Maybe your husband keeps promising you he’ll change – or maybe you just hope he will. Either way, how do you know if your husband will change his behavior for good?
Here’s what a reader says on How to Trust Your Husband After He Betrayed You:
“I left him three times in the past, I have filed for divorce but keep coming back because I have this innate feeling that MAYBE he really can change. But all this back and forth has caused me to lose almost all of my relationships with family and friends. The thought of leaving and going to a shelter scares me. I don’t know how I will find a job, a car, pay for housing, and food, get mentally stronger, and go to court, and make sure my daughter is ok and taken care of. It’s so overwhelming and I can’t keep afloat. Any advice would be very appreciated.”
She said a lot more in her original comment in the article, and I am so glad she shared everything she did! Writing it all out is healthy because it gives you a chance to collect your thoughts and figure out what you really think and feel. Sometimes when we finish writing, we actually know what we need to do.
Will your husband change?
You can’t do anything to make him change. The only thing you can do is get as emotionally and spiritually healthy as you can. This will help you make good decisions in your life and marriage, which may help him change. If your husband doesn’t change – and I think you should NOT expect him to, because changing one’s patterns and ways of relating is extremely difficult – where will you be in a year, five years, ten years?
“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading,” says Lao Tzu.
If YOU do not change, YOU may end up in a bad place. You can’t expect him to change direction. Husbands can and do change, but only if they’re motivated. What motivates a man to change how he treats his wife and family? It depends on his personality, lifestyle, values, beliefs, and even his addictions.
If you can’t be yourself in your marriage, read How to Stop Walking on Eggshells in Your Relationship.
I can’t tell you if your husband will change, but I can offer a few signs that he won’t change. I’ve also included a few signs that change is possible – but it really depends on the man, your marriage, and other factors in your (and his) life that I’m not aware of.
You know your husband won’t change if:
- He keeps repeating the same behaviors or saying the same things
- He has a history of the same behaviors in past relationships
- He is emotionally manipulative or controlling
- He keeps coming between you and your loved ones – he isolates you from people you care about
- You know deep down in your gut that your husband won’t change
If you’ve left your husband in the past because of his behavior and he still hasn’t changed, then the chances are high that he won’t change in the future. People get set in their ways, and are often unwilling or unable to do the work that change requires.
One of the most common times women wonder if their husbands will change is when the men are abusive. Are you in an abusive relationship – and do you hope and pray your husband will change? Read The Cycle of Abuse – Why Women Can’t Walk Away.
Signs your husband might change:
- He is willing to go to counseling
- He is reading books or taking classes that will help him solve his problem (eg, anger management classes, books on marriage conflict, etc)
- He hasn’t behaved this way in the past – there is no long-standing pattern of this behavior
- He doesn’t lie or make false promises
- He has kept his word or promises in the past. You trust him.
These signs aren’t guarantees that your husband will change! You can go to counseling until the cows come home, but unless he genuinely wants to change…he won’t.
The question you need to ask yourself is, “Am I willing to change?”
What changes do you need to make in your life, so you can be happy and healthy – and so you can raise happy, healthy children?
If you feel overwhelmed and scared at the thought of leaving your husband, read How to Find Strength to Get Out of a Bad Relationship.
What do you think – will your husband change? You know him and your marriage better than anyone. The answer is in you; you need only dig deep and find it.
I welcome your comments below, but I can’t offer advice. You may find it helpful to share your experience, though. Sometimes we don’t know how we feel until we write our thoughts down.
Your thoughts are welcome below! I don't give advice, but you can get free relationship help from marriage coach Mort Fertel.