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So what are you going to do when it starts?

Right... the cycle continues. Do you think the cycle can be broken indefinitely?

I would tend to argue that some people fall into the personality disorder spectrum and probably cannot change.. while others have bad habits that can be broken.

But as I have said somewhere else.. MC is not the answer, it's usually interventional counseling.
And that person needs to want to change.

I have found that in my example my stbx's version of change is going to 1 session if mc and screaming at me as to why it didn't "cure" us.

No thanks, life is too short
 

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Originally Posted by lisab
"I'm not proud of it, but I'm not beating myself up over it."

That is what my fiancé said to me last weekend when discussing his physical assaults on me since last November. He is neutral about it.

I need to not engage in arguments with him. Don't stick up for myself. Let him rule his domain as he sees fit if I don't want anything bad to happen.

He may not be trying to cheat anymore, but he has replaced it with something else. How sick is it that I would take getting punched square in the face, blood everywhere over the feeling of being cheated on again.
The good news here, though, is that you don't have to tolerate either, Lisa...
 

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Lisab, don't say that, trust me you do not want to get hit in the face. The only good news there is you could call the cops if you lived. Please, you can live without a cheater and can marry someone far better.
 

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I find this all so hard. I know it's abuse, I know I don't trust him anymore, I know, I know. i'm scared. scared to carry on like this for the rest of my life & scared of living with a whole new set of "consequences". it feels like i'm in a no win situation. I feel so trapped.

the reality is I could end up living God knows where, I've got v little money, i'm on benefits with a disability & i'd lose my carer overnight, strangers coming in to help with personal care is heartbreaking. I couldn't bare to live in the same town & see him with someone else. I've been with him since i was a teenager, i'm almost 50 now. no wonder women in this situation end up suicidal.

once you've experienced abuse you always live in fear of it repeating, any signs of his anger/temper & you're "on alert" trying to read the signs, going into auto pilot to sooth him.
 

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Navy, you're going to be fine. You're getting help, you're improving yourself, you're smart. I'm 55 and if I had to, I would find a way to start over, with nothing. In fact, I often daydream of just finding a room to rent in some older single lady's home and living a calm, peaceful life for the next 20-40 years. Alone.

Once you get away from him, you will be AMAZED at how strong you start feeling. Like many other abuse victims, you have been brainwashed to believe you are incapable, unworthy, unloveable. NONE of that is true, and once you are away from the one person who keeps TELLING you that, that feeling will start to fade away.
 

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My H has been emotionally and verbally abusive, though he's never touched me in anger.

I almost moved out last month, which spurred him to get on anti-anxiety drugs and go to MC with me. We've gone twice, but my therapist seems very sympathetic to my H's anxiety problems, which worries me, as I feel like he uses anxiety for an excuse. I'm sticking with the MC for a little longer, though.

So far the only thing that's changed is that he hasn't yelled or sworn at me, but the manipulation and gas-lighting is still going on. I'm getting insulted and belittled in a sulky, hurt, condescending voice instead of a loud, angry one. He has told me my attempts to be assertive are "poorly done" and in the middle of arguments he'll randomly change the subject to how hard his life is or all the times he's almost bought me expensive gifts but then I hurt his feelings so much that forget it, he won't buy me anything. I've told him I don't need expensive gifts, and then he says things like "oh, I know, you don't like gifts. What kind of husband can't even buy his wife a gift? How am I supposed to feel about that?" Which is ridiculous, I love gifts, I just don't like being manipulated with them.

In short, every conversation is all about him, but he keeps telling me I'm the one who's self-centered.

So by my experience so far, abusers may change their approach, but not their attitudes.

And for turnera--yes, I am putting my "leaving for real" plan into place, and yes, I did several times walk out on his rages before he started this quieter phase. Thanks for all your good advice.
 

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Chaotic, couple counseling is rarely a good idea with an abuser. As you've found out, they often manipulate the therapist and simply learn new tactics and a new language with which to abuse.
 

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No, the abuse never changes, sad, but true. I was 18 when I met my ex, and stayed until I was 44, it was a huge decision to make, I had never lived alone, and I had two small children to support.

You can't change them, and what I realized is that not setting proper boundaries of what I will and will not accept in terms of his behavior towards me, set the stage of our entire relationship. When I requested we get help, we went to so many therapists, he would yell at me when he felt they were taking sides, and then we would go to another therapist. The last one said to me in private that my ex needed to change and that it was unhealthy for my children. That night I asked him to leave. I never looked back, I got tired of hearing "you were nothing when I met you, and you're still nothing" amongst many other cruel things. The worst of it was the control, and making things all about him.

I know I was not perfect, but he never let me forget my mistakes, and yet his were always over looked.

I'm much happier, and in a better place.....life goes on even when you think it doesn't.
 

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Chaotic, my husband's counsellor suggested couples counselling for us. there is NO WAY i'd go with him. he is too charming, cunning, I just don't trust him. if you read up on the net over& over different sites say MC is no good in abusive relationships, there is a imbalance of power.

abuse stops firmly at the abusers feet. no excuses, "I was drunk, I was tired, she wouldn't shut up, she wound me up, a red mist came down, I just lost it, she presses my buttons...." all excuses.

have you ready Lundy Bancroft's book ?

I agree, they just change tactic's. read up on it,it really helps.
 

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I am in a very mentally abusive marriage. It has only gotten worse as time has gone by. I don't see him ever getting better in fact I think he will be physically abusive before long if I don't get out. I don't think it's worth waiting to find out if there is hope he could change.
Then, when will you be leaving? Soon I hope.
 

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I know first hand - an abuser will stay an abuser. They don't change. They may change what they do and how they do it, but the bottom line is control, power and to throw you off guard.
Manipulation is their game.

Don't bring kids into the mix - please!
 
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