How to know if he has changed or not

Signs that he has changed . . .

  • He admits to his abusive behavior, and stops trying to blame or cover up.

  • He acknowledges that all the abuse was wrong, and identifies all the ways he used to justify his abusive behavior.
  • He acknowledges that his abusive behavior was not a loss of control, but a choice on his part.
  • He recognizes and is able to verbalize the effects of his abuse on his spouse and children.
  • He identifies attitudes of entitlement or superiority, and talks about the tactics he used in maintaining control.
  • He replaces distorted thinking with a more positive and empathetic view.
  • He consistently displays respectful behavior toward his spouse and children.
  • He wants to make amends for the harm he has caused.
  • He is committed to not repeating his past behavior, and realizes it will be a life-long process.
  • He is willing to hear feedback and criticism, is honest about his failures, and is willing to be held accountable for abusive thinking and behavior.
  • He is willing to wait however long it takes for trust in him to be rebuilt, and does not exert pressure for forgiveness or reconciliation.
  • He does not say or do things that threaten or frighten.
  • He listens and respects opinions, even if he disagrees.
  • He listens to expressions of anger or frustration toward him without retaliatory punishment or abuse.
  • He respects a "no" in all situations, including physical contact.
  • He does not prevent or punish for time spent with friends and family.
  • He is willing to continue counseling as long as it is necessary.
  • He does not blame, but takes responsibility for his actions/bad behavior.
  • He is kind and attentive instead of being demanding and controlling.
  • He does not take out his frustration or anger on his spouse or children.
  • He admits to his mistakes and takes the responsibility for changing abusive behavior.

He has not changed if . . .

  • He demands an accounting of times and places.
  • He uses excuses or blame for his bad behavior.
  • He continues to use sarcasm or verbal abuse, talks down, shows disrespect or superiority.
  • He does not respond well to complaints or criticism of his behavior.
  • He continues to undermine the authority and credibility of his spouse.
  • He continues to show the same mindset about women.
  • He criticizes his spouse for not realizing how much he has changed.
  • He uses guilt to manipulate others.
  • He does not faithfully attend his treatment program.
  • He will not admit to his abuse.
  • He tries to convince others he is not the abusive or crazy one.
Beware of the temptation to gauge change by means of the perpetrator’s church-going behavior. Going to church is not good enough . . . does not prove that he is no longer going to hurt her.
— Woman-Battering
Completion of a batterer’s intervention program class by a man does not mean his victim is safe or that he has stopped being abusive.
While men may learn tools for acting nonviolently, research indicates that many men continue to be abusive, even if they change their tactics.
— Embracing Justice: Resource Guide for Rabbis on Domestic Violence
At Grow Ministries we believe that the abuser is “addicted” to POWER and CONTROL and the victim is “addicted” to codependency. Domestic Violence is NOT a marriage or relationship issues. So in order to bring about change the behavior must be addressed like any other addiction.
— GROW Ministries