Post # 1
Do you think people who are subtle emotional abusers can change? I’m talking about people who don’t stop you from seeing your friends but criticize you occasionally and come up with excuses for every ‘wrong’ thing they do never really seeming to listen to your concerns. Have you been in a relationship where your partner has come out the other end a changed person through counselling or working on themselves?
Post # 3
That’s called being a jerk. And no, they don’t change.
Post # 4
@esplanfreedom: No, but I have been in a relationship where a guy like that got worse, started beating me, sexually abusing me, and stalking me after I (finally) left him.
Post # 5
No I don’t think they ever get better, they only get worse. Yes I was in a relationship with someone like this and he went to therapy and 4 years later is still doing the same thing to every girl he meets.
Post # 6
No, I had an ex that started off like that. He never made me feel good about myself and he always had an excuse as to why there’s no reason for him to meet my friends or to support my growth (e.g. career, school, etc.). It just got worse and worse over time and each new day was more miserable than the one before. I finally walked when he physically pushed me in an argument.
Post # 7
Yeah, I’m with PPs – either he’s just an asshole, or its the beginning of abuse that will escalate. Either way, not worth it.
Post # 8
No, it just gets worse over time, and you just get more weak while it’s happening.
Post # 9
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t deserve criticism occasionally. I prefer honesty over a nod/smile at everything I do.
My fiance did do the excuses/not listening thing at first. But, we don’t have many problems with that after a serious conversation about “taking responsibility rather than winning the argument” and “taking time to listen rather than assuming you get the gist”.
Maybe have a conversation about your expectations for the relationship.
Post # 10
@esplanfreedom: Had an ex like this. He was also very good at explaining to me why I was too sensitive. He had wonderful qualities, of course – but none that could overshadow the fact that he made me feel less than good about myself on a regular basis. By the end, I was thinking in the same terms you are (subtle emotional abuse).
A few years down the road, and happily engaged to someone who has never once criticized me (but who is not a pushover in any regard), I can’t tell you what a miracle it is to be in a relationship with someone who manages to make me feel loved and admired even when we are disagreeing. I promise you, the relationship that comes of this dynamic is SO MUCH BETTER than anything you could have with a criticizer.
You deserve to feel good. You deserve someone who makes you feel good 99.99% of the time.
(Also, you ask about working on it – I tried that. Ultimately I concluded that a) it was impossible, and b) it was not my job to reform a jerk.)
Post # 11
@solidarity: “That’s called being a jerk. And no, they don’t change.“
Post # 12
I do believe that someone like that can change, but very rarely, if ever, on his or her own.
I personally believe that the transforming power of God’s Holy Spirit can radically change a person’s attitude, thoughts, actions, habits, and character. However, the person himself or herself ultimately must also become a willing participant in that process.
Post # 13
It only gets worse, if you’re in that situation Get out
Post # 14
@esplanfreedom: like many PPs have stated…i had an ex boyfriend who started out like this and ended up getting worse and worse and it eventually lead to physical and sexual abuse. i should have saw the warning signs but i was naive and he was MUCH MUCH MUCH older than me and i thought he was being protective. he didn’t change and apparently his boss didn’t think he would change either. he lost his very high paying, very prominent position at a very successful company because i reported him stalking me, harrassing me and sexually harrassing me, and terrorizing me. we had worked together for a year.
Post # 15
Yes, I do think it can get better, but I think it depends on the person and their motivations for behaving the way they do.
My SO is a very critical person by nature. On top of that, he was raised by an incredibily picky/inflexible/critical mother. He has always struggled with an inclination to always be right and nitpick other people. I, on the other hand, am totally averse to criticism – to an unhealthy point. Any bad word against me and I would be reduced to tears. After 3 years of struggling with this, we sought counseling. 6 months of counseling changed SO much for both of us.
That’s not to say we’ve both miraculously become perfect. My SO still is and always will be a critical person. It’s in his nature. And I will always be sensitive to criticism. But we both learned how to communicate with one another in a way that is respectful and compassionate. My SO still slips when he’s feeling defensive and it doesn’t feel very good, but it’s a .01% kind of deal.
That was my long way of saying I think it really does depend. If a person is critical of YOU and does it with an intent to degrade, upset, control or diminish you, I don’t think that changes. But if someone is generally critical of everything and does it more out of habit than out of a genuine desire to inflict hurt, then I think it’s possible they can change. Especially if they are motivated to.
Post # 16
GET.OUT.NOW. – They make look like they can change, but they don’t and it gets worse. Been there.