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Trying to Fix an Abusive Marriage? Here’s What to Know


You cannot fix an abusive marriage. If you are facing domestic violence in your home, the healthiest course of action for you and your children is nearly always divorce. Although it is possible for an abusive individual to change the thought patterns and behaviors that drive him or her to abuse a partner, it is rare for abusers to change. Even when an abusive individual does manage to become a healthier, better partner, the damage his or her spouse suffered is usually so great that the marriage can never become a healthy one.

It is Very Rare for an Abuser to Actually Change

It is important to acknowledge that in some cases, abusive spouses do change. Abusive behaviors are learned behaviors, and changing means unlearning attitudes and thought patterns that arise from places of privilege and entitlement.

What Looks like Change is Often Just Part of the Cycle of Abuse

After harming a partner, it is not uncommon for an abuser to express regret, apologize profusely, and shower the victim with gifts or affection in an effort to make things right. This is known as love bombing, and it is part of the cycle of abuse.

Victims who have been in abusive relationships for a prolonged period are familiar with the ups and downs of the cycle of abuse. Put briefly, the cycle of abuse follows this pattern:

  • Tension builds. The abuser behaves in a controlling manner toward the victim, who might also try to express some control in the situation by trying to anticipate the abuser’s emotional trigger points and keep conflict in the home to a minimum. Despite this effort, tension builds between the partners;
  • The abusive partner lashes out against the victim, becoming physically abusive or harming him or her in another way. This happens when the tension in the home hits its peak. The victim might try to determine the pattern to the abuser’s behavior, but there is no pattern; then
  • The honeymoon phase. After abuse occurs, the abuser might express regret and promise not to harm the victim again. Many victims believe their abusers and stay in harmful relationships.

You Cannot Fix an Abusive Partner

The only abusers who change are the ones who recognize that they are abusive, choose to make changes, and actively hold themselves accountable for their actions and their progress. Ending abusive tendencies requires therapy and for many, anger management courses or other types of rehabilitative courses, like substance abuse treatment and education.

As a partner to an abusive individual, you cannot make him or her change. Do not wait for your partner to change, because you could be waiting for the rest of your life. 

Work with an Experienced Orlando Divorce Lawyer

If you are in an abusive marriage, divorce is the right choice. To start the process of ending your marriage, schedule your initial legal consultation with experienced Orlando divorce lawyer Steve W. Marsee at the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, P.A. today.

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