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Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer > Blog > Domestic Violence > Can an Abusive Partner Change?

Can an Abusive Partner Change?


It can be difficult to give up on someone you love. However, if they are threatening or hurting you either physically, emotionally, or sexually, your top priority needs to be protecting your own health and welfare. In the case of couples who are married or living together, the one being abused may remain in the relationship hoping that their partner will change. We know that this is possible in certain situations. At the same time, we can help you take the steps needed to protect your safety while you wait.

Is Domestic Violence an Issue In Your Relationship?

All couples fight on occasion. While occasional arguments are par for the course, there are times when these rise to a level that is unacceptable. When your partner makes threats, acts out in an aggressive manner, or otherwise attempts to control or intimidate you, it is considered domestic violence.

Incidents involving domestic abuse may not happen overnight. Instead, patterns of behavior may have grown and increased in severity over the years. According to the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV), warning signs to be alert for include:

  • Extreme jealousy and possessiveness;
  • Limiting your time with family or friends;
  • Monitoring your activity, reading your mail, or hacking into your phone and social media accounts;
  • Doing damage to your property;
  • Threatening you, your family, friends, or pets.

Domestic violence includes hitting, punching, pushing, and other aggressive actions. It can also involve insults and other acts meant to humiliate you or sexual harassment and rape. If you experience any of these or your partner shows warning signs, it is important to get help right away.

Is It Possible For Your Partner To Change?

The National Domestic Violence Hotline advises that it is possible for an abuser to change, but they need to acknowledge the problem first and have a willingness to do whatever it takes to get better. Actions they claim indicate some hope for the relationship include:

  • Fully admitting what they have done and not making excuses for the behavior;
  • Accepting that being abusive is a conscious choice on their part, rather than something they have no control over;
  • Identifying and changing the attitudes that drive them to abuse;
  • Identifying their behaviors and how they impact you;
  • Changing how they handle arguments or other challenging situations;
  • Not expecting ‘credit’ for stopping the abusive behavior;
  • Developing a pattern of treating you with respect;
  • Accepting whatever consequences their actions result in.

Abusers are capable of change. Unfortunately, they are also capable of saying what they think you want to hear and of falling back into old patterns once they regain your trust.

Let Us Help You Today

Change takes time and effort on the part of your partner. During this process, attorney Vanessa L. Prieto can help you get an injunction for protection against domestic violence, otherwise known as a restraining order, to ensure your safety. To discuss this and other options, reach out and contact our Fort Lauderdale domestic violence attorney online and request a confidential consultation today.


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