Can men really change their ways?

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anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
Can men really change their ways?
4
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 5:47am

I've been with my boyfriend for 5 years, although we've had some pretty rocky times. He has a terrible temper (he's never physically abusive, but has been what I would call emotionally abusive) and is just not as involved with myself and my son (from a previous relationship) as I would like. He works and takes classes, so I get that he is very busy, but I don't feel like he makes the time for us unless it's convenient for him. We've had issues with him lying, too. And not just little white lies, big lies. 

We've worked through a lot of things, but some of those big issues are still there. We fight about them, make up and sweep them under the rug until the next fight. It's finally gotten to a point where I can't take it anymore. I said we either need to deal with these issues once and for all or break up. 

Of course now he is promising to fix everything. He says he'll start walking away when he's mad instead of lashing out, make more of an effort to be there for myself and my son, and be totally honest with me about everything. My response? I've heard it all before. Several times, actually. Except now he's elaborated a little more as to how he'll make the changes.

My concern is that things will be great for 2 months (as is usually the case) and then he'll go back to his usual ways. I worry that a person is who they are and he might be very unhappy if he has to go outside of his comfort zone to make me happy. He says he won't, but that is definitely another concern. 

I just don't know what to do. I'm having a hard time believing him this time, but what do you think--can men actually change their ways and does it stick?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-27-2004
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 5:50pm

Since you have already had several occasions when he said he was going to change but didn't, you have good reason to be skeptical this time.  What is he doing differently this time to enable him to change his behavior permanently?  What are you doing to become ready to move on if, once more, his "change" is temporary?  How will you react when he doesn't change, but claims that he has just backslid a little?  How many more chances will you give him to demonstrate how neglectful, emotionally and verbally abusive, and dishonest he can be?

I think you understand hm very well.  Now you need to extend that understanding to yourself, and to what your son learns when he sees you accept this kind of treatment.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 11:33am

I doubt he will change esp. if he really doesn't think he has a problem.  Just think about someone who has been a cigarette smoker for years--it's really hard to quit smoking.  If someone else tells the person to quit smoking, he's only going to go into if half heartedly so maybe he'll quit for a little while, but he really wants to go back--but if the person wanted to quit smoking for his own health, then he would make more of an effort. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2011
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 5:54am

I don't think there is any difference betwen men and women in a "changing themself".
But there is a big difference from person to person.

I had a temper also and my children felt that and that was a problem for me. When I started hormone suplementing therapy temper gone away with no effort from my side. Hormones made a kind a different.