Looks like I'm heading towards divorce :( Can someone really change?

posted 2 years ago in Relationships
Post # 16
2482 posts
Buzzing bee

Regardless of whether or not he could change AND STAY CHANGED, he has worked hard to actively damange the relationship for the ENTIRE marriage. He has been cruel to you, emotionally abused and gaslighted you, ignored your feelings and requests, and the list goes on and on.

Even if he DID change back to the guy he pretended to be to woo you, that wouldn’t erase the last ~3 solid years of treating you and the relationship with disdain and disregard. In your shoes, I’d already have left.

(And if you DO leave, PLEASE do not fall giddily into the arms of this other guy. Be more cautious this time. Watch for red flags. Protect yourself to the best of your ability.)

Post # 18
552 posts
Busy bee


1. The church said you had to abstain prior to marriage so he moved into another room- you were living together? For how long? What was your sex life like before the abstinance order?

2. How long were you dating before engagement?

3. How old are you?

Post # 19
2189 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

I believe people can change — if they really want to and are willing to put forth the effort. There just seems to be so many problems here. If there were at least some good times to make up for the bad that would help. I certainly suggest that you do not jump into a new relationship now. 

Post # 20
2331 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

I think you’ve both checked out of this marriage 

Post # 21
2005 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

There is clearly something wrong with the intimacy problems. Either 1.) he has physical issues that he’s embarassed about, and that’s shadowing the rest of his life as well, perhaps causing depression and lack of motivation for things that used to be important to him, 2.) he’s not attracted to women or to you (or perhaps he’s asexual and not attracted to anyone)  3.) he’s an abuse victim and has mental/emotional issues that may cause physical side effects that prevent intimacy.

No matter which of these is the culprit, they all require him to seek help, and none of them are things that can be fixed easily or by you. I also worry about any poster who talks about a partner who all of the sudden has promised to change after their bee has reached the breaking/leaving point. This is true of those who are waiting as well. These instant turnarouns are made out of fear, not a real desire to change, and the change won’t last.

Post # 22
745 posts
Busy bee

I’ve been married for 18 years and I’ve had some difficult times with my husband, but never this extreme. We’ve had plenty of disagreements over things like dishwashing but no one ever just stopped cleaning. We get laughed at by friends because sometiems we are seen disagreeing and then 5 minutes later we are holding hands again. So long without even holding hand? How lonely.

I really do think if there’s this much trouble and you feel out of love so early in, doubt if things can be fixed to the point of making a long lasting happy marriage. I’m sorry this is happening. People make mistakes, may be best to move on if your love for him is gone.

Post # 23
702 posts
Busy bee

Honestly from what you’re saying I don’t think he’ll really change. Most people when faced with the reality that their partner is going to leave will shape up real quick…but only for a brief amount of time. I can almost gurantee that if you decide to stay with him the next few months will be great but then things will slowly go back to where they were before. He doesn’t cook, he doesn’t clean, he doesn’t have sex, he doesn’t go outdoors, he doesn’t want to even sleep in the same room as you…is this who you want to spend the rest of your life with?? 

Post # 24
1484 posts
Bumble bee

I think you deserve the love and life you want. It’s ok to leave him. 

Post # 25
4088 posts
Honey bee

Emm85 :  you’ve given him 2 years to change. Bye. 

Post # 26
4603 posts
Honey bee

Up until I got to the sex life part, I was going to ask about depression or possible physical issues (for example hormonal imbalance).  Because you ask if people can change entirely and I guess technically cause he did already once.  You claimed to have a good relationship and he enjoyed all these activities and now he doesn’t-  why? What does he say when you ask him?  Was he just putting on a show to get you or did he genuinely lose interest?  The latter is called anhedonia and a sign of depression.  But then I got to the gaslighting part and ugh.

As for people and whether they can change…yes, plus or minus about 10% I’d wager.  Completely?  Generally no and usually only in response to some life-altering event (bigger than a wife leaving) or slowly over the course of many years and experiences (for example, I’m a drastically different than the person I was at 18 in many ways – my politics, my humor, my interests, my opinions have all been shaped by experiences afterward – though many things about me are just my personality and the same).  But in all instances the person has to want to change for themselves.  A drastic quick change is about to be as successful as a crash diet. 

However, much of his behaviour is simply unforgivable in my book (gaslighting for example).  And personally, I don’t feel like you owe him the chance to work this out if you truly are just done. Marriage is a contract.  Giving people a chance is for when they have truly been making a good faith effort in fulfilling that contract (those vows you say are your contract) and maybe failing in one area and wanting to improve.  But a contract requires both people to fulfill their obligations in the partnership and just like any other contract in the world, if one person is in breach of that contract the other party is under no obligation to continuing fulfilling their part of the contract.  The contract is null and void.  It sounds like for 2 years he has made no effort to actually engage in this partnership and fulfill his end of the contract.  This is more than just “oh we have different interests” because then you work and find common ground – he has lived basically an entirely seperate life.

I will say that you should completely disengage from the guy you say you have feelings for.  Don’t muddy the waters.  If he’s meant to be, he’ll still be around when you have finally dealt with your marriage and legally separated if that is the end result.  You may not owe your husband the chance to start over, but you do owe him and yourself as clean of a separation as possible that is only about the actual issues in your marriage and not some muddy mess of “but also maybe I was emotionally cheating because he was so unavailable” whatever.

Post # 27
1174 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

He sounds depressed to me. Low sex drive, loss of interest in favorite hobbies, etc.  have you tried seeing a couples therapist or having him see a therapist himself?

Post # 28
466 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

He could change but easily fall back to his old routine. Sounds like this marriage has run its course.

Post # 29
201 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

2 things:

Firstly, and most importantly, you’ve mentioned numerous times that you have fallen out of love with him. There’s your answer. 

2, the intimacy thing seems weird, sleeping in separate bedrooms, all the excuses and the cringing when you try to kiss him…I wonder if he might be in the closet. 

I think you should leave. Your happiness matters most in your life and you’re clearly not happy. 

Post # 30
18 posts

Sounds so hellish sounds like he’s given up real life and its duties to play on his game,the part about not wanting to kiss or touch you speaks volumes there is just no sexual energy/electricity/chemistry there.

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