Will He Change?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’ve been with the same man for almost 27 years, we have 3 children / when we first met he was very controlling always flipping out if i went out name calling etc. Once I came home late went to sleep and woke up to him punching my leg that punch left a bruise for days. when I had my first child he wouldn’t come to the hospital because he was out the night before and hungover and I told him to leave my house well half hour later he showed up at the hospital and in front of a room full of visitors told me to go F myself he didn’t need my shit. when he left i curled up in a ball in the bathroom and cried like a baby because i was so embarrassed.

he has also ripped my clothes pulled wires out of my vehicle so I couldn’t go out when he would leave me, I called him I cried I begged and after a few days he would come home then one day I snapped, he hit me and I hit him right back then had him arrested, we had a crazy relationship for years and I even threw him out for good only to take him back after him begging and my 5 year old asking me to give him another chance.

now fast forward years and 2 kids later there is no physical abuse but first we never got married, he says why ruin a good thing Everything we have houses,cars etc is all in his name. I have nothing in my name. He even has to make sure he has control over my eldest daughter. He takes care of her but again everything in his name – the house she lives in, the car she drives all his, He flies off the handle over stupid things. He’ll call me complaining tenants are not paying rent and when i say boot them he tells me that’s why i’ll never be in business cause i have no clue how businesses are run. He jokes how he’s gonna trade me in for 2 22 year old’s or how all these woman want him. I always say go for it they will sure get a great catch and other times i tell him it hurts me when he says those things. His response I’m only joking don’t be such a b….

I have worked side by side with this man for years and now only work one day a week with him because i watch our Granddaughter while my daughter works and goes to school. lately i have been feeling so down I have been diagnosed with depression and adhd but with no insurance it’s hard to get medication. I can’t leave because i have no money. He does give me some when i need it but I know if I leave i will get nothing. I guess you can say I do love him but at the same time I hate every inch of him at times.I also feel that if we married i would feel more secure about leaving him. heck I even day dream of winning the lottery and watching myself walk out the door and never look back. can I get him change? or am I just stupid

A: You aren’t stupid but you are worn down and worn out. He won’t change. He has no need to. He doesn’t want to ruin a “good thing” because he is good with how things are. He’s not interested in your feelings or whether things are “good” for you. He’s only interested in being totally in control.

Underneath all his bluster and controlling behaviors is a man who is so insecure he can’t manage being in relationship with a woman who is his equal. He deals with his feelings of inferiority by acting superior and keeping the people around him dependent. As you have already discovered, he can be dangerous so please don’t feel too sorry for him.

You need practical help to get out of this destructive and dangerous relationship. Fortunately there are services for women like yourself at the local YWCA. Call 604-625-5785 for information about how they may be able to help. When you need support, you can also call the hotline at 800-799-7233. See this website for more information.

Write these resources down. Then erase your computer history. Use a computer at a friend’s house or at the library to follow up. Men like yours often become enraged when women they have put down and hurt start to look for help.

Get out — for your own self-respect and to show your kids that a woman shouldn’t tolerate belittling behavior from someone who says he loves her. You deserve better. They need to have a role model for how to stop this type of relationship.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Sep 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Will He Change?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/09/30/will-he-change/