Claiming he has changed

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CagedBirdSinging

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Claiming he has changed
« on: June 15, 2021, 07:09:56 PM »
I left almost six months ago. We have small kids, and pdH comes over for visitation. I am walking a delicate tightrope not to annoy him, not to provoke him into going to court to demand his legal rights to EOW custody. This is something he threatens to do frequently, whenever I try to limit his visitation.

He has been wearing me down. Moaning and complaining and crying about how he is all alone and missing his kids. On and on and on.. I tend to just let him come over, just to give my head some peace from the moaning.

So now he is here quite often. Too often. Badgering me about getting back together for the good of the kids. He has dropped much of the pd behaviour: no rages for over a year, no ST for a good while. The kids love him. He is being pleasant. And so now I feel like I'm the one with the problem. Why can't i  just forgive him, move on and be a happy family?!

But something is niggling at me. His niceness feels so fake. The choices he is making now - to be pleasant, tolerant, helpful about the house- makes me aware that when he chose to do the opposite, it was exactly this. A choice.

I went through a very bad time with him around 3 years ago. Things have never been as bad since then, but I have never got over the fear he put into me. He talks about wanting to move on and forget the past, but I don't seem able to. Is there something wrong with me? He has never properly apologised for what he did to me. He says it was my parents fault for annoying him. I think maybe if he took ownership of his own actions, I could move towards forgiveness. But I will always be wary of him.

I don't want to share custody. I don't want to put my kids in that position. But I feel utterly depressed at the thought of a life with pdH. There is no conversation between us. He has no interest in anything outside of himself. In arguments he undermines me, dismisses me and mocks me. As a consequence I avoid arguments with him, biting my tongue, using GR, MC, all the tricks.

When he leaves my house, we dance. We honestly dance. The atmosphere is so much lighter. It is like Christmas eve around here when he leaves. I know the kids feel it too.

It's all such a mess. I've so few people to talk to. I just want to do the right thing for my kids.

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PAY

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Re: Claiming he has changed
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2021, 07:26:37 PM »
I have no experience to share as I have no kids. However, I think you’ve answered your own question.
You walk a delicate type rope. You dance when he leaves. You feel utterly depressed at the thought of a life with him.
Trust your gut on all of those things.

What I can relate to is the constant badgering - in my case, while we were married, to move somewhere warm. And then when I had inheritance, it was to buy a house somewhere warm (so he could golf all year round). And the never taking responsibility for his actions and apologizing.

My xpdH reined his anger in for 18 months. I thought we’d turned a corner. But then I set a boundary around something that was important to me. All that anger was right there and he couldn’t get it under control again. That’s when I left (after several attempts at couples counseling)

Not saying your relationship is like mine. I just hear some similarities. I would trust your gut.

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Boat Babe

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Re: Claiming he has changed
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2021, 08:06:46 PM »
I think you might benefit from reading all your posts on here from the beginning. I'm not saying you have abuse amnesia but then again, you might.

Your children will not benefit from a return to the marital status quo either. Witnessing abuse in childhood is abuse in and of itself. You'll hate yourself for it. Many of our members here deeply regret putting their kids through that. Even more of us, especially on the Parents boards are still discussing aspects of a painful childhood marred by a PD parent. I am and I'm in my sixties.

Anyway that's my take on things. I do hope you can find some equanimity in in this difficult transitional period. Remember that his current good behaviour IS CHOSEN as was the previous abuse and you won't go far wrong. Sending hugs.
It gets better. It has to.

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notrightinthehead

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Re: Claiming he has changed
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2021, 04:29:39 AM »
In my case the wearing my down and getting back together in a very short time led to worse abuse than before. And my kids were severely damaged by being exposed to and witnessing the abuse.
If he is such a good dad and the kids love him so much, what keeps you from letting them spend some time together without you?  At least the kids would have some relaxed time and a safe home where he cannot interfere when they are with you.
I can't hate my way into loving myself.

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Bunnyme

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Re: Claiming he has changed
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2021, 12:48:50 PM »
Most PDs will claim whatever they need to claim to get you back into their lives. 
I know from my own experience, I've seen time after time after time, I am promised change.  He went through therapy, but basically just learned fancier words to use.  Two days ago, I received a love poem, but it was mostly about what I did for him and what he has lost.  I am holding firm on limited contact, and only about the kids, so I didnt respond.  He has not changed.  It is sad.
You are not obligated to get back together with him, even if he had changed.  My therapist finally convinced me of that.  My kids are better off.  I couldn't live my life on eggshells forever.

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Poison Ivy

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Re: Claiming he has changed
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2021, 02:08:35 PM »
"You are not obligated to get back together with him, even if he had changed." THIS! Change the pronouns as appropriate for your circumstances. 

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Medowynd

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Re: Claiming he has changed
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2021, 05:35:51 PM »
If you get back together with him, your PD will revert to his previous behavior.  He cannot maintain this new persona, because it is not him.  I suggest that you start a journal and write out every incident that you recall, your response and how you felt about it and how your children were impacted.  The lure of the known is strong and beneath all of the moaning and complaining is a PD is still reverting to his usual self but keeping it hidden.  Since everyone is so relieved when the PD leaves, remember what happens if you go back to him.  There is no relief, and nowhere to go.  Stay strong and stay the course.  Try to limit how much communicating that you do with him.  The PD uses communication to undermine you and collect more information to further his campaign.

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CagedBirdSinging

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Re: Claiming he has changed
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2021, 07:35:22 PM »
In my case the wearing my down and getting back together in a very short time led to worse abuse than before. And my kids were severely damaged by being exposed to and witnessing the abuse.
If he is such a good dad and the kids love him so much, what keeps you from letting them spend some time together without you?  At least the kids would have some relaxed time and a safe home where he cannot interfere when they are with you.

It's a good question. To answer, the kids love their dad because he can be great fun, but he isn't very good at taking care of them. He is good at playing ball, having a bit of fun with them. But he has never bonded with them as a parent- if they are upset, he has no idea how to comfort them. He has no idea how to feed, dress them etc. He is very lax and I'd worry about their safety. When we lived together, he used to frequently leave nails,  screws etc lying around. This was when the baby was learning to crawl. Nails, screws, bottle caps. I had to be vigilant all the time, and blocked off his bedroom as a no-go zone for the kids, for this reason. But if I'm not there to keep the place safe.. what then?

He has very erratic mood swings, and this will worsen if we separate for good. It's one thing leaving the kids with him while he is in a good mood. But it would be a different matter to leave them alone for a weekend with him if he is feeling depressed, bitter, angry... as I imagine he would be.

That case of those poor little girls in Tenerife just broke my heart this week, and chilled me to the bone if I'm honest. I have to protect my children, even if that means sacrificing my own happiness. I'd do anything to keep them safe.

Sorry this is so bleak. Nobody needs to hear this. You're very kind to reply, thanks everyone and I really do appreciate your compassion and understanding.

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Bunnyme

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Re: Claiming he has changed
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2021, 08:03:23 PM »
Oh, I relate.  He is more of a fun uncle than a father.  We've been to the ER because he left pills lying around.  Not buckling them in....  This was my biggest worry as well.  The kids' safety.  I luckily have supervised visitation, but that could be gone soon.  Even when you live together, you cant be there 24/7, so the kids will be alone with him.  And they will be around him a lot more.  Mine actually doesn't even take the visitation he is allowed.  You dont want your kids to live in a home with 2 miserable parents.  I, too, am very triggered by news stories like that.
At the end of the day, though, we are each different, and you need to do what you feel is best for you.  I just know that I got to the point where I finally had to go.  Though it has been challenging, I feel like I am able to be a more positive person without him.  Safety is #1, and only you know your situation, but think carefully and work through all of the options before returning to an abusive situation.  Hugs to you.  The helplessness can be overwhelming.  Document, document, document.  It is the best way to protect them right now. 

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1footouttadefog

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Re: Claiming he has changed
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2021, 07:18:03 PM »
I left almost six months ago. We have small kids, and pdH comes over for visitation. I am walking a delicate tightrope not to annoy him, not to provoke him into going to court to demand his legal rights to EOW custody.you are walking on egg shells still, in fear of being yourself and cannot hBe natural conversations This is something he threatens to do frequently, whenever I try to limit his visitation.He is threatening you instead of seeking compromise

He has been wearing me down. This means he is abusing you u til you give I to his demands Moaning and complaining and crying about how he is all alone and missing his kids. Sounds like a typical Narc, all about himOn and on and on.. I tend to just let him come over, just to give my head some peace from the moaning.  you are not wanting his company, but avoiding abuse, ie picking the less of two evils this is no way to live.

So now he is here quite often. Too often. So he has found away to co trol your life even after you left Badgering me about getting back together for the good of the kids. He has dropped much of the pd behaviour: no rages for over a year, no ST for a good while. Sounds like he is just using different tools nowThe kids love him. He is being pleasant. And so now I feel like I'm the one with the problem. Why can't i  just forgive him, move on and be a happy family?!Maybe because you still feel his need to control and the lack of compromise, it's had to forgive abuse that has not actually stopped

But something is niggling at me. His niceness feels so fake.Go with your gut, you know him and he did not suddenly change, he just changed tools The choices he is making now - to be pleasant, tolerant, helpful about the house- makes me aware that when he chose to do the opposite, it was exactly this. A choice. Yes a choice and it can all change again

I went through a very bad time with him around 3 years ago. Things have never been as bad since then, but I have never got over the fear he put into me. He talks about wanting to move on and forget the past, but I don't seem able to.rarely will a pd give you that  closure by admitting their part in things.  Is there something wrong with me? He has never properly apologised for what he did to me.And likely never will, that would come too close to the shame and inadequacy pds work so hard to protect He says it was my parents fault for annoying him.who gets blamed next I think maybe if he took ownership of his own actions, I could move towards forgiveness. But I will always be wary of him.

I don't want to share custody. I don't want to put my kids in that position. But I feel utterly depressed at the thought of a life with pdH. There is no conversation between us. He has no interest in anything outside of himself. In arguments he undermines me, dismisses me and mocks me.this is not okay, even if other types of abuse have decreased, As a consequence I avoid arguments with him, biting my tongue, using GR, MC, all the tricks.

When he leaves my house, we dance. We honestly dance. So you know the difference and experience both back to back on a regular basis, it's not a fluke that you feel better when he leaves. The atmosphere is so much lighter. It is like Christmas eve around here when he leaves. I know the kids feel it too.

It's all such a mess. I've so few people to talk to. I just want to do the right thing for my kids.

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2nice

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Re: Claiming he has changed
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2021, 08:44:08 AM »
Where to start... we are all very familiar with this game. That's what it is. He is playing you because being an adult is hard and he wants you to do it for him again.

It is a con job. He is thinking of himself and you need to think of you. The kids still see him but seriously I'm sure he can keep them safe when you are not around. Access in your house is a mistake. Not trying to offend you. He is being relentless and if he thinks there is one glimmer of hope he will keep going.

I'm a serial offender. I took mine back 7 times. Some because I was lonely and I grieved the famiky dream. Some for my kids. It got worse and worse.

He will never stand on own feet if he doesn't have to.

I feel for you xx

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xredshoesx

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Re: Claiming he has changed
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2021, 10:11:57 AM »
caged bird thinking of you today on my almost 14th anniversary of taking my life back by saying NO when my ex swore to me he had changed...


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SonofThunder

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Re: Claiming he has changed
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2021, 10:29:57 AM »
IDD control cycle is 1. Idealization (lovebombing) 2. Devaluation and 3 Discard.   The original post by CagedBird, is imo, idealization in order to bring about the start of the cycle by avoiding a divorce. 

These cycles never end but can be disrupted, which is, imo, where CagedBird is at the moment and congratulations on self protection although it’s very difficult.  I want to encourage to continue forward in self protection of yourself and the children, as if you get hovered back by idealization, it will not last long until devaluation begins again.  “Wash, rinse, repeat” is how it goes in life with a PD. 

SoT
Proverbs 17:1
A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.

2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

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CagedBirdSinging

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Re: Claiming he has changed
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2021, 10:42:07 AM »
Thanks everyone for those most recent replies. I haven't posted for a while,  but I've had a break through in my thinking about all this:

If I go back to pdH, my kids will lose their mum, their non-pd parent. They will lose me. Because I'm only able to be myself when pdH is not around. There is a smart, kind, chatty, creative, funny mum- the person who I am when pdH is not here. When he is here, I am withdrawn, quiet, anxious. And if he moves in with us, he  never let me have any time alone with the kids because he knows this is what I crave, and he knows it's what makes me stronger; strong enough to leave. So the kids will never see that relaxed, happy side of their mum: they will lose their mum. For that reason I am staying strong. It's better to miss out on some time with the kids, and to deal with my fears and anxieties, rather than never having any alone time with them at all.

I AM NOT TAKING HIM BACK.

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Boat Babe

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Re: Claiming he has changed
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2021, 12:02:40 PM »
You will not regret this decision.

Be prepared for the love bombing to stop when he realizes it's not working. Strengthen your boundaries. Get lots of support from friends and family. Keep talking to us.

It's gonna be ok. 💖💖💖
It gets better. It has to.

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SonofThunder

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Re: Claiming he has changed
« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2021, 09:34:50 AM »
You will not regret this decision.

Be prepared for the love bombing to stop when he realizes it's not working. Strengthen your boundaries. Get lots of support from friends and family. Keep talking to us.

It's gonna be ok. 💖💖💖
:yeahthat:
Proverbs 17:1
A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.

2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

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Bunnyme

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Re: Claiming he has changed
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2021, 11:42:56 AM »
That's a wonderful insight! 

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CagedBirdSinging

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Re: Claiming he has changed
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2021, 06:13:16 PM »
I left almost six months ago. We have small kids, and pdH comes over for visitation. I am walking a delicate tightrope not to annoy him, not to provoke him into going to court to demand his legal rights to EOW custody.you are walking on egg shells still, in fear of being yourself and cannot hBe natural conversations This is something he threatens to do frequently, whenever I try to limit his visitation.He is threatening you instead of seeking compromise

He has been wearing me down. This means he is abusing you u til you give I to his demands Moaning and complaining and crying about how he is all alone and missing his kids. Sounds like a typical Narc, all about himOn and on and on.. I tend to just let him come over, just to give my head some peace from the moaning.  you are not wanting his company, but avoiding abuse, ie picking the less of two evils this is no way to live.

So now he is here quite often. Too often. So he has found away to co trol your life even after you left Badgering me about getting back together for the good of the kids. He has dropped much of the pd behaviour: no rages for over a year, no ST for a good while. Sounds like he is just using different tools nowThe kids love him. He is being pleasant. And so now I feel like I'm the one with the problem. Why can't i  just forgive him, move on and be a happy family?!Maybe because you still feel his need to control and the lack of compromise, it's had to forgive abuse that has not actually stopped

But something is niggling at me. His niceness feels so fake.Go with your gut, you know him and he did not suddenly change, he just changed tools The choices he is making now - to be pleasant, tolerant, helpful about the house- makes me aware that when he chose to do the opposite, it was exactly this. A choice. Yes a choice and it can all change again

I went through a very bad time with him around 3 years ago. Things have never been as bad since then, but I have never got over the fear he put into me. He talks about wanting to move on and forget the past, but I don't seem able to.rarely will a pd give you that  closure by admitting their part in things.  Is there something wrong with me? He has never properly apologised for what he did to me.And likely never will, that would come too close to the shame and inadequacy pds work so hard to protect He says it was my parents fault for annoying him.who gets blamed next I think maybe if he took ownership of his own actions, I could move towards forgiveness. But I will always be wary of him.

I don't want to share custody. I don't want to put my kids in that position. But I feel utterly depressed at the thought of a life with pdH. There is no conversation between us. He has no interest in anything outside of himself. In arguments he undermines me, dismisses me and mocks me.this is not okay, even if other types of abuse have decreased, As a consequence I avoid arguments with him, biting my tongue, using GR, MC, all the tricks.

When he leaves my house, we dance. We honestly dance. So you know the difference and experience both back to back on a regular basis, it's not a fluke that you feel better when he leaves. The atmosphere is so much lighter. It is like Christmas eve around here when he leaves. I know the kids feel it too.

It's all such a mess. I've so few people to talk to. I just want to do the right thing for my kids.

Thanks 1foot! I really appreciate this. I don't suppose you could work your magic on this latest conversation with PD?
He is still trying to persuade me to take him back. His monologue goes something like this:

"It's been XX months, that's far too long. You have a great set up here, your life is all set up, while I'm suffering on my own. I want us to be a happy, healthy family. I don't see what the problem is. I just want us to move on from this trauma. I don't get it, why are you stalling?"

I mention that I am afraid of old patterns repeating themselves. When we lived together before, he was moody, grumpy, often gave me the silent treatment, I walked on eggshells not to annoy him. There was no laughter, no joy. He chatted to the kids whilst ignoring me.

He replies "I was acting like that because I was so traumatised by you leaving the last time" (the last time I left, he was raging so bad I felt in physical danger - I didn't want to leave, it broke my heart, but his anger was so bad, I felt he was on the verge of physical violence).
He continues "I was so traumatised by you leaving the first time, that's why I acted up sometimes - I was acting out of sorrow! And anyway if you want to talk about patterns, what about the pattern of you leaving? You might leave again, even though you promised you wouldn't!"

He then goes on to talk about what he wants if he moves in: "There would need to be intimacy. We'd have to have sex. I need intimacy in my life, I'm not prepared to just be roommates like we were before."

I get a bit tearful at this point. I say something about how my difficulty with intimacy was caused by his raging/silent treatment. I say something along the lines of: I don't know how to have sex with someone who doesn't speak to me. My body cannot do that.

He scoffs at this, pulls THE FACE of total dismissal. "Yeah well I don't want our marriage to be like your parents marriage. I need my children to see that their dad is receiving plenty of affection, that I'm a sexual person."

Me: (thinking) that's a bit weird. I haven't even agreed to take him back, and he is already making demands.

 :stars:

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Boat Babe

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Re: Claiming he has changed
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2021, 06:45:30 PM »
He said: I need my children to see that their dad is receiving plenty of affection, that I'm a sexual person.

That is breathtaking in it's wrongness. Are you making a record of all this? I feel it may be necessary.

He is clearly flailing and trying everything to get you back. You have made the incredibly brave step of saving yourself and your children. Don't even think about going back to a man who says things like this.
It gets better. It has to.

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CagedBirdSinging

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Re: Claiming he has changed
« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2021, 07:30:36 PM »
He said: I need my children to see that their dad is receiving plenty of affection, that I'm a sexual person.

That is breathtaking in it's wrongness. Are you making a record of all this? I feel it may be necessary.

He is clearly flailing and trying everything to get you back. You have made the incredibly brave step of saving yourself and your children. Don't even think about going back to a man who says things like this.

Yes I have emailed to myself - I keep careful notes of anything weird like this.
The mad thing is that if I question things he says, then he laughs at me, scoffs, rolls his eyes, says 'are you kidding?! how can you not see that?!' etc.. making me feel like I am the crazy one for questioning