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Author Topic: Can people change?
me^19
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I have realized that I am in an emotionally abusive reletionship and got out of it yesterday. But my ex said things would change and he said he would go with me to couples therapy. I just wanted to know if it was possible for him to really change. I guess everyone is different but what about in abuvise reletionships? Also now his parents hate me because of things that I did in the past (nothing bad, never once destoryed anything or hurt my boyfriend or anyone in the family.) I was just wondering if I should move on or if he can change and what are some signs that he isn't? Thanks
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CorsetFetish
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First off, how old are you two?
What do you mean by "emotional abuse"?

People can change if they WANT TO. It's a good thing that he wants to go into therapy, but it won't do ding dong diddly squat if he doesn't really want to change for himself.

~Corset~


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me^19
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I am 19 in four days and he is 20 in July. He didn't respect me. I told him yesterday either respect me in these ways or it is over and he said (then) that it wasn't worth it and that it was over so we broke up but then when I saw him again that night (I was going to give him his stuff and he was going to give me mine) and he begged for me back and I said on certain conditions and he said they would be met. He seems like he really wants to change. What are the patterns that I should look for to indicate that he isn't going to change and can't? Please help me I feel like I have no unbaised person to talk to
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Heather
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I'd suggest taking a break for a little while.

Ultimately, when one person is abusive, THEY need therapy of their own first, as any therapist will tell them. Once they make some headway, then group or couples therapy is suggested. And for an abusive partner, most therapists are likely to suggest that they learn new ways of coping AWAY from close relationships.

So, so you can have some time and space to think, and he can -- if he's in earnest -- start working on chnging his patterns of behaviour, I'd suggest taking a few months away from the relationship.

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


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logic_grrl
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What do you mean by saying he "didn't respect" you?

How likely it is that someone can change, and how long change may take (assuming that the person genuinely wants to change in the first place) may well depend on what sort of abuse we're talking about, and how severe it is.

It's also a good idea to ask yourself if you want to stay in this relationship at all, or consider resuming it after he's started getting some help. You don't have to, therapy or no therapy.


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me^19
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To answer your question logic_grrl I felt like he didn't respect me because when he would get upset with me or angry at me he wouldn't answer me in full answers: i.e.: "Where are you now" he would answer, "On the road." me, "what road?" etc etc... Also when his boss and his brother (they are friends) were calling me ugly and were critizing me for being so liberal he didn't stand up for me. Sometimes I want to work it out and other times I don't. About him getting therapy on his own he doesn't have any way of doing that because he doesn't have health coverage of his own and his parents don't believe in therapy just for him because he can do no wrong. I really am considering just ending it because his mom, dad, two brothers don't like me. I guess the reason it took so long for me to do something about this is because I always felt like I was being paranoid or I was over reacting. Thanks for listening.
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Heather
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What you're describing here isn't abusive behaviour.

Now, perhaps there are other things? But if not, this isn't abuse.

In terms of his answers not being as specific as you like when he's upset, that's really just a communication style. May not be one that works for you, so you can work on that in a relationships, but it's neither abusive nor disrespectful.

Not standing up for someone is also not abusive.


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Heather
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Some information on what IS emotional abuse for you:

• http://www.mjbovo.com/PotentialAb.htm
• http://www.divorceinkentucky.com/family_violence.php
• http://www.geocities.com/abusiverelationships/Abuse4.html

Mind you, there are plenty of other reasons to leave or terminate a relationship.

So, if you want out, a partner does not need to be abusive for that to be valid.

------------------
Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


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me^19
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Maybe abuse isn't the right word but I do feel like he doesn't respect me. I talked to him about going into therapy and he aggreed. Thank you for all the help. We have a lot of work to do and I really appericate all the help I can get. Thank you.
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logic_grrl
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It's worth remembering that behaviour doesn't have to be "abusive" for you to want to change it.

Behaviour that isn't actually abusive can still be unfair or unsupportive - or just not what you want in a relationship.

quote:
when his boss and his brother (they are friends) were calling me ugly and were critizing me for being so liberal he didn't stand up for me.

That sounds like crappy and unsupportive behaviour on his part - but not "abuse".

If you decide you want to continue this relationship, it'd be perfectly reasonable for you to let him know how that makes you feel and ask him to back you up in future.


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