A question many people in an abusive relationship may ask themselves is “will my partner ever change?” There’s a trend that occurs where people tend to fall in love with someone’s potential and who they could be, rather than who they currently are. This is one of the significant reasons why people choose to stay in unhealthy relationships despite the abuse they are experiencing; survivors hope that their partner will change or believe that they will be the ones to change them. According to the Cycle of Violence, a key point in why abusers are not changing is because they are in denial and refusing to accept that their actions are harmful. Think about it, if someone is not willing to accept that what they did was wrong then they are not as likely to change that behavior.

If your partner is actively listening to your concerns and making attempts to stop the abusive behaviors and utilizing necessary resources such as batterer intervention programs (BIP), individual or group counseling, alcohol and chemical dependency counseling, and more… then you could see a change in your relationship and your partners behaviors, however, this is not a guarantee.

Something to consider is setting boundaries with the abusive party while they are receiving services to help with the abusive behaviors. You are not obligated to stay with your partner while they are working on themselves; if the abuse is continuing to happen despite receiving help, you still always want to consider your physical and mental health and safety. So, if you find yourself in an unhealthy or abusive relationship and are wondering if you should leave, ask yourself a different question… “would you be happy with your partner, marry your partner if they never changed anything about themselves or how they treated you?”

Consider the mentioned information and resources and always reach out to your local domestic violence center to discuss your options and resources.