work out. My partner has a drinking problem. He is only in his mid twenties but has been drinking everyday for the past several years.

I don't know where to start or how to explain "my story" but lets just say everyone in our small town thinks the sun shines out of his ass and some think it is my fault he treats me this way. He blames me as well.

The longest I left him for was a few months as he ended up belting me one night in the street. The cops weren't much help, nor the ambulance as they love my partner.

I have been a stripper in the past, and have been out of home since I was 14 years old, so that has given me a black mark on my name, and he uses it against me all the time. He calls me a whore and a slut constantly and then says he never means it. When I yell back and agree that I'm a slut he grabs me and threatens me because I'm supposed to never say that about myself.

So what gives him the right to call me that?

I now live in another town an hour away. We have been seeing each other again and yet he hasn't changed, and it's only getting worse. I suffer depression because of the way he treats me and I have very low self esteem. Though when I first met him I was confident and happy.

Every time I try to leave, he promises that he will treat me right and that he will stop his ways. But I am constantly being let down and it has never stopped. He calls my mother a slut because she had an affair. Why cant I just leave?

He threatens that I don;t know who I'm messing with and I will see what he means when I leave. I'm afraid he will really harm me. He has threatened to hurt me, my family and my friends. How can he say he loves me and how on earth does anyone put up with this behaviour? What can I do?

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello, and thanks for writing your story in this site. You are clearly a good person, and that's why you don't like what's going on with your partner.

Here are some thoughts to consider to begin with:

1) You need to get out of this relationship. This is clear, because he is verbally abusive to you, and you are afraid that he will hurt you and those you love physically.

2) You are in a "battered person syndrome," because you love someone who is abusive to you and you have a hard time leaving him.

3) You ask the question in the title of your story, "Will he ever change?" That is not the important question--maybe he will, maybe he won't. The important question for you is, "What do I need to do to make sure I am safe?"

4) I know you said you have low self-esteem. That is why you put up with his abuse. So, what you absolutely must do is act as if you loved yourself more than you love him. If that was true, what would you do? The answer is easy--you'd stay as far away from him as possible.

5) Look for someone in your world who believes in you, and recognizes that you are being abused. Get that person (or those people) to help you find a way to stay safe. You can also find a "battered women's shelter at your local court clerk's office or look in the yellow pages for a "crisis hotline."

6) Read this page on how to deal with abusive relationships. Follow all of the recommendations.

7) From what you have told me, there is absolutely no reason for you to think he will change or the situation will get better. He is an alcoholic, from what you describe--and as long as he's drinking his first love will be alcohol. You have to take care of yourself.

And consider this about yourself:

1) You are worthy of love, kindness and gentle caring treatment from others. Learn about loving yourself and your inner child here.

2) You deserve to be respected and treated well, regardless of who you have been or what you have done in the past.

3) You are a good person, and you want to love and be loved. That is who you are.

4) Believe in yourself. Put yourself first.

5) Never, ever give up on yourself.

Keep writing on this site if you like. There are people here who will help you.

My best to you in your journey to self-respect and self love,

Dr. DeFoore

P.S. If you found this to be helpful, please consider making a donation to this site to support our mission to help you become your own best anger management resource.

P.P.S. If you got something of value here, we would also greatly appreciate it if you would click the "Like" button at the top left corner of this page.

Comments for Will He Ever Change?

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Jan 07, 2011
Good Start
by: Anonymous

Good start. You are having doubts. Soon you will start to question if its worth being with someone you are not happy with.

You will get well soon.


Aug 01, 2009
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your comments. It has really given me something to think about. In the last week there hasn't been any violent outrages and I can see how he is trying.

The only thing is he still nags and tries to start an argument late at night. I mentioned he has a drinking problem and we agreed to him not drinking anymore but now he is hiding the fact he drinks from me and claiming he hasn't had any alcohol when he has.

When I tell him I'm leaving, he calls repeatedly and begs and eventually convinces me to stay. I still love him but I'm sick of being let down.

As mentioned in previous comments I have got to the point of not fighting back and arguing my point. I know this would only escalate the fight.

I am always working away and traveling and I know this has a lot to do with why he's so insecure.

I don't know if I'm asking a question, I suppose it just feels good to talk about it. I'm still so torn and confused.

Aug 01, 2009
by: Julia

I just read my comment over, and I seem to be implying that he doesn't love you at all. I'm sorry, that's not how I meant it to sound. What I meant to say is that until he deals with his issues, he will be unable to offer you the basic levels of safety and comfort you need to sustain any kind of loving relationship. He may feel guilty about the way he treats you, and he may honestly intend to change his ways, but until he takes active, serious steps in that direction (in the form of getting counselling, etc), he is unlikely to be able to offer much in the form of results. And he is very likely to continue to treat you in unnacceptable ways, unless you put an end to it.

Aug 01, 2009
Saving yourself
by: Julia


The fact that he managed to control his anger once is a good thing. Yes, it shows that he doesn't want to lose you. But you have to remember that he has been abusive to you over a period of two years. Which means he has a deep-seated problem. Change will not come overnight. He needs help overcoming his problem. This is something he needs to recognize. You cannot help him there. If you stick around, you will only continue to allow yourself to get hurt in the process.

People who get hurt in relationships always stay in those relationships because they are in love with the good side of their partner. Your partner also has good qualities for which he deserves to be loved. But not until he learns to be responsible for the person he claims to love. You cannot stay in this relationship at the cost of your happiness. That is a sacrifice no one deserves. This is something you need to recognize.

He has hurt you physically, at least on one occasion. That alone is bad enough. That is a violation of one of the most fundamental, unspoken rules of love. No one has that right. No one does that to someone they love. As if that were not enough, he abuses you verbally, he threatens you and the people you love, and he tries to make you feel like it is all your fault. Right now, you recognize that he is wrong there. It's not your fault. But if you stay in this relationship and continue to let your self-esteem be battered on a regular basis, there is a good chance that someday, there will come a point where you will actually believe that it is your fault. It happened to me. Over time, I lost faith in my sense of judgment. I lost all sense of what was acceptable and not acceptable. I was so tired of arguing that I just stopped fighting back. Don't let it get to that point with you. It is emotionally devastating, and it takes years to recover from.

You ask, "How can he say he loves me and how on earth does anyone put up with this behavior?" You're right. If he loved you for who you are, he would not be making you feel bad about things that are not your fault. He would not be making you feel scared of what might happen if you leave him. He would treasure you and cherish you, and nurture every insignificant little particle of who you are. That is what people do when they're in love.

You don't deserve to be treated like this. You don't have to put up with this sort of behavior. The choice, as always, is in your hands. Leaving him will be painful because you do love him. If you leave him, be prepared for the pain of losing him. You will miss him afterwords, maybe badly at times. But don't let that blur your judgment. Remember that it is for the best, that you have to do it to preserve your sense of self. If you're afraid of what he will do once you do break up with him, get help from your friends, family or community. Don't stay with him to keep the peace, or because you're afraid of him. It will only get worse, and it will be harder to leave later.


Jul 23, 2009
The Two Sides Of Your Boyfriend
by: Dr. DeFoore

I'm glad you wrote again. You said "you really love him when he's not abusive." That statement says so much. Every battered woman caught in this pattern has said or thought the exact same thing.

You also said you don't want to leave in case he changes. Change is good, and it's a good idea to give people a chance to change. I've been counseling with people for 37 years, and I know it's possible for us to change as human beings.

The question is, what will it take for your boyfriend to really change, so that you are safe, loved and respected?

Real, lasting change takes a huge commitment. Here are some thoughts re. your boyfriend changing:

1) Anybody can change for a moment, or a day or even a week or a month.
2) For the change to last, he would have to seek counseling on his own, for himself. He needs a lot of counseling, over a long period of time--a year of regular sessions, at least--in order to overcome his problems that lead him to believe he can abuse you.
3) Relationship counseling would not make any sense right now, unless it was for the purpose of getting both of you into individual counseling. You need help as much as he does--so that you can start valuing and respecting yourself.

Your boyfriend has two sides. One is the good guy you love, and the other is his dark side that abuses you. He needs to get some help for his dark side--it's very sick. His good side can't just be nice and fix his dark side. It doesn't work that way. Of course you love his good side. You need to expect the dark side to show up again, unless he gets very committed to healing himself.

My best,

Dr. DeFoore

Jul 22, 2009
Deep Down I Know You're Right
by: Anonymous

Every time I go to leave he begs and says he'll change. Usually this "change" only lasts a little while but this time he has suggested relationship counseling because he doesn't want to lose me. I love him when he's not abusive. I want to believe he'll change and a part of me doesn't want to leave in case he does change. I'm so confused!

The other night, he started to get angry but instead of letting his anger escalate, he actually took a deep breath and didn't lose his temper. This came as a shock to me because he has never been able to control his temper and I think it shows that he really is willing to change?

Jul 18, 2009
Oh sweetheart
by: Abby

He IS going to hurt you very, very badly. He already does and the violence will escalate. It is very likely he will also hurt your mother and others.

Sometimes there comes a time in our lives where we look at utter devastation and wish we could go back and change our decisions. Imagine looking at that devastation, perhaps your own lifeless body. That time is now i.e. you can still make good decisions for yourself. Do it.

Of course we fall in love with beautiful, charming men who will love and look after us but this can sometimes be a delusion. We fell in love with what we THOUGHT they were, with what we WANTED them to be. Get it straight love, he is NOT who you thought he was and he is very, very, very dangerous. Get out and take your mother with you if you can.

It takes a long, long time to work out what has happened in our lives and why we have developed the way we have. You have very low self esteem for a reason. You are a beautiful, worthy, precious child but you don't know that. You don't know how to love and look after yourself and you don't know that you don't know that. You MUST start to learn and to get into a good place where you make good decisions for yourself.

It seems you are codependent. There are some good resources on the web. Dr DeFoore has good resources as well. Start looking for support for yourself. Search on the web. Look in the phone book. Ask Dr DeFoore if what you find will be good for you. Talk to us. Read the stories on here especially those by Rose as you can see the process she has gone through to help herself.

You don't know this yet but listen to me and believe this: THERE IS A DIFFERENT WAY TO LIVE. THERE IS A WAY TO LIVE WHERE YOU WILL FEEL HAPPIER AND HEALTHIER AND MORE AT PEACE THAN YOU EVER HAVE BEFORE. You don't need a man to get there, you may well find someone lovely but it that isn't it. It will come from you and be the most fulfilling and joyful experience and indeed, way of life. You HAVE to help yourself because you're on the wrong path. This is URGENT.

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