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#799278 - 01/06/13 09:36 AM Experience with reformed abusers?
DownUnderGirl Offline

Registered: 01/06/13
Posts: 3
Not even sure if there is such a thing as reformed abusers but here we go...My partner and I split 10 months ago. The police removed him from the house after I got an IVO against him. The abuse was emotional and psychological predominantly. He never outright hit me but would stand over me and intimidated me with his physicality. But most of the abuse was subtle and clever and took me 4 years to realise it was abuse and another year to end the relationship. We have a 3year old boy together so our lives are still connected. In the last 10 months my ex has done an anger management course - it was a condition of me dropping the IVO. At first he resented me 'making' him do the course and felt it should have been me doing it! But through out the course he started to understand what family violence is and to see that he is in fact an abuser. But understanding it logically and actually changing behaviour can be two very different things. At one stage his behavor escalated again and I once again went to court and got an IVO. That was back in July. Since then his course has finished. He has given up drugs, moved out of his mates place who was a drug dealer, and has been seeing a psychologist/hypnotherapist (which is huge because he never 'believed' in psychology even thou his mother is one!). He wants to get back together and we have been talking more of late. We are also going to see a relationship counsellor. To have him acknowledge his behaviour has been a really big thing for me and quite healing but I am cautious about getting involved as this could just be another part of the circle of violence - don't they usually always say sorry at some point? But that is usually part of the cycle, as is the violence. However during our conversations I have seen in him things that I have never seen before. He stops and reflects, adjusts his behaviour when I ask and seems to take on board what I say. He has also cried in front of me. I am wondering if anyone has had a similar situation or has any advice for me? Thanks.

#799949 - 01/10/13 07:15 AM Re: Experience with reformed abusers? [Re: DownUnderGirl]
Jeanette - Editor Offline


Registered: 12/11/04
Posts: 1893
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
It is very rare someone does a 360 with their lives after being an abuser. My only experience is how I grew up. My parents fought constantly... emotional and physical abuse. They were both alcoholics and my mother was a drug addict too. My dad says he only hit my mom back after she had been hitting or smacking him to get her off of him. My mom had a bad bad temper. Once they separated and divorced, my dad met my step mom. He has never hit her, screamed at her, or anything abusive. Once he got away from my mom, he also stopped drinking. He has been sober since 1995, married my step mom in 1997. My mom on the other hand never stopped drinking, starting using drugs more and more when she got with her boyfriend. She would scream at him, break up with him when he wouldn't by her booze and drugs. She was an addict, there was no changing her. She committed a slow suicide with drugs and alcohol and passed away in 2008. So I saw both sides of this coin. My abuse has not been in another relationship since he and i broke up so I don't know if he has changed or not.
Jeanette Stingley - Women's Lit

#800247 - 01/11/13 03:22 PM Re: Experience with reformed abusers? [Re: DownUnderGirl]
DownUnderGirl Offline

Registered: 01/06/13
Posts: 3
Hm and I had a big chat last night. I keep getting this feeling that he is using his new found understanding of family violence to try and psychologically abuse me, if that makes sense. So that any time I might say something about the past that upsets him that I'm committing family violence, that it doesn't matter what my intention is etc, any time I'm "misbehaving" in his eyes...I haven't yelled or been abusive, just trying to heal the past and talk about stuff. I read recently a woman talking about the you-made-me-feel-bad-so-now-I'm- angry-with-you when the feeling bad is because they feel guilty etc. so the anger at me is actually misplaced. Unfortunately I'm then accused of family violence. It just feels like another way to justify his behaviour in the past, paint me as equally the bad guy (I know I'm not perfect, but I feel the victim not the abuser) so tha the doesn't have to feel too bad about himself. Sorry, I'm dumping....

#800249 - 01/11/13 05:02 PM Re: Experience with reformed abusers? [Re: DownUnderGirl]
bruisednotbroken Offline

Registered: 06/25/12
Posts: 21
follow your instincts DownUnderGirl. if there is one thing that abusers know how to do it's manipulate. this ex of yours will manipulate any discussion that you both have in order to flip it on you and make you somehow the bad guy. it's just another way they control. don't fall for it...abusers will convince you that the sky is green and the grass is blue; even though you know in your heart its not, they'll have you doubting yourself. also never apologize for "dumping" :) hang in there. we're here for you.


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