This topic contains 23 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  RedGiraffe 2 weeks, 3 days ago.

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  • #112967
     RedGiraffe 
    Participant

    So I’ve been reading the freedom programme book and it’s come to my attention there’s a course for the abusers to go on alongside… has anyone done this with their abuser and it has worked? Can they mend their ways? Is it possible to change?

    My head is spinning and even though I’ve left I’m worried there was something else we could have tried!

  • #112968
     RedGiraffe 
    Participant

    Book is called ‘living with the dominator’ for those not aware of the book and it’s been a helpful and insightful read.

  • #112978
     KIP. 
    Participant

    In my experience no they never change. I’ve been on this forum for several years and never come across one. They may temporarily change as part of manipulation but the trouble is they don’t think they’re doing anything wrong. Behaving this way actually works for them. If they don’t know how to behave by now then I don’t believe a course will make a difference. Even if there was a miracle, could you really relax or would you be always on eggshells waiting for the next outburst? Do you really want to live your life like that. The trust has gone when you are abused by someone and I think it’s impossible to regain it. It takes two to make a relationship work. What you want from a relationship and what he wants is totally different. Just concentrate on your own recovery and well being. Look after yourself because he has shown you he won’t x

    • #112981
       RedGiraffe 
      Participant

      Thank you for this! I think I just let him back into my head and I need to keep strong and keep going! It’s going to take some time, I just wish things were more simple! And we could all have that fairytale ending!

  • #112983
     Eggshells 
    Participant

    Hi RedGiraffe,

    My ex started it. He raved about how good it was an how enlightening it was. He told me that he finally understood all the ways he had been abusive. I told him that this was excellent news and that I hoped it would help him in any future relationships but that I was leaving anyway.

    Once I’d told him this, he dropped the whole programme like it was a sack of hot coals and denied he’d ever agreed that he was abusive. The whole thing was charade to hoover me back in.

    There is a programme run by RESPECT. If your OH is genuine, he’ll go along and talk to them. They will suss out if he means it or not. My ex told me that Respect had told him that he wasn’t abusive and that they had also told him that I had no evidence that would stand up in a court of law. I made an official complaint. On investigation, it turns out that they had actually rumbled him during his initial phone conversation and told him that they didn’t think he was suitable for the programme but could come along for assessment. He never went fo the assessment.

    I’d say be very, very wary. xx

    • #113196
       RedGiraffe 
      Participant

      Thank you, I’ve already left him but it’s something I had heard of and wondered if it could ‘help him’ but I guess that’s not my responsibility anymore… I think I’ve been holding onto a small possibility of change still! 🙁 why is it so hard!

  • #113000
     Wiseafter 
    Participant

    We all know change and personal growth requires a level of honesty, self reflection and insight that I don’t think abusive men possess. Honestly, in my experience, my man said he had changed, seen the light, gone to therapy for anger management etc, just because he wanted to hoover his way back and yes, I thought he had changed but it was just an act. He was calmer and more like the man I fell for, attentive, sexy and humble, helping out round the house but, sooner or later, the abuse came back. He even used the fact that he had therapy against me by inventing things his therapist had said about me being the cause of all his misery and that I was abusive. It was really awful. I know there are men out there posting online/youtube who say they have changed and, statistically, there must be some successes out there but I don’t think a serial abuser who learned early on that control, lying, manipulation, violence and rage work effectively to get them what they want is going to bother. Maybe I’m just being cynical! Would really love to be proved wrong.

  • #113031
     Catjam 
    Participant

    I gave mine the contact info for one. He rang the each number once but for a few weeks he claimed he had kept ringing and no response, making me feel bad for doubting him. I called him out on it and I was accused of only looking at the bad. But 6 months ago I would never have done that, I would have gone back to life as it was because it’s easier. How he has done this and that.
    He rang the gp about depression so he is now on tablets and apparently waiting for help.
    I decided I needed to request we weren’t intimate but every couple of days he says we need to be normal to find what he does that sets him off. I raise an issue and I am dismissed or told I misinterpreted him.
    I have read loads on them possibly changing and I think there are a few who can but it takes years.

    • #113198
       RedGiraffe 
      Participant

      Mine also went to the doctors who gave him anti depressents and apparently after he explained our sitaution and the pending relationship breakdown the doctor replied “it’s no wonder your acting this way”, I was shocked! Surely a doctor shouldn’t be defending abusive behaviour – of course he probably made it sound less than it was and me more crazy!

  • #113035
     Wiseafter 
    Participant

    Hey Catjam how’s it going with all of this? Maybe write a journal in private to keep tabs on what he is saying, his behaviour etc to map out whether this is a genuine act of change, or more manipulation tactics. Just a thought but I have been through similar and just want you to be super mindful and practical with this so you keep a bit of detachment and stick to whatever you want out of it. Keep posting. x

  • #113065
     Catjam 
    Participant

    I do keep a journal, have done sporadically for years. It’s rather depressing reading back. Spoke to my gp today who thinks I should recontact my local support group, currently waiting for referrals for help.
    I think you hold on to the hope that he may be one of those who seeks help, admits they have an issue and works hard at treating you better. Mine is so subtle in the things he does, years of practice so he doesn’t see he has an issue but he isn’t a stupid man so I think he knows exactly what he does like all of them.
    I have signed up for a college course, I am really excited as I had to pass an interview to get on but he turned round and said (detail removed by moderator). Like I say just tiny little things but over time it mounts up.

     

  • #113066
     Catjam 
    Participant

    There is a book written by an emotional abuser. Austin James writes about his journey and how he now helps others to stop them being abusive too.

    • #113199
       RedGiraffe 
      Participant

      I’ll make a note of this book! Maybe in time I will be ready to read it!

  • #113129
     SeekingPeace 
    Participant

    My husband has recently completed the freedom programme. It was my last ditch attempt to save our relationship but all it did was confirm he was unlikely to ever change. He said it “wasn’t for him”. That says it all really doesn’t it! I asked him if he recognised anything of himself in it and he said yes some things but “it’s a bit extreme isn’t it!” and went on to tell me how he was an individual and couldn’t be pigeon holed by a programme like that (he is an extremely emotionally manipulative man but a lot of what he does is very subtle and would be ‘under the radar’ (as in your layperson wouldn’t necessarily recognise any of what he does described out of context/the bigger picture as abuse.
    When I first confronted him he held his hands up and said he was abusive. He went for counselling, healing from developmental trauma therapy but the abuse continued. He compared himself with other abusive men telling me “this is the reason why the majority of men don’t change, they can’t face the reality of who they are…” He talked a very good talk indeed and for many months I was taken in by it and I really did believe him. Now having completed the freedom programme for women and the follow on course freedom forever I know that he was simply using persuader tactics to hoover me back into the relationship. I have since ended the marriage. And now, he would say he is not an abusive man! I know I have made the right decision for me and my children in leaving him. But oh boy did he have me taken in by his convincing words before I left. I believed he was in the very small percentage of men who do change. No, he was just a textbook abuser unfortunately. I guess I just desperately wanted to hold onto hope and believe differently for so long because I wanted to save our marriage.

    • #113200
       RedGiraffe 
      Participant

      🙁 it really does sound like even mentioning there is a programme would be a waste of time! I’ve left him but I guess I was still looking for some hope – I’ve been getting the whole want to get back together already and tbh I’ve not been swayed as I know I want the good parts (the parts that weren’t really real, the parts I envisioned for the future).

      I haven’t heard of the freedom forever programme… I will have to take a look thank you. I haven’t completed the freedom programme only read the book so far.

  • #113130
     SeekingPeace 
    Participant

    I will add that one of the other things that helped me to eventually realise that my husband was just the same as other abusers, and very unlikely to ever change, was coming onto this forum on a daily basis and reading other womens posts. That really did open my eyes!

    Thank you to everyone who has posted over the past couple of years as it all helped towards me being able to finally leave my abusive husband. I posted very little on here during that time (mostly because I’ve had babies/v young children to care for and I’ve been utterly exhausted) but but I’ve come on frequently to read others’ posts and its really helped me feel I’ve not been alone in what I’ve been going through.

    Now my children are a little less physically dependent on me, im getting better sleep, and I’m officially out of the relationship, I’m hoping I’ll be more able to contribute to this fo forum. I hope I can be of some help and support to others in the way I have found such amazing help and support reading what other women have written.

    I’m still very much in a challenging situation with my abuser…he’s now using finances and children to abuse me, as that is all he can clutch at to continue his power and control over me…but I am determined not to let him take away my peace and contentment!

    • #113201
       RedGiraffe 
      Participant

      Wishing you all the best for going ahead and the future! This forum has really helped me too!

  • #113131
     SeekingPeace 
    Participant

    Another thing that came to mind for me. I invested all my energy for (detail removed by moderator) years after I first confronted my husband with his abuse in trying to find out what would help him.
    I passed on articles and books I had read on the topic, we had in-depth discussions, I found a website called (detail removed by moderator). It’s been set up by a reforming abuser and is a community of abusive men supporting each other in their quest to change and become non-abusive. When I first told him about it (and he genuinely appeared remorseful and wanting to change) i really thought it could be the answer. He agreed to register but (detail removed by moderator)on he was still making excuses for why he hadn’t done so yet. He eventually did register but only when our marriage was v close to ending. Plus he didn’t keep it up! When I said I couldn’t continue in the marriage, he stopped bothering with the website!
    I realise now that the motivation for change had to come from within him. There was nothing more I could do. I had to come to an acceptance of that.

    • #113202
       RedGiraffe 
      Participant

      This is where I was when I had to end the relationship, he’s wanting to try again and saying he’s changed (he hasn’t, not enough time has passed for him to even notice everything he did never mind sort through it and work on himself). I tried everything I could, which is why I asked about this thinking was there something I didn’t try. But I don’t want to try anymore I just want someone to love me properly!

  • #113147
     Catjam 
    Participant

    I have done the freedom programme but not the freedom forever. Is that on the same site?

  • #113150
     Lifebegins 
    Participant

    Hi RedGiraffe/all

    I would concentrate on healing you now rather than thinking could you’ve done more to fix him.

    You say is there anything more ‘we’ could’ve tried. In my opinion, no. It has to come from him. I spent years looking for solutions to his stress, child hood issues, physical issues, mental health issues, etc. you name it there was an excuse for his abusive behaviour. I really thought the last time when we both saw his GP and he was put on antidepressants that it was the turning point. And it was for a while. But it didn’t last just like it didn’t last any of the times previously. And his abusive behaviour came back bigger and badder than before. ‘We’ didn’t try the freedom programme but did go to counselling and it was a total waste of time because he minimised his behaviour and was constantly looking for justification. No intention to change just went to keep me in the relationship.

    I think we try to rationalise their abuse is caused by x but in fact they choose to behave in this way. The more I’m reading, educating myself and using the wisdom of the ladies on this site, I’ve come to realise they will not change no matter what you do. Although it’s been very difficult and took many attempts, I know leaving was the best and only thing to do for the good of me and my child.

    Haven’t posted for a while as I’m still dealing with the aftermath of leaving and he’s still doing his utmost to make life difficult. But I’m much stronger now than I was because I’m healing me. Finally. Doing counselling, reconnecting with friends, utilising the support of family, friends, employer and coming on here to read regularly. I would highly recommend to others to do the same rather than concentrating on him.

    Love and hugs to you all 💕

    • #113203
       RedGiraffe 
      Participant

      Thank you!

      It’s still early days for me and I know I’ve made the right choice – I can feel it! I’m less stressed, less worried, I’m not freezing or jumping as much, bad habits I used as comfort have declined, I’m more me!
      But I too am suffering with the aftermath! Some days are harder than others, but I’ll get there!

      Wishing you all the best!

  • #113225
     Walkingonsunshine 
    Participant

    Thanks Ladies, I needed this thread. I’ve also been in the same mindset, can he change? Could I have done more? Have I done the right thing? The guilt he puts on me for separating the family.

    We are separated but he’s constantly trying to win me back, telling me ‘how much he’s changed’ Like many of the stories above he’s been to the doctors, he’s been prescribed medication and from the outside he looks like a changed man, he’s become a better dad to the children but every now and again that mask slips and he’ll have one of his outbursts and I realise, no, he’s still there. That’s who he is and I could never be myself if we stay together. Forever walking on eggshells. I also feel happier, less on edge now I’m away from him.

    • #113564
       RedGiraffe 
      Participant

      I’m in the same situation! He’s trying to win me back, trying to tell me he’s changed, he’s friendly now, he interacts with the children, goes out of his way to help me… but every now and again he will say something or do something and as you said the mask slips!

      I too feel more relaxed – habits I did out of comfort have stopped or declined! I feel I can do what I want, dress how I want, speak to who I want, even clean when I want!

      I’m glad this thread helped you too… guilt has been extreme, especially when I was planning forever!

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