Can an abusive or Violent Man Ever Change?

Many women have been in relationships with violent and/or abusive men.

Since so many women have been in highly toxic relationships in their lives, this is a relevant question: do you stay in faith that he can change?

Or do you choose to believe that they can never change?

The odds of a very toxic man changing are quite low.

If a man is emotionally abusive or violent towards you, you shouldn’t be thinking about staying as your first question. Your first question should really be:

“How do I get myself to safety now?”

The truth is that unless he’s been in therapy, the odds of a man being able to stop being violent on his own is very very low.

People can definitely change, but it requires a lot of internal work to stop being abusive or violent.

There are two main groups of violent men:

1) Those who have what we call character pathology.

Basically there’s something wrong with their personality and they might also have other issues that causes them to be violent.

Does your man blame you or blame the women of his past for “making him do it?”

Does he say that you pushed or provoked him? If he does, this is a sign that he can’t or won’t be willing to take responsibility. These are major red flags. It may even be gaslighting!

2) Those men who don’t have the above issues of character pathology, but can’t control their anger.

(Or those who somehow think they’ll prevent her from leaving if they use violence.)

These are the men who are most likely to recover with therapy. They can be helped.

They’ll often be genuinely remorseful after an incident and the making up part will feel great and is called “the honeymoon phase” for a reason.

But since they can’t control themselves, the toxicity, damage or violence (regardless of what kind of violence) will still be likely to happen again.

This circle of violence keeps victims stuck in abuse for ages.

Set a boundary – fast!

If you are in a relationship with a very toxic, abusive or violent man, I’d recommend that you set a strong boundary with this man.

Ie: that he is getting therapy and taking it seriously to figure out why he was violent and what to do if the same triggers happens again.

It’s futile to continue a relationship with a violent man (especially a man who has a violent past) until he’s done the work.

Don’t assume you are safe just because you left

Remember something important: when and if you do decide to leave a violent or abusive man, don’t ever assume you are just safe to get up and leave.

Be careful if you do leave, because violence is most likely to happen during breakups, or when he feels afraid of losing you, his partner.

Here is a resource for you to help you if you are currently in an abusive or violent situation – how to get out of an abusive relationship.

3 thoughts on “Can an abusive or Violent Man Ever Change?”

  1. Hello I was in an abusive marriage for years allowing him to go in and out along with putting him out. These articles have helped me to understand better what I was going through. A lot of the answers had came into my head, but I was confused. he going through health problems and I felt some sense of hurting for him. He pulled me in and he show me the same person he was when I was with him in the pass. I can say that I felt in danger and did not trust him when he would (be having a moment) as he call it. He did not dare to hit me, but was angry when I spoke up for myself or did not agree.
    Any way I finally left. I told him that our relationship was too Toxic for and I had nothing left to give him. I feel free now. But I live my the guard that he may snap and try something. He’s been diagnosed as Bipolar. Go figure! I believe he has other issues as well. Thanks for listening.

  2. Thanks for all of the information. It has given me an insight on my latest decision I made exiting my last TOXIC RELATIONSHIP.

  3. I am currently in a relationship that has endured much of a little of everything, if that makes any sense. What I have felt in these past two years are feelings that probably should be spread out by years and multiple people not squeezed in a crash course of relationship life lessons given by just one individual.
    Its been nothing short of exhausting……in absolutely EVERY aspect of my life.
    I feel that I don’t even know or recognize what “love”…….”real love” actually is anymore, or if I am even capable of giving or receiving it.
    The most confusing fact about this whole situation is that I feel I can’t leave because I “feel” that I’m so deeply in “love” with him.
    He has made some significant changes in himself that if he would have made these changes in the beginning before all the pain caused, I would have been on cloud 9 because this man is essentially all I wanted from the very start.
    I feel that If I leave now, I will be leaving in the middle of such a productive, beautiful process in this man that I have always wanted and I will be missing out on the rewarding end result in his character building. I know, it sounds ridiculous….doesn’t it? Sadly it is the honest truth of how I feel. I have been in love with man since I can remember and finally as adults we finally were able to merge together in a relationship, unfortunately bringing all the tragic details of our pasts with us. He is the man I always wanted, all the details of how he lives life, but the violent behavior he has shown in times of great pressure and frustration, the selfish words, acts, telling me he is only here for what I need and not my wants, has left me just lost in thought for hours a day… just day dreaming searching for signs or answers of some kind for clarity of what I need to do and how to go about it for overall well being of myself and my family……


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