He promises he’ll change, but he never does. Here’s how to know if you should believe him and keep hoping for the best, or think about breaking up with him.
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Sometimes we need an objective guide, such as Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship by Mira Kirshenbaum. This is an awesome book, because it’ll help you see whether or not he’ll change – and if you should trust him.
Here’s what my reader, Betty, on Signs of an Abusive Relationship You Should Never Ignore: “We got engaged pretty fast, but he was the perfect guy. He changed after a couple months. I try to be the perfect wife but I find myself sometimes paying all the bills and doing all the housework. My daughter does the outside work. He became insensitive and makes disrespectful comments about me to my kids.”
The first warning sign is that there is NO such thing as the perfect guy! If your boyfriend seems perfect, then there’s something wrong. He’s hiding something. Before you jump into a common-law marriage, engagement, or wedding make sure you’ve spent at least a year with your boyfriend. Don’t be fooled by how perfect and right for you he seems. And, believe him when he says he can’t change, because he’s telling you the truth.
When He Says He’ll Change – But Never Does
Here’s the rest of Betty’s comment:
“A woman emailed me over Facebook and called me, and a few months later my kids found out he was talking to another woman. He said he wasn’t. Then, a few months later I found pictures and sexual texts from his ex. Now he says he’ll change but hasn’t. He continues to talk to his ex and be disrespectful. I want to be with him but from what I understand he’s been like this with every woman he’s been with. I continually forgive him in hopes he’ll change for me, like I did for him. I don’t know what to do. Should I leave him?” ~ from Is Your Marriage Over? 7 Signs Your Spouse is Leaving.
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Be realistic about your relationship
I very rarely tell women they should leave their husbands, but in this case I think Betty shouldn’t trust her husband to change. I think she knows it, too. She says she doesn’t know if she should believe him that he’ll change and she doesn’t know if she should leave him, but I think she just doesn’t want to face the truth. If he’s been untrustworthy and disrespectful in his past relationships, then it is unrealistic to expect him to change – especially if he’s already been caught cheating with his ex on Facebook.
Ask him how bad he wants to change
Does your husband want to change, or is he just saying he’ll change to appease you? Do you see signs of change, growth, maturity in his life and your marriage?
If he says he’ll change but he still disrespects you, don’t listen to you, and continues to have contact with his ex despite your discomfort, then I think it’s safe to assume he’s all talk and no action. He can talk about wanting to change until the cows come home, but it’s his actions that prove it.
Ask yourself how he can win back your trust
Would marriage counseling help you trust him? How about him giving you access to all his Facebook accounts, text messages, and email accounts? You need to figure out whether you can trust him again, and live in peace with him and yourself. What can he do that will make you believe him when he says he’ll change? Make a list of things he can do to reassure you – be outrageous (eg, you insert a camera on his head so you know what he’s doing and where he is at all times) and practical (eg, realize that it takes a long time to rebuild trust after your husband has an affair).
Nobody can tell you if you should leave your marriage or relationship. You need to dig deep within yourself, and be honest: do YOU believe him when he says he’ll change? You have to be strong and courageous enough to listen to what your gut is telling you.
If you know he’ll never change, read How to End a Relationship When You’re Scared to Be Alone.
What do you think – does your boyfriend or husband say he’ll change, but never does? I welcome your thoughts below.