Maya Angelou once said, “ When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
If you are considering ending an abusive marriage, it is wise to bear this in mind. It is easy to stay in an unhappy marriage too long, hoping that somehow the other person will change or that you can change them. Yet, it is rare for an abusive partner to change. Why is it rare? Because it is not easy.
People’s personalities and behavior are the product of a lifetime. A baby does not come out of the womb ready to manipulate or punch its mother. While it might scream when it’s hungry, that is because it cannot speak. It is a very different scream than the one your partner unleashes at you because you do something “wrong.”
Your spouse learned or acquired these behaviors as they went through life. By the time you get to the point of divorce, they will have had these ways of behaving for years or decades.
People need to want to change
While your partner might apologize and say they hate how they behave toward you, that does not mean they are willing to take the action necessary for change. Words are easy. Putting in the time and effort to change is much more challenging. It may also require a considerable financial investment in therapy or counseling.
If your spouse mistreats you, finding out more about divorce can help you prepare for a new and safer life. If you think they will react badly, make sure you have all the facts to hand first before mentioning it to them.