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Home Forums Looking for support? ‘Is it abuse?’ Will he change?

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    I feel like I already know that what’s been happening isn’t ok. It’s not really normal to have to apologise to the neighbors at 3am because your boyfriend has smashed a glass coffee table and keeps screaming that he just wants to end it all because I’m so selfish. But I just don’t know what to do next.

    Anyway. I’m in my 50s and my partner is in his 30s, and at the beginning, when I met my boyfriend last year, everything was amazing. He was in a bit of a tough spot with his work situation and so after a couple of months it made sense for him to move in to my place while he got back on his feet. That was about a year ago and since then things have just escalated to a living hell.

    We also go to parties and this has involved taking some drugs. I do it occasionally take some but he takes a lot more than I do.

    I don’t want to call the police. They might arrest him and he has nowhere else to go and no one who’ll look after him, and also his behaviour can be frightening. I want to help him, but I don’t know what to do. Do think he will change and be the person I met?


    Hi chollybumble – thanks for your post. What you’re dealing with sounds exhausting and frightening. I can see why you’re feeling really trapped and wanting things to change. We hear from lots of callers who worry about whether their partner will be ok if they call the police or ask them to leave, who worry about the impact this will have on them. But it sounds like what’s happening is having a big and really damaging impact on you too. Having to live with someone who is violent and behaves in a frightening way can really take its toll. Does anyone else in your life know about what’s happening?

    You mentioned that your partner uses drugs at parties. We know that some party drugs (called chems) can really affect how people behave and can escalate harmful behaviour. Is this something you’ve noticed?

    You deserve to feel safe and ok in your home and relationship. It sounds like right now that’s not possible with your partner around. You asked if he’ll change. It’s possible for people to change harmful and abusive behaviour, but it can take a long time and a serious effort and acknowledgement of what’s happening from them. Has your partner ever taken serious steps towards admitting or changing his behaviour? This might tell you a lot about whether things could ever change.



    You’re describing my ex. It was exactly like this between me and him – I really wanted to help him because if I’m honest, I felt sorry for him, but in the end there was nothing I could do to help him. He had to want to change. It’s hard to hear, but you cant make it happen, until that point he will keep doing what he’s doing – taking drugs, taking from you and making your life as you say, ‘a living hell.’ I mean why would he change, when you’re providing for him? It took me too long, years, to realise he was not my responsibility and I actually wasn’t doing him or me any favours in staying with him. If he wants to change there are places like London Friend which can help, but to be honest he needs to get in contact with them and do this work, you can’t do it for him. Believe me, I tried.

    I was with my ex for 8 years, nearly all of them were full of pain. It sounds like you’ve been with your partner for about a year, get out while you can and don’t waste your time like I did.

    I also didn’t want my family and friends to know what was going either – I’ve had enough ‘looking down’ on my relationships through my life because I’m gay and I just couldn’t face adding to it. But in hindsight, I could have done with telling a couple of friends as I needed the support. It was too much going through all of this and going through it alone. It just made it harder. When I did tell a few people they were actually great.

    If he does get violent or act like he’s going to hurt you, you’ve got a right to call the police. It might shake him up and make him realise that what he is doing is totally wrong. But you will know him the best and how he might react. I spoke with Galop and they helped me get out of the relationship, I needed help and I needed help that ‘got’ gay relationships, I couldn’t do it on my own. You could do that too. It wouldn’t do you any harm to have a chat with them, they were great with me.

    I totally get what a difficult time this is. You’ve reached out and that’s a start.

    Lancashire Lad

    I was with someone who sounds a bit like what you’re describing. Upsetting the neighbours with a destructive ruckus and screaming and making all kinds of threats to hurt himself and all that. I kept hanging on hoping he’d change as he’d been quite nice when I first met him. I also kept thinking about how leaving him would hurt his feelings for goodness sakes, I can’t believe I used to think like that. I wish I could go back in time and have a word with myself.

    It took me two years to leave and my biggest regret is not leaving sooner.


    I read recently – you break your own heart by telling yourself to give it another shot when you already know it’s time to let go.

    I brushed so much under the carpet and I forgave so much because of “what he was going through”. Sometimes you just can’t help people no matter how available you are or how much you try. I wish I had recognised that sooner because I could have saved myself a lot of pain and I should have recognised all the thing I was going through sooner.

    I hope everything works out for you. Be kind to yourself.

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